Saturday, March 31, 2012

EFRI Course on Koh Samui, Thailand for March 2012

EFRI Course on Koh Samui, Thailand for March 2012

As a last effort this month, we completed the EFRI Course on Koh Samui, Thailand for March 2012 with Bruce and Laetitia.

The official group picture, from left to right, Bruce with Little Annie, myself and Laetitia with Baby Annie

After the recent PADI IE on Koh Tao and yesterdays Instructor Development Update, it wasn't until today that we could start the EFRI course.

Bruce in action with Little Annie and the AED

It's also the and for this IDC and next month there's a new one starting in Khao Lak 8th April. If you interested, let me know and contact me.

Laetitia in action with Little Annie and the AED

The Khao Lak program will be followed by an IDC on Koh Lanta, starting 22nd April and an IDC on Gili Air in Indonesia on 20th May. Hope to see you at one of these programs!

All the bags that make sure the course can go ahead!

Also I would like to point out 2 PADI IDC programs in Dauin in the Philippines, one starting 23rd July and the next on starting 18th September. Contact me for more information.

Camille

Friday, March 30, 2012

PADI Instructor Development Update 2012 on Koh Tao, Thailand

PADI Instructor Development Update 2012 on Koh Tao, Thailand

This morning at 8.30am the registration process started and by 9am we had a kick off of the PADI Instructor Development Update 2012 on Koh Tao in Thailand. A total of 15 PADI Course Directors, Master Instructors and IDC Staff Instructors showed up for the update.

The Instructor Development Update, ready to start

Plenty of topics were discussed, ranging from the new PADI rebreather courses to the development and impact of the Chinese market on South East Asia as a region. New standard changes related to Instructor Development were discussed and before we knew it the various presentations, breaks and lunch were over.

Colin at the right, presenter of the update

Colin Melrose was the presenter for the update, but he got caught by a bug that seems to be doing the rounds on Koh Tao, it caught me yesterday and he wasn't feeling too well, hence PADI Examiner Rob Scammell stepped in to take a couple of presentations out of Colin's hands.

An interesting afternoon, as usual with thanks to Colin, Rob and the attending PADI Instructor Developers.

Camille

Thursday, March 29, 2012

PADI IE on Koh Tao, Thailand for March 2012 is in the can

PADI IE on Koh Tao, Thailand for March 2012 is in the can

After three days of hard work, the results of this PADI IE on Koh Tao are in. Laetitia is now an OWSI but Bruce and Shiho will have to look again at the Dive Theory. It was a big program with 47 participants so there was a lot of waiting involved and it was long, nerve wrecking days, for all candidates but surely for the examiners, although for them it was just hard work! Frustration took also over at some stage but eventually everybody completed all parts of the program.

From left to right; Bruce, Camille (PADI Course Director), Laetitia, Shiho, Colin (PADI Examiner) and Aiko (PADI Master Instructor)

In the meantime, if you're interested in participating in one of my IDC's, the next two programs are scheduled in Thailand, beginning 8th April in Khao Lak and followed by 22nd April on Koh Lanta. 20th May sees an IDC kick off on Gili Air in Indonesia. Contact me for more information in Thailand and Indonesia or for the Philippines.

Camille

Monday, March 26, 2012

The PADI IDC on Koh Samui in Thailand is about to be completed

The PADI IDC on Koh Samui in Thailand is about to be completed

The current PADI IDC on Koh Samui in Thailand is indeed about to be completed but it's still not certain if in this program all candidates will be ready to start tomorrows PADI IE on Koh Tao. Right now they're still all working on their theory and first all performance requirements must be met, including passing grades for all theory exams before they can go on to the PADI IE.

Rui during a CESA in confined water

They met performance requirements in all other parts of this IDC, so they're almost set to go.
Plenty of classroom work, confined and open water dives have been part of this IDC, as usual.

Rescue scenario # 7 practice on Chaweng Beach

Lift bag use, rigging and lifting, a real fun experience if you do this for the first time

Knot tying; the bowline, Search & Recovery is calling

In the meantime, if you're interested in participating in one of my IDC's, the next two programs are scheduled in Thailand, beginning 8th April in Khao Lak and followed by 22nd April on Koh Lanta. 20th May sees an IDC kick off on Gili Air in Indonesia. Contact me for more information in Thailand and Indonesia or for the Philippines.

