PADI Re-Activate & PADI Open Water Course

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 & 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

Confined Teaching Session for Open Water Course & Re-Activate Program


Learning to Scuba Dive

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

Congrats Guys – PADI Open water Divers


If you would like further information about the PADI Open water course then email us on  Look forward to hearing from you.





Merry Christmas at Sunshine!!!

Dearest Sunshine Family and Friends,

Christmas is in the air!   The stockings have been hung with care and the cookies have been baked and frosted. The tree has been trimmed and the presents have been wrapped and unwrapped!

The traditional Sunshine “Beer In The Sea – Cocktails on the Beach” was hosted on the 25th December, with Santa and Bartender Matt Dempsey providing a variety of Christmas Cheers!

Family and Friends at Sunshine celebrating Christmas

Family and Friends at Sunshine celebrating Christmas

"Kael Opening his Christmas Stocking"

“Kael Opening his Christmas Stocking”

Sunshine Management has truly appreciated the efforts of our hardworking PADI Instructors for 2015 in creating a fun – team spirit atmosphere within the dive shop, amongst staff and student divers both above and below the water. Through all your efforts Sunshine Divers was able to achieve their mission for this year. The Team effort and cooperation that you all displayed has been the instrument to our success. Sunshine Divers achieved 860 certifications for the year 2015 for all PADI Diver Levels.

So a Massive Thank you to our old and new staff: Dave Rae, Kael Grant King, Abby Krausse, Emily Hong, Winnie Wong, Justin Sobol, Rody, Ties and Shirley, Cilla Lentz, Verity Coleing, Soonie, Michael Corluy, Taras, Derek, Annalise Kingsley, Astrid Vinall and Edward, Mateja Zan, Rebecca & Mark Wastall.

A few highlights of the year in need of recognition:

  • Congratulations to our Sunshine Divemasters that have returned and completed their PADI Instructor Course and are now employed either on Koh Tao or around the world.
  • Congratulations to Kim Van Winkel and Bastian Van der Kuijl who have opened up their Scuba Asia Diving Centre in Nusa Lembongan – Indonesia
  • Congratulations to Winnie Wong and Guillaume Fargues now Husband and Wife
  • Congratulations to Joe and Cherry – Soon to be parents.

We hope to see many of our past guest divers returning for 2016 and new travellers passing through. The only thing left is now to wish you all the Merriest of all Christmases and the Happiest of New Years from all of us!

"Merry Christmas from all at Sunshine"

“Merry Christmas from all at Sunshine”

Wishing you and your loved ones all the wonder and magic of Christmas!

Heartiest Greetings,

Sunshine Divers Management



PADI Bubblemaker

Bring the family and become bubble makers!

Congrats to Malik Boon on his PADI Bubblemaker and PADI Seal Team Certification

Congrats to Malik Boon on his PADI Bubblemaker and PADI Seal Team Certification


Here at Sunshine we run programmes for all the family. From aged 8 you can bring the children and they can join in and become bubble makers. At only 2 metres underwater they get their first insight into diving in a safe and controlled manner. They learn the basics of breathing through regulators, clearing a mask and the sign language needed for the underwater world. We have certificates, stickers and all sorts of treats to make their time a memorable one. As a dive school we make sure our boat goes to shallow designated sites to make for a fun and enjoyable day. As parents if you wish to come along on your child’s first adventure then we would love to have you. We look forward to seeing you here on gorgeous Koh Tao.

Congratulations to Malik Boon on achieving his PADI Bubblemaker and PADI Seal Team Certification.

Becoming a Divemaster at Sunshine Divers

Becoming a PADI Divemaster with Sunshine Divers

Most people arrive on Koh Tao expecting to stay a few days, maybe take a diving course but at Sunshine Divers so many stay for considerably longer? Why is this i hear you ask………

Well once you start diving with Sunshine you become part of a close knit family you will struggle to leave. You enjoy diving, good company and decide to enrol on the Divemaster Programme. So what does this entail?????

Astrid & Mateya  PADI Divemasters who have now become PADI Instructors

Astrid & Mateya
PADI Divemasters who have now become PADI Instructors

Here at Sunshine we offer a flexible programme and free fun diving!!!!! We fit the programme around your time schedule be it 4 weeks or 3 months. You assist on all courses from Open Water through to Rescue having a lot of fun along the way. You conduct skill circuits and group workshops improving your own diving and learn about safety and the environment. You become part of the team and turn from a novice to a PADI professional. Course Director Natalie Hunt oversees the programme and with her 15 years of diving experience there could be no one better to offer you the one to one support you need. You will also be assigned a instructor mentor who you can turn to for advice and who encourages you along the way. There is no doubt you will become good friends. Once your confidence grows you are able to take qualified groups fun diving and lead them around all the sites of Koh Tao. At Sunshine we have not set dive sites like other schools and enjoy taking the groups to all dive areas around the island. This gives you the best navigational skills and training. Sunshine also takes conservation seriously and you will have the opportunity to help with projects, clean up dives and may even get to see wildlife released back into the ocean!

