Weekly Dive Report – May 19th – 25th

The weeks are flying by lately – can you believe its nearly June already? How did that happen?!?! We’ve been incredibly spoiled again this week with yet more brilliant dive conditions.

This week, we visited the wreck of the HTMS Sattakut, which you may notice pops up on our dive report very frequently. This is because it is regularly scheduled for Wreck Adventure Dives as part of PADI Advanced Open Water Diver courses, and also on the PADI Wreck Diver course.

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We also visited Southwest Pinnacles, Green Rock & White Rock. Divers at Green Rock were lucky to spot a Hawksbill Turtle.

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Long may these brilliant conditions and marine life sightings continue! Until next week… happy bubble blowing!

 

Master Divers Life Contest – Blog Guidelines

With our Master Divers Life contest drawing to a close for entry forms and video submissions on June the 1st and 2nd respectively, it’s nearly time to announce our finalists – and we couldn’t be more excited! We’ll be reaching out to our top 10 in the first week of June, and we’ll officially announce the line up on June 8th once everyone has confirmed their availability to travel and commence their training – so keep an eye on your emails!

live-on-koh-tao

First of all to those who are lucky enough to make the final cut and be named one of our top 10 contestants, then congratulations! That takes you one big leap closer and just a blog away from perhaps being the lucky winner who gets to join us on Koh Tao and live the dream by becoming a PADI Instructor with us here on Koh Tao – and snag yourself a full set of top of the range Aqua Lung equipment along the way! In case you need a little reminder as to exactly what you win and the value of all the prizes, you can check out a breakdown on our Master Divers Life prizes page.  Excited much?! You should be!

win-padi-career-on-koh-tao

So….how do you make an impression with your blog? As with your video compilation, we are really looking to get a feel for you as a person and get a sense of your passion for the marine environment. As a dive centre so heavily focused on conservation, the only stipulation is that your blog should focus on a conservation topic that you have been involved in, would like to be involved in or that is close to your heart….so plenty scope there I’m sure you’ll agree! From your videos we’ve already seen a whole array of personalities and passions, so we are excited to see what you have to say about your chosen topic in writing!

Master Divers Life

We’ll be publishing the blog of each of the 10 finalists on our facebook page prior to announcing the winner, so if you want to send some pictures and videos to embed in your blog please do feel free to add them as attachments and let us know what you’d like the title/captions to be.

 

BLOG GUIDELINES & RULES

The minimum word count is 700 words, but your blog should be no longer than 3000 words.

All blogs should be original work, with no copied text taken from other sources.

All completed blogs, along with any images or video files should be sent to marketing@master-divers.com by June 15th.

Please do not include any images or videos that you do not own or have permission to share.

Win your Master Divers Life

 

So…it’s time to get your blog on and start writing! The winner will be announced on July the 4th…and IT COULD BE YOU!

We cant wait to read what you all come up with. Good luck to you all!

 

Weekly Dive Report – May 12th – 18th

It’s that time of the week again! It’s been another scorching week with hot conditions on land and excellent visibility underwater. This weeks hit list of dive sites included Chumphon Pinnacle,  HTMS Sattakut, Laem Thien & White Rock. 

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We had mainly calm conditions and beautiful sunny skies, with excellent visibility, although there was a thermocline at some of the deeper sites at around 20metres.

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Our favourite shots included our very own Hayley posing on the wreck, as well as this beautiful turtle.

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Until next time, safe and happy bubble making! 🙂

 

Weekly Dive Report – May 5th – 11th

Welcome to our round up of what has been another fantastic week of diving on Koh Tao! We’ve had some slight swell and mild currents around the island this week, however visibility is still amazing, and we’ve seen more fantastic marine life yet again!

