Friday, November 20, 2015

PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak

Last week and early this week we conducted PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak, in conjunction with PADI 5* IDC Center "Sea Dragon'.

PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak

On our way to the Sea Chart wreck with all our equipment and supplies

The three candidates all had different amounts of specialties they participated in, all three had Enriched Air and Deep on their schedule, Rene and Dax added Wreck on top of this and Rene also participated in the Oxygen provider training and joined also in the Underwater Navigation and Underwater Naturalist specialties.

PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak

Rene setting up a line at the Sea Chart wreck

The first day was spent diving the Sea Chart wreck, a virgin wreck for me and our biggest worry was that there was no buoy, but lucky for us, the they before we went, a buoy was set up, guaranteeing that we would find the wreck!

PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak

The Sea Chart, a drawing how it looks like underwater

They turned out to be two great dives, with fairly good viz. The Sea Chart 1 was in the process of transporting 1,200 logs of hard wood in its 3200 tonnes hold, from Burma, heading across the Andaman Sea, down through the Straits of Malacca and than on to its final destination in Vietnam. However, in August 2009, the bulk carrier encountered problems not far from Thailand's coast, where rough seas and severe weather battered the ship, causing multiple leaks in its hull. Water leaked also in to the engine room and began to sink the vessel. All crew on board the Sea Chart 1 managed to escape on inflatable rafts and were rescued by a Thai Navy ship. MV Sea Chart 1, 84 meters long and 12 meters wide, now rests on her starboard side in 40 meters of water.

PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak

During a safety stop with Dax, Rene and Juha

The wreck makes for a great dive with plenty of large logs being scattered on to the sea floor or half outside of the ship. A huge amount of marine life has already gathered and settled on this wreck, It felt like diving in fish soup! 
Two great dies were had and we accomplished all our performance requirements, including penetration.

PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak

The deep egg, when you're deep enough, around 27 meters, the yellow of an egg will be compressed enough by the surrounding pressure, so it stay whole, even if you gently push it around

The second day for PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak saw us back on a boat, and a big one this time, for a trip to the Similan Islands, and specifically island # 9. Here we conducted the deep dive specialty over two dives and we learned a lot, including potential problems that can occur at the surface, before you even start a dive. There was a very strong surface current but once we were at 37 meters, there was nothing left of that current.

PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak

Dax doing a timed skill during a deep dive, to check if he is influenced by nitrogen narcosis

On our second deep dive during our PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak, we descended straight on top of a guitar shark, who still was a few meter deeper than us. This was my first ever sighting of such a shark and I was really excited about this, since you don't get to see them that often! See the picture below.

PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak

My first ever guitar shark at Similan island # 9, not a great picture, but the only one I have

The last day of diving was only with Rene and we headed out to the Boonsung wreck, where we had another two great dives, to finish off the PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak. Once more it felt like diving in fish soup, that's how much fish had gathered at the wreck. 

PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak

Rene practicing navigation patterns on land

We met all performance requirements for both the Underwater Navigation and Underwater Naturalist dives and had a great day on the boat as well. Good company and good dives always make life easy and enjoyable!

Thanks to Rene, Dax and Juha, it was a fun IDC and we had some fantastic dives together, hope to see back in Khao Lak come February 2016!

PADI Specialty Instructor training in Khao Lak

The Boonsung wreck

It's just a few more days now before my next PADI IDC starts, the last one in 2016 and it starts 22nd November in Moalboal in the Philippines, this is followed by the first PADI IDC in 2016 on 12th January on Koh Lanta, Thailand which is followed by 2nd February on Phuket, Thailand before we visit Khao Lak, Thailand again on 20th February.

See you there,
Camille

No comments: