Big Blue Diving - Koh Tao - Thailand - News 2013
News 2013

News 2013 (2)

Friday, 03 May 2013 14:04

January 2013

Written by

Wednesday 31st January 2013- 

 

31

Saw this & thought how true! " A Dive Center  Posted On padi yesturday at 11.30 pm ish,...5 ads for padi pros in 5 differant locations...Ok good I thought 5 chances at a job in one go..... So I answered with CV straight away......Guess what I got back this morning...... Divers Club International Topic: No dive master/AI opening available. From: Human Resources Department - Hello Chris J, Thank you for your interest in our dive master/AI job opportunities! I regret to inform that all dive master/AI positions have been filled by our instructor course interns. In the hope that you might consider joining one of our PADI diving instructor courses or internships with inhouse job objective and priority as an alternative to Divemaster employment, I have sent you our GO PRO ACADEMY information. Not Good........IF YOU HAVE NO JOBS DON'T POST JOBS ON PADI.....If I wanted to pay for the AI/IE I would not waste my time answering ...JOB!!!!. Adverts. Sorry !!!!......RANT OVER....." Stop wasting time! Do your SSI Instructor Training & get a job Eezy Peezy lemon Squeezy! www.bigblueinstructortraining.com

“100% recommend this place” -5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 28, 2013 - 3 of us just finished our advanced open water with big blue last week. It came highly recommended and we'll be sure to send our mates to the same spot. Great food accommodation etc and the staff are really cool. Massive thanks to Petra! (Best instructor on the island) Defiantly go to big blue!


Sharks are kinda scary. In the water they're faster than us, can appear from what seems like out of nowhere in an instant, and pack a pretty solid bite. It's easy to get nervous when you're in the dark ocean and unsure of who is swimming by with a toothy grin. But sharks aren't the animals you should be most afraid of. Here are some that are much more likely to cause your demise. Mosquitoes-  655,000 people killed each year, primarily in Africa, through the little buggers spreading malaria. Hippos- 2,900 people are killed by these moody mammals annually in Africa. That roly-poly exterior is just to lure you in. Deer- 130 people killed across the U.S. by deer, almost exclusively because drivers hit the deers with their cars. That saying "a deer in the headlights" came about for a reason.  Bees- 53 people die each year in the U.S. because of an allergic reaction from being stung. Dogs- 30-35 people are killed each year in the U.S. Fido isn't always your best friend. Ants- 20-50 people are killed each year in Africa from ants. They may be small but dozens, hundreds, even thousands of stinging ants can really add up. Jellyfish- 20-40 people per year die in the Philippines alone from the anaphylaxis caused by the stings. Cows- 22 people are killed in the U.S. every year from these seemingly docile creatures. They're fun to pet, but getting kicked in the head by one ... not as fun. Horses- 20 people die each year thanks to our equine friends. Spiders- 6.5 people die in the U.S. every year from spider bites. Rattlesnakes- 5.5 people die from rattlesnake bites each year in the U.S., which isn't a whole lot considering how common they are in popular hiking and camping areas. Sharks-1 person is killed each year in the U.S. and fewer than six worldwide are killed by sharks. From 2006 to 2010, there were just three fatalities from shark attacks in the U.S.  So if you find yourself harboring feelings of fear or even hatred of sharks, you might want to take a step back and gain a little perspective. They aren't nearly as deadly as you might think. 

 

Saturday 26th January 2013-

26Congratulations Emiko one of our many Japanese Instructors who can now bat for the other side having completed her SSI Crossover with flying colours. SSI (Scuba Schools International) is one of the oldest dive organizations in the world and still growing each day. The SSI Instructor Crossover program is designed to orient Instructors who were trained by other certification agencies to the teaching and business philosophy of SSI. At the end you will be allowed to teach and certify divers through SSI. Since you already have done your instructor training with another agency, you already know how to teach divers. Therefore our main goal during the course will be to make you knowledgeable and comfortable with SSI Programs, products and services, so that you may confidently teach SSI courses and attract members of the opposite sex!

Another busy Full Day Trip to Sail Rock today. The Gulf of Thailands number 1 Dive site according to Lonely Planets Diving & snorkeling Guide to Thailand & there aint many people who are going to sit there & disagree with that. Sail Rock is a 15m above and 35m below surface pinnacle that lies between Koh Tao and Koh Pha-ngan. Its famous for its natural underwater vertical swimthrough or chimney which divers can enter at 6 metres and exit at 18. It is also the visiting site of many larger pelagics including chevron barracuda, big schools of mackerel, jacks, trevally and tuna & apparently Saturdays are an excellent day to encounter a seasonal whale shark or manta ray here as well!

“big blue and koh tao”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 20, 2013 - Absolutely amazing !! The staff, especially AMI my open water instructor...she was incredibly calm, funny, knowledgable and averall fantastic.We had only small groups, just 3 in ours, I felt confortable, completely safe and at ease( and I was really nervous!!) and Ami made the whole 'learning to dive' experience completly awsome!! They even filmed us on the last dive, (the one where we all qualified as open water divers) edited so well that it will make me smile always , a treasured memory. definitely hooked now though, will be back for more.Cant rate it higher....the best dive school in Koh Tao, staff, accommadation, beaches, boats and dive sites ALL Fantastic.

Friday 25th January 2013-

 

25

 

Calling out all old school Koh Taoians! Remember when Koh Tao was a little get away from it all unexplored island hideaway that no one had ever heard of. When you had to sit on a bag of coconuts to get here from the mainland on one of those once a week delivery boats. A little island with awesome weather, white sandy palm fringed bays & beaches, fabulous sunsets, unspoilt, undeveloped, virgin divesites & a place with a real close friendly bonding between the locals & us 'Farang? How when we opened Big Blue Diving, only the 2nd Diveshop on Koh Tao, people thought what pioneers we were! & now look at us! Who would have guessed that we could go from there to now - one of the largest Dive centers in the world! Well we've been offered something amazing! Anyone fancy repeating what we've just done here on Koh Tao in another undiscovered tropical island paradise with unbelievable diving right on our doorstep! Whalesharks, pygmy seahorses, turtles & dolphins A Resort, a bar, a restaurant & a diveshop in another part of Asia? The opportunity of a lifetime! A golden opportunity to partner up with one of the worlds leading Dive centers and open up Big Blue Diving....(TBA)....! Interested parties must be willing to input capital & whose aim is to supply their customers, holidaymakers divers, with an enjoyable and safe experience & memories that will last a lifetime. The business of making people happy! Serious applicants please send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“More than I ever imagined”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 20, 2013 - I came to Koh Tao after traveling through southern Thailand. Big blue was highly recommended by many of the travelers I had met. When I arrived at the island, I found them and the resort was very professional. Super kind people gave me the run down for the course and I was hooked. I booked for the open water dive course, which consists of 4 open water dives and a pool day (learning). I loved every minute of it. I was lucky enough to have the best instructor I could asked for, her name is Petra. She is a rock star... So knowledgeable, safe and funny. When I was given my open water card, I decided to stay for the advanced diver course, which Petra was also teaching. I can tell you that 4 dives just doesn't cut it, you will want to stay there for much longer. The ascended course took the group to a wreck from WWII, chumphon pinnacle and other areas to navigate. I would not have traded this experience for anything. Thank you Big Blue diving and most of all THANK YOU PETRA!!! .... For you are the best. Can't wait to come back for more diving next year. 
 

 An awful lot of lost looking Cobias at Southwest Pinnacle right now which doesn't bode well considering there was a Whaleshark there full of these lost looking Cobias on it just the other day. Do hope that doesn't mean what I have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach tells me it means. Please let us know if you see a Whaleshark in the Southwest Pinnacle, Sail Rock, Samran Pinnacle or Shark Island divesites. Also let us know if you see a fishing boat with a Whaleshark! :-(

Thursday 24th January 2013-

24Did you know that absolutely every instructor candidate we've had over the last year is working. From NZ to Caymans but mostly in Thailand. To give you an idea, we have crossed over 20 instructors on Koh Phi Phi this year. They are all working at dive shops now on Phi Phi apart from one who got sacked for being crap and breaking standards. We have taught around 20 SSI ITC's on Koh Tao and over 20 Crossovers this year & every one is working apart from 2 who now live in Bangkok working for Microsoft. Right now we have a 2 person ITC & a 1 person crossover with a polish guy today & then a japanese lady tomorrow & we'll tell you when they get their first paid jobs. I should think it will be a few days after they get there SSI number. Unless they have a negative attitude and think the world owes them a living, which is covered in the X over or ITC, so they should come out of it being realistic. ie Just because you go to UNI doesn't mean you get a 100,000 pound a year job. You still have to work your way up and work hard. Same Same in diving. Some people become instructor and think that's it. These are normally the people who can't make a living in the "real" world and think dive instructing is an easy job. Sitting on beaches, drinking cocktails and diving once a day and getting paid loads of money. You need to pick where you do your instructor course. Just saw this post from a dive center . "Congrats to all our candidates who passed the PADI IE. The first batch of 2013 is a really good one. Best of success to all in your career as diving instructors" That sounds like thanks for your money good bye and good luck. Pick one that will help you find work. www.bigblueinstructortraining.com They might even help you with the ladies! 

