PADI Divemaster’s – Congratulations Gus and Cal

Scuba Cat Diving are proud to have certified two new PADI Divemasters, yesterday Gus from Italy and Cal from the USA.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Divemaster

Gustavo Penada on board MV Scuba Fun

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Divemaster

Cal assisting on a PADI Open Water Course

Both are participants in our Career Internship Program.

Cal joined the Internship program on 27th April 2012 as an Advanced Open water Divemaster. He quickly completed his PADI Rescue and EFR to start his Divemaster training with us. At the same time Gus joined us on his internship as a PADI Rescue diver and started on the Divemaster course with Cal.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Divemaster

At the same time both of them have achieved the rating of PADI Master Scuba Diver with the completion of 5 PADI Speciailities and will be continuing onto their PADI IDC on the August 2012 program.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Divemaster

Congratulations Guys!

Take your Scuba Diving Instruction to another level


Teoh and Alex became the latest PADI Instructors to be certified as DDI (Disabled Divers International) Instructors last week.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand

Last weekend, they completed a DDI Pro course held by Sarah Kench (PADI Course Director and DDI Instructor Trainer)

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand DDI Instructor

During the two day course they thoroughly reviewed the differences in the Standards for this inspiring course and how to adapt their teaching to suit the needs of the individual partaking in the course. Many different types of disability were looked at in detail.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand DDI SIDS Training

They also looked at the whole range of Courses offered by the DDI that they will be able to teach including:

  • Surface Assistant
  • Try Scuba Diving
  • Scuba Diver
  • Open Water Diver
  • Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Nitrox 36%
  • Assistant Diver
Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand DDI Instructor Training Course

They had to consider how to adapt their training as PADI Instructors when looking at Logistics for the course, Confined Water training, Open Water training, Entries and Exits to and from the water, the use of Assistants, adapting Scuba Diving Equipment as well as the Dive Centre itself.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand DDI Instructor

In the water they played the role of blind divers and took it in turns to be the Instructor, having to think in a way that opened up their minds to new techniques such as speaking clearly to students so they can understand what is happening without sight and tactile teaching.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand DDI Instructor

Next came scuba diving with paraplegic and quadriplegic customers in terms of equipment configuration, donning of wetsuits, lifting techniques, signs and so on.

They learned many new techniques and realized that it is mainly peoples mindsets that limit the possibilities.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand DDI Instructor Training Course

At the end of the course both Alex and Teoh realized that all of these new skills would improve the quality of their courses as PADI Instructors too.

Do you want to take your teaching up to the next level? Come and see Sarah at MIDE 2012,  where she will be representing the DDI on stand A3

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand MIDE/DDI 2012

E-learning PADI IDC starts July 1st 2012

Here at Scuba Cat we are proud to announce that the PADI IDC starting on July 1st is totally E-learning based.

What have the students completed by doing the PADI IDC E-learning?

Before the candidates join us on 1st July they have already completed 9 IDC Curriculum presentations

Learning, Instruction and the PADI System

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 8 CDC Phuket Thailand

General Standards and Procedures – this is the first part of the topic and they will complete the second part in class

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI 5 * CDC

Risk Management – again, this is the first part of the topic with the second part being completed in class

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI 5 * CDC

Marketing Diving – during this topic they will have worked on marketing plans to take with your class

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI 5 * CDC

Start Diving

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI 5 * CDC

Teaching PADI Specialty Diver Courses

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI 5 * CDC

Business of Diving – they will have worked on a business analysis that you will all share during the IDC

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI 5 * CDC

Keep Diving

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI 5 * CDC

How to Teach the Recreational Dive Planner (RDP) – required for crossover candidates; optional for PADI Members, but a great refresher for dive table background and use.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI 5 * CDC

And not only that they have also completed all the PADI Dive Theory E-learning too, ensuring they are the most prepared they can be for this life changing course

 So you might be thinking – what does this do for them?

Well just think they will be saving themselves hours of classroom time, now instead of listening to all the presentations live in the classroom we can spend so much extra time doing the confined and open water presentations that are required during the PADI IDC ensuring they will not only pass the PADI IE, but pass it with exceptional understanding and scores!

It will also be useful for you if you only have a limited amount of time available to complete your PADI IDC.

So what are you waiting for?

280 kg in 80 minutes – Thanks Guys

17th June was the date of our first official underwater Clean up of 2012.

