Dusky Damsel fish

Instructor Mike takes on a mighty damsel fish patrolling its sponge coral zone

Instructor Mike takes on a mighty damsel fish patrolling its sponge coral zone

The dusky damsel fish (or Stegastes cuscus if you want to sound smart!) is a popular little fellow here on Koh Tao. Found at shallow depths, this frisky little guy will fight off anything that gets inside his territory.

Spending most of their lives in a living space averaging just 0.6 metres square, they will protect this space from anything no matter how big it may be. A Titan Trigger fish? It laughs in its face! A scuba diver blowing bubbles everywhere? PAH! That’s nothing to this mini powerhouse!

It patrols its zone ever more aggressively depending on how rich it is in its food source, algae. Its zone also provides it with hiding spots, perhaps for a sneak attack on whoever gets too close.

Its colour depends on its breed and where it lives in the world but the ones in Koh Tao are a dark grey colour becoming a flushed yellow in its face when it gets defensive, or becomes a ‘damsel in distress’!

Great fun to have a little boxing match with. They never give up!

 

 

 

 

Professional images of your PADI diving course!

Did you know that you can have really nice, professional shots of your PADI Open water course?!

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Our ‘house’ photographer who has over 10 years experience is joining you on the last day of the course to make some cool, funny and incredible beautiful pictures! Ideal to bring back home and show all your friends and family of your first experience underwater! Also ideal to show the world on Facebook your experience and maybe even for that perfect profile picture ;-)

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In this blog a few of those awesome shots. If you want to find out more about our photographer click here.

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Scuba diving with your family

You maybe think that scuba diving is just for people above 12 years old? Well, than you are wrong. Kids can start getting that first feeling of scuba diving already as of 8 years old and progress further to jr Open water divers and so on.

family course kidsYou also maybe think that scuba diving is only suitable for backpackers, girls and guys who travel the world, honeymooners, young professionals etc. Well guess again! Scuba diving is one the most intense and fun thing to do during your family holiday! What a great way of spending time together, learning new stuff, spending time with your kids or your parents in a totally new world. Experience all the excitement together that very first time you go underwater, studying in one of Thailand’s best class rooms on the beach and most of all celebrating together when you actually completed that wonderful first level of scuba diving!

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At Sunshine Divers we provide scuba courses for everyone in your own language! Ideal for you and your family if you speak Dutch, German, French etc. Hope to see you guys soon!

 

Shark preservation

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More terrifying without !

100 millions of sharks are killed every year. Sharks are nevertheless an essential link of the ocean’s ecosystem.

http://www.shark.ch/Preservation/

All around the world the consequences are irreversible.

And as divers we need to notice that (if not done yet) and spread the info to open minds. We are the underwater world ambassadors, let’s act like.

First lesson, sharks are not as dangerous for humans, humans are way more dangerous to each other. Homo homini lupus  “man is a wolf to [his fellow] man.”  By the way wolves are as dangerous as sharks if we trust this scheme.

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Let’s create a soup of mosquito’s wings to heal old people, but it’s time to stop killing sharks all around the world for obscure reason. The consequences will change the world too much, that’s certain, how? We don’t know yet, but we can tell not in the best way.

If you want to know more I invite you to read that   http://www.sharksavers.org/en/education/the-value-of-sharks/sharks-role-in-the-ocean/.

 

So from now, we can start to think differently about sharks, especially for those who still think sharks are like in “jaws” and attack people for no reason. Just a mind changing make lots of differences.

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Smaller groups, BIGGER fun!

Here at Sunshine Divers, our maximum group size is just 4 people. We believe that this creates for a far more productive and fun learning environment for everyone involved, including the instructor!

Student questions can be given more time to address, group discussions provoke fun and interesting debates and if you have any problems learning a particular skill, more time and dedication can be focused on you in order to help you achieve your goals underwater.

It’s also far less stressful. You don’t feel pressured to be just like the other 10 people who may have mastered the skill before it is your turn to have a go. Progression is more organic and friendly as everyone tries to help their fellow divers.

Socome and try out our ‘intimate’ style of teaching PADI courses here at SunshineDivers. Relax in the calming atmosphere of Chalok at the southern tip of Koh Tao. We promise you will never look back!

2 students and 1 instructor today

2 students and 1 instructor today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunshine through the eyes of DMT Cloe

There is just something about the little island of Koh Tao that keeps you coming back for more, the first time I came here was when I was 12. I was travelling with my parents and brother and we wanted to try a bit of Scuba Diving so we came to sunshine divers as we found it had a close and intimate feel. They don’t teach in classes bigger than four which was perfect for us.

