TIME high school abroad – An internship adventure

Internship thailand diving with Kon-Tiki

Hello!

We are three guys from Karlstad’s international TIME program, Sweden. We have been given the opportunity to spend three weeks in Ao nang, Thailand, as interns for Kon-tiki Krabi. Karlstad’s international TIME program is an upper secondary school that educates students in Digital Medias.

So what we will be doing at Kon-tiki is helping them with web project that will help them reach out to more who wants to try out diving and experienced divers as well. And Kon-tiki has also given us the opportunity to get an Open Water certificate; we are really looking forward to this.

Our journey started at Saturday, 8/3-14, where our flight took off from Arlanda, Stockholm. We reached Ao nang around 11 o’clock on Sunday. We had been told to meet up at Kontiki’s shop with our supervisor Niclas for the first time. He showed us the way to our hotel, where we will be living for three weeks, after introducing ourselves.

At Monday we started the project with creating a new webpage. Monday morning our ride picked us up at our hotel and took us to Kon-tiki’s office. We meet Niclas and another of our colleague Martin at the office.

As I mentioned, Kon-tiki have given us the opportunity to try SCUBA diving. Therefore Niclas took us out at Wednesday for one of Kon-tiki’s Discover Scuba Diving Trips. Our ride arrived at 7.30 am that would take us down to Ao nang beach. We met the Kon-tiki crew at the beach and jumped into one of the boats that would take us to Kon-tiki’s diving boat.  This boat would take us first to the Phi Phi Island, where Niclas guided us through Phi Phi. We took the opportunity to take a short swim at the wonderful beach in Phi Phi, were the weather was great!

We went back to the boat after a short swim and now the boat would take us to the first place where we would dive. When the boat was on its way to the first dive point, we started preparing and fixing our equipment before arriving. In that way we could jump into the blue immediately when arriving to the diving point. Of course Niclas told us the safety rules and told us what we needed to think about while being under the water. When our equipment was ready we jumped into the water with Niclas. He was the one who would take us through the adventure. We had a lot of luck this day because the visibility in the water was very clear and this means we had a good chance to see a lot of marine life. Down under the surface we meet a new world. Hovering of the sea bottom without falling down was something completely new and we had all kind of fish species around us.

And above all of our expectations, we saw sharks. It was not only one shark; the total count was approximately 15 sharks and we saw them many times. The name of the sharks is Black-tip reef shark. They were very beautiful and they showed no signs of aggression at all. It’s really a pity that they have such a bad reputation.

blacktip reef shark diving maya krabi ao nang

If we let them be, they won’t mind us at all. We lost the sight of them when we moved on and after 50 minutes we were up on the surface again. Now it was time to get some food before the second dive. Meanwhile at the boat we were served free drinks from the Kon-tiki staff. Nice fresh fruits were served all the time, a good way to keep the heat down. After a well-served lunch we prepared our equipment and got ready jump into the blue again. This time we would go deeper down and follow a beautiful reef with all kind of species.

This time the diving itself went much better after some problem with keeping a constant height and we started to feel confident in the water.  In this dive we actually saw a beautiful seahorse and the reef itself was amazing.  Along the way we saw a couple morays lurking in their dark holes.  After following the beautiful reef it was time to get.

When we got up on the boat again after the last dive, it was time to put back in the equipment and get home to Ao Nang again. The start of our adventure couldn’t have been better due to our supervisor Niclas and the Kontiki-staff. Thanks to all of you on the boat and we are looking forward to further dives with you that hopefully will result into Open Water certificate.

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Why combine Sidemount with Nitrox?

Nitrox giant stride sidemount diving thailandFor a regular diver making an average dive on a single (12 litre) cylinder will usually be able to make an hour time underwater. This will decrease substantially when diving deeper or in a current, where you quickly will become restricted by your gas supply.

A way to accommodate for this build-up of air consumption is to increase your cylinder size. This by using a 15 litre cylinder or choosing to dive with doubles. However, finding this option on your dive travel or holiday is not always easy.

When we dive with sidemount configuration we usually dive with two cylinders. Not only will this double up your gas supply, but “normal” size cylinders are used everywhere, making it great way to make longer dives on your holiday.

However, diving longer and deeper dives on air is not always a healthy option. If you are making several dives during the day or spend great time at depth on a wreck dive, your nitrogen load might become an issue.

