Today Leandro and me completed two and a half days of PADI side mount training at diver and instructor level.
To the best of my knowledge these are the first certifications on Koh Samui in this specialty on diver and instructor level. Well done Leandro, who was one of the students in the recent January IDC on Koh Lanta.
After certification on the way back from Sail Rock
We started out with theory and knowledge development on side mount training and a confined water dive, together with David, who will take the diver certification later.
Both the theory and confined water dive help student divers to get a better understanding about side mount diving and especially in the pool they get to use side mount for the first time and get familiar with the equipment.
Tanks in front
After that we had a two great dives yesterday at the Angthong National Marine Park, a location I hadn't visited in a couple of years and it was good to dive there again. Especially Yippon Lek has various swim throughs that are very tempting to try out whilst using a side mount configuration.
Top view of Leandro in his Hollis sms 50 harness
Today we dived twice at Sail Rock, besides enjoying two great relaxed dives on our side mount gear, it was like diving in fish soup! Visibility was maybe no more than 5 or 6 meters but the amount of fish around the rock was staggering! I don't think I have ever seen that many potato groupers at Sail Rock. I even had a first, I saw a school of Frigate Mackerel.
A nice side touch was that during our second dive we met another buddy team on side mount, one diver on two tanks and one diver on a single tank! A good surprise!
Out of air drill (picture by Colin Parker)
During the 3 training dives for the diver certification we went through a whole sequence of training skills and Leandro had no problems with them at all and during each dive he was more at ease with his equipment. The last dive today was his Instructor level certification dive and again, all went well! Now it's important to stay wet Leandro and hope to see you again soon!
If you're interested in PADI side mount training, please contact me for more details and my schedule/availability.