What PADI scuba diving Internship program did you complete?
I just completed my Divemaster internship followed by my PADI Instructor & MSDT program courses.
What were you doing before you joined Crystal Dive?
I was working as a vet surgeon in Birmingham – England 7 days/week and diving one weekend a month in a very cold quarry. I actually arrived on Koh Tao in April this year, finished my Advanced Open Water course then I had to go back to England to work. I was there for another 4 months and then decided to leave it behind.
How long have you spent completing your scuba diving internship?
It took me 2-3 months to increase my certifications through Divemaster to OWSI & now MSDT (Specialty Instructor).
What was your favourite part of your scuba diving internship and why?
The best thing about doing the internship was obviously diving every day seeing something different underwater each day. I got to meet some amazing people and get closer to Crystal`s team of staff, as well as taking part in the Discover Scuba Diving program.
It`s so rewarding to see your DSD`s enjoying their first experience underwater with you so much, that they want to carry on with their education and become certified Open Water students.
What was your least favourite and why?
The least favourite part was probably anxiety when I began my internship. I was overly concerned about navigation, buoys, buoy lines, trying to memorise the dive sites map in order not to get lost with my customers. Getting lost never happened (let`s not jinx it).
The good thing about it is that I realize after few days that there is no way you can really get lost if you stay on the site.
During your scuba diving internship which of the additional Marine Conservation ‘ECO’ program activities did you take part in and which did you enjoy the most?
I took part in dive site and beach clean-ups, my favourite one was the Staghorn coral `clean-up`of Drupella snails – some small gastropods (snails) that feed on the coral`s tissues – hence being responsible for coral damage.
This last one required some good buoyancy skills having to hover on top of the corals head-down, feet-up and collect snails using a huge forceps.
Do you think our additional Marine Conservation ‘ECO’ program was beneficial to your Professional level scuba diving training and if so why?
I think participating in Eco programs is crucial for every diver in a way that divers get to see the underwater life – coral reefs damaged or in decline making them motivated and willing to do something about it.
As a qualified PADI MSDT what are your future plans with regards to scuba?
I recently completed my PADI Scuba Diver Instructor certificate (OWSI) and have now completed my MSDT program. There are so many specs I want to take a part of – like Sidemount and Self Reliant diver. I have a huge interest in teaching children and to focus on adaptive teaching and diving.
What are your thoughts about Koh Tao? A Favourite Restaurant?
Breeze is one of my favourite restaurants on the island, located on the beach right next to Crystal. Their Mezze Board dish is soooo delicious. Pranee’s Kitchen is also close to Crystal and their traditional Thai food is tasty.
How did you spend your non-diving days?
When I don`t dive…I hike. I like discovering new secret beaches or abandoned resorts and go all the way up on the top of the hills to the view-points and spend the day in the shadow watching the island from above.
Where are you heading to next?
I am actually planning to stay on the island for a while. My experience here (diving, friends, beaches) had such a massive impact upon me that is impossible to leave.