Big Blue Diving - Koh Tao - Thailand - September
September

September (44)

Monday, 23 September 2013 09:33

September 23rd 2013

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Big Blue Professional Training

Are you sick to death of the daily grind, probably sat in a souless office with artificial lighting, artificial air and surrounded by people you are forced to get along with that, in any other universe you'd go out of your way to avoid? Ever thought about just jacking it all in, getting on a plane and doing something completely different? If you answered yes to both of those questions then you are in good company, loads of people who live on Koh Tao were in the same boat! So Why not do something about it and become a dive professional? Here at Big Blue we can train you all the way from open water diver, up to Divemaster and instructor. As a PADI or SSI divemaster you can then get paid to take qualified divers around some of the best dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand, and as an SSI instructor you can teach people how to dive, which can be really rewarding. Our Dive Master Training programme (DMT) can be completed in as little as three weeks, to 3 months, and We have 6 very experienced and friendly mentors that will help you through every aspect of your training. You'll also meet loads of like-minded people from all over the world going through the same experiences as you. Need any more persuading? Ok then, have a look at the weekly highlights video on our Big Blue Diving youtube channel, and then realise- that's your new office!

Divemaster training

“Relaxed and friendly but also very professional dive company - we loved Skui and Rich!!!”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 21 September 2013- We arrived in Koh Tao already confident that we wanted to dive with Big Blue. Their previous ratings on Trip Advisor speak for themselves - but we had such a fantastic experience with them that I feel compelled to write another review! I already had my PADI Open water diving qualification - but having not used it for 5 years I was a little rusty and in dire need of a refresher course, and my boyfriend had never dived before but was really keen to learn. When we rocked up at Big Blue he was delighted to learn that he could start his open water course that evening, my refresher course was scheduled for the following afternoon. Unfortunately, their bungalow accommodation was already full so we had to look for an alternative so I couldn't comment at all on the quality of the rooms available though friends on our dive courses mentioned that the dorms were basic but sociable. After my refresher course with the jovial Dave and a couple of lovely guys, they mentioned that they were going on to do the Advanced Open Water course over the following 2 days. Comprising of 5 dives that could include 'Deep Dive', 'Navigation', 'Advanced Buoyancy', 'Night Dive', 'Underwater Photography', 'Fish Identification' and 'Wreck Diving' the price of the course was fairly similar to doing a few fun dives and since I feel I like to be challenged and learn new skills I opted to join them! Rich, my instructor, was fantastic. He had a cool, reassuring manner that really put me at ease whenever I was a little anxious. He was so positive and excited at the end of each of our dives, I got the impression that he quite enjoyed working with our little 3 man group - perhaps because none of us were prone to do anything daft! I can't rate Rich highly enough for all his encouragement! Nathan had a great experience with Skui too, she was supremely knowledgable but also really relaxed and added a fun element to the nitty-gritty of training! I laughed out loud when I found out about her system of 'beer fines' to chastise the group for saying 'flippers' and 'goggles' and making the thumbs-up sign underwater when they really meant okay! Both guys were fantastic, they hung-out with us students in the evenings and helped us fill out our diving logbooks, even joining us for a few 'cheeky beers' when the course was complete! We both gained SSI Qualifications with Big Blue - which is their preferred teaching method - but they also offer PADI courses which are a little more expensive owing to the need for you to purchase the PADI text books. The dive sites themselves we lovely, some really interesting chorals and great big shoals of fish, there are also turtles and whale sharks to be seen regularly in the area too - not by me mind you, and for that I fully blame Rich! ;P The restaurant and bar attached to Big Blue was great too. Brilliant for getting a hearty lunch before going off out on the boats - or for providing some much needed stodge when you returned! Try the pizzas if you fancy something Western, they're ace, or the BBQ grilled fish, delicious - though it does feel a little cruel chowing down on a Barracuda when you've been swimming around with them all day?! I would certainly suggest Big Blue diving to anyone visiting Koh Tao. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced veteran this dive company has something to excite everyone and enhance your learning (they also offer advanced tech diving, nitrox and skin diving if you're that way inclined!) They are reliable, all of the staff are supremely friendly and for me the huge selling point was having the security of instructors who spoke exceptional English - I would've felt seriously 'out of my depth' pardon the pun and frightened if I didn't fully understand the teaching aspect. I hope one day I'll go back to Big Blue, if not, I certainly hope you do!!!