By switching gas in your cylinders to Nitrox or Enriched air we can almost double up the bottom time, due to the lesser nitrogen. Combine this with two cylinder sidemount, you have the perfect recipe for longer, deeper dives on your favourite spot.Nitrox surface sidemount diving thailand

The journey with Kon-Tiki, from Open Water to Scuba Instructor

Matilda Technical Diving Koh Lanta ThailandI took my first breaths underwater when I was 8, in Cyprus, hanging on to the instructor’s BCD and breathing from his alternate air source. The ocean had always fascinated me and now I got to experience it for myself and I loved it.

When I came to Kon-Tiki and Koh Lanta the first time, I was 15, and then I was finally going to do my Open Water course. Four days later, I had become a certified diver and guess if I was excited! Next year I did my Advanced course with Kon-Tiki Phuket and a couple of years later I was graduating high school, with a plan to go back to Koh Lanta and do my Divemaster course. After several holidays on the island I had gotten to know Kon-Tiki and decided that if I was going to do this course, it was going to be done here.

In the fall of 2012 I walked back through the doors of Kon-Tiki Lanta and was introduced to my new instructor, Joachim, who took great care of me throughout my course. During the process I got to know the dive centre and how things work “behind the scenes”. Joachim was (and still is!) an amazingly inspiring mentor and it didn’t take long before I realized I wanted to become an instructor.

Matilda IDC Koh Lanta Diving ThailandI stayed on Lanta for the rest of the season, working as a freelancer for Kon-Tiki. After going back home to Sweden for the summer, I came back in September this year. In mid-November, I started my IDC, blessed with the course director Isa Fayos. The IDC contained long hours in the classroom, several sessions in the pool and a couple of days in the ocean as we prepared for the examination in Phuket. The course was incredibly fun and finally the hard work paid off as I passed my examination.

As I am writing this, I am back home on Lanta, waiting for PADI to process my instructor application and put me in “teaching status”. As a 15 year old, I began my diving career with Kon-Tiki and here I am, five years later, just waiting to jump back into the water with my first open water students. I want to say a big thank you to Kon-Tiki and the amazing staff for having been so supporting during all this and I can’t wait to start the rest of the season, as OWSI #318035.

/Matilda

Resan från Open Water till Divemaster

Peter aka Jesus Open Water Course Kon-Tiki Koh Lanta ThailandJag drömt om att få dyka ända sedan jag var en liten pojke. De första försöken att simma under vattnet var spännande – hur länge kunde jag hålla andan och hur långt kunde jag dyka? Resultaten blev bättre med tiden och tävlan med vännerna var stenhård. Som 7-åring i simskolan klarade jag hela 25m bassänglängden. Gissa om jag var stolt! Långt senare, eller vid  185 cm lång, fick jag prova på riktig dykning med utrustning (Discover Scuba Diving) i Dominikanska Republiken. Efter ytterligare några år blev det ett provdyk också på Cypern. Det var så fascinerande att kunna andas under vattnet! Jag ville så gärna ta mitt Open Water certifikat, men var jag lite ängslig för att dyka djupt….Semestrarna tillsammans med familjen – tre livliga barn och en fru med egna åsikter, gjorde att tid för dykning aldrig fanns.

Kreta Diving Divemaster Course Kon-Tiki Krabi Ao Nang Thailand

År 2009 hade jag bestämt mig för att äntligen ta min nybörjar- eller Open Water kurs. Jag vände mig till Kon-tiki i Ao Nang, Krabi tack vare en rekommendation från min barndomsvän. På bara tre dagar hade vi tillsammans med instruktören klarat av teori, poolövningar samt Open Water dyk. Det var underbart att bli av med oron för djupare dyk. Jag hade inte ont i öronen och jag visste hur lätt det var att avbryta dyket om man så ville. Det var bara att dyka och njuta av den underbara världen under ytan. Nu hade jag blodad tand!

Jag återvände både 2011 och nu 2013 till Ao Nang och Kon-Tiki. Nu har jag gjort min Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver och senast Divemaster kurs med dem. Dessutom har jag haft tillfälle att bygga på med så kallade specialties som. Cavern Diver, Night Diver och Deep Diver. Jag har nu upptäckt att världen under ytan bjuder på nya upplevelser i så gott som alla hörn av  världen.  I skrivande stund kommer mina barn, 13, 15 och 17 år ner till Thailand. De ska alla tre göra sin Open Water kurs med Kon-Tiki på Koh Lanta.

Varför kommer jag tillbaka? Som land är Thailand fantastiskt välkomnande och dykningen är väldigt mångsidig. Den avgörande orsaken är att jag trivs med stämningen, den positiva attityden och gemenskapen som jag fått uppleva. Det är personligheterna på Kon-tiki som gör den stora skillnaden.  Vi ses igen!

