Archive for the ‘Scuba Courses’ Category

Exhausting rescue course

Posted on December 29th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Exhausting rescue course

Rescue Diver Course

I was fortunate enough to have completed the Rescue Diver Course with ScubaCat Diving over the last 5 days with 3 other trainees – Noel, Josh and Kasper. Patrick and Sean were our brilliant instructors for the course.

Day 1 – Theory Lesson

We spent the whole of the Day 1 in the classroom learning about Emergency First Response (a pre-requisite for the actual Rescue Diver Course).

Sitting through hours of dry, boring videos is never an easy task – I was struggling to keep myself awake at times. However, the lively discussions that we had with regards to the subject as well as the mock scenarios we were given to remedy made the day so much more bearable. It also helped that our instructors shared many of their real-life experiences, making the knowledge fed to us a lot more relevant and memorable.

Day 2 – Pool Session

 

Day 2 was our first taste of the Rescue Diver Course. In the training pool, we learnt how to deal with, and pretend to be, a panicked, tired or unresponsive divers on the surface and in the water. Despite the training being serious and extremely draining, there was never a shortage of laughter throughout the day. Of course, Sean, being our instructor was the one who always had the last laugh, and an extremely sinister one in fact – in Patrick’s words “a bit of a mix between that of a Dracula and the Devil”. Midway through our training we even got to meet Sean’s hairy ‘son’ (Jasmine, I think he was called)! Towards the end of the day it started to drizzle. A sign of things to come the next day.

Day 3 – Practice Exercises @ Paradise Beach

The day began beautifully. The air was nice and warm. It was also the first time we got to see the Sun in days. We were on MV Scuba Sport in less than 30min after setting off from ScubaCat’s back office.

 

The objective for the day was simple; we were going to do what we did the previous day in the pool, except this time we would be subjected to the sea condition. We didn’t think much of it since the sea conditions seemed rather favorable that morning. Our instructors, of course, had very different ideas. Sean and Patrick casually mentioned that it would be a lot more beneficial to us trainees if the sea was choppier and winds were stronger. They then proceeded to summon a thunderstorm (which came within 5 minutes) with their secret mutant powers. Sean would later pretend that he had no hand in the sudden change of weather by humming to ABBA’s Mamma Mia!

 

As rescue diver wannabes, we were all getting more and more comfortable with the drills and routines we were supposed to do. Pretending as panicked or unresponsive divers, we were all getting more and more comfortable with having seawater go up our nostrils and into our eyes.

Day 4 – Practice Scenarios @ Rachai Yai

The 2nd day out at sea started early at 7.00am. We headed to Chalong Bay where MV Scuba Fun was already waiting for us. It was Christmas Day so there were no surprises when we found Santa Hats on board. The videographer Johnny B. was a strong advocate of them hats and spent a good 15mins trying to convince others on board to put them on as he did. The journey to Rachai Yai wasn’t the most comfortable one as the ship took a good beating from the angry sea. However, once we got into Bungalow Bay of Rachai Yai, everything was nice and calm again.

 

Today was the day we became extremely proficient in getting into our diving gear and jumping into the water. I think we may have gone in and out of the water no less than 15 times. Working together, we found out how much easier things could be if we established good communication during our rescues.

The highlight of the day came when we had a real search to carry out – fortunately, not for a real case of a missing diver – after it was discovered that one of the customer’s fin was knocked into the sea just as the boat was moving to another dive site. Eventually, we managed to recover it rather quickly.

Day 5 – Knowledge Review and Theory Examination

 

After 4 tiring days, we concluded the course with Patrick going through our knowledge reviews and then sitting for our theory examination, which all of us aced. We were now newly certified Rescue Divers! A bittersweet moment for me since although the course being absolutely exhausting, it was also extremely fun and insightful!

Win Prizes for learning to Dive !!!!

Posted on November 19th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Win Prizes for learning to Dive !!!!

has just launched a ‘Dive and Win’ campaign that new divers can benefit from. The idea is to give new divers a chance to win great prizes by just becoming certified. So if you have friends or family members, or you are planning to learn to dive you can benefit until January 31st next year.

Any student who takes the certification, Scuba Diver or Open Water from the 1st of November 2012 until the 31st of January 3013 can enter the Dive and win competition. You just need to share why you became a diver and you will get a hat.