“Awesome experience!” Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 23, 2013 - Couldn't recommend this diving school highly enough especially if you have never dived before. Me and my girlfriend were both excited to try this but also a bit nervous. We had Rick as our instructor for our open water course. If you get him you are in our opinion very lucky. He made all 3 days of the course good fun but was also very professional and put us at ease as he is so calm under the water. Though we have heard from other travellers good things about all of the instructors. Also have to mention Andreas who assisted our dives and is a dive master in training. We have no doubt he will go on to become just as good. Overall great fun and made to feel safe at all times. If we ever return to Koh Tao will definately be diving with big blue again. Accomadation also excellent and all staff very helpful at all times. Thanks guys! Neil and Toni - Farnborough, UK.
 

So it looks like the the Dive prices on Koh Tao for the Open Water Course might well be changing this year! Finally Dive centers are beginning to realize that selling the PADI Open Water course at 9000 Bt is just not covering the costs. So it looks like the PADI Open Water Course might be taking on a price increase of 1000 Bt by most shops & that doesn't even include the E-manual which will cost an additional 800 Bt. But its not all doom & gloom. Luckily the SSI Open Water Course is still staying the same price. So it looks like its going to be 9000 Bt for your SSI Open Water Course or 10800 Bt for your PADI Course! Know which one I'd be recommending to our year off undergraduate backpackers!

Tuesday 22nd January 2013-

22

Whaleshark! Again. They just keep on coming! This one was a very friendly one too & decided to hang around during our surface interval & spent the majority of the time at the surface so we could all go snorkeling with it! Not a bad start to the week. and everyone on the trip got to see it underwater scuba diving with it & snorkelling on the surface with it aswell! Memory of a lifetime for just 1600 Bt! How's that for a bargain!

“Highlight of my trip!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor -January 20, 2013- I was in Thailand for 3 weeks in December 2012. I spent a week in Koh Tao at Big Blue over Christmas. It was the best experience. I completed the SSI Open Water Course and the Advanced Adventurer course. Having never dived before, this was the best place to be introduced to it! Daisy was my instructor and she was amazing. She is so knowledgeable, patient and fun! I heard that all of the other diving instructors were amazing, but I still believe my group had the best one ;-). (Sorry to everyone else! ) Big Blue Resort was so great to stay at as well. The accommodation was clean and well maintained. I met so many people and ended up hanging out with them for most of my time there. It was so fun to be there over Christmas with so many beach parties happening. Definitely the best place to learn to dive and to have a great time!! I hope I can go back again for some more diving!
 


HONOLULU —An amazing video was captured last Friday of a dolphin reaching out to a human for help. It happened during a manta ray dive experience off the Big Island's Kona International Airport. The group of snorkelers and divers heard a loud squeal and a bottlenose dolphin swam right into the dive spot. As it approached, diver Keller Laros saw it had a fishing line wrapped around its pectoral fin. The amazing part of this video -- to watch as this dolphin simply rolls over and patiently lets Laros get to work. "i was trying to unwrap it, I got the line fishing hook out of the pectoral fin.  There was a line coming out of his mouth.  But, the line wrapped around his pectoral fin.  Was so tight and he had cuts both front and aft," said Laros.  "I was worried if I tugged on it, it might hurt him more.  I was able to cut the fishing line and unwrap it." Laros got the fishing hook out and snipped the fishing line by the dolphin's mouth. Others tried to get more fishing line out but the dolphin swam away and the group never saw the dolphin again. "I've had bottlenose dolphins approach me a lot of times and they are really smart animals," said Laros.  "They way he came right up and pushed himself into me there was no question this dolphin was there for help."

Monday 14th January 2013-

14

This photo was taken by Peri Paleracio, in the Philippines. The whale shark was found by a scuba diver, still alive and trying to swim. Its pectoral and ventral fins were cut off by poachers who sell shark fins at a premium for the Chinese delicacy, shark fin soup. Locals, with the help of local government, pulled the still-struggling shark to shore where it died the next day. Here a local woman mourns its miserable fate. This photo was named "most compelling image" of 2010 in honor of the UN's International Year of Biodiversity.
This is not just something caused by Chinese fishermen, it is a global problem. Shark Fin soup is sold all over the world, even in the UK. Please support the fight against shark finning.
* Spread the word.
* Share photos and stories such as this.
* Sign petitions. This one is petitioning the UN for a worldwide ban on shark finning: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/532/581/725/?cid=FB_TAF
* Write to local restaurants serving the dish: Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation have a celebrity-signed template letter and map listing restaurants in the UK selling shark fin soup. Find them here: http://www.bite-back.com/shark-sightings-map/
Most of these things can be done with such minimal effort, just a few seconds, or few minutes, of your time. Collectively our voices DO make a difference. Countries and cities have successfully implemented bans on the sale of shark fin products as a result of individuals coming together to make a stink about it.

“Learning to dive”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 9, 2013 - I came to Big Blue after doing quite a bit of research because there are so many dive schools to choose from. I was not disappointed. I was lucky to get Guy as my instructor, he took a group with no knowledge of diving and within days we felt like pro's. I've extended my stay on Koh Tao to go further with Guy and diving in the advance diving course. As for the resort, it's right on the beach. Many schools are farther into the town. They have good food and a bar for a few beers during happy hour after diving. I stayed in the free accommodation that you get with the courses but they have all types if you aren't on a budget like I was.

First Full day trip to Sail Rock has gone off without a hitch, as is always the case. The boat is full. everyone on it is an experienced diver so not a single course on it which is rare so its going to be an awesome day out. Cooked breakfast on the way out then first dive at Sail Rock. Morning tea & crumpets during the surface interval followed by a second dive at Sail Rock. Then its a Thai buffet banquet for lunch while we head back to Koh Tao to do one of our lesser known dive sites but a very popular spot for the fishermen Samran Pinnacle then its chocolate cake & back to Big Blue by 5pm for a couple of refreshing beers at the bar just in time for sunset! What a day!

Saturday 12th January 2013-

12

If you are dreaming of life changing adventures...are you ready for the life changing consequences? If you are, then get out there and live your dream! So many unhappy people out there living a hum drum existence prostituting themselves for some big corporation or even small company doing something they just don't want to be doing. Why? Make 2013 the year you change your life & do something you want to do! Get a job on the beach! Save an endangered species like the whale or shark! Photograph mind blowing creatures & historical wrecks & artifacts. See with your own eyes things you never believed possible. Educate people. But for gods sake do something life changing this year. This is your life. Your one shot at it. You owe it to yourself. Live your dream & start by sending me an email! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. I promise you this. You will not regret one minute of it!

“Big Blue was incredible!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 9, 2013 - Doing my Open Water Course (and the upgrade to an Advanced Adventurer the day after OW finished) at Big Blue was one of the best experiences of my life and certainly of my 3 months travel! Even though we were out of season, we spotted both whale shark and turtle twice - I went straight in and booked my next course. Ben was the best instructor anyone could ask for and he got our team down to 30 meters like a dream, despite of whatever concern one might have had. I had quite a struggle with equalizing in the beginning, but Ben gave me all the time I needed and got me safely down independently from my group - I was truly grateful! I think that I can speak for anyone in our 6 man group when I say that we all loved having Ben as our instructor and that we would recommend him very much! 
 

Going to be launching into fashion this year! Big Blue fashion! And I don't mean dressing up to look like smurfs but going to get some real cool fashionable clothing. Beach style! Looking at extending our huge range of T-shirts and singlets, short sleeve shirts, polo shirts, sweat shirts & hoodies too. On top of that we're going to have a range of hot ladies bikinis, & guys & gals board shorts. Want to make some boat coats & beanies, anoraks, baseball caps & sun hats. Some bags & briefcases, rashies & wetsuits too. We're going to be making people look so cool this year Quicksilver & Billabong will be quaking in their jandals! Just need someone to help me launch it all & get it all into action! Anyone fancy a very cool fashion challenge? Drop me your CV This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . This is an amazing opportunity. Who's up for it?