Abbott Abolishes Climate Commission

Not satisfied with allowing the Great Barrier Reef to be dredged to provide a shipping "superhighway", Australia's incoming prime minister has now abolished the Climate Commission, a body set up in 2011 to provide information on the impacts of climate change to the Australian public. This will make it more difficult for people to get independent information on climate change that is not slanted by vested interests. It's also quite timely for this to happen, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is due to release it's latest report on the impacts of climate change, which will outline how increasing emissions of CO2 from man-made activities are continuing to warm the planet at an alarming rate. Oceans are warming, and CO2 is also making them more acidic as it dissolves into seawater. This is already having an effect on marine life ecosystems. The waters around Koh Tao contain some of the world's most amazing coral habitats, and as ocean temperatures increase they will be at risk of bleaching, which kills them. Big Blue Conservation is working closly with the Thai Government and the local community to monitor the coral reefs, but ultimately this is a global problem that will be difficult to deal with as long as politicians continue to do nothing to reduce CO2 emissions. 

Saturday, 21 September 2013 12:42

September 21st 2013

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Recreational Rebreather
The tech shack is all excited this morning as they are due to receive their latest toy, a Poseidon MKVI rebreather. This probably means nothing to you or me but to James it's like Christmas has arrived early without having to leave any mince pies out! Rebreathers differ from normal scuba diving in that, instead of breathing air from a tank that gets steadily depleted, the rebreather has a chemical scrubber that removes the carbon dioxide from your exhaled breath. The rebreather also injects the oxygen that you used in the previous breath.... still with me? The advantages are that it enables you to stay down much longer than on a conventional dive, and there are no bubbles, so marine animals are less freaked out by your presence, making photography and videography much more interesting. The reason that James is all excited (apart from the fact that he's a geek), is that this is the first rebreather that is aimed at recreational divers, as opposed to technical divers. So simple to use in fact, that James will be able to teach you how to use it! Keep an eye on our website and Big Blue Tech's facebook page to find out more about the Poseidon rebreather course.

Poseiden rebreather

“Great Service And Dive Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 17 September 2013- From the booking to our AOW course to our final day, we enjoyed a very pleasant stay at the Big Blue Diving Resort. I booked one of the packages for AOW + 10 fun dives and the staff was very helpful about sending me instructions for pickup and how to book transport to Koh Tao from Bangkok. I later got a middle ear injury while diving and the staff were also kind enough to allow my boyfriend use of some of my fun dives because I wasn't able to complete them. The courses themselves were as fine as could be. We had some pleasant instructors and divemasters, service was professional but friendly and the equipment also seemed to be well maintained.
The restaurant on the resort is also a highlight. It's priced mid-range but the portions are larger than other restaurants in the area. My favorite was the red curry with prawn and pineapple. One booking recommendation though is actually to not book too much at first. I had already paid for 10 fun dives but didn't get to do 5 of them and lost a bit of money on that. Plus we had to stay longer than the 7 nights free accommodation to finish the diving package so that ended up costing more too. I'd recommend booking courses and fun dives as you go along because the savings of booking everything together actually isn't that great and you'll end paying more if something like an unexpected injury happens.


Seahorses!
They are one of the cutest things in the ocean, and luckily for us they live all over the Gulf of Thailand. Seahorses are pretty rare, so they are very high on the list of any divemaster's animals to look out for during a dive. Sadly they are now endangered because of habitat destruction and overfishing. They are also sought after to be used in Chinese medicine, with an estimated 20 million being caught and sold for this purpose every year. So the Save Koh Tao marine branch has organised a presentation on the local seahorse population, so as to educate divers and locals on how to protect them. The presentation will be given by Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh tomorrow (22nd September) at 18:30, at the Government health office (2nd floor) in Mae haad (where the pier is). Big Blue Conservation will be there, and so should you!

