Dive Aid

Happy New Year... Part 2

Last Updated: 17-Apr-2005, Paul

Well hello to everyone,

Things stateside are oddly normal – too normal. I am working, doing construction and some other various odds and ends, all to make as money as I can for the next adventure.

I have finally seen another survivor and fortunately it was Karin! We spent some time here in San Francisco before heading down to explore new dive spots to move to. We traveled along the Yucatan – Mexico, Belize, and Honduras. Of course nothing compared to the Andaman, and there were more Americans than you can beat with a stick (and I would have tried if Karin weren’t there).

We ended up enjoying the cave diving in Tulum, Mexico but Roatan was the most acceptable – Karin can teach and I could volunteer with the hyperbaric chamber. So we may head down that way later in the year. It was also great to find out the my girlfriend is a great traveler too!

After a tearful departure (she was embarrassed about my blubbering) I sulked for a day and then headed off to Bangkok for ADEX – the diving expo. There I was to take the DAN instructor trainer course and see if there was anyone I knew.

The course was amazing, taught by John Lippmann himself and our old friend – Gary Hawkes!!! Lots of fun, and in the class was Paula, formerly of Big Blue. So Things were off to a good start.

I also saw the marine biologist who used to work on Island 8, and had moved down to 4 this year, the Thai guy with the funny teeth – can’t remember his name! He said that the damage is minimal, same he would expect from a big storm. He also said that they didn’t lose anyone on the islands and that most of the buildings made it.

Most importantly was Kay! I got to spend a few hours with him and that was a very emotional experience. He is in far better shape than I thought. His head isn’t bad at all, and his leg looks no worse than a good scooter spill.

I was the first person he had seen that had been through the tsunami, so we were able to relax a lot and talk about details that no one else understands. He seems to be doing well, still dealing with the tragedy and all that he went through but we’re only a few months out – so pretty normal.

The most inspiring thing was his firm belief that he will go back to Khao Lak and start over. The one who was the worst injured out of all of us, and the one who suffered the most and he’s heading back! Well that altered my perspective a lot. I miss just about everything about our life there – the diving, the friends, the food (!), the road trips to Burma, looking for turtles from the lookout on island 8. If I went back, though, I would certainly be looking at a house up on the hill!!!

As the attention winds down, and we start the trudge through everyday life, I hope that everyone remembers the good things we saw. Helping each other, reaching out to those who lost everything and everyone with compassion, the courage to continue on doing the right thing amid the darkest hours.

What we went through only happened 4 months ago. We are still nursing ourselves back to health – physically and emotionally. There is no need to be hard on ourselves about anything. We survived – Why? That’s not for anyone but each of us to decide.

I, for one, have decided that I should become a large black woman and go to a gospel church!

Actually I have followed through with more medical training, I am shortly to become a Red Cross first aid instructor as well as the DAN training. I am trying to teach first aid to everyone I know, and teaching the benefits of emergency preparedness.

I wish the best to everyone as we head into spring and hope that our stories help others shine.


Back to Top

Further News



Khao Lak News

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

December 2004