You will then automatically be entered into a prize draw with a weekly winner of a GoPro® Hero3 camera,

 

and a monthly winner of an Apple® iPad 2.

 


Plus all entry’s have a chance to win the grand prize of an Aggressor Fleet live-aboard.

 


To enter the competition just follow the link below

http://apps..com//Campaign/DiveAndWin/DiveAndWin.aspx

For more information you can contact us at Scuba Cat if you have just taken your courses or wish to do so.

Tomorrow’s Divemaster – the future industry leaders

Posted on August 10th, 2011 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  No Comments »

Recently, introduced a revised Divemaster Course programme to better prepare the next generation of dive professionals.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  5 * CDC

As the first step from Recreational diving to Professional level diving, the Divemaster course is the foundation for a career in diving and one step away from becoming an Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI). The course is a combination of knowledge development, practical application and water skills development. The changes in the divemaster course are subtle but make a big difference – lets have a look at some of the changes and how it affects our future dive leaders.

Knowledge development

Knowledge and understanding of diving related topics is hugely important for any Dive Professional. A divemaster is expected to make decisions using sound judgement and act how a “prudent divemaster” is expected to act. These are ambiguous terms but it does emphasize the importance of having a good foundation of knowledge and skills to be able to apply in diving related activities. Good decisions are based on a persons knowledge and experiences and the changes in the divemaster course are aimed at giving a newly certified divemaster a better foundation to draw upon.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand New Divemaster Course 2011

The new divemaster manual is now a more streamlined manual, which has incorporated several topics from the Encyclopaedia of Recreational Diving to provide a complete knowledge base in a single, easy-to-read manual. Topics such as Physics, Physiology and Dive Theory are presented in an easy-to-understand manner. For additional in-depth information, the Encyclopaedia is of course still included. For those that want to spend less time in the classroom whilst in Thailand there is the option to complete all the Divemaster knowledge on E learning and also practice the Dive Theory on line in preparation for your exams.

Practical Application

This portion of the course consists out of several components. The changes in the new course are aimed at better preparing a candidate to actual diving circumstances and providing them with a broader dive experience.

There are several workshops where students role-play scenarios in a controlled environment and respond to problems during divemaster-conducted activities. This experience is very valuable. When a divemaster finishes with the course, he/she will have already seen what can go wrong in real life scenarios. This is closing the practical gap between the Divemaster programme and the Instructor Development Course (IDC).   Several practical skills have been included to provide a divemaster with broader experiences. Examples are Search & Recovery skills and Deep diving skills.

This additional training will make a student a more experienced diver and as the first step from recreational level to professional level, experience is a key element for success. The changes in the Divemaster course are mainly aimed at providing students with more experience. Like the Rescue course, a divemaster will already have a stronger base in terms of experience to draw upon and in our opinion be better equipped to deal with real-life scenarios, whether they’re responding to problems or making good decisions based on sound judgement.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  5 * CDC

Scuba Cat Diving presents our First Ever Guest Blogger Carlton Grooms

Posted on July 22nd, 2011 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  No Comments »

For more almost twenty years I coveted my Scuba certification.  Justifying a new hobby, especially one such as scuba diving, is impossible without including my wife.  Unfortunately she was uncomfortable in the water, let alone under it.  Add children to the mix and it becomes impossible right?  Not so fast.

I did gain my Open Water certification as did my wife, 11 year old daughter and 10 year old son.  Together we gained a new way to experience the beauty of life and the sea achieving it all with Scuba Cat Diving in Phuket, Thailand. I can’t say this would have come to fruition without Sarah, and the support of the entire professional staff.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Family Fun

Deb, Connor and Alexa

My wife, Deborah and I took our children, Alexa and Connor, out of school in the U.S. and embarked on a one year trip around the world.  Deborah is a professional portrait photographer and I a travel writer and filmmaker (http://www.coastlines-tanlines.com).  Together we set out to create a book of fine art, which we recently published called, “Portraits of Our World” (http://www.portraitsofourworld.com).

We wanted to avoid Europe and the typical destinations, instead focusing on Southern Africa, the Middle East, India, SE Asia and Australia.  We home schooled each step of the way using our daily life as the laboratory.  The value of the scientific education our kids received while completing the course of study at Scuba Cat Diving was unparalleled for their age.

