The Eco-conscious Island of Koh Tao

 

Exciting news….Koh Tao could soon be known as one of the most eco-conscious destination of South East Asia! Many businesses, including most dive shops, are working together to try and ban single-use plastic items on Koh Tao, including plastic straws and plastic bags. On top of this, efforts are being made to install a recycling program for businesses to have their recyclable goods picked up rather than throwing them in with their everyday rubbish. This was all made possible by Koh Tao’s inhabitants having an eco-conscious mind set and the determination to fight for change.

Koh Tao is full of postcard worthy beauty
Koh Tao is full of postcard-worthy beauty, such as Koh Nang Yuan.

 

The term ‘eco-conscious’ is floated around a fair amount in the media these days, but what does the term really mean?

An eco-conscious individual or business has a way of thinking where they look at how their actions and choices impact the natural world. Dubbed eco-warriors, these people/companies are both very aware of the threats faced by our fragile world, and also work to reduce and ultimately eliminate their impact on those threats. Where plastic is concerned, this largely revolves around ‘The Three Rs’… Reducing  plastic use, Re-using any plastic that is used, and Recycling whenever possible.

Here on Koh Tao, with diving being the primary activity that draws tourists to the island, many inhabitants are already far too aware of the global plastic problem, ans its impacts on our oceans and marine life, and have been puching for changes for some time now.

As an island, there has already been some success in previous years. Just over 4 years ago the local government banned the use of styrofoam boxes, which were commonly used as takeaway containers from restaurants. This milestone showed that the community was willing to make sacrifices when alternatives are present, and when it was in the best interest of the island. Once a few people come around to a more sustainable way of living, it soon catches on, and now we have several key figures in the municipality on board, including the Mayor of Koh Tao! He understands that the island’s natural beauty (both above and below the ocean’s surface) is one of the main reason people choose to spend their vacation here, so it is worth making rulings to help protect it.

The emblem for the no-plastic movement on Koh Tao
Emblem of the no-plastic movement on Koh Tao

 

The latest introduction to Koh Tao to reduce and eliminate plastic waste is the sale of reusable straws (paper, metal and bamboo), with the hope that if the alternatives are available, single-use plastic straws will be phased out entirely.

So, first it was styrofoam, now plastic straws and the next step will be to remove plastic bags from our little island paradise. Its a huge goal, but with enough people involved and the right mindset, we’re not alone in pushing for change and committing to making it happen!

So, what can you do to help?

In short, the best thing you can possibly do is STOP USING PLASTIC as much as possible in your day to day life! And especially single use plastic. The great news is that alternatives are already available. Master Divers is proud to be a vendor of paper, bamboo and metal straws, and our retail section is well stocked with reusable water bottle and cloth shopping bags, meaning you’ll have no need for plastic bottle or cups, plastic straws or plastic bags. And the best bit? You get to take them all home and spread the word!

Please do join us in considering the environment, and not just in Koh Tao. It does not take much effort to live with less plastic in your life, it just takes a little more planning and forethought, but the results are well worth it!

If you’d like to know more about environmental initiatives and events on Koh Tao, feel free to follow us on Facebook or drop us an email 🙂

 

What is the Weather Like on Koh Tao?

“What will the weather be like during our stay on Koh Tao”?…. Its a common question, and of course an understandable one – who doesn’t want perfect conditions for their holidays?!?!

The good news for our divers is that we have a huge range of dive sites on the island (50+), and thanks to the orientation of Koh Tao and how quick it is to circumnavigate, it’s normally easy for us to select dive sites that are suitable for any course or trip you’d like to take with us – whatever the weather! We are very lucky to have such an amenable climate on Koh Tao, and although we have a wet season, it is very short compared to many other tropical destinations. Plus we get less rain in general than our neighbours on Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, thanks to the small size of the island itself, and a lack of any mountains high enough to break those pesky low lying rain clouds. Full details on what conditions you can expect throughout the year as follows….

Great visibility at Koh Tao dive site Mango Bay
Sun Rays Underwater

 

January
January can be a mixture of conditions with the tail end of the monsoon season still around the sea conditions can be a bit up and down, the visibility is improving but the surface conditions maybe slightly choppy. The water temperature is about 27C, which is the lowest it will get around Koh Tao; the air temperature is similar to the water temperature, so it’s warm but not humid. January marks the start of high season on Koh Tao, so there will be a lot of people about; of all ages, you have backpackers starting their trips and families enjoying the New Year in the sunshine.