This week, we visited Chumphon Pinnacle, Southwest Pinnacles, White Rock & Twins.

southwest-pinnacle-koh-tao schooling-fish-chumphon-pinnacle

There was abundant marine life and many and various schools of fish, including some rarer spots such as this Lion Fish at Chumphon Pinnacle, and a beautiful school of Bat Fish at Southwest Pinnacles.

lion-fish-chumphon-pinnacle batfish-southwest-koh-tao

We had several groups of divers on a whole range of activities ranging from Try Dives and Fun Dives, to Rescue Courses and PADI Specialties. Special congratulations to Hyejeong on completing her 100th dive with us!

dive-courses-koh-tao 100th-dive-koh-tao

See you next week for more underwater fun! 🙂

 

How Diving On Koh Tao Can Change Your Life!

If you’d told me 10 years ago that I’d be where I am now, I’d have never believed you! In my head life was already mapped out, and I was definitely one of those ‘go to university, take a gap year, then get a proper job and settle down’ types! So in many ways my eyes were pretty blinkered to the possibilities of a completely different way of life. But then something changed… I’d been to university, I’d taken a gap year (which actually turned into 2 gap years without much active thought or persuasion!), I had a proper job (and a pretty good one at that!). But the settling down bit….well turns out it just wasn’t for me – not in the conventional sense at least!

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Beautiful Scerery in New Zealand

 

So….what to do? Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t unhappy. I had a good job (which on some days I liked, but in all honestly never really loved), a great group of friends, and an active social and sporting life. Somewhere deep down though, I knew I could be happier, and I felt like I was just going through the motions. Constantly working towards the next promotion or pay rise, always on the lookout for new opportunities where I could step up the chain, or even step sideways into another field where I would be happier/more fulfilled. Plus I still had itchy feet from my time overseas. Sound familiar?!…

typical-autralia-backpacker
Classic Gap Year Tourist!

 

The following summer I’d arranged a reunion holiday with my bestie from my gap year who was still living in Australia, and Thailand seemed like a cool equidistant place to meet. At the end of our trip I still had a few extra days whereas my friend had to fly home and get back to work. So while walking down Khao San Road on her last night, we ducked into a travel agency and I booked a package trip to Koh Tao to learn to dive. And the rest, as they say, is history!…

first-tuc-tuc-ride
My First Ever Tuc Tuc Ride!

 

I took my PADI Open Water Course, stayed on for my PADI Advanced Open Water Course, then extended my stay (again!) to take some fun dives. By the end up my trip I was in love with both diving and Koh Tao, and knew for sure that I wanted to become a PADI Instructor here. I was also on particularly good terms with Anastasia in the Quantas office, who was incredibly patient and helpful on every occasion that I called up to delay my return flights for ‘just another couple of days’ while I took my Advanced course and fun dives! But that’s another story…

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My First Koh Tao Sunset

 

And so I did it! I returned home and started planning. I handed in my notice at work, sold my car, and started ebaying furniture, clothes and anything else that would not be required for my new island lifestyle! It was a huge decision and turning point in my life, and not one I took lightly. But I knew deep down it was the right decision. Telling my family and friends was the hardest part, as I really do love and miss so many people back home…just not enough to live there! 😉 Besides, having a friend or relative to visit in a sunny tropical paradise somewhat softened the blow of my leaving for most people!

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My First Whale Shark!

 

The minute my feet set foot on Koh Tao, any lingering reservations just dropped away. I felt like I was firmly in the right place at the right time, and I was excited to begin my training!

A decade later and I still feel the same excitement and passion for both diving and Koh Tao as I did back then. The dive industry is home to such an awesome community of people, and Koh Tao…well Koh Tao just has it all!  And if it worked for me, it can work out for you too!

Considering it? If it helps, here are some answers to the most common questions that are most likely running through your head right now… It it a risk? To an extent, yes. One worth taking? Absolutely! Any regrets? Hell no! Did some of my friends and family think I was crazy? Probably! Are they all super jealous now? To the max! 🙂

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Classic Koh Tao Sunset with Friends

 

So what are you waiting for? Enter our Master Divers Life contest and get planning to live your best life with us here on Koh Tao! Find details and enter at www.master-divers.com/life

 

When environment means community as well

Keeping it local

The environment is really important to us, it’s our job, our life and also our community as well. Here on Koh Tao we are really lucky to have a group of like minded individuals that are all doing their best to make changes in habits to preserve the planet, dive in a safe and environmentally friendly way and also look after wildlife and animals a bit closer to home.

