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January 2008

Thursday 31st 2008

2008-01-31I reckon for those of you have been here before, you would all be very impressed with the fantastic display of Greenery & Concrete that we have been able to place over the Poonama Canal. P'Nen has been working the boys hard to ensure the vines do the right type of wrapping & ravelling & the supports for the concrete are strong enough to hold the weight of Canada & his oversized mean machine.

Apparently Hannah is off! No one tells me anything! She's off to sort some stuff out back in the Mother Country & then flying down under to her Dave, the deepsea diving lobster catcher to live the life fantastic in Australia. Happy travels Hannah, hope everything works out according to plan & that you'll pop back & pay us a visit. You bring the lobster, we'll supply the Tartar sauce!

Any Investors out there? Want a good deal? A perfect buy? Sale of the century? You see our man Rick, bought some land here in Koh Tao quite a while ago now & he's now starting to build on it but needs cash & quickly! So he's dividing up the land & selling it off for a good price to ensure a quick sale! If you want more details guys check out Rick's site www.travelhead.com/landIf you tell him I sent you I'll buy you a beer!

Wednesday 30th 2008

2008-01-30So the weather is sooo nice at the moment. Its flat calm not a ripple, not even a cloud in the sky. Excellent sunsets everynight aswell. So nice in fact that we thought we'd go on another Full Day Trip to the funtastic Sail Rock- the best Divesite in the Gulf of Thailand. Which would then make what we are doing today a Top Ten Trip To Take in Thailand! Just hope everyone realises!

So we are almost at the end of the first month of the year! Does time go as quickly in the Real world as it does here in Peter Pan Land!

Hope you will all be pleased to know that Sonia is going great guns! Apparently she is way beyond the treatment steps she should be on at this stage. Which means she has taken off her little black number- the Nimbus 2000 sling, & has replaced it with a far more slinky sling. Looks alot more comfortable & doesn't make you look like such a bruiser anymore Sonia. The tongue treatment is going well too by the sounds of it & we hope Sonia will be on her way to Khao Lak within the week. Go get 'em Son!
 
Tuesday 29th 2008
 
2008-01-29Well its busy now! We had to take 2 boats out this morning to spread the load. Our Big Blue Armada went sailing off into the horizon & has just returned with a gaggle of giggiling giddy goats. Take it that was another successful trip!

Well I didn't want to say anything the other day cos he was an extremely disgruntled Pommie Canadian, but Canada lost a fin, a special fin given to him by his peers when he left the Marine Corps, so naturally he was a little cheesed off. But yesterday Oskar found it! Excellent. Now he's we got a cheerful Pommie Canadian!

Would like to wish Yvonne luck! She starts her Instructor Development Course today which means in about 3 weeks she is going to be really good at telling people what to do!
 
Monday 28th 2008

2008-01-28Well the wind has totally died down, the sun has come out from behind the clouds in all its splendour, the ladies are back on the beaches in their skimpies & the boys with the body builder breasts are strutting their stuff, muscles sheening as they prance up & down the beach to get noticed. You can literally smell the testosterone! Smells like chicken!

So I'm hearing unconfirmed reports that G stepped in the way to help some lady last night after she was being harrassed by some drunken monkey. I hear he took one in the face & has a shiner to show for his bravado! Sir Guilliaume our knight in shining armour came to the rescue of our fair maiden, he outfought the dastardly villain, & then he put the damesl in distress upon his horse & rode away in to the sunset. These French.. you just can't compete against them when it comes to romance eh!

Got to give a healthy shout out to Ian who is just another one of our fabulously well trained Divemasters who has now got himself work as a DM for another diveshop on the island. In all my days working in this industry I have never seen so many exceptionally well trained Divemasters & jolly proud to think that Big Blue now has the reputation among many Diveshops in Koh Tao for the place to do your Divemaster Training. Well done Ian. & very well done team!

Sunday 27th 2008

2008-01-27Being the responsible & resourceful individuals that we are at Big Blue we have our own environment minister, Darren. Its his job to ensure that we do our bit & some to help the environment, undertake research projects, get involved in beach clean-ups & generally pitch in to keep Koh Tao clean & heathy for our childrens children. Check  http://www.projectaware.org/asiapac/english/activities/icd.asp to see some of the things we've done already.So this year Darren has signed us up to adopt a reef & we are all very proud to be adopting everyone's afternoon favourite, Japanese Gardens. Nice one Ecoman!

Strong winds & choppy surface conditions are what is greeting our travellers to the island at the moment. Hope you've taken your seasickness pills if you're on your way over today. But good news is its almost over. Forecast for this afternoon is a drop in wind & flatter conditions. Cool, we'll be able to get the lilo's out again.
Sunrise diving thismorning for our experienced fundivers. A few waves wasn't gonna stop this band of hardened mariners. Off by 6am - ( its still dark then!) & off to Chumphon for a little bit of underwater slap & tickle as the sun comes up & the fishies awaken & back on land by 11 am to enjoy a nice afternoon of sunsoaked leisure. Ahh.
 
Saturday 26th 2008

2008-01-26You got to give it to them. They have a great country, a wonderful lifestyle, they are pretty good at sport, they are pretty healthy & active, and when it comes to hairstyles these guys lead the world. The Scobby! or in broader terms... The Australian! I'm not quite sure why they get a day named after them tho! Anyway Happy Australia Day Straylian Scobby's! You have introduced many fine things into the world likethe phrase you Dag, the word gallah, violet crumble chocolate bars, Victoria Bitter, & Natalie Imbruglia but I still reckon its about time you built a bridge between New Zealand & Australia & shot Pauline Hanson!


Today we broke the 500 member mark on our Facebook Group. I can't quite work out if that is high or not? After all we certified almost 3000 students last year. & at least there are a 100 Big Blue group members who dived with us before 2006 so that's 400 from this year. I reckon once you take out Instructors exgirlfriends, we're down to about 200. Then from there take the families & friends that joined when I first set this up so it wouldn't look an unloved & sad lonely group, that's another 50. Then all the staff DM's & Inst's we employed this year who have left us this year aswell I think we're down to about 2. Me & Canada!

Well I don't know what you all did with the weather, but it's rubbish! It suddenly turned just when all the big groups started arriving after the Full moon Party. We had heaps of rain lastnight & its pretty windy now too. We also are pretty busy at the moment & need all 3 boats to take everyone out this arvo but we can't get out beyond Nang Yuan Island cos the waves are too big. Good old White Rock & Twins coming to our rescue once again

Friday 25th 2008

2008-01-25Well the weather has gone a little funny today. Big waves, out of nowhere! Made it to Chumphon Pinnacle this morning but decided to cancel the dive & go somewhere else cos it was horrible! Bouncy, strong currents & rubbish visibility just below the surface but wide open beneath! Bugger! Guess we'll have to wait for the waves to die down before going there again in the next few days. Give the sharks a couple of days off! They could do with a break. Entertainng the tourists all day can be exhausting!

So yesterday may well have been the busiest day we have had since I arrived almost 2 years ago. Filled up every room on Sairee Beach & at 7.30 last night the last rooms in the whole of Sairee up by the cliffs! Its manic. I think we started 22 students yesterday!Instructors? Hmmm well...there was an Englishman, a Welshman, a Frenchman & a Germanman.... . I better stop .... this could turn into a joke!

Got some big wig fashion photographer on Koh Tao at the moment taking shots every night of all these astoundingly hot looking super sexy bikini models rolling around on the beach & at the waters edge. Strategically placed sand splats over anatomically perfect tantalising female forms.(Sigh!) And I thought I had a good job!

Thursday 24th 2008

2008-01-24So the sun has got its hat on! Its another beautiful day in paradise. The fish are swimming the birds are chirping the ferries are packed, the classrooms are full! & we got rid of one more puppy! That's 6 down & only 5 more to go!

Top tip for gardeners! As you know we've had to entice our growing vines to grow a little more & a little quicker! Coconut husk! Its like Koh Tao's version of miracle grow! P'Nen came back from his holiday saw the vines weren't growning. Got on his bike upto the jungle & came back with a sack of nuts! Coconuts. He chopped them up & covered the vine soil with coconut husk. & now we've grown a beanstalk!

So the Full Moon Party is over! You can tell. We got no more rooms left, we're out of Instructors, BCD's & Regs, I can't get a seat at the restaurant, my phone never stops ringing, prices are up, room availability is down, the power keeps cutting out, there's never enough water pressure in the shower now, my bike won't start when I'm in a hurry, there's always a queue at the 7/11, the pizza in the restaurant takes longer to come, and there's never any bloody sugar left in the the sugar bowls when I need my morning coffee! Something's got to give!

Wednesday 23rd 2008
 
2008-01-23Well there's celebration in the Donaldson camp today! Not alot of people know this but my Mum's cousin is a lady! And because this lady is my Mums' cousin I am therefore her second cousin once removed! With me so far? Well last night my second cousin once removed got nominated for an Oscar! Yeah thought that would raise an eyebrow! So its Julie Christie to win Best Actress for her role in some movie I've never heard of! She better mention her second cousin once removed if she wins or I'm crossing her off my Christmas card list!

Churchie's Birthday party yesterday, & in true ex-pat island style he threw a pool party at Koh Tao's new pool bar in Chalok Baan Kao. Excellent location, fine choice of large or small Chang's & a very tasty Birthday Cheese cake. Had all the ingredients for a fantastic night till one got a very unpleasant glimpse of the barman in his tight grey genital hugging speedo's!

Right I'm off down the pier now for what is always a highlight of the month. The Full Moon Party people will be coming in on the afternoon boats soon. It always reminds me of a kind of futuristic war scene of troops returning home from battle. Instead of the blood stains it will be fluorescent paint. Instead of mud there'll be sand. Instead of the bandages & slings healing the marks of bullets & shrapnel there'll be bandages & slings healing the wounds of bike crashes, & intoxicated fallings over! The wounded & straggling will evolve into the sleepy & hung over & shell shocked soldiers will be replaced by dirty dribbling drunks.I love the Full Moon Party!

Tuesday 22nd Jan 2008

2008-01-22Well how about that! We chartered the only Liveaboard in Koh Tao today, the MV Trident to take out Canadas' Wreck, Deep & Nitrox courses! Total was 18 passengers today to go out & explore the murky depths at the Unicorn wreck. Wicked! Hope you all had a great day & like the liveaboard cos this time next year we are gonna have our own! Only in Khao Lak not Koh Tao!
(damn!)

The Koh Phangan Full Moon Party is tonight & by all accounts it is going to be massive! I heard that every boat to Phangan was full to bursting with revellers & ravers! And in Koh Tao, for those of you who don't know this is when KT completely empties out & goes to the Full Moon Party. Then tonight it will be party hard till your pants fall down & then back here again tomorrow. And then all the boats to Koh Tao are full to bursting! For those of us who live here & aren't going to the party it's like the equivalent of a quiet Sunday followed by a hectic Monday in the real world, only... island style!

You would be shocked to see the increase in our enquiries & bookings now that we have changed the website! Alex asked me today if he thought Didi & Kate might get a little cheesed off if he gave them all the bookings he has just received at the same time, & then showed me around 20 booking forms he has now received. Too right they'll be miffed... but I'm delighted!

Monday 21st 2008

2008-01-21The world tilted on its axis yesterday! Did you feel it? Didi did her Refresher with Anna! I agree the world would have tilted more if it had been me but none the less it was a memorable day. Got to say though Didi, I thought your mask made your bum look big!

Save the whales! Harpoon the Japanese!

There's a big shiney ball of bright light emanating from the sky. Its hard to see against the backdrop of a cloudless sky & every night it drops down beyond the horizon in an amazing display of amorous maroon. Anyone know what it might be? It looks like pizza!

2008-01-20Sunday 20th 2008

Rick is back! He has had an amazing 2 weeks working over in Khao Lak but after all that work & the nightboat back last night he has decided he is in need of a 2 week holiday! Not entirely surprised either. As much as I love Khao Lak & the Similans & Richelieu Rock & Liveaboards etc etc, I'd still rather be in Koh Tao with my 9-5 job, my sunsets, my big bottle of Chang, & my daily hangovers. Welcome back Rick. Great timing BTW. We have an Instructor meeting tonight!

Another Divemaster Challenge tonight! This time its Dan & Hugo who wil be in the spotlight. Tonights fun & games is loosely based on the reality TV Show- Help I'm a celebrity! Get me out of here. Now I'm a little behind the times with this reality TV stuff , so I'm not quite sure what that all means but the brutality of it all will be dished out by Deano & Alex & they are nasty bastards so it should be pretty good fun!

There is one of the most beautiful boats I have ever seen parked right on Sairee Reef at the moment. Now Hugo, who before being a DMT used to be a welder for these posh boats in Holland, reckons he was part of the team that made this particular boat. He tells me that its worth 63million USD has 18 full time crew & belongs to Roman Abramovich- the Owner of Chelsea United Football Club! So me & some of my mates who happen to be dedicated fans of Fulham Football Club are going round on the longtail this evening & are going hurl fruit at it!

Saturday 19th Jan 2008

2008-01-19A hearty celebratory conglatulatory well done to you both, Thats Dan & Mayuko, who as you can see in the messages below have gone & got themselves hitched! Wow! Congratulations guys from all of us here at Big Blue Koh Tao. Nice one Dan & 'O-may-day-tou' to you too Mayuko!

Full Day Trip went out again today. "The Three "S's" Southwest Pinnacle, Sail Rock & Shark Island. Beautiful day weatherwise, golden sunshine, flat crystal clear sea's, 30 meter visibility & more fish than you can shake a stick at! Reckon there'll be a lot of sunburnt bodies coming back this afternoon.

Anyone know anything about growing vines. I planted some a few weeks ago to grow over the Poonama Canal & be all pretty but they are going soooo slow! I'm not even sure they are actually growing. Bugger. Back to the 'Hide the Poonama Canal' drawing board!

Friday 18th Jan 2008

Well we've put the welcome home Sonia banners out & we're all very pleased to see Sonia back. She also has the coolest sling in existence aswell. Beats the crap out of our EFR slings that's for sure. Its got a pouch for storing things in & a ball to play with if you get bored, its got a beer rest & comes in with a sleek black finish! Yeah Sonia, you got trendy girl!

And Simon is back for a couple of days aswell. He had to leave the bright lights of the big city for the ambient lights & loud music of the small islands. Blended in a treat aswell of course with his first nights back worth of binge drinking with his old beer buddy- that'd be the other guy wondering around today with a hangover... Alex!

Haven't heard much from any of you with regards to our new website. C'mon, let's hear it? What do you think? I am fully aware of a few probs still but as each day passes our site gets a little bit more complete. We've also had a big increase in internet bookings this week so I tell you I am very happy! Are you?

Thursday 17th Jan 2008

2008-01-17Congratulations Monsieur Guillaume on completing your Instructor Development Course Staff Course! ( Never did know how to say that right!) G joins the BB IDCStaff Bandwagon & goes down to Dirty Nelly's & gets absolutely blottoed! Should be a good night! ... again.

Great idea from someone the other day- actually it might well have been that frenchman again! You see we have 9 of these puppies sitting around the diveshop having just been blurted out into this world by mummy. They are unwanted & unloved but my word they are cute! & they seem to be a real tourist magnet as anyone walking thru Big Blue immediately stops to have alook & make a silly noise or 2. So G said lets advertise on them. C'est bonne idea! So its black marker pens on the light ones & tipex on the black ones- you guys are going to get branded today! Yeehaaa.

Wednesday 16th Jan 2008

2008-01-16Sssh. Don't tell anyone but today we have the exterminators coming to the island to exterminate things! Thailand is having a plague of bedbugs at the moment- Khao Sarn Rd is especially bad. Well we have our fair share aswell. We've thrown out the beds that were infested & have since burned them & have completely emptied out the top rooms upstairs in the fan rooms & are having them fumigated for the next 3 days. Got to be honest- when I organised the exterminator to come over from the mainland I kind of had visions of a Thai Arnie. What I got was a Thai Dame Edna. Still they are both doing the same thing at least!

Deano & Ricky are off on another visa run to Samui. Think they are planning on combining it with a Sonia pick up as she has been released from the hospital in Bangkok & is flying down to Samui & then coming over. Problem is that she isn't very mobile- naturally enough after having an operation!- so I heard Bex helped her to the plane in Bangers & then Deano will pick her up in Samui on Thursday to bring her back to the Rock on Friday. Nice to have friends eh Sonia. & it looks like you have a few! 84 friends joined your Entertain Sonia group. Good. So now we've all shown you a bit of support & love... about time you came back to work isn't it!?

Tuesday 15th Jan 2008

2008-01-15My oh my was that 2 nights out on the razzle for you Marcel? What a state! What is it with you guys from the West coast & your alcohol consumption! Either you drink too much over there on 'The Other Side" or not enough & aren't used to a jar or 2 when you come visit your friends on this side! West Coast Shandy drinking lightweights!!

Rumour going round that there was a whale shark today at Chumphon Pinnacle. Hmmm. We were there & didn't see it so I'm not sure how accurate this rumour actually is. Still these rumours are good for business!"Whale shark today at Chumphon Pinnacle! Tell your friends!"

So I haven't been around much for the last couple of days cos I've head my head face down in a computer amending all the little amendable things that need amending on our new site, which by the way is up! Trumpeting tirade of thunderous music! Its got a couple of teething problems but I'm on it don't worry. Would love to hear your thoughts. Do please have a look & if you love it let me know & if you don't ... keep it to yourself!

Monday 14th Jan 2008

2008-01-14Ooh dear.. Hands up all those who went out last night on an involuntary bender! Marcel? Do we have a hangover today? Just like the good old days eh?Why is it whenever I get back I always seem to coincide it with an enormous amount of bad timing. Its been really busy ( apparently) but now its dead! Good job too judging by the amount of sicknotes I have in from the staff this week! Guess its time for an afternoon of Monty Python movie madness.

Had a bit of a bow out today! We were supposed to take the Samui immigration people on a snorkelling trip arund the island. We had it all planned- Tor, Anna & I were supposed to be the snorkel queens today as we snorkel guided our Immigration ducklings around Rocky Bay, stop for a nicely prepared buffet lunch at Mango Bay & then spend the afternoon paddling around Nang Yuan Pinnacle. Would have done! Would have been nice too! If the bloody b'stards had bothered to show up!

Sunday 13th Jan 2008

2008-01-13Marcel is back! But only for a few days as he is taking a break from all the fun he has been having over on the "Other Side". & Darren & Ally are back from their jolloping around the Austrian Alps. Sweet. Welcome back guys. Ally looks as fabulous as ever & Darren is in need of a haircut- (his curls are growing) & he obviously wasn't shy when it came to helping himself to seconds over Christmas at Almutti's Mutti's! Might have to put you back on the salads there Spidey!

Very happy to welcome a brand new member to the team in a permanent capacity and that is our friend Sopi. He will be joining us here in the Divemaster team starting today & has proved himself to be an excellent catch for us. Welcome to the team Sopi.

Come join the party!Wishing a belated Birthday Greeting to our Lord & Leader- Michael Spjuth, who is the owner of Big Blue Diving. Michael set Big Blue up in 1991 & has been an integral part of Big Blue's success. Happy Birthday for yesterday Michael, from all the team at Big Blue! Did you appreciate my wake up call this morning? No I didn't think so!

Saturday 12th Jan 2008

2008-01-12Glad to see I have been missed! Thanks Jade! Had to go away for a few days of mirth with my buddies in Khao Lak. Unfortunatley got food poisoning & a fever at the same time. 6 days off, 2 days travelling, 3 days ill & 1 day on the piss! Not what I'd call the greatest holiday in the world but it was still good to see everyone.

So gradually I shall need to recap on things that have happened of late but forgive me if they aren't as accurate as they usually are as I obviously haven't been here myself & am only getting snippets of information from the team in dribs & drabs.

Hey Guys, click here for a good time! http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6853414143

Friday 11th Jan 2008

2008-01-11Umm. I'm going to get shot for this... but here goes! Women drivers! Honestly. Can you imagine a man running over their own dog!... on a motorbike? Yvonne & Heather ran over Simba today. Simba is the islands most hyperactive dog & is Canada & Yvonne's piece of precious pooch! She is ok tho. She wailed, whined whimpered & sulked but Yvonne is basically ok now! Simba on the other hand... is also fine now too but has a restraining order out on Yvonne & Hannah. They aren't allowed within 5 meters of her when they're on the bike now!

Heard from Sonia today. She has seen the surgeon & the neuro & the neuro wants to take further tests as there may be a complication since Sonia has had a reaction since the operation. As none of us are sadly able to be with her I can only tell her what she tells me. What she said was " Ahgattachpwollen tonn!" We are still trying to work out what that means & hope will be able to report to you on it tomorrow.

Thursday 10th Jan 2008

2008-01-10Sonia has her operation on her shoulder today. Good luck mate! Its obviously a great day for it cos when she got in the taxi to take her to the hospital the fool who was in the cab beforehand forgot their i-phone! Doh! Still thats Twenty large for our Sonia. You go girl!

Well what dya know! Our siblings in Khao lak, that's Big Blue Khao Lak, are going great guns. We know that of course as they are crying out for help from us over here so we have sent Rick over. Last reports from him after he'd taken his first DSD's for a day in the Similan Islands was 'Man that was awesome' & then he was told he'd be starting his first West Coast Open Water Course to which he stated. 'Radical dude'. Now I don't speak Yank but I have been informed that basically Rick is pretty happy with the way things are going there! Nice one mate. Unlike Simon however who will be seeing out the season on the Other side, you my friend have to come back! Remember... you have a girlfriend here!

Wednesday 9th Jan 2008

2008-01-09So G is still doing his IDC Staff Instructor & is enjoying it sooo much he is thinking about going the whole hog & becoming a CDG! Can you imagine that. Our own little French Course Director! AS part of the CDG course you would be required to plant underwater detonating devices on environmentally active Greenpeace vessels, & then plead ignorance to all knowledge of such foul play in New Zealand waters!? Hmmm sounds familiar? Un petite deja vu n'est pas??

Well the resort looks like its had a bit of a haircut! The big wiry afro of a tree that fumbles its way around the big coconut tree outside the aircon rooms has had a proper trim! Looks quite smart & tidy now!

Tuesday 8th Jan 2008

2008-01-08So there's some filthy type of lurgy flying around at the moment & its probably German but we're not sure! Everyone is coming down with it too! Even I'm ill & I never get ill! I might be a little accident prone but I'm not one that sneezes & whoops alot. Seems the only die hard few unaffected are Celine, Alex Anna & Ricky! Ha! Thats what they think! At least we're getting over ours now. Yours is still to come! (Sorry that wasn't very nice!) Fight on brave soldiers!

Haven't had a lot of enquiries for my offer of a job to a Scandanavian female yet! Do you think it might help if I attach my photo? & a text that could have been read straight from a Lonely Hearts page?

Monday 7th Jan 2008

2008-01-07So Simon has been asked to stay till the end of the season in Khao Lak. Obviously made a good impression on Erik! What did you do? Have a beer too many & fall asleep at the table did you?

I think we have now utilized all the Bamboo we had sitting under Bungalow 2 for a year! We've made nice little border fences, only knee high, around the messy bushes & it all looks very pretty now. Goes well with the little red brick path we have cemented down outside the AC Rooms aswell. Good job P'Nen!

Sunday 6th Jan 2008

Today was hot & sunny in Koh Tao! ( I was told!) I was in Khao Lak where it was also hot & sunny! & bright & happy & Busy! Really busy!! Rick. I hope you know what you've let yourself in for! They work nights here aswell as days!

Sonia is off to BKK to see a proper Doctor about her shoulder. Fingers, toes & arms & legs are crossed for you mate! Hope it all goes well.

Saturday 5th Jan 2008

2008-01-05Can you imagine how much money Thailand are making by imposing this infuriatingly annoying monthly visa run thing! It costs 550 baht to get across on the lomprayah then 1200 Baht to go with a visa run bus to the Andaman club. You got to stay a night in Chumphon to get back to Koh Tao which costs at least another 300 Bt & then another 550 Bt just to get back to Koh Tao- thats 2400 Bt every month some of us have to pay! Its not even any fun! Bloody good idea to make some money tho eh?

Luckily tho I only have to do it every 3 months cos I is great! This time I went with the Missus & Oscar. We caught our mini bus to Ranong, our weird little River cat thing to the Andaman Club, ponced around by the pool for an hour with a club sandwich & some fries. Jumped back in the weird little River cat thing back to Ranong & then met up with Tor's Mama & Papa who were good enough to taxi us all the way down to Khao Lak in a car made for 2 & a couple of bags! So the 5 of us squeezed in & Papa drove us slower than people walk all the way to Khao Lak. 3 hours later with numb bums & in need of knee surgery we were in Khao Lak & having beers with all these old Big Blue boys & girls! Marcel, Robyn, Becky, Paul Landgraver, Oscar, myself & the missus, Keith Joachim, Simon & tomorrow Rick is coming over for a couple of weeks to help Eric with the high season shortage of staff! Now that was a good visa run & I have a bruised butty to show for it!

Friday 4th Jan 2008

2008-01-04As if by some form of miraculousnusness the wind has completely died! The sea is flat calm the sound of chunder has faded from the arriving ferries & we are able to venture out to Chumphon again. Which by the way was lovely today, thanks.

So for reasons peculiar, I find myself in need of a female Scandanavian!( Don't tell Andrea!) Unfortunatley Saga has to return unexpectedly to Sweden & will consequently be leaving us with a void! So good chums & buddies. I need a Swedish speaking Female Instructor! C'mon who's out there! Danish & Norwegian & Finnish speaking might be pretty useful too! Anyone? anyone? Bueller!

So I've decided I have had enough of everyone galavanting off around the world while I'm stuck on this tropical island paradise. I'm gonna go away for a few days now myself. Thought I'd start with a nice trip to Burma, pop in on our buddies at Big Blue in Khao Lak, then whizz up to Bangers for a round of golf with my surgeon! Got to leave someone in charge here tho! Hmmm. I got no Panos, Scobby, Rick, G, Simon, Darren, Ally, Sonia or Saga. That leaves me Canada, Deano, Alex, Celine, Anna & Ricky. Right Boys! Chicks in charge please!

Thursday 3rd Jan 2008

2008-01-03Its a whirling mess of wind & waves today I'm afraid. Time to issue my warning to anyone about to travel out to Koh Tao... take the Seatran! It won't hurt as much as the Lomprayah & the bags they give you to throw up in aren't see thru!

Calling out for my Vacationing Instructors... 'Help! Its getting busy down here!' It doesn't help of course when our main Big Blue Batch of Inst's start going down with funny lergies! Got Scobby with some sort of Aussie fever, Panos with a case of Grecogothic bronchitis, Rick with an acute bout of the Hawaii's & as you know Sonia's arm, which is about to fall off. G's meanwhile teaching Divemasters, Darren & Ally are on the Piste & Saga has to leave for Sweden, extremely suddenly, while Simon's sunning his self in the Similans! I hardly got anyone left! Might have to get my Instructor Speedos out of retirement!

Time to put away the Christmas decorations this afternoon. Its been fun, but its over, & neither myself nor my liver could be any happier! So we'll wrap our festive twig away with all the tinsel, put santa back in his box & stuff it all back in their Maehaad grotto for another year. Thank god for that! Not quite sure how to pack away the Sandman yet tho!

Wednesday 2nd Jan 2008

2008-01-02Well the weather forecast was a little out. They're right about the storm tho. Pretty miserable today. & heaps of fishing boats in at Sairee which as you are probably aware is not a good thing! No rain yet... (I instantly regret saying that!) but big seas & strong winds. Better get the Lomprayah Puke pot out again. Might be useful for the next few days!

Got some very sad news I'm afraid. Our Sonia has gone & got herself a shoulder injury! Its an old problem made worse in recent weeks & now she has to go to the hospital & get checked out. There is a very high possibility of her needing a shoulder operation. So guys show your support & send her your messages. Good luck Sonia! All our love thoughts & best wishes, you Ponce!

G started his IDC Staff today. For those of you who waste time reading my banterings you might recall Darren & Deano doing their Instructor Development Courses a couple of months or so ago. Becomming a PADI IDC Staff Instructor is a couple of rankings above being an Instructor. Ah-ha! So that's why you bought the most expensive mask on Koh Tao. To look like a distinguished G!They might smell of onions & garlic but they do have panache, the french! Salut.

Tuesday 1st Jan 2008

2008-01-01HAPPY NEW YEAR! Congratulations everyone for making it to another 365 days. Hope your night out wherever you were was a memorable occasion! If you're a little like me or Yvonne! & can't remember, just ask your mates, whoever you were out with, if you can look at some of the embarrasing photos! There's always a classic of someone dancing or lieing down asleep right next to a large blaring speaker! Haven't seen the photos yet but bloody hope there's not one of me!

Bringing in the New Year in Koh Tao really has got to be one of the very best places in the world to do it. There is an atmosphere like nowhere else I know. It's a pleasant evening teperature wise (untill you start dancing!).You are surrounded by friends & colleagues & absolutely everyone is in a jolly mood. You got to be extra happy if you are a red blooded male & a gaggle of gals arrive in their biikinis at your party! I love Koh Tao!

Like to give a special mention to all those who had to get up extra early & come to work. Didi, Deano, Ricky & G! Not that G needed to get up. He had a motorbikespill & has grazed himself. Poor chap. He's hurt his little pinky & got himself a nice gaelic graze on his cheek! Glad you are alright though mon ami! How's the bike?

February 2008

Friday 29th February 2008-

2008-02-29Reckon it would be nice if we all put our hands together to congratulate Big Blue Diving's first Tech certified divers! So in a cacophany of ecoustics & fanfare congratulations Mac & Tully! These guys are now on the path to exceeding depths greater than 70 meters. That my friends is the equivalent depth or size of a 25 storey building! Its dark, dirty & very eerie! Canada lives there! And in the world of diving you've achieved a benchmark boys. Imagine diving 25 storeys only to find you can't see anything! Good work Canada & Congratulations Mac & Tully.

My computer doesn't go ping when I want it to. So when you ask me a question in our chat window I don't hear Ping when I'm supposed to. So apologies for those partial pauses people. Please be patient. My Ping will be programmed in presently.

Water clarity is very good at the moment. The troops returned from their morning dive full of the joys of spring having seen another species of shark today at Chumphon Pinnacle. Frequent shark visitors to Chumphon Pinnacle include the Whale Shark, the Grey Reef Shark, & Bull Sharks! & we do get them but not very often & that is the Black Tip Reef Shark. You are way more likely to see them snorkelling at the south of the island than diving out at Chumpers but there we go. Nice Find DM's- Don't forget to let the air out of her & put it back with the other inflatable fish when you've finished with her!

Thursday 28th February 2008-

2008-02-28So the big news in Thailand today is that Thaksin Shinawatra, the formerly ousted Prime Minister is back! He will now answer in court to the allegations of corruption. Now I have no idea if he's guilty or not & nor does any of this make any difference to anything you'd notice on your holiday to Thailand. But I do know that since he was given the old heave ho, he went & bought a Premier League Football Club, Manchester City, & introduced the world to the wonders of Chang beer. C'mon how corrupt could he be? He can't be that bad!

