February 28th 2014
What where why when how who who what!
Since the last blog I was hoping that some new underwater hand signals would have been developed, that our instructors and divemasters can impart to our open water students and fun divers. But no. Living on a hot tropical Island means that the people of Koh Tao have better things to do, or are too lazy, or both, or neither. So I guess I'd better write about something else instead then!
So, you've just booked to do your open water course with us, probably because you want to see what the underwater world is like, but also maybe because you like to learn new things and potentially challenge yourself. So what kind of student are you? Are you the type of person that needs to be pushed into doing everything? Are you incapable of doing anything without being shouted at? Maybe you're the student that, on the morning of the first day of the open water course has already read the manual twice, finished all the study guides and you have a list of questions for the instructor. At the other end of the spectrum maybe you'll turn up late having done none of your study guide, ansd are struggling to stay awake whenever the instructor opens their mouth (in which case really what are you doing there?). Do you need to be shown something once and that's it, you've got it? Or do you need to be shown 20 times before your brain has even the vaguest idea of what just happened? Are you a visual learner or do you prefer to be told?
One thing is for certain, you will not be shouted at by any Big Blue instructor. You're the customer and you're on holiday. But having signed up to learn how to dive, you do need to be receptive to learning. Given that you may be in a group of people that are all travelling on their own, and all of those people will have different ways of taking in information, how the hell can we teach you all effectively?
Well it all boils down to your instructor. Just about every one of our instructors has a different style of teaching. They all impart the same information, and they all have to follow the same timetable, i.e. the pool on day one and the sea on days two and three. But how they get across that information can vary quite a lot, and it all depends on you and the rest of your group. We are very good at amending our teaching so that everyone on the course gets the most out of it. If there is a student that's not quite picking it up as fast as everyone else, they'll never be made to feel stupid or told that they're holding up the rest of the group. We can make extra time for that person and teach them one-on-one if that's the best way to get that person up to speed.
We're also pretty good at reading people. Some people like the limelight and speak so much it's a miracle they stop to take a breath. Some people are really quiet and would rather blend in. We meet different people every day and are pretty good at steering the social dynamic of a group so that everyone is happy.
So it really doesn't matter what type of person you are or what type of learner you are, as long as you are prepared to listen, watch, and learn, you will get a lot out of the open water course, and once it's completed you'll never look back, as, quite literally a whole new world will have been opened up to you.
So get on our website, book your course and accommodation, and make the most out of your holiday!
Sitting on the beach under a tree today, a coconut fell down and almost hit me on the head, and it got me to thinking about coconuts falling out of trees and hitting people on the head. Now one thing Koh Tao has in abundance is coconut trees. They're everywhere. Most people don't really notice them unless they make a point of looking up. But when they do they'll immediately be alarmed at the likelyhood of playing chicken with a high velocity coconut. Make no mistake they fall a long way and, being full of coconut milk are pretty heavy. If one of those connects with your bonce it can kill you. I've often wondered what it must be like to attend the funeral of someone who was killed by a falling coconut. It must be a pretty surreal experience, I mean, there's no shame in it, but there's no glory either. Here lies ......, he was killed by a fruit.
But we do have one saviour on Koh Tao, a Thai man periodically wanders the Island with a pet monkey, who's job it is to scale the coconut trees and remove any coconuts that are ripe enough to fall off. He can regularly be seen in Sairee, and he keeps the monkey on a very long leash. I hope one day it doesn't lose it's footing, as the only thing weirder than being killed by a falling coconut, is to be killed by a falling monkey!