Our new PADI Course Director


Great news at TSD today! Our head PADI Technical Instructor, Jason Orage, has been accepted on the prestigious PADI Course Director Training Course in March to become a fully fledged PADI Course Director, the elite of PADI teaching professionals!!!

When he returns to Malapascua Island in April after the two week course in Malaysia, Jason will be joining our Dive Careers team of Course Directors as our in-house CD. As well as participating in our regularly scheduled IDCs, Jason will be the only full-time Course Director on Malapascua Island and will be available year round for one-on-one PADI IDCsInstructor Specialty Ratings, private PADI IDC Staff Instructor Courses and also, a first for TSD, we are excited to announce, PADI TecRec Technical Instructor courses!!!

Jason teaches PADI TecRec Instructor Courses

It takes many years of hard work and dedication to become a Course Director and only a handful of PADI Instructors are accepted on the course worldwide. Jason has consistently strived towards this goal over the years, and constantly shows extraordinary commitment to his students and to his job.

This has not gone unnoticed by PADI. Every month, PADI awards one PADI Dive Shop and one PADI Instructor worldwide with a very special award. Thresher Shark Divers was very proud to receive PADI’s “Customer Service Center” award a year ago, and then even more pleased when just a few months later Jason received the “Education Leader” Instructor award. This award is particularly prestigious given there are over 100,000 PADI Pros worldwide. Read more about this and TSD’s other numerous awards here.

Jason still loves teaching at all levels and will continue to each everything from Open Water through to Technical as well as PADI Instructor Training.

We are very much looking forward to having him join our Instructor Trainer team and to be able to offer you Technical Instructor training! So now you can come to TSD for your complete Instructor package!

Huge congratulations to Jason. It’ll be a big party tonight at the Wilde Bar :-)


PADI Go Pro Instructor Training



Snorkel Test!


TSD’s PADI Pro Program is back with a vengeance!

Yesterday we certified 3 new Divemasters!!! James, Clive and Peter have been with us for quite some time now completing their DM courses and they got more than they bargained for when the typhoon hit!  Does PADI offer a Typhoon Specialty Course?

Not only have the boys done really well in their courses, but also they helped us out no end in the aftermath of the typhoon. In honour of this, we arranged a Sports Day for them yesterday, with cricket, basketball and some strange kind of French boules. And last night, of course, was the final challenge for the DM course…. the snorkel test! Can you drink a funnel full of alcohol?!!!  You need to take your DM with TSD and find out! For these guys, after a day of sport and drinking, it was, to put it nicely, just a tad messy :-)


Malapascua snorkel test


Once hangovers are out of the way, Peter will be leaving, James has extended his stay for a few weeks to help out with typhoon relief, and Clive will be starting his IDC.


Malapascua Divemaster Course


And no sooner are they finished than we have a new crew of interns arriving.  Nicki gets here tomorrow to do her Divemaster. We hope that soon to follow will be Luke and Trevor going from Rescue to IDC. And our next IDC starts on December 5: Mark arrived today and Hannah, Laurent and Dave are coming very soon!

We wish out newly certified PADI Pros the best of luck in their dive careers and we look forward to welcoming our new interns who will be receiving some of the best PADI Pro training in the industry!



A big celebration!

Here at Thresher Shark Divers we don’t need an excuse to have a party, but on the 11th of February we had ten!  So staff and customers alike were invited to help us celebrate, with festivities that went on way into the morning!

Andrea and Chris both celebrated their birthdays, Manuella reached her 100th dive, Martin and Martina both qualified as PADI Divemasters after the final snorkel test…

Martina's Snorkel Test, Malapascua Philippines

Martina gives the okay to start her snorkel test, while Martin looks on in dread....

Martin, PADI DM, Malapascua Philippines

But he survived his snorkel test! New PADI Divemaster Martin with Instructor, Jo

Martina, New DM

Martina, new PADI DM with Instructor Angus


….and we had 5 freshly qualified PADI Instructors who just completed the PADI IDC and passed their Instructor Exam that day. Another 100% pass rate for TSD!  A big ‘Well done’ to Lee, Henry, Mac, Martin, Judith and of course their Course Director, Rich. The biggest IE ever on Malapascua hopefully means plenty more to come!

The night commenced with liquid award ceremonies….


TSDs newest PADI Instructors, L-R: Mac, Henry, Martin, Judith and Lee


…and ended with some bizarre Filipino party games: Trip to Jerusalem, Musical Chairs, Apple Munching, Egg Breaking, Tomato Dance and Paper Dance, with prizes given to the victorious.


Apple munching....

Games on Malapascua

... Egg Breaking....