Friday 11th January 2013-

11

Without question I think one of the best things about Big Blue Diving is the fact that it has 2 resorts within a couple of hundred meters of each other! Big Blue 1 is unquestionably the whole heartbeat & pulse of the operation. Its been there since the year dot & offers rooms- AC dorms, fan rooms, beach bungalows & AC rooms on site. It has an awesome Bar & Restaurant with a great atmosphere especially at sunset & at night & is the center of operations when it comes to the diving. You arrive here & you leave from here. Big Blue 2 is now 1 year old. Has a 3 storey building with 21 rooms offerring AC dorms fan rooms & AC rooms as well as bungalows Fan & AC, & a purpose built Divers swimming pool. The restaurant & Bar are also located on the beach & it also has a spa. With this kind of set up the place has a lot of appeal but its the staff that make it the legendary place that it is & when you put all 3 together the Staff, Big Blue 1 & Big Blue 2 you've got one of the best places in the world. Certainly the best place on Koh Tao. Lots of love, Jim Donaldson. General Manager, Partner, Scuba Instructor & one of the luckiest people in the world!

“Best time of my trip in Asia”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 5, 2013 - I found myself constantly saying almost everyday that it was the best day of my life. There are loads of dive shops in Koh Tao and it is a little overwhelming when deciding which to choose from... So just take my advice and dive with big blue! I went around the island and visited a few different shops that had this kind of "we could care less" if you dive with us or not attitude. Being the high season and around Xmas all the shops have tons of new clients coming in everyday with questions & at big blue they seemed to be the only place that was actually happy to have me and wanted me there. I signed up for the open water corse totally pumped but when it came to actually getting in the water I was quite freaked. It felt so unnatural I was really apprehensive about just breathing underwater. BUT since I had the best dive instructor EVER daisy was there to help me every step of the way. She had so much knowledge and experience and really made me feel relaxed and at ease underwater. I ended up totally having a blast during every dive we went on and I went on to take the advanced open water course. Everything about big blue felt just right. Kinda a summer camp vibe around the whole place. It was a great way to meet new friends and an awesome place to learn how to dive. Daisy was so patient and understanding and answered every question we had (and we had a lot). In a place like Koh Tao you can feel like you might just get rushed through the course and spit back out but daisy & big blue made me feel like I actually learned a bit about diving and the world underneath me. I def recommend it to anyone interested in diving while in SE Asia :) thank you so much Daisy I miss you xoxo !!! Can't wait to take my knowledge and dive in Bali and all over the world! 
 

 So I've managed to fill the receptionist vacancy I had at Big Blue 2 a few days ago. In fact I got a little overwhelmed with all the applications & ended up not being able to make a choice between the top 2 candidates so ended up hiring them both! So congratulations to our 2 new members of staff Joe & Sofia who will join Caz at Big Blue 2 beating the place back into shape. I might still be in the market for a new opening if there is anyone else interested in living on a little tropical island paradise. Know anything about running a restaurant & drawing in a crowd. If so drop me a line This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I might just be the answer to your dreams!

Wednesday 9th January 2013-

9

Enjoying just the most tremendous sunsets here in Koh Tao right now. The beach is completely full of people with their cameras snapping away under a blood red sky! And while the weather is this good there's a big demand for Night Dives right now too, so we're pretty much night diving every night right now. And who wouldn't want to go out on a boat with this sunset to enjoy just before you arrive at your divesite for your night dive. Awesome sunsets, calm seas, warm tropical waters, great company & an hours dive checking out the teeming marine life Koh Tao has to offer at night.

“My most memorable week ever :)”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 4, 2013 - I planned on spending a few days on koh tao to do my open water course but ended up staying for 10 and this was largely down to big blue diving. koh tao has a unique vibe unlike anywhere i have been whilst traveling and big blue diving made my time here even better. i originally signed up to just do the open water course which was both cheap, recommended and came with free accommodation in very decent dorms (although upgrades are also available). My instructor daisy was absolutely brilliant, both in her teaching manner and helping me out personally with sorting out a room which i initially had a problem with and she went out of her way to sort this out despite it not being her job at all. She was very patient with all of us and we all felt like we had learned loads in our group, both in the lessons and the dives, we couldnt have asked for a better instructor.  The accommodation, bar and restaurant is right on the beach which is perfect. As to the diving itself, the dives were great and the service and quality provided by big blue for each dive was excellent. I had such a great time that I decided to progress onto my advanced course, again with daisy which did not disappoint and daisy was equally fantastic on this course despite working long hours and teaching us 6 days in a row right up to christmas eve. the night dive and the wreck dive on this course were worth the money alone and you get a discount for the advanced course if you did the open water with them which makes it dirt cheap. i had the most amazing week and would immediately return to big blue if i ever get the chance to go back to koh tao. thanks to daisy and everyone else at big blue that made my christmas and the rest of our groups so special we won't forget it! 
 

Role up role up! PADI Open Water Course on Koh Tao is about to be increased by 1000 Bt making the price 10800 Bt for your PADI Open Water Course where as the SSI Open Water Course is still just 9000 Bt! Prices are going to be changing over the coming weeks so if you are insistent on taking your PADI license and want to save a few pennies then you're best off getting in here quick smart. However if you have any common sense you'll take your SSI Open Water Course which is cheaper than PADI anyway, you get your certification immediately as opposed to having to wait 3 months for your card and most importantly you don't have to sit through the most boring embarrassing educational vdo I've ever had the misfortune to watch. NB... all dive cards are interchangeable & recognised at 100% of all diving destinations in the world! Why would you spend an extra 1800 Bt when you can get the better more enjoyable version for less!

Tuesday 8th January 2013-

8

Starting another SSI Instructor Training Course on the 15th January with world renowned SSI Instructor Trainers Simon Garrity, South East Asia's leading Instructor Trainer & Paul 'Tosh' Tanner South East Asia's second leading Instructor trainer! Course price will set you back just over 60000 Bt and includes 2-3 weeks of Instructor theory, skills, exams & lectures. Employment opportunities at the end are very high too. In fact of the 12 SSI Instructors on our last 2 ITC's 11 of them are gainfully employed and living a new life on the beach teaching people to scuba dive & showiing them Whalesharks! Fancy a change in lifestyle yourself? Well maybe 2013 might just be the perfect time to do it! Live the dream, sign up for your Scuba Diving Course www.bigblueinstructortraining.com SS Aiiiiii!

“Big Blue Rocks!!!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 4, 2013 - I went to Koh Tao to dive and randomly ended up at Big Blue when I was shafted by another motel/resort there. In short, I was so glad I went there. I wanted to complete my open water licence, which I did. The instructors are awesome. I had an instructor called "Irish G". Irish had been diving and instructing for over 16 years. She was cool, calm and totally a pro at her job. I always felt safe and she is MAJOR FUN! We only had 4 people in our dive crew which was awesome to have such a small crew. "Irish G" - totally made our crew feel confident and we all decided that we would then do our advanced if we could do the course with her. We completed our Advanced diving with a night dive, navigation, and a wreck dive as well as two other dives to just over 30m. I now am fully already planning my next dive trip - I am thinking Big Blue may be hard to beat as far as friendly service and beauriful surroundings go? I met loads of great crew and everyone was so friendly. There was time for divinga and also time for a party, which Koh Tao does well. It was really hard to leave. Thanks big Blue and Thanks "Irish G" for such an awesome time!! Will be back for sure!! Reece From Australia 
 

Whalesharks still being spotted with quite some regularity! Had one seen at Chumphon Pinnacle two days ago followed in the afternoon by another seen at Twins "in the sand' amazingly enough! Never seen one that shallow & then yesterday afternoon... get this... we actually had a Whaleshark in Japanese Gardens! Now that would have been a sight! So lots of Whalesharks still around Koh Tao right now. Are you?

Monday 7th January 2013-

7

Employment Opportunity in Paradise! Big Blue Diving is looking for a Full Time receptionist at Big Blue 2 to start ASAP! Duties include check ins & check outs, cashier, & can talk diving. Perks office on the beach, free diving on your days off 20% food & drinks discounts at the Restaurant. Thai or Westerner. Must speak English! Great place to work. Great location. Awesome team & really handsome Boss!

“Advanced adventurer course”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 3, 2013 - This was my second time diving with Big Blue and they have lost none of the quality that I experienced the first time around. The accommodation was remarkable for the price you pay and I was right in the beach so could take advantage of the excellent nightlife. The dives were excellent and the instructor, Petra, was very patient with our course where you could see her obvious frustration with some of our course members. She maintained an air of positivity and enthusiasm that was quite infectious and all that attended the course thoroughly enjoyed the dives, especially the night dive and the dive onto a wreck. All in all, I have had a wonderful time and will not hesitate to dive with Big Blue in the future. A big thanks to all that made this trip so memorable. 