February

In February the conditions are good the visibility is between 10-15m on average, the surface is mostly calm and the water temperature is usually between 27-29C. The air temperature is warm and comfortable for most of the month, towards the end of the month it starts getting a little hotter. February is one of the busier months on the island with a lots of visitors arriving on our shores to take advantage of the great conditions – both above and below the surface!

Sunny Koh Tao
Sunny Koh Tao

 

March
This month is the start of the hot and dry season for the east coast of Thailand, there is very little rain if any this month. The diving conditions are great, perfect for divers and snorkelers as well as being the perfect temperature for the corals reefs to grow. There is typically a chance of spotting Whalesharks from March onwards for a couple of months too. So bring your go pro’s and underwater housings – you might just get that perfect profile photo!

April

April is the driest and hottest month of the year on Koh Tao but that doesn’t stop the fun. April is also the month Thai New Year (Songkran) falls in on the 13th and 14th April, which is celebrated with an island wide water fight. Locals and holiday makers alike all joining in the fun, and it is definitely a day to remember! April is also the official start of ‘Whaleshark season’ on the East coast of Thailand; the visibility is great this month, ranging between 15-20m. Surface conditions are generally calm in April and the temperature of the water is around 30C.

Whale Shark!
Whale Shark!

 

May
May is the beginning of the quieter months on Koh Tao, it is also the start of the cooler season as well, this month will see temperature start to fall and there may be a chance of rain showers. This is a great time to come and relax as the island is quieter in general. There is also still a chance of spotting a Whaleshark in May as this month and the diving conditions are good with calm seas, clear visibility, and water temperatures averaging 30C.

June

June is a great month for people who want to get away during quiet season as the island is in a peaceful lull before the European summer holidays start in mid-late July. The weather is cooler this month as well. The diving conditions are slightly mixed as the island can sometimes see some rain as a result of the monsoon season on the west coast of Thailand. This can alter surface conditions and visibility, but for most of the month both are great, the water temperature is about 29C this month – perfect conditions for both divers and marine life alike!

breeze-koh-tao-beach-view
Beach life

 

July

With the start of the European Summer holidays the island starts seeing a lot more families and backpackers this month. The weather is still cooler than the hotter months of April and May as well as staying continuously sunny with some rainfall from the monsoon that is hitting the West Coast of Thailand. The rain however, if it does come, usually only stays for an hour or two. Visibility is usually between 15-20m on a good day and the surface is generally calm.

August
August can sometimes be a mixed bag both weather and condition wise. There is a bit more rainfall this month but is usually doesn’t rain for long. The water conditions can change between being choppy and flat calm depending on how hard the wind is blowing. Water temperature is still stable at around 29C this month and visibility is between 10-15m.

Mango Bay
Mango Bay

 

September
September is still peak season with lots going on, and generally fine weather and good dive conditions in terms of visibility and calm seas. Any rain is typically quick to blow over and has little impact on underwater conditions. Normally the ambient temperature starts to drop a little, in the lead up to the cooler months of October and November. Expect water temperatures of around 28-29C.

October
October can still be busy on the island but towards the end of the month the island generally quietens down as the weather and diving conditions start to become poorer. The weather can change quite quickly in October with winds bringing in rain for a couple of hours in the afternoon to then drying up quickly. The water conditions are choppier on the surface and the visibility can range from 10-15m depending on recent weather. The temperature is around 28C.

Koh Tao is full of postcard worthy beauty
Grey Skies over Koh NangYuan

 

November
November is the peak of low season here on Koh Tao, this is when the monsoon weather typically hits the island. You can expect rains and high winds, however in recent years, the monsoon isn’t as powerful as it used to be due to climate change. The air temperature is around 27C. The water conditions are probably at its lowest this month, the temperature is the same as the air; 27C, surface conditions can be very wavy and this visibility can be between 3-10m. If you are after a challenge and are keen on becoming a more experienced diver these are great conditions to dive in!

December
December can be a bit unpredictable depending on if and when monsoon has decided to arrive! The poorer conditions can continue through from November, which can limit the dive sites we go to. Water temperature is around 27C, visibility can range from 5-15m, and surface conditions can still be choppy. The up side is that in the past few years there has been a number of whale shark sightings around Christmas/new year time.

We hope this helps with your weather questions and planning. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us for more information 🙂

Higher End Eats for Flashpackers on Koh Tao!

