Meet Jack, one of our newly qualified PADI Divemasters!
Where are you from? What were you doing before coming to Koh Tao?
I live in East Anglia in England. Before I came to Koh Tao I finished my A levels and after a brief break went straight into a full time job for 6 months to fund my trip to Thailand.
What made you want to become a PADI Pro? What made you choose Koh Tao?
After having done my Open Water in Greece and then Advanced in the UK I enjoyed it so much that I knew I wanted to carry on diving, the next logical step up after doing my Advanced Open Water was coming to Koh Tao to do my Rescue Course and Divemaster! As a PADI Pro you get to introduce new people to diving and also share your passion for diving, what more can anyone ask for!? Part of the reason I chose Koh Tao was due to weather (and warm waters!) but also because of the vast array of dive sites which made diving so interesting and varied. One word… Chumphon.
What were the best aspects of your DM course at Master Divers?
The whole programme was really enjoyable but a personal highlight for me was assisting on courses, from Open waters to Rescues, all the instructors at MD are really great at what they do and have great banter, so assisting is always a pleasure. Open waters are great because you get to watch the development of new divers and also help overcome any problems they have. Assisting Advanced Open Water is great, and for the deep dive you normally go to Chumphon (as you can probably tell, I really like Chumphon). Finally for the rescue course you normally get to enact as a distressed diver (jumping in the water and flailing your arms) which is always good fun!
What was your favorite/most memorable part of the course?
Easily the most memorable moment from the program was doing with DSD (Discover Scuba Diving) workshop with Gaz. To be fully prepared as a Divemaster you must know how to deal with problems encountered by new divers, the workshop consisted of Gaz giving us multiple scenarios at once. For example; what if your student throws their regulator away under water? What if they decide to start power inflating the BCD and start a rapid ascent? All of these problems you must overcome and be fully prepared to deal with when you become a working Divemaster, the workshop was really challenging but also prepares you for any eventualities in the future!
Do you feel the course has prepared you for the Professional world of diving?
Yes, I do. The amount you learn from the 6-8 weeks of training is mind blowing, from completing the Divemaster manual, to doing workshops, to assisting on courses, to completing the swim tests, to giving dive briefings and many other things. There is a reason behind why you do each of these and they not only improves you as a Diver but teaches you how to manage a group of people and help others.
Was there an instructor or staff member in particular who really helped you or enhanced your DM course?
Let me first say, all the instructors at MD are really good at what they do and all of them have an overwhelming passion for diving and teaching others how to dive. For me though Gaz, Danny and Josh really stood out, I did most of my workshops, skill circuits and other training with these three and felt that the quality of teaching was top notch. They all bring a huge amount of experience to the table and this definitely rubs off.
What is your favorite activity on Koh Tao when not diving? What is your favorite restaurant on the island?
One thing I really enjoy doing is exploring the island, hiring a bike and just riding around finding new places, there are some really nice beaches and bays to chill out on around Koh Tao so I would definitely recommend having a look around when you’re not diving. For my favorite restaurant, I don’t think I have a specific one, I try to vary where I eat, but to name a few good ones; Enjoy, Zanzibar (amazing burgers), Sawadee.
What’s the best thing about Koh Tao in general?
I think it’s a mixture of, great weather, warm waters, awesome diving, good food and a generally chilled atmosphere. There is something for everyone on Koh Tao which is what makes it so appealing I think, the fact that it is so cheap and affordable here makes it so much better as well, and allows visitors to stay longterm.
What are your future plans?!
I’m looking into doing my IDC (Instructor Development Course) to become an Open Water Instructor. From there the possibilities are endless, I want to try and do some diving in other parts of Asia or even across the world, maybe even try some Tec diving?