Camille

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

PADI IDC for March 2012 on Koh Samui, Thailand is on it's way

PADI IDC for March 2012 on Koh Samui, Thailand is on it's way

Bruce, Laetitia and Shiho are hacking away at the PADI IDC for March 2012 on Koh Samui in Thailand. A home game for me and the candidates, Bruce and Laetitia live on Samui and Shiho is just here for the PADI IDC and PADI IE. She will join us after the prep course, which we completed today.

Bruce and Laetitia during the first set of theory exams, let the fun begin!

The alternate air source use between Laetitia and Bruce, plenty of skill circuit have been completed already

The good old rescue exercise # 7;, Diver diver, are you OK? Inflate your weight belt and drop your BCD!

Things are moving nicely along although the first real tests will start tomorrow with classroom and confined presentations. Stay tuned for more updates.

In the meantime, if you're interested in participating in one of my IDC's, the next two programs are scheduled in Thailand, beginning 8th April in Khao Lak and followed by 22nd April on Koh Lanta. 20th May sees an IDC kick off on Gili Air in Indonesia. Contact me for more information in Thailand and Indonesia or for the Philippines.

Camille

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A third of coastal reefs destroyed by sediment in Thailand

A third of coastal reefs destroyed by sediment in Thailand

It's not often that I copy articles form a newspaper into my blog, but today I make an exception after reading this article today about coral reef destruction in Thailand, in tofays online version of 'The Nation', one of the two big English newspapers in Thailand.
For a full script of the article, please check below the picture;


Massive sediments caused by near by land development cover coral reefs at Phuket Province's Au Tang Khen. Pictures by Phuket Marine Biological Center.

More than a third of all coral reefs near coastal areas around the country have been destroyed by sediment from land developments to build hotels, resorts and private homes.

The area of destroyed reef totals more than 35,520 rai - in excess of 14,200 acres - of 96,000 rai of reef along coastal areas, according to the 2009 national strategic/action plan to protect coastal reefs.

On the Andaman coast, about half (50 per cent) the coral reefs covering 49,000 rai were degraded, while about a quarter (24 per cent) of 47,000 rai of reefs in the Gulf of Thailand were destroyed.

Land projects on coastal areas were the main destroyer of coral reefs, according to Pinsak Surasawadee, a director of the Marine and Coastal Resources Department's Office of Marine and Coastal Resources Conservation.

"The removal of land surfaces in coastal areas has sped up the amount of sediment flowing into the sea, affecting reefs, and aquatic animals and plants," he explained.

The large amount of sediment in the sea had also blocked sunlight and affected the growth of coral.

"The problem is many builders do not follow guidelines for the environmental impact assessment, which require them to construct sediment retention to prevent soil flowing into the sea," he said.

The sea watch agency found that coral reefs around three islands in Surat Thani province - Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao - were severely damaged by a huge amount of sediment, as was Phuket Island and Koh Yao.

"We have been discussed this problem with the department to try to find effective ways to reduce the impact from coastal development, especially in Phuket, which has areas designated for environmental protection, but law enforcement has never been implemented," he said.

Department officials had no authority to arrest wrongdoers who caused damage to coral reefs and marine resources.

The Marine and Coastal Resources Department wants the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning to revise the regulation, to give its staff more authority under the 1992 Environmental Act, so they can arrest wrongdoers.

By Pongphon Sarnsamak

Sunday, March 18, 2012

PADI IE in Mactan, Cebu, Philippines 100% success for my candidates

PADI IE in Mactan, Cebu, Philippines 100% success for my candidates

It's done and dusted, with the completion of the PADI IE in Mactan, Cebu City in the Philippines and there are 3 new PADI Instructors on the block. The PADI IDC with PADI 5* IDC and CDC Center Sea Explorers was fun and the hard work during the IDC paid off for Rui, Helen and Oliver.


From left to right; Chris Heim (PADI Course Director and owner of Sea Explorers), Rui, Helen, myself, Oliver and George Wegman (PADI examiner)

The next PADI IDC in the Philippines with Sea Explorers and myself is on 23rd July in Duain and followed by a an IDC starting 18th September in Dauin and last but not least on 20th November on Malapascua again.


Three PADI Course Directors at the Cebu IDC, from left to right, Chris Heim (owner of Sea Explorers) and Cecilia Masuda


The PADI IE in Cebu is a go!

In the meantime, if you're interested in participating in one of my IDC's, the next three programs are scheduled in Thailand, beginning 19th March on Koh Samui, 8th April in Khao Lak and 22nd April on Koh Lanta. Contact me for more information in Thailand and Indonesia or for the Philippines.