We began our research as the phase of our trip that would take us to Phuket, Thailand  drew closer.  Sitting in a hotel room in the hills of Kerala, India I suggested we consider all getting our Scuba Diving qualifications.  My wife laughed, neither of the kids knew how to swim!  Oh yes, that swim problem…

Choosing the right company to do your certification with can be daunting.  We used our slow internet connection in India and were more confused then when we started.  Undeterred we came up with a short list, deciding to visit each once in Phuket.

Our first order of business after arriving in Phuket was to find a home to rent.  This minor detail dispatched we headed into town to sign up with one of the companies on our list.  We were immediately impressed with Scuba Cat Diving.  The staff was welcoming, the facilities were clean, the instructors professional and they showed great willingness to certify the kids seeing them as a wonderful challenge, not a burden.

We were never concerned with the classroom work for the kids.  They were doing extremely well in school, which is what allowed us to take them out in the first place.  We studied with them in the evenings after a spicy Thai meal and ensured they paid attention in class.  They completed all of their exams on their own, as required, with no issues.  There was still that swimming problem…

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  Junior Open Water

"like an elephant’s skin on a mouse"

Classroom complete and with the pool work next, Sarah gave complete focus on ensuring that the kids succeeded.  What patience and perseverance she had!  We had problems all around.  My son at 10 was no larger than most 7 year olds. With no fat on his body he would quickly become to cold to proceed.  The wetsuits were not small enough for him so we combined two at a time.  He looked like a miniature Michelin man.  Both my daughter and my wife struggled with the underwater mask clearing drill, to the point of both almost walking away.  Eventually my son did walk away, with one day to go, my hear sank.  He had no problem with the water, he was just too cold and fed up with it.  Keeping me in check, Sarah let him walk.  The next day she cajoled him into trying again, he agreed and ultimately passed the pool phase.  There was still that swimming problem…

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Scuba Diving for all the family

Will you be my buddy?

Once the pool is complete the open water work begins.  One must pass a swim test in order to enter this last phase.  Ours was to swim around the dive boat one time.  We could no longer put off that swimming problem.  Let me tell you what motivation can do for a soul.  We had the good fortune to rent a very nice home while living in Phuket, one with a large pool.  Every day after dive school, the kids would practice swimming in this pool.  When the big day came to swim around the dive boat they did with no problem.  My kids were ecstatic, my wife and I proud and Sarah relieved (that all her hard work had not been for naught).

The remainder of the dive course went without a hitch and the whole family gained their qualifications.  The kids were limited to depth for a few years thereafter due to their age but every operator we dove with honored their credentials.  I was so impressed with Scuba Cat I personally continued on to get my Advanced Open Water, Deep Diver Specialty, Wreck Diver and Enriched Air Specialty.  The only reason I did not gain more education was that my time in Phuket had come to an end.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Scuba Diving for kids

Certification complete - Smiles all around

Since their training Connor and Alexa have had the great fortune to dive on The Great Barrier Reef near Herron Island.  They also got their first night dive in Kona, Hawaii watching manta rays swoop over their heads.  The ray’s mouths were bigger than the kids.  Most recently they dove near Coiba Island in Panama, which is the northern most island in the Galapagos chain.

We are quite proud of our children’s accomplishments and experiences diving.  None of which would have been possible without the professional attention of Scuba Cat and most especially Sarah.  I recommend that if you are looking to learn to dive, refresh your skills or increase your certification you do it with Scuba Cat.  All I ask is when you are done diving for the day, you lift a cold Singha and mention me in a toast.

Another Scuba Cat Diving Certificate of Excellence 2011

Posted on July 21st, 2011 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  No Comments »

Another big thank you to Jelena Rsumovic who completed her internship with us during 2011. She  completed all courses with Scuba Cat Diving from Divemaster to Instructor.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Learn to Dive

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Instructor Internship

“I had a very professional and organised environment where I completed my divemaster and instructor internship. The divemaster course was the hard one, but today like an instructor, I feel very confident about the skills that I had learnt. I had the opportunity to guide customers on the boats, assist courses etc. I have 200+ dives now, and I am thankful to Scubacat, Vince Callaghan my instructor on divemaster, Christophe Pace, my course director on my IDC and Sarah Kench – general manager of Scubacat for providing me all the support, experience, excellent education and made me the dive instructor I am today. should be very proud of this Dive Centre”