Welcome to the second installment of our ‘Where to Eat on Koh Tao’ series. Its a question that comes up very regularly, so we thought it about time we put a few ideas down on paper (or rather blog!) for you. Last month we looked at the best places to eat healthy, vegetarian and vegan food on Koh Tao, and this month, we’re focusing on where to find the best food for all of you flash packers out there who like a bit of culinary luxury in their lives! So with no more ado, our top picks are….

Barracuda at Darawan

Barracuda has two locations, with one restaurant in central Saireee village as well as this one at Darawan (part of Bans Resort) in South Sairee. Darawan’s hillside location provides a picturesque view over Sairee Bay and out to sea. The restaurant itself is light and spacious, and the atmosphere is relaxed. This is fine dining done to perfection at very affordable prices, and is certainly the best fusion of Thai and western cuisine available on the island. The menu is varied, so if seafood is not your thing, then not to worry. With an array of meat and vegetarian dishes as well as its trademark world class fish dishes, Barracuda has something for everyone. In addition to the many options for starters, mains and desserts, Barracuda also offer a selection of sharing platters, and a fully stocked bar including cocktails (we recommend you try the passion fruit Mojito), wine and prosecco. A real treat and totally worth it for a night of delicious extravagance beneath the stars!

The View from Darawan
The View from Darawan

 

The Cape @ Viewpoint Resort

Viewpoint resort is secreted away on a quiet cape near Chalok at the south of the island, but the amazing quality food they serve at their restaurant, ‘The Cape’, is certainly no secret! Located right by the gentle lapping waters of the bay, its a really nice spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of the island and indulge in a night of fine outdoor dining. Due to its remote location, a free taxi shuttle is available to outside guests – and we recommend you use this option, as the road into the resort is very steep! The menu boasts a a combination of Thai and western dishes, all cooked to perfection, and there is a variety of cocktails and wines available too. The perfect location for a romantic evening and some good old fashioned gluttony!

the-cape-restaurant-koh-tao
Dining at The Cape

 

Breeze

Located right on the beach in Mae Haad next to Ananda Resort, Breeze serves up an array of contemporary dishes in a light and airy atmosphere. With a variety of starters, mains and desserts to suit all palates, both meat eaters and vegetarians are well catered for here. The menu is well thought out and has been planned to perfection, incorporating plenty creative flair and some truly delicious flavours (we especially recommend you try the eggplant and haloumi starter, or the Tuna main course).  The desert menu is both extensive and mouth wateringly tempting, and they even make their own homemade ice cream – so make sure you have plenty room for the full three course experience!

breeze-koh-tao-beach-view
Beach View From Breeze

 

Lung Pae

Perched on a hilltop looking out over the south of the island, Lung Pae is a great choice for a chilled out meal in a relaxed setting, with friendly staff, great service and a lovely view to boot. Like The Cape, this restaurant also offers a free taxi transfer service both ways – and once again we recommend you take advantage of this! With both Thai and western food on the menu, as well as a great happy hour for cocktails (the second time this blog we give top marks for mojitos!) its a firm favourite with many locals as well as tourists. Ask anyone you meet and you’ll probably be told to order the ‘E4’ (steak), and we absolutely recommend you do!

Sunset at Lung Pae
Sunset at Lung Pae

 

We hope we’ve given you some food for thought (pun totally intended!) and that you enjoy all of your restaurant experiences on Koh Tao. Happy dining! 🙂

A Year in Pictures – 2017

2017 has been a busy year for us here Master Divers, but we wanted to pick out a few highlights. So rather than bore you with a bunch of wordiness, let’s review them in pictures….

It was a rough start to the year, with storms and flooding in January

January Storms 2017

However, it never takes long for Koh Tao to bounce back, and very quickly our blue skies returned 🙂

Beach-blue-skies-framed

Along with our amazing sun sets!

Koh-Tao-Sunset-framed

It has been an epic year for Whale Shark sightings. With over 90 different whale sharks identified in the gulf of Thailand this year, more of our divers than ever before were treated to diving with these beautifies. Fingers crossed 2018 is just as full of big fishy goodness!

whaleshark-sail-rock

 

Because of this, we’ve run many more trips to Sail Rock than in previous years, and plan to continue to do so in 2018.

SAIL-ROCK-framed

We continued to grow and develop our conservation efforts. Our marine conservation packages are proving very popular, and once again we were heavily involved in the organisation of Earth Day.