Games on Malapascua

...Tomato Dance. or is that Tomato Squashing!

Strangely enough the games all seemed to be sly variations on the theme of getting very close to the opposite sex, so much fun was had by all!


Crazy Summer at TSD for PADI IDC’s

Summer this year has been a bumper season for PADI IDC’s at Thresher Shark Divers. They have been running back-to-back through June, July and August.


June was a surprise one. With quite a few maybe’s interested in our June IDC Special, but eventually no takers, we decided to cancel it.  Then the next day, who should walk through the door but out old friend Steve McGill.  After a mere 15 minutes catching up he asked, “So, do you have an IDC running anytime soon?”

So we geared back into action and our IDC was now running in full force.

Steve was lucky to have one-on-one attention from Course Director, Mike, and sailed through the IE. He is now living in Cebu planning to teach in Mactan.


L-R: PADI Instructor Examiner George Wegman, Steve, Mike (CD)

Mike had a few days off after he finished Steve’s Instructor Specialty ratings, but soon it was nose back to the grindstone as our two candidates for the July IDC arrived on July 9th.


Ronnie, from Germany, has just settled in El Nido in Palawan and is planning on opening a dive center in this newly discovered area.  He already owns the Habibi Shisha Restaurant which he runs with his lovely wife, Charo, so we are sure he will do well.

Katie comes from the UK and had just finished university. On the day she arrived, she got news of getting a first class degree, so double congratulations to her! Katie stayed with us for a month after the IDC to get some teaching experience and is taking the next year off to teach diving before going back to start her job in the UK. During her time with us she also worked on getting some of our staff certified as Open Water Divers. We offer this to our staff for free.

Also congratulations to Gareth our old instructor, who came back for a visit and completed his PADI IDC Staff Instructor Course. Sadly for us, Gareth has now returned to his fab job on the cruise ships in the Caribbean, but we hope to see him back in March next year.

PADI IDC, July 2010

L-R: George, Ronny, Katie, Mike


Yet again, no sooner had Ronnie and Katie finished their Instructor Specialty ratings, than Petr and Helen started their IDC Prep Course for the August IDC.

This is Petr’s third time with us. In ‘normal life’ he is a brain surgeon in the Czech Republic and has been coming to us every year for his vacation. In August 2008 he completed PADI Divemaster at TSD.  Last August he did his Assistant Instructor.  And this year he went all the way with the PADI Dive Instructor Course.

After completing the IDC, Helen did very well in the IE achieving mostly top grades and her PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor Rating.  Petr skipped the IE to travel to Bohol with his girlfriend who had been seriously neglected during the IDC, and will either come back in January or take it back home in freezing cold Prague – brrrr!

PADI IDC August 2010

Helen is staying with us for another month for Specialties and some teaching experience on our MSDT Prep Program.

Congratulations to all our new PADI Instructors
and best of luck in your future careers!


Our April PADI IDC was our usual success, and star candidates Karlis, Dustin and Henrik sailed through getting high marks and keeping up TSD’s perfect record of 100% first time pass in the PADI Dive Instructor Course.


L-R: George Wegmann (PADI Instructor Examiner), Dustin, Mike (CD), Karlis, Henrik

This IDC was definitely a fun one as everyone knew each other very well. Dustin, Karlis and Soren are all long termers at TSD and Malapascua – at least 6 months each, and Henrik had been here for 2 months completing his DM.

The IDC flew by with our resident Course Director, Mike, at the helm. All too quickly they were off to beautiful Dumaguete for the PADI Instructor Exam where they achieved the much deserved qualification of PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor.

All 3 continued on to take PADI Specialty Instructor ratings, with Henrik doing no less than 13!  Joining them here and there along the way to add to their Specialty Instructor ratings, were already certified instructors Bernita, Holly, Justin, Matt and even our own Dino!

We wish them all the best of luck in their future careers, with Karlis heading off to his job in the Red Sea, Soren to Thailand, and Henrik off to finish diving the length and breadth of the Philippines before maybe trying to find work… Dustin will be staying with us at TSD to continue in his unofficial post as head nudibranch spotter and identifier whilst teaching and guiding in between.

November IDC

The November IDC came around very quickly and this time it was an all girl crew.  The three ladies passed with flying colors, and as usual scored very well in the Instructor Exams, doing themselves and TSD proud.

l-r: John, Yvette, Sylvia, George, Louise, Mike

l-r: John, Yvette, Sylvia, George, Louise, Mike

Yvette, Sylvia and Louise came to us from varying backgrounds.

Yvette has been with us for three months completing a full internship including Rescue and Divemaster. She is en route to being an English teacher in Korea but loves diving and wants to be able to teach diving as well as English. Koreans certainly like to dive so it sounds like a great idea to me.

