Location: Koh Tao, Thailand
Today started before sunrise, with alarms ringing at 3 am. Half-awake, we pilled into the vans and drove to the airport. After checking our luggage, we made our way to the VIP waiting area and enjoyed some interesting Thai breakfast snacks, juice, and hot chocolate. We then took a bus to the plane, and after a short flight, we touched down in Koh Samui, where we were met by vans that took us to the ferry docks. We had a blast sitting up on deck with the wind blowing in our faces for an hour and a half. The anticipation grew as we watched Koh Tao grow from a shadow on the horizon to an amazing green island surrounded by crystal clear water. As we came up to the dock, we all had to stand towards the bow to lift the engine higher in the water, as it was extremely low tide. After finding our taxi, we piled in and drove to the Koh Tao Resort. After we steadied ourselves, we marveled at the amazing views of the island from the hotel. We all changed into our bathing suits and cooled off in the pool for a few hours. We then headed to town to get lunch and the must-have elephant pants. After lunch, we headed to the beach for some swimming, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and relaxation. We rented six paddleboards, and with some instruction from Carolyn, we switched out paddling around the bay in two groups. After a few hours at the beach, we headed back to the hotel for showers. We met at a common outdoor area and enjoyed the amazing view of the beach while we did our daily squeeze question and went over the schedule for the next day. After a delicious dinner of Thai food at a nearby restaurant, we were all ready to go to sleep – it has been an exciting but long day, and we need to rest up for our first day of diving tomorrow!