/ Niclas

Kon-Tiki launches the PADI Cavern Diver course

PADI Sidemount Cavern Diver course krabi thailand

After a few days of exploring the surrounding underwater caves of Krabi and building on the previous years experience of our Khao Sok tours, we have now launched the Cavern program in a new format.

The PADI Cavern Diver course covers the knowledge and techniques of cavern diving and describes the dangers involved with cave diving. PADI Sidemount Cavern Diver course krabi thailandThe Cavern Diver course is conducted 3 days and 4 training dives, a thorough academic presentation, an equipment modification workshop and line practice land drills. There is no manual, so no boring reading followed by reviews or exams, just very informative and relaxing discussions and practical exercises.

read more…

Narcosis – diving deep has a price

Deep diving thailand koh lanta nitrogen narcosis

Nitrogen Narcosis or “raptures of the deep” is an altered mental state caused by the increased pressure of gas in your body. Most divers will start getting affected by this sensation around 30 meters, and the effects will increase by depth.

Most commonly we dive on normal compressed air, comprised by mostly oxygen and nitrogen. Due to the large amount of nitrogen, this gas has the largest impact on narcosis as we descend. The concentration of nitrogen impairs the conduction between our nerve impulses, which resembles the influence of alcohol. As we go deeper the pressure increases, with that the narcosis starts affecting our mental abilities.

Just like drinking small amounts of alcohol, the narcosis itself is not harmful. However, being under the influence 30 meters under the surface can lead to accidents, the same as driving a car intoxicated could. Unlike other drugs the narcosis subsides quite rapidly as the diver ascends, and pressure decreases.

The symptoms of narcosis is the same as anesthetic drugs, causing the diver to feel symptoms like dizziness, euphoria, slowing of reaction time, loss of dexterity, perceptual narrowing, numbness and amnesia.

As the diver continues to dive at this depth he will go through series of different mental states. This includes going from a relaxed, euphoric and overconfident level to a sensation of panic thoughts and terror. This means that a diver, who has experience of making short deep dives, will experience something completely different when staying down there for a period of time.

There is also a general belief that predisposing factors like cold, darkness, clear blue water, sea sickness and hard work underwater has great effect on the severity of the narcosis. A diver, who shows no signs or symptoms on a deep dive one day, can experience narcosis on another.

Divers sometimes believe they are not affected by narcosis after a dive, but this can simply be because the symptoms where disguised by task loading or other factors. Just as a person can think he is not affected by having a couple of drinks. Diving deeper than 30-40 meters will produce some kind of narcosis, the symptoms might not just be as visible.

There are two ways of preventing narcosis. By keeping above 30 meters, you should stay relatively symptom free. The other way is to mix helium, a less narcotic gas, in your cylinder. This will make deep dives more manageable, however mixed gas diving requires some additional training and equipment.

But by managing narcosis, keeping up to date with your training and staying physically fit, you can experience some of the most mystical places on earth.

Start your deep diver course or technical diver training this winter, just ask us!

Why you should take the leap and become a PADI Dive Instructor

PADI IDC Scuba Diving Instructor Course Koh LantaEveryone that’s been abroad on a holiday, or maybe just watched a movie from a paradise location, can remember that lucky guy/girl who had that place as their office.

As PADI professionals, either Divemaster or diving instructors we all have an office with a view like no others. We wake up in the morning eating our breakfast and think about all the new things we´ll see that day. About the new great people we are about to meet and create memories with, some for life.

Being a dive professional isn´t just about diving, it’s a life style. We constantly try to improve our skills and our knowledge, about everything from the smallest little underwater critter we can find, to the strangest physics questions you can ever think off. We bet you who has ever have done a PADI Course, that you were really inspired from your Dive instructor. How he/she explained everything to you, demonstrated the essential skills, and also guided you through your course.

For you guys that are more experienced and done all courses up to PADI rescue diver or even PADI Divemaster. Try this, think about your first 3 girl-/boyfriends names – hard? Now, do the same with your diving instructors – easier? Even with only a few limited days, they have made such an impact on your life that you remember them easier than your previous loved ones.

Becoming a PADI open water scuba instructor is an intensive course that is conducted over 2 weeks. It will take you through different teaching methods, coaching techniques, and pedagogic skills. We also focus on dive theory as you are supposed to be “all knowing” when it comes to diving and everything related to it.

During the course you´ll make classroom presentation for your PADI course director, skill demonstrations/briefings in the pool and of course the Open water skills. You´ll get to practice skills taught in PADI Open water up to PADI Divemaster courses. Making sure you are proficient in all fields before starting to teach in the real world.

It´s what we call – Serious Fun

Next IDC starts in November on Koh Lanta. Contact us for a change to an alternate lifestyle!