Complete your PADI Instructor Course in El Nido, Philippines – Our newest location

El Nido is a truly magical place, with beautiful limestone cliffs, white sand beaches and a great marine bio-diversity.  Stunning scenery, great dives and a genuinely friendly atmosphere in Deep Blue Seafari Dive center make it an ideal location for the Dive Instructor course.

Philippines IDC
The view from the beach of our El Nido IDC

March 2016 saw our first IDC In El Nido.  Only a couple of candidates, Sean and Chris, made a great little course.  Allowed us to even schedule to meet Seans special needs.  Guess they had a great time judging by their reviews on  Scubatribe

Great IDC, amazing people and beautiful place

“Scenery that cant be beaten and staff that were amazingly helpful and friendly made for a great experience during my IDC. The guys at Deep Blue Seafari made me feel like a part of their shop family and did everything they could to make my time there as easy as possible. The shop, their boats, the staff, everything was 5 stars. Mark the course director wasn’t bad either. 🙂 All in all a fantastic place to do an IDC.” Chris.

deep blue seafari idc

“What a great experience! The owners and staff could not do enough to make our stay and learning experience there as great as possible. The diving was awesome with deep blue seafaris many dive trips and saw many critters and flambouyant cuttlefish on night dives but now need to return for some more caves after a taster!” Sean.

I also had a great experience.  El Nido, for me, was like a trip back to Koh Tao in the mid 90’s.  Felt like a 20 year old backpacker again.  Evan shared a house with the IDC candidates.  That helped ensure Chris would make it home after the beach.  We managed to intermingle the IDC presentations with some good restaurants and chilled little beach bars, an excellent, relaxed atmosphere facilitated by the incredibly helpful staff and owners of Deep Blue Seafari Dive Center.  And, importantly, resulted in the guys getting great results in the Instructor Exam and feeling confident to get out and work inthe industry as dive instructors.

My trip to El Nido was also a great opportunity to catch up with candidates from previous IDCs in Thaialnd and Philippines.  Even got visits from former divemaster candidates from years ago, with a social call from Tamara.  Excellent to see our candidates making a success of the dive industry, Tom getting into some interesting conservation projects in Palawan and Pauline and Simon running a great video training company in El Nido.

IDc Philippines
Some of the marine life during your presentations on your El Nido IDC

I would like to thank Diana and Jose from Deep Blue Seafari for having the vision to bring PADI instructor courses to El Nido and for making it such a relaxed and enjoyable experience.  As they say:

“We like our guest and students to feel like part of our family. We focus on quality customer service, quality equipment, very professional training and safety.”

IDC Philippines
Sean practicing rescue Ex 7 during the El Nido IDC

As the Course Director I had a great experience and so did the candidates. looks forward to continuing to develop the IDCs on El Nido with Deep Blue Seafari.  For 2016 we have 4 IDCs scheduled and look forward to a successful IDC future in Palawan, Philippines.

If interested in joining our El Nido IDc programmes or divemaster training contact me on

PADi IDC Philippines
Confined water during the El Nido IDC. Such a specatcular setting

The First Sri Lankan PADI IDC

Sri Lanka is truly an amazing country.  A generous and hospitable nation filled with wonderful stories, a rich and diverse culture and history, and fascinating dive destinations.  I had the great fortune in February 2013 to conduct the first PADI Instructor Development Course in Sri Lanka.  It was an excellent experience.

Sri lanka IDC
IDC Sri Lanka down on the beach

The IDC was conducted at Poseidon Diving Station Hikkuduwa with all Sri Lankan nationals as candidates.  Right from the beginning the stories and experiences started flowing.  The dive center was started in 1973 by Swedish adventurer Sven and Lesley Sembakuttige, father of the present owner Chami Sembakuttige.  Fortunately Sven was actually visiting with his family so I had the opportunity to listen spellbound to his stories of diving Sri Lanka in  the seventies.  At 82 he only gave up diving last year and has a lifetime full of adventures from diving in the first ever made dry suit, discovering wrecks and treasures around Sri Lanka, even showing me the tiny compressor that they smuggled into Sri Lanka to fill those first tanks; through to the stories of the importance Chamis dad played to the local community.