Camille

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dive with a smile, Malapascua, Philippines, March 2012

Dive with a smile, Malapascua, Philippines, March 2012

Now that the March 2012 PADI IDC is done on Malapascua and the 3 candidates are sweating it out during the PADI IE in Mactan, Cebu City, it's also a good moment to look back at some of the awesome dives I've done around Malapascua during this trip.

Thresher shark

A very nice highlight were 3 dives at Monad Shoal, known for being a cleaning station where thresher sharks tend to hang out. This year around I've seen thresher sharks during all 3 of my dives at this dive site, an improvement over last year when I did 4 dives here and didn't see a single thresher shark!

During the specialty instructor training, Stéphanie eye to eye with a thresher shark

Monad shoal is well worth a visit and it's the main reason divers visit Malapascua. On top of that there are plenty of great macro dive sites, Gato island, Calangaman island and Lighthouse just to name a few and during certain times of the year it's possible to spot hammerhead sharks.

A sea horse at Lighthouse

We also did a dusk/night dive at Lighthouse and it was a marvelous dive, with two mandarin fish mating. a truely outstanding experience.

Thysanozoon flavomaculatum flatworm

This was a mad dive indeed, most of the times I was taking a picture of something the dive guide (thanks Ting!) pointed out when he was already banging his tank to show us something else. In one word, fantastique!

Hermite crab or Dardanus pedunculatus

Just kick back and enjoy the pictures, they will speak for themselves.

Ceratosoma gracillimum nudibranch, a really big one!

Bobtail squid, tiny eenie meenie with big eyes!

Diving was Mad! Thanks all at Sea Explorers for making the dives so great, Sven, Klaus, Tong, Ting, Dish and all the boat crew

Dive with a smile, the motto at Sea Explorers in the Philippines.

Camille

Friday, March 16, 2012

EFR Instructor and Emergency Oxygen Instructor course on Malapascua, Philippines, March 2012

EFR Instructor and Emergency Oxygen Instructor course on Malapascua, Philippines, March 2012

After ending the PADI IDC on Malapascua two days ago, it was time to complete some other courses. Continual education on the go!

Rui, me and Helen after the EFR Instructor course on the beach on Malapascua

We started out with the EFRI course in the morning. Oliver didn't participate since he completed his course already with Sue on Boracay. Once we worked our way through the presentations, we had some fun with skill development and scenarios. Little Annie, Baby Annie and the AED played major roles!

Drew, Sue and myself after the Emergency Oxygen Provider Instructor course

We had a great lunch in the Northern part of the island, some original lechon and after lunch and the EFRI course, it was time for a short break and new course was on the schedule; the Emergency Oxygen Provider course at Instructor level! It was Sue and Drew who participated in this course and they also staffed during this IDC.

It was a good IDC with lots of fun and now we're all in Cebu, waiting for the PADI IE start tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, if you're interested in participating in one of my IDC's, the next three programs are scheduled in Thailand, beginning 19th March on Koh Samui, 8th April in Khao Lak and 22nd April on Koh Lanta. Contact me for more information in Thailand and Indonesia or for the Philippines.

Camille

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The PADI IDC for March 2012 on Malapascua in the Philippines has been completed

The PADI IDC for March 2012 on Malapascua in the Philippines has been completed

After 9 days of hard work, having started 6th march, the current PADI IDC on Malapascua in the Philippines with 5* IDC Center Sea Explorers has been completed.

On the boat before confined water, from left to right; Sue, Helen, me, Drew, Rui and Oliver

Rui, Helen and Oliver have worked hard and Sue and Drew helped out a lot during the course whilst staffing this PADI IDC.

DSD workshop during one of the open water dives, me on the left, Sue on the right

Besides the usual classroom presentations, exams and confined and open water presentations, we also completed plenty of workshops, of which you can see a few pictures in this update.

Sue and Drew during a 'how to use a lift bag correctly' workshop

Tomorrow it's time for the EFR Instructor course with Rui and Helen (Oliver completed his EFRI course already) and than during the 16th it's a travel day back to Cebu for the PADI IE.

Knot tying workshop; the sheet bend

It's been a fun IDC, during which I also had the opportunity to teach some Instructor specialties to Stéphanie and that's not the end of it, tomorrow morning it's time to hit Monad Shoal in the search for thresher sharks and to complete Rui's Nitrox Instructor course and the Emergency Oxygen Provider Instructor course is also scheduled for a late start tomorrow. Busy busy!