Earth-Day-2017-framed

We have started selling paper, bamboo and plastic straws in a bid to rid the island of single use plastic straws.

Say-No-Straw-framed

It’s been a particularly great year for growth in pro level courses here at Master Divers. Our Divemaster courses are also in high demand, so much so that we have completely restructured our training programme to ensure we continue to provide the most thorough and comprehensive pro level training available.

DMC-theory-session-framed

The IDC classroom has also been in frequent use, with many more new PADI Instructors joining our ranks following training form our PADI Course Director Gaz Lyden. Many of our IDC candidates have continued to specialty training courses and completed their MSDT, and right now we are working on a new instructor internship programme that we’ll roll out in the new year.

Gaz-IDC-framed

We closed the year with a contest to win for an Aqualung i200 dive computer, and there will be more competitions and giveaways coming soon.

Aqualung-cpu-framed

There are some pretty big things on the horizon for us here in the coming year, so watch this space, and we hope to see you all on Koh Tao in 2018! In the meantime we’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year 🙂

 

 

Healthy, Vegetarian and Vegan Eats on Koh Tao

Lately we’ve been fielding more and more questions about where to eat healthily on Koh Tao, and we often have vegetarian or vegan guests who worry about being able to stick to their diets while travelling around Asia. Well, fear not! Koh Tao is home to a number of small businesses that use fresh and healthy produce to make your daily food choices surprisingly difficult – even for the pickiest of eaters! Here’s our top picks of the best cafes and restaurants for healthy, vegetarian and vegan eats on Koh Tao…..

Coconut Monkey – Mae Haad

Located across the road from Master Divers, Coconut Monkey is right on the beach with an amazing view, and offers fresh, healthy delicious breakfasts, wraps and lunches.  They also have a range of fresh juices, smoothies and home brewed raw organic Kombucha with ever changing flavours to taste, as well as a wide variety of herbal teas and great organic coffee. There is always a fridge stacked full of yummy, sugar free, vegan treats, raw carrot cake,‘amazeballs’ (the vegan chocolate truffles are to die for!), and also some delicious but not quite so healthy cheesecake! Their ingredients are sourced locally and everything is freshly made in house. They bake their own multigrain bread daily, the eggs are shipped over from an organic free range farm in Chumporn, and the black organic rice comes from Chiang Rai. There is plenty of comfortable seating and great WiFi, making it the perfect place to relax, meet friends, work, or read a book. They are also eco- friendly, offering free drinking water and using no plastic (the straws are made of bamboo). The kitchen is open from 8am til 5pm, but the bar remains open for cocktails and snacks, and its a great spot to chill and watch the sun set over Mae Haad Bay.

Overnight Oats with yummy fresh fruit toppings
Overnight Oats with yummy fresh fruit toppings
Sunset over Mae Haad Bay
Sunset over Mae Haad Bay

 

La Carotte Qui Rit- Mae Haad

As the only dedicated vegetarian and vegan restaurant to be open for evening meals, La Carotte has built a reputation for its vast array of Thai food – none of which has a scrap of meat in sight! The menu is extensive, and many veggie and vegan lovers have been known to eat there every night and not get bored! Every dish from the vegetable soup to the traditional pad thai is packed full of flavour, and each is made with fresh ingredients from local suppliers. There is such a variety to choose from and the food is so tasty that even meat eaters are bound to want to go back for more!

Vegan Thai Food Koh Tao
Yummy Vegan Thai Food
Koh Tao Vegetarian & Vegan Food
Veggie & Vegan Food Central!

 

Vegetabowl – Sairee

With a chilled vibe and a tasty menu of fresh and wholesome food, Vegetabowl offers healthy salads that are 100% vegan friendly – although some menu items do have the option of adding cheese for those who don’t mind a little bit of dairy in their diets. Salad bowls come with a base of your choice between brown rice, lettuce and soba noodles. The menu has been well thought out and the salad dressings are also freshly made, tasty, and compliment each salad bowl perfectly. There are also some great ‘add ons’ and snacks, such as fresh spring rolls and quesadillas. Re-hydration comes the form of fresh coconuts, smoothies and soft drinks  – check out the home made ginger ale, its amazing! Most of the time there are some sneaky sweet treats like gluten free and vegan cookies available too. Open a little later than other cafe’s, you can order here until 8pm.

