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….
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