Diving Instructor Braves Sea of Red for Higher Cause

Jacki Ng
Jacki Ng

The Straits Times | Business Section

published date: 20 October 2017
written by: Annabeth Leow

Scuba company Asia Dive Academy is still in the red after more than 10 years in business, but chief executive Jacki Ng is unfazed.

"Our sole purpose can't be driven by profit," he tells The Straits Times.

He concedes that it is an an unconventional approach for a businessman - but then again, the secondary school dropout and former gang member is an unconventional individual to begin with.

Asia Dive Academy, which generates annual revenue of $4 million to $6 million, still looks more like a start-up than a mature small business. And he considers it "a social enterprise, more than a commercial activity".

Still, Mr Ng, 41, hastens to add that this is "not because diving can't make money". "But making money actually comes second for us," he says. "The ability to change someone's perspective, to care for the environment - that's what our main goal is."

Singapore may not seem like a natural harbour for the business, given its lack of suitable dive spots. "It's like starting a diving business in the desert," he jokes.

Click here to read the full article.

Gangster Moves: How This “Bad Boy” from Singapore Became an Entrepreneur

Jacki ADA Inc Article
Jacki ADA Inc Article

INC. Asean

published date: 21 July 2017
written by: Adelle Chua

4 lessons on how this “ah beng” was able to turn his life around

Jacki Ng remembers an incident from when he was 14 years old. He was at a fast-food joint, looking at the menu. The fillet caught his eye, but he pronounced it wrong when he ordered it. The other customers and the staff snickered.

"I was so embarrassed. It was at that moment I became aware of the disconnect between myself and the society I live in," he says.

What a gap it was. He was not even in school at that time, having dropped out a few years before. Ng was a certified “ah beng”—local slang for hooligan or gangster. He became exposed to such a life as early as when he was nine years old and selling newspapers on the streets.

This circle of friends led him to experiment with a dangerous lifestyle—frequenting discos in the afternoon, drinking; doing petty theft; and serving as lookouts for older friends engaged in criminal activities.

"While I was never charged, or jailed, I was questioned during investigations," he says. Worse, he saw his older friends get locked up and meted out harsh penalties—some even the penalty of death—for a life of crime.

The change was never sudden, but more and more Ng felt this was not the life he wanted for himself. And the first thing he did to connect with society was to learn English. "It was not my native language. I wanted to improve my command of English so I can make new friends," he says.

His new friends exposed him to a new world of disc jockeying and motorbikes. These new fields piqued his interest and boosted his confidence; he decided he wanted to go back to school to make something of himself. “I started reading novels, even though I was so slow that by the time I was on page 20 I had forgotten what had happened on page 1.”

And because he found that he could learn a new language if he really tried, he realized he now had the ability to accept more knowledge. He enrolled in a vocational institution, satisfying his natural curiosity about how motor vehicles, and later on, computers, worked.

A gradual, but certain, transition

How was that open mind worked for Ng? He set up a business selling cars and air-conditioning units when he was in his early 20s. Unfortunately, the business failed. And then he worked for a series of companies where he built his skills in information and web technology.

He joined some friends for scuba diving one day and became interested in this sport as well. He became so eager to learn that in 2004, or just two years after his first dive, he became a diving instructor.

Testing the waters

At first blush, it seems odd that the Asia Dive Academy was established in Singapore—a city state with no natural reefs and a high cost of living. No doubt, there were highs and lows, but now under Ng’s stewardship, ADA seems to flourish.

His main contribution was the introduction of technology into what is a highly personally interactive business.

"I noticed that 40 to 50 percent of my time was spent in work. I had to deal with registration, coordination, logistics, booking, replying to emails, and fund transfers among others. I realized that this kind of information-heavy business would be different in a city like Singapore, and also different in a rural area where the resort is located."

He started to develop a software with some friends for streamlining the administrative and customer-service functions of the business. Because of the enhanced tech aspect, “we are able to know the preferences of the customer, assess their risk level, help them plan their trips, and offer discounts and packages for them,” he says.

Asia Dive Academy caters mostly to Singaporeans or Singapore-based expatriates. In the beginning, the diving resorts were in Pulau Tioman, Pulau Dayang, and Pulau Aur in Malaysia. These days, most of the customers—urban professionals who cannot afford to be away from their jobs too long and so can only spend a brief weekend away—prefer Pulau Tioman.