A huge THANK YOU to everybody who joined us, well done guys!

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Project Aware

The event was co-ordinated by Scuba Cat Diving’s new Eco Manager “Kiwi”. It was great to see such a turn out, MV Scuba Fun was full to capacity with 25 volunteers to help remove trash from our valuable reef.

We split into 4 teams and quickly kitted up including Lift Bags, Gloves, Sea snips etc

The first dive of the day was to be in Bay 4 of Racha Yai Island… wow what a find, I think the Captain must have known exactly where to drop the teams. We descended straight onto a huge fishing net which we quickly got to work on clearing up.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Underwater Cleanup

Even the trigger fish left us alone to get on with our work!!!

After lunch on board the boat we decided to move to another bay on Racha Yai Island where all the fishing boats come in to shelter when the sea is rough. This was a great decision, nets, ropes and lines everywhere……………and this site found the strangest find of the day one Wellington Boot! All the debris collected has been registered with Project Aware to help them with their data collection.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Dive for Debris

We all dive this Island on a daily basis and it was great to see different PADI Dive Companies from around the Island coming working together for one common aim.

A special thank you to Mr Tee, Phuket Dive Center owner, JP, PADI Course Director and Tony Andrews, PADI Regional Manager for joining us. JP has recently become a PADI Instructor for the Poseidon Rebreather and decided to bring it along for the day.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Poseidon Rebreather

A fantastic day, all be it with lots of hard work was rounded off with a Barbecue on Scuba Cats Roof top terrace in the evening with the Students from Concordia International School celebrating the 5th Anniversary of their Reef Check Survey also at Racha Yai Island.

Stay in touch for details of next months Dive for Debris………….

National Geographic Dive Centre – What is it?

PADI joined with National Geographic, to jointly create the National Geographic Diver program. They both have the common goal of encouraging public interest in recreational diving worldwide and exposing people to the underwater environment to help them gain a better appreciation of this new world.

Who can teach the National Geographic Diver Certification Course?

PADI National Geographic Programs is only offered through PADI 5 * Dive Centres and Gold Palm Resorts throughout the world that qualify as PADI National Geographic Dive Centres.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Eco Phuket

PADI Instructors working for these centres are the only ones eligible to teach these courses, it is a Certification awarded to the Dive Centre not the Individual Instructor.

What is the difference between the National Geographic Diver Certification and the PADI Open Water Diver Certification?

As a National Geographic Diver,  you have all the qualifications of a PADI Open Water Diver plus additional knowledge that broadens your awareness of the underwater environment and new skills to better explore underwater. The PADI Open Water Diver course is the foundation for the National Geographic Diver program.

What does the National Geographic Diver Program Include?

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Eco Phuket

The National Geographic Diver program allows you to become a scuba diver or, if you are already, the opportunity to increase your diving skills. The program promotes adventure, discovery, exploration, and conservation. Along with learning dive skills and mastering safety information, you will complete a Knowledge Review based on information gained by reading  the National Geographic Diver Almanac and watching the DVD. Once in the Open Water you will demonstrate the ability to hover in at least three different positions. Also, you will take part in an Exploration Project that includes gathering information and creating a visual representation of the dive site detailing specific features. You will also practice navigating a square or rectangle pattern using a compass and natural references or take part in an aquatic life identification exercise.

 What recognition does a National Geographic Diver get?

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Eco Phuket

You’ll receive a distinctive National Geographic Diver certification card. This card signifies that you have completed the program’s knowledge and skill requirements, joining an elite group of divers. You will show this certification card any time you need dive services as you travel around seeking new dive adventures.

How does the National Geographic Diver Program support aquatic education and conservation of underwater environments?

All of National Geographic’s net proceeds from the PADI National Geographic Diver program will support exploration, conservation, research, and education. National Geographic supports a wide array of aquatic initiatives, including expeditions to reveal and share unique underwater environments around the globe. Other projects will include preservation of national marine sanctuaries and protection of endangered aquatic animals and plants.

Project AWARE, in conjunction with PADI, introduces many divers and non-divers each year to aquatic conservation and environmental issues. The National Geographic Diver program further encourages understanding of and respect for the underwater world’s delicate ecosystems.


