Sidemount at Sail Rock Divers

Check out our new courses available here at Sail Rock Divers, we are now able to offer the PADI Sidemount and Self Reliant Diver courses.
If you are ready for something different then this could be for you.

padi tec diving

PADI SIdemount diver

The PADI Sidemount course is conducted over 3-4 days and includes Theory and confined water skill practice followed by a minimum of 3 open water dives, this course is available to anyone who is open water certified with a minimum age of 15.


The PADI Self Reliant Diver course is conducted over 3 days and includes theory and a minimum of 3 open water dives, the prerequisites for this course are 100 logged dives, Advanced open water or equivalent and 18 years old.

If you are completing your IDC with us then we are offering a great package with both courses combined, contact us for more details.

solo diving

Self reliant diver

Sign up for our IDC in October and receive 25% off of both courses, we will be running PADI Sidemount and Self Reliant instructor level courses directly after the IDC.


Exciting Times at Sail Rock Divers!

mgmt team

It’s with great pleasure that we find ourselves in a position to announce some great new changes here at the centre. As with all Dive Centres, people come and go and the task of running any dive centre is a constantly changing challenge. We have been lucky enough to welcome some new additions to our team and are excited about where they will take us. Let’s introduce our two new Operations managers and their Senior Team.

Selina (aka Blue) has been with us for many years, her bright positive attitude is always a great influence around the centre. As a PADI Staff instructor she has passed on her wisdom to many students (and staff) and is ready for a new challenge. She has now become one of our Operations Managers and her enthusiasm and knowledge will shine through as she guides the centre in the future.

Steve, also a PADI Staff Instructor, has over 8 years experience in all aspects of diving, from Liveaboards in Egypt to Technical diving and instruction. With a RAF background, his organization and motivational skills will ensure that the team continues to work together, to offer the level of service of which we are so proud.

Dave, Koh Phangans only resident Course Director, has welcomed the role of Training Manager, enabling him to concentrate on not only producing new Instructors, but also to be a mentor and ‘font of all knowledge’ for our diving staff. With over 15 years experience in the diving industry, his experience will be invaluable to our development as a dive centre.

Lastly, Naomi (aka Nods) is now a Senior Instructor, tasked with assisting the Management team in their efforts to create an outstanding Dive centre and team. With her MSDT qualification and vibrant personality, she will bring a lot to our team and our guests.

As you can see, we are lucky enough to have landed 4 fantastic Instructors to take on these roles, and we look forward to the changes they bring. More importantly we look forward to welcoming you to our Dive Centre in the future, whether as old buddies or as new ones.


Diary of a DIVING INSTRUCTOR!!!!!!! – Final Part

congratsIt’s over!! It’s all finished, exams passed, water presentations passed and I’m holding my certificate in my hands and can’t stop staring at it. I’ve done it – I’m a PADI Diving Instructor!

The last two days have been nerve-racking to say the least. First we had to hop over to Koh Tao, where the exams were taking place this time. Once we got settled, it was an early start with the written exams. As I turn the paper and start reading I say a big thank you to Dave for all the exams he made us sit, because now I know that it has helped in two ways. Firstly the ‘fear’ of sitting exams has all but left me, it’s like a daily activity to me now, but secondly I’m confident in all my answers and nothing comes as too much of a surprise!

Exams passed, its onto the confined water session. There are over 60 people completing the Instructor Exams and I’m amazed at how efficiently we are all organised. With 60 people to test in the pool, I was sure it was going to take all day, but before we knew it, it was Sail Rocks turn and in the water we went. I had been given the skill of regulator recovery and I was very happy with that, as it was also the skill I had been allocated during the IDC! Surely the examiners couldn’t come up with anything worse than Dave had. I easily spot the error of not blowing bubbles, correct it quickly and the examiner moves onto the next person. Is that it???  I start doubting myself, and my nerves return on the debrief.

After our group had finished, the examiner smiles and tells us that we all passed this section. I allow myself a quick ‘yey’ before remembering there is still another day and 2 more assessments ahead of us.

partyThe second day is a long one, but soon enough, it’s the last section. The Rescue scenario is actually something you are taught on the Rescue Course, but it’s vital that an Instructor is really polished at this in the case of an emergency, so every candidate has to complete this scenario with efficiency and confidence. Everyone is tired and mentally exhausted so I make a deal with my brain that I will give it a lovely long rest if it just stays alert for another half hour. Luckily I’m called quickly and with all the calm and confidence I can muster, the rescue commences. One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four  one thousand, breathe. All whilst doing a rather good impression of an octopus as I de-kit myself and my ‘victim’. Before I know it, I’m told to stop. Is this good or bad? Don’t let me fail at the last hurdle…..I’m informed my rescue was a success and that means…………………………..I’ve passed the whole thing, every last bit, and I’m now ready to swap the rain for the sun, my work commute for a walk along the beach and my uniform for a bikini.