Looking back

Curiously, Ng likes to look back on his beginnings and marvel at how his experiences, good and bad, helped him become the entrepreneur that he is today.

1. Openness to diversity

Different people have different perspectives. "Since we have different backgrounds, we do not see the situation in the same way," Ng says. This is how he is able to put himself in the shoes of others in the process—understanding them more.

2. Worst-case situation mindset

As a child, Ng was used to seeing things going wrong. He became more realistic because of this, and has become more accepting of risks he encounters in the business.

3. Resilience

As a child of 12 or 13, Ng saw one of his closest friends getting the death sentence. Compared to this predicament, bankruptcy in a business pales in comparison. “I have learned, early on, to withstand anything that life throws at me,” he says.

4. Purpose

"Profit is good, but it is not the be-all and end-all of business," Ng says.

According to Ng, to truly be successful, one has to be able to do his part in solving real problems. For example, in ADA, Ng encounters children in resort communities who could have been him when he was younger. “I am able to relate them to my own childhood and I understand why they make such decisions. These children do not have many options so we do our best to engage them and teach them about environmental conservation, marine life, business, and the like.”"

 

Jacki INC ADA Article
Jacki INC ADA Article

ADA is now an ATO (Approved Training Organisation)

ADA Dive Career Training
ADA Dive Career Training

2017 started with a bang for us as we have achieved the Approved Training Organisation (ATO) status from Workforce Singapore (formally known as Workforce Development Agency).

Workforce Singapore is a statutory board under the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) which oversees the 'transformation of the local workforce and industry to meet ongoing economic challenges.'

Workforce Singapore's key focus is to help workers meet their career aspirations and secure quality jobs at various stages of life. This is in line with ADA's vision of providing high quality training to people who aspire to be part of the dive tourism industry.

We have been transforming our training standards as the demand for quality workers in the dive industry increases. We believe that Singapore is in a unique position where the best dive locations in the world surround her.

In the next few years, as those places are becoming more and more developed, there will be an increasing demand for professionals who possess adequate skills and knowledge to either work in the inbound or outbound areas on this industry. Currently, there are plenty of courses which teach people how to dive. However, education with regards to running a dive operation or dealing with tourism and hospitality in the dive context is duly lacking.

Being an ATO allows us to provide Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) courses. WSQ is a national credential system that trains, develops, assesses and certifies skills and competencies for the workforce.

Hence, we are proud that our government has put a small vote in the relevancy of our industry!

If you are looking to start a career in diving, be sure to check out how ADA can give you a leg up here.

5 Life Lessons Schools Did Not Teach Me

Graduation

The season of graduation is upon us once again. I looked back to once upon a time two and half years ago, to a naive period where I was once again a freshman, but in the society, and ditching my books to build the possibility of a career, in a niche and unregulated industry; the lessons that I have learnt along the way through trial-and-errors. Most importantly, lessons that schools did not pre-empt or prepare us for. I hope that it gives you a glimpse of what could possibly happen if you do choose to embark on that path less traveled and join an industry or a company that is not amongst the norm of choices. They are personal life lessons that I have reflected upon and thought it to be important, no matter what path you have chosen.

1. Always be realistic about your expectations

I guess you could attribute this factor to many failed relationships, whether in work or personal. Parents' expectations of their children, the society's expectations of people in general, managers' expectations of their team, your partner's expectations of you, customers' expectations of a product or a service; the list is endless.

Expectations aren't all bad. When does it become a bad thing? When it is unrealistic, when it is uncalled for, when it is a one-sided affair. And why are they bad? I think the nature of expectations itself is selfish and greedy. They are things that you pile on other people, without the permission to do so, to fulfill your own needs/wants. Basically, ignoring who or what the person is about, and creating a mold for that person to fit in, and when it does not happen the way you want it to be, you feel disappointed, angry and etc.

I think it is one of the crucial steps to learning how to love yourself too. I often set such unrealistic expectations of myself that I drive myself into corners without any leeway, then I beat myself up because I am unable to reach that goal I have in my mind with those self-imposed expectations. And becoming so disappointed and unhappy with myself after that. Loving myself starts with setting the right expectations.

On a more technical aspect of things, I find this management tool exceptionally useful now - SMART goals. And a constant reminder to put the matching of expectations at the start of any partnership, friendship, relationship, in all scenarios, every single moment and interaction of every day. So this is my expectation of myself now: I expect that with this realization, I'd be able to play the different roles better.