As is so often the case in Thailand major decisions are not so much announced as allowed to escape into the public domain. For most of the residents of Koh Phangan it was when they saw the following sign dotted around the island that they began to think that the rumors about Koh Phangan getting an airport were not just empty rumors. The announcement surprised lots of people. Those who are familiar with the island know that it is an island covered in mountains in the center and along the east and west coasts. There are, of course, flat areas suitable for an airport but for years it seemed that nearby Koh Samui Airport would suffice to service Koh Phangan. The island was somewhat defined as Koh Samui’s ‘little brother’ that was not as developed and that drew many backpackers and low-end tourists looking for more pristine nature as well as cheaper prices. This perception has changed over the last 10 years with the boom in the Full Moon Party industry. The Full Moon Party in Haad Rin as well as the other parties in Ban Tai and Haad Rin draw thousands of visitors to Koh Phangan every month. Another change is the creation of an up-market enclave in Thong Nai Pan Noi that has 4 luxury hotels to choose from. It seemed time that Koh Phangan stepped out of the shadow of its big brother and demanded its own independence. Kan Air with its successful bid to gain permission to build Koh Phangan Airport has judged the situation carefully. Moreover, at the same time the government has identified 100 tourist locations in Thailand that should be developed. Koh Phangan is among the first 29 locations to receive funding. The projects for Koh Phangan include building a reservoir near Thong Nai Pan , further improving the roads on the island and laying underwater electric and telecommunication wires between Koh Phangan and the mainland. This will greatly improve the electricity supply and internet speeds as currently both are routed through Koh Samui.It really is time for Koh Phangan to come out from Koh Samui’s shadow. The announcement of an airport for Koh Phangan should be seen in such a context. Whether the consequences of this action prove good or bad for the inhabitants of the island we will have to wait and see.

 

Sunday 6th January 2013- 

6

 Been a heck of a start to the New Year! Every single member of staff is diving back to back courses meaning they're finishing their PADI Open Water Course in the morning & going straight out in the afternoon to start the new PADI Advanced Course then completing 2 dives of the Advanced the following morning then jumping into the pool to start Confined water with their new SSI Open Water Course & then completing the Advanced Cousrse after with a Night Dive. My injured Instructors who have cuts & scrapes & ear issues are all doing the Academics & the Meeting & Greeting of new customers & we've just employed Becky for this busy period to be here to make sure all our accommodation issues are managed efficiently. Busy busy busy! And on top of that we still got Whalesharks at 3 Divesites around Koh Tao at the moment so the DM's are flat out  & because we don't want to have the boatys rammed to the rafters I've rented another boat to see us through this busy spell. Loving it! Flat out but heaps of space! Could that be why we are Koh Tao's most popular Dive Center! or might it have something to do with the hoardes of topless sunbathers lieing out the front of the resort right now! 

“Loved it all!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 31, 2012 - I knew that diving was one thing I was going to do on my trip, but I had no idea I would love diving and Koh Tao so much! I chose big blue as it came highly recommended in my guide book, and I am so glad I did. As soon as I arrived I got a warm greeting by the staff and my instructor, and got settled in at Big Blue 2, in one of the dorms. Nice yet pretty basic, but a great deal as it is free on the days that you dive! And steps from a quiet area of the beach. I started my SSI Open Water that night with Steve, a seasoned professional. He was a great teacher, made sure that everyone was always very comfortable with all the drills, and got us excited for our open water dives. There were a lot of people on the boat other than our group, but despite being a bit crowded there was a great atmosphere. I decided that since I was there, I might as well do the advanced course, and that is when I really got hooked. We had 5 amazing dives with Skui, with the night dive definitely being a highlight! Still not wanting to leave, I did an afternoon of fun dives at 2 great dive sites with divemaster Chris, who was super excited to show us cool aquatic wildlife. Amazing dives, awesome instructors, and all around incredibly friendly people made Big Blue one of my favourite places visited! 

Japan bluefin tuna fetches record $1.7m. A single bluefin tuna has sold in Japan for 155m yen ($1.7m; £1.05m), almost triple the record price set last year. High bids traditionally mark the year's first auction at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market. Even the buyer, sushi chain owner Kiyoshi Kimura, who also paid out the record price last year, said the cost was "a bit high". The sale came amid continued warnings from environmentalists that tuna stocks are dwindling and overfished. This year's record-breaking fish was caught off north-eastern Japan and weighed in at 222kg (489lbs), some 47kg lighter than last year's prize-winner, which fetched 56m yen. The auction at the market - which trades millions of dollars of products daily and is a popular tourist destination - began at 05:00 local time. Mr Kimura immediately carted his purchase off to a nearby branch of his Sushi Zanmai chain. He said he wanted to "encourage Japan" with his bid. The price works out at about $7,600 per kg ($3,500/lb). Japan consumes more than half of the world's bluefin catch.... and clearly has the worlds stupidest man living there!

 

Friday 4th January 2013- 

4

We decided as its a new year why not start this year off with our very own TECHTASTIC JANUARY SALE. For January only anyone who books an INTRO TO TECH Course we will give you a massive 30% Discount taking the price from 10,000 Baht down to 7,000 Baht. This will still be a 3 day course and will teach you all the foundation skills needed to progress in Tech whilst still looking cool as a cucumber. All you need is to be Advanced Open Water Diver. So grab a bargain whilst its hot off the press. The Tech Shack x www.bigbluetech.net

“Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, A Standing Ovation...Big Blue Deserves It!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 31, 2012 Here's another A+ review to add to the masses: I thought that I would maybe dive once or twice while on Koh Tao. I ended up diving 12 times in 5 days. I already had my open water when I arrived at Big Blue, but got a refresher with James (who was great!), and couldn't pull myself away from the water after that. I had the pleasure of diving with several different Dive masters, all of them were wonderful. Pal told us tons of great diving stories on the boat on the way out to the dive site; Danny was extremely nice and conscientious; Carly was awesome and realized I was using less air than the rest of the group so she switched me mid-dive to another group so I could have more time- Thank you Carly! Marc was wonderful; Chupa and Andre (sorry if I misspelled your names) were very patient and so much fun to dive with. Last but not least, Phil was spectacular. He makes an effort to really show you the dive site. We were always looking under rocks and crevices to check out the animals that he spotted. One of the dive spots we went on got a little hairy at one point because of the current, but Phil handled it very well and made sure we all got on the boat safe. The great thing about any of these guys is that at the end of the day, they are more than likely to sit down and have a beer with you and tell you diving stories no matter what your level of diving is. Their enthusiasm is infectious, and while I wasn't able to get my advanced with them due to time constraints, they have inspired me to continue with my dive training here in the states. The atmosphere on the boats and at their restaurant lends itself easily to making new friends and meeting new people. I walked in to the resort alone, but came out knowing much of the staff and people that I had been diving with consistently. Thank you guys! I genuinely had a great time with all of you and hope to be back some day soon. TLDR: Big Blue is awesome and you should go diving with them. 
 

Well you'll be pleased to know especially if you are on your way to Koh Tao this week that things have calmed down a little & that more beds & rooms are becomming available. We ourselves even have 6 Dorm beds available today which came out of nowhere. I also have a couple of beach bungalows as well. So drop in if you are planning on doing some diving here. You won't be disappointed!

Thursday 3rd January 2013-

 3

Ok ... welll... blimey crikey... Its been a little busy. Not just us but the whole of Koh Tao! In fact there's been so many arrivals here in Koh Tao over the last few days especially from Koh Phangan that I do believe this island has been slightly submerged underwater a little more than usual! There was still people walking around looking for rooms at 10 o'clock last night which must have been slightly unnerving for them. Tis a little less stressful today I'm pleased to inform you & there are a few more rooms coming available even as we speak but I do highly recommend booking yourselves in before you arrive on Koh Tao in future. I'd also recommend booking your boats too! A lot of our bookings weren't able to get to Koh Tao cos the ferries here were full. Book online www.lomprayah.com or www.seatrandiscovery.com once you've made your booking with us & then let us know which boat you are on & I'll organise a free taxi to pick you up at the pier when you get here! That should clear a few headaches for you.