Friday, 20 September 2013 08:13

September 20th 2013

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September Full moon Party
Well it's that time of the month again, Koh Panghan's full moon party was in full swing last night, and even though the weather wasn't amazing you can guarantee all sorts of craziness occurred. Today at Big Blue we will receive some of the casualties that managed to make their way out of there, still dazed and covered in paint and day-glo shorts and singlets (that's vest in English!). But tomorrow will be busy busy busy across the whole of Koh Tao, and our instructors will be braced to teach a lot of spaced out people how to dive! We have a range of accommodation for people diving, from nice cheap dormatories, to bungalows, all the way up to air an conditioned villa. Some of the dorms are free on the days that you dive, and all the other accommodation is heavily discounted for the days you dive too. One bit of advice, book ahead.. in fact that's such a useful piece of advice i'll say it again.. BOOK AHEAD!! Just go on the big blue website, have a look around, decide on the accommodation you'd like and the type of course you'd like to do, and we'll reserve your room and be expecting you with smiles aplenty! We teach PADI, SSI, BSAC and TDI courses, and our fun diving is easily the best on Koh Tao. So have a look at our trip adviser reviews and get on over here!

“Great diving experience with great instructor!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 18 September 2013- If you're heading to Koh Tao, diving is a must and Big Blue is the spot. My friends and I are really happy we went here. Your instructor can make or break your experience, and Nat made ours so awesome. We were pretty nervous about taking the open water course, but Nat made the whole experience so fun that we decided to continue on to get our advanced certification with her, as well! Best decision for sure. If you're thinking about diving, definitely go with Big Blue and request Natalie W (Nat).

Great barrier reef

Dredging the Great Barrier Reef
Pretty sad news from Australia, only 24 hours in as prime minister, Tony Abbott has allowed dredging to go ahead in order to create Australia's newest shipping highway, Abbott point, better known as the Great Barrier Reef! Completely disregarding the World Heritage Classification or UNESCO protection, dredging company Rinehart is removing 3 MILLION cubic meters of the worlds most diverse, largest living organism and ecosystem, only to build the largest coal export terminal. We are going to lose one of the worlds truly precious gems to a temporary and damaging "solution". The Great Barrier Reef will no longer exist because of Abbotts desire for CSG export income. This is something that we are seriously concerned about at Big Blue and Big Blue Conservtation. If you care about the oceans, please get the word out about it to this to show your support for saving natures gift to the world. Wake UP Australia, and spread the word.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 10:17

September 18th 2013

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Certificate of Tech-cellence (See what I did there..)

If you were planning on heading down to Big Blue Tech to have a word with the boys about something or other, you may want to bring some grease, as James's head has swelled and is currently blocking the door! The reason, a fantastic email that one of his students sent to TDI as feedback from the Intro to Tech course she recently completed at Big Blue, that TDI then made into a very swish looking certificate of excellence. Asked about the certificate, James, 43, said "I barely even remember her because of all the medication i'm on, but I do remember she was very weird, but I must have done something right".. ok he didn't really say that! He actually said "It's really nice to be recognised for doing a job I love, by both my student and the training agency- TDI. Technical diving is a passion of mine, and another good thing about teaching it is that I get to meet all sorts of interesting people with different backgrounds from all over the world, so i'm very chuffed to receive the certificate". He's about as down to earth as it gets our James, his head is definitely the same misshapen mess it always was, he's not on any medication that we know of, and he's not (quite) 43! What he is, is a very experienced and accomplished TDI technical dive instructor, who will have you laughing as much as learning, in the waters around Koh Tao and Khao Sok National Park. So if you don't know what technical diving is, would like to find out more, or already know that you want to sign up for some very challenging fun, go to the tech shack and talk to James and Ian.

Big Blue Tech certificate of excellence TDI

“Incredible place to learn to dive”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 17 September 2013- Big Blue offer the perfect blend of reassuring professionalism and easy goingness that make for such a brilliant place to learn to dive with. Our wonderful instructor Chloe made us feel in safe hands the entire way whilst still gradually instilling a confidence over the course of the Open Water and Advanced courses that meant I couldn't wait to get back in the water every time we went out on the boat! I'd definitely recommend doing the Advanced course too, the night dive was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and the five extra dives with dive computer and compass just generally make you feel so much more ready to take on the underwater world!

