Assava Divers Posts

Attitude of a PADI Divemaster

Places you can go with enthusiam, passion and a good positive attitude - this pretty much sums up our most recent PADI Divemaster Kelly-Anne Nickel.

In her short time in Koh Tao, she completed her training from PADI Open water diver to the PADI Divemaster, professional level. Kelly-Anne's outgoing personality attracted guests and divers on Koh Tao and she became a well known person to all. Through her associations she was employed at the Fishbowl Beach Bar and as a front office sales person for a local tatoo establishment, and her earnings enabled Kelly to extend her stay on Koh Tao - Paradise Island.

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Learn to Dive & Become a PADI Professional

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Learning The Ropes

Welcome to our newest PADI Divemaster Candidates Malia and Stefano on their new venture to becoming a PADI Professional. Through Sunshine Divers they have the opporutnity to explore several dive sites around Koh Tao and put their workshop experiences into real practice preparing them for the opprotunity to work internationally on completion of their PADI Divemaster Program. 

The PADI Divemaster program includes several workshops and skill sets. During our current PADI Instructor Development Course Malia and Stefano joined in to participate in the PADI Skill Circuit demonstrations and also deal with problem solving and reinforcement techniques.

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Night diving can sometimes be perceived as a scary sport when actually it is an exciting adventure into a different world. Here at Sunshine Divers our NIght dive is a very popular choice with Advanced Diver students and fun divers. Jumping in watching the suset over the bay is fantastic.  Descending whilst the light goes down means you don't realize it is even getting dark around you.  Once down the line a whole new world awaits. Fish go to sleep and out come the blue-spotted rays, barracuda, crabs, squid, cuttlefish, eels and many, many more. As an extra special treat we also get to watch all the phosphorescence turn lumious in colour like electric coming out of your fingertips.  We end the diving looking up at the stars wondering when it go so dark!  So overcome those nerves and take the plunge, there is a whole "other world" down there!

night dive 2

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Sunshine Divers would like to welcome Kelly Ann Nickels aboard the PADI Divemaster Internshipp program. Kelly is eager and enthusiastic to get going with her new career as a professional diver as she recently completed her PADI Open water, Advanced, EFR and Rescue Diver Program.  During this time Kelly will undertake a handful of tasks including skill circuits and various workshops, which will consist of learning how to assist, teach and supervise on certain PADI sanctioned programs.  Through personal development and demonstrating dive skills, watermanship abilities, handling different diving conditions and circumstances, will provide credibility toward her PADI Divemaster Rating. 

Kelly-DivemasterOther workshops include Search and Recovery, Navigation, Deep, Bouyancy and mapping projects. Kelly will also be taught how to compose boat master duties and deliver briefings to certified divers. Amongst all the fun in the swimming pool and ocean, there are some lectures for dive theory and exams to complete to keep her brain active and updated on PADI Standards for training.

Throughout she will be assisting instructors on courses to gain experience and knowledge that will prepare her for when she starts working as a professional PADI Divemaster.  At the end of the program Kelly will be eligible to lead certiied divers, refresh certified divers skills and help on several PADI sanctioned courses.

Well Done Kelly!!!

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Have you been out the water for a while? Feel a little rusty on your Open Water skill? Then the new PADI Re Activate programme is for you.Completed in just one day this programme includes two open water dives which allow you to get comfortable again in the water.

This is a course that you can start at your leisure. We simply email you an online link to a short theory review,so if you choose it can be completed before you arrive here in Koh Tao. You can also compete the theory when you arrive at Sunshine Divers by using one of our computers.

The practical skills are then completed in confined open water before progressing to dive in open conditions. This basically means in a very short space of time you will be back fun diving with your buddies and enjoying the sites Koh Tao has to offer.

This course can be started at any time and here at Sunshine Divers we have programmes available everyday. We guarantee you will be in a small group of no more than 4 students, sometimes smaller than that. If you wish to have personal 1 to 1 tuition this can also be arranged.

"Skills Practice in Shallow Water for the Re-Activate Program"

"Skills Practice in Shallow Water for the Re-Activate Program"

The price of the whole programme is just 3000 baht. This includes all E-learning material, dive equipment, 2 dives and a new PADI certification card that will be Re-Activated to your current level of diver training. This year is PADI’s 50th Birthday so you will receive the PADI limited edition certification card for free!  So what are you waiting for, come join us for some fun!

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Since June 2014, Sunshine Divers has implemented the NEW-REVISED PADI Open Water Course. Not much has changed with the course structure, yet only a few additional skills have been added to the program to ensure student divers learn further about the importance of diving within a buddy team, focus on their air consumption and breathing methods underwater, along with extra practice on buoyancy techniques on the surface and underwater.