“Loved it all!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 31, 2012 - I knew that diving was one thing I was going to do on my trip, but I had no idea I would love diving and Koh Tao so much! I chose big blue as it came highly recommended in my guide book, and I am so glad I did. As soon as I arrived I got a warm greeting by the staff and my instructor, and got settled in at Big Blue 2, in one of the dorms. Nice yet pretty basic, but a great deal as it is free on the days that you dive! And steps from a quiet area of the beach. I started my SSI Open Water that night with Steve, a seasoned professional. He was a great teacher, made sure that everyone was always very comfortable with all the drills, and got us excited for our open water dives. There were a lot of people on the boat other than our group, but despite being a bit crowded there was a great atmosphere. I decided that since I was there, I might as well do the advanced course, and that is when I really got hooked. We had 5 amazing dives with Skui, with the night dive definitely being a highlight! Still not wanting to leave, I did an afternoon of fun dives at 2 great dive sites with divemaster Chris, who was super excited to show us cool aquatic wildlife. Amazing dives, awesome instructors, and all around incredibly friendly people made Big Blue one of my favourite places visited! 
 

Three days into the New Year & I'm afraid we've only seen 1 Whaleshark so far! Just a little disappointing considering we saw over 20 last month but you know... mustn't grumble. Plenty more fish in the sea! & still not an entirely bad batting average all things considered. 33.3% to be exact. If we can keep up these averages then we will end up with over 100 Whalesharks throughout the whole year! Almost as many as we dived with in 2012! 

Friday, 03 May 2013 13:31

February 2013

Written by

Thursday 28th February 2013-

28

 Team Big Blue went out to fix some of the mooring lines around Koh Tao last week, including deploying a new line at King Kong and fixing one of the mooring lines at Japanese Gardens from an old polystyrene box to a proper buoy as supplied by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. But why do we make buoy lines on Koh Tao? Well, dropping anchors can cause massive structural damage ot the reefs around Koh Tao, and so to reduce this damage, The Save Koh Tao Group and the Thai Navy began a marine zoning and mooring line project in March 2009. Since the start of this project, nearly every dive site has the appropriate mooring lines and buoys. Snorkelling areas, small boats tie offs, boat lanes, and ‘no boat’ areas also have their own particular markers, such as yellow buoy lines for snorkelling areas, as part of the island zoning project. It is hoped that by working with the local community for the installation, maintenance, and repair of these buoys that we can increase the amount of education and awareness about human impacts on coral reefs and reduce those impacts for Koh Tao. At Big Blue, we use these buoys everyday at the dive sites. By replacing and maintaining the existing lines, we help ensure this project's success. A big thanks to the nine Big Blue DMTs and Marine Conservation Interns who joined the project and thanks to Save Koh Tao for putting on the fantastic mooring line workshops last week.

“Best Dive Shop in Koh Tao”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 24, 2013 - Would highly recommend Big Blue to all travellers, whether you are back-packing or looking for a more family oriented hotel. They make scuba diving as easy, fun and comfortable as can be. The best place to start or further your dive experience in Koh Tao. Would definitely recommend the instructor I had for my Open Water and Advanced course, Ben. He was helpful every step of the way! 
 
 Right peoples! As long as the boats back up and running we're organizing another Sattakut night dive tonight. Last time we saw crazy crabs and mental cuttle fish but most importantly, the wreck at night, by torch light, is a sight to behold! Peoples who are interested need to have Nitrox and wreck specialties. Staff members will also be asked to make a small donation to Pidams and Zaws booze fund. For more information come to the Tech shack and have a chat with Bryan or James. Happy Friday!

Tuesday 19th February 2013- 

19

Meet some of our newer staff- Anke Moors.Completely fluent in over 700 languages Anke has a birds nest growing out the back of her head. Hails from a small town in France called Belgium, famous for little Private Investigators, Martial Arts & Chocolate porn! She has an incredible way of making sure everyone remembers her name- "My name is 'Wanker' without the 'W'!  We employed her straight away! Anke is a very accomplished Tech Diver, as well as a PADI Instructor, BSAC Instructor & SSI Instructor. Started off at Big Blue working in our Beach bar but has come a long way since those days of drunken debauchery and now teaches all our courses in English, French, German, Dutch & Belgiumese. Always laughing, awesome character, reliable, patient & friendly everyone just loves our Wanker!

“Into the blue!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 16, 2013 - During my 6 days on Koh Tao I did 10 dives with the guys from Big Blue Diving and had a kick-ass time. I have my Advanced OW and had many dives in several other spots in South East Asia and Mexico. Well, Koh Tao may not have the best dive spots in the world concerning what you can see there, but the Big Blue´s dive guides make up for this big time. I have been diving with Darren and Christine and it is amazing how passionate they are about their jobs and how much effort they put into lighting the same fire in their customers. Seeing your dive master cheering and screaming underwater because she/he just found a scorpion fish (which is pretty hard to spot) or a tiny nudibranch is just inspiring and adds so much to your dive experience. Darren and Christine were both mad about the tiny things, you normally don´t spot easily in Koh Tao. For me this makes both of them great underwater guides, because everyone can point to a whaleshark (if you are lucky enough to meet one), but finding that piece of rock that actually is a scorpion fish or a colorful 1cm nudibranch requires a lot of love for your job and lots and lots of dedication. And this commitment doesn´t stop on the boat or on land. They are always up for a joke and create just good vibes. Thanks to Darren and Christine and to the whole Big Blue team. 
 
Not quite sure what just happened but its suddenly gotten really busy here on Koh Tao! We are pretty much out of rooms to walk in & are only just managing to honor our bookings as well. Its unbeleivable. So if you are heading this way over the next few weeks I would highly recommend booking your accommodation before you get here to avoid missing out on all the fun & games. I wouldn't rely on walking in & being able to get yourself a budget room as they are all gone! & next week is going to be even worse as it is the Full Moon party in Koh Phangan. Drop as an email. I highly recommend it! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday 18th February 2013-

18

Updating our Meet the Team profiles- Carly Marsh- A whiteSouth African, so obviously completely racist, corrupt & filthy rich! A Gold Smith by trade! Obviously not a very good one or she wouldn't be working here! Nicknamed Prawn- something to do with that terrible South African Sci fi movie, nothing to do with a chick that has a mad body, but a bad face, you know like when you eat a prawn, you eat the body and throw away the head! Prawn is the hottest of our Divemaster team. She's also the smallest, ah maybe that's where the name came from! Absolutely crap at soccer Carly is our first employed Seffrican who can speak English or at least thinks she can which results in a completely effective failure to communicate. We usually just wait for her to break into tribal dance and sing/dance/unnecessary shouting/boobies! 

“Great time at Big Blue” -5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 16,- I did the open water diving course at Big Blue and overall this was a very good experience. Arriving at 4pm, I started the course right away at 5pm. Next day we were already training in the pool and the following days we did 4 dives in total. We completed the whole course and certification by day 4. The atmosphere and the general level of expertise makes you feel at ease as ease. The free accomodation during the duration of the course ( dorm room) was a nice extra touch. Special thanks to/ mentioning of our instructor Tim. His excellent teaching skills made this a great experience:
* focus on the essence: I never dived before nor did I do any kind of snorkelling. Therefore the first days were quite overwhelming. Tim makes you focus on the essence and keeps on repeating and stressing the core things you need to know and do to master the skill of diving.
* focus on the students: Tim has his full attention on the students at all time. He is not trying to be mister popular nor is he in love with the sound of his own voice. Instead he focuses on the students' questions and needs. Our group very much appreciated this straightforward approach.
* individual approach: Tim does not believe in a 'one size fits all' teaching approach and tailors his way of teaching according to your needs and demands.
As a result, by the end of the course our whole group was at ease in the water, had the basic about diving and we all had a great time. In a nutshell, when going to Koh Tao, going diving with Big Blue and ask for Tim as an instructor, you will not regret it.

Eco Jen has laid on a Marine Buoyline project today for all our DMT's. THis morning she finally got delivered the 3 mooring lines we ordered & showed our guys how to tie a knot to secure the big bright floaty thing at the surface & this afternoon she's taken a boat to the other side of the island to install the big bright floaty things on 3 Divesites. Tanote Bay, King Kong, & Hin Wong Pinnacle. Its an awesome experience for our team of soon to be professional Divemasters and I think its what sets us apart from every other dive school on the island which is why if you are going to become a Dive Professional you need to know more than just how to lead divers & how to assist Instructors. You need to know about Big bright floaty things too!