 

We are not alone at Master Divers having a menagerie of animals that we all adore. Anyone that has visited Koh Tao has seen the dive shop pets, the dogs piggy backing scooter drivers and the cats lazing on the spirit houses outside homes.

Meet our crew below!

Fatty, Greedy, Sandy and Sky

 

It’s because we love them so much that we wanted to show our support to the Koh Tao Noistar foundation animal clinic, and this morning went for a visit to donate 5000 baht raised from selling off unused equipment and a variety of eco presentations and evenings. They do such an important job on the island looking after our 4 legged family members. We would be lost without them and wanted to show our appreciation.

 

Donating 5000 Baht to the Koh Tao Animal rescue

 

From everyone at Master Divers past and present, thank you. Thank you for keeping our animals healthy and being such an important part of our Koh Tao community.

 

Weekly Dive Report – April 29th – May 4th (be with you!)

Hi weekly dive site watchers! This week we have continued to be blessed with bright sunny skies, hot weather and lots of turtle sightings this week! Does anyone ever get bored or turtle spotting?! We certainly don’t!

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The dive sites we visited included the popular HTMS Sattakut, Mango Bay, and No Name Pinnacles.

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We had mainly calm conditions, abundant marine life, and once more some excellent visibility! Our favourite shots were of these cheeky wreck divers and this beautiful whip coral shrimp.

wreck-dive-koh-tao whip-coral-shrimp

 

Until next time, safe and happy bubble making! 🙂

 

Weekly Dive Report – April 21st – 28th

Another great week of diving here on Koh Tao. although we had some rain showers, the visibility has remained fantastic!

This week, we visited Japanese Gardens, Laem Thian, Mango Bay and the wreck of the HTMS Sattakut . 

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We had mainly calm conditions, with only mild currents at some sights. And as usual we spotted some amazing marine life. Our favourite spot this week was this Longfin Bannerfish snacking on a Jellyfish.

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The great conditions, cool marine life sightings and amazing visibility meant happy days for divers and snorkellers alike!

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See you next week for more underwater fun! 🙂

Weekly Dive Report – April 14th – 20th

Welcome to our weekly dive report. We hope you are now fully dried out enough after a weekend of Songkran fun to get back in the water for more dives! Dive sites we visited this week included Japanese Gardens, Twins, Chumphon Pinnacle, No Name Pinnacle and Laem Thien.

Whip Corals Koh Tao Diving on Koh Tao

 

Conditions this week were mainly calm with a little wind on the East coast, but waves were minimal. The visibility has been fantastic and our favourite shots this week were those that showed just how crystal clear the water was. Everything looked so pretty and colourful!

 

Rabbit Fish at Laem Thien Twins Dive Site Koh Tao

 

We think you’ll agree a tropical diving holiday is looking pretty appealing right now, yes?!

 

Join us next week for more…or even better, book your trip to Koh Tao and come join us in person!

 

What is a Master Divers Life?

 

As most of you will already know, this month we are running our 25th anniversary campaign, allowing one lucky applicant to Win a PADI dive career with our Master Divers Life Contest! 

The prize includes all PADI courses up to Instructor, including fees and certification costs, a full set of Aqua Lung equipment, as well as a Conservation Package. The prize value is over 11,000USD, but the opportunity to live the dream on our paradise island goes way further than that.