No greater tribute to that exists than the comparatively low loss of life on Hikkuduwa in the 2004 tsunami.  Chamis family have strongly advocated protecting Hikkuduwas reef for decades.  During the IDC we had Oliver Ridley and Green turtles nesting and hatching right in front of the dive centre.  Swim twenty meters out to where we were doing the confined presentations and you have hundreds of trevally schooling, incredibly enormous turtles swimming around and interfering with the confined skills and a school of bumphead parrotfish.  A great testament to the local community protecting their reef. Reefs either side of Hikkuduwa have been decimated by generations of limestone mining.  During the tsunami, those areas that had lost the natural barrier protection of the reef were completely devastated with massive loss of life.  Few died where the reef remained relatively in tact.  A legacy to the forethought of Lesley Sembakuttige.

Some of the guys leading dives there, like Lal and Sunil, have been leading dives in the local area since the 70s and 80s.  Such an immense wealth of local knowledge and experience.  Lal was actually on the fisrt Sri Lankan IDC and has been a registered PADI divemaster since 1993.  When I checked his card at the commencement of the IDC I remarked on how worn and water logged the card looked. He replied how he actually lost his wallet in the tsunami, only to rediscover it three years later on the inner side of the reef, PADI Divemaster card still in tact.

Sri lanka IDC
One of the first Sri lankan PADI Dive Instructors

Next IDC I really hope I can organise a trip with these guys out to the Great Bassos 1701 silver wreck found by Arthur C. CLarke in 1961.  They still know where the treasure lies. But then again, I would also like to go diving in March/April off Tincomalee after seeing the video from one of the other IDC candidates, Menake, of diving with a pod of sperm whales.  Guess I will have to do several more trips to Sri Lanka.

WE also conducted the first Enriched Air instructor course on Sri Lanka.  This was at the insistence of Lakshmann who was doing his staff instructor course.  After years of diving on mixed gases and blending his gases at home, he thought he better do the course and check that he has been doing things correctly all of these years.  I guess that he has not blown himself up is proof that he was following correct procedures. He actually started diving with Mike Wallis who was filming underwater Sri Lanka back in the 60s and 70s and was invloved with Arthr C. Clarke in the finding of the treasure on Great Bassos.

PADI IDc Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka IDC celebrations begin after a super successful PADI Instructor Exam

Teaching the next generation of Sri Lankan divemasters and PADI Instructors is well underway.  Poseidon Diving were also hosting Plongeurs du Monde at the same time of the IDC.  Plongeurs du Monde is a group of committed dive instructors that devote their time and money, with support from PADI, to training scuba diving to local children in under developed regions.  Louis, the president of Plongeurs du Monde, has established programmes in Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and is also looking at India.  Since the 2004 tsunami they have trained over 200 kids in Sri Lanka.  This year saw their first batch of successful PADI Rescue Diver candidates and next year will be the beginning of PADI Divemaster training. They are doing a wonderful job at helping foster an appreciation and respect in local communities for scuba diving and the underwater environment, plus helping mould our next generation of PADI dive professionals.

PADI IDC scholarship
Community development programmes run in conjunction with Plongeurs du Monde

Such a wealth of experience on this IDC, but they were all still very nervous when it came to completing the PADI Instructor examination.  They did not know what to expect from PADI.  At the beginning of the IDC they had recounted how on the first ever PADI Member Forum conducted by Johnny Chew after the tsunami, they had all turned up nervous and worried, expecting PADI to administer exams and check their knowledge.  Luckily the PADI examiner, Rob Scammell put their fears to rest and made the IE as relaxing as possible, creating an environment conducive for these guys to show how knowledgeable as divers they are and how good as instructors they will be.  Drummers on the beach and drinks and curry we celebrated 100% success for the first ever IDC on Sri Lanka.  Congratulations Menake, Praveen, Feroz and Lal.  Sri Lanka will continue to grow as a dive destination with continued support from you guys and I look forward to IDCs on Sri Lanka in the future. Thanks also for the support and help during the IDC from Chami, Lakshmann, Devsiri and Rob.

