Location: Koh Tao
We had an eventful day in Koh Tao, probably one of the fullest days we have had on this unique trip so far. After eating a delicious breakfast, we headed over to the dive school to learn about climate change and how this problem affects different regions of the ocean. The second floor of the dive school has a platform that overlooks the water, so we enjoyed the scenic view and took plenty of Kodak moment pictures. As we perched ourselves on some yoga mats, we listened to Chad, a marine biologist who works at the dive school, talk to us about the causes of coral bleaching. Additionally, he lectured to us about why our climate is changing and how it is negatively affecting the ecosystem, especially shallower reefs in Southeast Asia. Even though this topic is depressing, Chad taught us about different methods we can do as humans to aid those disappearing coral reefs, and he explained the concept of using Biorock to springboard the coral’s growth; this simple technology acts as a catalyst for the animals’ recovery. After absorbing the information, Chad lectured to our group; we implemented his ideas into our dive. We attached some corals to a man-made-wired-dome, which would help the corals grow in the future. At night, our group had the opportunity to do an amazing dive. This dive was not some ordinary dive; we did a UV night dive using fluorescent dive lights and colored visor that wen over our masks. The special flashlights we used were able to highlight some bright colors on various corals and fish, revealing neon yellow, pink, purple, and blue pigmentation. Using these special lights, we were able to see diverse corals and fish behave uniquely and naturally in their habitat. By the end of this dive, we were all giddy form the images we saw in the reef below us, but we were also wearied from our busy day. We helped the staff wash all of the dive gear and went straight to sleep back at the hotel.