Assava Divers Posts

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Dive Master Exchange With Assava Dive Resort and Sail Rock Divers.

Myself – Kelley and one other dive master candidate Marko, were the lucky ones selected to go from Assava Dive Resort on Koh Tao to Sail Rock Divers on Koh Phangan as part of an exchange program between our two PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centres. Two Divemaster Candidates from each school where chosen to experience how another dive shop is run and gain a different perception of how dive operations run at a new location and dive sites.

I can't say enough good things about the experience it was truly the type of trip that money just can't buy. We arrived first thing in the morning and were picked up by Peter, one of their senor instructors, and shown around the shop. It was really interesting to see how another dive shop was set up and works. After a small tour of the area and a little breakfast at a local restaurant we went for an afternoon dive at one of the local dive sites called Mae Haad.

We did a shore dive, was a fun experience since as this is not something that is common on Koh Tao. In the briefing before the dive we were given some basic tips on navigating the site and at some point during the dive we were both asked to lead the dive for a bit. It was a great experience for navigating a dive site that was not familiar to us.

When we got back to the shop we were shown to our bungalows that we would stay in for the night. Both were just steps from the dive shop itself and very comfortable and spacious having separate bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms and even air-conditioning! After getting settled in to our rooms we were given scooters to borrow so that we could go explore the island of Koh Phangan. We drove for maybe 45 minutes and eventually ended up having lunch on a beautiful beach on the other side of the island. Having stayed on Koh Tao for some time, it was nice to be able to drive around for so long and see what a much larger island has to offer.

On our return to the shop the Sail Rock staff put together a BBQ and social event to welcome us to the shop. Fantastic food and a great way to meet everyone and enjoy the little bar they have on site. Such amazing hospitality and everyone was so great and welcoming, it was a real joy.

The next morning we headed out early to the dive boat - for Sail Rock, possibly one of the best dive sites this area has to offer. On board we had breakfast and lunch provided. When we got to Sail Rock, we had the opportunity to help with the dive site setup by securing buoys in a way that they wouldn't damage the reef and would allow them to do all the training skills that require the use of a line. After we had a great tour of the Sail Rock and all it has to offer. On our second dive we were lead by one of the dive master candidates from Sail Rock Divers for about half the dive then I had the chance to lead that was really fun and a great experience. We ended the dive with three friendly Whale Sharks and were also greeted by an amazing pod of Pilot Whales. Definitely more than we could have ever asked for!

On the way back to the shop everyone's spirits were high from the truly spectacular dives but I couldn't help but feel a little sad that we would be leaving in a few hours. After meeting everyone and having such an amazing time, I would have loved to be able to stay for a few more days and continue to learn from the team there but all good things must come to an end. One thing is for sure, I will definitely be going back to visit Sail Rock Divers to do a few more dives with them and say hello!

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