What are you waiting for…. become a National Geographic Diver today

Underwater Clean-up June 17th 2012

This month is the 5th Anniversary of Scuba Cat Diving having new ownership.

We have a great Anniversary present for all our customers and so we though we would also do something to help the environment at this special time for us.

So 17th June we will be holding an Underwater Cleanup at Racha Yai Island, all are welcome to join us that day.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand

April 2011

Why 17th June?

This date was chosen to coincide with another 5th Anniversary happening at that time.

The Concordia International School, Shanghai (CISS), Reef Check Charter which started in 2008.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Underwater Clean Up

This will be their final day on board MV Scuba Adventure and also be joining us to undertake the clean up before we come back to shore for the Celebration BBQ on our roof top terrace in Patong.

CISS have been conducting Reefcheck Charter’s onboard MV Scuba Cat and MV Scuba Adventure Liveaboards studying the Reef and comparing the results annually, so they can look at the current condition of the reef compared to the results from previous years.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand CISS Reefcheck Charter

Ranging in age from 12 to 15, these amazing young students collect scientific data along 100 m of Coral reef. After submitting the data to Reef Check, it is added to their data base and shared with scientists and educators worldwide.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand CISS Reefcheck Charter

The students spend 8 days on board diving three to four times taking many courses, this years include PADI Open Water, PADI Advanced Open Water, PADI Specialities (Nitrox, Equipment, Wreck, PPB, Drift and Search and Recover) and off course the Reef Check Course with many hours being dedicated to the all important Data Collection.

These young global ambassadors  prove that young people really care about the planet on which they live and the creatures with which they interact.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand CISS Reefcheck Charter

This years charter started this morning, the students arrived in Patong at 6.00pm last night chattering excitedly about the PADI Courses and Reef Checks ahead of them. After breakfast this morning they departed for the 5th Year at Racha Yai……

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand CISS Reefcheck Charter

Scuba Cat Diving would especially like to thank the following people: Terry Umphenour (The founder of this Program) Joel Klammer (PADI/Reefcheck Instructor), Paul Adams (PADI/Reefcheck Instructor) Professor Suchana Apple Chavanich, Ph.D. from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok plus the many others who have helped out during the years including Colette Vroom, Dennis Adams, Renee Robins, Phil Lineker, Margaret McCoy, Gerry Richards, Kathryn Ridley and Mood.

Now we hope other students will follow and, hopefully, help save the Earth’s fragile reef systems for future generations. If you would like to see this same program in your school, please ask your school to contact us or contact us to find out how you can be involved.

Eco Friendly Scuba Diving – Marla’s Mystery

Scuba Cat Diving is a pioneer of Environmentally Friendly Scuba Diving in Phuket.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Green Star Award

For many years we have actively looked for new ways to help our coral reefs and beaches around the Phuket area.

The founder of Scuba Cat Diving, Mike Stark created Marla’s Mystery – the first artificial reef in Phuket.

Marla’s Mystery is named after Mike’s daughter…. Marla.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Mike Stark

"Mike, Prisana, Eric, Marla and Glen"

Back  in 1989 Mike, a PADI Instructor made his first of many dive at Racha Yai Island located south of Phuket, Thailand. For many years he continued to enjoy the incredible beauty of the underwater environment.

By now many divers were coming to Racha and it had become the busiest dive location close to Phuket due to its amazing underwater beauty. This was having an impact on the tranquillity of what had been and he realized he needed to find a way to help the reefs sustain these multiple visitors.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Racha Yai Island

He had an idea, “Wouldn’t it be great to to create a new dive site located a short distance away from the existing reef to help relieve diver congestion and create new habitats for marine life”

Mike found the hull of a confiscated smuggling boat which had been lying abandoned in a Phuket shipyard for years. She was big boat, over 30 metre in length, everything had been stripped from her. Mike could see her as a safe and environmentally friendly artificial reef.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Marlas Mystery ashore

After many hours preparing her for her final voyage and 15 years of shipyard fees paid… she was ready.

November 11th 2000 was the chosen night.

Mike was not happy with only sinking her he wanted to take her final journey with her.

