The more I dive the sites around Koh Tao, the more familiar the creatures that call them home become. At first a seemingly alien world with equally alien faces, soon became a familiar environment that I felt a part of. When you visit these sites regularly, patterns in the life under the surface are easily evident. Whether it is the places certain fish prefer to call home or their social habits interacting with one another.
Knowing the places that certain fish like to live makes the job of a Divemaster much easier. The more locations and types of homes I know the more I can share them with the people I take diving. Apart from making the search for certain species easier; being able to visit the same fish time and time again you see how they change and grow. Such as seeing the growth of their families, growth in their size and sometimes changes in colour. However, you also see these places once called home become vacant. Either to other inhabitants or to none at all due to natural or human destruction. A part of the life you realize can not always be avoided.
Socially, these creatures are as equally interesting. You notice how some have very symbiotic relationships that are extremely beneficial to both organisms. One that stands out most predominantly is the relationship between that of the Goby and Pistol Shrimp. These two creatures work together with great success. The Pistol Shrimp is always hard at work pushing sand and debris out from their hole on the ocean floor. While the Goby patiently watches for any potential predators and quickly warns the Shrimp if anything comes too close to their home. Both then retreat back into the safety of their hole they call home until it is safe again for the work to resume. This is only one example of many relationships that exist in life amongst the reefs.
I am very thankful of having had the pleasure of becoming so accustomed to the life in the waters surrounding Koh Tao. I feel equally at home under the water as I do on land. Every turn, whether it be down a street or around the next rock I seem to always be greeted with familiar faces.