Blackfish Documentary

A very powerful and emotive documentary, Blackfish focuses on the captivity of the killer whale Tilikum, kept at Seaworld in the US, who was involved in the deaths of three individuals. The film scrutinises the consequences of keeping such large and intelligent animals in captivity, and begins with coverage of Tilikum's capture in 1983 off the coast of Iceland, showing how he was harassed by fellow captive whales and left in dark tanks for hours. Incidents that the film argues, contributed to the whale's aggression. If you are in any way passionate about the ocean, and conservation of the marine life it contains, Blackfish is a must see film. Big Blue Conservation will be showing a screening of Blackfish at the Big Blue Conservation lab (date and time to be confirmed), but be warned, you'll probably need to bring some own kleenex. It would actually be great to get the local residents of Koh Tao involved in this and have Thai subtitles for the film... something for Save Koh Tao to arrange! You can view the trailer here.

Monday, 16 September 2013 13:31

September 16th 2013

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Big Blue Freediving Review

It's always good to read about the experiences of people who visit Koh Tao, and hear what they think of this beautiful island some of us are lucky enough to call home. With the ease at which people can now publish to a wide audience via online blogs, It seems to be getting more and more common that they want to share their experiences. It's even better when the person doing the travel writing happens to visit Big Blue, go freediving with our instructors Pepe and Flavia, and have a great time! Chris quit his job in the UK, went travelling around the world seeking surfing and adventure, and found Big Blue along the way. His account of his time progressing through the SSI freediving courses is up on his blog at backpackerbanter.com, and it's really interesting and informative. Thanks for the good vibes Chris! You can read it all here.

learn-to-freedive-koh-tao

“Excellent experience”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 13 September 2013- Just finished the advanced course at big blue Koh Tao and it was perfect. We had a small group of 6 with two highly experienced instructors, Ant and Stevo. They were so nice and professional. Had a much better experience than a different club I used last year here in the island when I did my open waters. Thank you guys for a wonderful experience!

Turtles May See the World in Super Slo-Mo

Did you ever wonder why, when you try and swat a fly, nine times out of ten it evades you? Researchers at university College Dublin also wondered this recently, and concluded that it's because the fly sees you like Neo in the Matrix sees the bullets coming towards him- in slow motion! It's all because of how much information the brain takes in per second. For small insects like a fly, they process a huge amount of information per second and need to react to that information quickly to avoid being eaten. Whilst leatherback turtles primarily eat slow moving jellyfish, and also have slow metabolisms, so they don't need to invest in high-speed visual processing equipment (evolutionarily speaking- not Dixons!). We see Greenback turtles and Hawkesbill turtles all the time here on Koh Tao, with the most common dive site for seeing them being White Rock (two seen at the same time recently on a SSI Advanced Adventurer night dive!). As long as people dive responsibly and watch them from a distance, they are quite happy to carry on foraging away for food without a care in the world. Who knew that they're actually pretending to be in the matrix! 

Sunday, 15 September 2013 13:48

September 15th 2013

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Picture worth a thousand words

Meet Big Blue's head divemaster Steven DeVelter. We love him dearly. Thought to be in his mid-thirties (or forties), a little bit mangy- I don't know why but he's not showing off. Also said to be distantly related to Charles bronson by blood and Burt Reynolds by marriage. Universally loved by his colleagues and his fun diver customers, he'll do anything for you; he once rang me to to tell me that "your lost wallet has been found on Sairee beach and handed in. There's no money in it but two condoms- who the hell do you think you are?"- typically bizarre of any conversation with him. He organises all five of our dive boats- Banzai, Waverunner, Ao Meung, Big Blue and Porponawa (the exclusive fun diver only boat). He decides when they go out, which divesites they go to, and how many regulators, masks, tanks, weights and weight belts will be needed. He also whips the other divemasters into shape (along with a few instructors from time to time). It may all be getting to him a little bit but decide for yourselves. Have a look at the photo below, do you think he left a fork in the knife draw or forgot to record Montel Williams? We'll put this photo up on our Big Blue facebook page, and would like you to comment on what you think he's thinking or saying. Personally, I think he was remembering that it's Charles Manson that he's related to, not Bronson!

Steven DeVelters

“Great Dive Resort + Awesome Instructors (PETRA)”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 11 September 2013- My boyfriend and I recently completed the Open Water course at Big Blue and our only regret is that we couldn't stay for the advanced course. We had an amazing time staying at/diving with Big Blue and learning from our awesome instructor Petra. We stayed at Big Blue while we were diving - our accommodations were pretty basic, but they were free every night we dived so no complaints. The diving experience was awesome. Petra was a phenomenal instructor and we felt completely comfortable diving with her. Her pre-dive training more than prepared us for our first open water dive and we loved the experience. Great Job Big Blue and Petra!

