It is with sadness that we tell you all that our friend Stoli passed away last month. It has been a very tough time for his family and the whole Discovery team. Stoli was more than just a mascot, but family. Everyone will miss his smiling face on the boat and in the shops and especially jumping off the boats to join the divers and snorkelers in the water. We are sure he is up in dog heaven now swimming all day and may he rest in peace.
Hey everyone. Sorry for not posting a blog in a little bit, but we have been very busy and I have had to work extra hours. The downturn in business that we were expecting due to the perceived political climate never really happened and we have been running our tails off as the boss gave some of our instructors some much needed time off this month to go back to their homes and get some time off before the busy high season. Thailand and especially Koh Samui is as safe as ever and people are starting to realize that and we have seen a huge uptick in bookings for the coming months.
On top of that, the conditions have been really good now with Sail Rock back to that 25-30 meter viz this week that make sit one of the best dive sites in the world. On top of that, we have our new shop in central Chaweng going full tilt now with a huge selection of diving and snorkeling equipment. Also, all of our staff will be back from their vacations this weekend and rested up and raring to go for the high season.
We will get back to our instructor tips this week so please look out for a teaching blog about mid-week. Please remember to check out our facebook fan page for daily pictures of everyone and also our google + page at https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/106871340644683571818/106871340644683571818/posts
And of course our website at http://www.discoverydivers.com
Bark at ya later,
Hey everyone. For today’s guest blogger we will have Eric. He is going to talk about boats and boat maintenance. Before we get to Eric, I will talk a little bit about what is going on here in Thailand and at Discovery Divers. It has really calmed down here politically and it is so normal here now that we don’t really here much of anything on the news anymore. Now they have lifted any curfews in pretty much all areas except for Bangkok so a great time to find some deals on airfare and hotels and come to Koh Samui. Remember, on the Gulf of Thailand side it is not rainy season like on the Phuket side. The weather will be great here right up until November. We may have a little system coming in on Thursday for a couple of days, but then that clears right out and the diving has been great. Here is Eric:
Hi, today I am going to talk about what might not be the most exciting topic, but a very important one. Boats and boat maintenance. Here at Discovery, we are one of only 2 companies on Koh Samui who run our own speedboats. The rest of the companies either run on the bigger, slower tourboats, or they all share space on a speedboat from a speedboat operator.
When you have your own boats it is very important to do regular maintenance. Especially when the diving spots are all 1 hour or more away from Koh Samui the last thing you want is to be on an unreliable boat. When you choose a diving company you want to make sure that you can safely make it to your destination and back. Outboard boat engines are very expensive and go through a lot with the seawater, waves and etc., so it is very important to keep them maintained. While in the water and when we are using them daily we make sure that our captains, Aon, Aong and Nan, inspect and clean the engines daily. Sometimes when you are diving you may see one of our captains in scuba gear under the boat at the dive site checking the underside of the boat. Don’t worry, he will be back on the boat to take us all back. If you hang out a little bit after your dives, you will see them doing this at the pier. We also make sure to change the engine oil, filters, and gearbox oil more frequently than normal guidelines just to be extra careful.
Also, 2 times a year we take our boats out of the water in low season to do a full inspection of the whole boat and look for anything that may need to be touched up for fixed. As we have 2 boats we can perform our bi-annual full maintenance and still keep one boat in the water to use for diving. We just got done with our Discovery boat and have that back in the water now and have just taken our our Stoli boat as you can see in the picture.
After our inspection there is not much to do on Stoli as it is only about 7 months old, but we be touching up the paint, especially on the bottom, touching up any outside paint and doing a full maintenance on the engines so everything will be in tip-top shape for high season which is just around the corner. We know it is very important to our customers to make sure that you are on a safe and reliable boat and you can be assured that we take this very seriously. You can see a little bit more info about our boats at our website http://www.discoverydivers.com. Back now to Stoli to finish up.
I hope you learned a little about the boats. If fact you can see me even doing my part and checking out the boat if you have any questions about either of our boats please feel free to ask Eric, myself or our captains. We would be happy to answer any questions.
Bark at ya later,
Ok, so now the instructors (human instructors that is) are giving weekly instructional tips so I think it’s time to hear from Stoli. Today I am going to talk about how to choose a good dive site for the day. I will list a few items which are very important in choosing the site:
1. Have a site near a beach and not rocks. It is much easier to find a nice spot to pee or poop for me in the sand. Ever try to lift a leg and balance yourself on a wet rock?
2. If possible have it close to a snorkel site. Snorkelers tens to leave food unattended while they are in the water. Good for me!
3. Try to stay on the leeward side of the land where the waves will be lower. It is very hard for me to get on my kit in big waves as you can see in the picture. Also, I got to get 4 legs on the ladder getting back on the boat.