2. You define your own version of success
I reconnected with some long-lost friends for the past half a year, most of which are old classmates or good friends from the good old school days. When they ask me what I am doing now as a living, I often find it very difficult to explain, partly, it is because of the fact that it is very different from what they have expected from me. And I have to admit that some parts of me actually felt a little inferior in comparison and I cared about how they looked at me. All of them has a fancy title and a corporate name following behind, a prestigious school name, accolades and credits, and well-manicured looks and increasing spending power along with the package, while I have none of the above. Heck, when we hang out, they pay my share of the bill!

But then I sat down one day and thought about what I have, which are probably important things that not all of them have; I have people whom I enjoy working with, a job that is mission-driven, great bosses, and most importantly, autonomy to make decisions, freedom to choose for myself where I want things to be and being able to be the catalyst of change.  I get to define my definition of success. I hate the goddamn title to begin with, I hate how the society tries to shape and impose their impressions on us, I hate bureaucracy, monotony, pleasing everybody and not living with a purpose, (but yes, I do want to look better), so why the hell am I even bothered?

It made me ask myself what I really want, and how I could achieve my definition of success. And that definition of success include helping others to succeed, include making a dent in the world, include being open to the possibilities of life, to the extent of what I could become, what I could achieve. I take pride in the fact that I chose a different path, and in turn, very grateful for what life has endowed me with, the good, the bad, the joy and the tears and each one of them a beautiful lesson that came out with it. It gave me inner peace; of being constant in an ever-changing surrounding.

3. Confidence and hard work are correlated 
Some people do not believe in it. They think that confidence is like a clothing that you could put on the next morning. Many self-help books and people tell you that. That it is not something that is acquired. Oh, you just wake up the next morning and you feel like you could take on the world.

On the contrary, I'd like to think that it is a process of attempts and failures, and finally recognizing the fact that with hard work, you could get better and even excel at it, so when you are task to do something totally new the next time, you know that you could handle this, even if you know shit about this arena. And that is how confidence is being acquired; it is the self-knowledge that you have the ability to become better at something with diligence, even if you are not, at this moment.

It is acquired from the days where I want to pull my hair out, those mistakes, those moments where I embarrassed myself with my ignorance, where I made premature judgments due to the lack of maturity and understanding, the oily-faced nights of dwelling into a subject, of making the wrong decisions and being fucked for it. Who said confidence need not come with hard work?

It is a process of diligence of working on oneself, leading to self-awareness and self-acceptance; where one is conscious of one's limitations and potential, where I become a version of myself that is better than the day before.

4. Perfectionism does not exist and is a disability
The last scene of "Black Swan" really haunted me then. I did not quite comprehend it at that time; why the protagonist went to that extent, of destroying oneself to achieve that state of perfection, in her eyes, that is. Perfectionism , I think, after all, is just a mirage. It is that oasis you see in a desert, that you thought is so near, but it is just an image that gives you hope to move along, to move that one more extra inch today.

Perfectionism is a state of idealism that is not real, and can never be real. It is a form of over-expectation or unrealistic expectation of what reality actually is. When does it become a disability? It is a disability when it mars the reality and stops you from taking actions because you are afraid that it might not turn out the way you want it to. It has held me back from starting on projects, from forming new connections with new people, from trying new things, and a general dissatisfaction with my life.

One area where I realized that this is a problem is my relationships, where I always had this ideal person in my mind; he should be this and that and et cetera. I eventually realized that this person is only a figment of my idealism; he is not real. So I put myself through this whole entire process of imposing my unrealistic expectations I have configured in real life. And oh boy, was I disappointed every single time. When this barrier to the perception of reality is removed, I see everything and everyone for what and who they are and what a wonderful change it has been. I start on things and I do not get stuck when a problem arises, but understood that that is how it should be, and it should serve as another lesson for me.

5. Talent and intelligence are overrated
I used to admire people with talent and people who are extremely intelligent. I mean, that is what we have been taught in school right? They favor the intelligent and talented ones, and I understand why, but they failed to teach us that those are not the most important factors to happiness or success in life.

Nature versus nurture. I think talent and intelligence can be nurtured. Some people are lucky to be born in an environment with nurturing parents, thereby leading to a higher level of intelligence and talent along the way. So given these right climate and conditions while growing up, they seem to have it easier in life afterward. But we forgot that it is because they have put in the hard work necessary at a very early stage of life. And what led to the so-called talent and intelligence are perseverance, grit, and discipline to go through the process. Talent and intelligence, hence, are results that we see, not the factors that contribute to success.

