July 11th, 2015 two of our club divers were getting married on the beach where so many of us met. The day and night before was filled with exciting events. Some of these events were price changes on the cake, a cake mishap and even a flat tire on the way to the event. Needless to say we all needed a bit of a stress relief and were looking forward to getting into the water.
Saturday morning came extremely early for me because I was the one that got a flat tire in the middle of the night on the way to the resort. We arrived around 0130 early Saturday morning and woke up around 0700 to start preparing for the dive day. Despite waking up a bit later I was the first one up and around getting our tanks ready laying out gear. Jeff was the next one to arrive. We were lucky to get on the first boat dive (which is usually the best dive of the day) and it was going to be a deep dive.
Jeff needed to reach 100′ for some future course pre-req’s so we planned to dive down to 100′ and swim around the base of the Steel House (dive site) structure and then slowly return focusing on his drysuit skills and getting use to his new ANTARES dry gloves. On the way out to the site we met a new diver who dove as part of our team. The dive went almost as planned and we were rewarded with some good visibility and water temps (9 C). I say almost as planned because on my giant stride entry into the water I quickly discovered that my drysuit zipper was not 100% sealed…yep you guessed it, I got soaked. Once I felt the water I closed the suit and continued the dive since there wasn’t enough water in the suit to be a danger, just an annoyance.
After we got back from our first dive many of the wedding guests (bride & groom included) had finally woken up and were slowly getting ready. The bride and groom joined us on our 2nd dive which was another deep dive and this one would be the bride’s deepest dive to date, congrats Mandy! This dive site was 30 – 34M deep and the descent line ended on concrete cubes with small sealife and growth on it. Jeff, Austin and I descended to the bottom in one team and the bride and groom made up the other team. The visibility on this dive was even better however it was much colder at 5 C. Once our computers were nearing our no decompression limit we all returned to the surface making a very slow and deliberate ascent.
Once we returned from the second dive we cleaned and dried gear and began preparing for the wedding ceremony and reception. With the gear drying and time closing in we had to go and pickup 2 more people from the bus terminal and on the way back we ate some great Kimchi Jiggae and got to meet everyone that has traveled from around the world…wow what a crew indeed. We met some great people this weekend and some very talented musicians!
Running a bit late we all drove back to the hotel to finish getting ready for the wedding. Showers, getting dressed, doing hair, setting tables and food and of course bride pampering…oh yea and LOTS of up and down the stairs…we were finally ready just as the final moments of day were getting ready to come to an end. With the bride in my car and the groom waiting on the beach Eric walked Mandy down and gave her away to George. The ceremony was shared by close friends from Hong Kong, Fiji, Korea and the US and many 38th Parallel Divers too. Vows and rings exchanged, a kiss and an introduction the newly married couple was ready to begin their lives together. Congratulation Mandy and George! We are honored to be part of this day.
Now bring on the reception and make Laura Kenny sing another song…I will happily plug her music (on iTunes).
What a weekend !!! The past weekend was a big one filled with a lot of adventure and new experiences. We went down to explore the seas at Yeongdeok (The town famous for crabs) It was a long drive but also a beautiful drive to get to the resort. As we stopped at the resort we were greeted with big smiles and willingness to help us get started. The one boat captain called on his daughter who is a junior in high school to come help us with some English translations. Our first dive was a beach dive to just to get everybody use to the water again and we also did a search and recovery dive. We did a deep dive to 26m which was cut short due to poor visibility. We decided to continue diving the following day in hope for better conditions. We had 1 night diver which we conducted in the comfort of the harbor and actually saw an abundance of sea life down in the dark.
The evening was quite eventful. One of the owners of the resort invited all of us to join them for dinner and the nightly festivities which included barbecued pork belly to fill the bellies of just about the whole town and by my standards it was the best pork I have ever had in Korea. This was followed by another instructor making a chicken soup and another instructor serving us some sea cucumbers and so on. Felt like each instructor took their turn in serving and sharing some new experiences with us. And among all the festivities and feasting we promised our fellow Korean divers that we would dive with them the next morning at 7am pffff. That seemed like a good idea at the time.
The next morning we were all finally ready at 8:30 and did our first dive for the day down to the wreck again with much more favorable conditions. The thermocline hit us quite hard at 19m but the visibility was much better and the wreck was really cool. We explored the wreck and then the resort instructor guided us to the underwater crab statues. After that dive some breakfast burritos were served up and thanks to Sora for pre-preparing them some studying and Knowledge reviews followed. Our last 2 dives were Search and recovery dives in which almost everyone were certified for.