Saturday 16th February 2013-  

16

 Due to the enormous shortage of rooms on Koh Tao & the excessive demand for cheap accommodation we have been forced to adjust our pricing a little! So as of today we are happy to announce that we have 3 types of budget dormitories available now. First off we offer for FREE a bed in our 6 bed AC dorms which in all honesty have seen better days. Please note you can only book these rooms online if you book them alongside your Open Water & Advanced Courses, otherwise you'll have to take a chance to see if they're available upon walk in whihc in all honesty is going to be pretty slim. These dorms are almost always full! Then we offer 100 Bt dorms in our 4 bed fan rooms at Big Blue 2. Nice. First floor with a balcony overlooking the pool. Definitely a good bargain. & then we offer 200 Bt AC dorms also at Big Blue 2 also with 4 beds to a dorm but this is on the ground floor. However still very much a bargain & also nice! Then we offer 300 Baht private fan rooms, 400 Bt beach bungalows, & so on & so on. Hopefully this will free up the accommodation problems we've been experiencing over the last few months for all you cheap skates out there! ;-)

“Highlight of my Thailand vacation at Big Blue.”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 12, 2013- Heading to Thailand my boyfriend and I knew we definitely wanted to get our open water in Koh Tao. There are so many choices. After reading reviews and lonely planet we decided to go with big blue and it did not disappoint. Everything was easy with big blue from the moment we booked. We were picked up from the ferry and driven to the resort. Checked in within minutes and received great accomadations. We decided to upgrade to a private room rather than the free accommodation. Our open water course was great. Student to inscturctor ratio was the perfect number. One instructor and dive master trainee for 6 students. Our instructor was Tosh who was a blast and always had a joke to tell. He was incredibly experienced and passionate about diving. I had a bit of an issue with taking my mask off while diving and panicked but Tosh was able to calm me down and help me get through it. Our entire open water class signed up to do our advanced. We got to stay together as a group and keep Tosh as our insctructor. My boyfriend and I left Big Blue to move onto other parts of Thailand only to return 3 days later to continue diving. We didn't have enough time to do any specialty courses so we did a few fun dives. We did a full day dive which is worth every penny. 3 dives, breakfast, lunch, drinks and snacks for a great price with a knowledgeable dive master. I highly recommend big blue. If you want a place with knowledgeable, passionate people, great location and great atmosphere it will not disappoint!
 

Here is an awesome story of a 3 fishermen miles off the coast of Australia who encounter a Whaleshark. The big fish swims straight up to the boat & just hangs out there at the surface. One of the fisherman jumps into the water with their mask & snorkel to get a closer look (as you would) and realizes the Whaleshark is there because it needs their help. Tied around its fins is a rope. A noose! The Fisherman grabs a knife & then for the next 20 minutes proceeds to free the Whaleshark from the rope while the whaleshark hovers just below the surface so the fisherman can snorkel while he cuts away at the rope. Then after its been freed the Whaleshark sticks a fin out the water as if to say thanks & swims away! A truly magical tale and an excellent example to prove that these creatures are very intelligent, way more so than we realize, and not something we should be fishing & sticking into a bowl of soup!

Thursday 14th February 2013-

14

Lonely Planets write up on Koh Tao. "Scuba virgins from all over flock to Ko Tao to learn how to dive. Not only is this lush, pistachio-coloured island blessed with crystal clear water and trippy coral reefs shallow enough for beginners to explore; it’s also is one of the world’s cheapest and most popular places to get your open-water dive certification. Diving is definitely the island’s mainstay, and on its busiest areas you can’t walk 100m without tripping over a shop. Once you choose an outfitter, there are dozens of spectacular reefs with plentiful marine life to swim through. Once considered exclusively a dive destination, these days Ko Tao is nearly as popular with nondivers as it is with scuba enthusiasts. Small (it measures just 21 sq km) and laid-back, it’s become a haven for those seeking the beauty found on big sisters Ko Samui and Ko Pha-Ngan without the chaos. Fast and frequent ferries make travel to Ko Tao easy, and once you arrive there’s plenty of entertainment – from lounging on pristine beaches to mountain biking through the lush and rugged interior. All in all Ko Tao is a romantic place, where nights are casual affairs, usually involving a quiet drink by candlelight on a cushion near the edge of the sea. Even though Ko Tao has become more hip with each season, it hasn’t let this celebrity status go to its head. Although there are pockets of frenetic activity in the main tourist ghettos of Ban Hat Sai Ri and Ban Mae Hat, much of the island retains an easy-going pace. Infrastructure on Ko Tao is still pretty basic, with much of the east coast only accessible by 4WD or boat, and 24-hour electricity blanketing only about 75% of the island."
 
“Great Place to Stay, Dive, Drink & Eat!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 13, 2013 - Arrived at Big Blue for 3 nights and ended up staying 3 weeks we loved it so much. Did the open water with mini Ant. If you're a nervous diver, he's great, really patient and we all felt really safe diving with him. Couldn't recommend him more. Accommodation is clean & perfectly located on the beach. The food is really good to top it all off!

There are lots of Dive instructors and dive masters on Koh Tao, what sets you apart? Volunteering and getting involved with local conservation projects is a great way to get ahead in the industry, add to your knowledge and skills base, and improve your student training and satisfactions; all while helping to preserve the environment we depend on. See the schedule of upcoming events below, hope to see you there! Feb. 17th –Zoning & Mooring Workshop, 7pm Feb. 18th – Mooring Buoy Maintenance

Feb 21st – Clean-up Planning & Project Aware Grant mtg, 7pm, Moov
Feb 23rd – Land and Underwater Clean-up
March 5th – SKT Meeting and After party
March 30th- clean-up
April 22nd- Earth Day Film Festival
Late April -Koh Tao Festival (Turtle release, Giant Clam nursery, etc)

Wednesday 13th February 2013-

13

Pilot Whale! Yesterday! Mid afternoon. at White Rock! Not seen by anyone other than Bryan from the Tech Shack & you know how little these techie types know about fish Identification! So guess it could have been anything! But Bryan does quite categorically insist it was a pilot whale. No body else on the whole dive site saw one except bryan! And Pilot Whales are pretty big so it is a little suspicious that on a dive site heaving with divers our Bryan was the only one to see it. Still he beleives what he's saying & even managed to draw a picture of it which is a fairly accurate portrayal of a Pilot Whale so I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt! Pilot Whale! Yesterday! Mid afternoon. at White Rock!

“Great Time Fun Diving with Big Blue!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 11, 2013 - I arrived in Thailand with one thing on my mind: Go scuba diving!! I hadn't picked out any location but heard that Koh Tao was a must for diving in Thailand. So I got to Koh Tao, opened up my lonely planet guide and went directly to Big Blue Diving and I was not disapointed! I was initially supposed to stay for 3-4 days and ended up staying for 1.5 weeks! Diving: diving with big blue is a really fun and safe experience. Every fun diver is assigned to a divemaster that knows the area and guides the divers through the dives. For each dive, the divemaster gives a breefing that goes through the diving signals, safety rules, map of divesite and what is interesting to see at each divesite. The divemasters are very professionnal, make sure that fun divers feel safe and all that while making sure that the experience is both relax and fun! The diving schedules are very flexible with morning, afternoon and night sessions. The prices for fun diving are really good and they also add a discount incremental to the number of dives done. Going to the full day trip to Sail Rock is also a must! Accommodation: I stayed at big blue 1 in a 6 bedroom dorm and I honestly could not complain. The room was clean and decent for the price charged (which was 0 for days that I was diving)! The Big Blue Diving Resort also has a nice restaurant and bar after diving with a relaxed and cool atmosphere!! Big blue is centrally located in Sairee Beach (with a beachfront), making it a very good location to lodge on Koh Tao!Staff: As I previously said, the staff was very welcoming, professional and making sure that I had a good experience. At my arrival, a divemaster welcomed me at the resort, made the time to talk to me about what were my needs and expectations for my stay. So, despite the fact that there is a lot of person that do dive and stay at big blue, I was pleasantly surprised at how the service is personalized! They were very helpful whenever I had a question. So overall, an excellent experience at Big Blue Diving! I will recommend Big Blue to all my friends that are planning to go diving in Koh Tao! I will definitely go back when I'm in the area! A special thanks to the DMs that made my diving at Big Blue a memorable experience: Steven, Darren, Carly, Sophia, Christine, Angel, Bobby and all the staff at Big Blue!
 

So restricting a business to one supplier, then making them look the same as there nearest rivals, whilst feeding them misinformation and charging the earth for it helps the industry how exactly ?......SSI has always been the Business Support Agency for over 40 years! They are confident enough to use their Brand to stand behind ours, and support us where they can as a true partner should. How else are you going to get noticed in a competitive market? ....Think out of the bubble and STAND OUT from your competitors. Choose SSI an agency that respects YOUR business is worth shouting about.Wake up Dive Centers, get out of your little boxes and look around.