Vegetabowl Salad
Vegetabowl Salad
Vegetabowl Sairee
Vegetabowl Sairee

 

Living Juices – Sairee

Open from 7.30am-2pm daily, Living Juices serves up healthy juices packed full of raw goodness and super-food nutrition – our favourite being the Rocket Fuel. Supplements such as bee pollen, spirulina and wheatgrass etc are readily available and they also offer daily and multi-day juice detox programmes for those looking to kick start their way into a healthier lifestyle. The salads and smoothy bowls are bursting with colour and fresh wholesome flavours – try the super-food salad, you will not be disappointed! You can also indulge in some guilt free healthy treats and snacks here too, as well as specials like mango & chia seed popsicles and protein packs for those on the go. For return customers to Koh Tao its worth noting that Living Juices main location is now on Sairee Beach.

Living Juices Smoothie Bowl
Living Juices Smoothie Bowl
Living Juices Sairee
Living Juices Sairee

 

So there you have it. Lots to choose form, and no excuses for ditching your principles or your healthy lifestyles whilst on holiday on Koh Tao….unless of course you choose to! 😉

Specials Boards at Coconut Monkey
Specials Boards at Coconut Monkey

 

 

How Eco is your clean house – Update

The great cleaning experiment continues!

This month has been a very productive one, and productive in a way that makes me feel very wholesome. I got set to work on researching and making my own cleaning products and was really happy with the results. Not only do I now have a clean house, but I also feel extra good for doing it with products that aren’t going to leach into our water systems and harm aquatic life. I made an all purpose cleaner with lime, vinegar and baking soda, and also a duster with vinegar that had been soaked with lemons for 2 weeks.

 

The good

Making cleaning products is ridiculously cheap. I large bottle of white vinegar was about 300THB, that was the most expensive thing, baking soda was about 40thb and also the container I used for soaking lemons in vinegar was only 40THB. I even bought some limes (there weren’t lemons) for 16THB, less than 50p!! Also it really worked! Our gas hob has never been so clean! So it works, it’s cheap and it is better for the environment… what’s not to like?!

Before the clean. Please don't judge!After the clean

The bad

Getting some of the products here was tough. You can get castile soap delivered to the island but the costs, although not huge, were considerably higher than the other ingredients. Also, to get them delivered you need a Thai bank account, something I don’t have at the moment. For those reasons, I decided to cope without it for now. The shopping list for my next visa run is getting longer and longer! There was a point when my house smelled like a salad. The first cleaner I made with just a little lime juice was quite vinegar-y, but it really worked so I can forgive it and experiment further with using essential oils to add a nicer scent. The lemons soaked in white vinegar did smell a little bit like one of the bars I used to run on a Monday morning, but again, not unpleasant.

 

All in all I’m really happy with the results and it wasn’t difficult to do these 2 very basic cleaners. I’m going to carry on trying out different cleaners and maybe even making my own cosmetics… Watch this space!!

Why PADI?

Why should you choose PADI over other scuba diving certifications that are available?

As you may already know, there are many scuba diving organisations in the world, each with their own education and certification systems. But how does PADI stand out from the rest? And why should you choose a PADI dive centre like us for your training?

For starters, PADI is the world’s leading scuba diver training organization. It stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors, which basically says it all! The PADI system of diver education is based on progressive training that introduces skills, safety-related information and local environmental knowledge to student divers in stages, providing maximum practice and realistic practical application in the process.

In the video below Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO, shares his passion for diving and talks about the important role of divers as underwater ambassadors and custodians of our ocean planet.

Some Statistics

No matter where you choose to dive, your PADI certification card will be recognized and accepted. In the Worldwide Corporate Statistics 2017, which covers 2011 – 2016, we learn that;

  • Since 1967, PADI has issued over 25,000,000 diver certifications globally
  • PADI has averaged over 900,000 diver certifications each year globally for the last 20 years
  • PADI issues diver certifications in over 200 countries and territories around the world
  • PADI has professional members in over 190 countries and territories around the world
  • PADI Retailers and Resorts operate in over 150 countries and territories around the world

Padi_Logo_Transparent

The PADI Community

It really is a community in which you can interact, and not just in the water! Literally, you can travel all over the world and find PADI endorsements in every location! Have you discovered ScubaEarth yet? This is where you can share photo’s, experiences and find buddies. With PADI members in more than 175 countries and territories there is no shortage of fellow scuba addicts to connect with! There’s also a great PADI Blog which provides you with up to date information on all aspects of diving. Plus all your social media needs are covered with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their YouTube channel, PADITV, meaning you’re never far from any information you may require! Plus PADI themselves have international service offices in nine countries, so whatever continental region you are in, you can count on their support. Current statistics quote PADI as having a 55% of the dive training market worldwide. This means that more divers like you choose PADI over all of the other agencies combined!