There's a new toy I want which I've now put on my Birthday wishlist. I'm actually feeling a little nostalgic actually as I put it on my Birthday wishlist in 1977 aswell! The underwater car in James Bond- the spy who loved me. Its what every man dreams to have & every woman dreams to have after she's got all the things she wants. Of course in 1977 it was kiddy sized. Now its adult sized & I really want one!

I'm not a religious man but today I witnessed the Second coming! Well kind of. Thomas, our German Jesus lookalike is back. He fogot the white nightgown & the sandals but otherwise he looks exactly like he did last time I went to church!

Wednesday 27th February 2008-

2008-02-27Now if you go to our Contact Us page on our website you will notice a brand new, very cool addition to the site. Its our online chat window! You can sit there wherever you are & can ask me anything you would like to! Isn't that groovy! I am of course hoping the sort of questions I get asked will be diving or at least Koh Tao related. Not sure this is going to work too well tho, if people keep wanting to know what clothes I'm wearing & if I like opera!

Its pretty busy again in Koh Tao people. If you are on your way over I really would encourage you to at least book your accommodation ahead of time. Last night we were still looking for rooms for people at 7pm. & of course at that time of night don't be surprised if suddenly the room prices double because the hoteliers know you are in a pretty desperate position if you still haven't got a room by 7pm. Look at Rick! Yesterday morning he had a hammock on his balconey available for rent at 100 bt. By Lunchtime, as rooms became less available he upped his hammock rent to 500 Bt. Then by 7pm last night he was in a sellers market & increased his price again to 1000 Bt. Of course he still wasn't able to rent it out tho, as it was a drastically over priced piece of real estate, but good fun to talk about with potential tennants!

Very successful Full Day Trip to Sail Rock yesterday. Glorious sunshine. Best viz there for ages & about 20+ meters in some areas, & in case you didn't know Sail Rock is probably the best divesite we have in the Gulf of Thailand. So great dive site, great viz, & great sunshine! Must have been a great day till you got back & realised how sunburnt you were eh Dan?

Tuesday 26th February 2008

2008-02-26The rain came did its business & left! All rather anti climactic, but the plants look better! Annoying thing with the rain is it tends to fill up all the pot holes with water so they just look like patches of unlevelled road. These innocuous little patches become deep wells everytime I drive my bike over them. & the annoying thing is that after driving these roads this bloody long I really should know that by now!

Nice to hear from so many of you on our Facebook Group. Sounds like you are all well & have had an enjoyable experience with us in Koh Tao. I also hope you know that we have all had an enjoyable time you guys being here. Just don't go & spoil it by coming back! Ony kidding Charlie! It will be great to see you mate, just leave your scottish dress at home!

Hmmm. I'm hearing rumours that the Full Moon Party boat which ferries people from Koh Tao to Phangan & back, partied alittle too hard & forgot to come back to Koh Tao. Apparently it ended up in Samui. When first I heard I was a little bit concerned by it as I reckoned the Captain & his boys must have partied a little too hard. But then I realised why they had to go Samui first! McDonalds run! Everyone's crazy for a McD's after a big party!

  

Sunday 24th February 2008

2008-02-24Now I've never been to Manchester but I reckon when I look up at the sky today it looks like what I reckon Manchester looks like! Wet & dark! Apparently we are in for 19 mm of rain today! That's alot! Its a good thing too people! We haven't had any rain since the last time we had rain and then we flooded! There's alot of flowers around here that look like they could do with 19mm of water!

Its reef check day today! Darren & his team of tough looking eco warriors are off to Japanese Gardens to check, photograph, record & report on the state of the corals! We'll be focusing on colors, breakages, regrowth & regeneration, fish life & water temperature. The idea is once a month we check out the same area & see if there has been any noticeable changes. Today will be the first recorded entry of the area & we hope to continue the project for many years to come. Darren will be an old man by the time he's finished this little project!

I think the saying goes- if it aint broke don't fix it! Well I've only gone & put these little boxes down the side of our web page & funnily enough since I've done it our emails have dropped right down! Either that or people have heard Alex aint doing the emails anymore! I'm confused. Anyhow the amount of internet bookings we got so far this month is more than the total number of bookings we got last year in the 3 busiest months! Not bad eh? So why did I go & try & fix the bloody thing with these boxes! Muppet!

Saturday 23rd February 2008

2008-02-23I have yet to find out if I actually have been a target on some gotcha tv or radio show, but yesterday I got interviewed by the Nation newspaper, one of Thailand's largest English newspapers to discuss what we are getting involved in at Big Blue with regards our environmental efforts to clean up Koh Tao. AS you may or may not know we like to pick up rubbish here at Big Blue in an effort to rid the island of plastic bags, polystyrene & other non eco friendly waste products.'I said 'We are all Saints & that the stairway to heaven will have lots of gold & glitter everywhere!" He thought I said 'the 7 11 has made pots of gold & littered everywhere!" Hmm,! I couldn't have put it better myself!

Wow! Ricky has been Divemastering here for way over a year already & I think yesterday was the first time he has had a day off with his Missus together! Aww sweet! Hope you had a nice day mate. Did you get breakfast in bed? Your feet scrubbed & your back rubbed? Lunch out? Afternoon walking the dogs along the beach? A cocktail at sunset then a dinner & a movie? Ponce! Get back to work!

Do you remember that DM we used to have here. Brummie, rugby playing bouncer who reckoned she could have us all in a fair tussle then went & dislocated her shoulder in a strong breeze! Sonia that's right! Well I've just heard from the Horse's mouth (sorry Sonia) that Thailands' premier diving Doctor, Doctor Luba has given her the all clear to dive again. That's great news! Well it is for Khao Lak! For us in Koh Tao it means she'll be coming back soon! You bastard Luba, I thought you were my friend!

Friday 22nd February 2008-

2008-02-22Got some extremely sad news I'm afraid. Alex & Lucy are leaving & going back to England! Massive shame. Thanks Alex for all you have done for Big Blue & a special thanks from me for answering all those emails everyday! We shall all miss you, well the others will miss you. I won't have time to miss you! I'll be too bloody busy answering all the emails! Good luck guys.

Guys, I got a limp sausage! Who broke Sausage's leg. Poor little Chippalata. She looks ridiculous not to mention the pain she must be in. That's got to hurt! Luckily our Dogmaster Rick was around to alert the emergency services who will be over shortly to set her leg & bind it to a stick & then put her in a plaster cast. Yummm, who wants ketchup & mustard with their sausage on a stick!

Well if I'm going to give you 2 pieces of bad news in one day I may aswell go the whole hog & fill you in on a third bit of unfortunate drama. The viz has gone to shit!
But don't worry its Full Moon tonight. Thats all we need - one good tidal current will swoop it all away. This time tomorrow you'll be able to see so far we might even find the lost city of Atlantis at last!

Wednesday 20th February 2008-

2008-02-20Rumour has it that yesterday at Shark Island there was a mother whaleshark measuring 7 meters swimming next to her calf reportedly only 1 meter long. Hmmm. That made me think. If a whale shark can measure upto 20 meters as an adult then a 1 meter whaleshark must be a new born! Awesome! Camera's at the ready people. This shot could be worth something!


You may recall a few weeks ago me harping on about the dog problem we were having here at the resort. You'll remember we rounded them up & sent them out ParcelForce to a few difficult customers who we've had in the past. Those we kept- Uri, Ugly & Sausage are now all sporting their very own 'Big Blue Dog' Collars as donated by our Instructors. Very swish! First time Ugly & Sausage have ever worn a dog collar. Makes even Ugly look quite Dapper!


Its that time of the month when everyone deserts Koh Tao to head off for the Full Moon Party at Koh Phangan. 15,000 people all on one beach moving & swaying to the beats of techno & trance! Just not my cup of tea! Gimme a third the number of people, same beach, lots of pretty girls, some Duran Duran & a plethora of terrible haircuts. Now that's more my scene!

Tuesday 19th February 2008-

2008-02-19Its Official Big Blue is now big on Green! So much so that we have even been granted the Green Light! In other words Big Blue is the latest PADI dive centre to be awarded with Project AWARE Go ECO Operator status in 2008. Nice one people! Well done Darren! This means we are taking a determined stand to minimise the impact we have on the aquatic ecosystem whilst contributing to environmental, economic and cultural conservation- It's Big Green Diving Resort now!

Oi you! Whoever you are outside Aukotan yesterday about 3pm who nicked my bloody shoes! Give them back! Yours smell & I can't wear them! Make me walk like a Ponce!

Weather at present is pretty much the same as it has been for a while now! Bright & sunny! I can prove it too. The one day I go out on the boat I go beetroot red & now 3 or 4 days later my face looks like someone has been trying to rub me out! I got eraser poo all over my forehead my nose & the back of my neck! Remember everyone avoid peeling! Slip, slop, slap!

Monday 18th February 2008-

2008-02-18Its great being splattered across the face once a week with a douse of realism. You forget about the real world if you live on this NeverNeverLand too long! But every Monday the whole country wears yellow to show love & respect for the King Of Thailand. Its like an alarm clock. Its so easy to forget about things like traffic lights & Branston Pickle & even which day of the week it is, but once every week we get woken up! Wishing you all a very Happy Monday everyone! Its another beautiful Monday morning here in Paradise!

I got to be honest. As a certified diver if I was shopping around Koh Tao for a center to dive with I'd definitely choose us! Here's why. This afternoon we have a dedicated certified divers boat with only 7 divers & 2 DM's on it, going to any 2 dives on Koh Tao our divers wish to go to! So this arvo we are off to the magnificent Hin Wong Pinnacle in our search for turtles & soft corals & then my favourite divesite on the East coast of Koh Tao Laem Thien Caves! There are actually 16 swim thru's here & if you've dived it before you'll know what I'm talking about when I mention Star Wars canyon! If you haven't dived it before then its about time!

You do get asked some pretty weird questions in this job. My favourite was while I used to teach I was asked by a student one very wet afternoon - "If it rains while I'm diving will my pressure group increase?" Then yesterday I was asked "Can you cry underwater?" Where do people come up with these?

Sunday 17th February 2008

2008-02-17More whaleshark virgins were let loose yesterday. It was actually very scarey. Some of the smiles spread across these peoples faces so far I thought we might need to perform surgery! Nice one people! I remember when I lost my cherry to a whaleshark. Her name was Susan & she was from Hawkes Bay!

Ear mark the date people! This could be the very last time you see our Face book group in this perfectly functioning, orderly well conducted set up. I've let some of the ' the monkeys" out of their cages by making them administrators in our group & can't help feeling they are about to exact havoc upon my months of hard work!So Ally, Darren, Deano & G please control your monkey, Canada, please!

Congratulations Alison & Danielle on performing what was an absolutely hysterical Divemaster Challenge Beauty Pageant. Of course being of Yankee origin Alison is a lot more used to dancing & parading around in sequins & high heels & being the center of attention than our Danielle who being of Pommie origin is far more at home standing behind other people in a queue in a supermarket somewhere with a nice hot brew! An excellent DM Challenge & a comical pageant! So that's why you pay good money to become a trained diving professional, to dress up & look beautiful!

 Friday 15th February 2008

2008-02-15Today is the islands annual festival to Save Koh Tao!It starts with a little ceremony of all the island elders & decision makers, & all the kids from Koh Tao's only school. The kids dress up & the school marching band plays some kind of unrecognisable jingle for everyone. Then the elders speak & then someone comes over to me with a mike in my hand & asks me to say something in English! Hmmm! not sure how I got roped into delivering a 5 minute speech to everyone, but I did!
 

The gist of which was that we are trying to clean up our beaches, educate the local people & the children & stop the import of plastic bags & other non biodegradable products. Then I told everyone that all the dive shops would be offerring a free dive to anyone who wanted to participate in the underwater cleanup that we would be organising in the afternoon on Maehaad reef!

And then in the afternoon over 120 divers gathered to help in cleaning up Koh Tao! I'd say that each diver picked up at least their own divebag size worth of rubbish! Other noticeable pieces of trash picked up off the bottom of our ocean were a JVC player, ceiling light fittings, a toilet complete with cistern & heaps of metal cookie tins! A heap big pile of rubbish! Thankyou everyone for participating in saving Koh Tao!

Wednesday 14th February 2008

2008-02-14Congratulations Yvonne! She is now a fully fledged PADI Instructor & is going to go out tonight & celebrate like Its Neinsehn Hundred und Nein und Neinsig!

Well some people have landed us in the poo with our other halves today! Darren! Look mate it works like this! If you do something which makes you look great & the rest of us look bad then you aren't exactly going to be making too many buddies around here! If you are going to go spend 1000 bt on a suitcase worth of roses for your Missus then at least let your mates know so we can go get armed with ours! Girlfriend Crawler!

I admit! I need help! I am completely snowed under! We are so happy to be this busy but I need more hours in the day! Poor old Deano & Ricky who had to go to Burma yesterday on their visa run were then told to come back on the night boat, instead of staying in some hotel on the mainland, cos they both had to be back by 9am to start courses. Didn't look or smell very nice by the time they got to work but then that's the Welsh & Irish for you!

Tuesday 12th February 2008

2008-02-12So our eco warrior, Darren is hyping up the event we will be holding on Koh Tao on 15th February- the clean up Maehaad day! Its not the prettiest town, Maehaad, or the most welcoming either when you first arrive in Koh Tao- be warned those of you on their way over, & being a busy little harbour there is quite alot of mess around so we're off to pick it all up! Its free& it'll make you feel good! Anyone care to join us for a good feeling free dive?

Its always a sad day when you say goodbye to people or staff who have been here at Big Blue so long so we are all very sad to have to say goodbye to Chin, our ever so friendly cashier. He has been here almost 3 years now & is looking for a new change. So good luck Mr Chin. Its been a blast.

Wow, I know Koh Tao is beautiful, it always has been, but has it really taken this long to get the word out! Koh Tao has been getting busier for the last few years but so far 2008, well its busier than a one armed brick layer in Baghdad! Thailand's number 1 Rock group 'Loso' were even playing live in Aow Leuk lastnight! Its that busy that even the most popular group in Thailand came to little old Koh Tao to play a concert! Amazing Koh Tao!

Monday 11th February 2008

2008-02-11Cheers Sonia I forget to tell everyone yesterday. We have another website & its specifically tailored for our Big Blue Office in Khao Lak. Well worth having a look at www.bigbluedivingkhaolak.com . I gather it isn't very busy over there at the moment which surprises the hell out of me cos at this time of the year the Similans & Surin Islands are usually very active with the Manta Rays especially at the cleaning station in Koh Bon. You haven't experienced the true beauty of diving till you've dived with Manta Rays. Cmon guys off your arses- go manta spotting in Khao Lak!

Funny that Koh Tao, well the whole gulf of Thailand actually doesn't get Manta Rays. We get Whale Sharks though, but they do tend to be a little smaller than the visitors to the west coast of Thailand. But I think we get more of them. How many Whale shark sightings have you had over there this year, 2008, Khao Lak? And Manta's? We got 5 Whale sharks & 0 manta's this year so far in Koh Tao. Not bad, thats an average here of just under 1 a week. Rick's group yesterday were our most recent set of broken whale shark virgins!

Can't get a room anywhere! No rooms left on Sairee beach again! & I don't even know why! The amount of people coming to the island has increased so much in the last few years. A word of warning to any of you thinking of coming over in the next few days weeks or even months! If you don't want to spend your first day on Koh Tao wandering round searching for rooms then book ahead! I'd highly recommend it!

Sunday 10th February 2008

2008-02-10Pretty good turn out at Darrens surprise Birthday bash last night. Think Mummy & Daddy Darren were pretty impressed aswell. Had a surprise Buckland Birthday BarBQ bash at Vibe. Thanks Dave for sorting that out. Nice job too Ally, who managed to keep it all a secret & organise the food & cake & MC Deano for his mammoth soliloquay!


Meant to do this ages ago but it slipped my mind! We need to welcome Hendrik, our new Swedish Instructor, to the fold! Hendrik is a relatively fresh Instructor which means he is extremely keen to do well & impress! & so far he has. He does seem to have a habit of leaving his reg lying around a bit but as long as Ricky & I get our 2 beer penalty fine each time he does, I don't think either of us really mind!


Got to love Rick's idea for a T-shirt! "ATV's Suck!". Got to love the fact that he actually went ahead & got some printed! Also got to love the idea that he not only went & sold everyone he printed he actually made a profit out of it aswell! I guess he should do to cos he's right! ATV's do suck. They are big, noisy, death traps & if any of you coming to Koh Tao soon please don't rent an ATV, cos we all hate them! & we got a T-shirt to prove it now aswell!

Saturday 9th February 2008

2008-02-09Our Delboys Birthday today. Happy Bday Darren. & how about that for a nice prezzie! His folks arrive today! Well some people would call the arrival of their parents to the island on their birthday a nice prezzie, some may disagree! We're all going to have a big party tonight to celebrate Darrens well spent 34 years acting the clown! Happy Birthday Mate!

Well if any of you were interested in watching an operation in progress you missed the fun today! Had the fantastic girls from the Animal Clinic, Wendy & Jay, come down & give our lady dogs the snip so they can't have anymore babies! Think we've had enough of them lately! & then the clinic took mummy & her kids off to the clinic to find owners for them all. And suddenly we are back to our Big Blue brood of 6. Thank god!

I don't like repeating myself & I'm not one to harp on about the rights & wrongs of this world, but I just can't help feeling that some things are completely barmy! I mean, why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?!! Why do the Japanese continue to slaughter whales on a mass scale while the world does nothing to protect them. So at the risk of repeating myself... Please people... SAVE THE WHALE! Harpoon the Japanese!

Friday 8th Feb 2008

2008-02-08We got the troops on the case for the translations of our web pages. Soon we are going to be advertising to the world in not only English & Japanese, but also French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Finnish & Maori!

I have a morality question for you! You may be aware that in recent months we have had a bit of a mongrel epidemic. Our Canine's grew from 6 to 16 in a matter of weeks, which I'm sure you'll agree with me is a few too many! So we had a meeting & decided to give the dogs to the animal clinic with a healthy donation & ask them to take care of them all! & that's what was agreed! After a restless nights sleep I've decided I can't do that to all the dogs so we are going to get rid of all the new ones & just keep our six originals! So my question is this...If electricity comes from electrons then does morality come from Morons!

Can you feel it? I can sense it in my waters! You see there are two main kinds of ocean currents, those driven by the wind and the earth's rotation that affect the surface waters, and those driven by density that affect the deeper waters. Its these deep water currents, with mixes of cold & warm water creating thermoclines & also the extra accumulation of salt water that are so important here in Koh Tao because it helps to mix the deep waters, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the area, which in turn brings in the little stuff like plankton which inturn brings in the big stuff like Whalesharks! So all those of you who experienced thismornings strong currents at Southwest Pinnacle- not to worry, its a good thing!


Thursday 7th Feb 2008

2008-02-07Our Full Day Trip to Angthong Marine Park was a fabulous success, as if it was ever going to be any different! The sun was out, the sea was flat, the tourists kept away & the islands looked at their most magnificent! Apparently the diving was a little disappointing cos the viz was pants, but the swim thrus were swum thru & the air rings were round & had an air like quality so everyone had a jolly good day! Hurrah!

So its quite clear! Alex has done a runner! Obviously earnt way too much money last month & him & his Missus have jetted off to South America to live like drug lords! Hopefully that isn't strictly true & Alex will be back soon. He blimmin well better be, I got sores on the end of my fingers from all this typing I've had to do since he left!


Had a really hard time sleeping last night! Couldn't escape the ghastly images of our Deano & his quite stunningly beautiful new missus smooching like love sick teenagers at the waters edge for the whole world to see during sunset. Ghastly!

Wednesday 6th Feb 2008

2008-02-06So its always a magical day when you go out diving & one of the last things you expect to turn up turns up! I'm talking of course about the largest fish in the sea- growing upto 20 meters & weighing upto 20 tonnes- the Whaleshark. A very interesting fact I learnt the other day about the whaleshark is that the Japanese DON'T hunt or fish for the Whaleshark because they are regarded as a good luck symbol. In Vietnam they are even revered as the Fish God! Cool eh! Well our Fish God yesterday measured in at a pubescent 4 meters & made a lot of virgin Whaleshark spotters very happy. Not sure our Open Water students are aware of how lucky they are.Just to give you a clue- Jacques Cousteau dived for 20 years before he saw his first whaleshark! & apart from the fact he was French, I reckon he was pretty lucky!

Now being a kiwi, I was of course aware it is Waitangi Day today - New Zealand Day! What I wasn't aware of was that the Thais would be celebrating it in such style today.There are literally fireworks going off all over the island today since about 7am thismorning! Completely befuddled as to why Thailand would be celebrating a New Zealand holiday in such style I came into town to be greeted by dancing dragons & juggling acrobats- aah! Of course! Chinese New Year today aswell! Happy Waitangi Day China!

A very pleasant House warming Party for Tim last night who has moved into Hannahs old house on Cape Big Blue. Its a very Big Blue community on those cliffs up there what with Rick & Fanette, Alex & Lucy, Canada & Yvonne, Jim & Andrea, & now Tim aswell. Might think about moving the resort up there aswell then we won't all have so far to travel to work!

Tuesday 5th Feb 2008

2008-02-05Would very much like to thank Jerry & Ari for last night's banquet of delectables at the opening of their new restaurant in Sairee, at the crossroads, inbetween Brother's & the new Farango's Sairee. Great location, good turnout, top food & excellent waiters & waitresses- they got Tuna, remember her? & Ooo from Thongs- remember him? Keep your eyes on this place its going to do really well!& the name is Don Yangs. Sounds like the Mafia's Chinese Takeaway!

And then after all the free nosh, it was off to the Beach Bar to celebrate the festivities with Jeroem who is now another Big Blue certified Divemaster. Now Jeroem used to be the Cable Guy in his previous life so his DM Challenge last night revolved round his impressions of 10 channels off Cable TV! I didn't realise they still made Red Hot & Dutch in Holland!

So I can see why Alex has gone off for a few days. He asked me to take care of the emails while he was away, which is of course not a problem, well wasn't a problem a few weeks ago but now with our new website... well I just spent the last 5 hours replying to over 40 enquiries! Now ordinarily I would of course be stoked to see the website is doing so well. I'd be even more stoked if the website was doing so well & Alex was here to answer the emails!

Sunday 3rd February 2008-

2008-02-03I guess it must be really cold in Scandanavia right now cos I think the whole of Stockholm got off the Lomprayah this morning & came to Big Blue. Good job we just took on a Swedish Instructor aswell! Welcome Henrik. We hope you are happy working with your new BB pals, & will encourage the splendid Scandanavian habit of sunbathing topless right outside our restaurant!

So Sonia left last night on the overnight boat bound for Khao Lak. She got there at about 9am this morning fresh faced & ready for a day of room hunting & finding one's bearings. Not sure she was quite ready to be dumped in at the deep end! She's shop girl today. All alone on the other side of the country with only Simon, Keith, Joachim, Paul, Klaus, Takeshi, Naomi, Robyn, Oscar, Becky, & Marcel to keep you company from Big Blue. Erik is off on a visa run. Guess you better do some work then. If anyone wants to meet the best shop girl in Thailand ( & give her a little bit of support) you'll find her in our Big Blue Office in Khao Lak at the moment, asleep, under a pile of papers I'd imagine!

We got another Full Day trip coming up but this time instead of going to the Internationally accredited Sail Rock we are off to the world famous Angthong National Marine Park. You may know it better as being the National Marine Park where one of the islands for that book the Beach by Alex Garland was set on. Now we shall be going there for the beauty of what is both below & above the water. If we happen to find any weirdo's hanging out on one of the islands we will not be picking them up & bringing them back to civilisation! If you ask me the world would be a far greater place with one less Leonardo De Caprio's anyway!

Saturday 2nd February 2008

2008-02-02So we've had a small friendly neighbourhood hawksbill roaming round White Rock with us this week. Beautiful creatures & if they could talk I'm sure they would sound like Owen Wilson! Hawksbills frequent rocky areas like Laem Thian Cape, coral reefs like Hin Wong, shallow coastal areas like Aow Leuk, lagoons or oceanic islands like Shark Island, and narrow creeks and passes like inbetween Koh Tao & Nang Yuan Island. They are seldom seen in water deeper than 20 meters. Apparently adult females are able to climb over reefs and rocks to nest in beach vegetation to give birth, but I reckon they just like the Koh Tao nightlife.

I almost feel sorry for Alex & Lucy this week. They are off on a visa run to Penang and are going to try & make a little holiday out of it. Well its Chinese New Year which is possibly the biggest holiday weekend in Asia & you can't get a ticket on the overnight train,(luckily they did!) But, they can't get a hotel room anywhere on Penang Island so I was feeling sorry for them till I realised well at least they can either sleep in McDonalds or at the cinema! Now I'm jealous as hell!

'm recruiting! I'm looking for someone who can sell & work at our newly opened booking office in the Khao Sarn Rd. I need someone who can dive, knows about diving, about Koh Tao & the Similan Islands & wants to live & work in Bangkok. Naturally the position will come with a work permit & salary will be commission based- the more you sell the more you earn! Oh yeah & FREE diving everytime you come to Koh Tao. Anyone know anyone good who is looking for a job in Bangkok? Please ask them to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a good time!

Friday 1st February 2008

2008-02-01In the old days if you as a foreigner wanted to own a business in Thailand then you had to have a Thai partner. So Big Blue is owned by a Swede- Michael, & it is also equally owned by a Thai- P'Pon. Together these guys have brought Big Blue from the days when they struggled to pay the rent to where it is now, one of the Top Dive Centers in Thailand/ South East Asia. All that in 16 years. They are also BTW the longest serving Thai western partnership any of us know of. About time we all sat around for lunch & had a yarn about the good old days... when there was no electricity, tourists would arrive on the island by overnight coconut boat & horses were used for transportation on the island instead of cars! Sounds like Cornwall!

I'm extremely proud of myself today cos by enlisting the help of a friend or 2, we have deciphered the gobbledeegook that is the programming behind installing PADI e-Learning onto our website. Yeah I know! Cool. So now if you are interested in doing any PADI Dive Course you can study the theory part at home & then of course save yourself when it comes to being here on holiday from spending much time in the classroom. Click here to see how it works  http://www.bigbluediving.com/wrapper/elearning.html  After looking at it tho, I got to be honest- I'd still rather be taught by an Instructor in person! Up to you!

And by the sounds of it we're about to have a spontaneous 'Bye & see you back again soon party' for our Sonia. She will be headig off to Khao Lak tomorrow I believe to work in the shop there till the end of the season or so, cos she has a shoulder injury & can't dive for a while. So spontaneous party it is then. Cool haven't had one of them for what, oooh, 2 days! Good luck sonia & see you when you come back.

March 2008

Monday 31st March 2008-

2008-03-31Some men get excited by football. The French male gets excited by the smell of onions. For some its diving. And of course there is another thing that gets the male libido standing proud & I think in a weird & rather unsettling way I manged to rouse that feeling today when I informed the boys of what is happening tomorrow! You could quite literally see the musk of testosterone emanate from their pores & the shorts tighten up in the nether regions! We got 19 female bikini clad Swedish reps coming over for a day of snorkeling & brochure modelling tomorrow. That's why Dan, Ricky & Simon haven't been at work for the last few days- Brushing the hair & ironing the speedos are we boys?

I remember my Mum once telling me when I was about to leave the nest to never go to a Doctor whose plants have died! Its a pretty good philosophy & its stuck with me ever since! So when I went into the Koh Tao clinic the other day to get someone looked at I did hesitate when I saw the dead potplants & turned straight around & walked out when I saw a circle of about 6 nurses, all sitting on the ground with their back towards the person behind them while picking nits out of the hair of the person infront! Dead plants & nurses with nits! Not exactly Greys Anatomy the KT clinics!

Its another popular full day trip to the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand today. Breakfast/ Lunch /Staff pantomime/ & 3 of the best dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand. There are schools of baracuda's, typhoons of trevally, moray eels, sting rays, sharks & of course the biggest fish in the sea, the whale shark! Very similar in fact to the types of wildlife I'm faced with everyday in the office...well schools of students & typhoons of Germans at least!

Sunday March 30th 2008

2008-03-30Got to give an enormous shout out to all of you who helped us yesterday in the Reef clean up organised by our very own Eco boy Darren. We had about 150 volunteers all turn up at Big Blue for the brief including Michael, the owner of Big Blue, Jonas, our Course Director, Hans , PADI Regional Director for Thailand, & Al, SSI Thailand Instructor Trainer. All with their marigolds on & ready to pick up trash. It was really quite a sight! I think there was over 70 divers & 30 snorkellors & kayakers ready to clean Sairee Beach up & the amount of rubbish.... well actually there was very little! A lot of straws & a lot of cigarette butts mostly. Other items of note where bottle tops & plastic bags but really that was pretty much about it! So good going everyone. Looks like we are learning how to tidy up after ourselves a little at last. Now if we could all just stop getting drunk we might remember to do it at night aswell!

And after a heavy day of picking up things it was time for the highlight of the Koh Tao Festival- the Koh Tao Festival! There was food, drinks, a Muay Thai fighting demonstration, Thai dancing, a photo competition, a raffle, & heaps of other little things. I think the Raffle was the biggest success with over 50000 Baht raised by the organisers- That would be Gary & his team at SSI Thailand! Kind of put PADI to shame really! Prizes in the raffle ranged from a free PADI Instructor Development Course, a Suunto Dive Computer, free dinner at most restaurants around KT, there was heaps of prizes. We gave a full length 5mm wetsuit & a free Dive Course! I also made an arse of myself on stage! That was also free!

And to do all this just at a time when we are so busy again! Not easy all this juggling people, courses, accommodation, instructors, DM's, boats, divesites. Good job I'm off in a couple of days, eh Darren! 
 

Saturday, March 29, 2008

2008-03-29If you've been here before, you know how hard it is to get away. People leave because they have to but very rarely with a smile on their face, sobbing as they get on a taxi, going into depression walking onto the boat and praying for mercy as they fly home. However, once a year some of us like to go home to our cold countries for a month to visit the family and the friends. Fair enough. But even that can be an endeavour! It seems that some of us just can't go. Our Welsh friend is a good example. Finally arrived in Chumphon the other night, ready to hop on the train to Bangkok and catch a plane home, Deano realised he'd forgotten his ticket ! Compelled to buy a later ticket -1st class please- our sheep lover washed his mistake away with a few more Singhas. After 45 hours of travelling and wandering, he eventually made it home to surprise his mum. Well done and say hi to the family for us!

The Festival is on today, I can see Darren preparing the banners for the clean-up already. Not easy on such a hot day, everybody is sweating their tits off and we just got up! I mean, we can't really complain about the gorgeous sun while others are trying to beat traffic on their way to work in the rain if not the snow. But still, I would rather be diving than sitting outside in this unbearable heat. You know what would be great when it's this hot? If we had a party all day long on the beach where people could just throw water at each other to cool off. Oops, that's for the next big festival, Songkran, in two weeks time. Be there or be square!