Helen during Rescue exercise # 7; Unconscious diver at the surface

In the meantime, if you're interested in participating in one of my IDC's, the next three programs are scheduled in Thailand, beginning 19th March on Koh Samui, 8th April in Khao Lak and 22nd April on Koh Lanta. Contact me for more information in Thailand and Indonesia or for the Philippines.

Camille

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Specialty Instructor training on Malapascua, Philippines during March 2012

Specialty Instructor training on Malapascua, Philippines during March 2012

With the current PADI IDC on Malapascua in the Philippines coming to an end by tomorrow, it's time to give an update on some Specialty Instructor training on Malapascua during March 2012.

Mating mandarin fish at Lighthouse

Stéphanie from Paris in France contacted me before the current IDC by email and she was interested to complete some specialty training with me, the deep and digital underwater photography specialties.
Because the thresher shark dives on Monad Shoal are early morning dives, where you leave at 5am, it was no problem to schedule these dives during the IDC, since I would be back in time at the dive center before the IDC classes for the day would start.

Two chromodoris Annae

The three dives we did were really awesome. Two dives at Monad shoal during which I saw around 6 Thresher sharks and a dusk/night dive at Lighthouse where I saw a massive amount of nudibranches and plenty of other interesting animals I hadn't seen before. Highlight of this dive were the mating mandarin fish, as shown on the top photograph.

A Thresher shark in profile

The two dives at Monad Shoal were great since I saw my first Thresher sharks for one and secondly, since about half a year the dives are now being conducted at other parts of the shoal and the thresher shark sightings have gone through the roof. Some cleaning station sees one or more thresher sharks cruising around and being cleaned for 20 minutes on an end. Rather impressive. The sharks swim by you withing a few centimeters distance.

A thresher shark seen from the back, with it's typical tail

During the dives Stéphanie and me had lots of fun and we both enjoyed the dives tremendously. Some new hand signs were learned by me and it was also interesting to learn about her dive background with a different dive organization.


Stéphanie and me in front of the Sea Explorers office on Malapascua

Stéphanie logged a total of 13 dives during her stay and was about ready to get on the boat to Mactan/Cebu, to start a job there in a local dive center, when almost when she was on the boat, she got hired on the spot by Sven, the manager of the dive center. They needed a French speaking instructor! Stéphanie is definitely living the dream!! Good luck to her and I hope she will find out soon enough that teaching diving is indeed her destiny.

Camille
v

Saturday, March 10, 2012

PADI IDC on Malapascua for March 2012 is halfway!

PADI IDC on Malapascua for March 2012 is halfway!

Time flies when you're having fun and that's the case during the Malapascua PADI IDC in the Philippines.

Confined water, Malapascua style with a nice and comfy boat

We've done test exams, classroom presentations by me and Sue, confined water presentations, classroom presentations by the students, rescue exercises and various workshops. We're in the midst of where the action is!

Rui showing off the latest running shoe fashion in her classroom presentation

The weather has been amazing so far and I also managed to get some Specialty Instructor training dives in with Stéphanie from France, who's visiting Malapascua just to get this training done. I'm lucky that the dives to Monad Shoal are early morning dives, meet at 5am, dive at 6am, which makes it convenient to schedule her specialty training.

Helen telling us about the importance of surfer marker buoys

Today the second set of theory exams and the first Open Water presentations are scheduled. It's always good to get wet during the IDC's after a day in the classroom!

Oliver aka Obi 1 Canoby selling a mask

Just a few more days and we will be going to Cebu City to attend the PADI IE and after that this road trip is over for a short while and I will be back in Thailand again, back home on Koh Samui, where another PADI IDC is waiting for me.

The creativity of the students, a baby picture of Mr. Bean being compared to a missing diver

In the meantime, if you're interested in participating in one of my IDC's, the next three programs are scheduled in Thailand, beginning 19th March on Koh Samui, 8th April in Khao Lak and 22nd April on Koh Lanta. Contact me for more information in Thailand and Indonesia or for the Philippines.

Camille

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

PADI IE on Gili Air in Indonesia 100% success and more!

PADI IE on Gili Air in Indonesia 100% success and more!

The PADI IE on Gili Air in Indonesia was 100% successful for the candidates of Camille and PADI 5* IDC Center Oceans 5! All five of them that participated in the February 2012 PADI IDC on Gili Air passed with flying colors.

