Monday, December 28, 2015

Gavin, the new IDC Staff Instructor, now becomes a Sidemount Instructor too

After recently completing his IDC Staff Instructor Course with The Dive Academy Gavin wanted to continue his training and signed up to complete the Sidemount Specialty Instructor Course. Before completing the Instructor level course Gavin had to become a Sidemount diver first so took the diver level specialty with our Course Director Paul.

Sidemount is a new way of diving where you use either one or two tanks attached to your side as opposed to having one tank placed on your back. There are many benefits to diving on Sidemount such as additional air when you dive on two tanks. You still only get to use two tanks over two dives the same as with diving with a BCD, but if you plan your Gas Management correctly (it's not difficult even Gavin managed it!) you get to use more of the 400 bar available (2 x 200 bar per tank). For people with back problems or other physical ailments that may effect them using a normal BCD, Sidemount could also be a real benefit as the weight of the tanks is no longer placed on your back but distributed along your side. Another huge benefit is that the harness required to dive with sidemounted tanks only weighs around 5 kilos so takes up much less of your baggage allowance when you are travelling than a conventional BCD. And lastly Sidemount Diving looks and is super cool and is a small introduction into technical diving for those that might be interested on extending your limits and experience further.

After a short session to go through the theory that Gavin had learned and to familiarise him with the new equipment he would be using we went to our purpose built for diving 3.5m deep swimming pool to practise with the new gear and to learn new ways to conduct some of the skills you learn when you become a diver such as what to do when you are out of air and general bouyancy skills. Your bouyancy is very different diving with the tanks on your side and even for experienced divers takes a bit of getting used to. The deep pool was perfect for practising and gave plenty of opportunity to perfect the skills.

The course was also a good for our Course Director Paul, who was teaching Gavin, as it gave him the opportunity to get familiar with the new Sidemount equipment we have recently bought and to work out the best configurations and placement of the various clips, straps and other things that are different from using a BCD. Both Paul and Gavin found that the placement of the crouch strap required for Sidemount systems was self explanatory!!

Next on to the open water dives where, under Paul's supervision, Gavin had to again conduct the few skills required to complete the course as well as taking the time to swim around and become familiar with the new equipment and techniques required for diving Sidemount. The first two dives were completed at Sail Rock which was perfect for Gavin to learn a new way of diving which he managed to do with no problems whatsoever and was very comfortable from the beginning. Second day, due to adverse weather, we went to Koh Ma which isn't somewhere we would usually go to complete courses but as it turned out it was perfect for Paul and Gavin to swim around and have a nice easy dive and still managed to find a few nice things to see. Today Gavin was diving on a single sidemounted tank to get familiar with the techniques for this too - Sidemount allows you to dive with both single and doouble tanks so it was good practise for Gavin to try both ways.

Then it was Gavin's turn to play at being Instructor and having already given a classroom presentation on using Sidemount he was ready to lead the way in open water. After a full briefing of the skills and how to use the equipment Gavin and Paul then completed a nice relaxed dive where Gavin now set Paul the task of completing the skills required and successfully spotted the (deliberate!!) mistakes Paul made while completing the skills.

As well as the many benefits of learning to dive on Sidemount it is a great course to both learn and to teach and both Paul and Gavin had a lot of fun during the course.

If you are a diver looking to try something different or are an instructor looking to add something new to your CV think about Sidemount and contact us at The Dive Academy and we can give you the information you need on one of PADI's newest and exciting specialty diver courses.

Friday, December 18, 2015

A new IDC Staff Instructor

Congratualtions to PADI MSDT Gavin Froley for completing his IDC Staff Instructor Course with our Course Director Paul.

During the week of the course Gavin comfortably got through the PADI Standards and dive theory exams, sat through an endless number of PowerPoint presentations by Paul, gave classroom and pool presentations himself, completed an Open Water course skills circuit where he did a great job of demonstrating all of the skills, he delivered a number of workshops in open water before he then excelled at evaluating IDC Candidate Beth in classroom, pool and open water presentations.

It also needs to be said that Beth did fantastically well on all of her presentations and looks ready to jump on the IDC beginning 5th January!!

Great job Gavin and we are sure you will be a valuable asset to any CD using you as an assistant on an IDC in the future.