More news on Canada's two wheeler mishap: he’s gone to get checked out in Samui today. It turns out he might have to go on four wheels from now on, the bad knee keeping him off bikes for a while. Well, Mr Thornton-Allan, if you ever have to ride a quad bike on the Rock, make sure you wear one of Rick’s famous “ATVs SUCK!” t-shirts if you don’t want to be mistaken for a tourist. But the true question is, will Yvonne agree to seen on the back of one of Koh Tao’s most shameful means of transportation?

Friday, March 28, 2008

2008-03-28Looks like Canada's had it easy while Yvonne was away. Don't know if it's the pressure from her being back but it seems as he lost some of his abilities. Riding a bike for instance. Another member for the Koh Tao injuries clinic!Today, he's walking with wooden crutches on each side of his body, a bandage on his knee and one on his foot. Slows you down a bit doesn't it ? But Yvonne won't take it and she's still screaming "come schatzi, faster, faster, let's go now!". Poor Canada's gonna have to ask for a few tips from our one legged captain Peak cos so far, he can't keep up the pace!

Tomorrow is our annual Koh Tao festival. This year, it will focus on protecting the environment and keeping our paradise clean. Eco-warrior Darren has once again raised an army of eco-soldiers to pick up the rubbish on our reefs. If you think the amount of beer left after a football night in an English pub is impressive, wait till you see how many Chang bottles the eco-army will pick up tomorrow. And that's just after a normal night for the boat crews mooring there everyday. And Sorry Jim, but the bottles are empty!

And after the hard eco-fight comes even more fun! Once again, the whole island is going to congregate to the festival ground for a great night of live music, dance shows, great food stands and maybe a few drinks... This year, the party's in Sairee. Close to Big Blue. Nice one! And there should be a few competitions. Unfortunately, our Welsh dragon will not be there to defend his title as Koh Tao's fastest chugger. Will Ally retain her title? Come down and see for yourself or find out on this webpage on Sunday!

Thursday 27th March 2008-

2008-03-27Well, you'll know better next time. Thats what my mom always used to say when I got sunburned. All these years later, I STILL havent learned that lesson. We instructors fight over who gets to staff the weekly 'Full Day Trip'. Its the only day of the week we can dive on Sail Rock, and we get a buffet of incredible thai food for lunch, and spend the long surface intervals hanging out on the top of the boat... in the scorching sun. Then we come back red and burnt, scratching our heads wondering how this happened. But it happens every time and we never learn. Don't tell our moms.

A big welcome back to Simon who's returned from Big Blue Khao Lak. He's been away for just 3 months, but already he's forgotten what time the ferries arrive and how to complete a check-in form. Luckily, G was more than happy to hold an impromptu refresher course for him this morning.

And Big Blue is now crawling with DiveMaster trainees. We've signed up 4 more in the past 48 hours for a total of 17!! And this current bunch seems wilder than the average DMT crew. The Instructors and staff DMs are fortifying their bunkers, fearing that the DMTs are planning a hostile takeover of the dive shop as they now far outnumber us.

Wednesday 26th 2008-

2008-03-26Its actually a little spooky! Yvonne has been away for the best part of a month & gets back today. Canada he's sooo o excited! About as excited as a 16 year old Swedish schoolboy! He's booked himself 4 days off, no one is allowed to call him & he is planning on spending the next 4 days alone with his Missus. Just the 2 of them. See what I mean by spooky! Poor Yvonne! 4 days alone with Canada confined to the bedroom. No means of communication with the outside world. No contact. No other companionship. Just 1 painted Canadian with the horn!

There's a rumour going around that Koh Tao is about to be graced by the presence of Royalty! Which Royal & from what country I have no idea! The last time I remember Royalty coming to Koh Tao was when Matt Le Blanc came here with about 20 of his mates for a snorkelling trip from Samui. He spent the whole way here throwing up on a speedboat. Then he was the only western guy in Mango Bay snorkelling with a life jacket on. He looked a right Gallah! Royal Ponce! And your Friends! (Except Jennifer- poor lost darling).

So, the Boy from the Valleys is returning home today for a wee break. Off to plunder the coal mines & make a few sheep nervous. I bet he's down the pub right now! Pint in one hand, 2 litre bottle of lemonade in the other! Rocking backwards & forwards to the tunes of the Welsh Boyo's Choir. Have a happy holiday Deano & don't forget to regale us with humourous Taffy anecdotes when ever you get time.

Monday March 24th 2008-

2008-03-24Cheers Scobby. That was a very entertaining evening & you were made to look a right plonker! Good going mate! Mind you not the only one me thinks! Who was that tall dark stranger that just got so carried away with the silly sauce that they were still at it at 4 in the morning when everyone else had gone home & they stumbled down to Bans Bar got even more sozzled fell over & then called in to work to say they got too big a hangover today & won't be in till tomorrow! Who could possibly get away with such preposterous behaviour?!

My most sincere chocolatey apologies people for not wishing you a Happy Easter yesterday. Happy Easter Danielle- nice to hear from you! I didn't even realise it was the Good Lords chocolate day yesterday! Its hard when you live on a tropical island just north of the equator with no Tesco or Sainsbury's to remind you to bite the heads off chocolate bunnies! Hope you all stuffed your faces! Who got the Easter egg with chocolate buttons? It's my favourite!

Why is it when people come back from diving & they have water in their ear canal they insist on leaning their head over to one side & then jumping up & down on one leg! It looks like some sort of Monty Python sketch. I have actually never tried it so I thought I'd give it a go the other day & see what happens! I was amazed by the results! I leant. I lept. & water gushed out of my nose! It was really quite unpleasant & my ear still had water in it. So I went back to my normal miracle method for clearing water from the ears. One large Chang please!
 

Sunday March 23rd 2008-

2008-03-23I knew today was going to be a good day but it also felt like something was missing last week & when I came into work I realised what it was. Mayhem & Destruction, Canadian Style! Canada & Mac are back from their Liveaboard cruise in the wake of the 2nd WW submarine the USS Hammerhead! & the first thing I was greeted with when I got into work today was the acid bath Canada had made for all the artifacts he has salvaged on their trip! Its actually a very impressive haul. He has china & glass with Japanese imprints from maybe 100 years ago. A really cool & original Kirin Beer bottle. He's lifted up the compass plate & housing, a porthole & a couple of ammunition shells one of which he has given me! Sitting on my desk right now. This time last week it had spent since 1945 sitting on the bottom of the sea & now its sitting here on my desk as a nice pen holder! Nice one boys. Really cool! Now that people is diving!

Coming to the end of an era here at Big Blue today. We are going to have a leaving do for Scobby tonight. He was just a boy when he first got to Koh Tao, but he'll be leaving as a man, though that long hair does confuse people! He's off to tie the knot with his former Open Water Student Jolien, in Holland & then they are off to that god forsaken country just north west of New Zealand where they have all those dangerous animals, drunken yobbos & silly long blonde hair.Think Scobby has probably taught more students than anyone at Big Blue & he's finally gonna call it a day. Off to settle down in coastal Scobbytown live like a retired Scuba Instructor while the Missus goes out & makes the cash! Sigh! Can't wait till I retire! Good luck Scobby & Jolien & here's to all the memories.

Well the Bar is looking really cool now! The boys have kind of built this entrance off the beach with like a big sort of entry gateway thing. Its looks very cool. And it looks like the names been changed back to the Blue Bar & they've painted everything blue now aswell. I like it! And it looks different to everyone else on the beach & it is obviously working cos the bar & restaurant now are packed every night! Good job Big Blues Blue Bar boys. I knew today was going to be a good day!

Saturday March 22nd 2008-

2008-03-22You may recall me mentioning the other day about Whalesharks! I said the crap viz was the beginning of Whale Shark season. Well lo & behold... They're here! & this particular Whale shark is the largest one I have ever heard of around Koh Tao! First reports are its a 7 meter one. Imagine taking a swim in the ocean & coming face to face with a 7 meter fish like that! In Thai its called a pla shalarm. Reckon that's cos the first Thai to see one underwater "Pla Shalarmed ' themselves!

A recent scientific study found that women find different male faces attractive depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle. For example, when a woman is ovulating she will prefer a man with rugged, masculine features.
However when she is menstruating, she prefers a man doused in petrol and set on fire, with scissors stuck in his eye and a cricket stump shoved up his backside!

Felt like we had a very successful meeting with heaps of KT Dive shops the other night with regards to the Koh Tao Festival which is being held here in Sairee on the 29th March. Nice to see so many shops who care about the state of Koh Tao & are prepared to do something to manage the problems we face here on this little tropical island paradise. At the same time equally distressing to see so many of the 'Big' diveshops lack of interest or attendance! The smaller shops were all there in force, but some of the big ones were noticeably absent! Shame on you! I only got 1 word for you guys...'Improve!'

Thursday March 20th 2008-

2008-03-20I wonder where Canada & Mac are right now! I'm still jealous as hell! Being a big war buff, second world war wrecks fascinate me. & here these guys are following in the footsteps of a real warship wreaking havoc on all the ships it came upon. & what a great name for a war ship too. The Hammerhead! Wicked. I bet its a very emotional experience. I once dived off the beach at Normandy where the D-Day landings took place! That was an emotional experience for sure! Meanwhile weather at the moment is gorgeous aswell so I bet these guys are just having such a wonderful time eating, sleeping, diving, decompressing & telling stories all night. Knowing Canada I reckon it sounds like kids at school camp!

So the revellers are once more on their way to Koh Phangan to bey at the moon or whatever it is party people do at this time of the month. I beyed back at the millenium party but never went back to bey again! It wasn't like I didn't have a great night cos I did! I beyed like it was 1999. But I guess my old man gene has been kicking in since then & now when its Full Moon Party time I prefer to bey at the moon in my slippers & my dressing gown! Happy beying Party people!

There are heaps of things one really must do when they get to Koh Tao. Need less to say 1 of them is scuba diving. Another top activity is snorkeling. Then there's hiking over to the other side of the island, there's yoga, paintball, mini golf & an extremely original ten pin bowling lane. All of these things are great & you are highly encouraged to do them all while you holiday here in Koh Tao! But there a couple of things that tourists do which are also on offer here & are bad. Very bad. Don't jetski & don't drive quad bikes! You're all dangerous! None of us appreciate the noise you make, the hazards you create & the damage you cause! If you want to do all that crap then pardon mon francais mais ' Burger orf back to Samui! Vous aint wanted here!

Wednesday March 19th-

2008-03-19The French are credited with many great inventions, such as the bicycle, pasteurization, the barometer and, more recently, the 36-hour work week, but one cultural contribution that rarely makes it into the history books is sunbathing au naturel. G Does it all the time! Of course, the French were not the first people to frolic on the beach in a state of semi-undress--the Polynesians after all have been doing it for millennia. But what G & Celine did amongst others, was popularize it, to make it, as they make so many things... chic.

Jim came back from another one of his Samui runs yesterday. Sadly, he lost his phone in Samui and was so busy he didn't have time to go for his traditionnal happy meal at McDonald's in Chaweng. They are still thinking about renaming the place McDonaldson's as he remains one of the top customers. Nevertheless, he came back with a very big smile on his face, pleased to see that all the people on the Lomprayah who had bookings for diving had done them through the Big Blue website. The purpose of the trip was to prepare for the Big Day of his life. This time he managed to find a wedding dress and wedding rings! Geat going Jim, but what are you gonna wear? I'm not sure zunami boardies are suitable for mariages. Not to mention, it might not be so warm in April in the land of sheep and kiwis! Thought about getting a neoprene tux?

Tonight Big Blue will a count a new member in the long list of trained Divemasters. After 5 weeks of hard work, Mathias will decome a dive professional. Of course, that means we are going to have a challenge. It's all been kept secret so far but no doubt that our underwater Bavarian will remember this event, or not! Mathias was the one DMT to push the mentor/protege relationship between him and Darren to it's climax. He actually got himself Darren's world famous right leg "Hok Tao Diver" tatoo on the left leg. Had he got it on the right leg, we wouldn't be able to tell them apart. Ally, you can thank the tatoo artist for that! What's next? Mac and Tim, you have a long way to go before you can match the tatoos on Canada's body, hope that doesn't delay your certification!

Sunday 16th March 2008-

2008-03-16Had our first charter trip of the year today with a group of Scandy agents all hear to actually assesswhat all the fuss is about Koh Tao. You could see their look of scepticism as they got off the lomprayah & were greeted with the usual throng of Koh Tao taxi drivers. Then we stopped for a spot of breakfast at Koh Tao's leading breakfastry which is Zest & after a good feed & a nice chin wag you could see these guys beginning to let their hair down a little. & they then obviosly had a great time on their snorkelling adventure because by the time they came back they all looked thrilled! Kind of like they sat on something pointy! Very happy customers- good work Anna & Ross. & its beer o'clock now so I guess its my turn now & see how much more relaxed we can get them!

Sounds like our West side posse have been doing a little relaxing last night aswell. I spoke to our very sore headed Lord & leader this morning who tells me there was all sorts of fun & games to be had at the Happy Slapper last night in Khao Lak. Of course there aint no point in asking Sonia or Nyco what happened as they won't remember!

Now I wouldn't call myself stupid just cos I speak only 1 language. But if I spoke 2 does that make me clever? How about 3 or 4. Surely you'd be impressed with the size of my brain cells if you knew I spoke 5 languages! But how about 7 languages! Now that's got to be a large brain! I imagine the person who has the brain capacity to speak 7 languages to look like a huge head on a tiny body! Like a sputnik on a toothpick! So imagine my surprise when Panos introduced me to Hal a Norwegian who speaks Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English, Dutch, German & Spanish! & he has a normal size head! He also has almost as many tattoos as Canada! Speak 7 languages! Thats ridiculous! I reckon he's got them all tattooed on to his body instead! More like read 7 languages! Welcome Hal ! Nice to have some talent on the team at last! We've all been blagging this way too long!

Saturday 15th March 2008-

2008-03-15Ok People! Listen up! Its that time of the month when Rick puts up his hammock for rent! Koh Tao is really busy! The weather is very sunny now, the diving is great we are about to get whalesharks- (mark my words!) but the rooms are running out really fast! We are now Jam packed!! I must have spent 6 hours today wandering up & down Sairee beach from 1 resort to the next trying to help guys get rooms. Now I'm pretty good at this so everyone has been accommodated but its getting harder & don't forget next week is the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party so after that I guarantee there will be people walking up & down the beach looking for rooms at night! Goodluck those people! I'm hoping it won't be any of you guys. I'm hoping you guys are smarter than that & refer to our accommodation page on our website & book some rooms over the internet before you get here. Surely thats got to be better than having to pay through the teeth for Rick's Hammock!

So tomorrow Canada & Mac are off for a 1 week liveaboard trip. Its actually a very very cool trip & most of us are jealous as hell! These guys are off to retrace the steps of some awesome US warship called the Hammerhead that basically cruised the Gulf shooting & sinking vessels when ever they crossed! They are off for a week of some pretty gruelling diving, some fairly murky depths, & some pretty funky yarns! Good on you boys! Hope you have a great trip & find some more wrecks & do some awesome diving! These boys are gonna pull the chicks when they get back! ( Only joking Yvonne!)

Friday 14th March 2008

2008-03-14Ooh it feels a long time since I let my literary jabber flow! Would like to thank our guest writers this week- that'd be G & Deano. Great bit of scriptive ramblings from the Frenchman & an equally twisted twaddle of nonsense from the Welshman! You see I got to get all the Instructors ready to take over the massive time wasting jobs I create for myself everyday as I'm off in a couple of weeks to get hitched! So far the boys have done well. A right pair of Nom de Plums!

Want to give a big ecological shout out to our brothers & sisters over there on the West Side! They did an excellent job this week of cleaning up the rubbish on the Similan Islands. Always good to see the dive community taking an active part in rubbish collecting. Just such a shame there is so much of it. & who the hell is it dropping all the rubbish in the seas? Its not the divers, its not the tourists, I don't believe its the locals or the boats either though I'm sure they make the odd hiccup. So who the hell is the messy bastard dropping all the rubbish everywhere? Is it you?

I can't believe what an incredibly easy idea that was! You get a mask & stick a camera on it & then flog it as an Underwater Digital Camera Mask for enough money that you'll never need to work another day for the rest of your life! Genius! Its amazing how the blindingly obvious can be so well hidden! ANd after seeing Ricks, underwater wrist camera & the new underwater MP3 player, the underwater car, I've become inspired. I'm going to make an underwater Restaurant! Doh!

Wednesday 12th March

2008-03-12For those of you who thought that football was the only sport smeared by hooligans, you're in for a surprise! Our very own huge DMT Olaf just discovered that it's not always safe to hang out around volleyball courts after hours. He came in today with a damaged bike and black eye after a strange encounter with a drunken supporter from an other team. Go Big Blue Ballz!!! If you've seen Olaf before, you would know he is nothing like a black-eyed pea as he is about twice the size of anybody else on this island. Needless to say, he was more than able to stop the sucker!

And here comes our latest DMT, Jan. He's Dutch, lives about 5 minutes away from Olaf in Holland and he's even bigger! I say, if instead of poncy beach sports such as volleyball, we start playing real sports like rugby or ultimate fighting, we have an ever better chance! Welcome Jan, get ready for a lot of serious fun in and out of the water!

The weather's been kind of weird these days. Imagine you set off for a relaxing Chumphon Pinnacle afternoon dive, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the boats are sailing sweet. Well, you might not expect the heavy rain and the massive waves when you surface from your fantastic dive. My advice: hold on to the ladder before you remove your fins. Like I said earlier, Koh Tao is full of surprises. And make sure you don't pick the wrong day to do your laundry!

Tuesday 11th March

2008-03-11We made it, to the final that is but our other finalist who are semi professionals just pipped us to the post the number one spot. Big Blue Ballz gave it all they got and had tremendous support all night and came away with a great prize thanks to Tim, Charlie and Jeff at Good Time Adventures.

Congatulations to our newest DM's at Big Blue, Olga, David and Karl for their great DM challenge and dressing up as pirates from the caribbean. As always, we all got on the BB bar for the final dance with these guys to show them how the baywatch pose should be done.

So Jim decided to take a day off to samui in light of his ever growing hunger of a quarter pounder with cheese washed down with a dose of popcorn at the movies. Good job indeed cause the white dress he bought for his upcoming wedding, needs to be a comfortable fit for his big day!!

Well done to our new team member Church on becoming part of the BB family. We are happy to say that he won't be doing anymore Lord of the Rings films due to his new commitments of shop duty with Dan and Didi!! Yippee do!
 

Monday 10th March

2008-03-10Wohoo! So the sun has got his hat on again, hip hip hip hooray!! Sunny day on Sairee beach and the morning crowds of customers flocked through the BB resort.

So Mr Buckland has ordered some tech equipment that he still doesn't know how to use it though think Canada will get to them 1st. Twin tank bands for twin something else. Think he just wants to be hugging the fishes a little bit longer until his missus calls him up for a tasty baby rack of ribs to devour!! Let the race begin, 3-2-1 go go go

So team Big Blue Ballz have entered Koh Tao's 1st volleyball tournament at Moov on sairee beach. They are getting dreesed up Top Gun style being lead by our Thai Maverick 'Tor' to bring the trophy to BB.

And last but not least, congratulations to Canada on becoming a fresh new DSAT Tech Instructor today.

Sunday 9th March 2008

2008-03-09So again we all wake up to the pitter patter of falling rain drops. Even more bad news as our little leprichaun friends and the English ponces get a stuffing by the triple crown kings of '08 and our celtic friends from the north. Only thing now is for the Welsh sheep shaggers to nip to 7-11 and buy some extra freshmint gum to keep the garlic influence at bay.

Party, Party, Party is P'nen's favourite words lately as he ponces around the BB resort looking for our well missed Sonia as she is all BAAAAA!!! He is alll happy and cheery as everyday he looks more like 'The King Of Soul' himself Mr James Brown, nothing like living in america eh P'Nen, he's got the moves just not the words, volunteer anyone??

Nice one livvey, our fresh new swedish DMT of March '08 is Ricky's very own water baby as he now takes her on a guided tour for the next 2 months, nice one brother!!

Saturday 8th March 2008-

2008-03-08In our ever incessant effort to please our fundivers we took the boat around to the East side of the island thismorning! It was actually very exciting as it has been a while since we saw the East Side Massive. The regular turtle sitings & the soft corals & awesome trenches of Hin Wong Pinnacle do make this one of the best sites in Koh Tao. Not today however! Today it was like swimming through muck!

It's been bothering me all morning. I got an email from someone slating me for making an effort to clear up the beach of rubbish! Its been bothering me cos I just don't quite understand what exactly he is getting at. He says he used to be here & he would have to pick up rubbish every morning on his walk down the beach! So if he did it what exactly is he having a go at me for? Would you rather we did nothing & left it there? Sorry mate but you really have confused me!

Gotta take our hats off to ACE Marine VDO camera girl Sonia for her spectacular round with 'Rocky' the Titan Trigger at Green Rock yesterday! Now the Titan trigger is a very territorial fish especially when its nesting & Green Rock isn't a typical site to be seeing nesting Titans! So I think Sonia was a little surprised when she got triggered yesterday. Great recorded action shot of a 3 foot long trigger charging & then careening off with part of Sonia's camera!Nice one Sonia! Nice one Rocky!

Friday 7th March 2008-

2008-03-07If a tall Frenchman came prancing into your office & says 'I've broken my sausage!' What would you do? I immediatley rushed for the tiny splinter we used when Matthias plucked his banjo but it was all in vein! Thankfully our Onion Master hasn't broken his sausage. He's only gone & blown it up! What an inflated penis!

Well pull my papillas' & call me Pamela! Its pissing it down today! Totally unexpected. The laundry was left out, the restaurant pillows are wet, & there appears to be another leak in the kitchen. All good clean aquatropical fun! Not sure todays arriving customers saw it quite that way!

So people if you want to be a part of history & have a story to tell your Grand kids then you better be here by Thursday 29th March for this years spectacular Koh Tao Festival. Last year we had Darren & Heather representing us as Mr & Mrs Koh Tao.We also had Ally & Deano representing us for the quickest male & female drinker award. Ally won both! & then we had a foam party. G showed us how to breakdance. This year as I have something to do with organising it we are going to have a big dance stage with big cages hanging from trees with bikini clad women dancing inside! There'll be free alcohol, Fatboy slim will be playing & there'll be at least one member of the opposite sex for everybody! (Sorry Dan!) I still have to get it all approved by the island elders which will of course never happen but it was nice to fantasize!  

Thursday 6th March 2008-

2008-03-06I feel there's a void in my life! I got all the Instructors doing their thing, I've increased our DM team to accommodate our customer demand, I got 2 girls in the shop full time, I now also have a full time accountant, another taxi driver & less dogs around the resort to fall over. I have now created so much time for myself that I've only gone & volunteered ourselves to coordinate & organise this Years beach clean up for the Koh Tao Festival on Sairee Beach! Its going to be a blast! I've got every diveshop in Sairee involved & we're going to get every customer we got involved! Lets clean this Rock up people. I got time! You do it!

Ever had one of those landlords that just won't leave you alone? Worse thing, is if it hadn't been for Canada's interior house renovating blitz when he first moved in as my neighbour, I wouldn't be having this problem now he's moved out! Bloody neighbours! If its not the rampant cries of lust & yearning from above, its the incessant incoherent babbling of abuse of neighbours & colleagues Landlords! Ruddy pseudo Canadians!

So it is true! I was in the paper! Front page too! Apparently it was a photo of someone else but it had my name & my quotes. I can't actually recall what I said now when I read it as I was so disappointed it wasn't me in the photo. But then I heard the paper only had one photo of me & that was the one they lifted off the website with me in my neoprene sex suit! Guess I should be happy Thailand thinks I look thin & brown with a long flowing flock of golden bleach blonde hair! Mighty Ponce!


Wednesday 5th March 2008

2008-03-05Do you know the things I love about living on Koh Tao…? It’s the little things like the friendly people, the loverly weather, the bikini clad maidens walking on the beach and the power cuts in the morning when you’ve woken up early with your girlfriend because she’s gone diving and you decide to watch a movie. Which promptly stops because the sodding power (which, I must add, we DO take for granted!) cuts out! Aaarrgghhh!!
Anyway, I’ll get off my soap box now….

Yesterday we held a training day for six of our DMT’s which involved a morning session of that cinematic masterpiece, the “PADI Divemaster Video”.
Wow. Truly a great bit of work. The poncy eighties haircuts, the brightly coloured wetsuits and tanks…..! Brilliant.
Then we took them to Japanese Gardens to do skill circuit practice! Not bad for a first attempt I thought. After that we had them running around Banzai like blue arsed flies showing them all the jobs they should be doing instead of the usual sunbathing and picking their noses like they thought they were here to do! Heh heh! Nice wake up call!
Seriously though, we’re only interested in turning out the most highly trained divers here at Big Blue. Make us proud DMT’s!!

Last night one of our Japanese trainee’s crossed over to the dark side and became a fully fledged Divemaster. Brilliant! Well done Daishi! Or Omedetou Daishi!! (in Japanese). Sayonara!

Tuesday 4th March 2008-

2008-03-04Sometimes I think some people get all the luck. Who am I talking about? The happy fundivers and Celine's advanced students gone off to Chumphon Pinnacle this afternoon. No other boats and sharks galore! Last time I went diving there after lunch I swam with the most impressive amount of reef sharks I'd ever encountered. Not to mention the whaleshark that nearly bumped into me. Seriously, some of these big fish really need to see their ophtalmologist more often. Their next stop will be White Rock and it looks like there's a turtle who's made that dive site his home base. Grab your torch and look under the boulders, he likes to hide!

If you think that's not good enough for you, catch this: wreck Wedenesday on a Tuesday, I dreamed of it, Canada did it! Once again, he's taken a bunch of sunken ship thirsty DMTs and fundivers to explore the lost vessels of the Gulf. Tully and Mac, the mini-Canadas as we call them here, are part the trip as usual. Hey Canada, don't forget to tidy your new house before Yvonne gets back! Given your capabilities as a housekeeper at Big Blue, I doubt it will be problem. And try not to wreck any of her belongings!

Congratulations to Daichi, Big Blue Chaba's newest divemaster. Challenge tonite! Let's see what kind of silly humiliating activities our Japanese staff have prepared for him. It's at 9PM in our favorite Beach Bar, come down if you want to have a laugh and a few drinks. But don't wear anything too nice, you never know what's going to happen... Nobody like wasabi stains on a white shirt!

Monday 3rd March 2008-

2008-03-03Well the hurricane of people that came to the island seems to have died down a bit now. For the first time in what seems like at least a couple of weeks there are rooms available again on Sairee Beach. So Rick has taken down his piece of beach front real estate- the hammock- to have it cleaned in preparation for next months whirlwind of revellers! So come on over people there's plenty of room at Rick's now.

The viz apparently is outstanding at the moment. There's heaps of fishies, 20+ meter visibility, the divesites are less crowded & the sun has got his hat on. Unfortunatley the sun took a day off yesterday. I didn't really mind but I'm not sure the divers on our full day trip were too impressed. The diving was good, I was told, but the weather was pants!

Thanks Canada for putting that wonderful photo of me in a wetsuit on Facebook! Have you not been reading the news & watching the documentaries! Apparently Facebook is all about getting information on people & using it to screw them up in later life! So now for the rest of my life I'm going to be living in fear that the CIA or PADI Police might charge down my door & have me arrested for some underground form of neoprene bondage! Just so pleased they haven't seen the one you took of me with a tank banger in my mouth!

Saturday 1st March 2008-

2008-03-01You'd think when a creature as big as a house swims past you in the sea there'd be a little more commotion. The problem in Koh Tao these days seems to be that the Whaleshark is here so often now that people get used to it & would rather see something else. Checking out the goby & the goby shrimp, the size of half a pencil each, at Mango Bay seems to be more rewarding for some of our guests who've been diving with us a while, than looking for the Whale Shark. Its like checking out a chicken when its standing next to an elephant!

Very happy to be welcoming another member to the Big Blue Team & that is Divemaster Dan. Dan has done a lot of training with us & has proved himself to be quite the stud when doing his DSD's! He is ridiculously good looking, and yet still finds time to tear himself & his hair away from the mirror & do his job properly. Lately he has had to tear himself away from a 'couple of things' in order to show up at work on time. Eh Tiger!

So despite the fact that Koh Tao has been very busy, & that we haven't actually been able to book a room on Sairee Beach for the better part of a week now there isn't too much to report on. Divers are diving, Instructors are instructing, students are studyng. Its all very hum drum really. Though having said that I did spot a new breed of bikini the other day which was nice. Thanks for that young lady!

April 2008

28th April 2008

2008-04-28Love on the Rock? 'Ain't no big surprise.
Pour me a drink, and I'll tell you some lies.
Nothing you can do or say, if they have to leave, they'll just go away.....

Or not ;) Seems like Big Blue's 'Tech' DMT is in for a Swedish surprise when he gets back from his wreck trip and finds a certain someone has decided to stay! Ah, the Darling Buds of May sprouting already and here we are still in April...

Its often been said (by Marcel) thats its easy to meet people on the island, the hard part is getting them to stay. It can be a lonely life as an islander *takes out violin* as I'm sure you can imagine, but these are the sacrifices we must make if we are to live in paradise seven days a week *puts violin away, takes out brass band*, enduring long, sun-drenched afternoons drinking bloody mary and Ricky's Vodka Surprise (AKA The Kneecapper) on the balcony, dropping off the side of Banzai into dark blue, warm, clear water at Chumpon Pinnacle first thing in the morning, swimming with whalesharks, sleeping in hammocks, waking up in bushes. So spare a thought for those of us left behind by those of you who went away, its not all Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain, you know.... Well maybe it is ;) 

27th April 2008
 
3 more on the count!!! 3 proud new Divemasters of the finest kind, the Big Blue one. Yesterday was the cause for lots of celebration and of course, another DM Challenge. The theme was Ross’s wet dream and featured two very sexy bedfellows, Jodie and Malin. Ross, I wish I could read your mind and have the same dream you had last night! If you thought scuba equipment setup was just a casual dull activity, those two sexy sandwomen turned it into the hottest thing and had all the boys with their tongues hanging out, drooling on the Big Blue Bar floor. More than one reason for all of our 15 DMTs to hop on the bar counter where it was still dry and not too slippery. Thankfully, the bar now has an extension to fit the whole bunch!
While we are having fun in the sun, some less fortunate people are mourning in cold Europe, dreaming about the Rock, with or without Malin and Jodie, depending on your sex, I guess. Caz has confirmed (for the fifth time now?) that she will be back. Ok, girl, we got the message, thank you. The restaurant has already ordered two tons of pineapple and 3 tons of cheese for your return. And G’s ordered an oxygen mask to protect himself from the disgusting stench of the most disturbing culinary combination in the world!

So farewell to Malin, Ross, Olga, Suzi and Hugo. We hope to see you back soon, in and out of the water. Take care all. The Big Blue team.

22nd April 2008

2008-04-22Well.... Full Moon is over and people are slowly making their way across to Koh Tao all painted up with the biggest pair of sunglasses they can find to cover their tired, black looking eyes from excessive alcohol abuse.