Tonight Sail Rock Divers are holding a party for the new Instructors and I’ll be there with bells on (but not with the Necklace of Shame on, that has gone into retirement until the next IDC in June, I think we wore it out!)


Diary of a wannabe Diving Instructor – Part 6

bikeOur days are forming a certain pattern, and today we begin, as ‘normal’ with some exams. I’ve stopped dreading them and have started to appreciate them as a valuable tool to check whether I have all the knowledge I will need to be a good instructor. It’s not just information that I need to know, but also information that I will need to pass onto students, so it’s vital that I get it right. I don’t want to end up looking stupid when a student asks me a question, let’s say, why are my regulators environmentally sealed? And I can’t answer. Also, the effect of the moon on tides is vital to know if I am planning a dive out in the sea. All these things I can now see the point in, and that makes learning them a lot easier!

I’ve heard stories about the next activity today, and not sure if I’m excited or should be dreading it. The Discover Scuba Diving Workshop is where my Instructors simulate a DSD by acting as the students, to give us experience of this common entry level activity. The DSD is a great way for people to follow the PADI Dive Today philosophy, as with a short theory session and briefing, people can get in and do a ‘proper’ dive and experience the thrill of diving in just one day. It’s very common in tropical areas, renowned for their dive sites as many tourists don’t want to necessarily spend a few days in one area, but this allows them to tick the diving box. Many go on to do their Open Water qualification at a later date, so it’s important this course is conducted in a fun yet professional manner.

poolIt’s only as we climb into the pool I realise the chaos that is going to follow. Dave and Alex have been teaching for over 20 years between them, which means they have 20 years worth of student errors to hand, and we are going to see only the worst. Well, really, what could possibly happen? Problems with masks, not clearing a regulator correctly and getting some hand signals confused….surely only so much can go wrong. The next half hour was nothing near what I imagined. If this was the culmination of all those years teaching and students had honestly done all these things, then I’m admitting defeat now!

I won’t spoil the fun by showing you a picture, but I’m sure in a couple of hours, Facebook will be awash with the evidence!


Diary of a wannabe Diving Instructor – Part 5

buddyThis morning we started with an early morning pool session, even before Dave had turned up. The idea was to do a skills circuit with each other, out of sight of Dave, so we could fine tune our demonstrations without a pair of beady eyes lurking behind us. It’s amazing what the sight of that marking slate does to you! Left to our own devices, we think we are doing brilliantly (well, we would!) although that will be determined later when we do it again, but will be assessed on it.

The classroom brings the results of exams we did last night. I hand mine in, and I pass, although I’m annoyed because the one that I got wrong was one that I simply read wrong. Feeling deflated, I start worrying, if I can read one wrong in the comfort of my own home, what will happen under exam conditions? Dave is quick to remind us that we will be doing exams most days to ensure we are comfortable when the time comes, and that it’s rare to get full marks consistently, even he, apparently, got a few wrong. Whether that’s true or not, it makes me feel better. Kim, my fellow student, however is not so lucky. It appears that she has done completely the wrong exam! I try to stop myself from laughing, honestly I did, as the NOS is given a new home, and dangled around her neck….for now!

slateThe Pool session is our Divemaster Skill Circuit and this is being marked, so we have to be as professional as we can.  We work through the skills, all 24 of them in order. Early on, we come to buddy check, probably the most practiced skill any diver does (or should do). Kim is merrily going through the steps – BCD, Releases, Weights, Regulator, Final Check. We are all good until the regulator step. In an effort to retrieve her regulator from behind her, she somehow knocks it, flicks it in my direction and somehow hits me on the head with it. Thanks ‘Buddy’! All resemblance to professionals goes out the window and me and Kim burst out laughing, and it appears infectious, as soon Dave and Alex join in.  If nothing else, it clears some of the nervousness from the air and we carry on, slightly more relaxed. Even the sights of the slates does not deter me, and time flies as we take it in turns to demonstrate our greatly improved teaching abilities.

Today just shows me what Dave has been telling us all the time, we are getting better and better each day, but with only a few of those days left, can I reach the standard required to become that idolized PADI Instructor?