Tuesday 12th February 2013-

12

 'I wrote a message on the sea bed' - Daniel Kurk, 30, proposed to Zoe Church, 35, on the bottom of the ocean. The couple, from Watford in Hertfordshire, are planning a beach wedding this year… Daniel said: I planned to pop the question in Thailand on our second joint holiday there. I'd spent over a month on the island of Koh Tao when I'd been travelling a few years back. It is where I qualified for my open water and advanced diving licenses and I had become firm friends with one of the dive shop owners. (Big Blue!) When I returned to Koh Tao with Zoe I arranged for my friend to supply us with snorkel gear and a dive bag and I told him my plans. I booked a night's stay on the tiny island of Koh Nang Yuan about a mile off shore and the following morning I got up at sunrise and snuck off into the bay while Zoe slept. I collected a dive bag full of dead coral that had washed up at the foot of the beach and then swam out into the bay to write a message on the sea bed. I managed to get back to our villa just as Zoe was waking up. I tempted Zoe into the water by pretending to have seen a turtle. We swam into the bay and I kept making her swim further and further out. When she finally saw the message she did a double take and started laughing bubbles. She thought someone else had left the message. Then she looked at me, looked back at the message, more bubbles and then nearly drowned as she forgot to breath! We made it back to shore after a few happy tears on her part. The message itself is very silly.  Zoe's favourite TV show is Come Dine With Me and during a WAG special, the wives talked about their proposals. Emile Hesky's wife said Emile had proposed via a text message and the narrator, Dave Lamb, screamed, 'What did it say, Wife Me LOL?'. It turned into one of Zoe’s favourite jokes for about the next six months, so I didn’t really have much choice but to write that as my proposal. Our ring needed to be just as special as the proposal so Harriet's team designed one around the themes of water and the ocean. The ring was designed to look like the crest of a wave and the central stone is blue topaz, to reflect the colour of the ocean. A perfect symbol of our future lives together.

“Great diving school, instructors, lodging, restaurant, location, beach, had a blast!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 9, 2013 - A fellow traveler recommended Big Blue and I'm so glad I went here for scuba school! Chris Cherry and Iain were excellent instructors. Very clear, patient and knowledgeable. Serious about diving and safety while striking a balance with fun and humor. After the Open Water course, I stayed for 5 more dives and the advanced certification with Felix, also excellent. We did deep dives, one through a chimney-shaped rock, and one at a shipwreck. On one dive, we swam for a long time with a turtle! I loved learning to dive and will certainly continue diving into the future. I'm so glad I was introduced to scuba properly by the terrific folks at Big Blue! Great place to sleep and eat, good vibe. Everyone here is learning to scuba dive! 
 

Listen up all you techies and wannabes! Tomorrow afternoon we have a Re-Breather try dives running from lunch time, there are still a couple of spaces left, so get busy & get in touch! As we said before the cost is 1000bht but this will be refunded if you book onto a course. Tell your friends then apply here, walk ins will be accepted on the day :-)

Sunday 10th February 2013-

10

Just been looking at our Instructor Training stats for 2012. Due to the increased demand for SSI Instructors in South East Asia we've really boomed. Over the last year SSI have changed their Diver Master program  which makes it more dynamic focusing on dive safety, customer service including sales training while still keeping its high standards requiring the highest pass mark of any dive agency. This has clearly helped push the Instructor Training programs with the highest Crossovers, Instructor Training Courses and Instructor Upgrade programs ever run at Big Blue. The ITC also changed last year focusing more on the dive business and the dive industry as a whole. Once again SSI has set itself apart from other agencies by keeping the high passing grade of 90% or more. With all the above kept in mind we have had such a high demand for instructors coming though the ITCs. Dive centers all around the world are asking for SSI instructors due to the fact they are more aware of the dive business and what it takes to make a profit. Since the changes made to SSI pro levels we have 100% success rate at finding our new instructors work straight after they finish there internship. Just to mention a few: Jo, Anke, Billie, Rick, Donny, Big Ant, Little Ant, Ami, Ben, Daisy, Bobby, James, Nat, Tim, Rafa, all found work at Big Blue! Billie, Mia, Ne Tun, Serge, Cindy, Felix, Mark, Sara, Fin, Aj and many many more have found work outside of Big Blue, all the way around the world from New Zealand to the Caymans. Would also like to add a congratulations to Donny, Rick, Ludo, Big Ant, & Rick who all upgraded to Dive Control Specialty Instructor last year as well. Also a massive big up to Ne Tun for being the first Burmese SSI instructor and has now open the first SSI dive school in Burma. This year we have more of the same Planned. We have Dive Master courses starting everyday and we have Instructor Training Course starting every month on the 15th. If you want to join in send us an email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“BiG Blue”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 4, 2013 - My husband and I were absolutely stoked on our Big Blue Experience. We completed our Open Water diving course & enjoyed it so much we came back for our Advanced Course! Rick was our instructor for both courses and we loved him, he was professional, fun and still made you feel safe and confident as a diver. Learning to dive in Koh Tao at Big Blue was definitely the highlight of our month trip through Thailand. We highly recommend it!

Calling all Freelance Dive Instructors looking for work! Here is the new way to get yourself employed in Thailand. It’s a smart phone App with the goal to find instructors work. Down load the app to your phone. (it free for the next 3 month after that 50Bt per month). Then there will be a questionnaire for instructors to fill out Name, Area, Age, Languages, PADI, SSI, Spec, Dives, OW Certs, AOW Certs, Rescues Certs, Spec Certs, Etc etc etc, ie a diving CV. The dive shop then uses this questionnaire to find the instructors they need. They then click to call them. Once hired for that job they then are taken out of the Apps search engine. After they do the job the dive shop can fill in a review on the instructor. The better the review the high up the ranking that instructor will go and in the end show up 1st on the search. New sign ups to the App get put on top of the list for a couple of weeks to help them start out and get good reviews. Out on android NOW for Koh Tao. This will also be used for dive shops looking for full time staff. Pick the best instructor. This will be pushed for next high season in Phuket/Phi Phi and Khao Lak. This app will be out on Iphone in 3 months time. Definitely recommended!

Saturday 9th February 2012-

9

Look who's back! Sporting a nice tan & a new trim on top with short back sides & all scrubbed up with spit & polish!  Our oldest boat in our fleet Big Blue boat, now named Big Blue Tech Boat! Dedicated to our team of hardened explorers this boat is for the Tech Diving team who while away their hours at extreme depths for excessive periods of time exploring the bottom of the ocean in search of Wrecks. Shame the boat is back without their Illustrious leader James who's hopped it for a week of R& R in the Khao Sok National Park doing some Cave diving! Cool stuff these boys get into. Wreck, tech & caves, & with their very own boat! Interested in joining the team? Give us a holler This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Calling all aspiring marine conservationists! A very rare job opportunity has presented itself as we are looking to expand our marine conservation department. We are looking for a marine project scientist for a year minimum, in-country PAID position, to start ASAP. Essential requirements are: BSc in a relevant field (Masters preferred), Tropical marine fieldwork experience (previous experience in volunteer supervision preferred), Divemaster qualification or higher (any agency is fine, SSI preferred) with own equipment. Can show dedication to conservation and highly motivated. Duties will include: Volunteer supervision and training through our expedition conservation skill development program. Organising events and conservation activities such as artificial reef construction and beach and underwater clean-ups. Assist other Big Blue conservation staff and act as a role model and advocate for conservation. Assisting with reporting project updates and research. Maintenance of science equipment inventories and requesting re-supplies. Regular meetings with local stakeholders at the Save Koh Tao meetings. General training site maintenance and promotion. Personal benefits include: Author and co-author Big Blue Conservation publications and reports. Enhance research experience. Live on our beautiful tropical island as part of the Big Blue family. Diving opportunities and enhance your dive training. Liaise with local communities. If you think you have all this then please send a CV with a short explanation of yourself and career goals to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Great!!!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 4, 2013- I was in Koh Tao in November. I have to say it was more then definitely one of my favorite places in Thailand to go. its laid back but still is a good time. Big Blue was one of the reasons i loved Koh Tao. I had Billy as a instructor and he was awsome looked after our well being and made sure to point out all the good stuff. he was constantly checking up on us and assisting us in maintaining buoyancy. just an awesome guy. Really wish i got a Big Blue Shirt.

Friday 8th February 2013-

8 

What a fantastic day! We had 12 local school children come to Big Blue today to learn all about protecting the coral and fish, and about shark conservation too. When the kids arrived, we taught them some of the do's and don'ts of the ocean, and they even contributed some themselves, such as don't touch the coral, don't feed the fish and always wait an hour before going into the water after applying sunscreen. Then we had the chance to show them some mushroom coral specimens and for some of the kids, this was their first time seeing them! We also had a sea cucumber in our new classroom tanks, which made quite an impression when it nearly climbed out of the tank. Next, the kids helped us support shark conservation by colouring in their own Stanley Shark (www.sharkdefenders.com) and we took them down to the beach to have a photograph which we will now send to officials who decide which shark species to protect from international trade. All the kids had a fantastic day and I'm pleased to say I could see some budding marine biologists in the group! See you soon kids, and remember - save the seas!!

