Thursday, November 27, 2008

PADI December IDC 2008 kicked off

PADI December IDC 2008 kicked off

And well with the 2 day prep course. Two candidates are participating in this IDC, Mikhail and Steven who both just finished their Divemaster courses.

They completed part of their theory exams and we started with the first round of the 20 skill circuit.
Tomorrow we will continue the prep course and on Saterday we will start the AI part of this IDC.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Divemaster trainees on the move

Divemaster trainees on the move

We recently had a bunch of Divemaster trainees complete their courses and a few others start theirs.

Last night we had a bit of a night out with most of them and we had dinner in Lamai at Erik's Swedish restaurant to be followed by a night of watching the Saturday nights Lady Boxing the Muay Thai variation.
A good night was had by all with an excellent ending of the night in Chaweng.

In the picture from left to right, back row; Dwaine, who's on his way to visit his brother in Canada but who will be back for some more diving around mid December, Gav who just started his DMT course and Camille.
In front it's Craig, who started his DMT course the same day as Gav, they both started at Rescue diver level in a Go Pro CDC package. Patrick is in the middle, who just completed his IDC and IE earlier this month and who will be soon off to Koh Chang to work as instructor there in a Swedish run dive center. The fact that Patrick is Swedish probably helps. On the right side we see Steven who just completed his DMT course yesterday and is going to participate in the IDC starting 27th November, just like Mikhail, who is not in this picture, but who just like Steve, completed his DMT course over the weekend and starts the upcoming IDC with Steve.
Later on we were joined by some instructors to help celebrate!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

EFR Course for the Imperial Group on Samui

EFR Course for the Imperial Group on Samui

It was already over two years that I taught an EFR course for staff of the Imperial Boathouse in Choengmon, so it was time for a refresher.
After some talking it was decided by the Imperial Group's local managers to have combined staff of their two local resorts participate in the course. This way I ended up with 7 participants of the Boathouse, 4 which completed the course 2 years ago and 5 participants from the Imperial Hotel in Chaweng.

For the hotels it's a good course, since staff that is in regular touch with guests, get training in CPR and First Aid and learn how to deal with emergencies.

During the course the participants had plenty of time getting hands on experience in CPR training and various other aspects of Emergency Responder training.

After a day of hard work, a satisfied group together for the group photo, in front of the Imperial Boathouse!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

EFR Instructor course November 08 version

EFR Instructor course November 08 version

After a great IE party last Thursday, to celebrate Patrick's, Chris' and Brian's entrance into the world of PADI Instructors, we enjoyed a well deserved day off yesterday, but today it was back to courses again and the EFRI was on the agenda.

Before we kick off though, here's a typical PADI IE picture and shows how they passed the IE earlier this week, they saw, heard and said nothing, a dead sure way to pass!

For the EFRI course, besides Brian, Patrick and Chris, Rob joined us as well. He completed his IDC last year in December and now was the right time to complete his EFRI course. It also comes in handy since he's one of our instructors on staff and he needs to able to teach the EFR courses!
In this picture he's in action practicing the log roll with Brian.

After the course we took the group picture next to the 'pot' or actual chamber at the SSS hyperbaric chamber and they received a short tour said chamber.

In the picture from left to righ; Camille, Patrick, Brian, Chris and Rob.
Tonight Brian and me completed a night dive for the Night dive instructor specialty and tomorrow we'll be on the boat for more specialties! Underwater Naturalist, Fish ID and Digital Underwater Photography are on the agenda and weather permitting, we'll try to get Underwater Navigation done at Chaweng Beach later this week.
Nitrox Instructor is also on the menu and Brian is well on his way for his MSDT rating with all these specialties.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

PADI IE for November 2008 is in the bag!

PADI IE for November 2008 is in the bag!

Although it was rainy and wet on Koh Tao for Patrick's, Chris' and Brian's PADI IE, they tackled all their assignments successfully and are now past their PADI Divemaster status and entered into the PADI Instructor ranks!

Just for the record, Brian did his IDC with PADI Course Director Ernst van der Poll, who's based in Dubai, UAE and used to staff a few IDC's with me when he was still an IDCS Instructor and I looked after Brian during his IE.

During the beginning of the IE, at least Patrick and Chris were not nervous at all which was a re-assuring feeling. Brian was still trying to figure out where and what he ended up in.

A whole auditorium full of 37 wannabe PADI Instructors during the IE orientation, led by PADI Examiners George Wegmann and Rob Scammell. A third examiner, Young Hee Haniss, missed the early ferry over to Koh Tao due to some misplaced luggage on her flight. She joined the IE later that day.

During their Confined Water presentation, Chris gives his briefing. Chris stated that his Open Water presentation ranked among his top 5 nervous hours of his live so far! He managed to pass however and all is good again in Chris land.