Normally the islands packed by now with no rooms, people running around looking for the cheapest room and diving package!

but not this time which is a real shame as the sun is shining, visibility is awesome and our instructors are eager to teach and introduce people in to the weird and wonderful world of diving.

Whats going on at Big Blue

As Sonia and Robyn came for songkran to run up the biggest bar tab,
they did that and a little bit more (nice one sonwon) but now they've left again,
Sonia for one month in cold England and Robyn of f to Indonesia, have a good time girls.

As the Japanese team start to get busy we welcome back Mayuko one of their instructors and her fiancee Dan one of our videographer's.

Simon's keeping himself busy and is very involved with the D.M.T course, now its a busy schedule for him as there's 17 of these guys so he's had to take on extra curricular activites!

but only invited one of the D.M.T's and has been enjoying some very expensive indian dishes!!(thats a bit unfair Simon).

World earth day was yesterday and Darren and the D.M.T's went to Japanese Garden's dive site to conduct a reef watch.

We've got another Full Day Trip out today so the bar is going be full of exciting stories as people relax with a few beers and watch the vidoe of the days going on's.

This weeks also busy for us guys as we have a line of D.M.T's finishing and we all know what that means!

DM CHALLENGE'S- ooh yeah we're going to get these guys really drunk and make fools of them in front of everyone and get pissed up ourselves, cool, beer's ahoy !
 
Sunday, April 20th

Sail Rock!!! Another fantastic two dives yesterday on the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. Fusiliers galore, couldn’t count the number of schools we saw! Not to mention that massive school of chevron barracudas intimidating every other fish, causing great tremor in the depths. What about those weird creatures with a big tank on their back desperately trying to swim through the fusiliers as if they could keep up with the speed of marine life? They are funny looking and strangely behaving characters just swimming with the fishes, seeking for scorpion fish and going up and down the chimney as many times as they can. There was more staff on board than customers! Panos and G got to enjoy the thrill of fundiving for the first time in moths. They were joined by Sonia and Robyn who’d just been slacking on the west coast for the last 3 months anyway. But we all know the real reason why people go on Full Day Trips, even when they are supposed to have a day off: the massaman! Banzai is officially the best Thai restaurant on Koh Tao!!!

Talking about the Koh Tao Party Life Cycle, April 17th was the day for two celebrations. One was G’s birthday, started with a house party where everybody got to sip wine, taste pastis and try the dreaded Martiniquan rhum. Not many people managed to down the latter, guess you gotta be really tough for that one! After a few a spilled cups and one broken glass of wine (thanks, Malin), the crew went on to Moov and got joined by Rich. Congrats Rich on becoming an instructor and making Big Blue proud! Everybody was happy to help Rich celebrate, hugging him, buying him drinks or offering services of another nature;-) Hello cheeky!

Tonite’s the Full Moon Party so tomorrow will see the boats unload with spaced out backpackers full of flurorescent paint, eager to learn how to dive. For us, that’s the big day of the month so we like to chill out in preparation. What a better way to relax than to sit on a balcony facing Nang Yuan and watching a movie on a big screen. Thanks Rick for the movie night last night but make sure your hammoc is available for tomorrow!

April 17th 2008

2008-04-17Songkran is over, everyone is back to work. The temptation to throw a bucket of ice water over people is still bubbling away in the background but we are resisting ...so far.
 
G's birthday today so its all round to his house this evening for saucissons and fromages, Ricard and red wine, a discussion on french existentialists and Jane Birken's bosom, Gitanes all round and Serge Gainsbourg crooning some filthy chanson d'amour in the background. You're all invited, see you there!

Sad farewell to Anna who leaves for Finland today, rivers of tears were shed by most at the Dragon bar last night, whilst others sought solace in the cocktail menu, have you tried the Espresso Martini?

2008-04-17-2Its hard working for a dive shop on Koh Tao, the hours are long, the rewards are soon spent, and we seem to be constantly bidding farewell to great friends. There are a few reasons why we stay so long, though.

Reasons to be cheerful:
The weather. There's nothing like waking up to warm sunshine, blue skies and gentle salt scented sea breezes each and every day.
The diving. Especially at the moment when vis is great, its 30C in the water. Lets face it, who doesn't like messing about on boats and in the warm, clear waters of Koh Tao?
Riding a motorbike to work every day. Not to be underrated, this.

Never having to cook, clean, wash dishes, do laundry etc. Unless you really want to, that is!

Its usually cheaper to eat out than cook, and theres a little old lady somewhere will do the rest.

Thai food. Tastes great, fresh, healthy, different. And if you get bored or fancy a change the Western food here is great now, too.
Meeting people every day who are either travelling, working abroad or just on holiday means just about everyone you come across is in a pretty good mood most of the time. Can't say the same thing about too many other places...
 
 

April 16, 2008

2008-04-16Songkran was...awesome. I had so much fun, I can't wait for the next one. Some of us had to dive in the morning which was a bit of a pisser, but Banzai got raided by a longtail full of drunken DMT's on our return and Sairee was already fun and games by midday. Choice of weapon was revealing as ever. Most of the boys opting for the biggest, meanest looking water bazooka they could find (Guillaume), nice long, fat bright red barrel, multi-spouted business end, pump action power jet kinda thing - compensating for what, I wonder? Others strapped on pink Pokemon pussycat backpacks (Simo and Dan) and plumped for compact yet accurate *actual size* rifles, whilst MacGyver Rick brought his home-made 'water mortar' which promised much more than it delivered. Drunken waterfights were the order of the day, BB raided Simple Life en masse, then braced for the inevitable counter raid, Asia Divers came down to BB, led by our very own in-house Hawaian traitor, Rick! Its hard to describe the scenes at Sairee, just an entire island full off pissed up happy people soaked to the skin and laughing their asses off for an entire day. Nightime is all a bit of a blur, buckets were flowing, tabs were growing, and the dancing was bad as ever. One by one people paired up and sloped off or just stumbled their way back to their bungalows (or patch of sand, comfortable bush, random hammock). Any gossip? Plenty, but this blogger 'ain't tellin!
 
April 12th 2008
 
2008-04-12One day to Songkran and Sairee beach is filling up with peoples getting wet not just in the water as watering guns are flocking the beach. Aukotans supplies are running low and everyone's getting that cheeking grin on their face saying you're next! Its still really hot still and people's enjoying the tropical laziness of koh tao.
 
Our Full Day Trip divers came back yesterday with huge smiles as they spent 2 beautiful dives at Sailrock and 1 at Southwest where the vis was stunning and conditions were awesome and don't forget the massaman curry (still the best!).
 
Well Canada's started a Tech Basics course today which includes 4 dives 3 tanks per person to 24 metre's waow this serious stuff these guys are experiencing! Simo, Panos and G are still bitching about having to work tomorrow mormig but hey its not a bad thing to keep these guys away from the bars in the early morning as they would be tucked up in bed at 3pm otherwise!!
 
As the Big Blue Bar opens at 12 tomorrow the race will be on to see who racks up the biggest tab, In the absence of the welshman we've recruited Birmingham's strongest woman SONIA! yes guys she's back, so be on guard she was in training last night with Robyn and Dan! So guys lets wish all the Thai people a Happy New Year and mourn for the people who have to work tomorrow!!
 
April 10th 2008

2008-04-10Victory is ours!!! For the last months, some idiots have been renting out jetskis on Sairee Beach, jeopardizing swimmers and divers’ safety. So they made a channel, but it goes right over where most dive schools do their skills. And they’re not even using anymore as they prefer to zoom on top the coral. Well, yesterday was a day of rejoicing as we watched one of those machines burn right on the beach.

Needless to say, there was a lot of clapping going on. Of course, Darren went strait to 7-eleven to buy more marshmallows!The vis is incredible at the moment, everybody just came back from Chumphon and White Rock with a massive smile on their face. The weather is superb as well and it’s still really hot. Fans are blowing full speed all day long… when they can!! Power is still a bit of an issue.

However, the heat hasn’t stopped Darren from running his Dry Suit Specialty course in Chumphon this morning. Problem is, because of the sweat dripping from he and his student, the suits weren’t really dry!This heat is perfect for Songkran Yes, two more days!!! People are flocking from everywhere to Koh Tao and Sairee is where it’s going to happen. The event is even attracting people from the “other side”, Sonia and Robyn are on their way, Dan is also finally back from his never ending visa run to join the fun. Don’t miss it!

The souvenir shops are stocking up on super soakers and I hear Aukotan’s got a great selection. Might go shopping this afternoon... The real good news is that Canada’s request a few days ago has been heard. A little bird told me the Big Blue Bar will open at midday and this year they will make sure to have enough supplies to stay open all night. Let’s see who gets the biggest tab in the absence of the Welshman!

April 9th 2008

2008-04-09Today is again very hot, and still no power. However that didn't stop the big blue wrecking crew for a day out on the unicorn. It's always fun to see the genuine concern of virgin wreck divers on their faces to be replaced with huge grins and laughter when they get back. Since the trip was all girls, the boys were smiling as well.

Darren still doing his drysuit course, i think they're in the pool today. That was the easy part, getting 4 tons of ice added was a bit more challenging.

Oskar is studying furiously to start his tech course, he's an x-dmt who's been itching to start so on the 19th off we go!
Our fearless leader has risen, it seems Jim saw the rocky video and is doing his own exercise montage, i can see him now running in the snow with dodgy russian cars following and doing sit ups in barns. Hopefully he'll be buff enough to defend us from the wrath of Darren. He's made fish appreciation and mandatory lecture, it wasn't that hard, once you admit you have a problem it goes quite smoothly. To quote G "Hello my name is G and i'm a fish adict" bit to much crying and holding hands for most so please Captain JD, help!

G's out of prison, they let him go when they found out about how much trouble he has picking up women, they felt sorry and sent him on his way. Maybe next time G try saying hello first?

On the baby news front I've heard Poon-Tang is getting bigger already so it's either she's eating to much meat (no pun intended) or she's preggers. How about Bang for a name.. that has a nice ring to it.

As for Simo's pink eye, appearently you can cure it with breast milk, this has no diving value however i mention because i know who will have more then enough soon.. jade?

I close with a congratulations to Tim who managed to do his eap in a record short time of 4 days, that boy can really impress when he puts his mind to it!

April 8th 2008

2008-04-08So it seems the power situation on Koh Tao is still looming in despair. However they did get massive mobile power generators on the island to light the 50% of the island in darkness. However when they arrived they we so happy to be on koh tao and with their engineer mates (engineer used lightly, i haven't seen proper wiring yet) and just got pissed. So today in a hangover state they're trying to splice into the island main supply with these generators. I'm not holding my breathe that i'll have lights tonight.

Darren is doing a Big Blue first, a Dry Suit Specialty. Now you're probably wondering why Canada isn't doing it and then you might notice he sweats in Air con sitting down, we can just imagine the language from him putting it on. Since today is actually the hotest day this year we're all wondering how mad these boys must be, perhaps during monsoon when you might actually need it. But hey, big blue leads the way again with alternative diving!

With Simons naked sleep walking experience G thought it was a good way to pick up women, we're trying to sort the bail out now.. silly frenchmen.

Panos is back and he's very excited to be teaching something other than open water and advanced, he's actually doing a rescue course, should be entertaining.

And with that it's another hot hot hot day in paradise, i move to vote the bar starts serving cocktails at 1pm, anyone else with me?

April 7th 2008

2008-04-07Its been a busy few days for the Big Blue Nurse. After Canada's low speed collision with a parked bike (it just jumped out in front of him apparently), Ricky is suffering from Yuppie Flu (no energy, especially after a night on the Jameson's) and Simon may have sparked the island's latest epidemic of.....PINKEYE! In the communal (incestuous), caring (lecherous) and sharing (Dan) environment of the dive shop, Pinkeye has been known to spread faster than an English girl in Benidorm.

Mask sterilisation measures have been initiated and poor old Simo has been quarantined in Chalok Baan Khao until his eyes unglue themselves or he cuts off his gunk clotted eyelashes himself, and then applies the bleach drops,,, maybe Toilet Duck to make sure he gets it right under the lid ;)

They say you should never go back, but this in no way applies to Koh Tao. It really still is as good as you remember and its even better when you come back for another stay. All you have to do is quit your job, sell your house, dump your boyfriend and book the flight! Come on, you know you want to. Why wait? You could be back on the Rock before you know it ;)


Seems like we may be seeing the return of the Haigh sometime in June, and Phoong Tang Ba-Boom Thang keeps threatening to come back too. Oh, the anticipation!

Speculation over the guest bloggers identities filling in for Jimbo while he's tying the knot continues unabated. Guess who? Answers on a postcard, please.

April 6th 2008 -

2008-04-06Farewell to Sopi the Swiss divemaster and Julie the Norwegian fundiver. Get home safe and we hope to see you again soon. Everybody gathered at Hippo Bar and Grill Friday night to say goodbye to the lovely couple. The tables in the East restaurant definitely miss Sopi, never forgetting how they were treated one night of September last year. What a show!

Canada came back form Samui yesterday, after taking more morphine than a horse can handle!! He looks a bit different now, walking with a massive splint on his left leg. Just need a metallic voice and you can mistake him for Robocop! The 7 gates of hell nearly opened when poor Canada lost his crutch and started looking for it everywhere in the resort. Rumour had it that captain Peak had stolen it, you never know when you need a spare. Thankfully, Canada recovered his cane, he'd forgotten he'd left it by the TECH shack. Was he planning to store it with rest of the equipment? Will it be the latest trend in TECH diving equipement? I heard the boys from Trident ordered a whole batch for their next trip.

But Canada's despair is none equal to Simon's whose clothes were 'stolen' the other night. As everyone, our scouser was at Hippo to say goodbye to Sopi and Julie and claims he only had "a few drinks". After a while, Simon went home -with his own bike, might I add- but was woken up in the middle of the night by his neighbour. He was lying in bed, in his birthday suit, when the nextdoor guy, accompagnied by a local "friend" opened the door of his appartment. Whose flat??? The neighbour's, of course. They look just alike according to the defendant. Problem was Simon could not find his clothes to put them back on and walk back to his place. Turned out that his clothes were in his appartment and the door was locked. Talk about sleepwalking, people of Koh Tao, lock your doors, the scouser is watching you!!!

April 4th 2008 -

2008-04-04WHALE SHARK WATCH! It seems it's not just unwashed and tatooed hippies that love Koh Tao, Big Fish love it too. Today we had 3 seperate sightings. One was at Southwest Pinnacle (i was surprised too) and in the afternoon we had 2 at Chumphon Pinnacle. Most divers spent 30 minutes with the big fish alone, however the winner of "logged time with the big fish" award was Mac who had 60 minutes with the magestic beast. Why did he have so much time you ask? because he's a technical diver and was wearing 2 tanks. Just goes to show it's not just about going deeper. Hopefully the whale sharks will stay around long enough for everyone to see. Personally i think they're just here to see Celine's Yoga show.. next at 3pm people.

Thankfully however, G was at japanese gardens teaching his eager students on hower to master diving, so he missed it. I know we write a lot about G, but when he see's a whale shark you can get drunk very quickly if you drink to every mention that man makes of the fish, at first it's very exciting but after 3 hours we're all very "yes we know G, you told us already"

As you can see from the wall Poon-Tang is looking for names for her kid, you could always throw pots and pans down the stairs and see what comes out.. ping, pong, bang etc etc or just name it Ernst after his/her father. Get Some!

Canada is back tomrrow, after enough drugs to kill a horse and more sponge baths than a beached whale he said he's had enough of being treated nicely and he's going home to some more familiar abuse.

In other news we have songkran coming up soon. In the infinate wisdom of the government they have extended this rather wet and drunk holiday from 4 days to 5. However it's still a ban on alcohol during elections. I see what they're doing now, they take drinking days to get elected and then just refund us for the time lost. I love thailand more and more everyday.

A bit of advice for songkran virgins - dry bag! There's even a warm up party Saturday the 12th at that pool bar place to get everyone used to it.

Still another sunny hot day in paradise, i can see walking dive flags everywhere. Sunblock should be applied evenly people not just your face and chest.

April 3rd 2008 -

2008-04-03Rick and Fennette headed off to Bangkok. Fennette is heading back to France for some time. Rick put up a good face but i think he's going to miss his little croisant.
Speaking of French G had a day off and with that Koh Tao ran out of fancy cheese and wine, did you find your day old bread mate? If you know G, then him having a day off isn't a suprise. He likes to tell everyone atleast twice what he's up to. Especially when he's had a friendly night with a woman, he does the old "Hey mate, don't tell anyone but i got lucky" then goes to the next guy and says "Hey mate, don't tell anyone but i got NO sleep last night" ahh to be french and in love..
Speaking of Love, our x DM(t) Jade Poon-Tang (yes that is her real name) says she's not pregnant by Earnst and that P is a liar. Well must of been a big deal to make such a fuss... boy or girl Poon-Tang?Mac has been busy cleaning out the tech shack, it's gotten rather messy with world war 2 relics lying about, he spent 15 minutes sweeping and said "forget this, gin and tonic time" it was only 10 am. He's back at it again tomorrow.
Canada has been rushed to hospital and was admitted for 2 days observation. Appearently the scrape got infected and buggered his knee. Who knew that was the worst of his problems. He's up and about now, bothering the nurses for sponge baths, Get Some.
Big Blue is busy at the moment while the rest of the island is quiet. I suppose having Celine do meet and greet helps, she's young, attractive and french. The last two days was Darren who's old, hairy and english. If i was debating on spending my money, i'd pick celine. Who at this moment should be doing her hourly yoga infront of the shop. I got tickets for the next showing if anyone's interested.
Simon has adjusted well, he's been back only a week or so and already has the female dmt's twittering. I'm not sure how i mean he looks like the dodgy oasis brother. Good on ya mate, oh and don't tell anyone i told you. Supposed to be a secret :)
In closing it's another great day, hot, sunny, dry and great diving. Don't love the life you live, live the life you love!
 
April 2nd 2008 - 

2008-04-02Whaleshark showed it's face today even after Darren yelled at it, this time it gave a private performance above the Unicorn Wreck to the privelegded wreck divers aboard the new Valiant 8m RIB. This one wasn't as friendly as yesterdays, it stayed about 5m down (probably sensed the menace in these hardened divers).

The afternoon has been a fury of activity, fun divers off on Navakid and confined divers on Big Blue. Sun, Smiles and Coconut - What else could you ask for.

Jim finally left today for his 5 week wedding/holiday i'm not sure which one he's looking forward to more , but Darren is finally in charge and the whole resort is holding their breathe... sink or swim matey. just kidding, he's going to do a great job.

Canada and Yvonne have made their engagement official. They tried to keep it quiet but changing their status on facebook didn't help. So it should be shouting and loudness at the canada home for years to come.

Finally a Big Blue welcome to our two new DMT's Peter and Zara. That makes it 15 DMT's, they're being oriented by Ricky as we speak, so i'm sure Jameson whiskey will be an important part of their course.

April 1st 2008

2008-04-01Today is fools day so i'll start the news off with our french instructor G. Last night Big Blue was gracious enough to treat it's staff to a wonderful wine and dine evening at Morava. The meal started off with Fondue, now i'm not a cheese dipper connoisseur so we had our local french explain the ins and outs of it. If those reading this don't know either it's basically a bowl of hot cheese, several bits of bread and very sharp sticks. Thankfully no one was hurt but G was kind enough to share his extensive knowledge of fondue and went off on one foe about an hour, but ladies, apparently he likes to rub it down with garlic before he adds the meat, C'est Bonne.

Whalesharks are back, we had one today at Green Rock, Darren was mortified when the aquatic beast tried to go through the swim through and he shouted "No overhead environments, padi standards fishy!" But it was Yvonne's first course with G and who could ask for more on their Dive 4 of their open water course then the biggest fish in the world, congrats.

On a more interesting topic, Non-Complicated Life (name changed for privacy) dive school set off for an afternoon of diving in paradise on their long-tail and sank about 100 meters away. New wreck??  no one was hurt as thankfully everyone could swim, i can sense a rise in dry bag sales coming.

This is Jim's last day as manager before he heads off to New Zealand (it's not that new) to get married to Andrea. He's gone for 5 weeks leaving Darren in charge. If you know Darren and jim you they could be twins, odd chest hair, shaved head, dodgy accent and a german woman so it should be business as normal.

Also tomorrow we have a new Wreck trip vessel called the Valiant, instead of the 6m rib owned buy DJL Divers we used before, this one is 8m and owned by Trident you can lap Koh Tao in 16 minutes. Get Some!

Speaking of get some, gossip says one of our old DM's and one of our old DMT's are having a baby. We're not sure how this started (DMT - Pee) but if its true we're all very happy for them.

Our local scotsman DMT Mac has come down with a bug and spent the night passing fluids in a 12 gun salute style. Some people think it's from something he drank, we all agreed that evernignt 14 gin an tonics will give you the runs but our clinics solution was to put him on an IV Drip. Restraints had to be used to stop him from adding vodka to the bag, he should be back up and walking by tomorrow.

May 2008

31st May 2008- Saturday

2008-05-31We would like to give a big shout to all those who participated in yesterdays underwater clean up at Aow Leuk & Rocky Bay. The good news is that there was virtually no rubbish! 1 buddy group even came up at the end of the dive having found no rubbish at all! Well done Koh Tao! It looks like all these festivals, council meetings & clean up days are getting the message across. Now if we could only find a way to blow up the 7/11!

Happy Birthday Deano! The big three & 'O'! There is going to be a party tonight at Vibe on Sairee Beach with free BarBQ & free beer if you give the bar 60 Bt! And then of course I'm sure Dean will be made to do a snorkel test & have an egg poured into his mix. You know ... the usual. Happy Birthday Taffy!

So there is a few old faces back around Big Blue at the moment. Welcome back Lyn who is here to do her Nitrox course this weekend & then go out on the Full Day Trip on Monday to Sail Rock to maximise her bottom time! & hello again to Robin too who has now come back from her Indonesian holiday to work in Koh Tao again. & she has only been back a couple of days & already has a job at another diveshop. Congrats Robin! Isn't it good to be back! 

30th May 2008- Friday

2008-05-30Big Blue Diving would like to apologise for the lame arsed effort of yesterdays entry. Unfortunatley the member of staff who's job it was to take care of our dailly diary was rubbish! She was unable to perform her task cos apparently her tongue was hanging so far out once she realised she was starting yesterday's course with 6 handsome athletic males, she couldn't sit down. Lame arse!

Speaking of rubbish! Its Aow Leuk & Rocky Bay clean up day today. & guess who's going with another 30 volunteers! So in case you weren't aware we get involved in a monthly clean up around Koh Tao. Recently we have done Maehaad, Sairee Beach & Nang Yuan Island. Now we are off to the South of the Island. Generally these clean ups have been very encouraging as the amount of rubbish has actually been very minimal. We are cleaning up Rocky Bay this afternoon- Wicked, Sharks!

Right guys, anyone fancy a pint? I'm going to pop down to the Safety Stop pub in Maehaad now & bid our friends Darren & Ally off as they head on their way to the Maldives. They are on the 4pm Seatran to Chumphon & then Bangkok. They've been unbelievably great staff & I know we shall all miss them here at Big Blue. Good on you guys & see you for a holiday either here or there in the not too distant future.

Thursday 29th May 2008-

It was an emotional farewell last night to instructors Ally, Darren and Pagnos, and a welcome back one Sonia!!! Who was propping her eyes open with the lids of singha bottles, after a long journey from bangkok, stepping off the ferry and straight into a DSD thanks Jim!

Wednesday 28th May 2008-

Well we must be doing something right! & Koh Tao isn't even that busy! We've sent Banzai out to Sail Rock again today due to popular demand. Its really only in the last week or so where our divers just keep signing up for more & more dives. What have we done in the last week or so that has encouraged such a demand for diving at Big Blue? Could it be my new Swedish shopgirls Helena & Evelyn? Oh the joys of volunteer labour!

Sonia is back! And no sooner had she walked through the door when she's sent out to take a Discover Scuba Diver! Its not like she had much choice either. There's no staff left cos everyone has either buggered off or is on holiday & we don't just employ anyone round here. apart from Sonia! Welcome back Sonwan. Now pull your finger out & do some work! Slacker!

& today is the day when we have our leaving drinks with Darren, Ally & Panos! As you may or may not know Darren & Ally are off to the Maldives in a few days. They are leaving one small tropical island paradise for another even smaller tropical island paradise. & Panos & Kayleigh are also off. They are off to some unpronouncable Greek island paradise. I wonder if they'll have 7/11's too. Thanks for all your work, your help, the laughs, the sadness & the memories guys! Big Blue Diving will miss you all!

Tuesday 27th May 2008

2008-05-27The average age of the Big Blue staff just increased as we welcome back some 'old heads' to the teaching team. Klaus (don't mention the war) Fistenbender is here for a month, the oldman of Koh Tao himself, Klaus remembers when it was all coconuts as far as the eye could see. Best known for his sunny disposition and wide-eyed enthusiasm for all things PADI, Klaus will no doubt be enjoying his first confined session at Japanese Gardens as I type ;)

No-one has heard from Guillaume for a while but we're fairly sure he's happily stuffing his face with saucissons dipped in melted camembert and sipping on some foie gras infused Pouilly Fume as I write. If you were looking for a reliable, sober, steady kind of guy to look after your pride and joy while you were away who would you choose? Thats right, Simon has been given the keys to the dream machine TW muscle bike for the next 6 weeks! Don't worry your pretty little head G, I'm sure you made the right choice....

The flip-flop theft crimewave is still sweeping the island and Big Blue has been identified as the one of the worst places to leave your Havainas unattended. Not since Rick's famous flip-flop filching spree have so many shoes gone missing (he filled his drybag twice over with footwear from Lotus Bar and filled 2 lockers with contraband). No-one is sure who is behind the latest thefts but witnesses have reprted seeing a young woman in white Ray Bans leaving the scene of many flip-flop disapearances. If you have any information, or if you have been a victim of flip-flop theft, please contact Jointheclub@bigbluediving>

Saturday 24th May 2008-

2008-05-24Scaredy cats! So we got these 4 burly lads here who play football in the UK for lower league teams like Rotherham & Mansfield. Now they are nice guys and obviously very good at soccer. They have that athletic build & the ladies around Big Blue at the moment are growing in numbers which is usually the sign of a hot stud hanging out. & Sonia is back today so thats another sign! Now being the burly butch physical types you'd reckon they'd be all game to go ahead & upgrade their Scuba Diver License to 12 meters to an Open Water License at 18meters but these brave lads don't want to go so deep! I bet if they played for a proper lower league soccer team like Brighton Hove Albion they wouldn't be such scaredy cats!

Its that low tide time of year again! When the coral heads poke their tops out of the water, we get the longtails stranded on the beach, & we have to very cunningly steer our way out through the channel to get out to the dive boats. There's no more Confined off Sairee beach its out on the boats now to Mango Bay or Japanese Gardens. Its earlier mornings & later nights at work. The winds are a little stronger & the waves are a little bigger on the west side of the island this time of year. We've just had summer & now we're coming back into spring again. Don't you just love the changing of the seasons?

I'm extremely distressed! I've just learnt my Chang hasn't got formaldehyde in it anymore! I know! I'm as shocked as you are! Its the formaldehyde that gives the Chang its special taste! Awww C'mon Thailand! What am I supposed to drink now?

Friday 23rd May 2008-

2008-05-23uess I better start by congratulating our past flock of DMT's who have now risen to become Divemasters or Liv might shoot me down! Sorry we forgot to mention you the other day. You & Sara, & Vicky & how you all stripped Tim & then dressed him in a wetsuit while pretending to be blindfolded! How could we forget to write that! Congratulations girls on becoming fresh new Divemasters & congratulations Tim for getting them all to dress you up in rubber!

And its Helloo to Erik! Our Manager in Khao Lak is joining us in Koh Tao now for their off season May to November & will be taking over where Canada left off. Erik is a Technical Diving Instructor & Wreck & Cave diving Instructor as well so where before we had tech & wreck, well now we have tech, wreck & roll! As we are going to be rolling over to the Khao Sok National Park on the mainland to do dive some caves. Put that in your pipe & smoke it diveshop that nicked Canada from us!

I have some very disappointing news I'm afraid. Darren & Ally have decided to pack up sell up & ship out. After the 3+ years Ally has been here & the 2+ years Darren has been here they have decided to draw to a close their time spent here on this little tropical island paradise & will be exploring the underwater world in.... the Maldives! Bastards! COngratulations guys sounds like a fantastic job & we know you'll both do very well! Our loss is the Maldives gain!
Right now would everyone please stop resigning!

Tuesday 20th May 2008

2008-05-20Some it comes around once a month for everyone travelling this side of the world. Yes people, exit Koh Tao, enter Full Moon Party, well for one night anyway then the majority all them come back with colourful body paint and crazy hair doos.

So another beautiful day on turtle island with many fun divers spotting a Hawksbill, baby octopuss and the ever cute pink lipped Yellow Box fish awwww!! Nice one Churchy for spotting them at one of Koh Tao's ever trigger happy dive site White Rock.

So we say congratulations to yet another one of our DMT's tonight Peter in our unique BB style as we set up a DM Challenge for him tonight at the Beach Bar. Nice one mate! We will all be there with our cameras at the ready and our voices singing away at DJ Tim's tunes and or course, the famous jig on the bar to end the night.

Monday May 19th 2008-

2008-05-19Today is the last day of our staff exodus leaving for their holidays. G is off to Sunny France & won't be back till July. Its frogs legs & onions for you for a while now! Au revoir mon ami. Bon Appetitie & Avez un bonne vacance vous ponce!

And today is also the first day of our Staff returning! Our Valley dwelling, flossy cuddling, pub singing, Taffy Deano is back today! He's been gone such a long time we're not sure he's going to be able to find his way back but we've opened the cold 'kylie' ( a small singha -Ha!) & reckon he should be able to smell his way home if nothing else!

Rick ! If you are out there & read this! Great job on the shop man it looks fantastic & there is so much more space its incredible. I'm thinking of turning the place into a roller disco at night its that roomy!

Sunday May 18th 2008-

2008-05-18The Lord moves in mysterious ways! Less than a fortnight after I'm married & just as everyone leaves me for their jaunts across the oceans I have had 2 very beautiful Swedish ladies who have walked straight into the shop & have asked for 6 weeks work experience with us! You realise what that means! For the next 6 weeks I have 2 young voluptuous Swedish girls working for me, for free & will do anything I tell them! Ahhh dear lord- why do you torture me so?

So after a week of pretty poor weather the sun is now out, the birds are chirping, the fish are swimming & we can see underwater again! Ahh the joys of a post tropical cyclone! & today is even brighter cos our lovely shop girl Kate has returned from her week long holiday shopping spree to Phuket. She had to wait for Ricky & Anna who both leave today! It just gets better & better! Have a wonderful holiday guys & we'll see you in a month!