4. And finally, look for other dogs in the water. That is a sure sign that you are at a great dive site.
I hope these ideas helped you and look for another of our instructor guest blogger next week.
Other than that, we have had a great week here at Discovery. The diving has been good and there is a ton of other things to do here on Koh Samui as there is no army here and no curfew. Even if you are not diving, come out and go snorkeling with us on our boats. We have a good few days of weather ahead. Stay tuned to our facebook page for pictures and diving conditions and make sure to visit us at http://www.discoverydivers.com for all other information about PADI courses we offer and our staff.
Bark at ya later,
Hey Everyone, Stoli here. Now that the curfew has been lifted, the Boneyard is back open for business, so since I will be out at my favorite bar again I am going to let some of our instructors fill in for me and we are going to start our weekly guest blog writers who will be giving tips on different diving skills and programs.
Our first guest writer is Nicola. Nicola has been with us for about 2 years now and is our lead instructor. She is originally from Germany and speaks fluent English and German. She will be talking today about 1st time divers.
“Wow! That was the best experience of my Life!” – believe it or not, “we” (dive instructors) hear this often from our first time divers and I love it! I mean, how can you not love your job when other people keep telling you this was better than anything they ever did before?!
If you are a diver already you probably still know how it felt for you. Taking your first breaths underwater, feeling absolutely weightless for the very first time, being inside the big fish tank except of just floating on top … seeing and exploring all those new things that were hidden below the surface before. Remember? Were you excited? Or maybe even a little scared? Or were you one of those that just did all this as if it was the most natural thing in the world?
Well, I personally was quite nervous before my first diving experience. I wasn’t scared, but I did have a good amount of respect for that whole thing called “Scuba”. I can’t remember too many details anymore, but I do know that I was absolutely amazed when I finally blew my first bubbles! I remember I couldn’t really believe this, but yes – it was working, I was able to breathe! And I had so much fun!
And this fascinating, beautiful and peaceful world down there didn’t let go of me anymore, so I decided to become a dive professional myself. That was about 7 years ago.
Now, one of my favorite courses to teach is the Discover Scuba Diving (DSD). It’s an introduction course for first time divers to see what the fuss is all about. It’s a one day experience, also for people that simply don’t have enough time to do the full Open Water Course. DSD means you will get a detailed briefing from your instructor about important facts like pressure changes, equalization techniques, underwater communication signals, a few important rules. Of course we also explain the dive equipment so that you understand what the heck you’re wearing there and how this all works. Then we take you into shallow water and after taking your very first breaths below, you practice a few skills and then the dive can begin, all the way down to a maximum depth of 12m! And all this of course under the direct supervision of your instructor. The DSD is a great way to find out if you get hooked too! Most of the people a taught so far (and that’s hundreds by now) simply LOVED it. And some of them even looked like they’ve never done anything else before in their lifes.
Well, some of them, not all of them! 😉 Of course, not everybody is a “natural” in scuba diving from the first moment on. And thank god for that, because we would miss out on all the funny stuff our job has to offer too, like watching “newbies” rolling around, figuring out that whole buoyancy thing, getting hand signals that simply don’t make any sense, students that start imitating everything you do, even if it’s just a sneeze… I once had a bold student imitating me tying my hair back. Funny stuff, indeed.
And – of course we’re also dealing with some hesitation, anxiety, fears. Very normal and very understandable! And honestly, working on overcoming those fears, being creative and flexible in my teaching methods to accommodate learning difficulties or hesitation, that is what gives me the “kick” in this job! Nothing is better than seeing those huge smiles, the big reliefs and the absolute happiness and excitement in people’s eyes after solving their issues together. Being involved in such a great first time experience truly is a gift and it does make me proud of being a Dive Instructor. Of course I also enjoy all the other parts of my job – teaching full beginners courses, advanced courses, diving with certified divers …. It’s a great variety in our job, especially here at Discovery Divers! But if you ask me what I enjoy the most, I would tell you this: Being the one that introduces you into this entirely new world with entirely new rules and entirely new sensations. Being the one that gets to see your first big smiles about all this, the shine of happiness in your eyes, the pure excitement and of course the big hugs after your first diving day out 😉 … priceless, really!
If you would like some more information about doing a Discover Scuba dive or PADI open water course with Discovery Divers, please visit our website at http://www.discoverydivers.com. Also, you can check out this PADI video which is pretty cool.
Bark at ya later,
So today I am working in the new Chaweng shop. Looking out for customers. It’s a lot of fun working here as there are a lot of people going by on the street and this is low season. I can’t imagine how busy I will be when high season comes around. I had to stay off the boat today as I had a late night at the Boneyard with Deng Mo and Tang naam. Remember everyone that here in Koh Samui we do not have a curfew so you can come here and do some partying and some diving (not on the same day of course). In fact here on Samui it is pretty normal. There is no army around and everything is calm and peaceful It’s also great that a lot of the hotels have dropped their prices and some great deals out there.
