AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty

The Project AWARE Shark Conservation course is now being taught at Go Pro In Paradise – both at diver level and at instructor level.  Julie completed her IDC with me earlier this year, and now she has also completed her MSDT Prep – taking five Specialty Instructor Training Courses with me.  Along with Deep, Digital Underwater Photography, Emergency Oxygen Provider, Wreck and Nitrox, Julie also wished to help spread the word about the issues facing the world’s shark population…

PADI IDC Thailand Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Krabi, Sharks
Leopard shark at Shark Point


The AWARE Shark Conservation course is an excellent way for us to help educate divers about the plight of sharks.  Being an AWARE Shark Conservation Diver Instructor gives us an idea platform from which to educate our students.  The AWARE Shark Conservation specialty can also be taught with the Advanced Open Water course, as an elective Adventure Dive during that course.

During the course students learn why sharks are so important to the marine ecosystems, what the threats are to them, and what we can do to help…

PADI IDC Thailand, MSDT, AWARE Shark Conservation Spoecialty
Julie noting the shark’s size and species…


As an instructor, this is a very versatile Specialty that we can teach in a variety of ways.  We can teach the course as a standard two-dive PADI Specialty, with Knowledge Development.  We can just teach the Knowledge Development side of this course, to raise awareness too.  When we teach Knowledge Development only, we can issue a wall certificate to acknowledge the students participation and understanding.  We also have the option of including AWARE Shark Conservation as an optional dive towards the Advanced Open Water or Adventure Diver certifications…

PADI IDC Thailand, Project AWARE, Shark Conservation Specialty
The certificate for Knowledge Development participants…


During our AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty Instructor training course, we had a great day out on the boat.  For this course, we completed a memorable dive at Shark Point, a stunning dive site situated between Koh Phi Phi and Phuket.

The dive started better than we could have imagined.  Before we even started our descent, we had spotted our first shark.  Looking down from the surface we spotted a leopard shark nestled on the bottom, relaxing at 6m.  We made a nice, controlled descent, to avoid spooking it, and then went about our business of identifying the shark to species and gender.  We also estimated its size, and had a look for any signs of ‘non-natural injuries’ to the shark.

PADI IDC thailand, Shark Conservation, Specialty Instructor
Injuries to the leopard shark’s tail…


As the dive progressed, we managed to find another two leopard sharks on the dive site.  One of which we were lucky enough to see free-swimming about the reef.  With its elongated caudal fin, a free-swimming leopard shark is a beautiful sight…

After such a fantastic day out on the boat, upon return to the dive centre we chatted about our findings, and then after a little bit of paperwork it was time to celebrate finishing the course.  Congratulations Julie, on becoming an AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty Instructor, and here’s hoping you go on to spread the word and help the sharks of the world in your diving future…

If the AWARE Shark Conservation course, or any other, interest you, then drop me an e-mail or use our contact form for further information…

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Dive Theory For PADI IDC

So you’ve decided to become a PADI Open Water SCUBA Instructor !  Well, it must be time to start studying then !

But what should you study ?  You will be expected to arrive at the beginning of your IDC programme already well-versed in dive theory.  At some point during the IDC, and again at the IE, you will have to pass the dive theory exams.  You will examined on Physics, Physiology, The RDP & Decompression Theory, Equipment and Dive Skills & The Environment.


PADI IDC Phuket, dive theory exams, study notes
Physics is fun !

These subjects are touched upon during the PADI Divemaster course, but to become an instructor, you need to take your knowledge of these subjects to a higher level.  PADI’s Diving Knowledge Workbook is an excellent study tool for this.  The workbook is split into the five sections, and guides you to read specific sections of PADI’s Encyclopaedia Of Recreational Diving before tackling questions on that area of the theory.


PADI IDC Thailand, Dive Theory, Study notes, dive instructor

You can also visit the Go Pro In Paradise website and check out the useful ‘study tools‘ section.  Here you will find downloadable revision notes for each of the five dive theory subjects.  You will also find links to three videos there.  The videos are there to help you learn the three knots that you will also be expected to know prior to the start of your PADI IDC programme (the same three you learnt during your PADI Divemaster course…).

PADI IDC Phuket, Thailand, dive theory, study notes, knots, bowline
The Bowline

If you would like to know more about becoming a PADI Instructor in paradise, please feel free to e-mail and ask any questions that you might have…

New 2014 PADI Instructor Manual

The New PADI Instructor Manual is available !

