So, it’s low season here in Koh Tao. This means less visitors to the island and monsoon seems to have started (I am sat in The Coconut Monkey watching the rain as I type).
For some, it’s time to go on holiday or even to go home for a few months to catch up with family. High season generally gets going around December time. I’m planning on visiting the West coast for a diving holiday (that’s what we do, go on holiday to do what we do everyday!) for a few days later in November.
Here down at Master Divers, it’s a perfect opportunity to overhaul all of our equipment. Something we’re very proud of here is the quality and condition of our equipment, so it’s servicing time!
Scuba tanks are required to be visually inspected annually and hydrostatic tested every five years. Time to dig out the spreadsheets and start finding tanks. We have around 130 tanks, fortunately we spread the service schedule out over the year for some but the majority are due between September and December. We take the valves off (we service our own valves) and send them off to Asia Dive Tech in Mae Haad for visual or hydro testing. Regulators are also serviced annually and we do this in-house. Service kits are ordered and it’s a great time to hide in the workshop out of the rain pulling them all apart and servicing them. Our second stages are given a basic clean weekly so our regulators are well looked after throughout the year too! (Best addition to a workshop? A Bose Bluetooth Speaker!).
Masks and straps are inspected weekly for signs of wear and tear so no real need to worry about them as they are replaced as and when required.
BCD’s and wetsuits – Now is time to repair or replace, fortunately, most of ours are fairly new! Fins and straps are also overhauled.
Also, at this time of year, all the dive shops on the island send their boats off for annual service and repaint. Usually they are sent to dry dock in Chumpon for 2-4 weeks. One day I’ll get over there and have a look at the process, it must be crazy busy over there at this time of year! Our smaller boat was sent earlier this year and the big boat goes over in the next few days. Timing is critical on this with regards to boat space, bookings and also weather conditions for it’s safe journey there and back (people still dive in monsoon!).
So whilst some shops/PADI Pro’s enjoy a holiday or quieter months, down here at Master Divers it stays busy but with slightly different roles. Everyone mucks in for shop renovations and improvements, the tins of paint are out! Different ideas are banded around on how to improve things and get ready for the upcoming high season.