Wednesday, November 26, 2014

PADI IE November 2014 in Khao Lak, Thailand; done and dusted

Yes, the PADI IE for November 2014 in Khao Lak, Thailand has been completed. Two days filled with ups and downs. excitement and nerves are finally over and all candidates did well although Randy struggled with the Physics exam.

PADI IE November 2014 in Khao Lak, Thailand

From left to right; John, Ben, Rob (PADI examiner), Andy, Roman, Lucinda, Tom, Vee (IDCS), Fiona (IDCS) and myself at the Tab Lamu harbor after the closing ceremony

Tonight is party time and it's well deserved. Well done guys and Lucinda! Special thanks to Vee and Fiona for staffing and helping out and thanks to PADI 5* IDC Center 'Sea Dragon' in Khao Lak for hosting this great IDC! 

If you're interested in going all the way and become a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor or OWSI, my next PADI IDC kicks off 4th December in Moalboal in the Philippines, followed by the first program for 2015, scheduled to start 3rd January on Koh Lanta, Thailand and this is followed by another program which is scheduled to start 3rd February on Phuket, Thailand.

See you there.

Camille

Sunday, November 23, 2014

EFR Instructor course in Khao Lak, Thailand in November 2014

After the November 2014 PADI IDC in Khao Lak was completed yesterday, today we followed up with completing the EFR Instructor course.

EFRI Course, Khao Lak, Thailand, November 2014

From left to right; Tom, myself, Lucinda, Ben, John, Randy, Roman and Andy

Especially during the hands on training part we had some good giggles, specifically when the AED 'couldn't be found'.

EFRI Course, Khao Lak, Thailand, November 2014

Tom and Annie, with Randy, Fiona, John, Roman and Andy looking on

All did really well, with very high scores in their exams and we had a relaxed but fun day. It was our last lunch break and the lunches at Tiffy's next door will be dearly missed.

EFRI Course, Khao Lak, Thailand, November 2014

Ben and the AED with Lucinda and Tom looking on

The EFR Instructor course is part of my PADI IDC programs and the next course will be in conjunction with my up can coming PADI IDC's, starting with 4th December in Moalboal in the Philippines, followed by the first program in 2015, scheduled to start 3rd January on Koh Lanta, Thailand which is followed by 3rd February on Phuket, Thailand.

See you there,
Camille

Saturday, November 22, 2014

PADI IDC for November 2014 in Khao Lak, Thailand has been completed

At long last, we have completed the November 2014 PADI IDC 2014 in Khao Lak in onjunction with PADI 5* IDC Center, 'Sea Dragon'! Nicely in time, everything is out of the way, all performance requirements met, all workshops done and over with and all exams passed, except one physics exam. One of the candidates is still trying to pass the physics exam, so two days are still available to get him to see the light and make physics into a friend!

PADI IDC November 2014 Khao Lak Open Water

After the Open Water dives, on our way back to the harbor. From left to right; Roman, Randy, Tom, myself, Andy, Lucinda, Ben, John and in front Fiona.

It was lots of time, although each individual candidates had their moments of doubt, frustration or fatigue at some stage. Nonetheless, it was a great effort and now they're ready to take on the PADI IE, next week Tuesday and Wednesday!

Before that, we will get the EFR Instructor course out of the way tomorrow and all candidates can enjoy a day off Monday, to relax, prepare or last minute study.

Except for Tom that is, who will complete his sidemount diver course with me on Monday.

Thanks to Fiona and Vee for staffing, it made life a lot easier for the candidates and for myself as well!

If you would like to join my next PADI IDC, 4th December a course starts in Moalboal in the Philippines, to be followed by the first IDC of 2015 which is scheduled to start 3rd January on Koh Lanta, Thailand and this is followed by 3rd February on Phuket, Thailand.

See you there,
Camille

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PADI IDC for November 2014 in Khao Lak, Thailand is half way

With such a big group as in the current PADI IDC in Khao Lak, it's difficult not to have a good time and as we know, when you have a good time, time flies!

Roman and Andy during the skill circuit

Roman and Andy during the skill circuit with an alternate air source skill

At the half way point, we've covered lots of ground during this PADI IDC in Khao Lak, classroom presentations by me and the candidates, confined water presentations and skill circuits in the pool, workshops, exams and more of the same and open water presentations are still to come!

Tom and Randy during the skill circuit

Tom and Randy during the skill circuit with an alternate air source skill

It's a good group, we're busy but it's fun and it's good to see the confidence grow each day with all the candidates.

Ben during the skill circuit

Look Mum, no air! says Ben.

Next week will see the PADI IE, also in Khao Lak and until then we have plenty of time to get more training in, including the EFR Instructor course.

Lucinda during the skill circuit

All is good according to Lucinda

When all is said and done and the IE has been passed by all candidates, we'll hopefully be doing some diving for the Instructor specialty ratings

Stay tuned for more updates and in the meantime, if you're interested in participating in one of my PADI IDC programs, the next one and last program of this year is scheduled to start 4th December in Moalboal in the Philippines followed by the first program of 2015, scheduled to start 3rd January on Koh Lanta in Thailand which is followed by a program scheduled to start 3rd February on Phuket in Thailand.

