Diving is not a dream anymore, the dream now is the next dive!

We received an unusual request via email, not so much the request itself, but their inquiry to become a PADI open water diver was supported by a video like presentation introducing themselves and their story. Meet André and Karla who have been cycling the world since March 2012. This lovely couple is from Brazil, not the first country you would think of, when you think of bicycles….
Meet André and Karla


After getting certified as an open water diver and even as a deep diver André wrote this about New Way Diving.

Koh Tao (Turtle Island) is a small island in the southern Gulf of Thailand that has scuba diving as the main economic activity and that’s why we went there. Scuba diving was always a dream to André. Competition among dozens of schools means prices are low when compared to any other place on this planet. Just to have an idea about diving popularity there, Koh Tao is the place that certifies more divers in the world. When we were looking for a place where he could have his classes we found New Way Diving . The school is a medium one and that means it would be the opposite as the unpleasant/cold atmosphere that bigger mass production centres has sometimes. With 4 people x 1 instructor ratio, learning how to dive would be more natural. Anne, the upbeat dutch manager loved our bike trip and decided to support us. She explained how the classes would work, asked about the trip and talked a lot with Karla while André was having his classes. She even provided us a really nice accommodation with a swimming pool. Awesome! It was 4 days diving with instructors Xavier and Tom for the Open Water 18 metres deep certification and later with Kevin diving for one class of the Advanced 30 metres Deep Dive one. Water at 28ºC, visibility of 20+ metres, perfect to see butterfly-fish, batfish, clownfish (Nemo), barracudas, morays, anemones, corals…

Something that made us decide to choose New Way besides diving in small groups was the number of nationalities from staff. Chile, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, France… school’s ambiance was quite relaxed and after a really tiring day, we were still in the school having some beers and exchanging travel and diving experiences. It’s the kind of vibe you have on a happy hour or after a football match with friends… it grabs you and makes you want the next day to arrive soon. Everything seemed perfect but it wasn’t. Whale sharks didn’t come to say hello and we had to go back to Bangkok to say goodbye to our friend Gustavo and to apply for Karla’s US visa. Thanks a lot Anne, for supporting our trip, Xavier, Tom and Kevin, for being professional, share their knowledge and to make students feel calm. Thanks to other instructors and Divemasters for the tips and for sharing their passion in such an inspiring way. Diving is not a dream anymore. Dream now is my next diving!

To see more of their adventure have a look at Bikes And Spices intro video


Divemaster Treasurehunt….

“Yaaaarrrrgh maytees” as the pirates say!New Way Diving Team

David, one of our instructors/mentors to the DMTs at New Way Diving, came up with a brilliant idea: Let’s plan an underwater treasure hunt for all of our divermaster trainees! What better way to brush up on navigational skills, orientation and problem solving than with a little hunt for some treasure? Throw in a bit of a competitive edge and you’d be surprised at how many of them had some pirate-like tendencies!

Once the idea was thrown out there, there was immediate excitement and the brainstorming began right away. How can we send our DMTs around a divesite? What skills can we make them put into practice? How can we ensure their safety? Just coming up with the plan was so much fun, we were already so anxious to put it in motion!

After a few days of planning, we finally held the treasure hunt. Buddy teams were chosen and put together at random and everyone was given a slate and pencil, compass and underwater divetable. The dive boat was alive and full of excitement as our DMTs were briefed on their objectives and given the necessary tools to complete the treasure hunt, off course we let them practice their knots one last time. Not for a particular reason, just to distract them and put them on the wrong fin ;-) Meanwhile our instructors were sneaking around

We can happily say that the hunt was a great success! There was lots of friendly competition, skills being put to full force and navigation abilities put to the test. Our DMTs couldn’t be more thrilled with this amazingly fun event and we hope to organize a few more like it in the future for them. It’s such a fun day full of play, pleasure and some learning.  underwater during the briefing, placing the clues and puzzles that would eventually lead them to their chest of treasure.

The winners Adrian and Lee

Do you want to know more about our divemaster training or do you want to have a look at the treasurehunt video by Fatfish Movies, send us an email.

Divemaster Training with New Way Diving

Doing my DMT at New Way Diving, Koh Tao Thailand.

Doing my DMT at New Way Diving, Koh Tao Thailand.

Meeting people in Koh Tao, you always get a few of these questions.

Where are you from? Have long have you been here? How did you end up here in Koh Tao? Why New Way Diving? Are you going to work as a Divemaster? Have you seen a whale shark?

I have asked them. I have been asked them.

Here is what I tell them.

I’m from Burma. I’ve been diving for a few years in Australia.

A friend of mine in the dive club in Sydney told me about this nice little island he went to in Thailand to do his Rescue Course at this awesome little dive shop.

I paid little attention to anything else he said, that was until I decided to do my DM and spend “a few weeks” in Thailand and see what diving is like. The thought occurred to me to check out other parts of Thailand  or even Malaysia or other dive shops on Koh Tao.

I did not.

I rallied a few friends to do their DM with me. I shot an email to this little dive shop called New Way and looked up Koh Tao on Google map before I bought my ticket.

And that was by far, one of the best (slightly impulsive) decisions I’ve made this year and I could not be happier.

My friends DMT New Way Diving

A day of not diving

Two weeks into my stay and it was clear the plan to finish my DM training in 5 weeks and to fudge off was in the bin.

Though it wasn’t the case on my first dive when I struggled with thoughts like: “Are you kidding me?? You expect me to wake up at 5 in the morning to dive?” ” I am going to get so bored diving the same site over and over again.. what am I doing here?” “Where are all the Thai people?”

I probably will always look like I will strangle anyone at 5 in the morning, but then you see one… two.. no… another five dive boats moored behind us at the dive site, particularly on a choppy day, I have to admit I’ve laughed (at the fool) who didn’t arrive early and now have to swim an extra 200m to the dive site to dive with other shops :D

After dive drinks with New Way Diving

After dive drinks with New Way Diving

And I could not have been happier with my DM training at New Way. All the instructors are very thorough with the courses they run and I have picked up so many skills assisting them and I have done all my PADI courses in Sydney prior to compare!

I may have also bought into the cheesy lines from the PADI manual, now that I actually enjoy taking people out on dives and sharing the joy they experience under water!

There were a few DMT’s when I was doing mine and the fact that everyone on the island comes from somewhere else has made it very easy to make friends. Everyone’s your little family, even if you don’t always remember their names.
I have visited Koh Tao twice now, totalling around four months of stay and so far logged around 80 dives.
I have not seen a whale shark.
I will be telling myself that it is the reason why I need to come back for a third time, which will be very soon.

Have a look at my adventures…..

Koh Tao Ep1: “Are you mocking me?” from Thanda Ko Gyi on Vimeo.