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

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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

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!

Kon-Tiki Lanta is releasing a new Android app to support Project AWARE

Andaman Reef Guide diving thailand

“Andaman Reef Guide” is a simple application that holds a database and interesting facts about the species on the reefs of the Andaman Sea.

By purchasing this app for around 100 baht the user will get access to 300 pictures and information about the coral reef. 20% of the profits will go to Project AWARE, a foundation that supports the conservation of the marine environment.

The application is also linked to monthly updates on the Kon-Tiki website that holds more in depths information regarding specific marine species.

The app will soon also be available on AppStore for iPhone.

The application can be purchased here:
http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.kontiki.fishid&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImFpci5jb20ua29udGlraS5maXNoaWQiXQ

Read more about Project Aware:
http://www.projectaware.org/

Kon-Tiki launches PADI Sidemount Diver Course

Learn a new and different way to dive with the PADI Sidemount Diver course!PADI Sidemount diver specialty course thailand

Sidemount is an equipment configuration which has diving cylinders mounted alongside the diver, below the shoulders and along the hips, instead of on the back of the diver. It began as a configuration popular with advanced cave divers, as smaller sections of cave can be penetrated and tanks can be changed with greater ease. The same benefits for operating in confined spaces were also recognized by divers who conducted technical wreck diving penetrations.

Sidemount is now growing in popularity within the technical diving community for general decompression diving and is becoming an increasingly popular specialty training for recreational diving.

PADI Sidemount diving training with proper Side Mount Configuration offers:

  • an alternative way to streamline yourself and the equipment in the water
  • easier cylinder logistics on the surface
  • reduced lower back strain
  • provides redundant gas supply
  • ability to monitor all regulators, valves and gauges because they are in front
  • increased gas supply for longer dives

During the course you will learn:

  • Equipment configuration and preparation
  •  Body posture and trim
  • Propulsion techniques
  • Gas management
  • Proper Sidemount diver procedures and emergencies

Take a new, fun and challenging course on your next holiday to Thailand!

Kon-Tiki launches a new Tec Program

PADI Tec Basics Fundamentals Technical Diving Thailand Koh Lanta

Are you an advanced qualified diver seeking a new challenge on your holiday?

Kon-Tiki is proud to add an additional PADI Specialty to their list of available dive courses. This course is ideal for divers seeking to prepare themselves for Advanced diver training and those who may want to extend their abilities using technical equipment. Along with buoyancy, trim and control in the water we teach you the essential skills for problem solving, gas switching and valve handling using technical diver equipment.

This course doesn’t qualify divers for deeper dives, but it is strongly recommended for all divers wishing to increase skill competency before heading into decompression, cave and wreck diving. The great thing is that you only need to be an advanced qualified diver with 9 dives to start this course.

The course is conducted over 2 days. The first day includes an introduction to the theory behind decompression diving. The second half is a skill workshop explaining the basic philosophy with the technical diving rig and skill practice. Our second day is spent on the boat conducting gas switching, valve drills and problem solving in a real open water environment.

Skills you will learn during the course includes

  • Technical Equipment Set Up
  • Neutral Buoyancy Control & Swimming Techniques
  • Setting Up & Handling Decompression Cylinders
  • Gas Shut Down Drills
  • Free Flowing Regulators
  • Out of Air Situations
  • Bubble Check
  • Saftey Drills
  • NOTOX Gas Switching
  • Calculating Air Consumption
  • Simulation Decompression Stops
  • Lift Bag Deployment
  • Decompression Planning Using Software

Read more here

or e-mail Niclas Andersson our technical diving instructor on Koh Lanta.

Kon-Tiki Thailand and PADI at the Similan Islands

diving thailand management team technical diving

Kon-Tiki Thailand’s Management team caught a chance for follow up on a PADI Business seminar right at the start off the high season. Members of the Krabi, Koh Lanta & Phuket Branch joined forces to meet with the rest of Thailand’s elite to share business ideas and experiences.

