Thursday, November 29, 2007

The December 2007 IDC and IDCS courses have started

The December 2007 IDC and IDCS courses have started.

Yesterday Paul and Miro started their IDCS course and today Will, Sophia, Rob and Joakim started their prep IDC course.

Sophia during her Introduction of the IDC, where each person participating in the IDC get's to introduce him or her self.

A view from the front, from the left front to back; Sophia, Joakim, Paul and from the right front to back; Will, Rob and Miro.

Today we started with sorting out lots of red tape (aka paperwork, like filling out Liability releases etc), explanation of the IDC and IE, the Introduction presentation and an exam (physics). In the afternoon we had a Confined Water dive were the 20 skill circuit was practised and they got re-acquainted with Rescue diver course exercise # 7, unconscious diver at the surface.

A closer look on Paul (left) and Miro(right) whilst they're studying hard during their IDCS course.
During the course I will give some updates and during the PADI IE, which will be held on Koh Tao this time, you will find out how they're doing.
Stay tuned!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

DAN O2 Provider Course November 07

More DAN courses!

Will and Sophia completed their DAN Oxygen Provider course today and can't wait until the next IDC starts! This course is part of their Go Pro Platinum Package which they're almost about to complete, having arrived on Samui some three months ago, starting with their PADI Advanced Open Water courses. Now they're ready to start their IDC later this month.

Here's a picture of us in front of the local Recompression Chamber in Bang Rak, Samui.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Will and Sophia's EFRI course, November 2007

Today I conducted an EFRI course before the IDC starts,

Since Will and Sophia, 2 of my 4 upcoming candidates for the upcoming IDC, starting 29th November, will be leaving to the cold UK for the holiday season, so we decided to get a few courses done and out of the way before the IDC starts. Next week they will be participating in the DAN O2 provider course.

Here's Sophia practicing the log roll on Will. They also practised skills like Scene Assessment, Rescue breathing, CPR amongst others.

One of the skills they also got trained in is the correct use of an AED or Automated External defibrillators. This is a picture of our training purpose AED.

Training on infants and children is also included in the Instructor course. Here's a shot of Baby Anne in full pose.

After completion of the course we had the a group picture taken in front of the local recompression chamber and they received a short introduction to the Chamber and the way it works, which they found very impressive and informative.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Take Part in Global Shark Census

Here's a way to help in shark conservation.

Just received an email from Project AWARE, asking to help out in a shark conservation survey;

Are you interested in shark conservation but are unsure how to participate?

Now dive professionals like you can take just a few minutes to contribute to a global shark census using information you’ve already logged or memorized from past diving experiences. The information from you will help protect threatened shark species worldwide.

By participating you will greatly increase scientific knowledge of shark populations around the world. To date, most of the information on global shark populations is gained from fishermen and tracking of individual sharks. Scuba divers are a vital, untapped resource and key to filling information gaps.

Who can help? As long as you have more than 100 dives or snorkels in a particular area (recently or in previous years) you can help.

  • Fill out the online survey. Information is needed from your dives – whether you did or did not encounter sharks.
  • Fill out a new entry for each area where you have more than 100 dives (e.g. Philippines, Thailand, Great Barrier Reef, etc. The more areas submitted the better).
  • If you have been diving in one area for more than 10 years, please fill out a new survey for each decade (e.g. Coral Coast: 1980 – 1989 and 1990 – 1999, etc.)
The data you contribute will be used in a PhD study taking place at the Ransom Myers Lab at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada, to determine the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and no-take zones in protecting sharks.

Don’t delay! Information is being collected now to help complete data analysis by January 2008. Thank you for your efforts to help protect sharks.


The Project AWARE Asia Pacific Team and my good old self, Camille

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Equipment and DSAT Gasblender Instructor courses

Ivo finished his Instructor Specialty training today.

We completed the DSAT Gasblender and Gasblender Instructor courses today with Ivo as well as the Equipment Instructor course, as part of his extensive GO Pro CDC package, which includes up to 8 Instructor level Specialties.

We started off with completing the DSAT Gasblender course, which he started already last week, with the Oxygen cleaning part, together with Stuart as posted last week.

Here's a picture of the actual Gas blending mixing desk. The wheel on the left is the Oxygen supply, the wheel lower middle is leading to the tank being filled and the wheel left of this is the air supply, to top of the tanks after they're filled with Oxygen. The upper top left wheel is a vent.

The square box on the left bottom corner is the on/off switch and also counts the fill status of the tank being filled.

Part of the course is the Oxygen cleaning process, here are some tools used for this cleaning process; vinegar, steel brushes, PH paper, wanna be Simple Green (Dave, is it Christmas yet?), a black light and a clear light bulb.

For filling these tanks, you need a compressor as well, here's one of our compressor pictured. Too many hoses for my taste!

Talking about hoses, here's Ivo with a hand full of regulator hose spaghetti.

Today we also completed the Equipment Instructor specialty which included taking apart and putting together some 1st and 2nd stages of a scuba regulator. Ivo managed without having too many spare parts left over after putting them back together again.