Top 5 Interesting Triggerfish Facts
1. A triggerfish sneezes electrictiy.
2. A triggerfish uses red hot larva to moisturise its skin.
3. A triggerfish can kick start a boat.
4. A triggerfish can roundhouse kick a fully inflated pufferfish 5 meters.
5. A triggerfish's urine fetches $ 400 a fluid ounce on the Asian Stock market!

Saturday May 17th 2008-

2008-05-17Yep I can't ignore it anymore! I'm back! I'm older, balder & peculiarly smaller! (Must be the weight of the ring around my finger!) But I'm back & you never realise how great it is to live here & how lucky we are to be the ones doing it, until you go away. Thanks for the thoughts the wishes the emails the calls & facebookers. Its was good to be away but its better to be back!

And what does everyone do the minute I get back... Well, G, Hal, Rick, Ricky & Anna are all shooting off on holiday, While Canada has handed in his notice! What did I do? It wasn't me who farted honest!

Canada has been swiped from us by another diveshop on a package that really couldn't be refused. Bastards! Good luck with it all Canada & thanks for all the chaos you've left in your wake! Its been alot of fun. Congratulations mate!

May 16th 2008

2008-05-16Islanders were woken this morning by a strange yellowy light streaming through their windows. What was that golden ball of fire rising over the hilltops of Koh Tao? It was all getting a bit too tropical there for a while...

We knew we were in for a spot of rain when P'Piak grew a beard and started bringing the animals of Koh Tao aboard Banzai two by two. What no-one could have predicted was the endless days of steely grey skies, roiling thunderheads looming on the horizon, daily downpours of biblical proportions, driving rain, steamy drizzle, gorillas were spotted swinging through the trees of Koh Tao's mist-wreathed hillsides. Incessant, relentless, interminable rain. All we needed the last few days was Gene Kelly tapdancing through the sodden sand of Sairee, twirling his brolly (thats an umbrella in enger-lish) and looking all chipper. Little orphan Annie kept telling us the sun (would) come out, tomorrow, come what may, tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow your only a day away....ahem. Don't worry, she's safely stashed away in her blue ziplocked bag until the next EFR course.

Do we dive in rain? Hell yeah! Rain or shine we still go out, there's bugger all else to do when its raining anyway, and no matter what goes on up top, its calm and peaceful down below. It can be difficult convincing customers to get back on a boat and go diving when they've just come off the catamaran from the mainland. Big waves means pale green faces and sick bags (why are they transparent ffs?), if you are thinking of coming to Koh Tao, I recommend the little yellow seasick pills before you board. If you can't find any at the pier most of the instructors and divemasters on the boat will usually have a few in their pockets. They're easy to spot, they're the ones drinking Singha while everyone else is filling a plastic bag with their breakfast ;)

May 15th 2008

2008-05-15Halleluiah!!! The boss is back!!! Yes, after a 40 hour trip Jim set foot on the island 3 days ago. Unfortunately, his luggage decided not to follow him. Maybe it was still hungover from the wedding. Or maybe it was an airline error, who knows? Eventually, the bags showed up on the Lomprayah this morning and luckily nobody had thrown up on them, despite the big waves in the Gulf at the moment. Better late than never, hey! I must say Jim was very impressed at how his team managed to hold the fort while he was away. Special acknowledgments go to Darren for acting as interim manager and Rick for making the shop look twice as big as before!

Last night was Olaf’s DM challenge. The theme was a short version of the divemaster course and including mapping the Big Blue Bar, showing drinking stamina, demonstrating a perfect cocktail fixing skill and performing a beverage buddy check. Nice program! As usual, the DMTs all jumped on the bar after the Challenge and Olaf proved to us that he could have a member of the Koh Tao Chippendales. A lot 20, 50 and 100 baht bills were slipped down his pants and it all went to the Burmese victims of the hurricane. Who said you can’t join fun and charity?

Hal just went on holiday for three weeks to the Philippines today and Rick left for a month to the U.S. of A. G and Anna and Ricky are soon to follow. Panos is saying goodbye at the end of the month. Rumor has it there will a party on Saturday for all the departures, temporary or definite and another DM challenge. Keep an eye on this page for more

May 9th 2008
 
2008-05-09W--------K!!! Yeah, I know, again… Getting boring isn’t it? This time the massive creature was spotted on Green Rock giving the opportunity for another group of divers to lose their whaleshark virginity. But the most important news here is that Church was not on the boat. Kind of reassuring I would say. It now turns out you don’t have to make sure Church is on the roster before you sign up for a dive to see a whaleshark anymore. Everybody gets a chance and all divers are created equal!

If you’ve been hanging around the Big Blue shop these days, you’ve probably heard a lot drilling and hammering noises. You’ve also noticed that Rick is here all day long but that he is not diving. Well, the reason is we are revamping the shop andMr.-I’m-building-my-own-house-on-Koh-Tao is supervising the progress himself after designing the future setup. You can already check out the retail area where the masks, fins and dry bags are displayed. The rest isn’t finished yet but we will keep you updated on a daily basis. From what I see this morning, looks like we might have a brand new counter tonight!

The weather has been gorgeous for the last days apart from the 5 minutes of rain we just had half an hour ago. What’s 5 minutes, hey? Banzai has gone on a Full Day Trip to Sail Rock again today and the afternoon fundivers get to visit the East Coast dive sites. Sairee Beach is as beautiful as ever so everybody, why not drop that pen or that computer or whatever it is you are working with right now and come down to the Rock!!!

Wednesday May 7th

2008-05-07CONGRATULATIONS!!! Our beloved Manager Jim has finally put the ring on Andrea’s finger!!! The event all of Koh Tao and most f Germany and New Zealand had been waiting for has finally happened. Unfortunately, we weren’t there to see it but rumor has it that the Chang Company had to send a whole container of its famous beer because Mr. Donaldson couldn’t imagine getting married without his favorite beverage. Andrea prefers the FIZZ of champagne! After the ceremony, the couple fled off on a floating carriage (kind of like the one Poseidon rides), led by two lovely big blue dolphins.


Another day, another whaleshark! Yesterday morning, divers on Navakid and Banzai got to once again experience the thrill of swimming with the king of the oceans. Guess who was on the boat? Church of course!!! I don’t mean to say that every time our Austrian friend is on a boat there will be whaleshark - in fact I was on the boat with him this morning and we didn’t see one – but every time there is a whaleshark, he is on the boat. What are the odds? Oh, and a few days ago, 3 reef (bull?) sharks were once again spotted in the afternoon on Chumphon Pinnacle. But no sign since. No worries, another couple weeks and they should be back from their holiday to resume their job: entertain divers!

Farewell Nyco! Our multilingual German divemaster is on her way home and we all said goodbye to her yesterday. Nobody will forget the day she bravely struggled against the treacherous waters of the Gulf of Thailand, swimming to another boat on Chumphon Pinnacle to pick up 3 regulators. Now that’s what I call professionalism!

June 2008

Monday 30th June 2008-

2008-06-30Our battle wounded Helen braved the elements & has organized our monthly underwater clean up at Nang Yuan Island today. We’re off to Nang Yuan Cave & then we’ll head over to Japanese Gardens in a nice tight V formation form a depth of 12 meters upto the surface along the reef picking all the little bits & pieces that get washed up & caught up in the corals & rocks there. Not expecting too big a mess there to be honest so we’re only sending out Big Blue boat. Thanks to all our volunteers & also to Helen who despite having a gangrenous big toe, and a generally pretty gammy foot all round, led her troops with a smile on her face & a plaster, some padding, a bandage, some tape, a sock & a Croc around her foot. Cheers Hells!

Got some ecological big wig coming over from Samui in a couple of days to check out our waste water treatment process & to see if we can improve it even more than we have already! Apparently he reckons we can actually end up drinking the same water we are actually treating, which ideally sounds fantastic but realistically sounds quite abhorrent! Think we got a while to go till we get to that stage eco Big Wig!

We have the most perfect Resort Manager arriving to start work with us this week. She used to be the Resort Manager at Coral Grand & then got head hunted to go & run Koh Tao Cabana, all nice resorts & then we had a chat one day & lo & behold she's now working with us! Sawai Dee Krup P'Lyn. I can't tell you how excited I am to have you working here at Big Blue now as The Residential Resort Manager! Woo-hoo more free time for Jim!

Sunday 29th June 2008-

2008-06-29I’ve always felt life on Koh Tao could actually make a really good soap opera. Well a soap opera! A bit of a contradiction in terms that, good, soap opera! Anyway. Koh Tao has all the elements of a gripping saga. Sun, sea, scuba, babes, bikinis, sex, drugs, rock n roll, births, deaths, & marriages, hunks, money, greed, jealousy, lust, pleasure, embarrassment, you know all the essential ingredients. And now we even have Brett Tucker, a true life out of your screens & onto the beaches real world character from that great Aussie classic Neighbours, here with us right now! What do you reckon Brett? Make Koh Tao into a soap opera. We could call it Koh Dorado!

Thailand had its first pod of beached whales yesterday in Phuket! Luckily 19 out of the 20 were able to be saved by rescue volunteers but unfortunately 1 didn’t make it & it allegedly died of shock! The unanswered question is of course why do whales beach themselves like that. Navigational error seems to be the popular answer. We’ve all done it! Who hasn’t got lost at Sairee Reef at least once & ended up pretty much face down on the beach in full scuba surrounded by volunteers trying to douse you in water & get you back into the sea! Directional dyslexia I think its called!

Auf gehts Los, I believe is the appropriate term for tonights big game between the mighty power of Zee Germans against the fanciful footwork of L’Espanish! So us German supporters have placed our towels down at Choppers already, if there’s any of you fans out there who fancy watching it with us! Those pretty boys from Spain are going to be having their trousers pulled firmly down tonight. Auf gehts los,Ole!

Friday 27th June 2008-

2008-06-27I wouldn't exactly say any of us were that fashion conscious. I know Dan probably reckons he is as he likes to put on his Sunday best every once in a while, but the rest of us. Nah! However it doesn't take a genius to tell that men wearing nothing but basically their very tight undies strutting around on the boat & such really is wrong! What's also wrong, Barry, is telling them they look like your Uncle & asking them to pose with you just so you can get a photo of them to put on the website! That's just wrong, Barry! Funny... but wrong!

So Keith & Klaus are off today. Thank God. Not sure my liver could take much more of that. Not sure my wallet could either! Any way boys, thanks for gracing us with your presence & hope you've both enjoyed your brief stint with us back on the Rock. Keith is now on his way back to Blightey for a few months muscle toning (labouring) before coming back to run a Liveaboard business in the Similans next season & Klaus is heading off to the beautiful & remote Ningaloo reef on the west coast of Australia where people pay upto 3000 Aussie Dollars to do 1 dive with a Whaleshark. I know you've put on weight since you got here Klaus but I imagine the punters are going to be a little disappointed when they realise they've spent $3000 to dive with you tho!

Did you ever imagine that one day you'd be an addict! Get hooked on being at 30 meters underwater. The buzz of coming face to face with not just 1 but actually several large sharks. & not only live to tell the tale but actually voluntarily step forward with cash & ask for more! Scuba Diving! It's an expensive addiction.

Thursday 26th June 2008-

2008-06-26Well its a little late but as they say better late than never. We'd like to give a Big Blue hand for 2 of our older staff who last weekend went & tied the knot! Must be something in the air! Careful Ricky! Anyway we were all thinking of you Scobby & Jolien & have seen some of the photos. You as ever looked magnificent Jo, & we can't believe how handsome Scobby can look when he's not walking around in boardies & homecut sleeveless T-shirt. A right dashing young man... till he opens his mouth & says Gudday Sheila! A big congratulations guys from us all.

Our Mediterranean bombshell is leaving us this week. Celine is off to European pastures new. She's been pretty much teaching solidly now around the world for a good 5 or 6 years & is now I believe going to return home & spin her hand at something new. Well as long as you don't go around on bicycles with a stripey t-shirt, a beret on your head & a ring of onions around your neck like we know G does when he's home, I'm sure you'll be alright Celine. Just speak alot in French & Italian. Nothing sexier than a blonde bombshell speaking French or Italian... just don't forget to take your onion necklace off! Good luck Celine & thanks for the mammaries!

Judging by the interrupted transmission on last nights televised Germany and Turkey match in the European championships it seems Koh Tao isn't the only place right now having this dodgy weather. Good that means I don't have to write about it cos you are all having it too. I will however congratulate the Germans on a fantastic victory last night. Well done Klaus, Yvonne, Tim & I guess Jim aswell seeing as he's half German now! C'mon people place your towels down next to ours. Its Germany to win the finals! Ja!

Wednesday25th June

2008-06-25Big Blue Bar debauchery is back! The resort bar has been deader than Elvis since Songkran (can't thnk why *whistles*) but theres life in the old dog yet. Random piss-ups, scrotum shaving and bar dancing are the order of the day (or early to late evening) once again, before we know it we'll be beer floating and drinking in the trees like the old days....ah well.

It all started when a few staff, not normally big drinkers (Simo, Deano, Keith) decided to stay for a few Campari Sodas after work. The refreshing aperitifs can only have been spiked with beer or something because next thing we, I mean they, knew we, I mean, ah sod it, next thing we knew we were all dancing on the bar, I was feeling kinda seasick, but the crowd cried out for more, there were 15 vestal virgins...ah Procul Harem, where was I? So anyway, everything was going swimingly until Church tried an Austrian dance manoeuver and knocked Simo off the bar then fell on top of him. Luckily, a stool (thats a barstool) broke Simo's fall and he walked away with only a possible broken nose and a skinned shin while Churchy got away with a bruised hand. Neither men cried much and they were both incredibly brave and grown-up about the whole thing - well they were pissed as farts which amounts to the same thing.

Next up was Swedish Midsummer which was equally entertaining if you block out the memory of all that truly awful Swedish Pop music. How do you guys stand it?! Its no wonder you're all over here ;) Seemed like every Swede on Koh Tao turned up (thats a lot of Swedes) drank too much Schnapps and then went home early because its a well known fact that Swedish people can't drink for toffee, they're missing some crucial enzyme or summit', I heard. Swedish Midsummer is best described as the one day of the year when every Swede 'puts out', can't speak for meself but I could always ask Dan...

So I take the greatest pleasure in welcoming you all back to the Big Blue Bar, welcome back to late nights, evil hangovers and enormous bar tabs, welcome back to dodgy 'dad' dancing, ill-advised liasons and beer bellies!

Tuesday 24th June 2008-

2008-06-24I won't say who (just yet), but a while ago we had an Instructor who had a tattoo done which was of a turtle in a maori design with the words 'Koh Tao Diver', but the tattooist spelt it ' Hok Tao Diver' by mistake. Whoops! & then a little while later one of this Instructors' Divemasters in Training had the same tattoo done with the same mistake! How's that for a mentor protege relationship. Now, soon to be DMT Tuesday (that is her name) has gone and outdone both of these muppets with the first ( that I know of) Big Blue Dolphin tattoo. It looks awesome. Would of looked better with Hok Tao Diver though, eh Darren!

Well the weather on this side of the island at the moment is what I'd describe as a little bit pants! There's a lot of wind coming in from the west which is making the boats a little bouncy, & there's a lot of drizzle. Luckily, on the other side of the island where we are diving everyday it is flat calm & crystal clear. Its not very sunny however, so its still a little bit pants but its Gucci pants, not like the Aussie Daks we have on this side!

Despite the weather we still double dived at Chumphon Pinnacle this morning. It was a little bouncy but well worth it & seeing as the trip was organised by Dan & Church for the more experienced divers staying with us we all knew what we was in for! A bit rough on top but a cornucopia of life underneath. A little bit like our Churchie!

Sunday 22nd June 2008-

2008-06-22This is very sad. Had a lot of recent occurences at the divesites recently with regards to buoy lines being cut at Chumphon Pinnacle & yesterday we hear that a very large net has been draped over Green Rock & also along the coast there aswell. This is obviously bad & what is worse was that there was a Marlin caught in the net. Our friends at Crystal managed to get the beautiful creature out but it was too late. They've also done a great job cutting up the net but they need help so they're putting out an SOS. So we're happy to offer a free dive tomorrow morning to Green Rock to all diving professionals who can provide their own scissors & dive knives.

If you are on your way over & the weather looks bad don't worry! The rain never lasts long especially at this time of year. You can usually see the storm clouds brewing over the mainland & then the wind picks up in a huff & it rains a bit & then it all blows over. Usually its mid afternoon just when the boats arrive on Koh Tao. If I was you try & get here in the morning!

AS predicted high season has started. The Full Moon Party people have arrived with their mates & their mates mates & its busy everywhere. Rooms are scarce again & its the same with our friends at Blue Wind & Silver Sand. If your planning on coming to Koh Tao anytime between now & the beginning of September I strongly advise getting online & booking! If however you want to chance your luck & then can't get anything, we've actually got 12 perfectly good brand new never been used tents we're thinking of putting up by the fan rooms.Please note- No TV or shower or toilet or fan, but just 10 seconds from the beach! 

Saturday 21st June 2008-

2008-06-21The troops are on their way back! Just heard from Rick who will get back to Koh Tao from his American vacation today & also Ricky & Anna should be just about ready to walk through the door any minute aswell. Won't it be nice to have the whole family back together again. Except for our petite Frenchman who is no doubt still in mourning after the abysmal performance of Le Blue in the European cup. How are you holding up G? Welcome back everyone else! Did you all enjoy your hols? Good now get back to work!

A Cambodian teenager is recovering in hospital after being bitten in the groin by an angry pufferfish. The 13 year old is in hospital with heavy strapping around his testicles. The fish had become enraged when it was accidentally trapped in the boys net & when it was freed, it attacked stripping the boys scrotum of skin.Pufferfish 1- Buster gonads 0!

Longest day of the year in Sweden yesterday. And because we all love the Swedes we decided to host a party. A very big summer solstice party. Seems like we had the population of Gothenburg show up at Big Blue, all enjoying the Swedish shannanigans of dancing around a pole singing silly songs. It was fantastic. I haven't seen so many scantily clad drunk Scandies in one place since my days working in the Adult Entertainment Industry.

Wednesday 18th June 2008-

2008-06-18So the worlds gone crazy about the plethora of sharks that are back at Chumphon Pinnacle this week! Yes people they're back & this time it appears they've brought their friends & families to the divesite. While we're telling our customers about how many sharks there are at Chumpers they've obviously gone off and told their shark buddies & brethren how many divers there are at Chumphon Pinnacle! Divers checking out sharks & sharks checking out divers. Beats the shit out of Big Brother!

Bright & healthy congratulations to our new DAN Oxygen providers. After working hard all day & every day, since they both started full time here, Sanna & Helen & DMT Joe had to then go into classroom at 6pm for 2 successive nights to learn all about the importance of Oxygen & being able to deliver it appropriately to those suffering from either scuba diving related injuries or more importantly those with alcohol induced morning headaches after attendance at improptu celebratory parties! Well Done O2 delivererers! Cheers for the ugly photo of them Steve!

Our sympathies go out to DM Dan today. He's broken his little pinky! Last member of staff to break any part of their anatomy must have been Mathias & he twanged his little pinky a treat! Bless his cottons. Thank your lucky stars you didn't break that little pinky Dan!

Tuesday 17th June 2008-

2008-06-17Attempting to be a former non smoker aint easy but I think Barry has just found the secret! Get an out of date Nicorette patch & black tape it to your arm for a good 3 days getting it regularly wet while diving. You should feel the effects of nausea, vomiting, giddiness & a general breakdown in anything that feels healthy by day 4 which will require medical action in the form of an intravenous drip! Day 5 go (against Doctor's orders) on a visa run & sit in a mini bus of smokers for 6 hours & then by day 6 you too should be a former non smoker!

Took our handyman for a tour of one of our boats, Navakid, yesterday & asked him to do a little bit of upholstery! They do get bashed about a bit our boats & the crap weather we've had a couple of weeks ago didn't help. Anyway we've slapped a bit of this on that, screwed a thingy into a wotsit, slipped a slab here & there, & polished the porcelain pan. Scrubs up nicely! Thank you Dam.

Congratulations Kate! Who has just got back from completing her Advanced Open Water Course. The problem is Kate did the course with her boyfriend who is an Instructor at another diveshop! The other problem is that when she went to Chumphon Pinnacle this morning to do her deep dive our poor Kate didn't get to see any sharks! Well Kate if you don't go with the best you'll never get the quality! Eh people! Wink wink!

Monday 16th June 2008-

2008-06-16Tis another beautiful day in paradise with blazing sunshine & ladies roaming the beaches with very little on! Fantastic diving too, flat sea's, more fish than you can shake a stick at and the busiest Full Moon Party of the Year coming up. So we're off tomorrow for another trip to the magnificent Sail Rock on one boat & because both Germany & Austria are playing soccer tonight Klaus & Churchie are organising an afternoon trip to Chumphon Pinnacle aswell on another boat. Aren't they considerate & thoughtful to others need for sleep!

Poor old Ari appears to be a little unwell. & why? Well as has actually happened once or twice before prior to being disencouraged by management because the income at the bar had become so dramatically reduced, Sonia is... 'on the wagon!' But don't worry Ari I made her get on one of those Aboriginal wagons, the type that's really uncomfy & comes right back so she'll be back off it again in no time at all. Breathe Ari she'll be sloshed & buying everyone drinks again before you can say 'Is it beer o'clock yet?'

Very sorry to have to tell you all that one of our longest serving Thai staff is off this week. P'Nen the guy who won the staff awards 2 years in succession for having the best tattoo has decided to open up his own business recycling waste from Koh Tao & selling it on the mainland. Good luck to you too P'Nen. You've been a very happy Captain & a fantastic guy to have met & worked with. So now guys I need a replacement for P'Nen. Only applicants with tattoos of their thingy on their leg need apply!

Sunday 15th June 2008-

2008-06-15The answer to our prayers walked back into our lives today! It really has been bothering me for ages too. Poor old Kate - our fantastically luverly shopgirl has been working alone now for almost 3 weeks. Thats 11 hours a day for 3 weeks without a day off! Thats pretty hardcore I can tell you & we've been looking for someone to join her but just haven't been able to find the right girl. That is until thismorning. When who should walk in but ... "Ladies & Gentlemen please put your hands together for our new sexy Shopgirl Alan Swapey!" Welcome back Swapey!

And I'm now hearing rumours that Jodie has left today as well! I'm very sorry to hear that. I do hope Simon will be alright. We all know how close those 2 got. Simon taught Jodie how to nick things & Jodie taught Simo a few things I can't divulge in public. (after all this is a family show!) Anyone seen Simo by the way. Haven't seen him since Jodie left! She didn't take him with her did she??? Has she nicked the Scouser?

So some of us on the island are getting together to try & help restore Tanote Bay on the 21st June, after a large land mass subsided due to the weight of the poorly planned reservoir. Now guys we need all of the help we can get as we are all going to have a go at planting some trees to give the soil some strength, The road to get there is pretty bad, so guys if you are not comfortable driving it there will be a free taxi from 8-9:30 am from Koh Tao info (near the old Aukotan.) I know its unlikely that many of you travel with shovels but please bring any gardening tools that you may have lying around that includes lazy other halfs! Yo diggity!

Saturday 14th June 2008-

2008-06-14So nice to see so many of you loverly people out last night for Dan's 21st! & Robyn's 29th! Must have been about 40 people out for dinner! Its always the cake people look forward to most so there were 40 very disappointed faces when Deano walked infront of a roaring fan with a lit birthday cake & all the wax splattered over the icing! Disappointment turned to mild mirth before returning to disappointment over our Welsh boys misdemeanour. Not sure Dan minded- he still got some cake later ... & ate it!

The weather was alot nicer this morning! Even managed to get out to Chumphon Pinnacle again this morning which by all accounts was magnificent! Its a good 20 meter viz & the bad weather seems to be over now according to our weather forecast so its back out again this afternoon with a boat full of Fun divers only! 1 small Chang to the first person who see's a shark today! A large one to the person who's off to Choppers to watch this afternoon's rugby! ;)

Got to take my hat off to Charlie! He's back after a year of Scottish University & within 24 hours of returning had not only found himself an affordable pad, bought himself a brand new set of equipment, he has also gotten himself a job and is already working at another dive shop on Koh Tao. Excellent work my friend! I'm impressed! Not at all bad for a 19 year old from Scootland!

Friday the 13th June-

2008-06-13Not laughing now are we! I am amazed how much damage Sonia & Dean were able to extract upon my Facebook profile in what was less than 8 minutes! They changed my profile photo, joined me in 3 groups- 1 about homosexual nightclubbing in Bangkok, (not that there is anything wrong with that!) 1 was about wife swapping & 1 was about enjoying stiff parts of peoples anatomy! they also updated my status several times. Well Dean & Sonia as you can see, it really is not a pleasant day today. So bad we had to actually cancel the afternoons dive sites for everyone except for you 2. You guys can dive in the swimming pool. That should stiffen certain parts of your anatomy ladies!

Happy Birthday Dan! Big Blue's 2nd most sought after male (after Jim) turns 21 again today! Well done mate I hope its as good today as the last time you turned 21! Its going to be High Jinx at Hippo, followed by good vibrations at Vibe, & Move your body music at Moove! Thats if we don't get blown off the beach beforehand! Happy returns!

Right guys I'll be honest! The weather at the moment really blows! Its high seas & stiff breezes & its a hell of a ride if you are on your way over by ferry or catamaran and if you are on your way then I'd recommend booking your transport with the Seatran Ferry. Its a smoother ride & their sea sickness bags aren't see-thu!

12th June 2008- Thursday

2008-06-12We just blew in from the windy city??!!!!! the poor people coming in off the lomprayah ferry today were looking a little bit green and worse for wears this morning. we advise seasick pills for the next two days until this little storm blows over.

Silly ol'Jimbo!!!! never leave the computer on in the shop with the welshman and brummie around!!!ponce ha nice picture by the way, can see why Andrea fell for you now??!!

Dont let the wind put you off, we are still having a Ful Day trip over to the side tomorrow, Hin Wong and Leam Thien are perfectly sheltered with beautiful flat seas!!!! masaman anyone? quick before Gollum comes back and steals it all.

11th June 2008- Wednesday

2008-06-11There is a new 'novelty' range of condoms including (I kid you not) a condom in the shape of a shark. What?? They are made by our sex obsessed friends in Germany! They have a warning on the back: no good as a contraceptive device, & no use at preventing sexually transmitted diseases. Not what I'd call very Vorsprung Durch Technique?

Got another new staff to welcome to the fold. Welcome Filip vander vander vanden Ver! Not strictly his real name but its one of those Belgian names which goes on for weeks so you don't really want to learn it! Sorry Filip. Anyway Filip has been working in Khao Lak & Greece before & also operated the first Liveaboard based in Koh Tao. He speaks more languages than most of our staff put together & like all Belgiums has a degree in Tintin and has actually met Hercule Poirot! Welcome to Le Grande Bleu Mademoiselle Filip Vandervandenvander!

How To Fail Your Open Water Test.
a. Tell your instructor you will race him to the surface.
b. Lie face down and motionless while holding your breath.
c. Loudly proclaim that safety stops are for "wossies".
d. Show up with a set of tables based on your own algorithm "that's WAY
better".
e. Spit in your wetsuit and pee in your mask.
f. Ask your instructor, which fin goes on which foot.
g. Tell your instructor there is no way you can lift a cylinder with 2000
pounds of air in it.
h. When asked for your dive plan, you hand over a bundle of travel
brochures.

10th June 2008 Tuesday

2008-06-10Remember those Bounty chocolate ads on the telly with the tropical island, the calm crystal clear blue waters, the fantastic sunshine, the top heavy girl in slinky bikini. Everything you can think of that conjures up the image of a sunsoaked tropical heaven everytime you have a bite of that luscious chocolate. Well Koh Tao aint nothing like that at the moment! Bit wet & windy today. Poor old Church has caught a cold. Ponce! Eat your Bounty & stop moaning!

Got to get ourselves ready for this weeks Dive site special which is... Green Rock night dive! Yeah! Rock on! Nice to be original & I know we are going to have lots of people sign up for it. There'll be all sorts of good stuff to see aswell. Time to get your own back on that trigger Robyn!

Now I'm not the quickest when it comes to gossip but this time I think I might actually be the first with the scoop! Looks like the Big Blue Bar has gone & got themselves an extremely attractive young lady to work & run the place. She's definitely Scandanavian cos I heard her speaking Swedibberish to Ari the other day & she has that Swedish volleyball team look about her. So nice to see, not just her but people, back at the bar again. It got a little quiet there for a bit. And great to see our Divemaster Team welcoming our new barstaff with so much charm & charisma. Real Gentlemen our DM's!

9th June 2008- Monday

2008-06-09Imagine how much money is being lost at bars & pubs right now just because England didn't make it to the European Championships. The English should automatically qualify just so the breweries don't go under! And all these sad miserable England fans wandering around Koh Tao right now have got to start supporting other countries. I'll start! I'm laying down my towel to reserve my place at the bar right beside Klaus! C'mon you Hermans! Auf gehts los boys!

Everybody's favourite cunning linguist is back! Hal's had about 3 weeks off & has been doing the bus mans holiday thing by taking his well earned holiday away from diving by having a diving holiday in the Phillipines! Says he saw lots of fantastic creatures like Manta's, thresher sharks, frog fish, ghostpipefish & all sorts of other good stuff! It was all very interesting & I can't wait to hear what he saw today when he gets back with his DSD's from Mango Bay!

Not the best day to choose to go to Sail Rock today unfortunatley. Its a little bit overcast today. Hasn't rained here yet but its been looking like its going to all day & we are completely surrounded by big puffy cumulonimbuses's! Better get those coats & brolleys out divers!

7th June 2008- Saturday

2008-06-07Right anyone thinking of doing their IDC soon, better book with me quick smart if you want to save yourselves some shekels, & get a really nice fan room with ensuite & use of swimming pool for just 6000 Bt a month! Right now for a very special price for your IDC including EFR Instructor what was 44000 BAHT, is now only 39.900 BAHT. (Batteries sold seperately!) Can't be beat! Get a career in diving & you too could soon be living in paradise! contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a good time!

In Hawaii its called the humuhumu-nukunuku-a-pua (no shit!) but here in Koh Tao we refer to these magnificent marine creatures as Triggerfish. They can erect the first two dorsal spines: the first one locks and the second one unlocks preventing predators from swallowing them or pulling them out of their holes. This locking and unlocking behaviour is why they are named 'triggerfish'. They are hard as nails & love the taste of New York flavoured Dive masters. Eh Robin!

Congratulations Craig our new Canadian Brokeback Mountain Divemaster. Your lassoing, gun toting, lap dancing, Horse riding performance last night at your snorkel test was by all accounts some of the finest acting to have come out of a Canadian since Keanu Reeves attempted Shakespeare! Congrats Craig you cowboy hunk!

6th June 2008- Friday

2008-06-06Its been a slow week, apart from the day that tumbleweed rolled through town we really haven't had much in the way of customers. Today however feels like the turning of the tide. Be warned people if you want to come to Koh Tao over the next couple of months then you better book yourselves some accommodation or you might find yourselves on Ricks financially inflated hammock!