Of course once you have finished the whole programme to qualify you must overcome the final hurdle, the “snorkel test”. A fun night of games and entertainment by the staff and dive masters welcoming you into the professional PADI world. So what you waiting for……how long are you staying????


Gage Coon – PADI Divemaster

My name is Kael grant-king, I am a PADI Open Water Scuba  Instructor at Sunshine Divers. The first time I met Gage Coon he came to us as a fun diver with under 10 dives. After getting to know Gage whilst on the boat we decided to hit up the town where I had the opportunity to learn a lot more about him. Gage told me he was in the United States Army for 6 years and had retired due to medical issues and had been travelling since. As the night went on I convinced Gage to stay on Koh Tao and complete his PADI Divemaster course with us at Sunshine Divers.

Gage Coon with staff and friends at Sunshine Divers

Gage Coon with staff and friends at Sunshine Divers

During the PADI Divemaster course I had the privilege of teaching Gage all about the diving industry and working with him on numerous PADI diving courses. Gage is one the hardest working people I have known, he was always hungry to learn more and the first person to help anyone with whatever it was they needed. Throughout the time I spent with Gage I also had the privlige to learn a lot from him.

Upon completion of his PADI Divemaster course Gage has since come out of retirement and found himself full time employment as a divemaster at another dive centre. The future is looking very bright for Gage and I am honoured to have been a part of Gage’s journey.

Kael Grant-Jones – Divemaster Mentor for Gage Coon

Trio Specialty Promotion – 2015

Come and join in on our fantastic new promotional package for the Trio Specialty including Deep, Wreck and Nitrox Diver Certifications. Expand your horizons for longer and deeper diving, along with the opportunity to penetrate through a wreck.

Wreck Specialty Course

Wreck Specialty Course

This package includes 8 dives over 4 days, where two of these dives will be conducted using Enriched Air tanks.  During the course duration accommodation will be reduced depending on the room choice and on completion of the course you will receive a Free PADI T-shirt.

Trio Spec

Trio Spec - Promotion

Trio Spec – Promotion

As Enriched Air is a program that can be conducted without any diving, we offer the use of blended nitrox tanks for one of your Deep Dives and during the final dive for wreck penetration.

During the Deep Dive you will review risk factors and decompression-tables, safety stop and emergency decompression procedures; use special equipment, descent lines and buoyancy control considerations; procedures for  flying after diving and an orientation to recompression chambers, to prepare you for deeper depths of the underwater world.

Deep Dive 1:

  • Descent using a visual line
  • Describe and record changes in colours at Depth
  • Compare depth gauges
  • Use a depth gauge and timing device to measure ascent rates not to exceed 18m per minute
  • Perform a safety stop

Deep Dive 2:

  • Perform a free descent using a reference line
  • Describe changes that occur to three pressure sensitive items while at depth
  • Perform a navigation swim with a compass – using a reference line for a distance of between 10 and 20 kick cycles
  • Perform an ascent using a reference line, and conduct a 3 minute safety stop without physically holding on to a reference line for positioning

Deep Dive 3:

  • Use a descent line for reference
  • Compare the amount of time needed to complete a task on the surface and at depth
  • Perform a safe ascent and an 8 minute simulated emergency decompression stop at 5 metres while breathing from and emergency air source for at least one minute of the total time

Deep Dive 4:

  • Use a descent line for reference or visual guide
  • Complete an underwater tour of the area
  • Perform a safe ascent, using depth gauge and timing device
  • Perform a 3 min safety stop

During the Wreck training dives on the 742 Sattakut Navy Ship Wreck  you will focus on mapping the wreck, learning tie offs, using reels and torches and penetrating the wreck. Here you will review the origins of shipwrecks laws, identify hazards, conditions and various interesting facts about the wreck.

Wreck Dive 1:

  • Swim along the outside of the wreck, maintaining buoyancy control and identifying and avoiding potential hazards
  • Navigate the wreck so that the ascent point can be located without surfacing.
  • Maintain neutral buoyancy and body position that avoids the bottom

Wreck Dive 2:

  • Swim along the outside of the wreck and map the wreck determining approximate size and marking points of interest
  • Survey a wreck for a penetration dive and evaluate possible entrances
  • Navigate the wreck

Wreck Dive 3:

  • Demonstrate the deployment and retrieval of a penetration line, for practice on the outside of a wreck
  • Swim along the deployed penetration line so as to maintain contact with the line without kicking up silt and holding on to a dive light
  • Navigate the wreck

Wreck Dive 4 (A):

  • Plan and perform an actual wreck penetration under direct supervision :
  • Determine air supply and penetration limits
  • Swimming without causing excessive silt disturbance
  • Maintaining contact with the line
  • Using a dive light while following a penetration line

Wreck Dive 4 (B)

  • Organize and conduct a wreck dive with a buddy, but with only minimal instructor assistance
  • Swim on the outside of a wreck, identifying and avoiding possible hazards.
  • Navigate on a wreck so as to locate the ascent point without surfacing

The combination of all three of these specialties will help develop your personal skills especially buoyancy and air consumption techniques which are very useful in diving generally.