Speaking of great deals, we are offering 15% discounts on all internet booking for fun-diving and PADI courses. Maybe if you have been thinking about taking the PADI open water course or the PADI advance open water course now is a great time to do it as prices will never be lower. You can even come and stay in my Stoli guest house if you like.
The diving is still great here. Today we were at Koh Tao and visited Chumphon Pinnacle (15 meters), Mango Bay (15 meters) and Au Luek (10-12). We had a big group of Discover Scuba Diving students as well as some experienced divers who went to Chumphon. Everyone had a great day. You can check out some of the pictures on our facebook page and check out some of our specials we are offering now at http://www.discoverydivers.com.
Bark at ya later,
Today we welcomed a new member of our team. Pony, who is our new DMT. Congratulations to Nick and Auy today on the birth of their son. Now he can join the other members of Generation D who will eventually be running Discovery.
Jagger (Eric and Stella)
Gihan (Joe and Kim)
Kali (Steve and Cris)
I of course cannot have babies of my own thanks to my dad cutting off certain very important parts of my body. I guess I will just have to train the new group instead.
We are still going full tilt here in Samui despite the issues in Bangkok. The diving is great and no big crowds so come on out. Today we had a full boat on a nice trip to Koh Tao. A great time to come out and find some deals on flights, accommodation and of course diving. check out our specials on http://www.discoverydivers.com
Bark at ya later,
I want to start out talking a little bit about Thailand and the current situation here. I want to assure everyone that traveling and staying in Thailand now is very safe for humans and dogs. There has been a lot of international press and warnings, but I can assure you that especially Koh Samui is very safe and we don’t even have a curfew here, so you can enjoy our beautiful and fun island the same as it has been.
In addition, now is the best time to book and come to Koh Samui. Many of the hotels are offering incredible deals right now and airfares are dropping also. In addition, we here at Discovery are offering a 15% discount for internet bookings for the month of June. I hope this does not come out of my bone fund. You can see more information at http://www.discoverydivers.com
So, the diving has also been great this week and not very crowded, so a good time to dive also. Yesterday we were at Sail Rock which had about 15 meters visibility and the day before we were at Chumphon Pinnacle (15 meter) and shark island (15 meters).
Check out some of the pictures from the last few days and I am throwing in a bonus. For anyone who books diving in the next 48 hours, I will throw in a partially chewed tennis ball.
Bark at ya later,
Hey Everyone, I’m going to start by giving you my top 5 reasons the army coup is good.
1. With the curfew our customers are not out late so showing up bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning
2. With the tv stations off the air, I don’t have to sit through the God awful Thai soap operas at night with my mom
3. With the bars closing at 10 I don’t spend my money on bar dogs that hand out at The Boneyard late at night when I am drunk
4. We have to close the new shop at 10 now. Home earlier for me 🙂
5. No TV, no late nights at the clubs, everyone might as well go diving with Discovery
So back to the diving. We’ve had a few great days here and even had our first whale shark in about a month on Tuesday. The weather has been great during the day, with some storms later in the afternoon, but with our fast Discovery speedboats, we are already back home safe and sound by then.
I’ll leave you with some pictures of the last few days and don’t forget to visit us at http://www.discoverydivers.com. I better get out of her and home before curfew or I might be grounded with no TV.
Bark at ya later,
Sorry peeps. I have been so busy lately I have not had time to do my blog. So many things have been going on here so let me fill you in. Not only have we been crazy busy everyday running our boats to Sail Rock and Koh Tao as the conditions are still great and we are getting so many people who want to dive multiple days. We also now have opened up our new shop in the center of Chaweng and I have been working there everyday booking dives and selling lots of equipment. We also have had some guests at my Stoli guesthouse, but are not fully open there yet as we have been so busy opening the dive shop. The new shop has turned our traditionally low season into a mini high season as we are still very busy. Today though we are taking the discovery boat our for it’s regularly scheduled maintenance and full check-over to make sure everything is perfect for the upcoming high season. It will also give Captains Nan and Aong some much needed rest as they have been running the boat almost everyday for a long time. Of course I can always drive the boat in a pinch. We still have our Stoli boat in the water though so we will be running just one boat for the next few weeks as when discovery goes back in the water we will take the Stoli boat out and give Captain Aon and asst captain Pop a break. If you get down to Samui anytime soon, please come visit us at either of our shops at the Amari hotel, or the new shop in Central Chaweng near the new Central Festival Shopping Center. I will leave you with some pictures from the last week or so. Don’t forget to visit us at http://www.discoverydivers.com.
Bark at ya later,