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Phangan Scuba Drivers! Helping protect Sail Rock

23 Oct 2015

So first a little bit about the TEAM (written by themselves):

Woody Kennedy is a dive instructor on Koh Phangan. He likes beer, hasn’t been to India before (he has no idea what’s coming), likes indian food (no idea about food in india though), likes beer, hasn’t driven a rickshaw before, can’t see in the dark (no night driving for him then), likes beer, our videographer (with no video equipment working at the moment, but if you know Woody that’s typical), likes beer. WANTS TO RAISE MONEY TO HELP PROTECT SAIL ROCK!!

Raymond Martin is a Dive Master who works in Alaska (not diving), likes beer, comes to Koh Phangan every 4 or 5 weeks for 10 days then leaves again in for a shock, likes beer, is a dynamite expert (really) so you never know that could come in handy! (and we complain about our visa runs!!!), likes beer, never been to India before (another one!!) Our Rickshaw technician (he dosen’t know that yet) so if (or rather when and no doubt many times the Rickshaw needs mending he is our guy (OMG) likes beer. WANTS TO RAISE MONEY TO HELP PROTECT SAIL ROCK!!

Wendy Lish is also a Divemaster on Koh Phangan, she likes to shout when the other two will be drinking beer, (if you’ve been on the boat with her then you know that’s true), has been to India before and knows what’s coming and can’t wait to laugh at the GUYS when they are trying to buy beer, likes indian food (knows it not like the curries back home...shame), thinks she is a mermaid, is great, wonderful and obviously ADMINISTRATOR for the trip but must be bloody CRAZY to agree to do this trip with these TWO GUYS...likes beer a bit!!

So what do you guys do on Koh Phangan?
Woody - We are divers! I ended up here by getting on the wrong plane, I was meant to go to Tenerife and ended up in thailand

Wendy- I was travelling and did my divemaster here twelve years ago. I stayed and never left.

For those that don’t know, what is Core Sea?
It’s the ‘Centre for Oceanic Research and Education’, they are an NGO. A non-governmental organization (NGO) is an organization that is neither a part of a government nor a conventional for-profit business.

Usually set up by ordinary citizens, NGOs may be funded by governments, foundations, businesses, or private persons. Some avoid formal funding altogether and are run primarily by volunteers. NGOs are highly diverse groups of organizations engaged in a wide range of activities, and take different forms in different parts of the world. Some may have charitable status, while others may be registered for tax exemption based on recognition of social purposes. Others may be fronts for political, religious, or other interests.

The 3 of them here, do all the research for the reefs on Koh Phangan to help get them protected.
They also give education to locals, fisherman and school kids, protecting the sea is important to this island and the marine life.

Why do they need to raise money?
They need media attention, time AND money. A lot of the political stuff is already happening, but they lack the money to build and install mooring buoys for boats and divers, to print educational material for our local fishermen, and to fund a regular education program in the local schools.
The biggest part is educating the locals and getting an education program running.

There is a fundraising event at The Holy Grill on the 14th of November, tell us what’s going on…
We are going to have a raffle with lots of nice prizes, a donation box for lots of nice money, half of  the profits of food sold will go in, the prizes are from dive schools, restaurants etc. We will also have activities as well.
The funds we raise will go straight to Core Sea

Also to fundraise you are doing the Rickshaw Run, what is this?
We were going to do it anyway for a laugh, then thought why don’t we do it for Sail Rock.
We are basically driving a glorified lawn mower across India with no rules or regulations, to raise money for Core Sea.
We will get lost and have arguments but that’s the fun of it. It is a crazy adventure to raise money for Core Sea.
People can sponsor us, family and friends, we will have a donation page shortly. During the race everyone will be able to folow us with a daily video, maybe a blog and a beer or two.

Why is this so close to your own hearts?
We would like to keep Sail Rock. We have been diving for many years here and have seen the impact and destruction so we want to keep it, save the ocean one rock at a time!
Three crazy divers on an adventure!

What is special about sail rock?
The biodiversity, it is the number one dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. We have many divers who have dived all over the world and they say ‘wow’, because of the pure amount of fish, we call it fish soup!
There are not many dive sites that have such a variety of schools of fish, it’s not just one barracuda but MANY barracuda.