“The Best”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advsior February 6, 2013 - We stayed at Big Blue when we were getting SCUBA certified for 3 days. We stayed in a private room with two beds and it was wonderful. It was simple, clean, and had a shower. It was a few steps to the restaurant and bar and a few more steps to the beach. It was perfect! They also offer dorm type rooms and everyone we talked to said they were clean, safe, and had a bathroom. Our diving experience was also great! Our instructor Tim was awesome! Our class time didn't feel like a chore and our dive time was amazing. I always felt safe and taken care of, all the diving staff loves what they do and they really know there stuff. The only bummer was that we didn't get to see a whale shark:( Nothing we could do about that though... The restaurant had wonderful food (the best pad thai I had in Thailand) and was decently priced for the area. The staff was amazing and the facility was first rate. They made all of us feel welcome and always took care of our needs. I want to go back now! 
 
 Manta rays are in serious trouble. Both manta ray species are classified by the IUCN as Vulnerable to extinction, and their populations are rapidly declining due to the growing international trade in the gill rakers mantas use to filter food from water. We need to stop the gill raker trade before it's too late for mantas,
and this year we have a very special opportunity. In early March - one month from now - manta rays will be considered for trade protections under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It is  imperative that we get this vote passed. If we miss this chance, thousands more mantas will be lost to the international gill raker trade before the next CITES vote in 2016. Mantas can't afford to wait another three years for the next CITES meeting, and neither can we. Please donate today and your gift will be DOUBLED to better help protect these beautiful animals from extinction.

Thursday 7th February 2013-

7

Sail Rock. The Gulf of Thailands best Divesite. Max depth: 40m- A real open water site, Sail Rock can be found equidistant between Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Not suitable for complete beginners, Sail Rock is considered to be one of the best sites in the Gulf of Thailand. Comprising one large granite rock pinnacle, which stands 15m above sea level and drops off to a max depth of 30m and outer lying smaller pinnacles, it thoroughly deserves the 2 dives we make at the site every Full Day trip we do. The famous feature of Sail Rock is ‘The Chimney’ - a large vertical swim through which can be accessed at 5m, 12m and 18m. Inside you will find wonderful clam and coral formations, dancing shrimp and much more. A full circuit of the whole rock takes approx 35 - 40 minutes & en route you will encounter mountain ranges, cascading coral gardens, vertical walls and delightful gullies. The marine life at Sail Rock abounds, with the smaller coral fish - Blue Ringed Angel Fish, Banner Fish and Butterfly Fish to name a few, found closer to the rock. The larger pelagics - Chevron Barracuda, Whale Shark and Sail Fish - can be found cruising the deep blue, just out from the rock. When conditions permit a whole dive can be made at The Secret Pinnacle which lies east of the main rock and delights with Giant Grouper, huge schools of Spanish Mackerel and Big Eyed Trevally. The favourite site of all our dive team, Sail Rock deservedly maintains its position as the No 1 dive site from Koh Tao. A Full Day Trip to Sail Rock is a must!

“Unbelievable Experience!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 1, 2013- I never expected to become so addicted and hooked so quick!I just finished my SSI course a day two days ago, and already want to go back and dive more. If you're going to Koh Tao and diving, Big Blue is the place, and DAISY is the instructor you want! She not only made the academics fun, she made the whole experience exciting and more than fun! Daisy made sure we were all comfortable and showed us not only the technical side of diving but the fun, and out of this world side. All of the staff at Big Blue are friendly and helpful, making the whole experience an unforgettable one. The instructor to student ratio is low, and its an all around awesome experience. I highly recommend Big Blue Diving (and Daisy), you wont regret it! This experience is going to be tough to impossible to top! Thanks Daisy!

Start your SSI Advanced Diver Program the easy way. Have you ever been out on a boat dive with friends exploring a new dive site and upon surfacing discovered that the boat wasn’t quite where you thought it was? Perhaps you’ve been interacting with schools of fish but never really known what type of fish they were … or what they did at night? Maybe you’ve been to dive sites that go deeper than you’re allowed to go and wondered what it’d be like to dive a little deeper? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions then you’d definitely find our SSI Advanced Adventurer program an enjoyable and educational experience. SSI Advanced Adventurer program is designed to give you an insight into 5 areas of scuba diving and best of all there is no theory or exams to worry about – just a pre-dive safety brief by your SSI Instructor and then you’re off and diving! SSI Advanced Adventurer program will improve your skills & introduce you to: Buoyancy control : Diving at night : Diving from a boat : Navigation : Diving in low visibility :  Wreck Diving & Deeper diving. The program is divided up into 5 dives over one weekend costs just 8500 Bt & for an additional 60 baht you can even buy your Instructor a beer for having had such an awesome time!

Tuesday 5th February 2013-

5

 

 As predicted by the self proclaimed " Worlds Best Divemaster" DM Steven there was a Whaleshark at Twins this morning! And swimming really shallow in about just 5 meters of water.About time too. We haven't had a whaleshark round here for at least a week! One of the biggest fish in the sea lives off the smallest fish in the sea. And seeing a creature thats at least 5 meters in size in just a depth of 5 meters as well makes this particular encounter with the whaleshark today one of our most memorable yet! See Divemaster Steven to book your next Whaleshark dive!

“Completely Addictive!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor  January 30, 2013 - I was diving with Big Blue a couple of weeks ago and it is by far the best place to learn. My instructor was Daisy and she was amazing. She made everything fun and exciting, even the academics! and without her I don't think the experience would have been anywhere near as good. I was there with my boyfriend and although we only intended to stay and do the open water course we got hooked and stayed on to do the advanced and were lucky enough to get Daisy for that as well. The groups are small, no more than 6 people, ours was 5 and then 4 and it is ran without fault. I would recommend big blue in a heart beat and can't wait to go back!! Best thing about my trip in Thailand by miles! x

Another massive net again on Chumphon Pinnacles here on Koh Tao. Our best divesite! This is becoming an all to regular sight on protected reefs. Thai Fisheries Dept should pay massive fines and a clearance fee if they themselves can not control these individual fishing boats. The buck has to stop somewhere!! Hearing too many stories of officials in the pockets of the big fishing fleets & witnessing ourselves the masses of fishing boats around Koh Tao which supposedly has a 12.5 kilometer no fishing zone. Its just not on & we feel like there's nothing we can do as the people we are supposed to notify of this kind of thing are the same people that let this kind of thing happen in the first place! Mother fathers! Rant over but still pissed!

Monday 4th February 2013-

4

Well looks like we might have just found the perfect couple to spearhead our new 2013 goal of launching Big Blue Freediving (again!) This time we've pushed the boat out a little & gone & found ourselves 2 World Freediving Champions! Flavia Eberhard from Brazil, their national record holder who's been as deep as 70meters & can last 6 minutes on just one breath. Pepe Arcos from Spain has won numerous Gold medals and has been as deep as 90 meters, can swim 179 meters in a pool & can last just over 6 minutes on 1 breath. They are also AIDA International Judges so will be organising Koh Tao's 1st Freediving competitions once we get the ball rolling! Looking good guys. Just got to decide on the name- Big Blue FreeDiving or Big Blue Breathold. Oh the agony of choice.

“Excellent teachers, great experience”  Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 31, 2013 - Came here to get certified and could not have had a better experience. *Endless* thanks to my Open Water instructor, Guy. Anyone thinking about learning to dive - I highly recommend coming to Big Blue and doing your Open Water course with him. Before I started his class I expected to find diving somewhat daunting, but I quickly forgot that because he made it all so fun and easy. He manages to point out your mistakes in a way that ensures you'll never make them again, but he does so without making you feel like a complete idiot. Really appreciated that! He's also just a fun person to hang out with. Our group tried to find him before we left but sadly we couldn't, so Guy, if this gets back to you, thank you again! I'm so glad I finally got certified, I love diving, and I know I'll be doing much more of it in the future. I also did the Advanced course and with Rick as my instructor, and he was great too. Very cool and knowledgeable and led our group on a night dive, which was a truly amazing experience. 
 

Still looking for a couple with experience in the Dive Industry to run our new venture that I'm not allowed to talk about yet cos officially it aint happening but between me & you & anyone else reading this post is happening! Our plan is to take over an existing resort in one of ASAI's undiscovered Diving jewels! The succesful candidates will be totally in charge of the Dive resort the accommodation the restaurant & the bar. They need knowledge of the Dive industry & need to be extremely self motivated & hard working. This won't be an easy job but it will be a rewarding one! Management couple sought for position in paradise! Reckon you fit the bill? email me your CV's & any questions you might have- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.