For further information regarding the Trio Specialty Promotion please contact us on


PADI Recreational Sidemount Diver Course – Promotion

PADI Recreational Sidemount Diver Course 

Learn to configure your dive cylinder in a new and different way with the PADI Sidemount Diver course. Sidemount offers an alternative way to streamline yourself and your equipment by positioning your scuba cylinders on the side of your body. provides more flexibility to move in the water and takes the pressure off your back. Another benefit to this program is that with two air cyclinders, you increase your bottom time with the additional gas supply.

"Recreational PADI Sidemount Diver"

“Recreational PADI Sidemount Diver”


What you learn:

Recreational Sidemount is a non-decompression dive course where you are limited to the maximum depth of 40m or depth pertaining to your current level of certification.  Here you will learn more about gas management procedures, equipment considerations such as cylinder attachments and deployment of surface markers. During this course you will also further develop your Trim and Bouyancy.

What you need to take the Course: 

  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or Equivalent
  • Minimum 15 years of age

Duration of the Course:

  • Three (3) days which includes a Confined pool session and 4 open water dives


Day 1: Theory and Pool/Confined Session

Day 2: 2 x Open water dives and theory

Day 3: 2 x Open water dives and final exam

Cost and what is included:

15,000 baht and includes the PADI Sidemount Materials and Certification, Equipment use during the course and reduced rates on accommodation at Sunshine Divers Bungalow resort during the course.


If you book during the month of November/December 2015 we will offer a 10% discount on the course price.






Chalok Baan Kao – Coral Nursery Exploration and Clean up Dive

On the 15th October 2015, A group of divers interested in cleaning up Chalok Baan Kao conducted a clean up dive out the front of where the Sunshine Dive Centre is located. A walk from the dive shop to the beach and off into the sea, ten divers of all levels participated in the shore dive on Chalok Reef – Chalok Baan Kao – Clean up and Coral Nursery Exploration

Participants for the Clean up dive

Participants for the Clean up dive

A number of items were collected with total of 5 kg of trash, with a few interesting items that we found including a football t-shirt, pair of board-shorts, plate & knife and light bulbs. It is not a surprise that these items were collected as over the rainy season and heavy winds, local fishing boats tend to moor up in the bay for shelter. car rental Of course the possiblity these items were torn from the boat due to winds and thrown overboard.



Our aim for the clean-up dives is to not only keep our underwater environment trash free, but to hopefully install awareness to the local fisherman about the importance of placing trash in the appropriate area and to recycle items such as plastic and glass item. (eg. bottes)

Project Aware - Marine Debri Mesh Bag

Project Aware – Marine Debri Mesh Bag

As the group were cleaning up the dive site we also explored the New Heaven Coral Nursery which consisted of bottles and pipe formations to re-generate corals (staghorn coral) and also closed cages housing clams from predators to increase the clam population on Koh Tao.

The reef crest of the bay is composed of a diverse range of hard corals, dominated by Foliose, Massive, Submassive, and Branching (Primarily Pavona, Acropora, Porties, Platygyra and Symphilia).

Giant Clam Conservation

Giant Clam Conservation

Glass Bottle Nurseries

Glass Bottle Nurseries







Sairee Beach – Clean-Up Dive – 11th October 2015

As part of the PADI Divemaster Program, Sunshine Divers implements the Project Aware – Marine Debri Specialty program within the curriculum. Every Divemaster Candidate has to be involved in at least 3 Ecological activities.

PADI and Project Aware have several programs available including: Project AWARE Specialty Course, Marine Debri Specialty Course, Shark Conservation Awareness Specialty Course and The Coral Reef Conservation Course.

On a regular basis we offer Land and Underwater Clean up dives so that our Candidates may learn more about the environment they are diving in during their time on the island, and also focus on ways to pass on their knowledge to other divers and the local community.

Gage Coon – currently a PADI Divemaster Candidate took part in the underwater clean up on Sairee Beach, West Coast Beach on Koh Tao where he co-ordinated the dive with guest divers, collected trash from around the dive site and once on the boat – recorded the items collected.

Great work Gage – let’s continue to keep our oceans clean!

Gage - Recording the data collected from Sairee Beach Dive

Gage – Recording the data collected from Sairee Beach Dive

Bottles, Fishing Line, Cans, and more

Bottles, Fishing Line, Cans, and more

Sorting through the trash and recording the data with Gage and Abby

Sorting through the trash and recording the data with Gage and Abby