The guys & Gals are back from their 3 day 3 night wreck trip around the Gulf. Fantastic visibility awesome wrecks at scarey depths & then to top it all off a whaleshark as well.
Its all Fish & ships when you go out on these trips. Congratulations Malin & Tim on becoming brand new technical divers!

Always very sad to see some of our old friends & staff bugger off for something new but equally fun & exciting to see old friends & staff come back. Even if it is for only a few weeks. Keith was one of our top Instructors years back just when Big Blue really became a diveshop to reckon with & has since been running a very busy diveshop in Khao Lak. Very nice to have you back Mr Angles. Welcome home!

 5th June 2008 - Thursday

2008-06-05I really do apologise for not having been able to update the website as I know there are loads of you new & old who read this rubbish & like to get their daily fix. I apologise but well you know sometimes there's a good reason for it. Usually its cos its too busy at work, or there's nothing going on or the internet connection is down but this time it was cos an old mate rang me up & invited me over to Samui for a night on the town with him & the boys. I said 'Ian, mate! I'd love to! see you this arvo!'
I had a great time & Ian was very miffed to hear I hadn't bought his number 1 fan Simon out to say hello & drool but Simo mate he's a celebrity & you just can't go around nicking celebrities!

Congratulations to our latest Australian talent to pass their Divemaster Course- Well done Matt. Matt has been here only 3 weeks & did the fast track DMT course. By fast track we mean heaps of diving every day morning & afternoon & night dives if there are any. Attendance at all lectures- thats twice a week is needed. & there can be no extra curricular activities other than the normal high jinxes & amorous love affairs & snorkel tests. Its a bit like an Aussie Soap Opera really. No wonder our boy from Townsville did such a bonza job! Good on ya Matt mate.

Nice to hear from a few of the staff slackers on their hols & what nots- Panos, G, Anna & Ricky & how they have been enjoying their well earned breaks. I'm sure Darren & Ally are now soaking up the sunshine & riding round town on their camels in Dubai for a week before they head off to the Maldives. & Scobby & Jolien have been travelling the Tran Siberian railway through all sorts of exotic sparseness of Mongolia & are now back in Holland getting ready for their big day. Rick is living the American Drama as he travels around the US to see his family & G has been very busy eating garlic, & wearing stripey shirts alot.

2nd June 2008- Monday

2008-06-02Aaaaaaaaaa.... and relax! Oh yeah. The island has gone completely quiet! Amazing 2 days ago we had more guests than rooms at our place & at Blue Wind & now today I got more rooms than guests. It feels absolutley deserted. I can't understand it. Its the whole island too. You can literally walk down Sairee Village & the only thing you'll come across will be tumbleweed. I love it. Its like being on holiday!

We have managed to sneak in another Full Day Trip to Sail Rock again today. The viz there at the moment is as good as anyone has ever seen. Really its got to be almost 30 meter viz on some sides of the rock. Massive schools of barracudas & twisters of Jacks. Breakfast, lunch, sunshine, 3 dives & 3 orally inflated Divemasters. What more could you ask for.

Two divers go spear fishing. They catch a lot of fish and
return to the shore.
The first one says, "I hope you remember the spot where we caught all those fish."
The other answers, "Yes, I made an 'X' on the side of the
boat to mark the spot."
"You idiot!" cries the first, "How do you know we will get the same boat tomorrow?"

1st June 2008- Sunday

2008-06-01Guess who won the island Pub Quiz? We did of course. Thanks Moove for donating 1000Bt behind the bar for our drunken scholars who could no more drink another beer than tick the right box! Special thanks to our smart arses Church & Nate who knew the answers to practically every question, so didn't make the rest of the team appear quite so dumb.

It was a great Birthday bash for Deano last night at Vibe bar. Cheers Massive Dave! The Bar B Q was fantastic & going pretty much all night- Cheers Massive Dave- & the sozzle went down very easily- Cheers Massive Dave. Shame about the 3 hour speech we had to endure from Deano. Luckily Massive Dave was there to wrestle the mike from our Welsh motormouth- Cheers Massive Dave! You did have a busy night!

Big Blue would like to welcome another member of the team today. James our cruise ship acupuncturist is joining us in the Divemaster team alongside Church & Dan & when she gets back from her round Ireland drinking whiskey trip Anna. We've nabbed James from another Koh Tao diveshop but seeing as we trained him we thought it was only fair. Welcome James. Its nice to have you onboard. Now about that free acupuncture session we talked about...

July 2008

Thursday 31st July 2008-
 
2008-07-31Its that time of the month where we lay on an afternoon of free fun & games for anyone who cares about our underwater environment. This month we are off to clean up the area around Three Rocks which is great for me especially as I'm about to have my wedding celebration there in a months time- gulp! Anyway. I believe we have 35 divers looking to come out with us this afternoon & they are going to have a small lecture from Helen on what you should pick up & what you should leave as it may have become a home already. Then its diving, snorkelling, kayaking! & then tonight we are all off to Vibe for another Party to raise money & awareness for our Bio Rock project! & what are Big Blue giving to the proceedings? Who wants 10000 Bt off their DM Course! That's got to be worth 100 Bt in raffle tickets surely! Thanks for your help Guys. & special pat on the back for Helen. The KT Gods will be good to you in the afterlife!Unemployed? Short of cash? Need to make some money quickly? There has never been a better time for getting in to the Commercial diving business! If you work in the North Sea, for example, the current pay rate for an air diver is about £450 a day. When they dive deeper and live in decompression chambers and saturation, the pay rate goes up to £1,040. Not bad for a 20 minutes on the job then 8 hours of videos. Reckon they must be PADI videos tho if they're going to pay you that much! See there's always a catch!Canada is back on the boat today with Big Blue! He's here to show off his nice new shiney tanks. He's picking up rubbish like the rest of us but because he's now almost twice the size of the rest of us he obviously needs more tanks! So today Canada will be out on his twin tanks. Obviously he has double the amount of air & cos its shallow where we are going he'll have heaps of bottom time. We'll be back on Saturday to pick you up mate!
 
Tuesday 28th July 2008-
 
2008-07-28About a month ago I took Dam our handyman out to look at Navakid with me & do a bit of a touch up on things. Well this morning we did the same with Banzai! We touched this up & felt that up! We put things in places that made us wriggle & we pulled things we'd put in earlier out. We filled up holes & screwed in poles. We banged & knocked & hammered & chiseled & huffed & puffed & sawed & sanded. Well actually Dam did all that. I just sat around. I had a lovely day out on the boat. Thanks Dam. You're the best!I feel we are in need of a little bit of marketing material revamping & who better to ask than our walking wounded who were only too happy to help! Thank you so much Caz our Graphic Designer & Nora ex employee of Warner Music for volunteering your talents to make us the pimpest marketing brochure we can conjure up! Remember girls we want to feature plenty of scenic shots, sunshine, sunsets, bikini babes, big fish, little fish, beachside classrooms, bar nights, buffet dinners, bungalows, boats, babes & Boobs! They always make you feel better!Marcel has decided to create his own Fodors guide to restaurants & Eating in Koh Tao! Its actually a great idea because there are hundreds here in Koh tao & to be honest they are all pretty good. So he's busy making up the rules for this food guide but it will be points based. ie biggest potions, nicest staff, best atmosphere, do they serve large Chang, that sort of thing! So we all know that the best pizza in Koh Tao you can get right here at Big Blue. 5 points! & Church reckons Zanzibar does the best cheesburgers! 5 points Tukta is the best Thai food but because they are too far away they lose a point which makes them joint equal with Krua Thai in Sairee! 4 points! Rules are rules & our Marcel can be ruthless when he wants to be!
 
Monday 27th July 2008-

2008-07-27Marcel has taken Sonia & Sanna away for a couple of days of private lessons. Thats what I like about the SSI Crossover Course. Its so much more personal! He'll whisper sweet nothings in their ears, he'll buy them lunch, watch a movie with them, & take them out in the afternoon for a bit of recreational playtime in the sun & sea. Tonight he'll probably have dinner with them over a glass of sparkling Singha. He'll do this for 2 days sometimes 3, leading them on that bit further & then when he feels he has shown them all he can he'll release his new SSI swans out into the real world supporting them everystep of the way. The SSI Crossover Course with Marcel... it leaves PADI panting!!Divemaster Dan reckons he has found 2 very new & welcome members to Koh Tao's already wide & varied marine life! The Indo Pacific Lionfish! Pretty much everything about this fish says, "Don't touch!". The venom of the lionfish, delivered via an array of up to 18 needle-like dorsal fins, is purely defensive. The Lionfish is also called the dragon fish, scorpion fish & Rambo Fish because it relies on camouflage and lightning-fast reflexes to capture prey. Good find Dan! Did you manage to locate the Rambo Fishes dynamite keg?As you know we at Big Blue like to keep on top of recent trends & fashion statements & it appears that this years bronze brown is actually pale white! There is a new report out stating that sunscreen is damaging our reefs! Even minute amounts of sunscreen can greatly increase the effect of dormant viruses in corals and cause bleaching. Since about 25% of the sunscreen applied washes into the sea within the first 20 minutes of swimming, very large amounts can be present in some of the more popular diving/snorkeling area's around the world. So don't slip slop slap if you are getting in the sea. Put on your fisherman trousers, your longsleeved shirt & silly sunhat! That's this summers look!The Hard Corals, Hydrocorals: Fire & Lace Corals, Mushroom Corals,Soft Corals,Stoloniferans, Gorgonians, Sea Pens, Zoanthids: Polyps and Colonial Anemones all think it's a great look too!
 
Saturday 24th July 2008-

2008-07-24Man that was awesome! Possibly not so awesome if you were out on the boat this morning but for us sitting in the restaurant when that storm kicked in it was aawesome! In almost 9 years of living in Koh Tao that was the biggest storm I've ever experienced here. Actually anywhere. That was a proper mini cyclone. Fizz beach lounge lost a few roof tiles, so did we, & then the laundry line on the roof of our AC building broke because the support gave & went numchucking its way over to our water tanks & sliced off the faucet so gallons of water immediatley flooded out. Awesome! Just hope those poor bastards on the Full Day trip feel the same way!Congratulations Filip! He's finally, after all these years, gone and broken his cherry! Yesterday Filip dived with a whaleshark for the 1st time. Its always a great feeling to dive with one of these magnificent creatures. And for these magnificent creatures its also very nice for them to dive with a Belgium! Its so rare theses 2 species encounter! Unlike the Austrians! Church had 4 dives with a whaleshark yesterday! He reckons out of the 16 hours he was awake for yesterday he spent more time with a whaleshark than anyone else all day! Yeah alright Church! If you 2 are going to get quite so close maybe you ought to get a room!Big big thankyou for everyone who came to our fundraiser for the Biorock. Special thanks to Helen & Dan & an enormous bout of gratitude to Gary Hawkes of Scuba Schools International Thailand who very kindly donated the showpiece of the raffle a very nice Vypertec Nitrox Dive Computer, worth 18000 Bt. & I'm so pleased Caz, who together with Donna & Mer did such a great job going round & collecting money for the Raffle, won the computer. Our target was to raise only 10000 bt & together we pulled in 17400 Bt! Fantastic. This Bio Rocks!

Wednesday 23rd July 2008-
 
2008-07-23It’s been worse than Piccadilly Circus since the Full Moon set & the legions of weary revelers have found themselves at our Big Blue doors! I can’t imagine what you must be thinking when you are expecting a beautiful tranquil idyllic island & what you get is an Island mecca of half painted sweaty youngsters haggling for the price of the last room on Koh Tao. Room rates almost tripled at one point these last few days as it just became more & more difficult to find anywhere to stay. I hear some places even had customers sleeping in their resorts’ bar restaurants & classrooms! Word of warning to those of you who are planning on popping in to Koh Tao next month about the time of the Full Moon Party- Plan ahead! Book a bed!Helen & Dan are organizing a fund raising event to help raise money for the Koh Tao Biorock Project. Apparently the aim is to raise 20000 Bt per dive shop. Bearing in mind I think there are some 45 diveshops in Koh Tao (isn’t that ridiculous!) that would be almost 1 million Baht which would be biotastic! So we got to come up with some pretty original ideas if we want to raise 20000 Bt quickly! So I figured we’d have a party & auction off our 2 most desireable members of staff, Jim aside (he’s married!), which of course would be our studly Dan, a ladies favourite, might get a few bucks for him slipped into the elastic of his Speedos! And of course Hells- our lusty lady of leisure. Sure the boys will dig deep into their pockets especially if she only wears her speedos! Get your shekels out for the… Biodome Project!Weather by the way is gorgeous! There’s no wind, no waves, no rain! All very ominous I believe as I hear the weather is about to kick in for the next few days! It’ll be round the east side of the island for tomorrow’s diving. Excellent, that’ll mean swim thru’s at Laem Thien Caves, Trenches at Hin Wong, feisty triggers at Shark Island & see thru sick bags at Lomprayah!
 
Tuesday 22nd July 2008-

2008-07-22Do you remember the days when sex was safe & diving was dangerous. According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s probably shouldn't have survived, because our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was regularly chewed and licked. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles or latches on doors or cabinets, and it was fine to play with pans. When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip-flops and fluorescent 'spokey dokeys' on our wheels. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags and riding in the front passenger seat - or the boot - was a treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle, and it tasted the same. We ate chips, bread and butter pudding, and drank fizzy juice with sugar in it, but were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared one drink with four friends - from one bottle or can - and no one actually died from it. We would spend several hours building go-carts out of scraps, then go top speed down the hill, only to find out we'd forgotten the brakes. After running into a patch of stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before dark. No one was able to reach us and no one minded. We didn't have Playstations or Xboxes - no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape films, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no DVDs, no internet chatrooms. We had friends - we went outside and found them. We played French skipping and rounders, and sometimes that ball really hurt! We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones, but there were no law suits. We played Knock Down Ginger and were actually afraid of the owners catching us. We walked to friends' homes. We also, believe it or not, walked to school; we didn't rely on Mummy or Daddy to drive us to school, as it was just round the corner. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls. We rode bikes in packs of seven and wore our coats by only the hood. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of they actually sided with the law.And something else to put a smile on your face...
The majority of students in universities today were born in 1986. The Uptown Girl they know is by Westlife not Billy Joel. They have never heard of Rick Astley, Bananarama, Neneh Cherry or Belinda Carlisle. For them, there has always been only one Germany and one Vietnam. AIDS has existed since they were born. CDs have existed since they were born. Michael Jackson has always been white. To them, John Travolta has always been round in shape and they can't imagine how this fat guy could ever have been a god of dance. They believe that Charlie's Angels and Mission Impossible are films from the past ten years. They can never imagine life before computers. They'll never have pretended to be the A-Team, the Dukes of Hazzard or the Famous Five. They can't believe a black and white television ever existed. And they will never understand how we could leave the house without a mobile phone.The Full Moon Party always makes me feel so old! Huh! The youth of today! Welcome to Koh Tao Full Moon Party People!

Sunday 20th July 2008

2008-07-20I've been walking around all morning with a smile on my face cos I just found out someone else has a worse middle name than I do! And the funny thing is I've known this person ages & only just found out today, & I'm still smiling! Redvers! Brilliant. What god awful deed did you do Deano that invited such wrath from your own folks! Redvers! Genius name. You got to give it to the Welsh. They've got a wicked sense of humour!Well we're pretty busy & with all these injuries going on at Big Blue with Instructors & DM's falling over so often I have decided to bring in someone slightly healthier & more reliable than our present batch of unreliable unhealthy Instructors! & I think its about time too! Especially with this particular person because she's been with us so long but never officially worked for us. Well today Yvonne got her Staff T-shirts! Pretty much a done deal after that! Nice one Yvonne! Its wonderful to have you on the team at last! Ja!In Byron Bay Australia, one very lucky grey nurse shark was rescued from a slow and agonising death after divers found it with a fishing gaff embedded in it's throat. Three divers had to descend 14 metres to lasso the injured fish which was fortunately very docile from her injury. She was then maneuvered in to a perspex triangle tube and hauled on board, before being contained in a 4000-litre tank and flipped on her back to induce a deep sleep. A Sea World veterinarian then removed the hooked instrument from her gullet during a two-hour operation. Before being released back in to the water she was tagged and given antibiotics & she is now believed to be in good health. Aah what a sweet story. Redvers! Ha! Sorry!

Saturday 19th July 2008

2008-07-19So the Beijing Olympics starts soon & you can really tell too cos it seems most Beijingers are here in Koh Tao. Oodles of them lining up to do their Open Water Diver courses to take away as they are all off to the Full Moon Party tonight & then coming back tomorrow! Since China has started to be a little less bolshy the Chinese people are really going out & having some fun. Its good to see too! Just wish they could swim before they learn to dive though!Guys please! Don't be a monkey! We do not give free anything to anyone (especially not in peak season). We sell quality diving courses & give excellent customer service. If a shop that tells you they'll give you something for nothing do you honestly believe it or do you start to hear alarm bells! Don't fall for it! You are all way too pretty & intelligent to be sucker punched like that! & then if you do end up on the other side of the island cos you got 'tempted' & realised it was all a big con I hope you don't expect a free Taxi! Petrol doesn't grow on trees you know! Even in paradise!Hydro Physio is a company based in England that has developed an underwater treadmill for exercise enthusiasts, as well as those in rehabilitation or training.
Using hydrotherapy treatment, this product combines water exercising with the benefits of using a treadmill. How silly is that! Dah! Haven't you ever heard of swimming pools in England!

Friday 18th July 2008

2008-07-18One Red Hot & Dutch man came back to us today! Welcome back Marcel. He's been, he's gone, he came back then left & now he's here again before he's off at the end of the season for a while before he leaves to return later! Marcel is an SSI Instructor Trainer & PADI Instructor & is here to whip our DM Training into shape. We pride ourselves on our DM Courses here & enjoy a good reputation for them as well so our present DMT's are in for a real treat... if they like windmills, weak lager, orange clothes, porn, weed, wooden shoes & tulips!Thought we'd grab the opportunity while its quiet to educate ourselves a little more. And isn't Steve a lucky boy! Steve Reid Koh Tao's number 1 Diving Doctor is here teaching 7 of our lovely ladies doing their Divemaster course with us how to provide first aid & Oxygen in the unlikely event a diver in distress needs it. Does that mean you have to practise mouth to mouth 7 times Steve? Or do you just get the girls to do it to each other?
Excuse me I think I need a cold shower!For the last 3 years, the local community have been testing the applicability of BioRock technology on Koh Tao. We have observed dramatic improvements in coral health and biodiversity, and fish abundance in the area on and around the BioRock. Now with this success the Save Koh Tao Group and the local community of Dive Schools and businesses have decided to construct a larger BioRock that will act to improve the health of our reefs and reduce the damages caused by SCUBA diving on natural areas. The construction is set for September 2008, and fundraising efforts are already underway. We have an electrolyte box in our dive shop. All proceeds are going to this project so thanks Big Bluers we're raising about 1500 Bt per month & we haven't even started trying to raise money yet! Great job Barry!

Thursday 17th July 2008

2008-07-17Koh Tao is closed today. Its that time of the month when everything in Koh tao turns into a slow limbo. Like Sundays in Eastbourne! The helter skelter mad rush of the pre Full Moon Party has now turned into a slow gentle draft of wishy washy confused wanderers wondering where everyone went! Don't worry. Give it a couple of days & they'll all be back! With mates! For now everyone enjoy the peace. Aah... Serenity.Thanks to Greenfins for giving us a lecture last night on how to help save the reef. Pretty important for us as divers to get involved with reef protection especially as there are reports circulating the press at the moment that Scuba Diving tourism is responsible for alot of reef damage around the world. I can believe that scuba tourism has had some effect on the worlds reefs but I think saying a lot might be going a bit far. Divers are very aware of the damage they can cause if their buoyancy aint right! Anyway Greenfins are out assessing us this afternoon on the boat to see what kind of harmful footprint we are placing on Koh Tao. Ooh scarey! Its a little like being audited or having the health Inspector round. Sure everything will be right tho cos we got Hells Bells our Eco bitch on the case!Finding Nemo! Despite the content of the movie public demand for clownfish as pets tripled. Protection activists regard this as a catastrophe as the species is already facing the threat of extinction due to a reduction of its natural habitat (coral reefs). It is also feared that people may have attempted to send fish back into the open sea by flushing them down the toilet as demonstrated in the film; unfortunately, they will not be able to survive the the sewage system. Funny that as they feed mostly on copepods and mysids, the undigested excrement from their host anemones! Aah cute.

Wednesday 16th July 2008

2008-07-16Apparently things happen in 3's! So we should have realised when Deano dislocated his shoulder last week that there was more to follow! Simo has broken his arm & Swappey came in this morning with a broken collarbone! Bunch of unco's! I think they'll all be Ok but I'm sure they are all ina lot of pain! Actually apparently Simo has fractured his Ulna! I thought 'Ulna' was the expletive one uses when one sits on something pointy! Hope you all get better boys!So we lose some & we win some! Welcome back Dan from your 2 week sojourn around the Aegean islands & I'm catching wind that our favourite flying Dutchman has just touched down in BKK & will be back with us soon. How exciting. & to top it all off today is Ricks Birthday so everyone is off to Victoria tonight to tuck in to some rare Hawaiian delcacies of Swedish meatballs & smoked Salmon! Welcome back Dan & Marcel & Happy ??th Bday Rick!Just going to top all this good news off with a bit of even better news. I am sooooo happy about this one! I'm sure you all know Mo, our fantastic Equipment boy from Burma. Well he just won the Thai lottery! Luckily for me he's not going to quit his job as its not a million but its enough! He's just won himself a years salary & if you know Mo it couldn't have happened to a better man! Congratulations Mo. Just think of all that large Chang you can buy your boss now!

Tuesday 15th July 2008

2008-07-15A very sad scene at Chumphon the last few days, as huge fishing nets have been dropped over half of the dive site. Most of the net was cut and many fish were rescued yesterday by divers but today there were still lots of fusiliers and rabbit fish still stuck. Well done those of you who did save the life of those poor little fishies!.While on the subject of protecting the underwater world Big Blue is being joined by Greenfins tomorrow evening at 6pm to talk about a very important subject that we believe strongly in; Reef Conservation.
We will also be offering a free dive to those of you who participate so anybody interested in protecting our reef and fish come down and join us.

Sunday, July 13th 2008

2008-07-13There are 2 particular beasts who visit Koh Tao from time to time, and both returned yesterday.They are both seasonal and come in only when the tides are right.

The first of the two beasts is yet another Whaleshark.Well, the truth is it may be the same one we’ve been seeing for the past few days, but some people are insisting it’s a bit bigger, so it may be yet another one.I think one of the most common questions people ask about Koh Tao is “when is Whaleshark season?”I used to have an answer.It was always kind of accepted that around February and around November was the best time to see them.At least that’s what I’d been told – I never read it anywhere.But after having worked here for 4 years I’ve come to one conclusion:The Whalesharks come when they feel like it.Last year we had so many sightings that I started keeping a record in my log book of every time one was spotted around Koh Tao. With the help of other dive shops I compiled a pretty complete list.There were 32 sightings last year, with at least 2 in each month.The longest we ever went without seeing one was 17 days.I haven’t tracked this year so far, but I think it was 5 weeks since the last sighting until these recent ones.But overall Koh Tao is a pretty consistent good bet for finding Whalesharks – just if they feel like dropping by.

The other beast that returned was the BeerRaft.BeerRafting is a Big Blue tradition which dates back to sometime around the middle ages.The idea is simple: when the tide is high enough at 5pm, we all grab beers and go drink in the water.A pyramid system of buying beers used to be a fun game to throw in to the mix.In this system the first 2 rafters would buy their own beers.Any person then joining would have to buy their own beer, PLUS beers for anyone else in the water.Heaven help you if you were number 16 to get in.But once everyone was in and finished with their beers, it was up to the first 2 to buy a round.However, by that time, theoretically everyone has had anywhere upwards of 15 beers and probably cant stand anyway. The name BeerRaft came from the fact that we used to have a cheap plastic raft that could perfectly hold 21 beer bottles. It was like a little table we’d congregate around.Nowadays, the actual raft has been abandoned in favor of using BCDs, which end up being the most perfect aquatic armchair – a use I’m sure the inventors of this piece of scuba gear never imagined. Last night marked the return of the high evening tides and our first BeerRaft of ’08. It started with 4 people and grew to about 20 by dark. I can’t show the photos from late night as they’re just too incriminating.

So come join us for a BeerRaft anytime in the next few months. As long as the tide is up, we’ll be out there. But as for the Whalesharks, you’ll just have to come by and try your luck.

Saturday 12th July 2008-
 
2008-07-12Congratulations Craig! Ex DMT newly certified DM Craig has just returned after a 3 week return to the Canadia's & is back to start a career in Diving. & what better way to start your career then getting a job within the first 24 hours of looking for one! Nice one Craig. Nice one Instructors. That's another DM we've trained & got work for!Quick update on the performance of our non smokers! As you know we had a number of drop outs at the first hurdle when Simon sparked up followed by a quick tirade of accompanying sparker uppers. But Jim, Helen, & late starter Hal have been resisting the urge to light up for almost 2 weeks now. Still streets ahead on the depleting the evil weed & toxic poisons from their system is our classic sportster- Bazzaratti! Well done non smokers. Keep it up! Shame on you smokers. Trousers down!Sebastian Naslund is the only triple certified instructor in the world (AIDA, Apnea Academy and CMASsweden). He is also a world class freediver with several national records and a fifth place in the last world championships in freediving (56 meters no fins,no aid). His experience and pedagogic skills can take any student beyond what they thought possible. He will be offering courses in Thailand January-February 2009.
1-day Introduction, 4-6 persons 3000 bath.
2.5-day intense course, 4 persons 8000 bath.
Divemaster/Diveinstructor special
2.5-day intense 4-6 persons 6000 bath
Then you can have crazy photos like this to impres the chicks too!
 
Friday 11th July 2008

2008-07-11So as we wake up his morning to a simply stunning day in paradise during this strange rainy season, we here of yet another sighting of the big blue fish with white spots, this time at Twins. Amazing what you see even when you are snorkeling.So congratulations to our newbie DMT on completing her motorbike stunt speciality certification. Welcome to the club Kirsty, hope you heel well and the 17 stitches you have will do the job. You see everyone, wear a crash helmet when you drive, safety 1st or you could just stay in the ocean and play with fishies, far more appealing and far more safer i think.So as i have just been strolling down Sairee beach with my stunt buddy, we see many tourist from all walks of life topping up their tans and getting themselves ready for the party tonight hosted by our friends at Goodtime Adventures (nice plug there) with a BBQ and dress code. With coconuts and limbo games in mind, i'm sure there will be enough racks of ribs on the go for everyone to sink thier teeth into so why not join the fun.
 
Thursday 10th July 2008-
 
2008-07-10Unfortunately Erik our Tech & wreck Instructor had a spot of bad news & has had to return to Sweden & is therefore leaving a great opportunity for any entrepreneurial individuals who would be interested in filling the void that has suddenly been created. Well I say suddenly but its actually been a couple of weeks now! Anyhoo its time to fill that space. & who better to fill it with than with our old pal Canada who will basically head up Big Blue Tech as a small enterprise within the BB Empire! So welcome back Canada. Looks like we've let the monkey back into the banana factory!Heard a story the other day of a guy diving in Australia who got left behind at the divesite & spent the next 19 hours floating around the Great Barrier Reef before being found & saved. He is a Dive Instructor working in Thailand & he has subsequently gone & sold his story to an Aussie National paper for 1 million dollars! Now ordinarily I'd go sure, fair is fair but this guy works on an old Liveaboard I use to work on which means I could have been him which means I could have been a millionaire by now! Bugger this I'm off to book myself a trip to Oz! The lifestyle there might suck but the money is way better!Another Whaleshark this morning this time at Southwest Pinnacle! And who said whalesharks are seasonal! they come at the hottest time of year April, pretty much guaranteed & then they've been around here now for a couple of weeks as well which is pseudo rainy season. I reckon they just can't be bothered. Its such a long way to go all round the world & the weather & water temperature here really is very comfortable. Its too cold in Alaska & too windy round South Africa & there's way too many aggressors in Australia. Bugger it! You go to Oz I'm going to stay here!
 
Wednesday 9th July 2008-

2008-07-09Its been clear for ages & now I think its high time we are going t o do something about it. We need more rooms. I don't quite know how we are going to afford them or where we are going to put them. We got no room either side of us or behind us so the only place we can expand out towards is the sea. And I read somewhere that some stupidly rich sheikh in Dubai was making the first Underwater Hotel & that he was looking for more destinations in which to build a chain of underwater hotels around the world. Well I'd like to put our names in the hat please Mr Stupidly Rich Sheikh, build your underwater hotel here at Big Blue. We got reefs of room!Double diving at Chumphon Pinnacle this afternoon. Always a winner that trip. It's a full boat, of course, with lots of shark hunters & shark virgins alike. Of course there's every chance of a whaleshark this afternoon as well cos Filip isn't on the trip! Good luck people. Keep your eyes out for Black tips, Grey Reefs & Bull Sharks & the most dangerous of all - the Titan trigger shark!Oops Deano you daft donkey! Very annoying news for Deano today is he's gone and dislocated his shoulder again. After hopping aboard Banzai Deano somehow managed to let his arm slip out its socket. But luckily Deano is first aid trained & has also seen Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon so knew just what to do. He smacked his shoulder with some ferocity hard against a tree till it miraculously found its way back in. & then he defeated the bad guys & made off with some hot chick into the sunset, after he'd signed his students log books!
 
Tuesday 8th July 2008-
 
2008-07-08Well the weather is a little disappointing at the moment but I gather its like that pretty much everywhere in Thailand right now. Bugger. Still at least here in Koh Tao its only half a days worth of bad weather cos its usually pretty sunny in the afternoons. And if you go round the other side of the island you wouldn't even know it was bad weather at any time of day cos its so sheltered & completely flat & sunny. So if we put half the island together & half a days worth of good weather for the other half the island then thats like 1 1/2 days worth of good weather in a day! Who said the weather was crap?Nice to hear from you Celine & that you're back in Europa enjoying croissants & cafe ole. And Scobby gave me a quick ring from Bangkok airport on his stopover from Hollandia to Austrailand. & I didn't actually realise Simon was away but according to his facebook he's been very busy joining & confirming his attendance at all sorts of Manchester United gay clubs & Eric Cantona parties around the world.... or did Deano get hold of your FB profile because you left yourself logged in this morning before you went diving! Ooh... aah...Cant...do that! Schoolboy error Simo!Nitrox seems to be the popular flavour of the month most recently. Everyone is wanting a breath of the finest green! Might even have to start investing in our own Nitrox panel! Now who could I possibly get to come back and do that? Hmm. Who could do our SSI crossovers as well? Hmmm. & our equipment specialties & who'd you reckon we could get to do our wreck & tech specialties now that Erik has gone? Hmm. & how about Khao Lak? Who we going to get to run Big Blue Diving Khao Lak? Any of you guys fancy a job in paradise for a while?
 
