Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking back at another successful dive year; 2013

It was once more a god year for diving and teaching PADI IDC courses. With a total of 10 programs, 49 IDC candidates, 2 IDCS courses, 73 Instructor Specialty courses and 15 EFR Instructor courses taught, it shows more students compared to last year with less programs. This gives a good average.

The year started out with my second biggest IDC to date on Koh Lanta with 10 IDC candidates. To make everything go smoothly, I had two IDCS instructors assist me. Thanks Kevin and Anand!

There were 7 programs in Thailand with 33 candidates and 3 programs on Gili Air in Indonesia with 16 candidates and unfortunately no programs this year in the Philippines. On Malapascua we also saw typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda rage over the small island but all is up and running again.

It was also a special year due the incredible and unprecedented amount of 8 'Certificates of Recognition for Excellence' received from PADI, written by my former candidates and being for the 7th consecutive year a Platinum PADI Course Director!

There were students from 4 countries that I could welcome for the first time; Spain, Seychelles, Czech Republic and Greece.

A big thanks to all the dive centers I could work with this year; PADI 5* IDC Centres 'The Dive Academy' on Koh Samui, 'Blue Planet' on Koh Lanta, 'Haad Yao Divers' on Koh Phangan and 'Sea Dragon' in Khao Lak as well as 'Oceans 5' on Gili Air in Indonesia and thanks to all the candidates that participated in my courses this year.

I'm looking forward to 2014 with a new addition to the team; PADI 5* IDC Centre 'Kiwidiver' on Phuket.

See you all next year.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Transforming lives by becoming a PADI dive instructor

It's not only about transforming the lives of others that you teach, but also your own live. My live has been seriously transformed when I became a diver, even more when I became an instructor and was able to come out to Thailand and live here and it transformed again when I became a PADI Course Director, allowing me to teach around Thailand, in Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea.

What do you prefer, another day in the office or your office being the ocean?

When is the last time you said; "I wish I spent more time at work"? Being a dive instructor may actually have you state this! It may give you the opportunity to transform your own live and that of your future students and build life long friendships.

If you dream of a career that is unique, challenging, fun and allows you to work in exotic locations, why not look to your favorite hobby – scuba diving!

Have a look at my PADI IDC schedule and see if there's a location and/or time frame that suits you. I have scheduled at least one PADI IDC per month for 2014 and can offer plenty of great locations around the region, always allowing you to dive in the best  local dive conditions these areas provide.

My next PADI IDC is scheduled to start 4th January on Koh Lanta in Thailand, followed by an IDC scheduled to start 21st January on Malapascua in the Philippines, which in turn is followed by a program scheduled to start 5th February in Khao Lak, Thailand and finishing off a flying start into the new year is an IDC scheduled to start 22nd February on Gili Air in Indonesia with plenty more programs at a variety of locations scheduled for the duration of 2014.

Contact me if you would like to receive more information on any of these programs and hope to see you next year!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Hyperbaric chamber on Phuket, Thailand

During my recent visit to Phuket for running a 9km race, I stayed at the Blue Carina Inn hotel, which as it turned out, was located opposite the SSS Hyperbaric Chamber in Phuket! It was early in the morning after the race that I figured this out and they were still closed and since I was on my way to start the November PADI IDC in Khao Lak, so unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to visit and check out the facilities. Something still on my list of things to do, especially since I know now where they are located.

Hyperbaric chamber in Phuket, Thailand

The sign outside of the hyperbaric chamber

They first opened their doors in 1996 and back in the days it was the first re-compression chamber in Southern Thailand and is now part of a network of 5 facilities in the Kingdom.
The building seems to be located on the premises of the Phuket International Hospital, which gives easy access to medical facilities if required or in case of unexpected emergencies.

Hyperbaric chamber in Phuket, Thailand, entrance

The entrance with a road sign in Thai and English

The Phuket chamber is part of the same SSS recompression chamber network as the hyperbaric or recompression chamber on Koh Samui, where I am a volunteer.

In contrast to the Koh Samui facility, in Phuket they have a 'multi place' re-compression chamber.

If you are visiting Phuket and would like to tour the facility, you are welcome! Chamber tours are free, but they ask that you contact them during normal business hours by phone to arrange an appropriate time to ensure patient treatments are not being conducted. Try 076 209 347 or for emergencies 081 081 9000.