It was Ivo, see you at your night dive and good luck with your first Instructor job, which starts tomorrow!


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Don't drown on your Thailand holiday

This is excellent reading!

Having just joined the Thorn Tree forum, the official Lonely Planet travel forum, where lots of good travel advise and information can be found, I stumbled over a prolific poster there, Tezza, who runs a couple of blogs, one about beaches and islands in Thailand and on this specific blog, he has a great post about not drowning during your Thai holiday.
You may think, what is all this about and it won't concern me, but have a look and read up on it, he talks about rip tides and undertows and this should be required reading for everybody visiting Thailand, especially during the rainy season, when the likelihood of these rip tides is greatest! This includes you potential Divemasters and Dive Instructors out there, read up on this!

It's a subject I was about to write about somewhere in the near future, since the rainy season is about to start, or should I rather say, started already with a vengeance, see my Samui weather blog for more info, and a few weeks ago I already took this picture in front of Centara Samui hotel in Chaweng, a big warning sign on the beach, warning you about potential rip currents.

Each year, more people than you can imagine drown on Samui beaches, mainly Chaweng and Lamai beach, due to these rip currents and they don't make the international headlines!

Main victims are elderly people who get caught up in rip currents and who either don't have the strength or knowledge or both to get out of them rips.

So, Tezza, thanks for the informative post and I hope that plenty of people will read it.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Specialty of the month November 2007

Equipment is this month' Specialty.

Equipment seems to be the right choice, since in Europe the diving is almost over in the northern countries and with this Specialty, one can still offer a course to keep divers interested.

Here in Thailand, this course can be taught all year round but right now, with lots of rain and relative low visibility during the rainy season, it may well be a Specialty, that although it keeps you out of the water, it's still diving related.

If you want to find out about how your dive gear works, then this Specialist course is for you. This course familiarizes you with the operation and maintenance of your dive gear. The more you know about how your gear works, the more comfortable you are with it, the more performance you get from it and the better you can care for it.

This Specialist course is not an equipment repair program bit it does give you general knowledge of dive gear (theory, principles and organisation) and maintenance procedures amongst others.

Interested, shoot me an email and we can hoop you up! This course is also available at Instructor level.


DAN Provider and DAN Instructor course November 07

This month' DAN courses have been completed.

This morning at 9 am we met at the local Recompression Chamber, in the upstairs classroom, to start the DAN O2 Provider course, in which Elliott participated and Ivo sat in to refresh his knowledge again, having completed this course a few weeks ago already.

Ivo than went on to complete the DAN Instructor course and for him, only the DSAT Gasblender, DSAT Gas Blender Instructor and Equipment Instructor courses are left to complete from his Go Pro CDC package.

Here from left to right, myself, Ivo and Elliott in front of the control panel of the Chamber.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

More Gas Blending

Today one more Gas Blender Instructor saw the light.

Stuart took op the opportunity to complete the DSAT Gas Blender and DSAT Gas Blender Instructor course before he took off to Phuket, later today.

Here is Stuart, sweating it out during the Gas Blender exam, 50 questions and a passing rate of 80% is required, which he managed easily.

Stuart at the controls. During the exam, there are some questions that need to be answered with a DSAT Gas Mix Calculator, a CD-Rom that comes with the manual(s).

Stuart's interest was peeked for this course after he completed the Nitrox Instructor course with me. He was already certified as a Nitrox diver. Being a Nitrox Instructor however, is a prerequisite for the DSAT Gas Blender Instructor course.

Showing off his filling skills. Tanks everywhere and Stuart being happy to fill them up.

A picture of the boss and Stu at the end of the day. It was fun Stuart and hope to see you back for your IDCS course next year!


Friday, November 2, 2007

Instructor Specialty Training in progress

Since three days we're busy conducting Instructor Specialty Training with Ivo and Elliott.

Two days ago we started at Chaweng Beach with the Navigation Specialty which we conducted in low visibility, which actually benefits this specialty and really puts extra demands on your navigational skills.

Yesterday we conducted two Search & Recovery training dives to complete this Instructor specialty at Japanese Garden around Koh Nangyuan, near to Koh Tao.

Here's Ivo at board of the Seatran ferry, on the way to Koh Tao today, where we conducted a Deep dive (one out of two) and a Naturalist dive for the respective Instructor ratings.

Here's a view on Koh Tao's main pier at Haad Rin. We conduct the majority of this set of Instructor Specialty Training around the various Koh Tao dive sites.

Ivo logging his dive, during the lunch break. Tomorrow we'll be conducting another Deep dive and Elliott will conduct a Dry Suit dive.

Elliott and Ivo during lunch. Unfortunately there are no underwater pix this time around since visibility is down to a maximum of 3 to 5 meters, due to the rainy season raging in full strength (see my Samui weather blog for daily updates) only top side pix.

The DSAT Gasblender Instructor course is still in the pipeline for Stuart and Ivo and the DAN provider course for Elliott and the DAN Instructor course for Ivo. I will report later on these courses.