Monday 7th July 2008-
 
2008-07-07I'd like to thank all our guest inputters into the Big Blue Blog this week with a special hats off & trousers down to Simo for his parody of the great classic quote from Trainspotting. Its got a lot of people talking! Maybe too much talk! Did he just spontaneously make that up or has he been working on it for years. Cos that my Scouse friend was Genius! Did you nick it?Originally when we first started this blog it was because we had just seen a whaleshark & wanted to tell the world about it! Now after a year of whaleshark sightings 51 in 2007 its all getting a little boring. Sunday mornings sighting of a whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle isn't even worth mentioning. I mean it was over 6 meters. Hardly even worth spending a minute on. So I won't bother putting it in todays blog!Pretty busy day today. We got Banzai with a full load of excited reprobates headed out for a Full day's diving at the legendary Sail Rock. & both Navakid & Big Blue boats have been traipsing back & forward with a full flotilla of hardened scuba divers all morning & afternoon! Not the kind of day you want to be let down by the weather! Duh!
 
Sunday 6th July 2008-
 
2008-07-06In the tradition of all good soap operas Caz, our leading lady, had Brett (Fitzy) and EJ (Jenae) from Neighbors make her blush, The scene was set - mid afternoon , Big Blue restaurant and Caz plus team there in middle happily minding their own business. Caz was in full swing as Fitzy and Jenae entered ( stage right) walking straight up to Caz and introduced themselves. On shaking Fitzy’s hand Caz who could not actually put two words together went bright red. I think this is the first time our leading lady has been lost for words. You can stop blushing now Caz, they've gone.After welcoming back G the other night, in true Big Blue style the lovely Sanna arrived back from her visa run to Borneo, so it was off again to Fizz and lotus last night. Sanna after missing all the drinking action on Koh Tao hit it on good form and was last seen propositioning DM’s and Instructor’s in the bar. It all went like a Swedish ski slope from there! Downhill!Hells Bells (aka Dangerous) in now back in the water and up to her usual mischief. Poor thing has been injuring her self a bit lately with bad toes and cut legs. As every body Knows injuries take for ever to heel on a tropical island. O well it could be worst, could be injured and sat in the UK.
 
Friday 4th July 2008

2008-07-04Happy Independance Day to our American Friends!
I am sitting with a gun to my head by a kiwi who is making me write this entry. I'm a little shakey and a little nervous, having to follow Simo's entry yesterday.Not only do we have celebs from Neighbors staying with us, but yesterday our very own Lord of the Rings star, Gollum, returned from the garlic crunching baguette bashing land armed with fine wine, cheese and saucicons, oh and a big shiny tight ring stuffed down his blue and white striped trousers. Good to have you back G, we have a special dish on the menu for you, 'amburgers!!!The Diving right now is superb, the visibility is 20+ metres, turtles and whaleshark sightingsand the sharks are definatley back at Chumphon Pinacle again. It makes waking up at 6am in the morning almost pleasurable, just the thought of seeing the sharks up close, and even more so the possibility of the whaleshark sneaking up behind you.
 
Thursday 3rd July 2008

2008-07-03Well, where to start? Cigarette smoking is a terrible addiction and the Big Blue team collectively agreed to give them up for good over a few beers at Dragon Bar. After almost an entire day of abstinence myself, Nora, Hal and Laleh made a healthy, informed, democratic decision to get back on nicotine as soon as possible - it took about 30 seconds. Not everyone crumbled like a Rich Tea biscuit held just that bit too long in a cup of tea, take Jimbo, for instance, he came off ciggies at the same time as us, not because he wanted to, you understand, but just to annoy us, just to show us how easily he could do it, thereby downgrading our own struggle. Sneaky mucker, don't you think? (Thanks Irvine ;)) And now, we move to to the forfeit. Don't ask me what I have to do, I can't talk about it, rest assured it involves a journey through the seven circles of hell, an ordeal so diabolical I can't believe I suggested it in the first place - ah well, I fully intend to welch (or 'Welsh', get it?) on the bet, they can't make me do it, can they? Maybe Jim can....bugger.DMT News
Caz is starstruck at the moment because we've got Brett (Fitzy) and EJ (Jenae)from Neighbours diving with us, she's too shy to speak to them and has resorted to taking sneaky photos of them through the shop window and then running away blushing. Caz was hoping to spend the whole afternoon on the boat with them today, doing surface cover of all things, and has just found out they cancelled!Mer is unhappy now because we have a new 'Mer' started her DMT here - real name 'Mercedes' (with a 'th'), from Bar'th'elona, guess we'll have to mangle her Dutch name now, apparently, if you mispronounce Margo it sounds like 'Dirty Bitch', in Dutch! Fantastic! We have another Barcelona girl started too, Mireia, and she is currently having her name mangled into 'Maria' 'Marina' etc she's kind of hot, even Ali Pancake Man went crazy over her and started throwing plastic chairs at her boyfriend.Kirsty claims she hardly had any booze last night at Lotus Bar despite missing the boat for her Deep Specialty this morning. Belgian Instructor Filip was incandescent with rage, as only a Belgian can be. I definitely saw a raised eyebrow and a muscle twitched in his cheek - watch out Kirsty he's gonna blow!So in a final tribute to the scotsman -
choose diving, choose a job in diving, choose a career, choose BCD's, Regs and neoprene booties. Choose sunset beers, street meat, Pad Thai and Samosa Man's samosas. Choose riding a motorbike to work every day, choose messing about on boats and under the water as your dayjob, choose dancing on bars with buckets after work. Choose to ditch your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband, quit your job, sell your house and come to Koh Tao. Choose a life with no Direct Debits, no commute, no waiting at a bus stop on a cold winter morning, or scraping the ice of your windshield before you can drive to the job you don't really like anyway.

Choose perfect sunsets, gentle sea breezes, white sandy beaches, clear blue water and girls in bikinis.Choose Big Blue Diving (with extra cheeeeese ;)S

Tuesday 1st July 2008-

2008-07-01My sincerest apologies to all of you who have been trying to make contact with us by internet over the past few days. Although a tropical island paradise Koh Tao does have its occasions of unreliability. Which is why we don’t have big name chain hotels here! Power supply is expensive & unreliable, phone connections & signals can be too, & of course that effects our internet connection. So this week we have been mostly having no connection & I’m sure for those of you trying to contact us it must be extremely frustrating. So for that I apologise but I promise you it’s frustrating the pants off me too! But it’s still better than having big name chain hotels here! So roll on unreliability!Another day in paradise. The sun well & truly has its hat on today! It looks a little freaky as there is a beautiful rainbow ring all around it. Like something out of Star Wars! In fact if you look down the beach & see all the people looking up at the sun! Drive through town even the locals are looking up & pointing for others to look up. It feels a little sci-fi! We’ve all seen the halo around the sun before but it always looks like a bright ring. Today there is a very visible perfectly circular rainbow ring right around the sun. Looks like a rainbow sombrero!Nice to see, well hear, there was a Whaleshark at Chumphon this morning. Would have been nice to see as well but for some reason the only people who did see it today were the Captain & the boatboys! Sorry about that divers but we hope we will be able to rectify the problem when we head out tomorrow afternoon for 2 dives at Chumpers! Don’t forget for all you lucky divers who have seen a whale shark before how extremely lucky you have been. Did you know Jacques Cousteau dived for 20 years before he saw his first Whaleshark! Don’t worry Filip. Only another 14 years to go!

August 2008

Monday 25th August 2008

2008-08-25-2Last night was a special occasion for two proud clownfish parents on Sairee reef.Our Japanese colleagues from Chaba Big Blue have learned by waiting for hours at a time, when exactly the eggs will hatch, to the exact minute!
Its all done in a very military fashion. You swim out into the middle of nowhere following Mayuko and Asukas’ white fins, ignoring all the stingrays, porcupinefish and HUGE barracuda’s that are following you, a light is flashed at everyone as a signal to stop, kneel down and turn of the torches. Minutes pass, sitting and waiting in the dark. Every now and then a light pops on and off, checking the progress of the hatching. Mayuko on hatching duty and Asuka telling us to slowly move around to get into position doing a commando style crawl on our bellies in the direction of the eggs and parents. Then lights on and hundreds of baby Nemo are released with the help of the parents flapping their fins over the eggs.
It’s a pretty amazing sight and rarely seen by non-Japanese so thank very much for letting me tag along.
 
Friday 22nd August 2008.

2008-08-22Yesterday was the islands graduation day for brand new PADI instructors who have just finished their IDC/ IE.
Congratulations to Robyn, Charlie, Anna and Jade, 4 former Divemasters who all did there DMT’s together with us here last year. Well done and we all hope you have sore heads this morning!

Aew Leuk is full of surprises at the moment, the large stonefish has become a tourist attraction amongst our fundivers, along with a rare snake eel and seahorse, good find Church.

God help Big Blue right now!! Jim has left to celebrate his stag do and has taken most of the boys with him. Leaving the girls behind to run the show.

So for the next few days we will now be known as Big Pink!! We will be running wet t-shirt competition’s and jelly wrestling on the beach, so the boys who have been left behind, fancy being the judges?!

Sunday 24th August 2008

2008-08-24Another beautiful day on Koh Tao! Hal's beard grows in magnificence in preparation for Weird Beard Wednesday. We give a very warm welcome to our newly returned friend Simon recently recovered from a nasty broken elbow, welcome back me ole' salt!

Recently qualified and devilishly good looking instructor Charlie begins his first baby steps into the teaching world assisting his good friend Richard on a Rescue course, and he’s mighty glad to be out the classroom and back on the boats!

Koh Samui breaths a sigh of relief at the imminent return of the Big Blue stag party that has recently been paying a cultural visit sampling the island ambiance. What goes on on tour stays on tour, hey boys!

 
Monday 18th August 2008-

2008-08-18Wow!!! Night dive in Green Rock. Was the first time for everyone last night but boy was it worth it! Most of the Divemaster team and the DMTs joined in the fun for an event that we won’t forget for while. Church, him again, says he found the strangest looking crab he’d ever seen. Any pics to show us, Churchy boy? However, the most memorable feature was the strong current and the heavy surf, full moon style, on the surface after the dive. What a ride swimming back to the boat! Anybody say “Adventure dive”?

It was also DMT Sabrina and Mr. Swap’s last dive on Koh Tao for a while and a great prelude to the Divemaster challenge. Sabrina showed us her ability to perform skills like a proper Divemaster should and her air consumption was by far surpassed by her booze consumption. Way to go, babyface! Everyone took part in the celebration and as usual, the bar counter was crowded with dancers. Looks like Anna needed to get the IDC pressure off her chest because she was grooving like there was no tomorrow! Swapey “volunteered” to join in the fun. Sabrina, Swapey, so long and safe travels to both of you. Hope to see you soon on the Rock.

A lot of celebrations coming this week: First, I would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to two of our finest former DMTs, Hannah and Laura. Dinner and drinks tonight at Fizz for anyone interested. By the way, Fizz are blowing their first candle tomorrow night. And Thursday is the IE party for all the new instructors. Good luck on the examination to Robyn, Jade, Anna and Charlie. Get’em girls! Then the boys are all off to Samui for the boss’s stag. Might need a week off after that… In August, right! No break for us, the painted people hardly recovered from their full moon experience are swarming to the island as I write this. Nurse, please, I need some electrolytes!!! 

Sunday 17th August 2008-

2008-08-17Its another outstandingly beautiful day in paradise. The sun is singing, the birds are shining, there's not a breath of water, & the wind is crystal clear. Hmmm... & to top it all off as I look out my office window I can see a very attractive young lady hanging out on her balcony in just a towel! It really is another outstandingly beautiful day in paradise! Especially on the balcony of Bungalow 3!

So the last couple of days have been a nice rest (for those of us who aren't preparing a beach wedding) & now we are about to get inundated with the Party crowd. That means big groups of people all arriving at the same time all looking for the same thing & all haggling to get a cheaper price than the one they got from the guy they just spoke to. Great. Its going to get really busy. Better order a crate of Chang Extra Strength for the shop girls!

Nudibranchs are colorful little animals. They come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Nudibranchs are usually small. They can grow from less than half an inch to almost two feet. Spotted nudibranchs and clown nudibranchs grow up to eight centimeters long, but the sea lemon can, very rarely, grow up to twenty inches long. Nudibranchs eat sponges & are shell-less mollusks & are also called sea slugs. Some nudibranchs are yellow, some are orange and some are yellow with dark brown blotches, but the one Church found today was a Papal purple! & he's got the photo to prove it! Hallelujah. Great find Church! Even Team Japan were impressed!

Saturday 16th August 2008-

2008-08-16Well Craig is obviously buttering up the ladies in the right way. I've never had so many people come up to me after a Full Day Trip telling me how great they thought their Divemaster was. I get it a lot. 'Compliments to the lads on a great job!' 'I dunno if you know but you have a great team here at Big Blue!' 'Your Dm's were excellent & I was really impressed with their professionalism'. 'Your DM was great can we borrow him for the night!'. You know the usual bag of compliments! Well done Fellas. Good work Craig. Thanks for the compliments customers!

Just been given a very alarming piece of news from our man in Germany! Klaus, just got in to Bangkok on his way to his new job on the Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia & told me that at his local swimming pool in Ingolstadt, you are not allowed to wear board shorts in the pool & are only allowed to wear speedos! Apparently boardies absorb too much water so there's a water wastage, & cos most chaps like to use their boardies as shorts as well they bring a lot of dirt & germs into the pool. The funny thing is if you go on a visa run here in Thailand & go to the Andaman club- a nice posh hotel on a private island in Burma, then to swim in their pool you are only allowed to wear speedos too! Gut im Himmel Klausie! What is the world coming to!

The infamous Full Moon parties on Koh Pha-ngan contain little more than the smoking of marijuana, says Justice Minister Suwat Liptapanlop. He recently attended a Full Moon party on the island's Hat Rin Beach, & admitted that tourists were discovered smoking the drug at the party, but said that this was because they may be 'unaware of Thai legislation'. His comments come amid a storm of controversy over the parties, which some politicians have accused of being rife with sex and drugs. Mr. Suwat said that officials would be increasingly strict in cracking down on drugs at the parties, and would carry out more thorough investigations. Despite allegations that the Full Moon parties violate Thai cultural moves, the Koh Pha-ngan tourism industry is anxious to maintain the parties, which bring in welcome tourist revenue. According to Mr. Chanchoti Phiriyasathit, president of the Koh Pha-ngan Tourism Promotion Association, the rumours of the parties being rife with sex and drugs are untrue. Telling reporters yesterday that most countries did not regard smoking marijuana as an offence, he said that signposts had been placed on the island warning tourists that they faced legal action if they smoked the drug.
You have been warned!

Friday 15th August 2008-

2008-08-15Well the weather is fantastic. Clear blue skies, flat calm seas, tequilla sunsets, gin clear waters, & gentle cooling breezes. Perfect conditions in which to get a sunburn. There's an awful lot of lobster coloured farang out and about at the moment. Thais think its hysterical , how we strive for the perfect tan & then walk around looking like we're embarrassed all day! Thais prefer to keep out of the sun as much as possible in order to have a paler shade of skin. They feel it makes them look more beautiful. Michael Jackson obviously isn't big over here!

I'd like to thank Hal for introducing us to the new & very exciting world of Weird Beard Wednesdays! Hal came into work on Wednesday sporting a very weird beard. I guess he was going for the 3 Musketeers kind of look but it looked more like someone had drawn a T-junction on his chin! Anyway it was a fabulous effort & it will take a lot to surpass such creative genius but I reckon those virile enough to take on the challenge will give it a damn good try. Meanwhile Hal is continuing to cultivate his growth & will be in next Wednesday sporting another impressive tuft of Norwegian weirdness!

Redvers is back! & not a moment to soon. In fact he was actually 5 minutes late. Our Open Water Courses start every day at 4pm. Its a perfect time to start as it means you can start your course the day you arrive on the island. Its a break the ice session! Meet your Instructor, meet the other guys on your course talk about what we are going to do for the next few days & then watch a movie. Possibly not the most exciting movie you've ever seen but I promise you its better than Undersiege 2! Then by 6pm its all over! & its time to sit at the bar & watch the sunset. Welcome back Deano. Isn't it nice to be back?

Tuesday 11th August 2008-

2008-08-11Very sad news today for all you old Big Bluers is that the best cook Big Blue has ever had has very sadly passed away last night. P' Deng has not been well for a few weeks now & died last night in her sleep in hospital. She has been working behind the scenes in the kitchen for the last 7 years & made the best Massaman Curry, the freshest Chicken & Pasta Salad, the finest Peneng Curry, the Scobby special, the macaroni chicken. This lady was awesome in the kitchen & was the sweetest lady, the hardest worker & also the hottest! We shall miss you P'Deng. Our thoughts & wishes to those you leave behind.

On a slightly happier note. Congratulations to Na & JJ. You might know Na as the very lovely lady who sits behind the cash register in the restaurant. & JJ is another onion necklace bearer. You've probably seen him riding around on his bicycle & wearing his stripey shirt.They held a very pretty beach wedding on Sairee last night & Jim Ari, James & G managed to get quite sloshed on the free grog. JJ looked like he'd done quite well out of it too! Congratulations guys. It was a lovely wedding. And a good little warm up for mine & my Missus beach wedding in a couple of weeks time! Gulp.

Top 10 reasons I love living in koh tao:
1. I get to ride a big dirt bike to work everyday.
2. I spend the majority of my day barefoot
3. My office is on the beach, or underwater.
4. House on the beach for $300/mo.
5. Thai food for $2 a meal.
6. Hour massages for $5.
7. Bars sell alcohol by the buckets.
8. My job REQUIRES me to be surrounded by beautiful women in bikinis.
9. Its sunny almost all year round.
10. I get to play with sharks any time I want.

Monday 10th August 2008-

2008-08-10Oooh it was gorgeous! I mean really. It was gorgeous! It was bright blue & wobbly & when we got in we got all wet!& when we went under it we saw so many cool & amazing creatures! I saw about 7 or 8 little grey reef sharks, a small school of large Spanish Mackerel, & then after we came back up then went down a second time we sat in some underwater craters surrounded by masses of very beady eyed & cautious Yellow Margin Triggerfishes. Then we progressed through some beautiful arches & swimthru's. It was funtastic. I enjoyed it so much I thought I might even go again later in the week! Whoa easy tiger! You're not on holiday you know!

Well its our quarterly staff equipment room clean out! Not much fun but always necessary as these rooms do tend to fill up with what we call in the business- ' a load of crap'. So the troops piled in & took everything they owned out! then we were left with an assortment of neoprene rags, silicon skirts, & unusable rubber slippers! We dumped all this mish mash of varied flavours into a nice big tupperware container & have given ourselves a week to claim whatever you wish to claim as your own! If anything is left then we'll be donating it to Helens Biorock Fundraiser! Should be able to raise at least enough money for 1 electically charged polyp out of all that pulp!

Ever been on holiday on a liveaboard boat? 4 days & nights cruising around the world famous Similan & Surin Islands! Nothing but sleeping, eating & diving! Scenery so spectacular your socks will actually fall off & your eye balls will pop out! Food so fantastic, the sides of your mouth will be drooling, & the noises from your belly will sound like music! Marine life so vast & extraordinary your friends won't believe you've seen it unless they see you in a photo alongside it! Sleep so satisfyingly deep you actually do feel beautiful when you finally wake up! Can you imagine a holiday that could possibly rival that, let alone beat it? Apart from a 4 day 4 night experience with Big Blue Diving Koh Tao of course! That goes without saying!

Saturday 9th August 2008-
 
2008-08-09Marcels guide to eating in Koh Tao is about to take a new turn! He feels he's not being taken seriously enough because everyone knows its only Marcel & that he'll never make a world Famous food critic! So he's now launching a new strategy. He's coming incognito! In disguise! & just to make sure he really isn't recognised he's going to come with friends who will also come incognito! So Mark, Jim & Marcel have bought their fake glasses/nose/ beard & have adopted certain characteristic traits to ensure they don't act anything like they normally do! So Mark is going to be deaf, Jim can't speak & Marcel is going to be blind. Yeah that'll make them think you're serious Marcel!

Hear me now! A while ago I told you we were looking to fill a few gaps here & there within the staff! Well we plugged 1 gap by bringing Canada in to work again spearheading Big Blue Tech, & then Marcel came in to concentrate on improving our Specialty courses & our Divemasters in training programme, & then the final job we needed filling was for the new Manager of our Big Blue Diving Khao Lak office. & now we have filled it! We have found what I firmly believe is the best candidate for the job. So boys & girls, ladies & gents, please join me in congratulating my homeboy Rick as the new Manager of our Westside Massive! "Boyakasha"! Innit!
Better brace yourself for this bombshell I'm about to drop! The weather at the moment is luverly! & the forecast for the next few days is perfect aswell! Rays of sunshine, no wind, no waves, just the heaven & the earth & the sea!Sounds like the perfect sort of conditions in which to get myself a little moist! Yes peeps! There'll be a little notice on my office door tomorrow! 'Sorry closed. Gone Diving!'

Friday 8th August 2008-

2008-08-08... and breathe! Wow what a rush. Been busier than a man chopping down a tree with a herring! Haven't even had a minute to fill you in on the daily gossip for the last few days cos to be honest we've all been running around like headless chickens. It was like a boat arrived a day with a nation of Western European refugees & immigrants with their back packs & jandals all looking for shelter, & diving! We've had the Irish, the Dutch & now the Germans. Problem is of course when that many people all arrive pretty much at the same time all with the same agenda the island is bound to run out of things like cheap accommodation. So we've been hunting around trying to find out where rooms are available & have managed to gather a few scrag ends & broom cupboards so don't worry people! Book your diving with us we still got room!

We got another intern arrived today! Welcome Lilli from Germany. Lilli is going to be working here for the next 3 months learning how to administer, run, arrange logistics, manage, direct, order, control, oversee, govern, do admin, do paperwork, register, meet & greet, issue receipts, conduct operations, dispense, mete out, give out, hand out, deal out, dole out, dish out & process all aspects of Big Blue Diving. Good luck Lilli, if you need any help I'll be down the pub!

So we've got some good news from Wales. As we know Deano hasn't been able to put his arm around his favourite sheep lately but thats all about to change! He won't be needing to have his dislocated shoulder operated on. Hurrah! However his Taffy M.D. does feel that perhaps he needs his head looking at! The Welsh Medicine man felt that if the shoulder were to keep dislocating then they'd obviously need to chop his arm off & Doctor Boyo feels that might interfere with his drinking habits so we don't want to do that! So thats great news Deano. Very happy for you mate. Now go out & celebrate. Go have a sing-a-long down the local with your friend Flossy!

Tuesday 5th August 2008-

2008-08-05Ooh its filling up. Hope you lot have all booked ahead! People who read their Lonely Planets & what nots don't realise is, that it isn't low season here. Actually its quite the opposite! July & August are regarded as Peak Season & we're just a few days shy off reaching the summit. The Apex of our Peak Season is the Full Moon Party this month, & this year it is going to be huge! Take heed people. If you are arriving in Koh Tao anytime between now & the end of August then book ahead! Or it'll be a night under the stars in your Jimjams for you!

G is staffing the IDC this month. It makes him look big & strong & it has a lot more effect on the ladies than his normal 'Amburger' banter. Mind you nothing has more effect on the ladies than a nice bottle of wine and some saucisons on a full day trip. You going to be wining & saucisonsing on the IDC aswell G?

In Thailand we drive on the correct side of the road. That would of course be the left! The right side of the road is the incorrect side. Everyone knows that. Its like you don't get your right ear pierced cos then you look like a ponce! Right ear right queer! (Not that there's anything wrong with that). So if you drive on the left you avoid accidents. But if you are French & if you drive on the right side you might end up knocking over the very beautiful Mrs Donaldson & causing her some pain & you some rather heavy medical expenses. C'est non tresbian! C'est tres merde!

Sunday 3rd August 2008-

2008-08-03There are a number of Divemasters lining up this week to climb that next rung of the ladder to become Instructors. We've even lost DM Anna who has decided to leave us to study for her IDC & then is off after for the West Coast to do some instructing over there. So good luck Anna. & then there is Robyn as well who's starting her IDC, & then is off to run a dive shop over there as well & of course our young Scottish friend in a skirt Charlie Valentine who's planning on becoming an Instructor before he hits puberty! & how can any one forget the quite stunning Jade from New Caledonia who is here to do her Instructor training & has come with her whole family. all 15 of them!
Good luck Anna, Robyn, Charlie & Jade. Go Kick Ass Girls!

And if Anna has left that means we are one person short in our DM Team. So Church, Dan, James meet Craig! Craig has done his DM Course with us, just like all you guys did funnily enough! He knows how we operate here, our logistics, the staff, the rules, the boats, the people, the divesites & more importantly is a grease monkey as he can fix outboard engines! So Craig welcome my Canadian friend. Put your dive gear over there please, you won't be needing it, & come have a go at fixing 'Dark Blues' Engine, so we can finally get 2 longtails working at the same time! Wouldn't that be nice!

Another day another Whaleshark! I beleive we had a 100% Whaleshark sighting hit rate yesterday. Meaning everyone who went diving with Big Blue yesterday saw a whaleshark! Even the Belgian again! It was high 5's for everyone yesterday! Do you think Whalesharks get as excited about seeing humans as we do about seeing them? "Woo yeah, dived with humans today! Do you know how rare it is to dive with humans! Some whalesharks dive for 20 years before they see their first human!"

Friday 1st August 2008-

2008-08-01Well the big news in Thailand today is that the former Prime Minister, current owner of Manchester City FC, Thaksin Shinawatra's wife has been found guilty of tax evasion & has been sentenced to 3 years in prison! Fantastic. That's great news because it shows that the legal system in Thailand is no longer corrupt & even the wealthy & influential can't escape justice anymore by paying their way out! Till she paid 5 million Baht so she wouldn't have to go to prison! I just love Thailand!

We got some fellas renting out Big Blue boat today for their own private Charter. They are off to Chumphon after a nice lazy breakfast. Then morning tea during the surface interval. Second dive at Green Rock when all the morning boats have already left & then on to Nang Yuan Island for lunch! Have a spot of snorkelling in the afternoon & then off for the last dive of the day with a Whale shark at White Rock! Hmmm. Not a bad way to spend the day! Nice one DM James!

Thailand is well known for its tolerance of the ladyboy. In Thai they are called a Katoey! Sex-change surgery has become a speciality of the Thai health industry, and it is relatively inexpensive; patients come here from all over the world for the operation. So we really shouldn't be too surprised when a school here in Thailand introduced a very controversial idea! Between the girls' toilet and the boys', there is one signposted with a half-man, half-woman figure in blue and red. This is the transsexual toilet. Its called a Katoeylet!

September 2008

Tuesday 30th September 2008-

2008-09-30High season, low season, same same but.... different! Some shops close (great, more for us), some Instructors and DM's head off for parts well-known (tried it, didn't like it, stayin here this year thanks) and the island braces itself for a spot of rain. P'Piak starts growing his "Noah' beard again, just in case we need to use Banzai as an ark, Ugly Dog digs up his bones and walks round with a snorkel tucked into his collar, anyone living up a hill or 'off-road' changes from slicks to monster treads and takes advanced mud and gully sliding motorcycle courses from Canada - all a bit excesive if you ask me. In fact, 2 years ago, it hardly rained at all, the weather was mostly fine, the conditions for diving were great there was plenty of accommodation available and you didn't have to queue in 7 - 11. Last year was a little wetter, for about 2 weeks, not too bad at all, really. Of course it hasn't always been so cushty, I remember 7 or 8 years ago the weather was so bad the ferries couldn't make it to Koh Tao and we started to run out of basic essentials like fresh vegetables, gasoline and (gasp) beer! Things came to a head when the island was down to its last bottle of Jack Daniels and the Tip Shop (no 7-11 in those days) finally cleared out all the strange booze that had lain on shelves for years - Advocaat Spritzer anyone? Perhaps a Campari and coke, Chartreuse on the rock? Eventually the Thai Navy were called in to evacuate all but the hard-core islanders and staff.

Some of the BB staff have decided there have been far too many 'Leaving Parties' and those of us who haven't left yet deserve a 'Staying Party'. So, if you're still here, and don't plan on leaving any time soon, get yourself down to Big Blue next Saturday and get messy. Leaving's for losers!

Monday 29th September 2008-

2008-09-29"Dear Jim, Firstly our apologies for taking so long to write this. My wife and I recently stayed at big blue and learnt to dive, doing both our open water then AOW. We would both love to say thank you very much to you and ALL your staff ( yes even Dan :-) ) for making it the most incredible experince ever. Everyone at big blue was fantastic, chilled, friendly and completely professional. Thanks a lot, we'll see you all next year. Ken and Samantha Bordt"
Thanks guys & apologies if you got landed with Dan as your DM.

Craig is back. He's been out for the best part of a week doing some very technical diving. Dropping down to 70 meters to dive on wrecks- how jig is that. Dressing up to look like the Gimp from Pulp Fiction then sticking all these tanks on your back & diving to depths equivalent of a 25 storey building! Thats the sort of diving that really seperates the men from the boys...well at least the Canadians from the men... & the boys!

Good staff is hard to find! Heaven knows I've had enough trouble trying to find a suitable replacement for Nikki in the shop. We've had flyers around town, stuck on walls, noticeboards, windows & on taxis advertising for a new Shop girl or boy needed at Big Blue. And how many people do you think have applied for the position. That would be none, correct! And as time draws on I'm getting more & more desperate. C'mon people give me a hand. I need someone to be the first face people see when they arrive at Big Blue. You need to be able to speak English, good at maths, witty, charming, social, computer literate, presentable & smiley. You work 6 days a week & get free diving. All applicants please send CV with photo attached to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Please note photos of female applicants in bikinis will be looked at first! Photos of male applicants in Speedos will be posted on Barry's 'Just say no to Speedo's' Facebook Group!

Sunday 28th September 2008-

2008-09-28It couldn't have come at a better time! What with the leaders of Thailand being unable to choose a leader & the worlds economy going down faster than a Ladyboy in an elevator its no surprise its all gone quiet here on the Rock. The crap weather doesn't exactly help either. And for Banzai to break down last night at a time when we don't actually require her is just perfect... timing!

Its the time of year when everyone starts looking for a better home to live in. High season has lined our pockets nicely & all the crusty west coast Instructors have left to prepare for the new season over yonder! & despite the housing crisis everywhere here in KT there's never been a better time to move! Simon's moved, lost his cat in the process but he's moved. Barry has as well. I believe he's come back from across the border over there at Chalok Ban Kao. & now Emily has moved into a brand new pad & then when Rick moves over to the West side Dan will take over his abode up there. Its all go go go! Buy! sell! rent! What economic crisis?

I hope you'll all join me in wishing our friendly Frenchman a speedy return to good health. Poor old G must have eaten a dodgy frogs leg cos he's not been at all well this week & after seeing Steve our friendly island matron who gave G a blood test it was decided to send him off to a hospital in Samui for a closer look. Apparently when he got to hospital the doctors suspected it could be something as sinister as Haemorragic Dengue but after an hour in bed & 1 Deep Pan Pizza Hawaiian apparently his temperature dropped & the Doc reckons they'll be able to release him by tomorrow! Its a Pizza miracle! Get well soon G!

