Tuesday, November 30, 2010

PADI IDC Koh Lanta, the December 2010 version is on the road

PADI IDC Koh Lanta, the December 2010 version is on the road

After just having been to Koh Lanta and having completed an IDC here earlier this month, I'm back again for an IDC that starts this month and will be completed in December. The PADI IE will be held in Phuket during December 10th to 12th.

Here's the group together, from left to right, Maja, Emma, Phil, who completed his IDCS course earlier this month and now he's staffing this IDC and last but not least Craig.
Thanks to Saffron and Mellisa for putting all the work in to make this IDC happen!

Phil worked with them before the the IDC kicked off and the prep exams were already done and dusted, so plenty more time to spend in the classroom (yeah!) and of course the pool. Excellent skill circuits were delivered and plenty of rescue attempted, above sees Maja in action.

Emma rescuing Maja

Craig in action with Emma

Julia and Suzanne from the recent Kao Lak IDC will also come over to Lanta and join us for a few days to meet the Lanta candidates and to keep sharp in their skills and knowledge.

Stay tuned for more updates!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

EFR Instructor course for November in Kao Lak; done!

EFR Instructor course for November in Kao Lak; done!

Today the EFR Instructor was completed in Kao Lak. Julia and Suzanne have now finished all their training in Kao Lak and will be joining us for the PADI IE in Phuket in December.

From left to right, Richard, who taught them today, Suzanne, Camille and Julia

The first IDC and related courses went all well and I expect Suzanne and Julia to do really well during their upcoming IE but first things first and tomorrow a new IDC is due to start in Koh Lanta where I just arrived.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Boonsung wreck near Kao Lak, specialty instructor training

Boonsung wreck near Kao Lak, specialty instructor training

This is a very nice dive spot. It's a tin dredger that sunk about 20 years and got roughed up by the Tsunami, it fell apart in about 5 to 6 big pieces but attracts tons of fish.

The wreck lies in serene flat sands and the max depth is around 20 meters and the shallowest parts are about 12 to 13 meters. All parts of the wreck are fully covered with barnacles and sponges and not too much coral can be found here.
We had a really nice morning dive, with no other boats around and bottom time of over an hour and it was like diving in fish soup. A couple of firsts were included for me, like a massive blotched Fantail ray (which I first mistook for a spotted marbled sting ray), possibly two to two and a half meters wide and honeycomb morays amongst others.

Suzanne completed her DUP and Underwater Video specialties and Julia did her DUP and Fish ID specialties, the Nitrox Instructor rating came for free with the IDC that we completed yesterday!

Blotched Fantail ray

Honeycomb moray

Flat head

Common lionfish

If you're in Kao Lak and want an easy days diving with an early return, we left at 8am and were back in the shop by 1.30pm and had two dives, the Boonsung wreck will suit you just fine!

Tomorrow an EFR Instructor course and than off to Koh Lanta for the next IDC.


Friday, November 26, 2010

The November 2010 PADI IDC in Kao Lak has been sealed and delivered

The November 2010 PADI IDC in Kao Lak has been sealed and delivered

This IDC was taught in conjunction with Similan Diving Safaris and Julia and Suzanne, the first candidates for us in Kao Lak, did a great job. Well done girls!

The 'official' picture in front the two stars; Julia and Suzanne and in the background or row, the hard working staff, from left to right; Richard (Master Instructor), Camille (Course Director), Jeffree (Master Instructor) and Stephan (SDS Manager). Richard and Jeffree have been staffing in preparation for and as part of their application for the up and coming CDTC (Course Director Training Course) and I wish them good luck with their respective applications,

There was a fair bit of class room but Suzanne kept a good mood and is showing off her new crash helmet/bcd combo outfit during one of her knowledge development presentations.

Julia is showing how to use a pocket mask on Suzanne. There were ups and downs but overall we had a good time and during an IDC one has to work hard. Right?

The PADI wall certificate of Similan Diving Safaris for their 5* Instructor Development Centre.

Tomorrow we're off to the Boonsung wreck for two dives to complete some Instructor level Specialties, DUP, Video and Fish ID. The day after that, 28th November, the EFR Instructor course is scheduled and on the 29th I start a brand new IDC on Koh Lanta!

Both the Kao Lak and Koh Lanta IDC candidates will attend the PADI IE on Phuket, to be held from 10th through 12th December.

See you soon in Koh Lanta!


Monday, November 22, 2010

The Kao Lak IDC is half way!

The Kao Lak IDC is half way!