After Confined Water, the relief of having done it! Cold but happy, from left to right, Brian, Patrick and Chris.

Here it is, the official IE picture, with Rob the Examiner going back to his hip hop roots. From left to right, Patrick, Rob (PADI Examiner), Camille and Patrick.
Well done guys, see you tonight at the party!

Monday, November 10, 2008

November 2008 IDC is completed

The November 2008 IDC is done and dusted!

Patrick and Chris are ready to take on the PADI IE now, after completing the OWSI course of their IDC.

They survived the 'death by power point' onslaught, hurled at them by me, with grace, but there was some payback time as well. Here's Chris during one of his presentations, trying to sell us a lift bag!
We also spent some more time in the Confined Water, to keep those skills fresh.

It was a good call to move the Open Water dive for the OWSI forward, since Chaweng Beach was rough after we completed our dive there! The weather on Samui really turned sour! Patrick and Chris can be seen here before their dive.

Tomorrow we're off to Koh Tao for the PADI IE and we take Brian along, who completed his IDC in Dubai, with my fellow Course Director and friend Ernst van der Poll.

Keep your eyes posted to this blog for more updates!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Swimmers warned of box jellyfish

Swimmers warned of box jellyfish

The current presence of box jelly fish in Thai waters continues as we can read in this article found in todays Bangkok Post;

Swimmers warned of box jellyfish


The Marine and Coastal Resources Department has warned of box jellyfish attacks after the highly poisonous species was found off Koh Phi Phi in Krabi province.

The box jellyfish is not common in Thai waters and a recent discovery of the species off some popular beaches has sparked fears for tourists' safety and possible impact on the tourism industry.

So far two deaths in Thailand have been attributed to the jellyfish. The first was in 2002 at Koh Phangan in Surat Thani province, and the latest in April at Koh Lanta in Krabi.

Earlier this year, the son of an Australian journalist was stung while swimming off Koh Mak in Trat.

The jellyfish has most recently been spotted at Loh Sama bay at Koh Phi Phi. Several people had reportedly been stung by the species, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Anongwan Thepsuthin said yesterday.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry has also expressed concern over the spread of box jellyfish and its impact on tourism.

"People swimming in the sea where box jellyfish are present should exercise caution. The authorities will do their best to cope with the problem," Mrs Anongwan said.

Box jellyfish are known for their powerful venom, which has caused at least 5,567 recorded deaths since 1954. Wannakiat Thubtimsaeng, director of the Marine and Coastal Department's Phuket Marine Biological Centre, said the department had circulated letters to all coastal provinces, urging authorities to set up signs warning of the presence of box jellyfish in swimming areas.

Vinegar is the best solution to reduce the pain from a jellyfish sting before the victim is sent to hospital. Water should not be used, as this increases the pain.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

AI part of the November 08 IDC is completed

AI part of the November 08 IDC is completed

We completed the AI part of this IDC today at Chaweng Beach with an Open Water dive in excellent conditions, especially considering the time of the year.

During last week both Chris and Patrick had to present a few Knowledge Development (aka class room) presentations and in the picture above it was Patrick's turn.

Plenty of Confined Water work is included in this part of the course and here Chris is completing a Buddy Check on Patrick.
During the Confined Water part of the AI course, we practice a skill circuit of not less than 20 skills and they also have to present some Confined Water presentations during which they practice being an Open Water Scuba Instructor by dealing with 'students' (their fellow IDC candidates) and deal with their real life problems.
After the Confined Water work is done, they practice a rescue scenario, Rescue Exercise # 7 from the Rescue diver course. Here Patrick's wondering if Chris is still alive!

As usual, we had some very good lunches at World Resort and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in the resort during our breaks.

Keep your eyes posted for news on their OWSI program, coming up soon.


Monday, November 3, 2008

PADI Specialty of the Month, November 2008; Underwater Navigation

PADI Specialty of the Month, November 2008; Underwater Navigation

Underwater navigation can be challenging, but in the Underwater Navigator Specialty course, you master the challenge. You learn the tools of the trade, including navigation via natural clues and by compass. You learn to estimate distance underwater, follow navigation patterns and know where you are while following an arbitrary, irregular course using the Nav-Finder.

During your PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty course, you'll learn underwater navigation dive procedures, techniques, planning, organization and potential problems. You'll also be introduced to natural navigation, underwater patterns, distance estimation and further your compass navigation skills. You'll put these into practice during your three open water dives which are part of the course. You'll also learn about dive site relocation.

It's challenging but also a lot of fun. During my Instructor Specialty training courses, this specialty is also a very popular one.
If you sign up for the PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty course you'll receive a 10% discount on the course fee during this month.