Hyperbaric chamber in Phuket, Thailand, frontal view

Hyperbaric chamber in Phuket, Thailand, frontal view

The SSS Network / Phuket Chamber Facility works with the Phuket Diving, Medical, and Rescue communities in a number of ways. They sponsor seminars and training programs on a regular basis to the local dive operators, and host seminars on rescue and dive medicine topics.

One of the courses they offer is the Tender / Operator Course (TOP)

This course provides comprehensive knowledge about the Decompression Illness (DCI) and a complete spectrum of practical skills necessary for the safe chamber operation and inside chamber patient tending.

If you want to expand your general diving knowledge, give them a call and arrange for a tour of the facilities, something I am planning to do in the (near) future.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

My next PADI IDC will start 4th January 2014 on Koh Lanta in Thailand

The first PADI IDC for 2014 is scheduled to start 4th January on Koh Lanta in conjunction with PADI 5* IDC Centers 'Blue Planet Divers' and 'Scubafish'. Spaces are still available and this IDC is directly followed by a PADI IE on Koh Lanta on 15th and 16th January.

PADI 5* IDC Center Blue Planet and Scubafish

PADI 5* IDC Center 'Blue Planet Divers' and PADI 5* IDD Center 'Scubafish', both on Koh Lanta

If this is too early in the year for you, feel free to check out my other programs in a busy and actions packed start of the new year; on 21st January a PADI IDC is scheduled to kick off on Malapascua in the Philippines, followed by an IDC scheduled to start 5th February in Khao Lak, Thailand which is followed by a PADI IDC scheduled to start 22nd February on Gili Air in Indonesia.

Hope to see you there!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Once more a 'Certificate of Recognition for Excellence' by PADI, from Gary Wong

This is already the 7th 'Certificate of Recognition for Excellence' that I receive this year from PADI! I think I never had more than 2 in a year before this year! This one comes from Gary Wong, who participated in the October PADI IDC on Koh Samui.

Certificate of Recognition for Excellence from Gary Wong

Maybe it's time for you to see what my PADI IDC's are all about. You have plenty of locations to choose from, with the next program and the first in 2014 starting 4th January on Koh Lanta, Thailand, followed by a program scheduled to start 21st February on Malapascua in the Philippines which in turn is followed by a program scheduled to start 5th February in Khao Lak, Thailand and to finish off a busy start of the year, 22nd February on Gili Air in Indonesia.

If you want more information or have any questions regarding these programs, please contact me.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Instructor Specialty training in Khao Lak, Thailand

Today and yesterday was reserved for Instructor Specialty training with Jason of the recent PADI IDC in Khao Lak. Yesterday we went for two dives to the Boon sung wreck off Bangsak beach and today we went to Khao Nai Yak for three dives and Andi joined us.

Honeycomb moray eel

Honeycomb moray eel

The dives at the wreck were very nice and we completed the DUP and Mulitlevel specialties with Jason but at Instructor level
During these dives my friend and fellow PADI Course Director Imad Khashfeh joined us and we both completed the dives on side mount.

Hermit crab

Hermit crab

It was a good days diving, nice weather, great dives and plenty of fish to see! It almost was fish soup at the wreck. Various big groups of fish were swimming around and I've never seen so many honeycomb moray eels during a single dive.


Jason shooting pictures

After two long dives, each around an hour, we called it a day and went back to the dive shop where some more briefings and training was waiting for the underwater navigation specialty, which was scheduled for the next day, or rather, today! For this we were joined by Andi, an instructor working at PADI 5* IDC Center Sea Dragon.

Imad on sidemount

Friend and fellow PADI Course Director Imad Khashfeh on side mount

Boon sung wreck

The Boon sung wreck at Bangsak beach

Jason and Andi

Jason and Andi during navigation practice on land

Today we had an interesting underwater navigation dive with rather interesting conditions, among other a strong swell had us moving around a bit, the longer the day lasted, the stronger the swell became.
We also completed a Fish ID dive with bot Jason and Andi and an Underwater Naturalist dive with Jason today and both Jason and Andi also completed their Nitrox specialties.

Underwater navigation

Underwater navigation explained

Two busy days of diving but nothing that can't be handled here, with regular trips on the live aboard boats where up to 4 dives per day are scheduled. Tomorrow both Andi and Jason are back to diving and are ready to welcome students and divers!