Wednesday, July 30, 2014

PADI IDC in Osan, South Korea hits the half way mark

The second Western ever PADI IDC in Osan, South Korea is already past the half half way mark. Or as explained before, it's actually the PADI OWSI course.

PADI IDC, theory exams

The PADI IDC theory exams are in full progress right now and it's all about concentration, whilst lots of blood, sweat and tears are bring lost, plus a couple of curses

PADI IDC, confined water

A shady buddy check by George

All classroom stuff and confined water dives are getting done here at Osan AB (Air Force Base) but for the Open Water dives we move to the South Korean East Coast, to a city called Sacheon. Stay tuned for updates from here, over the weekend.

PADI IDC, confined water, neutral bouyancy

Larry achieving neutral buoyancy on scuba, not always easy if you don't get the hours in

It's great to be here again, the last PADI IDC I conducted here is already three years ago. Most of this IDC is however taught in the USofA, since every time we enter the Air Force, we're basically entering the USA and it feels and looks like you're back in the US somewhere, once you're on base.

PADI IDC, confined water, air depletion

Lisa staying cool under pressure and out of gas!

The facilities are great, a massive, clear pool is at our disposal and it's deep! The deep end is at 12ft or 4 meters, a real treat to work in. The classroom is nice, some serious a/c action going on, it's almost receiving free arctic survival training and the convenience is great; a beamer dropping out of the ceiling with a massive  white board and screen. Plenty of space as well, the room seats up to 30 people!

PADI IDC, confined water, supervision

Allen providing supervision during the skill circuit in the pool

Being on base also means that there's a food court. This means American junk food pristine. Despite there being a Subway, Captain D's, Charlies, Pizza Hut and the like, I have taken full advantage of the Taco Bell option each day! But alas, so much for dive related issues. Two more days classroom and base and than off to Seoul for a day before we move to the coast.

PADI IDC, confined water, buddy check

Carel and Mike's buddy check

There are more PADI IDC dates coming up this year and one of the programs or locations may appeal to you, so don't hesitate to contact me to get more information about one of these up and coming programs; 16th August on Gili Air in Indonesia, 14th September in Moalboal in the Philippines and 30th September on Koh Samui in Thailand.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

PADI OWSI course in Osan, South Korea for July 2014 is under way

Today we kicked off the PADI OWSI course in Osan, South Korea. It's an OWSI course becasue all five participants are already PADI Assistant Instructors, so they only have to complete the OWSI performance requirements.

PADI IDC July 2014, Osan, South Korea

From left to right; Lisa, Allen, Mike, Larry, Carel and George, just before we hit the pool

The next 7 days we're going to have some fun here at Osan AB, near the city of Osan. for the actual Open water dives, we will go to the East coast city of Sacheon, where also the PADI IE will be conducted come 4th and 5th August and after that we will stay on for a few days to conduct some Specialty Instructor training.

Stay tuned for more updates and check out my up and coming PADI IDC dates, starting 16th August on Gili Air in Indonesia, 14th September in Moalboal in the Philippines and 30th September on Koh Samui in Thailand


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tropico Beach Resort, San Jose, Negros Oriental, Philippines

It's almost two years ago to the day, since Richard participated in an IDC in Dauin in the Philippines with me and became a PADI Instructor after he successfully completed the PADI IE, after a lot of sweat, blood and tears! Well done buddy!

Tropico Beach Resort

The bar ceiling at Tropico Beach Resort

We didn't see each other until May/June this year, when I was conducting another PADI IDC in Moalboal, with PADI 5* IDC Center 'Neptune Diving Adventures' and Richard taught an Open Water course.

Tropico Beach Resort, bar

Details of life behind the bar

We did stay in touch during those two years, so it was great to meet the 'Captain' again in Moalboal but it got better. For the PADI IE we had to travel to Dumaguete and we were lucky enough to have a car which allowed us to make a visit to Richard's Tropico Beach Resort, which is just a good 15km or so away from Dumaguete. 

Tropico Beach Resort, cannons

Cannons overlooking the ocean and protecting the resort

Over the two years I heard a lot and saw plenty of pictures of the resort and I'm so glad I could make it over there, at last! It was a long overdue visit and I immediately felt completely at home. The nice welcome, the tour of the premises and the overall feel to the place were just great!

Tropico Beach Resort, Pillory

The pillory is waiting for the not naughty enough

The resort is completely set up with a pirate's theme and it's done to perfection. Richard has plenty of costumes and attributes that fit and blend in and the ideas and willpower to make it happen.

Tropico Beach Resort, tank filling station

The prison is there, and serves as a tank filling station. Well, most of the time

There are little and bigger details everywhere, how about the pillory or the prison or go and visit the bar? If you get invited into his house, he may show you his pistol and loads of other bits and pieces from the pirate high times.

Tropico Beach Resort, rooms

The row of rooms

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of his boat, but the outrigger boat is completely done up like a pirate boat, a sight not lightly forgotten. When I visited the boat was parked outside the resort but I hope to be able to go back and get some good shots in.

Tropico Beach Resort, bedroom

The bedroom, getting any ideas?

If you're in the neighborhood you might want to check the resort out. There's also a PADI Resort attached and diving is possibly straight in front of the resort. The resort is also completely wheel chair friendly.

Tropico Beach Resort, current price list

The current price list

Hope you enjoy the article and will look Richard up, you won't regret it!


Friday, July 11, 2014

One more Certificate of Recognition for Excellence for Camille

Another reason to be happy, here's my fifth Certificate of Recognition for Excellence from PADI this year, written by Mariusz Paziak who participated in the May 2014 PADI IDC on Gili Air, Indonesia, in conjunction with PADI CDC Center 'Oceans 5'.

Certificate of Recognition for Excellence by Mariusz Paziak

Certificate of Recognition for Excellence by Mariusz Paziak

Thanks a lot Mario, it's much appreciated.

Come and see me for another PADI IDC, coming up soon, starting with 26th July in Osan, South Korea, followed  by a program starting 16th August on Gili Air in Indonesia, 14th September in Moalboal in the Philippines and 31st September on Koh Samui, Thailand.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

The next PADI IDC will start 26th July in Osan, South Korea

The tickets are booked and everything is set to go for the 2nd Western PADI IDC in South Korea, in Osan, to be precise! It's been three years since the first Western IDC there, which shows that it ain't easy to get programs running there on a regular base, but I'm very glad and happy that we have this PADI IDC on track, to be followed directly by a PADI IE on the Eastern coast.

Three years ago, PADI IE in South Korea

We will have 5 candidates for this program and I'm looking forward to meet them and get going with this IDC program, officially introducing the new Open Water diver course presentations.

See you all soon in Korea!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Shark Guardian presentation on Koh Samui, July 2014

Yesterday evening saw a very interesting and enthusiastically received presentation by Shark Guardian at the Imperial Boathouse in Choengmon.

Brendon in action

Brendon and Liz guided us through some interesting information regarding sharks, with lots of bits and pieces of information that most of the audience didn't know. Among others, we learned the name of the smallest shark in the world, which fully mature and grown only reaches 20cm of length.

The audience

With videos, statistics and great anecdotes, an hour flew by after which some interaction with the audience started and hopefully some good contacts were made, so we can have some more Shark Guardian presentations on Samui in the future.

Liz and Brendon

I truly hope that we can see more of Liz and Brendon and their Shark Guardian charity on the Gulf Islands and especially on Samui!
Thanks for the informative evening and see you soon!