This mindset that we grew up with, has cultivated a generation who gives up easily in the face of  difficulties, who do not understand the real value of hard work, who are not driven, who do not understand what is work ethics, what being responsible truly means and what commitment is.  And having the best conditions while growing up might not necessarily mean the best thing either. For those of us who has a hand of bad cards, we realized that this is probably the best that we are given, so we try our best to play the game with whatever cards we have. I am not talented, possess average intelligence and looks, and was born in a dysfunctional family with toxic parents and domestic violence, growing up was financially and emotionally tough, but that made me realize how important grit is to get what you want.

A personality characterized by grit is really what will get one to where they want to be. The rest are just by-products acquired along the way.

Working in a startup-like environment, it challenges you to go beyond what you are accustomed to. You are open to a very dynamic environment of uncharted terrains, and how you choose to view each difficulty determines how well you'd do eventually. It challenges you to look deeper within yourself to discover what you can become. As stimulating as it is, the package also comes with a label that shouts "WARNING! DANGER!". The journey was made possible with an internship that set the directions of what is to come.

3 Real Values A Gen-Y Brings To The Workplace

Gen-Y, a broad name to identify my generation (those born between the 1990s to early 2000s), we are the up and coming generation replacing our parents - the Baby Boomers, in the workforce. Because we are the up and coming generation, it is inevitable to have the spotlight cast on us, and being studied and scrutinized upon like lab rats.

There are some collective thoughts about us from the society at large that probably sound oh-so-familiar if you are a fellow Gen-Y. Contrary to whatever the society at large claim to understand about us, I’ve spent the past two years working together with a bunch of Gen-Ys who are the total opposite of the following characteristics.

  1. We cannot take hardships


    That we are not resilient enough. We give up at the slightest hint of challenges. We are strawberries and softies who melt under pressure and heat. But in relative to whom? Our parents? Yes, they have indeed come a long way. And it is because of their efforts that we have a good foundation to grow up with. But just because we grew up in better environments, it is ASSUMED that we are not persevering and is not willing to suffer. The constant comparison is tiring.

    We are willing to go through hardships and make sacrifices. But we only do it when we find that the purpose and values of the company we are slogging our guts out for are aligned with ours and hence worth it. We are discerning about the leaders we choose to follow and we do not tolerate bullshit people. In other words, without having to fulfill survival needs like a roof over the head and et cetera, we are in search of self-actualization. We are willing to suffer, but only with a clear purpose in mind. Purpose over paycheck anytime. 

  2. We are apathetic and materialistic


    That we do not care about world issues such as environment, politics, etc. We only care about the latest fashion trends, entertainment, where to go for holidays and curating our social media content. That is a misleading image. Because those of us who do not partake in the above have really nothing to post about on social media. Our #OOTD is T-shirt and Harem pants. We care about the state of the world. We get angry about stupid decisions like building a railway that cuts through the natural reserve. We live in the most minimalist way possible, indulging only in the pleasure and meaning of the work we do. (Okay, I admit sometimes we drink a little now and then.) 

    Have you seen the posts we shared on conservation, education, politics on our Facebook walls? Do you know that we would rather spend more money on sustainable products and on brands that care about the environment? 

  3. We are young HENCE naive


    That we see the world through rose-tinted lenses. We think that everything is possible. We are not in touch with reality. On the contrary, I think there is too much cynicism coming from the elders - our teachers, parents, relatives. When you tell them with excitement about the opportunities that you are given, they say you have been made use of - “Where got so good one!” When you show them the results, they say this is just a passing cloud, it will not last - “Won’t last forever one la!” When you choose to take the road less traveled, join a startup, or pursue a career you think gives meaning to your life, or even just do something radical that swerves from the conventions, they say, “Are you crazy? Study so hard the pay so little.”

    We are not naive. Precisely because we know how much the world has changed since our parents’ generation, and we know that it continues to change as we speak, we see the world for what it is and we understand the harsh realities - technological advances replacing jobs and leveling playing fields. The Industrial Era is so over. This is the Information Age, where a new model of capitalism is evolving. Trust us when I say that we have calculated the risks involved in our decision before taking that leap of faith.