Kitted up for IE Open Water

Sylvia is the owner of Tepanee Resort, one of our partner resorts on Malapascua. So I am sure she will become a (more) familiar face at TSD. Sylvia will be able to teach for us every now and then when she has time, particularly with our Italian guests.


Louise has been working as a DM in the Philippines for a year and we are happy to welcome her as our newest member of staff. She will be staying on with TSD for a while to DM and teach courses.

Diving is Fun!

Thanks as always to our FAB Course Director, John Taylor who did his usual magnificent job and to Mike and Rich who prepped the candidates so well and staffed the IDC. Also to Tony, Dustin, Karlis and Fred who helped out as suffering students.

October’s Newest PADI Instructors

October saw another very successful IDC at TSD. Our three instructor candidates passed with flying colours, scoring very highly on their Instructor Exams. They were all pleased to note that they scored way above other candidates and only then realized how well prepared they had been made. All presentations were ones they had seen during training which made for a relatively easy and relaxed two day exam.

Brand new PADI OWSIs L-R: Antoine, Nir, Ayelet, and PADI Instructor Examiner George Wegmann

Brand new PADI OWSIs L-R: Antoine, Nir, Ayelet, and PADI Instructor Examiner George Wegmann

When they first came to us, Nir and Ayelet had recently finished their Divemaster course and so had the skills fresh in their mind. But Antoine was crossing over from CMAS 3* and so the prep course was a lot more involved for him and especially challenging. But by the start of the IDC proper, everyone was in fine form and Course Director John Taylor did his usual magic and got them through with no problem.

Not such a bad place to do an exam, is it?

Not such a bad place to do an exam, is it?

Fernando from the One for the Road Pirates, joined in at the end to complete his instructor update. Armed with his newly renewed PADI OWSI Instructor rating and 9 Specialty Instructor ratings, he is now going back to China with the One for the Road Pirates and will be the dive club’s official instructor.

All kitted up and ready for Open Water

All kitted up and ready for Open Water

Antoine is already off to bigger and better things in Palawan. We are pleased that Nir and Ayalet will be with us for a while longer to do MSDT Prep.

Thanks go to Mike and Rich for prepping so well and staffing the IDC and of course to CD John Taylor.

We would also say a huge thank you to PADI for putting on the Instructor Exam in Cebu especially for us, it was a great help.

The IE party had to wait until after Nir and Ayelet had finished their Specialty Instructor ratings, but it was a great night and a good time was had by all.

Instructors, interns and NEWLY CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS!

Instructors, interns and NEWLY CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS!

August at TSD

August was a bit of a rollercoaster month at TSD going from very quiet to hugely busy and back again.

Another IDC started on August 1 so a lot of last minute preparations were being made by all our candidates. Then it was full on classroom and in-water work for them for the next 10 days. But they all did really well and passed with flying colors.

A moment of relaxation between IDC sessions

A moment of relaxation between IDC sessions

Tech gear eveywhere taking over the shop!

Tech gear everywhere taking over the shop!

Then we had “TSD TEC Week”. The shop was inundated with all things tec. Rebreathers and twin sets were the order of the day and everyone was doing their own thing, but it all worked out quite well. Of course being tekkies, they dived all our wrecks, and Matt and Dave even saw a hammerhead shark at 60 meters!

Another Dave was here at the same time, also with a rebreather, just to really confuse things. He came with his massive HD camera, and was shooting a documentary of TSD and the island. I think he was possibly carrying more kit than I have ever seen on a diver.

For the first two weeks of August, the weather decided to be particularly uncooperative, and although we went diving every day, we had to transport all the gear and divers by motorcycle to the other side of the island. Still this added a sense of adventure to things.

Trevor and Mike coming back from their tec dive

Trevor and Mike coming back from their tec dive

Trevor and Mike FINALLY got out to dive the Pioneer after about 5 aborted attempts due to bad weather, strong currents etc. It was Mike’s first dive on the WWII wreck and he loved it. The trimix came in very handy to ensure they spent enough time on the wreck and made sure they weren’t too narked at 55 meters to appreciate what they were seeing.

August was quite the month for long termers coming and going and the TSD community shrank and grew accordingly. John, Kim, Dom and Mark sadly left, but to replace them we have Carley, Tony, Antoine, Yvette and Fred.

Welcome to you all!

August IDC

Our IDC started on August 1 with four eager but slightly panicky candidates.

Martin with Petr and Mike getting ready to do skill circuits

Martin with Petr and Mike getting ready to do skill circuits

First up we had Martin, who is changing careers. He’s making a sideways jump from the snowboarding industry to diving and had been with us for 4 months already. He had spent an unprecedented 6 weeks out of the water due to ear infections and was hurriedly catching up on missed water work prior to the IDC.