PADI IDC Thailand Koh Phi Phi Koh Lanta Phuket

The updated 2014 version of the PADI Instructor Manual is available for download from the PADI Pros website.  Log-n to the Pros site, and then hover the mouse over ‘Training essentials’, then click on ‘Digital Instructor Manual’.  Make sure you’re teaching the latest standards, so download the latest version today !  At present the new manual is available in the following languages – English, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and French, with other languages to follow…

If you are not yet an instructor, but would like to be, visit our website to learn how you can make your dream a reality.  Or you can simply e-mail us for further information…


PADI IDC Thailand Koh Phi Phi Lanta Phuket

PADI IDC Thailand
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The Beauty Of Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi, in the Krabi region of Thailand, is a stunningly beautiful island – both above and below the surface.  There’s no coincidence that travellers and Hollywood directors with film crews alike have chosen to spend time basking in its sun-drenched glory.  Whilst in this tropical location, there are many activities to engage in to pass the time.  Of course SCUBA diving is one, but not the only one…

PADI IDC Thailand, Koh Phi Phi
Ton Sai Bay, Koh Phi Phi


Koh Phi Phi boasts great accessibility to its local dive sites, all year round.  With the dive sites so close, it’s also ideal for people who like to do half-day trips (two dives) and still have the rest of the day free to enjoy the other delights that Phi Phi can offer – including hitting the beach, rock-climbing, and walking to the view points for stunning vistas of Koh Phi Phi Don’s twin bays.

PADI IDC Thailand, Koh Phi Phi
The reward for walking up to the viewpoint…


The local dive sites offer spectacular underwater scenery too.  My favourites, The Bidas (Bida Nok and Bida Nai), are two small islands just off the end of Koh Phi Phi Ley.  Both are stunning sites.  The coral is stunning – a rainbow of soft corals, large intact sea fans and great hard coral cover too.  The beauty of these sites is that they are great for all levels of training, from Discover Scuba Diving students, Open Water students, and also more advanced training (I often conduct IDC training out there) and are also awesome for certified ‘fun divers’ too.

PADI IDC Thailand
PADI IDC action from Bida Nok, Koh Phi Phi…


Bida Nok has a nice bay at one end which offers good protected, sandy areas for conducting DSDs and skills for Open Water courses.  If you follow the reef that extends from this bay you can easily reach 30m too.  Coming out from the bay, one side of the island is also more sheltered and shallower than the other, and is ideal for less experienced divers, while the more experienced can check out the delights of the deeper water on the opposite side.

PADI IDC Thailand, Koh Phi Phi
A leopard shark at Koh Phi Phi, Thailand…


All the local sites offer varied marine life too.  Turtles (mainly hawksbill, but also green) are very common.  Also very common are the leopard sharks (or zebra sharks depending on your preferred common name), and black-tipped reef sharks too.  We get many of the usual suspects in and around the reef (moray eels, octopus, cuttlefish, scorpionfish, Kuhl’s stingrays in the sand etc), but are also very lucky to have seahorses as a relatively common sight.  We can also spot harlequin shrimp and frogfish from time to time.  Not something that I’d lead people to expect, but when lucky we can also see passing whale sharks on the reefs too.

IDC Thailand Koh Phi Phi Harlequin Shrimp
The beautiful Harlequin Shrimp (courtesy of Neutral Buoyancy images)


We are also lucky to have large schools of yellow snapper, barracuda and fusiliers dancing around the reefs, often being hunted by jacks…

The diving on Phi Phi offers relatively easy and gentle conditions.  Currents are mild, visibility averages 20m, and the water temperature hovers close to 30ºC year round.  The best time of year to visit is from October through to May, but the weather is fine year round – maybe evening showers more during the rest of the year.  With the 30ºC water temperature, many people opt to dive with just a rashtop and board shorts.  Phi Phi Barakuda offer 3mm shorties as standard, but we also have longer suits available for people who feel the cold more.

When not diving, there is also plenty to do to keep the visitor occupied.  Thai food is awesome and there are plenty of restaurants to try.  There are also walks to the viewpoints to overlook the bays (very nice for sunset/sunrise).  Traditional Thai massages are readily available too.  The beaches are also stunning and a great place to spend an afternoon after two morning dives.  Phi Phi is also a good place for rock-climbing.

Also another water activity is to snorkel with black-tipped reef sharks on Long Beach.  This is best early in the morning, but possible throughout the day.

PADI IDC Thailand, Koh Phi Phi
Black-tipped reef shark cruising its reef… (photo courtesy of Neutral Buoyancy Images)


There are also many boat/snorkelling trips on offer, including the famous Maya Bay, where Leonardo DiCaprio and friends filmed the movie ‘The Beach’.  Maya Bay is also where we often eat our lunch during surface intervals on our dive trips.