EFRI IDC Sri Lanka
EFRI Trainer programme

IT was really a week of firsts.  After the IE Rob Scammell conducted the EFRI trainer course with Rob Partridge for Temple Adventures in Pondicherry, making him the first EFRIT in India.

After the IE I had the opportunity to travel around Sri Lanka for a few days and found a wonderful country rich in history and culture.  Visited some of the best ruins and examples of buddhist art that I have seen anywhere.  Plus glimpsed great national parks with a wonderful diverstiy of wildlife.  I really look forward to returning to Sri Lanka.  It is sure to become a must see travel destination in the near future and is simply a fantastic destination for an IDC.

Sri Lanka - a wonderful country to travel around after your IDC
Sri Lanka – a wonderful country to travel around after your IDC

Currently we are conducting three IDCs per year on Sri lanka.  March/April in Hikkaduwa, June/July in Trincomalee and November/December again in Hikkaduwa.  Contact me at if interested in being part of these programmes.

IDC Sri Lanka
Sunset on our Sri lanka IDC

South Africa IDC Adventure Destination

South Africa is rapidly establishing itself as an adventure destination for your Dive Instructor training. 

South Africa has some stunning and exhilarating destinations both above and below water.  South Africa gives your the opportunity to dive with sharks, explore untouched wrecks, plus some of the most exciting game park safari destinations in the world.

IDC South Africa
IDc South Africa getting into the aquarium have been conducting IDCs in conjunction with Calypso Diving in uShaka MarineWorld, Durban.  It is great facilites with some of our shallow water sessions actually taking place in the aquarium with rays and groupers cruising past.  Excellent diving off the coast of Kwazu Natal, with some of the most world famous shark dives off nearby Aliwoal Shoal.  They programs have been really successful as you can see by the below Scuba Tribe reviews.  Our candidates have doen really well on the instructor exam, but, more importantly, we have helped launch them on great careers in the dive industry.

Awesome Adventure

“I did my IDC through Dive Careers in South Africa this past month and I was blown away by the amount of knowledge and guidance I was given! Having come from Mozambique and diving all day everyday to sitting in a classroom was not a pleasant thought, however thanks to Bas who was an incredible Course Director I could not wait to get in there and learn! I left with more confidence and a renewed passion to go out and teach diving to the rest of the world! I would definitely recommend this team if you want to get out and join the PadiPro world ! Big thanks to the team for all they did for us and for going the extra mile to get us ready for the world of teaching! Dive Careers gives you that step ahead and and constantly inspires you to achieve success! Top marks or in exam terms …5/5 !!!” Matt

IDC South Africa
IDC South Africa Open water

great service

“very good preperation, more social and conversation than lecture based which made it very easy and pleasurable to participate. very happy with the outcome and would definitely recommend dive careers” Ivan

Awesome IDC

“Thanks to our course director, Bas Van Riemsdijk, as well as the people on course with me, each and every moment was exceptionally AMAZING and definitely memorable! Bas has been a pure inspiration and role model for us involved in the diving industry and strive to share the same passion as he does!” Ruark

IDC south Africa
IDC South Africa briefings

Time of my life!

“Bas was absolutely incredible! Not only is he a great CD, but a great person too. We got along very well and I enjoyed every minute of the IDC. It was an incredible experience and I recommend dive careers to everybody. Thank you Bas and dive careers!” Brendon

IDC South Africa
IDC south Africa in the aquarium

Our programs in Durban continue to grow and offer new opportunities.  Arne, the owner of Calypso, is now also offering Technical diver training with fully closed rebreather training.  This is a very exciting new opportunity for our instructor candidates in Durban.  It iwll open up so many dive sites around Durban that are little explored plus opens up opportunities in the dive industry globally.

IDC South Africa
Mark Soworka Platinum Course Director on IDC in South Africa
IDC South africa
Briefings on South Africa IDC

IDCs are scheduled for Durban pretty much every 3rd month.  Take the adventure and join us in South Africa for your PADI Dive instructor trianing. Any questions contact me on