So every year Koh Tao has a festival aimed at raising money and awareness for great causes such as Project Aware. This year on Koh Tao, it was decided there would be a Trash Sculpture competition. The objective was simple, build a marine life sculpture out of trash that had been collected from the island and the dive site. If the sculpture could have some sort of use after the competition then that was even better.
Here at Sunshine Divers, we take environmental issues very seriously and obviously wanted to get involved in the competition. As we are the only dive school on the island to have ‘Adopted a Dive Site’ through Project Aware. We decided to take our boat out to our dive site, Lighthouse Bay, to see what we could collect.
Our sculpture, the Jellyfish Chandelier, was built using the trash we collected from Lighthouse Bay. It consists of plastic 1ltr water bottles that are one of the scourges of the island, plastic bags, old biscuit tins, old building materials such as bamboo poles all added to some old paperwork that was collecting dust at the dive school. The only item bought for our structure were the flashing lights.
Nat & Mark Speech about the Sculpture development
We covered our Jelly fish and biscuit tin base with paper maché made using water and flour. The jelly fish were coloured using coffee granules and water. We used sand to weigh down the base then added the old plastic bags and bottles to look like tentacles. Lastly the lights were added for final magic touch!
It was a closely fought contest with some great entries by other schools and Sunshine Divers were proud to send Natalie Hunt and Mark Wastall to collect their prize having come in as runner up to fantastic looking Sea Horse sculpture that will be sunk in the ocean to form an artificial reef.
Seeing the sculptures on show brings home how much rubbish is being dropped around our island and dive sites and whilst Sunshine will continue with their regular clean ups in Chalok and Lighthouse Bay we can all do our bit. Whenever you dive, why not take a Project Aware mesh bag with you and pick up anything that shouldn’t be there?? Every little helps!
Jelly Fish Lamp Sculpture
After doing my PADI Open Water and PADI Advanced Open water course with Sunshine Divers, I knew that this was the place I was going to complete my Divemaster Training. I’ve always really appreciated the family like atmosphere around the dive school and whoever passes through to complete any course here will always be introduced with such professionalism and positive feelings.
Sam PADI DIvemaster at Sunshine Divers
I started my PADI Divemaster Course straight after completing my PADI Rescue Diver program at the start of this year and overall it took around 8 weeks to complete. I had a steady balance of taking my time and really enjoying all the dive sites around Koh Tao and gaining the experience to make sure I was proactive and always assisting courses and helping out whenever I was needed.
My favourite part of the Divemaster Course was assisting the senior members of staff on their courses whether it was a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Program, PADI Open Water, PADI Advanced or PADI Rescue Divers Course. I also enjoyed the chance to help out in the PADI Instructor Development Course as a problem student where i really gained further assurance in my personal ability as a PADI Divemaster.
I will treasure the whole experience forever and I am very grateful for all the senior members of staff, the DMT’s/ DM’s around me at the time of my internship and all the friends I have made throughout my training that helped me in their individual ways.
Sam assisting on courses with Rebecca Wastall and Student Divers
I am now currently working at Sunshine Divers as a PADI Divemaster and I’m loving every minute of it!
Sam Gozzett – June 2016
Congratulations to our new group of PADI Professionals!!
“PADI Divemaster Professionals Helly, Sam, Nick and Wilko!!!”
Sam, Nick, Wilco and Helly worked their way through the Divemaster program with us here at Sunshine Divers. During the program they learned how to become the role model required of a PADI professional.
Working along side our core instructors, the 4 divemaster candidates, evolved their diving skills, conversed with customers, took on shop duties, assisted Instructors with teaching new divers and led qualified divers around dive sites. On top of all this, the fabulous 4 also learnt rescue techniques, search and recovery, knot tying, boat master duties and navigation.
After all the learning, it was time to let off some steam with an evening of fun and games!
“Chris Turner co-ordinating the Divemaster Challenge”
A good time was had by all when the 4 newly qualified Divemasters had to perform a treasure hunt, a blindfolded equipment set up, a fairly impossible knowledge review and the famous ‘sugary doughnut’ game. This all topped off with the infamous snorkel test!
Helly, Sam, Nick and Wilko!!!
If you are interested in becoming a PADI Professional and would like more information about the PADI Divemaster Program, please feel free to get in touch with us here at Sunshine Divers.
