Thursday, February 28, 2008
Here are some pix of the wrecks and Pattaya made during of our recent trip.
Got all pix together at last, from both Jamie and Marcus, so thanks guys for letting me have them pix. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my underwater housing! DUH!!
This is a shot of Seaduction, the shop we used for our trips. I can only highly recommend, they're experienced and small enough to being able to cater to small groups like ours so we had two dives per day on three consecutive days on a different wreck each day! They also own their very own boat which makes it fairly easy to dictate where they want to go and who they want to take along. They're also very friendly and laid back, which makes live so much easier!
This is Danny, he's the guy you have to deal with if you want to go diving with Seaduction, you have been warned!
He's also very knowledgeable about the dive sites and the wrecks in particular. If you ask him nicely, he may take you on for his Advanced Wreck diving course, where you get to explore all the crooks and crannies of the wrecks visited.
A picture of the HTMS Khram. The Khram has been sunk by the Thai Navy about 5 years ago (around 2003), so there's a lot of marine life growing on the wreck, very different than the drawing as shown in the link to The Khram.
This also makes part of the attraction to wrecks, the abundant marine life as they become habitats for plants and coral as well as various fish. This photo was taken by Jamie St. John.
A shot from the Hardeep. Not as recognisable at all as a wreck but a very interesting wreck, from World War II. I bought a DVD about the ships history and that is very interesting indeed. If you have the chance, try to have a look at it. The ship is originally called the Suddhadib and an unexploded bomb of the original attack lies within a 30 meters range of the wreck. This photo has been made by Marcus Han.
Here's me and Steve high fiving each other after he completed his wreck diving specialty.
Hope you enjoyed the pix and let me know if you're interested in organising a wreck dive trip in Pattaya with me.
For more information about Thailand's wrecks, please visit Steve Burton's Thai Wreck diver website, a vast source of information about the various wrecks that are scattered around Thailand.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Today we completed the Wreck diving in Pattaya.
Yesterday we dived the HTMS Koot, a sister ship of the HTMS Khram and today we dived the Hardeep, a World War II wreck, located near the Thai Naval harbour of Sattahip.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Today the HTMS Khraam was on the list.
We gathered at 8 am at Seaduction's dive shop, opposite the Bali Hai Pier, at the end of Walking Street in Pattaya.
It was all very relaxed and Danny who runs the shop together with Andy are nice folks.
We loaded our Nitrox tanks on the boat and were off to the HTMS Khraam.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
DAN Provider and DAN Instructor course February 08
Today Gideon, Simon, Marcus and Steve completed their DAN O2 Provider course. Steve is currently a PADI Divemaster who's completing an PADI Open Water to Instructor career program and this course is part of his training.
The dive Specialties are completed for the moment being,
But there's more coming up soon, so keep reading!
Over the last three days we've been twice on the boat and for one dive on the beach, completing Instructor level Specialty training as Deep diving, Digital Underwater Photography (DUP), Multilevel, Boat diving, Under Water Navigation and Diving Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) or Under Water Scooter for Gideon, Simon, Marcus and Satoshi so they can become Master Scuba Diver Trainers or MSDT's.
During the DUP dive we saw this sea snake. It was a while ago I saw one and it was nice to see one again. During this dove we also encountered a very bog solitary barracuda which was at least one meters and a whole school of squid.
This is how one of the Diving Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) or Under Water Scooter's looks like. They're a lot of fun underwater and get you somewhere real fast!
We'll be off to Pattaya for more Instructor Specialties this Sunday and Wreck diving is on the schedule amongst others. Stay tuned for our adventures in Pattaya.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
EFR Instructor Course completed today
James, Simon, Fred and Adam participated in the EFR Instructor course, Gideon participated already last year in this course with me and Marcus was already an EFR Instructor before he joined the IDC, only Ulrike didn't participate.
At 9.15 this morning we kicked off!
James in action on the mannekin 'Little Annie', much to the amusement of Simon, Fred and Adam.
Adam showing off his baby eating skills!
Monday, February 11, 2008
The February 2008 PADI IE has been successfully completed
By all 9 of my candidates, after an action packed and for the participants, a nerve wrecking weekend.
Under the skillful guidance of George Wegmann, the PADI examiner, who's send over by PADI HQ to evaluate the candidates, all 4 segments of the PADI IE were absolved and completed. Here's George giving a briefing for the Confined Water part of the IE. Simon, James, Marcus, Fred and IDCS Paul are listening in.
All 9 of them and George together in the pool for their Confined Water skill circuit.
After having completed all 4 segments of the IE, Theory (5 Theory Exams and a General Standards exam), Confined Water, Open Water and Knowledge Development, the tension is gone and their listening to George's debriefing at the end of the IE.
From left to right Chris and Wahid Azab (IDCS), Nobuhiko Abe (IDCS), Adam Tomaszweski (OWSI), James Donald (OWSI), Gideon Rybier (OWSI), Simon Brindley (OWSI), Satoshi Kajiyama (OWSI), Paul Meredith (IDCS), Camille Lemmens (CD), Atsushi Imanishi (OWSI), Fred Wynn (OWSI), Ulrike Dennacher (OWSI), George Wegmann (PADI Examiner) and Marcus Han (OWSI). Akira Sakuyawa (IDCS) is missing in the picture.
Gideon has more info on his blog.
Well done and good luck to you all!
Saturday, February 9, 2008
The February IDC finished yesterday and the PADI IE started today!
Yesterday everybody completed the IDC program successfully. However, there's no rest for the wicked and today the PADI IE started.
This morning at 8 am all 9 candidates gathered at World Resort, where today and tomorrow they will be evaluated by George Wegmann, PADI's examiner on this occasion. The weather is great, it's nice and sunny, for more info on the Samui weather situation, please visit my Samui weather blog.
The Introduction is in full swing with George, PADI's examiner, during which George explains what will be waiting for them during the next two days and in the meantime he's also trying (successfully) to relax the candidates a bit.
This morning, after the Orientation, they sat their 5 theory exams, followed in the afternoon by the Open Water dive presentation and Rescue skill. The 5 Theory exams were completed without any hitch by all 9 of them, well done! That was a good start.
Tomorrow they will have to start in Confined water, for their presentation and in the afternoon they will sit their General Standards & Procedures exam, followed by their Knowledge Development Presentation.
Satoshi during his Open Water briefing, Atzumi, Gideon and Adam are also pictured.
Ulrike and Fred on their way to the beach, for their Open Water presentation.
James, Marcus, Simon and Fred amongst their equipment, waiting to get wet for their Open Water presentation/dive.
More info and updates tomorrow, so stay tuned!
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Yesterday we completed the AI part of the current IDC.
Last night James threw a BBQ at his house where all attended, thanks James, it was great, despite the fact that you created a new meaning for the word blackened! The Chili and salads were excellent though! Whatever happened to the fireworks, by the way?
During the Assistant Instructor (AI) part of the IDC, the candidates get to present their first Knowledge Development presentations and this picture shows Gideon in action, with Ulrike and Adam listening in, rather fascinated.
As always, the lunches at World Resort are excellent. With so many people involved, the tables are filled up nicely!
Adam and Simon having fun before they go into the pool.
This picture shows Marcus giving ventilation's by means of a pocket mask to James.
Yesterday we went to Chaweng beach for the Open water dives, but it was a bit windy and it turned out to be a bit of a challenge with fairly big waves and underwater surge towards the end. For the Samui weather updates, have a look at my Samui weather blog.
Today we all enjoy a nice day off and tomorrow we continue with the OWSI course.