See you there,
Camille

Friday, November 14, 2014

The November 2014 PADI IDC has started in Khao Lak, Thailand

And we're on our way! The November 2014 PADI IDC in Khao Lak has officially started yesterday. It's a fairly big group with 7 candidates and two IDC Staff Instructors.

PADI IDC November 2014 Khao Lak

Left to right in the back row; Lucinda, Tom, Andy, Vee, Roman, Ben and Fiona
Front row; Camille, Randy and John

We'll be having for over the next 10 days or so, so keep checking in here and I will keep you updated on their progress. It's still early days but it looks like a nice group!

Join me for my next PADI IDC, scheduled to start 4th December in Moalboal in the Philippines, the first PADI IDC in 2015 is scheduled to start 3rd January on Koh Lanta in Thailand which is followed by 3rd February on Phuket in Thailand.

See you there,
Camille 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Working at the Koh Samui hyperbaric Chamber

During my spare time when I'm back on Koh Samui, I'm on call for the Hyperbaric chamber here on the island, which is located in Bang Rak.

When there's a patient and I'm on the island, I can expect a call to help out either being the operator or the tender.

Koh Samui hyperbaric chamber

The Koh Samui hyperbaric chamber in Bang Rak

Very simply put; 
Being the operator means that you're on the outside and regulate the depth of the patient and the tender who are both inside the chamber.
As a tender, you go inside the chamber for the whole duration of that days specific treatment and look after the patient.

Koh Samui hyperbaric chamber

Ricci, the manager on the left

Last month, usually considered to be low season, there were three cases and since I was on the island, I was involved in the treatment of two of these cases.
The Samui chamber is part of a world wide chain and the Thai main operation is located in Phuket, where they on a regular base conduct chamber technician courses.

My operator and tender course

My operator and tender course back in 2000

My course was way back in 2000 and ever since I have been involved with the local Samui chamber on a regular base. Due to me being so much on the road, I'm not as much available as I would like, but every time I can help out, it's always a pleasure!

If you're interested in or would like more information about working at the Phuket or Samui chamber, please contact me.

Camille

Friday, October 24, 2014

5 Tips For Divers With Water In Their Nose

It hasn't been easy to find guest blog writers who fir into this blog and are not out for commercial interests. At last, the second person has been found and here's a good article by fellow blogger Nazem Youssef, who completed his IDCS course back in October 2007, which was during my early blogging days!.

You can find his blog here.

Enjoy the article;

5 Tips For Divers With Water In Their Nose

Many divers start off with water in their nose. Under the water even with your nose in the mask water can still find its way in. Many people find difficulty with this at first. Mastering breathing out of your nose at the correct time is key to less water in your nose and a more comfortable dive. These tips will help you get rid of the water. 

Proper Fitting Mask

To find the right seal, place the mask on your face with the strap loose and breath in from your nose. It should not allow air to be sucked in and you should be able to pinch your nose to equalize your ears. Keep in mind masks with larger volume will take more air to clear. Look for a low profile mask where the glass is closer to your face.  

Water in your mask?

Water in your mask?

Get in Your Comfort Zone

Practice in shallow water with the mask off, regulator in and your face in the water, under supervision if needed.  Position your nose so no water is getting in and start inhaling through your mouth. Exhale through your nose and continue until you are comfortable with water around your nose. As you get more comfortable move around and even put your mask on and clear it. You can do this with full gear or just your snorkeling gear. Clearing water out will become second nature very quickly.

Remember Look Down, Breath Out, and Look Up

These are the basic step in clearing your mask, but it’s amazing to watch them get thrown out the window. When you first feel water in your mask or nose look down as you inhale. This moves the water to the bottom of the mask and as you exhale the water is displaced out. Breath out and then start to move your head up to clear any remaining water.

Loosen Up Your Mask Strap

Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to have your mask strap as tight as you can get it. A proper fitting mask will stay without a strap. Now don’t go taking if off, you still need it to keep your mask on if it gets bumped. You don’t want to deform the mask’s seal by pulling on the glass too much. This is what can cause leaks. Keep it just tight enough to stay on your head. Look for a Velcro mask strap so you don’t have to adjust it all the time.
  
Don’t Lift The Bottom Of Your Mask

When you blow out of your nose the air displaces the water by having more pressure in the mask than the surrounding water. Put your fingers on the top of the mask on each side and forget about your thumbs. Pushing on the top of the mask relieves enough pressure to allow the water to be pushed out.

While there are many different ways to clear your mask, you can use these tips to guide you in the right direction. Dive in and don’t be discouraged by a little water in your nose. 

Written by: Nazem Youssef 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Box jellyfish awareness presentations for Koh Samui hotel staff

After last weeks involvement in Shark Guardian presentations on Koh Samui, early this week it was time for presentations about box jellyfish for hotel staff on Koh Samui.

An extensive blog post about these two presentations can be found here on my Koh Samui info and weather blog.

Four Seasons Resort, Koh Samui


Dr. Lakkana one of the few box jelly fish experts in Thailand held the two presentations and she was sponsored by the BOE (Bureau of Epidemiology).
The presentations were organized by me on behalf of the Koh Samui chapter of the THA (Thai Hotel Association).

Rocky Boutique Resort, Koh Samui


Besides the presentation, there was also basic CPR training with staff of the Bangkok-Samui hospital.

Hopefully this will be the start of more awareness and prevention around the island!

Camille