DMT Cloe

I done my Jr Open Water Course in 2007, I didn’t know it yet but I was hooked since then. I came back again In January 2013 to take my Advanced Course then back again in September the same year to complete my Rescue Diver… and here I am again! The following year back to take my Divemaster, you could say there’s also something about Sunshine Divers that brings you back! I choose Sunshine partly because I’d been here before so I was comfortable knowing that once I left England I would be happy in this place for a few months, but also because they are a great dive school and teach to a high standard.

Sunshine divers have a lot to offer and give you options so you can complete the course with your needs, I always enjoy my time here as there is never a dull moment. I am looking forward to continuing my Divemaster training and can’t wait until I complete the course. Big thanks to Natalie, Kim and Chris who encourage me each time I am here.

Perfect Dives for perfect students.

This morning, people struggled a little bit to start the day, to feel really awake, might be the moon, who knows.

But as we were approaching Chumphon pinnacle everybody started to get excited, and for a reason, that was great, as expected. School of barracuda surrounded us, while a big thick school of trevallies was following us from below, trying to find a way between rocks, add to that some huge macquerels and groupers and you’ll be still far from the amazement divers felt today.

By the way, as we talking about divers, let me introduce our new certified open water, Dom and Alice, a lovely and fun english couple who gave a great and easy moment to their instructor, Jonathan and his assistant Louis, as they were perfect all the course long. Nobody could believe that they were beginners, even the other instructors; diving and theory… finger in the nose.  Congratulations to them. P1000917P1000927

Join us to have fun too, on the boat, and in the classroom on the beach !

Congrats to our new certified divers

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Congratulations to Vincent for finishing his open water course and Jamie who finished his Advance open water course with Jonathan.

Great dives with perfect conditions, 25m of visibility, turtles and barracudas made the course going even greater. Their instructor is very proud of them as they were very nice in the water.

Great divers are born.

Night Diving

Just because the sun has gone down not mean the underwater world is inaccessable to you, not by a long shot. In fact, it becomes another place entirely with all the daytime fish now sleeping or hiding from predators and all the night owls come out to party!

Armed with a trusty torch, off you go looking under all the nooks and crannys. Perhaps you’ll see a sleeping trigger fish wedged in a little crevice with its eyes and mouth open (probably drooling!). You will see many tiny eyes looking up at you, these belong to all the tiny shrimp plotting to takeover the world. Blue-spotted stingrays come out for a good feeding so when you see a patch of disturbed sand, that’ll be the stingray doing some digging.

Planning on a fish dish?

Planning on a fish dish?

All those shells you saw diring the day, think nothing is inside them? Think again! Henry the Hermit crab likes to take evening strolls and drop by to see his mate Ursula the urchin for a chin-wag.

Letsgo clubbing!

Lets go clubbing!

But how about something totally different? Take a gander at this ‘beauty’! This cuttle fish was inspecting Twins recently and was in no rush to get anywhere. Must have been too early for him. Then changed colour a couple of times, just to show off!

Do the cuttle-struttle!

Do the cuttle-struttle!

See? Plenty to see so ask us about the PADI night dive here at Sunshine Divers.

 

Save Koh Tao Festival – 2014

The past few days saw the return of the Save Koh Tao festival and there was plenty going on to keep you busy!

It’s not just a dive centre thing, the entire island gets involved in the events such as the cycle Koh Tao event. For a day, the main road was taken over by cyclists who rode from Sairee, down to Chalok and then back again. For those looking for a little more of a challenge, they also rode up a steep hill to viewpoint.

During that day the cyclists also could get body refuels with the ‘One free day’ whereby many of the restaurants and shops gave away one free item per person be it water; fruit; sandwiches etc.

At the actual festival site, there were many shows put on by some of the dive shops and also the local schools here. Surrounded by stalls selling a variety of delicious food and drinks, you also could enjoy plenty of live music; a thai boxing dance show or even watch the ‘Miss Koh Tao’ competition!

Koh Tao also is now home to some more giant clams and sea turtles as they were released into our waters as part of the festival.

Sunshine and Bans had an ‘eco stand’ at the festival which chronicled our various clean-up and crown of thorns population control dives. There was also information on the various eco courses run here such as the Project Aware shark conservation course and Ban’s B.E.A.C.H. (Ban’s Ecological Action for Coastal Health) program.

"Sunshine & Bans Diving ECO Stand at the Save Koh Tao Festival 2014"

“Sunshine & Bans Diving ECO Stand at the Save Koh Tao Festival 2014″

All money raised from this 2 day event is put towards various environmental schemes on the island such as mooring line replacement as well as helping out the various schools on the island. Everyone is a winner!