So what can you expect from your Master Divers Life if you win? We could write an novel (or several!) on how amazing our dive family is, the calibre of our teaching, and why you should want to join us. You don’t have to just take our word for it though, as we have several customers, students and staff members, all with their own unique Master Divers Life, who can all tell you the same thing! So why not take their word for it instead…

 

Kevin Fletcher – Loyal Fun Diver and BSAC Dive Leader 

Loyal Fun Diver Kevin
Kevin Diving in chilly UK waters

 

Back in 2003 when I first encountered Master Divers it was under the ownership of a close friend who organised a group trip to Koh Tao for our BSAC club from London. Safety was always the keyword and I am glad to say that feature has remained paramount over the years. In fact, when ownership transferred to the present owner’s, things only took a turn for the better. What was an already a first class dive school blossomed into the efficient, disciplined and very personal outfit it is today. I mention this as some of the Dive Schools in Koh Tao seem to concentrate on producing ‘qualified’ divers in a less personal and professional way. Numbers overtake other priorities. Not so with Master Divers. I have continued to patronise this establishment because of the friendly approach to every client – you are not a number but an individual. This is reflected in the student-to-instructor ratio, making every student, fun diver and snorkeller feel part of a family. No corners are cut. The standard of equipment provided is up there with the best. I am an equipment officer for my club so notice immediately when things are not quite right. At MD if there is a problem with a piece of kit (which inevitably happens) it is immediately withdrawn from use and rectified/repaired.

Fun Diving Koh Tao
Fun Diving on Koh Tao

 

I have continued to come back to MD over the years, now racking up over 200 fun dives with this company. I even brought my son here to learn to dive because I had complete confidence in their professional ability. They care. Enquiries are always responded to in a timely and friendly fashion. They have a wealth of knowledge about this lovely island stemming from years of residing there with the people that matter – the locals! For instance, their No1 boat captain, P Dong,  has substantial seniority over some of the other dive boat captains on the island which can reap huge benefits at popular dive sites. He is the most experienced and capable captain I have come across. I will continue to use this dive school for as many years as I have left to safely dive, and dive safely!

 

Jacques Diedericks – Rescue Diver and Father to 2 Future Dive Pros!

Going to Thailand on our first family scuba trip – with hours and hours of research to find the best dive operation was of utmost importance as our two boys 13 and 10 just qualified in their Junior Open Water course and I wanted their first diving experience to be good, as this would set the tone for their future diving experiences. With this in mind I emailed several what seemed to be top end diving operations with information on our diving back ground and our plans to do some fun dives and courses during our 4 week stay.

Well to my surprise some never even replied whilst some replied by “copy and paste” their website pages back to me (which I had already read hence my initial email) and the only guys that got back to me referring to each and every request and concern in detail was Master Divers. They even offered to help us with our travel itinerary from Koh Samui to Koh Tao and offer help in recommending accommodation.

Happy Junior Divers

 

Having reasonable experience myself, but with my boys obviously being very new to the world of diving, I can honestly say all three of us were blown away by the experience we had. I arrived with my Rescue Diver qualifications and during my time with Master Divers I progressed through to Master Diver Level. Our boys progressed with a further 2 courses which included Peak Performance Buoyancy and Underwater Navigator specialties. The number one thing that stood out to us about Master Divers was their detailed focus on all safety aspects without fail. The boys completed 28 dives in their time with Master Divers, and dived with 7 different instructors and 4 different dive masters – and every single one of them delivered detailed dive safety briefs before every dive and debriefed the boys after every dive. The second most important experience we had was how accommodating, friendly and personable the team were through out our visit. These guys really go out of their way to ensure your dream dive trip becomes a reality beyond any expectations.

Head instructor Jason with Jacques and his boys

 

I can’t say enough about this fantastic dive business and their incredible team that we got to know, as every one of them made our visit the most unbelievable dream holiday of a lifetime. My 13 year old son and I did our very last dive as a night dive (my son’s first ever night dive) and what an epic experience. I remember after surfacing we just laughed and laughed as we had no words – thank you so so much for that lasting memory. We had some professional under water photographs taken too which really helped to capture the experience to share with family and friends.