     

And we know that all the exploration and discovery are only possible because of what our forefathers have built. We know gratitude. But we also recognize that we need to think differently, do things differently.

Labelled as “The Lost Generation”, it seems like we do not know what we want. We job-hop, we move from one relationship to another. We are not lost. We are just looking for meaning. Options and information are aplenty. Give us some time to explore and figure things out. We are trying to figure ourselves out, figure the world out and figure our life out.

To the Gen-Ys, I’d like to say, it is okay if you have not figured everything out yet. Continue exploring (not wandering!). Continue beating the conventions. It is okay to make mistakes on your journey because that's what make us better and stronger. And ignore the noises in your life. The most important thing is to stay open, be humble and take actions, it will bring you to where you want to be.

I chose the road less travelled, and it has been an amazing journey with a group of equally amazing Gen-Ys.

And here is how we embarked on this amazing journey!

SMUX Divers – A Decade of Cooperation

Smux divers

Smux Dive Camp 2015 Smux Dive Camp 2015

We have been working with the Singapore Management University Dive Team or SMUX Dive Team, for 10 years this year.
That is a long time, now that I am looking back. It's been a great journey and partnership I would say.

I am glad that we have had the opportunity to train or educate the next generations of divers coming from SMU, many of which will and have become the future business leaders, public servants, financiers, lawyers, fellow educators and other prominent and influential players. I hope that even just a fraction of them, are touched by scuba diving such that they will become ambassadors for the environment. Then, we have truly done right.

And the SMUX Dive Team Managers over the years, are the students leaders that get elected and essentially chosen to make the decisions for the team. Over the years, there have been 10 of them and I thank them for their support and in many cases, friendships.

2005: Er Jun
2006: Shaun
2007: Sheryl
2008: Nyan
2009: Ryan
2010: Sebastian
2011: Cedric
2012: Sam
2013: Iris
2014: Anton
2015: Keith
2016: Jay

These student leaders are the ones to really make it all happen and many of them have come to be woven into and form part of our crew and culture.
So thank you and hope to have a continued partnership that works for everyone.

Smux Camp 2015 Smux Camp 2015

3 things I never forget on Dive Trips!

This blog post has been lurking in the corner of my mind for some time and what better day to post it then on Women's Dive Day.

I am going to tell you about 3 things that have made my life as female dive professional much easier.

Going for a dive trip not only entails diving, but also jumping off boats and jetties, snorkeling, freediving, beach volley ball, surfing, sun tanning, swimming, running, dancing, catching and cartwheeling, and hey, it is not uncommon for wardrobe malfunctions to occur.

What can can the lazy but active girl wear?

Enter

 

Crossback Bikini Top
If you tie lines, you will see that this is indeed a superior design in terms of strength and slippage.

It is has less points of failure (one knot only) and the turn changes the direction of the force required to hold your top up from vertical against to gravity, to horizontal. Love it.secure

Never flash your boobs accidentally to your students again!
So not professional. hahaha

Don't you just hate it when you dive trip coincides with your period.

I get asked questions about this issue by students all the time.

Can I still dive?
Does having your period stop you doing other activities?

Can I wear a pad?
Yes, if you fancy feeling like wearing a waterlogged diaper.

Will seawater get in via the tampon string?
Sorta, not really.

If I just let it flow, will people be able to see my menstrual blood?
Call the police, it will be a murder scene! No, not really, don't be paranoid.

Will I attract sharks?
I wish.

You can't wear a pad, you don't want to chum the waters, and you don't want to die of Toxic Shock Syndrome either.

Meet the

Menstrual Cup

This is the BOMB!

I went on a quest to cut disposables and plastics from my life and I discovered the menstrual cup. If you care about the environment at all, you should invest in one of these. It's

Reusable - Not Disposable.
Silicon - Not plastic with chemicals.
Safe - TSS not a big concern

It's also great for lazy girls, like me.
Just put it in and leave it in all day, perfect!
Read here for more.

And finally, I always have
Menstrual Cop

There is always someone that loses their hair tie on a trip, having spare is part of everyday life for me.

Hairband And the flat wide ones are really great as hairbands, curbing the post-dive frizzle! Because I personally find bandannas a bit of hassle.

Apart from keep your hair at bay, I have used elastic bands in the following situations:

  • As spare snorkel keepers
  • As a spare octopus holders
  • Spare Bungees for cameras
  • Spare fin strap
  • Deep Dive Props - showing how colour disappears for Advanced Courses
  • A Quick SPG Holder
  • Line for knot-tying
  • Small Object - Search and Recovery
  • Small Object - Search and Recovery

And the list goes on...
Very useful.