Ugliest fish in the ocean?

Here on Koh Tao, it almost goes without saying that we're really lucky in having such a huge anmount of variety in terms of marine life, right on our doorstep. The animals that inhabit the Gulf of Thailand are as varied as they are abundant. What catches your eye when diving, and what you find beautiful are obviously very subjective; I could sit and watch razor fish do their weird synchronised vertical dance for hours, but I'll not even give a second glance to Nudibranchs- the divemaster's favourite. It's probably fair to say that most people find triggerfish pretty unattractive. But in the ugly stakes, I don't think there's anything in the waters around Koh Samui, Koh panghan or Koh Tao that could compare with the blobfish (see photo below- you can't miss it!) It's been given the unofficial title of world's ugliest animal by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, recently announced at a science-themed comedy night at the science festival in the UK. It's all a bit tongue in cheek (no offence blob fish!), but it has a more serious aim, which is to highlight threatened species- even if they are aesthetically challenged, rather than the cute and cuddly species that usually draw attention such as pandas. It all falls on deaf ears to Big Blue Conservation's head honcho Lizzie though, as in her eyes everything in the ocean is beautiful!

blobfish

Saturday, 14 September 2013 10:25

September 14th 2013

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Spring Cleaning

In the ever changing landscape of social networks like MyFace and SpaceBook it can be quite easy to get left behind. Not us, though! Here at Big Blue we're doing some late summer, early autumn, pre-winter spring-cleaning of our online accounts so that they're are all shiny and user friendly! It's called "brand alignment" apparently. As well as emails, snail mail, and phonecalls, you can also stay in touch with us on:

  • Facebook - our biggest network, for all the latest student photos, diving videos, full day trips, and of course not forgetting the regular updates of "which style dress Simon Garrity is wearing in this photo?"
  • Twitter - Follow @BigBlueDivingKT for regular updates on diving conditions, local weather, news & features, all in 140 characters or less!
  • Google+ - For those not on Facebook who still like to stay in touch, or for those fancy people on both Facebook and G+, we'll be posting the latest videos, pictures, and news direct to the Big Blue page.

So get liking, following, and adding us to circles. Keep an eye out in the very near future as we'll be running some contests to get your hands on some much sought-after Big Blue merchandise!

Google  Facebook Twitter big blue diving

“Best Dive Team On Koh Tao!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 11 September 2013- This place is AWESOME. You have half a million options of shops to dive with on koh tao, and these guys are by far the best. Great equipment, comfy boats, cheap open water courses, cheap dives, great food, fire spinning every night, knowledgeable staff, better than anything I coulda asked for. For me what really makes a dive shop are the people who lead you. Since all the divesites will be the same no matter what company you book with, having skilled divemasters who know how to find hidden sea creatures, know the names of EVERYTHING in the sea, know the animals swimming patterns (we saw a WHALE SHARK today. TWICE. Only because our divemaster knew the way they swim, we were able to get up close to the majestic animal.), and are cheerful, fun and funny people. This place has all that in spades. Special shout out to James who knew a ton about whale sharks and steven who's a funny, practical, and smart dive guide.

More good news for sharks
Following recent news that a number of Hong Kong airlines have banned the import of shark fins, now the Hong Kong Government has joined in! They have announced a ban on shark fin soup at Government sponsored events in order to "set a good example". They have also banned Government employees from consuming shark fin soup at functions hosted outside of Government! Now considering that Hong Kong is the global hub of shark fin imports, this is a big deal! Big Blue Conservation will be watching events closely to see what else gives in the coming months. In the meantime we'll continue to educate all our fun divers, open water students, and dive professional trainees about conservation and being a responsible diver that also sets a good example.

Thursday, 12 September 2013 11:44

September 12th 2013

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Whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle!