They Rock Environmental Responsibility

PADI encourages all PADI Divers to take action and support Project AWARE. PADI courses embrace environmental awareness and actively teach the importance of protecting our underwater world. Without an array of beautiful dive sites and stunning destinations to visit, Scuba diving wouldn’t even exist, so PADI dive centers are encouraged to help towards a clean, healthy ocean planet.

Here at Master Divers this is something we stand behind 100% as we care deeply about our environment. We organise regular beach and ocean clean ups which consist of staff and customers. We even have our very own ‘Eco-Warrior”, Hayley, who make sure we actively stay on top and are keeping up with conservation news and issues.

Hayley Scuba Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand112kgs of rubbish and recyclable's collected by Master Divers in Koh Tao, Thailand

 Quality of Training

PADI has developed what instructors and dive centres alike believe to be the most instructionally solid system. All courses are based on a framework that accounts for all learning styles. So whether you prefer self study or a classroom environment, or whether you are a ‘watcher’ or a ‘doer’, your needs will be catered for. Plus study materials are available in a variety of media – online programs, tablet-based apps, manuals, workbooks  etc. So even before you meet your instructor you can already be learning in a way that works for you.

PADI Instructors themselves are trained and held to diving’s highest standards backed up by a solid, proactive quality management system. They work to strict educational standards which are monitored for worldwide consistency and quality. Just as scuba divers must earn PADI certifications, PADI Instructors must complete an Instructor Development Course that sets the industry standard for scuba instructor training. Each new PADI Instructor demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the PADI System and the ability to conduct PADI programs by meeting specific criteria. Before earning the PADI Instructor rating, all candidates are evaluated by a select group of PADI-employed Instructor Examiners. This ensures that the evaluation process is objective, fair and consistent worldwide. This is another way that PADI training stands above others in the dive industry. With other agencies, evaluations are often completed and signed off by the agency’s own regional managers, which brings up doubts over the objectivity of their assessments.

Do you need any further convincing? Master Divers is a 5 Star PADI IDC centre, meaning that we excel in using the PADI system of diver education to introduce people to scuba diving, and then provide the continuing education, support and mentoring that allows individuals to progress. Even if you have no intention of going as far as pro level (yet!), our 5 start status means we maintain a very high calibre of instructors to teach you your courses.

 

So what are you waiting for?

Book your ticket to Koh Tao, get that PADI certification and scuba dive with us!

The environmental cleaning project

How clean is your Eco House, and how Eco is

your clean house?

While I’ve been recovering from a broken arm I have been getting several Eco presentations and quizzes ready for when I’m back in the water. There are a few reoccurring themes to my presentations. One is that globally are using too much plastic; I think we all know that. Another is that our corals are suffering; something all divers want to stop. The reasons this is happening and ways to stop are too numerous for one blog, so tried to think of what I could do.

 

I had an epiphany! I’m going to trial making and using my own eco cleaning products. Life gave me lemons, so I’m going to make cleaning products from them- lemonade seems way too complicated. This means no single use plastic from bottles of surface cleaner, and also eradicating chemicals getting into our water system. I wish I could say that not cleaning my house for a while was building up to this, but sadly it’s been a mixture of having only one fully functional arm and being lazy. I should also state that the epiphany was probably brought on by noticing the dust build up under my bed. My mother would be ashamed.

When life gives you lemons

Eco cleaning product list

I set about this morning creating my shopping list (which is surprisingly small) so that I can make an all-purpose cleaner, a heavy duty scrub and a dust cleaner.

 

  • Mason Jar
  • Lemons
  • Lemon oil
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Borax

 

Part of this experiment is going to be whether or not I can get all of these things on Koh Tao, and I specifically chose recipes that have the more simple ingredients. FYI Lazada does not stock liquid Castille soap, but thank goodness for google so that I knew what it actually was! I’m dubious about being able to get borax, a natural laundry booster (sodium tetraborate for the pedants), but there is only one way to find out.

The laboratory is open

Next month I not only hope to have a clean house, but also to tell you the best and worst of my experiment. Time to get scrubbing!