“Chris, Jessie and were are standing on the stern of “Marla’s Mystery” clad in dive gear. It seemed only proper that we escorted her to her new home. The filling of the boat was a slow silent, process and we had plenty of time for speculation of what about to happen. The bow appeared to be sinking first; hence we were at the stern. Torches were switched off; the full moon would supply all the illumination we needed.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Eco Phuket

As the sea poured in the bow of the boat she rose up in the air in classic style, rapidly the stern was rapidly submerged, and us, for the ride to the bottom. There was no turning back ! We were being sucked down with the boat; the vortices produced had me going fins over head just like being in a washing machine. On the first revolution I sensed our support vessel was beening sucked over the sinking boat- sure hoped they didn’t panic, start the engine and turn the propeller guys! Then going down again- making sure to clear my ears. Had been having some ear problems of late; I thought it might hurt. Going up again, no pain, looks like my clearing had been successful. Going down, as helpless as any other piece of plankton adrift in the ocean. How deep were we going? I reassured myself that we are exactly at the chosen location and the bottom would be where we expected. My next thought – was there any chance that I would somehow get sucked under the boat and then crushed like a bug? I hadn’t thought of that before! A quick reassurance, the boat was dropping much too fast; I would never get caught underneath.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Marla's Mystery

"Marla's 10 years later"

Suddenly there was a loud thud….  the boat crashed into the bottom and my washing machine cycle is over. I turned on my torch and found myself in the middle of a dust storm as the fine sand was thrown up by the impact slowly settles. I saw two other torch beams  close by and we duscovered ourselves on the deck of the boat. Tentative OK signals were exchanged and when the reality of the situation sunk in High 5’s and squeals of delight filled the new reef. A glance at our computers showed the 30 meter ride to the bottom had taken slightly less than a minute.”

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Marla's Mystery

"Inside Marla's"

Scuba Cat Diving continue to Dive at Marla’s Mystery when ever possible, the change in her over the years has been incredible. Life is now abundant on her and more and more things appear around her. If you dive it today you will see bath tubs all around her, this is due to the “Bath tub” race Scuba Cat held on her 1st Sinking anniversary and Artificial Cubes sunk to enhance the reef.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Artifical Reef

Need to relax after your PADI IDC?

After a day on the PADI IDC with Scuba Cat Diving what better way to relax and recap the day than with a traditional Thai Massage.

Thailand is renowned for therapeutic massage. It is recognized by the Government as one of the branches of traditional medicine and is regulated accordingly. Thai massage is also practiced and taught by a number of non medical massage technicians in the spa industry within the tourist areas. It is believed that Buddha’s physician, Jivaka Komarabhacca, developed the art of Thai massage over 2500 years ago. It has a combination of influences from India, China and areas of South East Asia. There are regional differences in the art of Thai massage throughout the country. It is known in Thailand as nuat phaen boran, which literally translates to the ancient manner massage. Unfortunately, most of the ancient medical texts were destroyed by the Burmese when they invaded Ayutthia in 1776. Some stone inscriptions survived and in 1832 King Rama III had these placed in the walls of Wat Po where they can still be seen today.

Thai massage is normally conducted on the floor with the recipients wearing loose comfortable clothing to ensure freedom of movement.  No oils are used. The massage itself involves a lot of stretching with deep rhythmic actions. During the course of the massage many yoga like positions are performed. The practitioner leans on the recipient’s body using their hands and straight forearms locked at the elbow to apply firm, rhythmic pressure. The masseuse often uses their feet and legs to do the massage action. It is considered that Thai massage is more energizing and rigorous than more classic forms of massage as it works on the entire muscle-skeletal system of the body. There is a standard procedure to Thai massage, which follows the sen lines of the body. There are over 72,000 energy lines within the body. Ten of these energy lines are major and are known as sen lines. The object of Thai massage is to release any energy blockage within these lines. One of the key features of traditional Thai massage is the blocking and releasing of blood flow known as trigger point therapy. This is when sustained pressure is applied for about 30 seconds where the legs and arms join the torso. Also during the treatment muscle compression, joint mobilization and acupressure techniques are used.  The Thai massage finishes with a mini head massage. The practitioner closes the ears with their fingers for a few seconds and then releases. This is a motion that is designed to bring your mind and thoughts back to the here and now. It is considered a good way to bring you round.