It's all gone a bit whaleshark crazy here at Big Blue. We haven't seen a whaleshark in a couple of weeks, and then one appeared on the Sail rock full day trip 2 days ago, and another one at Chumphon pinnacle yesterday morning, thus proving the point that whalesharks are like buses.. you wait around and nothing, then 2 come along! Lots of happy instructors, divemasters and instructors here at the moment, which is especially tormenting for the people that didn't sign up for the boat and missed it! See, sitting on the beach drinking mojitos and reading the latest Dan Brown book about how the Vikings built the ark out of lego (and therefore also invented lego) is not all it's cracked up to be.. Get out diving! You can sign up for the fun diving boat in the Big Blue office, we go out twice a day- 2 dives in the morning, 2 in the afternoon, and we go to the best dive sites in and around Koh Tao; Chumphon pinnacle, Sail rock, White rock, Samran pinnacle, Green rock, Chumphon Marine Park, the Trident and Sattakut wrecks, and please feel free to request a dive site with a day or two's notice, and we'll make it happen.

Whaleshark big blue diving chumphon sail rock

“Is that a Shark ?!”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 9 September 2013- Well i´m home.. :( Just got back from Thailand where i spent a few weeks. One of which was really good spent on Kho Tao learning and diving with Big Blue. It was a really nice and interesting experience. All the instructors are nice and helpful (and they really appreciate it if you wave to them all the time :P). You get to chose from a variety of languages but English is the most used language and they all speak it perfectly. Petra, our instructor, really had a knack for teaching. Real funny girl that transforms into a real siren when underwater. All in all a very pleasant experience that i would repeat. I´m actually thinking of taking some months off and joining the Dive Master program over there.. If you´re wondering what with the title well.. if you are among the really lucky ones, you could get to see a big freakin´ whale shark during your training. Speaking of.. also doing the Advanced Open Water is a must. THERE you get to see and learn the really cool stuff. Safe diving.

Reduction in shark fin imports

Big news on the fight against shark finning, a number of airlines and shipping companies in Hong Kong have caved in to pressure from campaigners to ban the import of shark fins on any of their flights and ships! Emirates, Quantas and Air New Zealand have agreed to a total ban, whilst Cathay Pacific has said it will only carry shark fins from sustainable sources (sounds a little dubious). Two major shipping lines have also announced they will no longer carry shark fins. Hong Kong is a global hub for the trade, previously importing roughly half of the world's harvest of fins. The ban has already seen imports reduce by 30%! The fight continues and we'll only be satisfied until that figure is up to 100% But it's definitely progress. Big Blue Conservation will continue to work with the Thai Government, local fishermen and other organisations to reduce finning and educate the simple fact that sharks are worth way way more to their economy alive in the form of tourist dollars.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013 10:32

September 11th 2013

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Big Blue Youtube Channel

Did you know that Big Blue Diving has it's own youtube channel? Well now you do! It's your chance to see what our instructors, divemasters and customers see every day diving around Koh Tao. Groupers, trevally, turtles, barracuda, batfish, mantis shrimp, scorpion fish, trigger fish, crocodile fish, whalesharks, the odd pilot whale and minke whale... I could go on but it's much better to see these beautiful animals than talk about them! We work closely with Ace Marine images to film open water courses, promotional events, Big Blue Conservation projects, and big events such as the swim for sharks charity extravaganza. So every day they get great footage of the best that the Gulf of Thailand has to offer. Recently a sailfish was spotted (I also saw one a couple of months ago actually jump out of the water), and there were rumours yesterday of bull sharks being back at Sail rock- i'll believe it when we get photographic evidence! Anyway, have a look at youtube and then book your flight tickets.. we'll pick you up from the pier! http://www.youtube.com/user/BigBlueDiving (p.s. It's a clown trigger fish in the photo!)

Big Blue Diving Ace Marine images Clown Triggerfish

“Great experience with Big Blue”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 8 September 2013- On recommendation of a friend, my boyfriend and I completed our Open Water diving course here in August 2013 and feel we hit on a real winner- Instructors: all very friendly and all either were English or spoke perfect English. They obviously cater for a number of different nationalities, allowing for people to get the best instruction possible. Neil, our instructor, was very thorough and as a result I felt very comfortable in the water. He also made the dives fun and enjoyable and clearly loved his job and diving, which bred enthusiasm in the group! - Group sizes: very small, with a maximum of 6 people per instructor. - Location: great spot on the well appointed Sairee Beach. Plenty of dining/drinking spots on the beach and in the village too, all within 5 mins walk of BB. - Rooms: reduced price when diving with the company. Very basic room, with no A/C but at £6 a night for a double room this seemed very reasonable.
- Free transfer from ferry to site upon arrival.