Koh Phi Phi is relatively easy to get to.  There are many options to suit all budgets.  From Bangkok you can either fly to Krabi or Phuket airports or you can take overnight buses down too.  From Krabi or Phuket you then jump on the ferry across to Phi Phi Don.

PADI IDC Thailand, Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket
Map of the region.


Phi Phi locals are very friendly and welcoming to all foreign visitors.  Visitors should be aware of local traditions/customs on Phi Phi as much as anywhere else in Thailand.  Thai New Year (Songkran) is an especially good time to visit, as basically the day (April 13th) involves a huge water-fight and is a great experience.

So, what are you waiting for ?  Book your flight now and come see for yourself the myriad of pleasures that await you on Koh Phi Phi…

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New year, new career ?

PADI IDC Thailand Phuket Phi Phi Lanta

Well, I hope everybody had a fantastic Christmas and New Year, and that 2014 is a great year too !  2013 was a busy year for IDCs on Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, and some great times were had.  My IDC candidates’ 100% first time pass-rate is still in tact, and I hope some of you can come and help me extend that throughout the coming year too…

PADI IDC Thailand Phuket Phi Phi Lanta
Two happy new PADI Instructors !


Our next PADI IDC will be taking place on Koh Phi Phi at Phi Phi Barakuda, and will start on January 30th.  If there’s anyone contemplating becoming a PADI Instructor, there’s still time and spaces on this IDC.  Please e-mail me at for further information.

PADI IDC Thailand Phuket Phi Phi Lanta
E-mail for info –


We have plenty of other IDCs planned throughout 2014 too.  Why not take a look at our IDC schedule to see if there are any dates that would suit your plans.  If there’s anything you would like tom know about making the step to become a PADI Pro, either at Divemaster or Instructor level, please feel free to drop me an e-mail on

Have a great 2014 everybody !

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The current IDC on Koh Phi Phi is in full swing…

We’ve reached the half-way point of the current PADI IDC on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand.  All the candidates are progressing very well, and have been recording some excellent scores along the way.  We still have another week to polish the presentations before the PADI Examiner comes to Phi Phi for the Instructor Examinations, and then it will be time to celebrate…

PADI IDC Thailand Koh Phi Phi
Knowledge Development Presentations


The IDC started with a three-day ‘Prep Course’, when we practised some skill circuits and theory exams.  We also ran some Rescue and Search & Recovery Workshops to make sure the candidates’ were comfortable with everything that could feature in the Instructor Examinations.

PADI IDC Thailand Koh Phi Phi
Skill Circuit


PADI IDC Thailand Koh Phi Phi
Rescue Workshop


PADI IDC Thailand Koh Phi Phi
Search & Recovery Workshop


Over the next few days we starting looking at how to deliver classroom and in-water teaching presentations, and everybody has performed exceedingly well, with some very high scores achieved.

PADI IDC Thailand Koh Phi Phi
Excellent scores from Confined Water presentations…


Today is the half-way point, and the candidates excellent efforts have been rewarded with a ‘study day’, and then tomorrow we’re back in the classroom to continue the course.  Over the next few days we will be seeing some more teaching presentations from the candidates, and well as teaching some more workshops designed to help the candidates operate as confident and capable instructors in the ‘real world’ after certification.

PADI IDC Thailand Koh Phi Phi
C.E.S.A. Workshop


The next PADI IDC on Koh Phi Phi is scheduled to begin on September 23rd.  if you too would like to make the step up and become a PADI SCUBA diving instructor, and swap your office for the ocean, then get in touch via our contact form, or by sending an e-mail, and we can let you know how the process works…

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Upcoming PADI IDC Courses in Thailand

The end of 2013 is already edging nearer.  And high season on the west coast of Thailand is even closer.  So this is the perfect time to come and take your PADI IDC in Thailand with Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Reardon.

PADI IDC Thailand Koh Phi Phi Koh Lanta

The next IDC is only a few days away, but we have another three IDCs scheduled after this one on Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi.  With high season just around the corner too, it is a great time to take your IDC as employment opportunities are very good.  Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi both have a high season running from November through to May and there will be large numbers of students passing through just waiting to explore the beauty hidden beneath the Andaman Sea.

PADI IDC Thailand Koh Lanta Koh Phi Phi
Five happy new PADI instructors


The diving from these two beautiful islands is ideal for the novice diver, and a great place to begin teaching.  Water temperatures hover close to 30° year round, visibility averages 20m, the currents are mild and the marine life exquisite.

PADI IDC Thailand Koh Phi Phi Koh Lanta Phuket Krabi
Leopard shark at Shark Point


So, if you’re looking to ‘Go Pro In Paradise‘ and change your lifestyle to become a PADI diving instructor, use our contact form or send us an e-mail for further information on how you can exchange your office for the ocean…


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