My very first Beach clean up as Master Divers ‘Eco Warrior’

112 kg’s collected in Koh Tao, Thailand

On Monday 4th September, Master Divers had a very successful beach clean-up, the first one to be organised by myself, Hayley Pearce, as part of my new eco role.

Beach Clean up in Koh Tao, Thailand

I’m not going to lie, I was nervous, would I be the only one there, and along with donning a broken arm, I wouldn’t have got very far!

I needn’t have been so worried. I was lucky to have, Master Divers Course Director Gaz, with his three new Instructor Development Course (IDC) students Kevin, Henry and Kaarin. Our Underwater Photographer, Rob Kelly, lay down the camera for the morning, along with Instructors and PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainers, Josh, Thomas and Graham, freelance Instructor, Dan, our Divemaster Katie, our four Divemaster Candidates, Charlotte, Rob, Mantie and Sam, and a couple of very generous ladies that had seen our sign near the coconut monkey and decided to join. Sorry for anyone missed off the photo!

112kgs of rubbish and recyclable's collected by Master Divers in Koh Tao, Thailand

If you’ve been on Koh Tao, recently, you’ll know how hot it’s been and this morning was no exception. It was great that so many people came to give their own time so that we can give a little back to Koh Tao, especially for those that were teaching or taking courses straight after- it got pretty sweaty towards the end!

Everyone did an awesome job and we managed to collect 112 kg of rubbish and recycling from the beach at Mae Haad, and from the road outside Master Divers. This is a huge amount! I’m so grateful to everyone that was involved, it’s never a pleasant task picking up other people’s litter, but we had fun as we did it and it’s safe to say we were all proud of our achievement.

Thanks again fellow Eco-Warriors. You guys rock!

PADI Womens Dive Day 2017 (July 15th)

What a great day we had this year for PADI Womens Day 2017, not only were the girls out in force but the boys put aside their masculinity and embraced the celebrations for the afternoon!

How did Master Divers celebrate? We got our dresses on and went diving of course! Amazed looks were plentiful as Divemaster, Brian, Instructors ,Tony and Josh and Photographer, Rob all walked down the beach to the boat in a variety of coloured dresses and a pink wig, which Tony pulled off beautifully! They even went diving in them. The water was that clear on the day, you could see Tony coming back to the boat by looking out for the little pink dot underwater.

Instructors Tony and Josh with students

The lovely ladies on the boat that day were Giselle, or as we call her, Gigi. Gigi is one of our Divemasters, which is your first step to entering the professional world of scuba diving. This also allows you to work, in the scuba diving industry, anywhere in the world, but there was only one beautiful tropical island and dive center that beckoned for Gigi…Yes, you’ve guessed it, Koh Tao and Master Divers.

Divemaster Gigi, Koh Tao Scuba Diving

And then there was Hayley. Hayley, is a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI), with specialties in Deep, Wreck, Search and Recovery, Enriched Air Nitrox (EANX) and O2 provider. Hayley actually did her Instructor Development Course with us and our Course Director, Gaz Lydon. She loved it that much, plus we loved her, so she stayed. Hayley is now not just an instructor but also our ‘ECO Warrior Queen‘. Read her blog, ‘Introducing Me‘ to find out more.

Hayley Scuba Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand

Whilst the boat was busy out diving, the rest of the team were organising for the night time activities and signing up more divers for the next day. There is a big female team at Master Divers, which became obvious that day in the office, and believe it or not this is not everyone…10 points if you can also spot the intruder!

The Ladies team at Master Divers

The celebrations rolled into the evening with food platters and cocktails for everyone at our cafe bar Coconut Monkey, and yes, the dresses stayed on…personally I think the boys secretly enjoyed it!

Men in drag

So, we celebrated in style, but why have PADI Womens Dive Day each year? Its simple really, to encourage more women to take up scuba diving, whether that be as a profession or just for fun. Scuba Diving, for a long time, has been a mainly male based activity, however this is changing. Each year the number of women who participate in scuba diving is increasing.  Cathy Evans, PADI guest blogger, and founder of Girls that Scuba, recently wrote ‘Since PADI’s first Womens Dive Day in 2014 there has been a 2.2% increase in female certifications for PADI recreational courses, from 37.2% to 39.4%’ it’s not just courses that are increasing either, we’re rocking it in other areas to. Cathy’s blog ‘The Rise and Rise of Female Scuba Divers‘ showcases some of the most influential women in diving today. Girl Power!