Months later my boys are still buzzing from the amazing experiences and memories made in Koh Tao. To all at Master Divers, we can not thank you enough and can sincerely only hope to dive with and be trained by you in the future.

 

Hayley Pearce – PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer & Marine Conservation Instructor

My Master Divers’ Life started 3 years ago when I was travelling and decided to stop at Koh Tao to do some diving. As a PADI Advanced Open Water diver I had never done any fun dives, just my Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water courses, so it was all very new and exciting. I was so impressed with how Master Divers operated, their focus on the environment and the team that they had, that I started to think that one day, I could do the same. They were then, and still are, the best company I have dived with.

The choice to do my PADI Divemaster with them was easy and I’m so glad I did! Since I’ve been here I have learned so much from such caring, professional and fun people; I feel like I have extended my family! The learning curve was huge, but I almost didn’t notice it happening as you work with so many talented people, and naturally absorb good techniques and habits.

Hayley Scuba Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand
Scuba Smile!

 

I spent a lot of time before coming here thinking about whether I would carry on to Instructor level. I planned on doing it, I just wasn’t sure when. As soon as my Divemaster was finished though, I wanted to continue to the next level. I had been given the confidence to carry on from such great training, something I know I was lacking at the start having taken my initial certification courses elsewhere. Master Divers is an environment that breeds a desire to learn and grow. Also, the fact that most of the Instructors at Master Divers have been trained by Gaz, our PADI Course Director, says such fantastic things about what a great teacher he is, that I knew I couldn’t waste that opportunity.

PADI Instructor Koh Tao
Always happy to be in the water

 

Now I’m a PADI Instructor and every day I’m grateful for my choices. Watching the look on people’s faces when they first see the underwater world (that I spend every day in!), seeing them go from beginner up to pro level and the joy on people’s faces when they see their first Whale Shark: that’s never going to get boring! To quote one of my customers ‘You basically get to hang out with your mates on boats and get paid to go diving’. Pretty much, yes! And I love it!

 

Andy Durrant – Pro Level Student and Now PADI Instructor

The first time I came to Koh Tao was to visit a Diving Instructor friend and do a few dives, having already completed my Open Water and Advanced courses in Bali about 18 months prior. I came certain that I simply enjoyed diving but was not looking to progress further (besides perhaps the odd specialty) but somehow left Koh Tao determined to return and complete my Divemaster. Funny how things can change so quickly!

My friend recommended Master Divers as they are very focused on standards, professionalism and safety, and so it is the ideal place for any new professionals to train so that no ‘bad habits’ can set in. I have to say having now completed my Divemaster and then deciding to complete my Instructor course here I have no regrets as the standards of teaching and general professionalism have been incredible throughout – this goes for all staff whether they be Divemaster, Instructors, Course Directors or even Office staff. Everyone has one goal –  to be the best dive centre on koh Tao.

PADI Pro Training Koh Tao
Divemaster in training

 

One of the best things about Master Divers is the family feel, it is large enough to have a good selection of facilities and options for different divers, but it is not too big that you start to feel like a number on a sheet of paper. Everyone is unbelievably friendly and welcoming – a great example of this would be that the night I arrived on the island and popped in to introduce myself and complete paperwork. I was told there would be power cuts the next day and so the staff invited me along to play ‘Office Olympics’ with them. I believe there is some evidence of this on their facebook page somewhere!

They are also very Environmentally conscious with one full time Instructor dedicated to Environmental projects. There’s always something going on – from eco quiz and movie nights, to environmental presentations and working with local government to drive sustainable initiatives across the island.

PADI Divemaster in Training
Andy Underwater

 

I have very grateful to have been told about Master Divers as since becoming a professional I have had the opportunity to work or visit other dive shops –  and whilst the vast majority are good and unique in their own way, Master Divers stands apart significantly in terms of professionalism and the quality of training I have received.

 

So….are you ready to change your life for the better and find your very own Master divers Life?! Our contest closes for entries on June 1st, so enter today to be in with a chance to Win a PADI Dive career in paradise!