Justin Marier-Sobol - PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Since my PADI Divemaster Training at Sunshine Dive Resort and then my PADI Instructor Development Course at Ban's Diving Resort, I've worked as instructor in Saint Martin, Tobermory Ontario, and Calgary Alberta.
I wasn't sure I'd work in the industry when I decided to do Divemaster. The way I saw it was that it was a great way to get a lot of diving in during my stay on Koh Tao. At the time I didn't realized how much of a great social environment it would be and how living and diving with other dmt's would shape my love for the industry. I quickly came to value all the workshops and skill practice, it's the best way to become a better and more confident diver. I'll never forget my first dive lead with paying customers. It was such a rewarding feeling to take divers out and show them a good (and safe) time. It was then that I really discovered my passion for teaching others, so i decided to do my IDC and MSDT.
IDC was a grind. It was riddled with long days and long skill circuits, but while others felt stressed and overwhelmed, I was confident in our training. Nat, G, and Mike were excellent teachers and they helped us become better divers and better teachers. They strive to pass knowledge onto new instructors in a comfortable and patient setting. When certain individuals struggled, the entire class would help one another, and it built a great sense of camaraderie.
MSDT was a good way to get experience teaching real people. I shadowed some senior instructors for a few weeks and gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. They helped shape the way I teach my students today. Without this program, it would have been difficult to jump right into teaching, and I'm glad I did it (Not to mention the free drinks and delicious meal at Fishbowl after completing a student cert!).
"After getting my OW at Sunshine a year ago, I was ecstatic to be able to return and take my EFR, Rescue and PADI Dive Master courses. The DM training at Sunshine exceeded all my expectations; taking me from being a 'fun' type diver to a dive professional devoted to assisting students and instructors, and sharing my passion for the sport. The personalized style of teaching, the attention to detail, the importance of being a role model and positively encouraging the students and each other - all these things and many more make Sunshine the very best dive school on Tao. But Sunshine is much more than that; it is a global 'family' of people dedicated to this fantastic sport, to helping their students and to each other. This is a very special place, an exceptional place, with very special people. My primary mentors were Mark and Jack, with a lot of support from Nat and the rest of the incredibly tight team of dive professionals there. I cannot express my gratitude and appreciation for what I learned from these good folks. Thank all of you so much!"
Bill Piccolo - PADI Divemaster - April 2017
What a fantastic hands on experience rewarded by all 11 candidates passing the IE with flying colours. I want to firstly thank Natalie and Guillaume for such a thorough and well thought out course. Their expertise in teaching Instructors is second to none. I cannot praise them or the course enough. The structure, the way they allow you to feel very much apart of teaching others and even let you assign the problems for "bad students" was lots of fun. I went from hating physics to being the "physics guru" with the candidates confiding in me any concerns they had. As a team we overcame individual problems and provided extra tuition where needed. This company has a real team spirit and I would encourage anyone wishing to climb the PADI ladder to consider their course with Sunshine Divers and Ban's Diving Resort. I promise you, you will not get better.
Thanks again Natalie Hunt and Guillaume Fargues
PADI Staff Instructor ( April 2017)
I have had such a great time doing my PADI-IDC and PADI-MSDT on Koh Tao. It is an intense course, so it’s great to be in a place with such great life and people from all over the world. I made so many friends here! The class prepared me so well I aced the Instructor Exam. Natalie Hunt was my mentor for the program and gave me really personalized attention. And even now that I’m working she remains available to answer my questions and offer support. I can teach 8 specialties thanks to the MSDT program and that really helps getting work. I left the course feeling confident and ready to teach. Oh, and the whale sharks here won’t leave me alone! It actually takes a bit of luck to spot one, but in only two months here, I’ve seen four!
Socrates Diamant - March 2017
"My friend and I have just recently returned from travelliing around Asia. We loved Thailand and in particular the island of Koh Tao on the east coast. Before we arrived on Koh Tao we knew it was one of the dive capitals of the world and always wanted to do a dive. Never did we imagine what the next 2 weeks of our stay would entail. WE stayed in Chalok bay and did our diving with SUNSHINE DIVERS. All the diving instructors were so friendly, welcoming and as soon as we arrived we were immediately accepted into this new diving family! We had a truly inspirational instructor by the name of bastiaan van der Kuijl. His enthusiasm and passsion made the diving even more exciting and memorable. Not only was he a great teacher but he also taught us to enjoy the experience and have fun! After 2 days of the open water dive course we felt confident enough to sign up to the advanced open water course. He made us feel so safe and comfortable in the water, we have only just go hoe but we are already planning our next dive h oliday back to Koh Tao, Sunshine Divers & Bastiaan."
Florence Laidler & Inessa Goodman - PADI Advanced Open Water DIvers
"My wife Angela & I wanted to write to you following our recent trip to oh Tao where we had a wonderful time diving with Sunshine. We wanted to thank you and your staff for making our trip a wonderful one. Everyone we encountered (Kim, Ollie, David, Bruno, Joe & Others) made us feel very welcome and helped to make our experience very memorable. We both want to especially thank Mark & Bec Wastall, the two Divemaster that led the majority of our dives, they were absolutely fantastic to dive with. WE found their enthusiasm for diving infectious, their briefings to be thorough & professional, their committment to helpin us dive safely to be comforting, their desire to help us find & interact with interesting species and sites consistent, they also helped us with our gear, found my lost weights (more than once), never failed to sign & stamp our log books but most of all they were just plain fun to be with for our entire stay! We were ucky enough to enjoy the ultimate Koh Tao dive experience - Diving with a Whale Shark! We have to mention that during the Whale Shark Dive there was amazing energy and unbelievable excitement everywhere. WE were very impressed that even with the overwhelming excitement and chaos surrounding the experience, Mark (who was our Divemaster), never waivered in his responsibilities. He continually made sure that we were aware of our surroundings (boats, many divers etc. ) checked our air consumption, time, etc even when it would have been understandable that he might forget when trying to enjoy the wonderful experience himself! Please pass along our heartfelt gratitude to both Mark & Bec, they were a huge factor in making our trip and our diving experience the best we have had. Thanks you again for helpin to make our trip so wonderful!" Angela Wood & David Rodgers