Diving a coral reef

White Rock, Koh Tao, Thailand

Our 12-year-old completed an Open Water certification, experiencing the magical world of diving in a healthy coral reef with a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA). Diving combines the amazing physical sensation of horizontal hovering – moving up and down with an inhale or exhale – and flying, as you glide forward or backward with a flick of a flipper or wave of the hand. With sun penetrating to depth, rainbow colors of corals, fish and anemones are a textural and visual sensations. Marine critters interact: aggressive triggerfish, shy blue spotted rays, mellow grouper, showy Christmas tree worms and elusive but dramatic nudibranchs.

The magical world of a healthy coral reef.

We discussed the ecology and conservation issues of this amazing and threatened ecosystem:

  1. What is the basis of the food chain in a coral reef ecosystem?
  2. Which species are the main grazers, herbivores and predators?
  3. What is coral bleaching? What causes it to happen?
Completing a SCUBA certification requires an understanding of physics, physiology, chemistry and math. The program is challenging and rewarding – an ideal example of experience-based learning.

5 thoughts on “Diving a coral reef

  1. jlarkin8607 January 20, 2019 / 5:04 pm

    The photo of the healthy reef is spectacular!
    It gives me hope to know there are places around the globe where specific, protected areas of coral reefs are recovering. Reefs off Oahu, Hawaii and Baja, Mexico are two recovery successes. Are there any in Thailand?


  2. jlarkin8607 January 20, 2019 / 11:48 pm

    Do they call exploring the tide pools, in Thailand Thaid-pooling? LOL!🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sandy January 21, 2019 / 3:34 am

    I am so excited to follow your adventures and all that is out there to be learned! We’ll be living vicariously through you. 🙂


  4. Lisa January 21, 2019 / 3:45 am

    Yea Ronja- zooxanthellae are super important and live symbiotically in corals!


  5. Caitlin Phillips January 21, 2019 / 6:34 am

    Go Ronya, an adventure of a lifetime!!! We are so excited to hear and see your travels and education.


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