The Deepblu Diver Spotlight series brings you the stories from our community of divers and ocean lovers. This week we interview Marcel van der Berg, a diving instructor trainer and business owner on Thailand’s diving paradise island Koh Tao.
Where are you from and what brought you to Koh Tao?
I am from the Netherlands, and after deciding that I wanted to become a PADI Diving Instructor I ended up on Koh Tao in Thailand because of the fanatic recommendation of my best friend, and—wow—was she right! Koh Tao is one of the most special places you can visit. Not only is this tropical island perfectly suited for scuba diving, the vibe on the island also turns it into one of the best places on Earth to teach divers and instructors.
How did you get involved in diving?
Only 20 minutes into my first Open Water Dive course while on holiday in Indonesia I was sold! Scuba diving was the most beautiful thing I had ever done, and from that moment on I started planning to make scuba diving my career so I could show others this underwater realm.
How long have you been diving?
I did my first dive in 2003 and now I am a PADI Platinum Course Director working on Koh Tao. I can’t thank my first dive buddy enough for convincing me to try scuba diving.
What’s the biggest thrill for you about the sport?
Seeing the eyes of my diving students when they’ve just discovered the small details in aquatic life… absolutely priceless!
What goes on at Go Pro Sairee Cottage Diving? How can divers visit?
At Sairee Cottage Diving 5-Star PADI IDC Centre on Koh Tao we teach some of the highest-quality PADI Diving Instructor courses in Thailand. We don’t just want our IDC candidates to pass the exam, we truly focus on our dive instructor students getting a successful diving job after completing their IDC course with us.
What’s your favorite photograph and what memories do you associate with it?
Credit: Marcel van der Berg
This photo is very special to me as it not only shows my happy PADI IDC candidates, but I see the hundreds or even thousands of smiles their future diving students will have on their faces. No words to describe it.
In your opinion, what are some of the best dive spots?
Galapagos, Similan Islands, and Sipadan are amazing, but I am infatuated with the diving spots around Koh Tao in Thailand—one of the reasons why I love to work and live here: dive spots like White Rock, Twins, Chumphon Pinnacle, and so many more fantastic ones. Anyone saying they’ve lost their glory is diving too fast. There is so much detail here, so much life. I really am in love.
How does Deepblu fit into your lifestyle and business?
We provide the COSMIQ Dive Computer to our PADI Divemaster and PADI IDC candidates at Sairee Cottage Diving to use during their courses and teachings afterwards. Our students and their students love the social networking aspect and we feel we’re really adding value.
– Todd Allen Williams, Senior Editor