Now on to Recreational Sidemount and Sidemount Instructor!!

Smashing the IDC Theory Exams

Demonstrating how to use a compass before the Adventures in Diving workshop

Giving Beth feedback after evaluating her open water presentation.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Take the next step as a PADI Pro and become a PADI Instructor at The Dive Academy PADI 5 Star IDC Centre on Koh Samui in Thailand.
15% early booking discount if you pay a deposit 30 days before the beginning of the IDC.
Contact us for details about the November and upcoming IDC's: [email protected]

New Instructor Specialty's at The Dive Academy

So that we can continue offering our Instructor's and future Instructor Candidates the opportunity to keep improving their knowledge and skills, The Dive Academy have added 3 PADI Specialty Courses and Specialty Instructor Courses to the list we now offer:

Wreck Diving:  if you enjoy exploring wrecks and the added adventure and thrill you get from penetrating them, why not become a Wreck Specialty Instructor and share the thrill with your future students!

 Find out how to become a Wreck Specialty Instructor

Self Reliant Diver: there are times when an experienced diver may need or want to dive without a buddy. Become a Self Reliant Diver Distinctive Specialty Instructor and teach the skills, attitude and procedures required to dive safely by yourself.

 Teach Self Reliant Diver Specialty

Sidemount: teach your students the benefits and fun of diving with two tanks on the side as opposed to one tank on the back.

 Become a Sidemount Instructor

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mission complete

The final step of the IDC process was completed when Ekin & Stephanie took the EFR Instructor course which we conducted at the SSS Recompression Chamber. Ricky, the manager of the chamber gave the two of them an orientation to the chamber and a really good introduction to how it works when treating patients suspected of having decompression illness, including the different kinds of treatment and the reasons for the different depths and times used to pressurise the chamber.

After the intro to the chamber they demonstrated the ability to teach a number of the EFR Course skills and very quickly and easily corrected the deliberate mistakes made by their pretend students. Annie was returned safe and well and ready to play the victim for the next EFR Course!! 

IDC Comes to an end

Ekin & Stephanie have reached the final few days of the IDC and have comfortably reached the levels needed to take the PADI IE on Koh Tao.

During the past few days they have been concentrating on making sure they know all they need to know about dive theory and successfully completed the final dive theory exams. They have also shown they know their way around the PADI Instructor manual to find the PADI Standards by passing the Standards and Procedures exams.

On top of the classroom work they have also been performing their Confined and Open Water presentations using The Dive Academy instructors as willing but particularly bad students!! Both Ekin and Stephanie have produced really strong presentations and kept the unruly students in line and have shown they know what to do to become good PADI Instructors.  

During the Adventure Dive workshop in Mango Bay we were lucky enough to lay our line right next to where a seahorse was casually resting and it was happy to come closer and actually wrapped itself around our line – a lovely bonus for us when all we thought we were doing was teaching or learning rather than enjoying ourselves!!

All that’s left now is for Ekin & Stephanie to impress the big, bad examiners from PADI!!

Good luck to the two of you, we hope everything goes well and your hard work pays off.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June IDC at The Dive Academy

The June IDC at The Dive Academy is now in full swing. Stephanie & Ekin have been working hard studying for their theory and have already delivered knowledge development presentations as well as Confined & Open Water presentations, gaining good scores.

They have also been listening to various presentations and learning about a variety of topics from Youth responsibilities to Risk Management to the Business of Diving.

There's still lots to learn and coming up they have a variety of in water workshops, lots and lots of theory exams and some more presentations to deliver. Keep up the good work guys!

As Paul & Claire will be heading off to England this month, Stephanie & Ekin are taking part in the July IE on Koh Tao. So they have a little bit more time available to practise getting those perfect 5's!

If you're interested in joining our July, August & September IDC's, there are spaces available, so contact us for more information!

                              Ekin using the Prescriptive Lesson guides during his presentation
                                         Ekin explaining a 'missed' question to his students
                      Receiving their teaching presentations for the coming week from Course Director Paul
    Looking at the standards for the new PADI Reactivate programme, replacing the old Scuba Review
                           Discussing the responsibilities of diving with and teaching children
                           Staff Instructor Claire explaining about the different courses for children

                                                     Stephanie looking up standards

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!!