Posts Tagged ‘PADI Professional’

Scuba Cat Diving restored my Confidence

Posted on June 7th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Scuba Cat Diving restored my Confidence

I first discovered Scuba Cat Diving, Phuket, Thailand 7 months ago when I had nearly decided to stop diving after completing an Advanced Open Water course that fell far short of standards and left me feeling uncomfortable and lacking in confidence in the water……

Today, I am nearing completion of my Dive Master Course at Scuba Cat.

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

While taking my Advanced Open Water course on a Similans Liveaboard, I saw the same course being taught far more comprehensively by an Instructor (Kiwi)  from Scuba Cat.  As a newly certified Open Water diver I didn’t want to question my advanced training but through comparison and several experiences in the water that put my safety in jeopardy, it was clear that my training was incomplete and rushed.  After speaking with Kiwi  relaying some of my concerns he told me to stop by the Scuba Cat Dive shop  in Patong when I finished the liveaboard.

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

When I arrived back in Patong I went to see Scuba Cat. General Manager, Sarah, was already aware of what had happened and she offered to put me on one of their boats free-of-charge to receive the training that I should have received during my course.  In short I had not met the performance requirements that would make me an Advanced Open Water diver, however I had been signed off anyway. At this point in time I had no connection with Scuba Cat and here they were prepared to reteach the course for me to ensure that I was a competent AOW diver.

The next day I went to Racha Yai to repeat the navigation, deep, and peak performance buoyancy portions of my course.  From the moment I got on the boat I felt very well taken care of.

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

Racha Yai Island

Tony, my Instructor went through all of my equipment set up and briefed me on what we were going to do.  It was taught in a very accessible manner and I felt prepared and ready for my dives.  Whilst in the water, we covered all of the performance requirements that an advanced diver should demonstrate.  The training was very comprehensive and I felt my confidence returning in the water.  There was no question in my mind that I was going to continue diving and that that Scuba Cat was the only choice.

Several months on  a Rescue Diver course, 5 specialities and a Master Scuba Diver later) I am now in the middle of my Dive Master training.

How far I have come from those few months ago when I was ready to give up diving because of a poor learning experience!

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

The Dive Master course is the first rung on the professional ladder.  It is challenging and exhausting but so much fun.  I am training with several other people and there is a great sense of camaraderie. We complete an extensive range of classroom training, pool training and open water training and our learning encompasses even more than what is required by standards.  We assist on multiple courses and have access to experienced instructors that are a wealth of information and incredibly supportive in our learning.  I have assisted on a few courses now and it is really a great opportunity to see and participate in different teaching practices.  All of the Scuba Cat Instructors are very vigilant about making sure that their students meet the performance requirements but their methods are varied and to have exposure to that is a good learning tool.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand

As a repeat customer and now a Dive Master trainee, I would say that the one thing that has kept me coming back to Scuba Cat is their commitment to quality and excellence.  We repeat skills and tasks over and over again and our training is not just about doing something once and then being signed off.  There are multiple opportunities to practice and hone our skills.  Of course as Dive Master trainees we make lots of mistakes but even those are turned in to valuable learning opportunities.  Our mistakes also are fodder for the instructors who love to tease us. I, for one, will never again forget to pack my wet suit for a cold and rainy day of pool training!

As trainees, we a representing the company and therefore are expected to abide by the company code of conduct.  We have responsibilities just as the staff members do and our assistance is required in order to keep things running efficiently and effectively.  During the course you learn that your scope of responsibilities lies well beyond being in the water with customers. In many ways, we are relied upon more than some of the instructors as customers feel more comfortable talking with you as you are nearer their level in terms of dive experience.

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

One of the most magical parts of this course is being there for the first moment that someone takes their first breath underwater.  As we are in the ocean so much it is easy to forget the magic that surrounds you on a daily basis and it is always a reminder of how lucky I am when I get to share that experience with a new diver.

The Dive Master course is a serious commitment and I could not recommend Scuba Cat more highly.  In just a few weeks, I feel that I have learnt so much.  The staff are supportive and I feel that I am part of a team.  Every day offers something new to learn and I feel confident that when I am signed off as a Dive Master I will have been trained to the highest standards.

Night Diving

Posted on July 28th, 2011 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Night Diving

Night diving is something that divers seem to love or hate, just like marmite!!! Night diving offers an experience that is completely different to day diving.  First and foremost it’s dark and a torch is a must. The torch gives light, but it is concentrated, so you only get to see what is in the beam.  If anything, this lets you focus more on the marine life that is highlighted.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Learn to Dive

Diving in the Dark

It’s incredible to see the difference in life. The day shift is going to bed and the night shift is coming out. You will find fish tucking themselves into cracks in the rocks for protection against the nocturnal predators. Parrotfish, for example, can be seen with a protective mucus bubble surrounding them. This can only be produced once during the night, so it is important not to disturb the fish when shining the light.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Marine Life

If you should be lucky enough to see a turtle sleeping then just say “hi” and “goodbye”. When a turtle sleeps it lowers it’s heart rate, so that it is able to sleep without having to go to the surface for air. If the turtle is disturbed then it may become disorientated and doesn’t know which way up is.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Night Dive

Also, the shock of being woken could induce a heart attack, which is not a good scenario!! So it is important to show respect for the sleeping creatures and not shine the light directly into their eyes. Can you imagine what it is like when you are fast asleep and someone walks into your bedroom and puts the light on?

Predators, like moray eels looking for a midnight feast can often be seen free swimming at night. They look amazing as their undulating bodies move across the reef. During the day morays tend to hide in rocks, so it is hard to appreciate their size and beauty. Barracudas are really quiet cheeky and often use the torch light to locate their next meal. So, if you don’t want to be responsible for fish becoming a meal then don’t shine you torch on it!

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Learn to Dive

The night shift includes crabs in all different shapes and sizes. Have a look in finger corals to find small porcelain crabs, look under coral blocks to find the larger ones. Decorator crabs, with their legs covered in camouflage are difficult to find as they look like the coral surrounding them.  Sponge crabs are amusing to watch as they try and merge with the rocks, so they can’t be seen.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Similan Islands

Lobsters can be seen walking around the reef and are very good rock climbers and they don’t even need crampons!! It’s amazing how quick these cumbersome creatures can move. Look in coral blocks and you will be able to see red dots, like little rubies. These are the eyes of shrimps, many different species in all shapes and sizes.  Again, a lovely sight as they dance around.

There is just so much to see on a night dive, but the key is to move slowly and concentrate on a small area. Always take the opportunity to blank out your torch by placing it against your body (don’t switch it off) and wave your arms around. If the Bioluminescence are in full swing then you will create a magical moment as they sparkle around you.

Night diving is an experience not to be missed ………………………

Why leave it all to chance……….. enjoy your first night dive experiences with a Professional, so you can enjoy the wonders anytime day or night.

Scuba Cat Diving Learn to Dive