That's it for today - be well, earthlings!

365 Days Of Countdown For 10 Days…

Day -365 to 1 (Non-Diving) PART ONE

November last year, Tiger Airways fixed a new route from Singapore to Male. And here’s where the story starts.

Untitled

Me being me, flight promotion has always been my weakness and I just had to share this deal. Though I didnt expect my virus to spread like wild fire, I am honoured to say, in 3 days, flights were booked and our chartered boat was 90% full. And that’s where we started our 1 year count down.

By the way, my name is Michelle, or commonly known as Mitch and here is a story of my buddies and I in Maldives for 10 Days! 🙂

Starring a couple of divers from everywhere,

Maldives Sep 2014!

Back Row : (Left to Right) Tony Wun, William Lim, Ashley Tan, Joy Ling, Jackie Ng, Xiu Fang, Guo Qiang, Siew Hwee, Melody Chong, Florence Wang, Robert Tan
Front Row : (Left to Right) Mitch Chong, Thomas Yap, Eddy Moey, Roy Koh, Desmond Chew, Tan Vee Lee, Ng Ying Ran, Felix Chua, Jackson Ting
On The Floor: Nurul Huda

And the countdown starts! 365 days… 262 days… and finally 5 more days!

Untitled

The last 12 hours of any countdown is always the most agonising. 10 days worth of packing wasn’t fun at all (no laundry, mind you)! And finally, by 11 Sep 2014, we are all packed, ready to go and talking about breakfast at the Airport before leaving for Male!

10329149_10154582605840603_6283190636728326334_n

Seacsub Hero Mask – Checked
Seacsub Sea Flex Snorkel – Checked
Scuba Pro Thermal Tec Wetsuit – Checked
Scuba Pro Jet Fins – Checked
Sherwood SR1 Reg – Checked
Halcyon BCD – Checked
Reef Hook – Checked
Suunto D4i – Checked
Ladies Stuff – Checked
Bikinis & Clothes – Checked

The night crawled by as I constantly checked the time to make sure that it was ticking by. Before I knew it, my phone was buzzing at 0530 and it was time to wash up to get ready for breakfast!

Met up with the early folks at Singapore Changi Airport for Burger King.

10599333_10154583832410603_8987801222239675134_n

You won’t find me often, smiling at 0600. But I was genuinely excited to see everyone ready for Maldives.

10636087_10154583976125603_1326070731339854472_n

One last… before checking in!

10641014_10154584111825603_5781268070534856265_n

And that’s William, Roy, Jackie, Tony, Florence and Robert entering Gate E4. Tiger Airways TR2509 SG to MLE! Thank you Tiger Airways for this flight promo!

We were all seated separately, but first, let us take a selfie!

10369106_10154584208290603_6679750272942248494_n
10696161_10154584142230603_4414261849962764956_n-vert

And one more ultimate one. Spot the non-diver!

10690040_10154584142145603_4150562705287224284_n

The 5 Hours flight on Tiger Airways isnt the most comfortable one, especially if you have longer legs. Remember to get the extra leg room! Lucky for me, I was knocked out from the all the excitement the night before. I was sound asleep and woke up to a pleasant surprise…

10620624_10154570263798125_5305451902462065493_n

and…

10685462_10154570266183125_183669304972171918_n

10649738_10152662983796505_6307547770493176860_n
Photo by: William El Lim

10660139_10152662983621505_443061449421753233_n
Photo by: William El Lim

YES! This is Maldives! It is true when they say, MALDIVES IS BEAUTIFUL! Our liveaboard dive wasn’t starting till 13 Sep 2014. So after clearing the Male customs, we made our way to check-in at the Hulhumale Inn.

Happy Tony arrives at Male!
Happy Tony arrives at Male!
10670131_10154570261403125_7254755296576537019_n

The transfer from the Airport only took about 5 minutes. We were a group of 21 Pax, so 1 mini-bus and 1 mini-van was arranged.

10632865_798244393561793_3134262927573748905_n

Checking-In was a little delayed at Hulhumale Inn as they had a change of management 3 days before our arrival and there were rooms to be re-allocated. So everything took a little longer than we expected. But with everyone’s involvement in trying to get things done, we managed to finish 21 Pax’s check-in in 40 minutes, with lots of chitter-chatter and laughter.

