Aside from our usual day-to-day action-packed adventuring in the water we have also been having a lot of fun on land this week! We got started by running a Nitrox course for our lucky students who learned all that they needed to know in order to use this special blend of gases when diving. With the proper training, using Nitrox [or EAN as it is sometimes known] can allow divers to stay longer at a particular depth due to the different no-decompression limits which are used!
Head of Department Try-Diving
After all of the hard work that the various heads of department for the Haad Tien Resort have put in for the last 6 months, we decided to give them a little gift of a try-scuba experience in the swimming pool. A lot of fun was had, not just by the HOD’s but also by the instructors too! Believe it or not, some of these guys and girls had never snorkelled before, but by the end of the session our instructors had them swimming around underwater like pro’s!
For those of you who follow us on Facebook [click here] you may be aware that we have our own quadrocopter drone which we mostly use for having fun and taking a few movies from time to time. But now one of the Reef team has invested in an amazing new drone which can carry our Hi-Def GoPro camera and take crystal clear footage. We had a great afternoon flying this toy around the beach and taking publicity shots for our website and brochures.
If you ask any dive professional on Koh Tao what their favourite fish is, chances are that they will say without a moments thought Whaleshark. Now don’t be misunderstood; here at Reef, we love Whalesharks as much as the next divers, but we try to appreciate each of the creatures on Koh Tao for its own merits, and one of our particular favourites is the Shrimp [or sometimes prawn] Goby.
What’s So Special About a Goby?
Not only are Gobies a beautifully coloured fish in their own right, being found in a whole rainbow of different hues and patterns, but they live in an amazing symbiotic relationship with a shrimp.
The Goby and Shrimp both share a hole in the sand, which the Shrimp makes and maintains. In exchange for a home, the Goby acts as the eyes and ears for the shrimp, and lets it know when any predator gets too near. A simple flick of the Goby’s tail sends the shrimp scurrying back into the safety of the burrow.
If you get lucky enough to come diving with us on Koh Tao, be sure to look out for these cute little fellows scattered around in the sand, but be sure to approach slowly or all you will see is an empty entrance to the burrow with no Goby and no Shrimp!
Whales have been the subject of fascination for centuries, from the petrified sailors of the early whaling fleets of America, influencing Captain Ahab’s loathing for the creatures, to the admiration of marine life lovers who are in sheer awe of these prehistoric majestic mammals.
Whales are from the order of Cetacea and are divided into two sub orders: the toothed whales (Ordontoceti) & the baleen whales (Mysticetes) which means they have bristle like teeth. They travel extensive lengths across all oceans and their sheer size is astounding: the blue whale can reach lengths of more than 100 feet and weigh up to 200 tons – as much as 33 elephants!
Despite living in the water, whales breathe air. And like humans, they are warm-blooded mammals who nurse their young. A thick layer of fat called blubber insulates them from cold ocean waters. They use sound to communicate
What A Week!
Work doesn’t get much better than this, living on a tropical island, doing what you love with people who share the same passion. Yes we are very lucky and when you have a week like we just had it doesn’t get much better than this. We started the week with a very positive and informative presentation from Giovanni Cacchione, PADI’s Regional Manager followed by a lovely evening with good food and drinks.
UV Night Diving
Last night we had a team go out on a UV Night Dive to test out this product and see if it can work for us and boy did it work for us! If you think you’ve seen it all under water it’s time to try a UV Night dive. You will see things you’ve never seen before and see the things you know and love under a whole different light…literally.
Even the most experienced night diver will be impressed with the new world of ultraviolet light night dives! Many divers have seen bio luminescence, where plankton glows when disturbed by turbulence in the water. However, when you shine a UV light on certain marine creatures, it will stimulate a fluorescent glow that most divers can only describe as “out of this world”. The UV light awakens a new fluorescent world popping against the dark structure of the reef, with anemones, sea stars, corals, fish eyes and much more.
How Does it Work?
We dive with special lights that emit a blue light which is specifically designed and tested to generate the maximum amount of bio fluorescence and with specially designed filter visors to filter out the blue. Certain marine life will absorb part of the blue light and emit a different color light in return. This effect is called fluorescence. It is NOT the same as bio luminescence which divers can witness on almost any night dive (the sparkling plankton… the ‘pixie dust’ effect). Bio fluorescence is much more vibrant and in a whole array of colors. You’ll see green, yellow, orange, white, red, gold, purple…and in a magical and somewhat psychedelic display of light. Words or even pictures can’t do it justice. You’ll have to experience it firsthand.