AsiaRound The World TripThailand

Thailand: Koh Tao

Dive Master in Training – Day #10

Jon and I slept in really late and chilled out in the room reading for a while.  Then we went down to the diver center and equipment room, where Jon packed up his gear for the afternoon dive.  I ordered some lunch and hung out with Thomas and a guy named Daniel who was considering a new tatoo.  Daniel compared tatoos to a drug addiction.  He says that once you have one your body craves more.

Mmmmm..hmmmm.

Jon spent the afternoon assisting another of Mark’s Advanced Open Water courses.  I went to my final lecture with Kate.

Equipment Lecture

At 1:30 I met with Kate, Lee, and Yinon for our Equipment lecture.  Kate talked to us about tanks, valves, first stage and second stages of the regulators, nitrox tanks, and other scuba-related stuff.  After about a two hour lecture, we all took the exam along with the “Scuba Environment” exam.  So now all my exams and lectures are through.  After grading the exams, Kate and I talked about what paperwork is left for the DM certification.  Today is Kate’s last official day at Ban’s.  She’s leaving in a few days to travel and work at dive shops in different places around the world.  I can think of worse ways to spend my life, that’s for sure.

I went back to the room to work on the journals until Jon came back from the afternoon dive.  He took a shower and we went to AC’s for dinner.  Then we went back to the room until 10:00 PM, when we were due at Ban’s for our final DMT exam – the snorkel test.

Ban’s Sunday Night Party

Every Sunday night, Ban’s has a party on the deck.  They break out the DJ system and the place rocks on until about 1:00AM when everyone heads to ACs for the rest of the night.

Sunday night is also the official snorkel test night, and there are 5 of us DMTs who were on deck.

The snorkel test is purely a hazing ritual.  They make each DMT put on a mask with blacked-out lenses.  Then they put on the snorkel which has a plastic funnel attached to the other end of it.  This, they fill with some horrid liquor concoction and the DMT has to drink it in one go.  Sounds like fun, right?

I’d been dreading it all day.  It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve been hazed like this and I barely drink anymore, much less a snorkel full of alcohol.  But throughout the day we’d seen the weekly flyers posted for “Ban’s Sunday Night”.  On them, the highlight was – and I quote – “5 Newly Certified Divemasters Drinking Snorkels Full of Whiskey!”  So I could whine my way out of it (“Wah!  I’m on antibiotics!”… “Wah!  I don’t drink anymore!”) or I could do it and laugh about it later.  I chose the latter.

Jon, Thomas, Marcus, Aaron and I all wandered around the party aimlessly for a while, wishing they would get it started so we could get it over with.  Then, we could finally relax and have fun.  We joked about running to the beach after the snorkel test so we could get everything out of our stomach.  (Sorry, but this is a true account of the evening).  We each strategized the perfect place to run to and laughed about the different methods of doing this test.

Around 11:00 – to much fanfare – they started the snorkel tests.  The entire place stopped and crowded around us.  Marcus went first, then Aaron, Thomas, me and then Jon.  The trick was to stick your finger up the mask to make a little air hole to breath.  If you think about it, the mask makes it really hard to drink because there’s no air.  So that made it a little easier, but it still was gross thinking about all that alcohol going straight into my stomach and then into my bloodstream.  Nasty!  So I spit out the snorkel twice, once when I was halfway through the funnel and once again when it was closer to the end.  The brilliant end result was that most of the drink ended up on my pants and in my hair (no idea how the latter happened).  When we were all done, four of us posed for a “post-snorkel” picture.  (Aaron wasn’t there because he had already run out to the beach.)  So we snapped the picture and then we each disappeared for a few minutes of privacy.  Jon says that he went out to the edge of low tide, and I found a quiet little place near some rocks.

It turns out – as I found out later – that Kate had pity on me and my antibiotics so there was almost no alcohol in my drink.  She said it was mostly Red Bull fruit drink and Sprite.  I wish I’d known that going into it because then I wouldn’t have spouted most of into my hair!  Bygones.  Still makes for a good story, right?  I have no idea how I did this for four years of college.

After the snorkel test was over, we all relaxed and had a great time.  Jon and I hung out for a few hours more and then went with everyone to AC’s around 1:00AM.  We stayed for a little while and stealthily snuck back into our room to go to sleep.