Tim, our new Divemaster Trainee, writes about himself, his diving life and his PADI Dive Training with us here on Koh Phangan.
Tim Siebens, Koh Phangan, 14 may 2012.
Hi, I am Tim and like a lot of people I was already for a long time bored and fed up with the stressful lifestyle in Europe and specifically in Belgium, from where I am. After changing jobs more than a couple of times I knew it is time for a more radical change in my life. Three years ago I went on a world trip that lasted 13 months. I have traveled around South-East Asia, went from there to Australia, New Zealand, South-America and ended up in Panama. I knew very fast that I didn’t want to pick up my old lifestyle in Belgium. So one year later I was already back in South-East Asia, now seven months later I am on Koh Phangan (Thailand); and just started my Divemaster Course with HAAD YAO DIVERS. I am really enjoying it and diving “one of my big passions”, might even open up some new opportunities for more traveling or living abroad. Right now I am just enjoying the life on the island and the beautiful marine life under water, but it’s a nice thought that a hobby like diving can bring you to exotic places, while doing something you really love. Isn’t It????
I started diving in Belgium in a Dive Club and got my CMAS 1* Certification, which is the equivalent of the PADI Open Water certification. After that I’ve just been diving for fun, whenever I’ve been abroad on good dive locations. So almost 9 years and 35 dives later I finally decided to get more serious into diving and become a PADI Pro. I signed up with Haad Yao Divers on Koh Phangan for all the required PADI courses and for the Divemaster Program. They have a very good reputation for Divemaster training and got recommended by a friend of mine. I started in May 2012 with the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, a prerequisite on the way to become a Divemaster, which made me realize that although diving wasn’t new to me I really didn’t knew much before. I have learned a lot of new things and for the first time I improved my way of diving a lot.
The next step on the ladder to become a Dive Professional was the PADI EFR Course (Emergency First Responder), which was a very interesting and certainly important course. Of course you hope you never have to use it, but it might be very useful sometimes.
The last prerequisite to start the Divemaster Program was the PADI Rescue Diver Certification. Now you get more and more insight in what happens while diving, what can go wrong and how to anticipate. A lot to study and to practice but it’s also good fun. One day at Sail Rock that I definitely will remember, started with a nice first dive but at the end we got chased by a Trigger fish which was a bit overprotective because it was nesting. On the second dive I had to practice a couple of skills on bringing a non responsive or panicking diver to the surface.
When we ascended and were swimming back to the boat everybody was really enthusiastic and asked “did you see the whale shark?”. Nope, I was rescuing my instructor! So, Nick and I were the only one’s who hadn’t seen it, but hey it was only 4 meters, pfff a baby, no big deal right!
Now I am in my Divemaster training with HAAD YAO DIVERS, so more studying, diving and practicing skills. But at this stage I assist already diving courses. So it’s nice that while I am still learning every day, at the same time people start asking me questions. And you already teach them skills and new things and facts about diving.
It’s nice to see people having a totally new experience or simply had a wonderful time under water, and you’re part of it. It’s fun to see them get enthusiastic about the aquatic life and diving. So yeah, I am enjoying the course a lot, never before thought about teaching, but I guess that’s what the Haad Yao Divers Team are training me for now hey…
June 14, 2012 – First time guiding a diver
Today I guided my first dive on my own with Yuta, a Japanese who did his Open Water and Advanced Course with Haad Yao Divers, as my buddy. And I noticed that I was really eager to find some nice things under water for him to take great pictures. But besides from the regular marine life (which is anyway impressive all the time at Sail Rock) I didn’t see any special species in the beginning. Even the moray eels or the giant moray weren’t at home today. So while the dive continued I got a bit worried that he wouldn’t enjoy it that much. But then I saw a big and very nice porcupine fish and a couple of huge groupers. I looked around for some smaller stuff and found a red banded boxer shrimp, which just came out of his hiding place and posed perfect for Yuta’s camera and some colorful war slugs and nudibranches. So no whale shark or manta ray today, of course you can’t force nature, but a wonderful and enjoyable dive after all. My first guiding, yeah!
Tim will keep us up to date about his dive experiences and Divemaster Training. Please stay tuned!