Similan Diving Safaris is going to enjoy a day off from the IDC and so do Julia and Suzanne.
After a week of hard work, with Richard and Jeffree staffing this IDC because they both plan to apply for the up and coming PADI Course Director course, we deservedly go in to a day off and we complete the AI or Assistant Instructor course today.

Lots of rescues were practiced in confined water, this one under supervision of Richard.

Julia and Suzanne got the ball rolling on their Knowledge Development presentations and Julia is showing us how to use good old the RDP Table.

Jeff also joined us in order to staff this IDC. Jeff used to be my first Divemaster trainee, together with his girlfriend Michelle, some 11 years ago! They run a dive center; Eco Divers, on Tioman island in Malaysia, their home country.

Today we completed the Open Water dives on Koh Pajan, near the harbor and we used this long tail boat. Nice visibility and good conditions all over were ours! From left to right, Jeff, Suzanne, Julia and Richard.
An open water presentation, a Rescue-, an Adventures in Diving- and a CESA workshop were conducted plus Julia and Suzanne also completed an 800 meter snorkel. A busy day!

Everybody in the classroom after the Open Water, ready for the theory exams.

Stay tuned for more updates and let me know if you're interested in participating in my last IDC of this year on Koh Lanta, starting 29th November.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kao Lak PADI IDC November 2010; The ball is rolling!

Kao Lak PADI IDC November 2010; The ball is rolling!

Kick off was earlier today around 8.30am and there's another 10 days more to come. This IDC is all female, which is nice for a change and Julia and Suzanne were kicking ass during the exams and first skill circuit in confined water.

Julia and Suzanne during their exams whilst Richard is supervising

Richard is staffing this IDC again, before he's going to send his PADI Course Director application in early December.

Let there be no misunderstanding about the fact that we take the Kao Lak IDC's serious!

Tomorrow there will be more exams, confined water and some curriculum presentations on the schedule and we hope for some sunshine since the pool was cold this afternoon with the rain that poured down on us!

Stay tuned for more updates,

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Last minute IDC scheduled in Koh Lanta, starting 29th November 2010

Last minute IDC scheduled in Koh Lanta, starting 29th November 2010

The recent IDC on Koh Lanta went down so well that we're planning an additional IDC this year on Koh Lanta, starting 29th November. It will be the very last IDC being taught this year on Koh Lanta, so better be there if you want to have teaching status as an OWSI come Christmas this year! The PADI IE will be on Phuket from 10-12 December.

PADI IE Koh Lanta November 2010, debrief

Contact me, Mellisa at Blue Planet or Saffron at Scubafish if you're interested in participating in this IDC.

See you on Lanta!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Koh Lanta November PADI IE is accounted for

The Koh Lanta November PADI IE is accounted for

All three of my candidates passed this PADI IE with flying colors, keeping this years pass rate at 100%. Simon, Heidi and Dom plus 5 other candidates from a different dive center on Koh Lanta went to work over the last 2 days on all 4 IE segments and everybody passed!

The pool on Koh Lanta used during this PADI IE, with a real PADI feel to it!

It seems that Dom got wet feet at some stage during confined water and had to be carried through by his fellow candidates.

Before the Open Water dive and after the rescue scenario 7 drill.

The official picture of this PADI IE, from left to right, Heidi, Dom, Simon, myself and Rob the PADI examiner. Unfortunately Phil who completed his IDCS course and Richard who staffed are missing in this picture.

Brendon and myself, the two PADI Course Directors contributing candidates to the Koh Lanta November 2010 PADI IE!

Congrats to all of you and success in your future respective PADI instructor careers!

Next IDC starting 17th November in Kao Lak!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Diving at Hin Daeng and Hin Muang

Diving at Hin Daeng and Hin Muang

When I was completing my Divemaster course on Koh Phi Phi, way back when, a speedboat to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang came up on a regular base but in those days I neither had the money to pay for such a trip nor saw or understood the necessity to dive those sights. Fast forward 11 years and at last I made it to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang (thanks Saffron!).

Octopus at Hin Muang

Today we somehow managed to have a day off from the current IDC and before the PADI IE kicks off tomorrow we took the opportunity with both hands to hop on the boat direction Hin Daeng and Hin Muang!

Red Grouper at Hin Daeng

Both sites well known for Manta Ray and whale shark sightings but we weren't that lucky today but we had well over 20 to 25 meters visibility and Hin Daneg was a beautiful and lovely dive site with plenty of interesting things to see.