Yeongdeok was an amazing experience with some fantastic people who were really kind and helpful to us. We would love to return to this gem of a dive site. Thank you to all who made this possible…CONGRATS to the new specialty and Advanced Open Water divers from this past weekend! We are always looking for more 38th Parallel Divers!
We will be offering VERY SPECIAL pricing for all our club members for a LIMITED TIME. Any 38th Parallel Diver member will be getting PADI Open Water Diver certification for $395. We will also be offering several specialties at VERY low prices too (Sidemount, Nitrox/Enriched Air, Deep, Wreck, Navigation, Search & Recovery, Night, Gas Blender, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Project AWARE Conservation).
This includes: Required Study Materials, Processing Fees, Pool Training*, Gear Rental, Ocean Training, Transportation to dive site (if local but can schedule a meet-up and ride out), Motel room 1 night, Ocean Day 1 lunch (dinner is on your own), Ocean Day 2 breakfast (lunch/dinner will be at rest area on way back on your own).
So how do you become a member? Easy, simply “LIKE US” on our Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/38thParallelDivers Or click “LIKE” to the right—>
*only exception is that it is based on pool availability, if our local pool isn’t available there would be a cost to use Suwon/Seoul (or other) pool.
So you are thinking about becoming a PADI Scuba Instructor, check out our club’s video of our IDC / IE experience. I know for me personally this was a big decision, because of the responsibility, time and costs. First of all if you are a diver (and at the point of considering becoming a professional scuba instructor) you know by now that this endeavor isn’t cheap. First you really should have your own equipment at this point, if not then perhaps you should come back when you do. Secondly you have to have a minimum number of dives, these are cheap either. Finally there are all the costs associated with getting to the Instructor Examination…
- Divemaster Course (if you are not already)
- Emergency First Response Instructor Course (EFRI) – course and processing fees apply
- Instructor Development Course (IDC) – minimum a week or longer (Assistant Instructor & Open Water Scuba Instructor Course) — price will vary here by your Course Director and location. We went with Platinum Course Director Camille Lemmens (www.idcthailand.net)
- Instructor Examination (flat fee for exam but does have processing fees not included, dives not included)
- Specialty Instructor (we completed ours with Camille, he gave us a great rate too). There are Course Director (CD) Costs plus PADI processing fees too. Dives may/may not be included depending on CD
- Lodging – don’t forget you need a place to stay
- Food – you gotta eat
Ok so you have the money…now your ready right? Ummmm maybe. Skills need to be perfect and at demonstration quality. You also have to be ready and comfortable to present knowledge development in a classroom and conduct confined and open water skills. Hopefully you haven’t forgot what oyu have learned in your other courses because you will need all that now. You must consistently conduct an open water rescue and be prepared to recall all the physics, physiology, environment & skills, eRDP (or dive tables) and equipment. Finally you still have one test left…and open book Standards test. This test isn’t as easy as it sounds, they ask some very specific and intricate questions that will have you searching everywhere to verify it isn’t a trick question.
Don’t be scared though, if you have a good Course Director (like we did) it will be a constructive learning environment that is as challenging as it is fun. Read our daily blogs below from our experiences:
- IDC Day 1 – Practice Tests and Skill Evaluation
- IDC Day 2 – Pool and Knowledge Development Presentations
- IDC Day 3 – Graded Skills
- IDC Day 4 – Graded Knowledge Dev. & Confined Water Presentations and Rescue Diver
- IDC Day 5 – Graded Theory Test & More Presentations
- IDC Day 6 – Graded Confined Water Presentations, Remainder of Presentations
- IDC Day 7 – Open Water Presentations & Rescues
- IDC Day 8 – More Open Water Presentations and Rescues
- IE Day 1 – Dive Theory & Standards Exams, Graded Skill Circuit, Graded Confined Water Presentations
- IE Day 2 – Open Water Presentations, Rescue, Knowledge Dev. Presentation and GRADUATION! Night Diver Specialty
- Specialty Instructor Day 1 – Search & Recovery, Navigation
- Specialty Instructor Day 2 – Wreck Diver, Sidemount
- Specialty Instructor Day 3 – Deep, Nitrox, Emergency Oxygen Provider, Gas Blender