Mid-Ocean Recycling
How do you rid the ocean of all the plastic that has been dumped since plastic was invented? Well one possible answer seems to have come from nowhere, with clogs on! A Dutch student- Boyan Slat, has come up with the ingenious but simple idea of having a floating boom tethered to the sea bed, that would suck in any plastic that floats by, whilst allowing plankton and fish to pass harmlessely through it. The plastic would be periodically removed for recycling and the machine would even be self sufficient by harnessing energy from the Sun and waves. Pretty clever stuff eh. Marine animals die when they either get caught in plastic, or eat it. On koh Tao we have occassionally found dead turtles with plastic in their throats, which is both sad and frustrating. Big Blue Conservation organises regular beach and underwater clean ups, but it is a never ending job, so anything that could (excuse the pun) turn the tide against plastic is very welcome.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 10:03

September 10th 2013

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Big Blue Tech Photoshoot

What's the point in sitting in the tech shack all day servicing equipment and making it look all shiny, if you're not going to show it off once in a while? So, with that in mind, James Foleheleher- the only man I know that can fall asleep standing up, and Ian Jordan- the only man I know that could probably make me fall asleep standing up, decided to grab their fanciest twinsets and head to Chumphon pinnacle and the Sattakut wreck for a photoshoot. Filmed by divemaster Andy in his sidemount set up, and Big Blue Conservations's Lizzie filming Andy (this is getting confusing now), they set about bringing sexy back with all manner of underwater moves and poses that would put Derek Zoolander to shame. If you've never heard of technical diving, it's a form of scuba diving that allows you to go beyond the recreational depth limit of 40m, and also trains you to go into decompression. This opens up the doors to learn proper procedures for wreck diving and cave diving. Big Blue Tech teaches TDI and BSAC courses, for any kind of technical diving that you wish to pursue. You just have to put up with a pair of underwater posers that can't turn right! 

Big blue tech sattakut

“Big Blue- Scuba Nirvana!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 8 September 2013- Stayed and dived with Big Blue at the end of August- i already had my PADI OW and Adventure Diver and my boyfriend wanted to complete his, the plan being to do some fun dives together once he was done. I ended up being welcomed into his group, who had all decided to stay on to do their Advanced and fulfil the remaining dives i needed to also receive my Advanced. Rich, our instructor was great- really enthusiastic and so helpful as well as generally being a lot of fun. We did some brilliant dives, including the night dive and deep dive which were some of our faves. The vibe at Big Blue is so chilled, matching that of the whole of Koh Tao- my favourite Thai island. This is my second trip here and Koh Tao will always be a place i want to return to, with Big Blue being added to that. You can really see how people get sucked in and want to stay here, much like instructor Rich...go and find out for yourself: Accommodation is brill and discounted on dive days so great for budgeting...the courses are really reasonably priced too and worth every penny. The staff are all super friendly and you'll fall in love with the Big Blue dogs who seem to love being walloped with a flip flop! And to top it all off, the sunsets here are the most beautiful, and can be enjoyed after an awesome day of diving with Big Blue x x x

Deep Oceans Are Out of This World

The Gulf of Thailand is pretty shallow as far as oceans are concerned. If you were to travel from Suratthani or Chumphon, to Koh Samui or Koh Tao, it doesn't get any deeper than 55 metres, and the average depth would be more like 25-30 metres. That's perfect for recreational diving, and the deeper bits are perfect for technical divers. Any deeper than 55m and you'd have to travel quite far East into the South China Sea, there 80 metres is possible. Now compare these depths to the deep open ocean. The average depth of the Atlantic Ocean is 3,339m, the Titanic sits at 3,784m! The deepest point of the entire ocean is the Marianas Trench, lying 10,911km deep! Pretty mind blowing stuff, and definitely a little bit beyond even the craziest scuba diver. But these numbers are nothing when we start to look up into the sky. The deepest ocean in the solar system is thought to be on Jupiter's moon Europa. Are you sitting down?... good. Do you have a friend with smelling salts at the ready? ok ok- covered in a thick sheet of ice at the surface, it's thought to be 99 kilometres deep! Now considering we've only been to the deepest point in our ocean twice, i'd say there's a little bit more exploring to do out there!

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