Giant Murray at Hin Daeng

The second dive was at Hin Muang where we encountered a but of a current but again excellent visibility was ours and plenty of interesting animals and underwater flora and fauna to see.

Emperor Angelfish at Hin Daeng

We went out on the new Scubafish boat which accommodates over 60 people and with 25 or so divers on the boat it was very nice trip indeed.

Family of Clark's Anemone Fish on a snow vacation at Hin Daeng

Besides the pictures shown in this post, there was plenty of other animals and flora to see, a dive site that's been on my wish list since and easily lived up to it's reputation! If you're on Koh Lanta and want to go diving, this is the top site to go to. Please contact me for me details.

Last but not least, I managed to take a video of this octopus at Hin Muang which I found very interesting. Please have a look and enjoy!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

The EFR Instructor Course on Koh Lanta November 2010

The EFR Instructor Course on Koh Lanta November 2010

Has been successfully completed today at the Narima resort on Koh Lanta. Simon, Heidi and Dom had to concentrate one more time today to give their IDC the finishing touches and have a go at the EFR Instructor course.

Richard who's on the right side of this picture taught them today, a job well done! All around a good day and they're ready to tackle the up and coming PADI IE, starting 9th November here on Koh Lanta.

Tomorrow we're scheduled for some fun diving at Hin Daeng and Hin Muang and after that the PADI IE will take up all of our time and concentration.
I'll be on my way to Koh Samui then for a couple of days before I set course direction Kao Lak for the next IDC starting 17th November.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Koh Lanta PADI IDC October/November 2010 with Scubafish is done

Koh Lanta PADI IDC October/November 2010 with Scubafish is done

Today we're completing the last Staff presentations, candidate knowledge development presentations and confined water presentations. Tomorrow we will review a standards exam and do final counseling plus the EFR Instructor course and it will be officially a done deal for having completed the first IDC taught by me on Koh Lanta in conjunction with Scubafish!

We had loads of fun and had plenty of presentation and open water time! The above picture shows Heidi giving a confined water briefing.

Phil and Richard worked hard for their respective IDCS instructor rating and to gain more experience in all IDC sections and parts for the PADI Course Director application is being sent off, early next month.

We also had some interesting Open Water dives, one involving a capsized long tail boat which came in handy for some Search & Recovery practice looking for and lifting out the engine block of said long tail boat! Because of this we ended up in Koh Haa, a great dive site near Koh Lanta with excellent conditions and visibility. I don't think I taught an IDC yet with so much visibility during an Open Water dive!

Simon navigating underwater

All in all a great course and I'm looking forward to the PADI IE which will be held during 9th and 10th November where my students should kick some serious ass!

Look out for more updates and the next IDC will start in Kao Lak 17th November, still time to sing up for that one!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Specialty of the Month November 2010; Underwater Navigation

Specialty of the Month November 2010; Underwater Navigation

It's that time of the month and time for a new PADI Specialty of the Month and November 2010 offers you; Underwater Navigation.

In this 3 dive PADI specialty, you get to learn about how to use your compass and learn to trust it underwater. You will navigate various patterns, learn how to establish distance underwater and it just builds your confidence. Oh, it also comes in handy if you want to find the boat back! What keeps you from participating?

This specialty is very popular at Instructor level as well and above is Sunil who completed his IDC in May this year, practicing some compass skills before jumping into Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui.

If you sign up this month, you will receive a 10% discount!

See you underwater,

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Koh Lanta November IDC is half way

The Koh Lanta November IDC is half way

Today we completed the AI part of the current IDC on Koh Lanta with Scubafish. Things are going really well and there are 3 very strong candidates participating.

A look into our classroom with Richard presenting one of the curriculum presentations as part of his preparation for becoming a PADI Course Director.

Each of them had 2 Knowledge Presentations by now and this shows Dom telling us about M-values, Compartments and Half times during which he used a great contact that involved trains.

Besides class room presentations by staff and candidates we spend a lot of time in the confined water and Phil completed his pre-assessment part of his IDCS course with a confined water presentation, in this case a CESA or controlled emergency swimming ascent.

Skill circuit were practiced, evaluated and passed, as shown above which shows Heidi during her regulator recovery and clearing skill.

Simon practicing a CESA during the skill circuit.

All is going fine except the weather, a big storm was predicted for today and tomorrow, which resulted in the Open Water presentation being rescheduled to later this week when conditions should be better again. We're planning on taking the boat to Koh Haa during the OWSI part of the IDC.

Tomorrow is a day off and after that the fun continues! Stay tuned for more updates.