congratulations…new divers!

congratulations go out to Xavier Law and Derek Mackesy for completing their PADI open water and advanced open water scuba diver course in Puerto Galera, Philippines last week (9-13 April 2011). we stayed once again on Sabang beach at Song of Joy resort – Korean owned by Mr. Lee and Tex (pictured below in group photo on front left). we were joined by Divemasters Arwin and Jordan as well as Tamsin & John – our dive group groupies! the weather cooperated and it was a packed fun-filled week of diving. the water temp in PG dropped to about 25 deg…unusually cold for the Philippines (perhaps due to La Nina) but the new divers braved the ‘relatively’ cold(er) waters and successfully completed their courses. judging by the beach scene below (practicing their compass navigation skills) you wouldn’t think the water was cold – actually, it varied from 29 deg c at the surface to 25 deg c under water. actually, it wasn’t cold at all…we pilots are always looking for something to complain about. Xavier and Derek are also airline pilots here in Hong Kong. skies conquered and now the seas. what’s next?!

congratulations captain/diver nam, sangbae!

2-5 april 2011. it was my great honor to hold a PADI open water course for a good friend of mine, Sangbae Nam from Seoul, Korea. Sangbae is a captain for Asiana Airlines – one of the two major international airlines that serve korea. Sangbae and i go way back to our early flying days. we both went to the same flight school in vero beach, florida (FlightSafety International Academy) nearly 20 some years ago!! we’ve kept in touch over the years and have both graduated from flying small single engine 4-seat airplanes to piloting aircraft now that seat up to 400! i ran a special private open water course for sangbae in Puerto Galera, Philippines. we met up with a group of friendly koreans who knew Mr. Lee, the owner of the resort we stayed at in Sabang Beach named Song of Joy. the korean group were kind enough to celebrate Sangbae’s open water graduation celebration. it was a great experience for all of us and to my new korean friends, i hope to see you in the water (or in the skies over korea) someday soon! congratulations Captain Sangbae…thanks for being a great friend and translator – hope you enjoyed your vacation! good job!