Written By Sailor, Latitudes ’19 Thailand
A life on Koh Tao, where do I start.
Well to start off my journey I will take you to week one, arriving on the small little island of Koh Tao the name meaning ‘Turtle Island’, and living up to its name this island seemed magical from my very first steps on it. The very first week Katie, Rachel and I settled into the dorms, jumped into the beautiful blue ocean many times and then geared up, literally and got our advanced diving certification so that we could get started into our second week on Koh Tao with the New Heaven conservation program!
The start of the second week comes around quickly and New Heaven wastes no time and starts teaching us the ins and outs of corals, turtles, fish species, nudibranch’s, bleaching of corals and so much more. In just one week of working with the conservation program I had learned so much more about our oceans and the issues they are facing in the up coming years, and I couldn’t wait to help make a difference and support the corals and the sea life surrounding them.
Third week, starting to get the hang of the island life. No more jet lag and on a good sleeping schedule now, the third week was off to a great start. Being an intern here at New Heaven is a big but rewarding responsibility. You learn so many things that many people don’t get the chance to learn back home. As interns we start our day off bright and early with a good breakfast, then heading to the dive school around 9:00 we start to pack our personal gear as well as the arriving students gear. Next at 10:00 we have lectures from our lovely instructors who fill our brains with insane information that occasionally seems unreal and always leaving us with more questions by the end of it. Then comes lunch time varying from 11:30-12:00 and soon after is dive time at 12:00- 1:00, meaning the best time of the day. Everyday is a different task out on the water. For example some days we like hitch coral onto welded structures placed in the ocean or we take fish and invertebrates surveys, collect drupella off of branching corals so that they have a better chance of surviving and other days we like to have a little fun and go for muck dives down in the depths of the sea floor and look for fun little sea creatures. By the end of our dive we are very tired, ready to unpack our gear, grab a quick bite to eat and lastly around 7:00pm it is about bedtime.
Currently it is week four and time really does fly by when you are having fun. I have connected with so many amazing people from all around the world and have learned so much about myself as well as our oceans surrounding us, I couldn’t feel more blessed then I do now. I know for a fact that someday I will revisit Koh Tao and dive to see the corals I have helped rebuild and hoping that I can have a look on how I made a small impact on Koh Tao.