Kieran Hooley

From: Yorkshire, England. Age: 24

Back home I worked as a Restaurant Manager in a privately owned hotel. I had been there since I was 16 and wanted to go and travel the world.


How long have you spent completing your scuba diving training?

My starting plan was to do 6 months skipping around South East Asia with friends I came away with back in March. Three weeks in and the plan was going successfully. We had done most of Thailand and were heading down to the islands.

Then I was introduced to Koh Tao and Crystal Dive and four days later I was a PADI Open Water Diver.

Within five days my plans had all changed and I found myself waving goodbye to my mates at the pier.

Five months later I am still here and have since completed my Advanced, EFR, Rescue Diver and Divemaster course.

I have to say….I am having the best time of my life!


What was your favourite part of the scuba diving training and why?

There is so many! Aside from meeting new and interesting people every day, assisting on different instructor’s courses and learning different techniques and methods, meals out with the crystal family every night it’s hard to pick just one.

If I had to try it would either be my fun dive lead where I was allowed to take divers out and be in charge of two dives for the first time or my workshops in the pool learning how to deal with all sorts of diving related problems.

What was your least favourite part and why?

This was probably throughout my ear infection and having to stay on land watching the boat leave with everyone on it twice a day and then hearing everyone’s stories when they came back about their dives and seeing all the smiling faces.

Who was your favourite Instructor and why?

This is impossible to answer. Carsten deserves huge credit, after completing my Rescue course with him I remember asking him straight away if I could have him as my mentor throughout my Divemaster course.

He never failed to make me laugh and was always there to answer my questions whether it was on the boat, during a course or over a beer at the end of the day.

Tina also deserves huge praise as she took me through my Open Water + Advanced and it was nice to be able to then assist her on both of these courses.

Finally I would say Heath. I never actually assisted any courses with him, but even just sat on the boat listening in to his briefings with his students and DMTs assisting his courses I learnt a lot.

Heath is thorough and clear in his teaching, and again was always very approachable and friendly if I ever asked him any questions I had.

As a qualified PADI Divemaster what are you future plans with regards to scuba?

My plan is to try and stay here in Koh Tao as long as possible. I would love to become a permanent fixture here at Crystal and I am very keen on doing my Instructor Development Course and then Master Scuba Diver Trainer course.

And what about Koh Tao?

It’s like my second home! It has everything anyone could want in paradise. From amazing little beaches all around the island, staggering views and viewpoints up in the hills. Not to mention the variety of dive sites to please all kinds of wants and needs and the array of food to keep any palate happy!

Finally the people here, whether it’s the friendly happy locals, families on their holidays or groups of friends backpacking around. There is people from all corners of the world all on one little rock!

And your favourite restaurant on Koh Tao?

Not a restaurant as such but it has to be Greasy Spoon. Definitely my guilty pleasure! It’s not often I go there but when I’m missing a Full English breakfast or a sausage, bacon and egg sandwich on a morning it feels like heaven!

How did you spend your non diving days on Koh Tao?

There weren’t many but I visited the viewpoints a few times around the Island and had a few days out snorkelling with groups of friends. Other than that most days were diving days!

Where are you heading next?

I have no idea to tell the truth! I would love to stay here and work and then complete my IDC, if not then maybe go to Australia to refresh my bank account and come back to complete my IDC.

Wherever I go it will involve diving and I know I will be back at some point if I were to leave.


Kieran Hooley was last modified: December 2nd, 2018 by SimonD