Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Blog March Round Up featuring a Poser in a Wet Suit and a Grass Shark

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New instructors and Staff Instructor in good spirits
Congratulations to Calle, Charlene, Mark, Mathias and Max to whom we doff our caps. After three weeks of hard work during the IDC and a successful Instructor Examination, we pronounce you PADI Instructors. Also a big shout out to Maciek, (far right) who assisted as a Staff Instructor on the course to great effect by passing knowledge from his his years of experience to the candidates.

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Robin hard at work
If dressing up in a synthetic suit is your thing then be warned there are no dodgy night clubs on Malapascua. There is however, world class diving and world class facilities here at Exotic Island Dive Resort. This week we received our annual shipment of brand new dive equipment which included a range of Aqualung wetsuits for the exclusive use of our guests. Great thanks to our work experience intern and 18yr old Swedish pretty boy Robin for modelling part of our new range. The Blog was desperate. Apologies.

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A shark made from grass
At Exotic we're lucky to have the finest team of groundsmen on the island. The 'Green Team' as they're fondly known, spend hours making the surroundings here beautiful and peaceful for the relaxation of our guests. And what a fine job these craftsmen do.
Hey look out! It's a shark! Relax, it's not really. It's actually a section of grass cunningly moulded into the likeness of one by one of the Green team. A White tip perhaps.

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Sunset without the sunset but nice anyway
And finally, we end with a picture captured yesterday just as the sun was taking it's final bow for the day. No words needed. We're blessed here.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

IDC Lunchtime Scoop

This week the Blog pulled out its camera and chased the ongoing PADI Instructor Development Course as the candidates participated in a Discover Scuba Diving workshop during which they learned various techniques to handle non certified divers.

After the session we thought we'd ambush the candidates over lunch and ask them a few incredibly non testing questions about the course. Introducing from left to right, Calle, Max, Charlene, Mark and Mathias.

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A happy and confident group of PADI instructor candidates

Blog: Good Afternoon guys.

Candidates: (no reply, but then they were eating at the time)

The Blog continues with some disarming small talk: So how's the IDC going so far?

Candidates: Good (and slight variations of)

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Charlene handles two acting novices

Sensing them off guard the Blog moves in for the kill: What made you choose to do your IDC in Malapscua and the Philippines with Exotic?

Max: A friend of mine called Adam became an instructor with Exotic in 2014 and highly recommended the place in terms of the location and the course itself.

Blog: Malapascua is certainly an idyllic location but can you expand on what you mean by the course itself?

Max: Most IDC's appear to be ten days in length where as Exotic run a course that lasts almost three weeks. I didn't want to be rushed.

Calle: Nor me. I like the extended course especially seeing as English isn't my first language so we have more time to adapt and it's easier to adjust.

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Under control via the tank valve technique

Blog: Interesting. Mathias, we've become quite familiar with you at Exotic, you've been here ten times? What made you come back here yet again?

Mathias: (false laughing) Well not quite, this is my fourth visit to malapascua. I first came in 2013 mainly to fun dive although I did a nitrox course. The following year I did my Rescue course and on my previous visit I dipped my toe into the world of tech diving. This time I undertook the Divemaster programme and now the Instructor Development Course.

Blog: Thanks Mathias (for the life story) but why Exotic?

Mathias: I just think this place has everything. The scenery is beautiful, the diving is superb and the facilities at Exotic are second to none. And the senior management team are great. No but seriously, in terms of boats, safety equipment and all other facilities I don't think anywhere else on the island comes close. Also, previous candidates I've spoken to have rated the Course Directors here quite highly which I found important too.

Blog: You Creep. Yet true, and high recommendation if ever i heard it. Mark and Charlene, you two did your Divemaster courses in Australia I believe. What brought you both over here?

Charlene: Same as Max, the Exotic IDC was recommended to us by other divers we met from our time in Australia.

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Nice circle guys

Blog: Recommendations seem to be going a long way. So the exam starts tomorrow. How have you enjoyed the course?

Mark: The course is challenging and great fun at the same time. Thankfully, we've been able to go dive with the Thresher sharks on a few occasions as unlimited diving is part of the IDC here. Woop Woop!

Blog: Easy now Mark.

So there you have it. Some lunchtime views from our almost but not quite new PADI Instructors. In a few days we'll welcome the arrival to the island of a PADI examiner who will give these guys a rigorous examination minus the rubber gloves. Hopefully we'll all be celebrating at the conclusion.........

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Calanggaman Day Trip Expose

Business as usual here at Exotic Island Dive Resort as we help bring joy and happiness to the lives of all our treasured guests that visit us in Malapascua, Philippines.
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Approaching Calanggaman Island 
Every few days we run a day trip to the beautiful island of Calanggaman and yesterday was one of these days. The Blog asked one of Exotic's longest term inmates, Katie, if she'd take a few pictures to document her day there. Well she did, and here we see the amazing view as the boat draws near to the island. Just look at that sand bar stretching towards the camera. Super camera work.

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On Calanggaman Island
All of Exotic's Calanggaman trips allow for lunch to be taken on the island itself.  Here we see Katie's boat for the day, Exotic 8, on the beach while all the guests enjoyed a barbeque under the shade of the palm trees. A barbeque prepared by no less than one of the resorts chefs. Does it get better than this?

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Beside Calanggaman Island
Well the answer is yes. The diving just off Calanggaman island is wall diving of the highest class featuring numerous schools of fish of a wide variety. That said, the Blog's editorial meeting was quite feisty when Katie returned with close up shots only! Anyway, who doesn't love a frog fish like this fine specimen.

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Orangutan Crab
As everywhere around Malapascua, the macro is sublime and the colourful walls of Calanggaman island are no exception to this rule. Just admire this Orangutan crab peeping out from its home within the bubble coral.

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If looks could kill
And despite the fact they're absolutely everywhere out here in the Philippines, who doesn't like Nemo! Aggressive little bugger too and film didn't show that did it?
Pictured below is Katie herself. She arrived four months ago for a stay of just a couple of days and just never left! Thanks for the pictures Katie...

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