“IT’S A FAMILY THING”
“The Lockhart Famly with Rebecca Wastall”
This month I (Rebecca Wastall) was lucky enough to teach the whole family. The Lockharts arrived on the island not knowing they were even going to dive! They found us here at Sunshine by chance and we are glad they did. The group consisted of one Open Water, one Junior Open Water and one Re-Activate. Unfortunately the youngest at aged 6 was a little to young to get his licence but had great fun coming on the boat and being the “boatmaster”.
At aged 11 Louis was excited to be under the water, his buoyancy and speed took some controlling but by dive 4 he had nailed it. Well done Louis. Helen was nervous at first in the pool but soon overcame her nerves and conquered the mask clearing exercise. Young master Max was entertained by our Divemaster Sam with snorkelling and games in the pool whilst the family undertook all their skills. After 3 days all were fun diving together and all achieved their family goals of diving as a family.
“Louis & Max”
We hope to see them soon to continue to there Advance Open Water.
So if you are a family with mixed abilities or age then don’t let this stop you giving diving a go! Here at Sunshine we go above and beyond to accommodate you. At only aged 8 you can complete your PADI Bubblemaker and at aged 10 your PADI Open water. For those just a bit too young we take pride in including them in the family experience with snorkelling and games both in the pool and ocean. For those already certified but maybe a bit rusty you can enjoy Re-Activiating your learning by joining the family experience with skills in the pool then fun diving with them alongside the course.
So what you waiting for, come join the party.
What an honor to be mentioned under the Sunshine Divers news with one of my fellow divers, Mike Kaplan. Wow!
The course, which was excellently instructed, was pure pleasure to take, and my fellow divers and our instructors a real pleasure to get to know and share this incredible experience with. I feel lucky and grateful.
“Mark, Mike, Bex, Bill, Sam and Pegah”
My ‘trip advisor’ and booking.com reviews are coming soon. Unfortunately I must leave the island tomorrow morning early. Can’t wait to get back here a.s.a.p. and step up to my Advanced level! http://www.sunshine-diveresort.com
Never too old to learn PADI!
Today Bill and Mike showed the world that you are never too old to take the plunge underwater. Mike aged 70 decided simply that diving was something he has never tried, so “why not” was his response when asked why he decided to gain his PADI. Bill had an entirely different approach and had in mind a retirement career if he enjoyed the course. Both excelled in their course completing it in 3 1/2 days with instructor Rebecca. Both plan to continue diving, Bill hopes to return in July to complete his Advance Course. For Mike his qualification will now let him dive with a good friend already a qualified PADI diver. The course was a pleasure to teach, keep on diving boys!
“Congrats to Mike and Bill” with Rebecca & Sam
So are you a little older? Is diving something you have thought you would would like to try but never ticked it off that bucket list? Here at Sunshine Divers we offer small groups with individual tuition making sure your training is to the highest quality and competency. We pride ourselves on mastery of learning and make sure you leave not only with the desire to keep on diving but also that you are able to recognise safety as the highest priority. We start courses everyday so please send us an email with your requirements and we would be delighted to help you on your own road to becoming a PADI diver.
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”
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!
“Enjoying the Underwater Tour of shallow dive sites on Koh Tao”
So what are you waiting for, come join us for some fun!
Been out of the water for a while??
Why not come and refresh your skills at Sunshine Divers with our PADI ReActivate program.
This program consists of a small knowledge review that is conducted online before or during your stay with us, using the PADI Touch or e-learning application.
After we have gone through the knowledge review we spend half a day taking you through a skills circuit in our pool, refreshing all your underwater skills and keeping you up to date with some new techniques.
For a PADI diver who completes both the knowledge review and the dive skills refresher you will receive a new PADI certification card with ReActivate on it.
Paul, Emerson & Andrea with Instructor Mark Wastall
Paul, Emerson and Andrea recently completed a skills circuit with their instructor Mark Wastall at Sunshine Divers. Paul was already a certified Advanced Open Water diver but had been out the water for the past 4 years. As his partner, Emerson, was training for his Open Water certification along with Andrea, Paul decided to reassess his skills by completing a Scuba review. He then went on to enjoy fun diving at many of the dive sites around our beautiful island of Koh Tao. Andrea and Emerson both successfully completed their PADI Open Water course and can now enjoy being certified PADI divers!
Confined Teaching Session for Open Water Course & Re-Activate Program
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
If you would like further information about the PADI Open water course then email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Look forward to hearing from you.