Tuesday, May 12, 2015

April Highlights

So another fantastic month at The Dive Academy with lots of happy customers enjoying diving and snorkeling in calm seas, great visibility and with the hot sun blazing down on them. The Dive Academy staff have lost an infinite amount of water in sweat during this hot month; loading and unloading the boat is certainly keeping us fit! Hopefully you've been keeping up with our dive vlog's on our Facebook page!

Songkran (Thai New Year) came with blasts of water, literally! We had 3 days of heavy storms right over the Songkran period, which cooled everything down and brought some much needed water to the island. Our Thai staff were very grateful to get a couple more days off as well, as the rough sea prevented us taking the boat out!!

Snorkelers this month have seen a lot of great sights, many black tip reef sharks around, particularly the Southern and Eastern sites of Koh Tao as well as around Nangyuan. So it just goes to show you can have as much fun snorkeling as you can diving and in small groups with a PADI Professional as your snorkel guide, there's no better way to explore.

We had 2 new Pro's join the PADI ranks last month. Ekin who became a Divemaster and Ariel who successfully completed her IDC and became an Open Water Scuba Instructor. Well done guys, well deserved and Ekin will move on to start his IDC next month. There must be something in the water here as our 2 new Pro's are now also an item! Florence also successfully completed her Rescue course and has gone on to commence her Divemaster, followed by her IDC!

We also conducted a lot of Enriched Air Speciality courses last month. This is an excellent way to advance your diving and allow you to stay deeper for longer. It is also one of the PADI Speciality courses that can be combined with the PADI Open Water course and the PADI Advanced Open Water course. Have a look at our special promotions!

We have decided to change our team structure around slightly (more on this later) including our boat crew. As Midnight is out on the water most days, we now have a 2nd Captain. We have known Dang for some time as he has worked as a Captain on the island for several years and has good experience of engines and of course the dive sites. Dang and Ded are also good friends so with Dang being a Manchester United supporter, there are often some interesting conversations on the boat! And at this point, we should mention that Paul was very happy that Chelsea won the Premiership!!

As is usual in May and June, we are expecting a couple of quieter months, so now is the time that some of the staff will take vacation, Midnight Blue will have a spruce up in readiness for high season and the dive centre will have a clean out and equipment updated and replaced. See you again next month!

April in pictures:

                                                             Paul teaching the IDC
                                A happy Ariel after her IE with PADI Examiner Rob Scammell
                                                            Ninja working hard as usual

                                         Dang our 2nd Captain fresh after a haircut and shave!
  Some of the PADI Regional Management from offices Worldwide who joined us for a day's diving
 Roy has been coming to Samui with his friend Steve for 7 years. This was his 6th year diving with The Dive Academy. You'd have thought he'd know where to wear his mask by now!
                                         A beautiful shot through the trevally at Sail Rock.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Whale Shark @ Sail Rock

Today we had a trip to the fantastic Sail Rock and it turned out to be even more spectacular than usual.

We got the shout that there was a Whale Shark around just as we were about to eat lunch after our first dive. A few dinner plates quickly got discarded as we jumped off our boat "Midnight Blue" to see if we could spot the big fish, but we didn't manage to see it until........ Around 5 minutes into our second dive the beautiful 4-5m shark came alongside the rock where we and a few other divers were swimming. It was calm and relaxed and swam among the divers. Fortunately it happened to turn and swim directly towards us and came within a metre of us so we managed to get a few nice pictures fairly close up of the Shark filtering water through it's gills and smiling for the camera. Most of these pictures are untouched as the shark was so close we didn't need to zoom or crop!!