There are many benefits of traditional Thai massage. It is believed to increase energy, relieve and reduce stress, improves circulation, increases flexibility. It also encourages a healthier sleep pattern and centres mind and body. It is also a very effective treatment for back, neck and shoulder pain. However, it is not recommended for people with the following conditions: infectious skin diseases, rash or open wounds, immediately after surgery, immediately after radiation or chemotherapy treatment and people who are prone to blood clots. If you have a heart condition it is recommended that you should see a Doctor before massage therapy.   It is also recommended that a pregnant lady should have a massage performed by a therapist who specializes in pregnancy massage.

Prior to treatment it is advisable not to have a heavy meal.  If at anytime there is discomfort during the session, which typically lasts for two hours, you must tell the therapist. After treatment it is advisable to relax, drink plenty of water. Traditional Thai massage is also a good detoxification treatment.

Thai massage in recent years has become increasingly popular worldwide. More and more people are realizing the benefits of this ancient traditional massage therapy and are seeking qualifications at prestigious training centres such as Wat Po in Bangkok.

PADI Poseidon Rebreather Course

Scuba Cat Diving are proud to have the Open Water Training for the first Phuket PADI Poseidon MKV1 Closed Circuit Rebreather Instructor Course on board MV Scuba Fun this week.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand MV Scuba Fun

Think rebreathers are just for technical diving? Think again….

The Poseidon MKV1 Closed Circuit Rebreather are lightweight, easy-transportable units that use sophisticated electronics to simplify their use.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Rebreather

The benefits of diving a closed circuit rebreather over traditional open circuit scuba include;

  • longer no decompression limits
  • reduced gas consumption

Imagine the experiences and photographs you could get with the underwater wildlife as you become part of their world with no bubbles and less noise….

The PADI Recreational Closed Circuit Rebreather course is now available at Scuba Cat Diving in conjunction with Ben Reymenants.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Rebreather Courses

The two courses we offer for Recreational Divers are :

PADI Rebreather Diver 

How long is the Course?

3 days/4 Dives

You must be:

  • a PADI Open Water Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from a recognized organization)
  •  a PADI Enriched Air Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from a recognized organization)
  •  18 years old with 25 logged dives
What you will learn on the Course:
  •  to use Rebreathers to a maximum of 18m depth within no-decompression limits.
  • to set up and care for, plan and make dives on the Poseidon MKV1 Closed Circuit Rebreather
Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Advanced Rebreather
PADI Advanced Rebreather Diver

How long is the Course?

3 days /4 Dives

You must be:

  • a PADI Rebreather Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from another organization)
  •  a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from another organization) prior to certification
  •  a PADI Enriched Air Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from another organization)
  •  18 years old with 30 logged Dives
What you will learn on the Course:
  • Teaches you to carry a bailout cylinder and dive to 30m max (40m max with PADI Deep Diver).
  • Respond to problems – bailout to open circuit – you will have a bailout cylinder to enable you to bailout from greater depth.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand PADI Rebreather

Meet our dedicated IDC Boat…….MV Scuba Sport

When the decision was made to retire MV Scuba Cat after 18 years working in the Similans and Racha Yai, this left our transfer boat MV Scuba Sport without a job.

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand MV Scuba Sport

After much though on what to use her for and looking at the local diving area we decided that a half day trip would be the perfect solution.

Up until now Phuket has been lacking a well organized half day diving and snorkeling trip from a purpose built dive boat. She has a big advantage over the longtail boats, where sunburn can be a problem or difficult shore entry for guests who have never dived before.

She also offer flexibility for our PADI Open water students, who have limited time in Phuket, so the course can be completed in 2.5 days rather than 3 if they arrive mid morning.

So MV Scuba Sport has been refitted with compressors, nitrox blending and a zodiac. She is based in Patong bay and offers both morning and afternoon trips on a very flexible basis.

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand Zodiac


We wanted a boat that was available for both fun divers, PADI Discover Scuba Diving experiences, PADI Open water courses, snorkeling and Night dives, for both fun or as part of the PADI Advanced open water course.

Since she has started to run in November she has proved popular with trips to Paradise reef and Kalim Reef.

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand Patong Bay

She is also used every month with our PADI IDC. This allows our candidates to gain valuable experience of the dive sites where their PADI IE for open water will take place. Whilst being used for IDC’s no other customers are onboard to allow the maximum time for training, time can be used more effectively and the location of the boat means no long travelling time.

Scuba Cat Diving PADI 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand IDC Boat


Due to the popularity of this trip and being able to offer more variety of diving for our guests there are more plans for Scuba Sport for next season.