Peak performance buoyancy (PPB for short) can be taken as part of the advanced open water course or on its own as an adventure dive. But what is it and what can you expect to do during it and what will it do for you?
First of all, you need to check your weights. Hold your breath on the surface, deflate your BCD and hopefully you are floating at eye-level. If not, adjust those weights.
Next up are 3 different trim positions: Vertical, Horizontal and upside-down. All call for different breathing techniques, getting your body into an unfamiliar position and taking charge of things! Your body may want to float away or your legs hang down. All will be adjusted to help you achieve hat fish-like swimming style.
Then your instructor will give you some extra challenges such as swimming through hoops, controlled kicking styles or just some crazy games. Have a look at some of the challenges that await you..
After 3 months of training, Sunshine Divers is proud to present you with Kael the DM!
Kael models his new T-shirt! Nancy boy!
Kael assisted on courses ranging from discover scuba diving and up to rescue diver. Along with all this, he completed some swimming tasks, drew a map of a dive site, working in the shop and did all his exams with exceptional results.
Kael now moves onto his instructor course in the next week. Good luck!
As a special bonus, he also his bringing up our local Burmese boy, Zo!
The Sunshine boat needs more than istructors and divemasters to run smoothly, no, it also needs “The boat boys”. But who are the boat boys and what do they do?
First, we have Goye. He can be found mainly sitting around your bags in the middle of the boat. He helps you in the water, takes away your empty tanks, moors the boat up and is the general helper. Here he is after taking some random pictures:
And this is is view most of the time:
Goye observes a course from his post
Then there is Mao, the long haired lad. He can be found mainly at the back of the boat managing the air compressor and filling the tanks. Shyer than Goye but he’s a cheeky chap who will occasionally come diving with you, just for a bit of fun. Here he is:
A perfectly normal day on the boat
So there you go. Come and meet them and maybe you can throw them into the sea too!
My girlfriend and i came to this little slice of paradise to do our
advanced open water back in 2012 as koh tao came highly recommended by a
friend. As we walked along the beautiful beach of chalok bay we went
into a few different dive shops but we couldn't go past the friendly
atmosphere of sunshine divers. By the time we had finished our advanced
open water course we felt we were treated like family everyone here at
sunshine. We knew that we just had to come back the next year and do our
rescue and stay a bit longer. When we arrived at sunshine the next year
we were greeted by all the staff and welcomed back into the sunshine
family with open arms.
I am currently doing my divemaster at sunshine
divers it has been such a journey already i have made friends for life
along the way and have had the best guidance thanks to the experienced
instructors. I am looking forward to doing my idc because i am confident
the staff here will make me into the best dive professional i can be!
The trigger fish on Koh Tao come in two breeds, the slightly more passive yellow margin and the ‘angrier’ titan.
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!
Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
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.
Last week Instructor Chris, DMT’s Chloe and Abby along with AOW Diver Sam went back to the classroom to learn an Alternative Form of diving, PADI Recreational Sidemount.
So what is Sidemount Diving? Sidemount diving as the name suggests is where the scuba cylinders are mounted along the side of the divers body between the underneath of the shoulders and along the hips. The benefits of this for not only technical divers but also recreational is that it increases the flexibility, accessibility, streamlining, safety and comfort.
For all of us, coming from a recreational background the first session brought along one of the biggest challenges – equipment configuration. Moving from using one tank to two brings with it equipment considerations beyond just where the tanks are to be mounted. By the end of the first day of theory and confined pool sessions all of us had a perfect sidemount set up and were ready to hit the ocean the following day.
During the 3 training dives in the ocean we practised the skills which had been conducted in the confined Pool session. These included, Gas Management (switching between the two tanks), out of air and free flow. We were all tested on these skills throughout the three dives and were all more the comfortable by the end of the course
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.
Sunshine DMT’s Chloe and Abby organised a clean up dive at Hin Wong Bay today where them and ten other participants helped to collect between 30 and 40kg’s of rubbish, which included; 109 plastic bottles, 83 plastic bags, 36 plastic lids, 19 flip flops and other general waste. We will be going back there in the next couple of weeks to conduct further clean up dives as there is still more trash to be collected.
The 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
The juvenile in its party clothes
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.