Next was Petr, the crazy Czeck children’s brain surgeon. Petr was at TSD last year doing his DM and came back for his summer holiday this year to do his Assistant Instructor course.

Petr’s first few days were full of mishaps. On the day he arrived he was so excited to be back, that as he was getting off the boat, waving at us with his phone in his hand, he managed to drop it in the sea. Very shallow sea, but still deep enough to kill a very expensive Nokia. The next day, he managed to lose a fin on a dive. The day after he broke a fin strap on his brand new pair of fins…. And then he got himself an ear infection. Still, it gave him time to finish his knowledge reviews and brush up on physiology which was not his strong subject (joke only, ha ha, he’s a doctor). Despite all this he managed to do stunningly well on his Assistant Instructor course.

Number 3 was Lil’ Dave who was still recovering from being ill for a week, and it was touch and go as to whether he would be okay in time to start.

Working hard!

Working hard!

The only person that was in tip-top shape at the start of the IDC was Mark. In retrospect, this was to be expected as he had just come from Manila where he was practicing with his teammates in the Volcanoes, the Filipino national Rugby Team. Mark kept his ‘other job’ very quiet from us all until it slipped out after the IDC. His month as TSD was his ‘break’ before he heads off to Malaysia to play for his adopted country. But despite his excellent physical shape, it had been a year since Mark did his DM and some serious swotting up on Physics was required.

So the run up to the IDC was slightly hectic with lots of last minute preparations. But then… we all sat down for the welcome lecture from CD John Taylor, and it had begun…

The IDC begins...

The IDC begins...

The IDC went very well. Petr finished his Assistant Instructor course and sadly had to leave halfway through… but someone has to save those children’s lives in the Czeck Republic. He plans to come back next year to finish what he started. The others carried on to finish the entire IDC. Everything went very smoothly and by the end of the course our lads were up to speed.

Confined Water Presentations

Confined Water Presentations

After all this preparation and all the training, our three candidates sailed through the two day Instructor Exam. No problems at all – everyone passed everything first time, scoring mostly 4.5’s, 4.8’s and 5’s (out of 5).

Classroom presentations

Classroom presentations

Martin, the poor thing, got Spencer limits to explain, but Mark lucked out and got the same classroom presentation he had given during his IDC.

After returning triumphant to TSD as newly certified Open Water Scuba Instructors, it was time for them each to complete five Specialty Instructor Ratings. Our instructor, Kim, joined them for this one and finally there was some female input on this IDC!

Wreck Specialty Instructor course - learning how to tie off lines inside wrecks without getting yourself all tangled up in knots!

Wreck Specialty Instructor course - learning how to tie off lines inside wrecks without getting yourself all tangled up in knots!

Last but not least, after three weeks of very hard work, was the IE party. We made it into a big party with a spread laid on courtesy of TSD for the candidates, our staff and customers.



A very good time was had by all.

Mark has already moved on to find work before he has to head off to Malaysia for the Asian rugby tournament. Martin and Dave will be with us for a few more weeks completing their MDST Prep program.

Congratulations guys!

TSD's three newest Instructors!

TSD's newest Instructors L-R Instructor Examiner George Wegmann, Martin, Dave and Mark

The first successful IDC on Malapascua!!!

Thresher Shark Divers are very pleased to have completed our first ever IDC (Instructor Development Course). As well as being a historical event for TSD, it is a groundbreaking in being the first ever successful IDC held in its entirety on Malapascua.

Congratulations over and over to David and Sarah on passing their PADI Instructor Exam yesterday.

They have worked very hard over the last 2 weeks of the IDC and improved in leaps and bounds.

The IE (Instructor Exam), is the final part of the Instructor course when evaluators from PADI headquarters test all instructor candidates during a rigorous two day session. During the IE David and Sarah did us proud, scoring consistently high marks throughout. They were presented with their certificates of completion yesterday afternoon by George Wegmann, PADI Instructor Examiner.

L-R: John Taylor (Course Director), George Wegmann (PADI Instructor Examiner), David Vize (OWSI), Sarah King (OWSI), Mike Ferguson (IDC Staff), me (Andrea - IDC Staff)

Many thanks to John Taylor, our Course Director, and Mike our IDC Staff Instructor, for all their hard work with the candidates throughout the IDC, it really paid off. To round off a very successful IDC, David will remain to complete his Specialty Instructor ratings, and Charlie will be finishing her IDC Staff Instructor Course this week.

We had a great party last night, I think there will be some sore heads this morning….