From left to right; Sijbren, Max, Rafael, David, Camille and Brandon. In front is Eric who completed his IDCS course.

If that wasn't enough, Jmal, who completed his initial IDC back in June 2011 but didn't pass for his Standards exam during the PADI IE, now passed all his Theory exams and the standards exam. Respect Jmal! That was a hard nut to crack for him but with lots of patience, help from friends, dedication and keeping practicing, he managed today to pass his exams! Well done.

Jmal practicing exams during the recent IDC on Gili Air

In the meantime, if you're interested in participating in one of my IDC's, the next three programs are scheduled in Thailand, beginning 19th March on Koh Samui, 8th April in Khao Lak and 22nd April on Koh Lanta. Contact me for more information in Thailand and Indonesia or for the Philippines.

Camille

PADI IDC for March 2012 on Malapascua in the Philippines is on it's way

PADI IDC for March 2012 on Malapascua in the Philippines is on it's way

My second PADI IDC on Malapascua and my 90th IDC in total! A reason to celebrate! With three candidates and two persons staffing, it's a nice group at PADI 5* IDC Center Sea Explorers.

My name is......... Drew, who's in the middle of the orientation presentation and everybody else listening in, from left to right; Oliver, Drew, Sue, Helen and Rui

The first two days are going nice and easy with the orientation, fill out the paperwork and get that out of the way and sorted, some exams and a skill circuit. The first signs are looking good and it's good to be back on Malapascua!

Exam time for Oliver, Helen and Rui

Malapascua will always be special to me since this is where I conducted my first PADI IDC outside of Thailand last year!

Stay tuned for more updates on this IDC and the subsequent PADI IE in Cebu.

In the meantime, if you're interested in participating in one of my IDC's, the next three programs are scheduled in Thailand, beginning 19th March on Koh Samui, 8th April in Khao Lak and 22nd April on Koh Lanta. Contact me for more information in Thailand and Indonesia or for the Philippines.

Camille

Sunday, March 4, 2012

DUP Instructor training and diving around Gili Air, Indonesia

DUP Instructor training and diving around Gili Air, Indonesia

As already posted yesterday, it was time for Specialty Instructor training. Besides the Emergency Oxygen Provider Instructor course we also did a dive for the Digital Underwater Photography Instructor specialty.

Common sea horse

First I did a dive at Suraya, a dive site near Gili Meno, with David, Rafael, max and Brandon, where we found a sea fan with at least 10 Pygmy Seahorses (my first one) in it. A great site but my camera didn't work once more or again! Despite my initial relieve after my first dive here and thought that the problems were solved. It's really time for a new camera! Great dive, not so happy Camille!

Black finned snake eel

After the Suraya dive, I immediately went into the water again with Sijbren, at Oceans 5 house reef. Sijbren had some minor problems equalizing so we decided not to make a deep dive but do a shallow reef dive. Well, it was a very nice dive in which we spotted 2 sea horses, firsts for Sijbren, a black finned snake eel and some other small but nice fishes. A good days diving and a great way to say goodbye to Gili Air and start the wait for May to come back and start my next IDC here!

Now it's off to Malapascua in the Philippines where 6th march my next IDC starts.

Camille

Saturday, March 3, 2012

PADI Oxygen Provider Instructors on Gili Air in Indonesia, March 2012

PADI Oxygen Provider Instructors on Gili Air in Indonesia, March 2012

The day after! The IDC that is! Time for some Instructor level specialties. We started out this morning with a DUP or Digital Underwater Photography briefing and explanation of this specialty and off we went to the Suraya dive site. We saw one sea fan that up to 10 Pygmy Seahorses in it, but unfortunately my Canon underwater camera decided to call it a day at that moment, the battery had shifted...................... Not very happy!!! I did also an Oceans 5 house reef photo dive with Sijbren which was nice, pictures tomorrow.

O2 Instructors in the making, from left to right; Brandon, David, Sijbren, Max and Rafael

The afternoon was reserved for the Emergency Oxygen Provider Instructor course, in which they received some back ground information on Oxygen, it's uses and application plus some hands on work.

We also completed the Nitrox Instructor course plus we talked about the up and coming PADI IE, to be conducted on 6th and 7th March. A busy but relaxed day.

Now it's time for me to go to the Philippines and start a PADI IDC on Malapascua, 6th March!

Stay tuned for more updates, see you soon.

Camille