Our PADI Open Water course schedule is conducted over a 4 day period although we are very flexible with the program times to cater to individual student needs. Our group sizes are small with a maximum of 4 student divers to instructor to ensure this is possible. The general program schedule we offer starts Daily at 4pm with an orientation where you will meet your instructor and watch the first initial videos to give you some insight on what you will be learning over the next few days.  Day 2 is where you will head into a confined pool environment and practice all the skills you will need to know to go diving in the open water. Before heading to the ocean - you will still need to complete a few quizzes. Day 3 we start with your first 2 open water dives - here you have the opportunity to experience diving to a depth maximum of 12m. It's pretty cool!  You are on the boat for the full morning and back in time to have some lunch after all that energy use underwater. That afternoon you will need to complete your final theory and exams. Finally Day 4 we head out again on the morning boat and complete your last 2 open water training dives to 18m.  Yes and then you will be certified!

Recently certified PADI Open water divers include : John Flynn, Srihari Gowri Shankar, and Giarav Shah who enjoyed several dive sites around Koh Tao for their training dives with Instructor Kael Grant-King.  The Group size was a total of 3 students with instructor and a Divemaster Candidate Matt Dempsey who was there for additional support.

Congrats Guys - PADI Open water Divers 

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The trigger fish on Koh Tao come in two breeds, the slightly more passive yellow margin and the 'angrier' titan.

Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.But why are they angry? Like most species, they are protecting their territory. Acting in a similar way to the damsel fish, they chase away what they perceive to be a threat to their zone, which is a cone shape above it, along with the odd bite if they are really angry. During mating season, they get angrier than normal. Moody sods! Some of them, however, are simply attacking because they are morons!

lf anyone/thing becomes an annoyance, it will flick up it's hidden trigger fin locked down in its spine. That's your first warning. If you get a second warning, it may tilt on its side to get a better look at the problem. Most times, it will swim away but, if not, it will swim at speed to try and chase the threat away. As a diver, it will actually bite your fins if they are a bright colour as that is what they think the threat is, another fish-like looking thing. It's the one piece of equipment where choosing a colour is actually important!

They mainly feed on coral, using their powerful jaws and teeth to break it apart, they stir up the sand which draws in smaller fish looking to feast on whatever it unearths. Often, they can be seen swimming off with a huge piece of coral in their mouths. The theives of the ocean!

But let's not be afraid of them. The clue is in the name, it's a FISH! A fish that looks awesome and can kick arse.

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It's all in the name; the cleaner wrasse has one job and one job only, to clean. All species of fish need to be cleaned, or, to be more precise, for someone to remove its dead skin cells and parasites that attach themselves to the fish as they sleep at night, hidden amongst the rocks and coral.

This is where the cleaner wrasse comes in. Its job is to remove all this grime by eating it off. Basically, it works for food and gains diplomatic immunity from all species, even the predators.

Fish of all sizes will arrive at a cleaning station which is actually advertied by the wrasse doing an inviting dance. Once the fish has chosen its station, the team of wrasse get to work. Usually led by a male with a team of female workers, he manages his employees, even admonishing them if they get a bit greedy and bite their customers followed by apologising to his client by giving them a fin massage. Fish can watch the cleaners in action and, if they don't like the look of it, they move on to another station just down the coral. However, if you are a diver they are very annoying if you have some open wounds or scabs as they will see that as something that need a good cleaning and, before you know it, MUNCH! They have gobbled up your scab.

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The juvenile in its party clothesThe sweetlips is a fast grower. In its juvenile stages, it is about 2.5cm in length but then will quickly grow to about 60cm. Along with this vast change in size, it also changes its entire colour scheme. It starts as a reddish/brown base with black-ringed white spots which then change to brown spots, which increase in number depending on age, over a white base

However, its most distinguishing feature is its swimming style while still a juvenile. Best described as a drunk partygoer wearing clothes that are much too big, it 'flaps' about using its dorsal fins with an undulated body. This style is meant to mimic flatworms which are noxious and unpalatable to predators. Another unique talent of some members of this species is its ability to 'grunt' by grinding its teeth, the sound is them amplified by its swimbladder.

An adult

Arguably the cutest fish in the ocean in its juvenile form, other fish watch and wish they could party as hard!

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The yellow boxfish is quite a hard one to spot despite its unique shape and bright colour. This is because of their size being about the same as a pea at its smallest. Certain types can, however, grow as big as a football.

Like most other brightly coloured animals, its colour scheme is meant to warn off other animals as this little critter is highly poisonous and can release toxic proteins from its skin if threatened. This protein is so poisonous that it has the potential to kill all animals around it and wipe out an entire aquarium should it find itself unlucky enough to be in one. So don't buy them!

Its habitat is always amongst rocks and coral and its diet mainly consists of algae, worms and small fish. They also enjoy shrimp and crab too!

]Kiss me quick!    Plenty of room in the boot

Odd fact:  Mercedes-Benz designed a concept car based on the boxfish due to its aerodynamic design and skeletal strength - Plenty of room in the boot

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