The journey started in different parts of Thailand on Friday afternoon, so when the last email was send, a taxi ride to Khao Lak and we could finally meet up with our other friends from PADI. There was a great turn up from both east and west coast, so soon after greeting everyone, the volume of talking reached 100%.

After a short transfer to Khao Lak Scuba Adventures very own liveaboard Manta Queen we enjoyed a delicious dinner and got our program presented with all the members ready to learn even more.

In the night the boat started its long journey to the Similans and it was announced that we would not only be diving at the Similans, but actually going all the way to Richelieu Rock, which made the whole group extremely happy – Yeah Scuba diving at Richelieu Rock!!!! Thank you Stefan and Mr. Oh for being so generous.

Onboard there was opportunity to try twin set diving, side mount diving and Poseidon’s new Rebreather and with a lot of PADI Diving Instructors onboard wanting to try all the new toys, it is just to get in the line.

Next morning we woke up to clear blue skies and an absolutely calm Andaman Sea, what more can one ask for?! With a couple of twin tanks on our backs we started our descent into the blue blue water with excitement to what this dive would bring. All teams made their way around the site several times shooting away with go pro, video and digital cameras. This dive site is literally covered in beautiful soft corals in all the rainbows colors. You will find groups of fusiliers all over the place and many different species of parrotfish, triggerfish and clownfish hiding. With two dives at Richelieu Rock and the boat just parked above us, made it a perfect day. We finished early afternoon, having time to work on the tan between the dives and fill our stomach with the great food served onboard by the helpful Thai crew. Last dive was a Koh Tachai Pinnacle and we made it back for another snack and a sunset presentation from our favorite PADI Regional Managers Mr. Tony Andrews and Tim Hunt.

diving thailand green turtle similan islands

Next morning at Hin Leuang, right by Koh Bon it was back in the water again and all the divers were waiting with excitement to see the Manta Rays, which this dive site is so famous for. It is quite a deep site and covered in yellow tube corals. We could see as far deep down to the bottom and just saw a leopard shark disappearing even deeper. During the dive a couple of curious green turtles passed us closely, so we could get our cover photo.

diving thailand rebreather similan islands

Next dive was to try out the Poseidon Rebreather. After a presentation, which PADI instructor Kevin Black from Kiwi Divers in Phuket gave, we were ready to get under water and try out the new toys! What a feeling! In the beginning there was a strange approach to the buoyancy, but after a few minutes we got the hang of it. The fish came a lot closer and just dancing in front of our cameras. After a half an hour try out, we had to let others give it a go, but definitely something worth doing again. Curious after what else was to find at this dive site, we strapped on the twins again and made our way down to the mooring line to check it out. Furthermore we got to investigate the dive sites of the north Similan Island and night diving in Donald Duck Bay.

diving thailand padi sidemount similan islands

We also got a chance to try sidemount diving. This way of configuring your cylinders keeping them on your side, gives a whole new experience of freedom. Even as this has been a standard for some cave divers for long, it has a lot of benefits for us recreational divers as well, like passing through small swim throughs!

As diving is the best part of Similans, let us not forget the powder-white beaches and the amazing boulders, which they are famous for. As the 3rd evening approached we got the experience one amazing sunset, where the skies were in all different nuances of pink!!!

With 9 dives in the log book, this concluded the PADI Business Seminar follow up 2012 for Kon-Tiki Thailand’s Management team. We would like thank PADI Asia Pacific Tony Andrews and Tim Hunt for arranging the great event, Khao Lak Scuba Adventure for making it happen, Coral Grand, Sairee Cottage, Buddha View, Bans Diving Resort, Planet Scuba, Sail Rock Divers, Sunrise Divers, Triton, Ocean Geo, Kiwi Divers and all others for making it such a successful weekend.

diving thailand sunset similan islands

Malene Jensen

General Manager, Kon-Tiki Krabi