10698635_10152662986991505_7509753825164425741_n-tile

Hulhumale Inn is situated at Hulhumale (yeah, duh!), rooms are reasonable for the price we paid (Standard Triple is about S$30+ per night). A little small, but comparing to the posh hotels that costs 100 times more, I guess I am glad to not have rooms that are 100 times worse. If you are looking for somewhere away from the hustle and bustle for a transit night. It’s pretty good here. The resort manager Muaz was warm and helpful! He even offered to show us around Male town and made sure we paid the right amount for what we were buying. Just 1 Con – Melody the lucky woman slept too tight and got the bed bugs’ bite! #204 – Check out for the bugs if you are given that room.

So after checking in, we had lunch at Bombay Darbar, which was right beside Hulhumale Inn. They serve really good Briyani and Tandoori Chicken! I tried the Briyani but not the Tandoori Chicken though.

10696176_10154584971740603_4335697399294147982_n

10454922_10152662987906505_1173822434655133205_n

Food took a while to be served. So if you are going in large group, pre-order your meal!

After lunch, it’s time for our search for 4G connection and we opted for the local way of travelling to town. We took a public bus, followed by their local water taxi to get to Male Town. Not that we blend in with the locals having 21 pax travelling together, but we tried.

10614146_10154585336915603_2584425020883029429_n

Photo by: William El Lim
Photo by: William El Lim

At Male town, we flooded every store that we went into , leaving our footsteps and laughter everywhere we went and that pretty much sums up our first day in Male. If it still does not entice you enough, everywhere in Maldives, around the 1,192 islands, the water looks like this.

10475338_10154581974398125_3889107420877291082_n

Stay tuned, for Part 2 to see more about our Liveaboard and Maldives diving!

P/S: For those of you who can’t wait to dive Maldives already, upcoming trip in 19 – 26 Oct 2014 and 20 – 27 Dec 2014. Book your slots, with our partnering Dive Centre today!

Rewind, Fastforward:: Xian Jie

Where-are-they-now


A Quick Interview

((As Interviewed by Monica- My comments in parenthesis))

Where are you now and what are you doing?

I am currently studying for my Engineering degree at Cambridge University, United Kingdom.

((See, COOL NERD))

What did you like best about your time with ADA?

I had some time between finishing National Service and enrolling in university and was looking for something fun to do for ~8 months. I did my Open Water and Advanced Open Water course with Gill Divers and found out that they had job opportunities, so I signed up with Edmund to work as DMAs for ADA.

I would say that learning about diving was one of the major perks of working with ADA. I got to dive with seasoned instructors who taught me invaluable lessons that made me a better diver. Most importantly, I got to dive frequently -which was awesome!

xianjie-dry suit

New Instructors in Action!

PADI IDC Singapore - Teamwork

CONGRATULATIONS!

It has been a few weeks since our final IDC and IE of 2013 and our 8 new instructors have been given the go ahead to start teaching.

The REAL learning only begins AFTER the IE

When you get hands-on teaching experience, with REAL students.

It is the only real way to learn, so we do our best to lessen the learning curve.

PADI IE Singapore
The First Things New Instructors Should Work On!

Here are a couple of things we tell new instructors during our POST-IE training for Pool specifically.

1. Sequencing

We do our Confined Water in a local swimming pool and we usually start with the swim tests. Also, we usually have one break – a quick lunch break.

Figuring out what skills to do before or after the break, or which end of the pool to get out of (usually the deep for me) help save time later on.

DO NOT underestimate how long a beginner takes to get into the water!

2. Briefings

Be Concise. Ask questions.

Ensure students understand the WHY. Especially for more complex skills.

For example, I like to ask students why they need to keep their regulator in their mouth during CESA – it makes them think about what they actually are doing, and understanding leads to better retention.

(Air expands, your tank is not a vaccum; 1 or 2 breaths left.)

3. Dry Runs

Have students practise dry runs, and correct problems out of water. It really helps students understand what they need to do underwater better, as well as helps save time underwater.

I always get students to show me their mouth positioning for freeflow regulator breathing, as well as Mask Clearing Action before trying it underwater. I find that new instructors usually don’t practice this coming straight out of the IDC, but it is so important.

Duncan's first pool group

All the best to our new instructors, hope you enjoy teaching as much as I do!