RSSArchive for March, 2010

Underwater Proposal on Blue Planet Boat

Blue Planet Happy Couple

American visitor Jenny Prunty enjoyed an unforgettable St. Patrick’s Day during a scuba diving holiday at Koh Lanta last month when her boyfriend of nine years, Antonio Alvarado, unexpectedly proposed to her underwater. Antonio had secretly arranged with dive guide Bibi and videographer Don to ‘pop the question’ to Jenny at the bottom of the sea during a day out with Blue Planet Divers at Koh Bida Noi on March 17.

Everyone on the Blue Planet boat was in on the secret, bar Jenny, after Antonio had made his intentions known to the dive shop staff when he booked the day’s diving by email before he got to Koh Lanta. As a result, bottles of champagne were hidden away from Jenny for the trip to Koh Bida and there was a real festive atmosphere on the boat for the return trip to Koh Lanta after Jenny, still in shock, had said yes to her beloved by giving him the diver’s ‘o.k.’ signal at a depth of 10 metres.

But Antonio almost gave the game away about 20 minutes earlier. A slate he had secretly written in the boat’s cabin while Jenny was sunbathing upstairs, with the words ‘Marry me?’, had slipped out of the pocket of his Buoyancy Control Device (BCD) early in the dive.

“We were swimming along on our dive and then I saw ‘Marry Me?’ written upside down on a slate. It fell out of the pocket of his BCD a little. I kind of wondered what that was about, but I was just enjoying the dive and then I forgot about it!” exclaimed Jenny, who is from San Antonio, Texas.

Their guide, Bibi, signalled to all the divers in the group to kneel in a line along the bottom, towards the end of the dive. Jenny did not have a clue what was going on.

“Our guide signalled to me when the time was right to pull out the slate. I was very nervous. I had a string attached to the slate and it was tied to my BCD. I wanted to do something crazy, something that would last in the memory. We’ve been together for eight or nine years and we came to Thailand with two other friends, who were in on the secret,” said a joyous Antonio after Jenny had accepted his marriage offer.

He said that they were not particularly experienced scuba divers, but they had come to love the sport in the three years since they learned how to dive in the Cayman Islands. As an Irish-American, Jenny always loves to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and he wanted to make sure that she would remember the 2010 festivities for a long time to come.

For Jenny it all was a blur.

“All of the others started to kneel down and Bibi was pointing at something on the ground. I couldn’t make out what he was pointing at and then Antonio showed me the slate. I gave him the ‘o.k.’ sign under water. I was just shocked. We had just come to Thailand on a holiday with two friends and I had no idea that we were going to get engaged!”

The other divers in the group applauded when Jenny and Antonio kissed each other under water and videographer Don was on hand to capture their special moment so that they can show the video to their friends and families back in the United States.

Afterwards, their celebrations continued into the early hours at the Irish Embassy, Koh Lanta’s only Irish pub, where Antonio expressed his gratitude to Mellisa Bunyan of Blue Planet Divers for plotting the entire event in secret, much to the shock of his future wife!

And, for one day at least, the Blue Planet boat became known as Lanta’s ‘love boat’!

Scubafish – Winner of the Project Aware Conservation Award 2010

Beach Clean-Up in Kantiang Bay

To better recognise the achievements of those PADI Dive Centres and Resorts who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of diving, PADI Asia Pacific have announced the finalists and winners of this year’s PADI Asia Pacific Member Awards program which recognises the efforts of dive operators during 2009.

Beach Clean-Up in Kantiang Bay

The PADI Member Awards program was based on nine separate Asia Pacific regions; a system that ensured PADI Members compete with other PADI Members within their own geographical region for one of five Awards.
All PADI Dive Centres and Resorts within each of the nine regions were considered for nomination by a specially convened selection panel, who selected up to three finalists for each of the awards. A panel of PADI judges then considered all of the finalists within each region and we are proud and delighted to announce that Scubafish/ Narima Diving are the winners of this year’s Project AWARE Conservation Award for our region (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam).

Conservation Award 2010 for Scubafish

The Project AWARE Conservation Award “recognises outstanding ecological achievements, with a focus on fostering environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation”.

The dive team is delighted at this achievement and obviously intend to continue these efforts whilst offering a sustainable and environmentally responsible diving experience. Scubafish is now a 2 time winner of this particular award.