Friday 26th Sept, 2008-

2008-09-26BioRock Fever -have you got it?

Yes, the whole island is getting caught up in the new BioRock project. Its all part of our Save-Koh-Tao movement which has really caught a lot of momentum over the last year. I think its due to a number of reasons. First off, we all love this little island. It really is a unique paradise. But equally as important, I think we can actually see realistic ways of saving it. When people talk about saving the planet or saving the rainforest, it seems like such a huge task that requires the co-operation of so many millions of people and so many corrupt governments, it seems almost impossible. But saving one little 21km sq island seems to be a managable task. And such an important one.

Last night we had a celebrity in the marine world give a talk at the upstairs room at Dirty Nellys pub. I've never seen this huge room so packed. People lined the walls and stood in the stairwell just to have a chance to hear Dr. Thomas J Goreau speak about his research on coral reefs and his BioRock project. Dr Goreau has been studying reefs with his father, Thomas F Goreau, since the age of 6 when he first learned to dive. He has been traveling the world for the last 50 years trying to prevent the degradation of coral reefs around the world. Unfortunately he's learned that in most cases his efforts are pushed aside in favor of bigger hotels and more money. So instead he's decided to focus his efforts on a way to regenerate coral reefs in areas that DO care. That is the BioRock project. A natural reef who's growth is speeded up by a mild electric current. In any case, Dr Goreau will be here for 3 nights giving talks each night on different ecological issues and what we all can do. I'm pleased to say that Big Blue staff and DMTs probably had a bigger turn out than any other school I saw there. Even though we don't all plan to be here forever, we want this paradise to be beautiful for generations to come.

If you want to see more about marine conservation on Koh Tao, check out  http://marineconservationk>ohtao.com/
If you want to know more about Dr Goreau and his even more remarkable father, look them up on Wikipedia along with the BioRock.

In other news, another spectacularly sunny day here in paradise. And we're getting ready to send out yet another DiveMaster in to the world. Tom, our latest graduate is finishing off his course today, and will be put through the paces in the bar tonight as one final challenge of his DiveMaster course. Good luck Tom!!

Thursday 25th September 2008-

2008-09-25The slightest motion smarts! Yesterday was our day to join in the Islands effort at building the Bio Rock structure. Four X 3 meter high & 5 meter wide iron dome structures will be put in the sea to the north west of Koh Tao & will be electrically charged to encourage coral growth. It is estimated that the whole structure will be completely covered with coral within 2 years. So in years to come we will be able to show our kids the divesite we created & tell them about the day we all got 3rd degree sunburn for our efforts! Thanks to all our Big Blue Crew who turned upto help especially Dan & Hal, Kirsty & Amanda who were there all day & now look like Big Blue Lobsters.

'Jim - Had a wonderful time!! Simon was my SSI instructor and I was very impressed w/ his demeanor and friendliness and candor in and out of class. I felt 100 confident under his mentorship and would like to return some day to pursue advanced classes with him again. Can you help me out? I totally forgot to pick up my SSI card at the office on the way out! Is there a way to have it mailed to me in the States? Curious, is the Divemaster course 50,000 BHT? And is there a student visa issued with that? Thanks again for your prompt responses to my emails in the past. That was the deciding factor in my decision to invest in Big Blue. Best, Mel.'
-Nice one Simo. Thanks Melvin. & BTW everyone its only 25000 for the DM Course not 50000!

Always nice that with so many people leaving & about to leave how happy I am to welcome back an old face to the team. and with Marcel having gone we now need another full time dedicated Instructor to deal with all our specialty courses, wreck trips & tech diving. & who else could I ask to bring so much chaos & calamity than our old bull in a china shop Canada. Time to stick up the posters in the urinal, the flyers in the toilets, stickers on the windows, & flowers in the dive shop! Its hammertime!

Tuesday 23rd September 2008

2008-09-23While the West Coast of Thailand is inundated with incessant rain, Bangkok swelters in unbearable humidity and the rest of the world is stressing about some banking crisis or something, life is pretty good here thank you very much. Koh Tao is drenched in golden sunshine, there's a cool breeze blowing in off the sea, the water is a pleasant 30 degrees and there are whalesharks passing by every couple of days - and its supposed to be low season!. It is a bit hot away from the beach, though. Luckily, theres no real reason to venture too far, the restaurant and bar are well stocked with snacks, ice creams (I'm eating a cornetto as I type) and icy cold beers (for later, of course, roll on 'beer o'clock'), and most other places deliver if you fancy a change. The girls at Greasy Spoon will quite happily drive down to us in the morning with foil wrapped parcels of heart attack butties, then Zanzibar for lunch, Barry's quite fond of the chocolate mousse. Big Blue pizza is still the best on the island, perfect with a Tiger or two after a hard day's diving, teaching or just sitting round doing Meet and Greet. Occasionally, we even eat Thai food, Som Tam (shredded mango or papaya salad with garlic, cherry tomatoes, peanuts and chillis) or street meat from the cart outside the resort, grilled catfish, spicy pork, all good. Or maybe Massaman from mama down at Pim's kitchen, she also does the best chicken soup I've ever tasted (sory mum). Tukta's Pad Thai alway hits the spot, too. Damn, I'm hungry now, might pop out for snack, or maybe I'll just call for delivery...

Hard life, eh?

Monday 22nd September 2008-

2008-09-22Well done DM Dan for organising what was a very successful clean up the other day around at Chalok Ban Kao with over 470 Kgs of rubbish gathered! I would like to stress that that isn't our own rubbish but the flotsam & jetsam that has worked its way over to our precious island over the last spell of windy weather. & thanks as well to all those who volunteered their services to us. Its always a great success these trips & because its free its always a full of economically aware skinflints! Last month someone found an underwater digital camera. There was no bounty collected this time. Just a pair or 2 of Captain Dam's Y-fronts! Cheers Dan. Job well done volunteers!

Party (again) last night for Sonia who turned twelvety! (She won't divulge her real age to us or you which is 28 by the way!) It was sunset drinks a the bar followed by dinner at Fizz Restaurant & then back to the Bar for more drinking! & why not. Lots to celebrate today. Sonia's ageing, Robyn & Church had their leaving do & all 40 divers who went out yesterday on their Full Day Trip to Sail Rock ended up seeing a Whaleshark at Shark Island on their last dive! With so much going on last night its of little wonder that everyone who was there is very slowly & extremely quietly taking a really really long time to getting around to doing what they are actually here to do today!

'Hi Big Blue, I just wanted to write to say thank you for the awesome time I had while learning to dive with Big Blue. I did my open water cert. course with Ricky and he did a terrific job teaching us, even though we were hungover most days! I had such a good time that I am going to do my advance at home in Canada in the very cold waters of the northern Pacific. Ricky was a very thorough instructor and did a such a great job teaching us all the important details but keeping it fun at the same time. I didn't expect it when I signed up for the course but diving is a part of me now. It has been on my mind ever since I left Koh Tao - I cannot wait to get back there. So, if you can please tell Ricky that I say 'thank you very, very much'. The whole experience with Big Blue was amazing.' Cat Lortie

Sunday 21st September 2008-

2008-09-21Every now & then a book a movie or a person comes along & changes your life in a second! I'm talking about the movie 'Sharkwater'. If you haven't seen it & you give a shit you absolutely have to watch one of the most amazing stories since Bowling for Columbine! If you have been diving with us in Koh Tao & we showed you the sharks at Chumphon Pinnacle & you saw how amazing these creatures are then please help us, help the maker of this movie, help the sharks & most importantly help yourselves & your children. Sharkwater. Tell your friends, watch the movie, check the website, buy the t-shirt, & educate the people everywhere. Get off your arse & help change the world! www.sharkwater.com

Well we've sent Big Blue Boat off to the Doctors today for its yearly short, back & sides! So we're without Baby Blue for a quoted 2 weeks, an expected 4 weeks but a realistic 6 weeks. Which means we'll be working Mummy Blue- Navakid, & Daddy Blue- Banzai to the hull this month! Its always exciting getting the boats back after they've been to the Beauticians & I'm sure Baby Blue will come back smelling of roses once we got rid of the malingering odour of Captain Dams Y-fronts!

Day 2 of the Exodus to Khao Lak! 1st was the Belgian & now its our Netherlandsian! Marcel is off today a little ahead of the official beginning of the season there to do some spring cleaning on the boat & get affairs in order for his Wicked diveshop. Paul came over very briefly & is off as well & so is Robyn & Church! Tho Church is taking a rather large detour on his way to Khao Lak via Austria for a month or 2. So adieu friends, good luck, have a great season & don't forget to write!

Saturday 20th September 2008-

2008-09-20Its not often but every now & then we come across something we have never seen before & consequently don't know the name of. Usually we can ask our Japanese colleagues who know the name of every single fish in every single ocean but even this fish stumped them. Its like a cross between a Batfish & a Trevally, or a Plaice & a baby mola mola but its none of the above. What it is is weird well thats what Emily has decided to call her find- Emily's weird fish! Well its got to be better than calling it a Pomfret, surely!

Auf Weidersehn Madamoiselle! We are about to go thru our yearly exodus of staff as our high season Instructors & DM's now return to the west coast of Thailand Filip our strange Belgium is off today! He was only ever coming for the duration of time that Khao Lak is closed & now that it is about to reopen Filip is off to work on the Liveaboard. But first, in true Filip style He is going off to Israel for a couple of weeks of inexplicable weirdness. Only the Belgiums can truely be that odd! Cheers Filip, its been fun & we wish you luck for the coming season in Khao Lak.

So rumour has it that Koh Tao is getting ready to open an English school from the ages of 4- 12. Thats fantastic news for alot of us longtermers who have been living in this Peter Pan Land for the last 10 years & can't handle the thought of having return to the real world cos our kids need an education! I am absolutely delighted to hear this news & feel the urge to go & make babies with my beautiful wife immediately!

Friday 19th September 2008-

2008-09-19I think we broke a few records yesterday! There was over 10 divers doing their very first dive of their Open Water Course in confined & then G & Jade had 6 Frenchies doing a Try Dive. And what record did we achieve. Well how many divers can say they saw a whaleshark the very first day they went diving? Well as of yesterday I think you'll find that number to be 16! You lucky lucky Barstewards!

Its an underwater clean-up day tomorrow here in Koh Tao with all the dive shops getting together to pick up the trash that has been washing ashore over the last months worth of strong winds. We're all off to Chalok Ban Kao with another 30 or so divers prostituting themselves out in return for a free dive! It should be a great afternoon. The sun is out & the forecast is good. & afterwards there is a free Bar-b-Q at Dirty Nellies for everyone who took part! & who said picking up rubbish was no fun!

Despite the State of Emergency that was imposed & subsequently lifted upon Bangkok recently we're still busy in Koh Tao. The bookings did slow down a little but now they're right back up to normal & in addition to our Koh Tao Diving Resort & we are getting heaps of enquiries for our Liveaboard Cruises we offer in the Similans from November on. Imagine 4 days & 4 nights just cruising through the 9 deserted islands that is the Similans & then diving the world famous Richelieu Rock. Nothing but sun soaked leisure, deserted tropical islands, Sub aquatic encounters, belly bulging feasts & subconscious snoozes. All for less than 20,000 Bt. Interested? Have a look at our updated Liveaboards page on our website for more info!

Thursday 18th September 2008-

2008-09-18Mummy & Daddy Bolton are here enjoying a nice Thailand Vacation & today Baby Bolton is taking out Mumsie for her first Try Dive. Mr. B. who is already a certified diver hasn't been able to persuade Mumsie but our Dan who can sell sand to an eskimo is giving it a shot today. I can't help admire the courage of some of our divers. It takes a brave man who is willing to voluntarily step forward & offer to take their Mum for her 1st dive. Live & learn Dan, live & learn!

Oh dear. Poor Amanda. Not only did she have to be evacuated by helicopter in Nepal for a slipped disc in her neck, she has now been admitted to hospital in Malaysia for 3rd degree burns having spent the day basking in the heat of the Malaya sun. Luckily Auntie Helen is with her so she's in good hands. Of course Amanda is from England & she hasn't seen the sun properly before so how was she supposed to know to slip slop slap every time she goes sun baking? Poor pommie!

The weather has gone Schitz! One minute its wet & windy & looks like its about to bucket down & then the next minute its a beautiful sunny day, calm seas & scantily clad parading Frenchies. The island seems to be very French at the moment! Maybe thats why the weather is being so erratic!

Wednesday, September 17th 2008-

2008-09-17In Western Australia at the world famous Ningaloo Reef you can book a guaranteed dive with a whaleshark for 3000 AUD. The company sends out spotter planes & then when they find one they radio the coordinates to the speedboat which then whizzes over to the whaleshark & drops off the divers. What a lot of money to spend! For the same price you could get a return flight from either Europe or Australia to Bangkok & then to Samui. Catch the catamaran to Koh Tao. Get yourself a nice beach bungalow for a week. Book a dive pack & dive with us to check out the 2 whalesharks that are at Chumphon Pinnacle right now! Now thats money well spent!

"Hey Jim, i just wanted to tell you how amazing my underwater experience with big blue diving was. Since 3 days i am at ko phangag and have a great time here. But i have to say i am really serious in to diving now thinking back often. I made my owd with simon and it was wonderfull. He is a very good instructor practically (serious, calm, funny)and in theory everything was understandable even for foreign speakers. We had so much fun and i was a really lucky guy seeing the whaleshark an 11th on my third dive ever. So i will be back for my aowd in a few weeks. Cu and grettings to simon, g and marcel." Christian
R U writing these yourself Simo?

A few of our chicks have gone down to the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia for a busman's holiday. Helen originally left for a visa run & then told Amanda she might pop in on the Perhentians while she's there so Amanda went too & then Lia went down there as well & now there all having a jolly good gossip & a bit of a knee's up. Oh to be young wild & reckless again!

Tuesday, September 16th 2008

2008-09-16Well, I guess we must be doing something right as it seems like we are the only busy dive shop in Sairee right now. Could it be the three purpose built Big Blue dive boats and the wider choice of divesites we can offer (fundivers get to go where they want ((weather permitting)) and don't get marooned in Mango Bay with the Open Water students), experienced captains and boat boys, and the best on-board selection of cookies? Or perhaps its the high standard of teaching provided by our experienced (old) team of multi-lingual (Hal) instructors? Maybe its the hottest (Dan), fittest (James) and friendliest (Craig) Divemasters we have running the shop and taking care of our fundivers every day? Jim is far too modest to claim any credit as shop manager (yeah, right) but together with his team of German Lilly and the Thai shopgirls, Kate and Nicki, and all the taxi drivers, housekeepers and restaurant staff, everything seems to run as smoothly as one could hope for (for a business in Thailand ;)

New Divemaster Trainees have arrived -
Introducing Han Nah, a former swimsuit model and Economics Instructor from the USA by way of Korea, Han Nah wants to learn to dive and help all the little children of the world.
Sylvana, an exotic blend of English, Swiss and Thai, escaped from the world of advertising to run away to Koh Tao and become a Divemaster, she's fluent in Thai (!), has conversational English skills and gets seasick holding a beer.
Next up are Bart and Dylan from the Netherlands. Bart was a personal trainer (swoon) and Dylan left a promising career as a hand model for High and Mighty to become professional divers.
Lastly we have Chris, a septic tank from the US of A but don't hold that against him. Chris used to sell wine for living, in between collecting bounties down in Tijuana and freelance choreography (he says).
So, welcome all to your Drink More Training (DMT), 'm sure we'll all be getting to know each other well over the next few months....

Sunday, September 14th 2008

2008-09-14Well, it’s another Koh Tao Sunday. While you are all having a lie in at home, we are working here to offer the best diving services we can. Even our little summer (yes, it’s still summer here, blue skies and high temperatures) intern, Lilli, has given up on her weekend breaks and comes to work on this day. The boats went out this morning and came back full of very happy divers who’d got to see sharks in Chumphon and a turtle in Twins. Barry, Deano and Marcel are playing in the water with the DMTs and Robyn finished her course. Nice to be working with a bunch of overachievers!

Jim is really happy today as New Zealand finally won something in Rugby this season. He can be proud to be a Kiwi again, until the All Blacks play France of course. Sorry Aussie mateys, better luck next time. By the way, we heard the Scobster got a great deal on a house because the real estate agent recognized him from his old footy days. On the Rock and Down Under, The Scobby legend lives on.

Tonight, we celebrate Sonia and Yvonne’s birthday in the bar. Yvonne’s birthday was a week ago, Sonia’s is actually in a week but they wanted a joint party so they thought they’d have it halfway. We all know at Big Blue that 2 is better than 1 (right, Dan?), so they can both have two parties, of which one for two. Confused? So will we all be in a few hours. Cheers everyone and see you next week!

Saturday 13th September 2008

2008-09-13Ugly and Sausage (those are our dogs by the way) have been dressed in shirts today. Sausage is wearing a black top with a thai saying “I’m sexy but I don’t want your attention”. Ugly is simply wearing a pink top that goes so well with his fur colour. Not! Promise, it wasn’t our idea, but the restaurant staff who take care of our lovely pets say that they were both shivering yesterday. Can’t blame them, I was freezing my arse off when I got up this morning and it was 24 degrees. Brrrrr!

DM Dan is in Bangkok now to welcome his parents to Thailand, a few days north then they arrive here for 10 days to do a diving course with us. And for our little fun loving Robin, she has her 1st OW course with 2 girls so don your wetsuits and hop into a beautiful new world..... welcome to your 1st day in the pool.

Tonite, we say goodbye to Nora, our lovely German Divemaster. After spending time in China and Thailand she’s off to finish Uni in her homeland. As if she hadn’t learned enough on Koh Tao: how to be a divemaster, how infections DO happen with small mosquito bites and bike burns and for sure, how morphine can make you a little drowsy. Aufweidersehn Nora and don’t stay in Europe too long, I hear the temperature may drop below 24 degrees very soon!
 
Friday 12th September 2008

2008-09-12Does Big Blue have a new uniform? Everybody’s wearing the newest trend in Tao fashion today: a black shirt that reads “Speedo the Athletes Choice” and pictures an overweight tourist bearing the dreaded piece of clothing. Designed by the knight of the well-dressed, the anti budgie-smuggler crusader, Mr “just say no to speedo”, our very own Barry Covill. After Rick waging a war against ATVs, another one of our instructors has taken a stand against the axis of evil ATV-speedos-jetskis. Who said Big Blue was not concerned with the fate of our modern world?

Eco girl Helen is off to Malaysia on a visa trip for a few days with DMT Amanda. They should be able to get a couple of dives in too, before heading back to 'The Rock'. Our little hobbit Charlie has his last night tonight before flying off to bonny Scotland to join forces with his fellows skirt wearing folk. Good luck to you mate, we will see you next year.

So, we seem to be past the windy times here on the rock, looks like the weather is calming down as the full moon approaches so a few quiet days here for the Big Blue crew to regenerate our energy levels ready for that rush of backpackers to shake off their hangovers and start a new underwater experience, the Big Blue way!!

Thursday 11th September 2008-

2008-09-11When the weather goes bad we aren't usually so busy so this is the perfect kind of day for a bit of spring cleaning & interior renovating. The boys have started our yearly service on all our regs & soon we'll take the tanks in for their yearly bill of fitness & then there's the classrooms need to be sorted & tidied & our rooms need a fresh look & the boats need an overhaul & this & that need to be put away & with the help of our very hard working Lili form Saarbrucken who's here training in the tourism industry we're going for an extreme makeover. You go Lil, I'm off to Disneyland for a week! Happy training!

Despite the harsh north westerly wind the driving rain & the rising waves our brave venturers this morning made their way out to Koh Tao's No.1 Divesite- Chumphon Pinnacle & low & behold there was the biggest surprise of the morning awaiting them. Some reckon it was 5 meters others are claiming the creature they saw this morning was as big as 8 meters! Of course I can only be talking about 1 of 2 creatures that could be that big & in these waters. Its either the legendary Whaleshark, a very common visitor around here or it might have been the mythical Giant Sea Dragon which no one has ever seen before! My money is on the Whale Shark. Steve Zissou reckons it was the Giant Sea Dragon!

Its really nice when our guys get compliments from their customers with regards to their professionalism & enthusiasm for the job & its even nicer when customers take the time to thank our boat crew as well who do so much to make our trips a success. I really appreciate that & so do they. & then when you get praise for the quality of our staff from a manager at one of the biggest dive schools in the world then its a real feather in our cap. Today I'd very much like to thank our Boat crew on Navakid boat who by all accounts actually performed a rescue today on said other dive shops customer who very unexpectedly surfaced & then required urgent assistance. Great to know that our Captain P'Kaow & our boys Zaw & Sor were all so quick to react & jumped in & towed the diver to the boat to help get him out of the water. Well done Navakid crew. I believe someone's bought you boys a few beers to share & celebrate. Exellent work fellas!

Wednesday 10th September 2008-

2008-09-10Canada took our interested techies down for a Discover Tech Dive. Its like a Try Dive for people who want to try diving only its a little bit more technical so we call it Try Technical Diving. When you try Diving you wear 1 tank & are asked to clear your regulator 2 ways. In tech diving you wear 2 tanks & clear 2 regulators 1 way. Tech Diving is for the big boys. You need to have a lot of tattoos & have consumed a lot of pies to be recognised as a true techie! Join us on www.bigbluetech.net . Unblemished pussies need not apply!

Had to put Emily & Yvonne in the pool today with their students for their Confined session. Not ideal but looking at the weather today I don't think anyone was too disappointed least of all Emily & Yvonne! Its never the same your first time diving & you have to do it in the pool. In the sea you get to see little Damsels & Sergeant Majors, & every now & then have the cleaner wrasse come pay a visit. But in the pool there are no fish. There are globules of others spittle, strands of hair, used & discarded elastoplasts, & it gets real cold real quick! Bugger off foul weather! Nobody likes you!

Of course when the weather is crap like this it gives us all a good opportunity to try dining somewhere other than on the beach. So tonight I shall be mostly dining at Ari & Jerry's fine Swedish establishment at Sairee crossroads called Victoria. Not the most Swedish name for a Restaurant I have ever heard of but its got to be better than calling it 'Rat's Kitchen' which is what Rat, an old Thai friend of mine, has called his new Restaurant! Located right next to Nit's Hair Studio!

Tuesday 9th September 2008-

2008-09-09Mention the bloody rain & then it just won't stop! We've had a horrible few days here lately. I even caught Man-flu again & we all know how serious that can be! Its been wet, windy, wavey & we've even had to resort to taking the boats back to the pier instead of our usual nice & easy & so convenient routine of longtail pickups/ drop offs at Sairee Beach. But don't fret as all will be well with the weather in another couple of days. I might be better by then too. Depends how much sympathy I get!

Haven't done this before... " Hi Jim, I've just returned to Dublin after a week of diving with Big Blue. I had a brilliant week there. It was my first time diving & I did the PADI open Water course & because I loved it so much I did the Advanced as well. Simon was our Instructor & I wanted to let you know that he was absolutely brilliant. I found him extremely professional, funny which kept us interested in listening to him & we all felt really safe with him which is my priority if I'm learning to dive in the middle of the sea! He is a great ambassador for your company & I recommend a pay rise for Jim! Many thanks, Edel Malone."

The Legend of the Killer Coconut! Due to this wind & the time of year we've sent the monkeys up the palm trees to throw down the coconuts before they start falling & landing on peoples heads & according to myth killing them! The myth comes from widely reported stories that 150 people a year are killed from falling coconuts all around the world! Could this be true. & whose job is it to keep stats on such a fatality? Coconuts are hard & heavy & drop a long way but do they really kill people? I'm going to contact Mythbusters & if that don't work... I'll have a word with the boys at Jackass!

Sunday 7th September 2008-

2008-09-07Enormous congratulations to Andy Cav for getting up on stage last night in his Mankini to participate in the ritual of the the Divemaster Challenge! It takes balls to make a complete plonker of yourself & Andy quite clearly has large Kahunas. Congratulations mate on completing your DM programme with such decorum! & Thanks Marcel for sparing us having to see you in Speedos again.

Apparently the water wells in Koh Tao have dried up! There's no more water left because the weather has been so good for ages we haven't had any rain! Everywhere else in Thailand has swimming pools worth of water but here we've all dried up! So we're having to now import water from the mainland! What a pain in the bum. If you are on your way here maybe you could help. When you come fill your boardies up with water & bring a bottle. I'll have a large Chang, thanks!

Sonia is doing her DMT again! She's training to be a Dive Medic Technician. Any injuries or accidents go see Sonia! Numbness? Tingling? Frothy Sputum? Turn your head to the right & cough please! You name it, Sonia is going to be your man... girl... woman... Dr Scott! She's off to Samui for some intensive training with Kylie from the chamber there & then off to Pattaya for some more training & disco dancing I'm sure! Then when she gets back she's off to work as the main Dive Medic Consultant in Khao Lak. Thats awesome! Its a hell of a job & if anyone can do it, its our Sonia! You go girl! Break a leg!

Saturday 6th September 2008-

2008-09-06In the interests of healthy international relations I went out with the in laws for their first 2 Open Water Dives yesterday with 'Zee Germanator'-Yvonne. I ended up taking Auntie Iris snorkeling & watched ze Germans as zey descended in an orderly manner down zee descent line. I take my hat off to Yvonne for getting such a rowdy rabble to maneuver with such handling & precision & I just love the way they all did exactly as they were told! The Missus could learn a thing or two from the rest of her family! Reckon the German in me could learn a thing or two from the Germanator as well! Ja!

Latest news on the debacle in Bangkok is that the Present Prime Minister who refuses to resign from his post will put a vote to the people & they will decide as to whether he stays or goes. The good news is that he's lifted the State of Emergency he imposed upon Bangkok & the Army have no intention of fighting the protesters so the atmosphere of violence has dissipated & everything seems as normal as its ever been. Thats got to be good news & hopefully the vote will clear this whole political mess up anyway. It better do. The Email enquiries have died right down. We are now getting less than half the amount of enquiries we were getting this time last week! There are a lot of people working in the tourism sector feeling the pinch right now! Ow! Who did that?

Staff photo day! Everyone who could read the time accurately, bar Simon, Hal & Filip, turned up for one legendary photo after another. The boys were doing their hair, the girls were putting on their make up... Even Ugly turned up looking all made up, scabs & scars covered! Thought we'd make the most of having a professional photographer staying with us so I asked Lia to take some picci's. I had no idea how extremely handsome we all are, bar Simon! Fantastic photos Lia. Who else thinks its time Church had a haircut?

Thursday 4th September 2008-

2008-09-04Its the question on everyones lips. Is Thailand safe to travel to right now? & the answer you'll be very pleased to know is yes. The government called a State of Emergency the other day which would under normal circumstances mean barricading yourselves in at night for fear of Stazi-style reprisals but Thailand will never cease to amaze me. Its true there has been a couple of scufuffles but basically you wouldn't know anything had happenend if they hadn't made such a fuss about it all in the news already. If its persistant tuk tuk drivers, traffic jams, the latest movies on Pirate DVD & girls that love you long time that puts you in a State of Emergency then either run or stay where you are. Otherwise peeps, come on over- you'll get a great exchange rate right now!

 

So DM Dan reckons there's now 3 Lionfish at Japanese Gardens. That's ab fab! We like our lionfish round here. A Lionfish is like great sex. It's rare, beautiful, & everyone wants it. And our man Dan found 3 of them. Think he likes his threesomes!

 

Good Luck Yvonne! She is teaching my in laws their Open Water Course today! Zee Germans are invading! That's Bernd, Christian & Vicky. My other inlaws are doing their refresher & then tomorrow will start their Advanced Course & then after that Avi & Xandy reckon they are going to do their Rescue Course as well. Und after zat we shall all take over zee world. Ja! Viel Glueck Guys! Und even more Glueck for you Yvonne!

Wednesday 3rd September 2008

2008-09-03Back to work, jiggedy jig! Feels like I've been away for ages. I've had a fantastic break & have thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of my highly embarrassing stag night in Samui. Thanks boys! I'm still a little worried next time I visit Samui I might find myself on the cover of the Samui Guide in all my lime green splendour, but it won't be anywhere near as embarrassing as it will be for my poor wife! Oh yeah & to all the ladies who came out for Andrea's Hen Night. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to say I had 20 ladies play with my thingy that night!

And I've got to take my hat off to my loverly wife for organising what was the wedding of the year. Janson Bay never looked so beautiful & the monks were awesome & the speeches were funny & it all went down so brilliantly. Didn't start quite so wonderfully however as the wedding dress wasn't finished till an hour after the wedding ceremony started. Nothing like making a dramatic entrance on your wedding day eh darling! & the party at Fizz was wicked! Lots of people. Lots of drinking & dancing & thank you so much everyone for all your presents & cards & hugs & kisses. It was all going so well till that bloody Mexican filled me with Tequilla at 4 in the morning! Gracias amigo. Hope your head hurt too!

& now I'm back I'd like to thank Sonia & Rick for holding down the fort in my absence! I'd like to thank you our customers for continuing to walk through our doors. I'd like to thank Michael, the owner of Big Blue for allowing me this time off now & a bit more time off later for my honeymoon to Namibia, ;) , I'd also like to thank my parents, my dog Jansom Bay, Sjon & Lilly at Fizz, the Big Blue gang, my Swedish Kronies, the sun, Lilli for answering my emails & everyone for their thoughts, well wishes & my loverly sexy wife! Right thats it folks. & now the Wedding is over, I'd like to thank everyone for getting back to work... please!

Tuesday 2nd September 2008

2008-09-02It’s been a while and so many things have happened here I don’t know where to start. We had a great challenge on Friday night for Nora, Donna, Caz, Miriea and Andy. The theme was the “ Drinking Olympics”, one of BBs all-time favorites. The 5 new DMs got dressed up in togas, ancient Greek style and bore lovely crowns of leaves around there head. They had to go through series of sporting events such as bucket sprints, opening ceremony flamming shots and much more! Congratulations to all 5 of you and for those who are not sticking around, safe travels and hope to see you back soon!

And of course, it was Jim and Andrea’s wedding. What an amazing moment! It started in Jansom Bay with a reception for the relatives and close friends from overseas and went on with a party at Fizz. I would have probably picked a cooler to get married myself, seeing Jim sweating in that James Bond suit on Saturday night made feel like I was walking into a sauna. On the dryer side, Andrea was definitely stunning in her wedding dress. Everybody gathered at Fizz to celebrate the happy couple and the next morning at work, we looked more like a zombie convention than a bunch of highly experienced dive professionals!

The weather is beautiful, the seas are flat, the visibility is as good as it gets and the August crowd is slowly moving away. So why not come and pay us a visit?

October 2008

Thursday 30th October 2008-

2008-10-30Awesome news from our morning divers today - the sharks are back at Chumpon! Blacktip reef sharks at 18m all round the pinnacle :)

Lots of people heading across to the West Coast, but we have a few returning to Koh Tao! Tim and Mac are back! Stock up the bar! And get ready to party!

Halloween tomorrow, so it's time to start carving up those pumpkins! In the morning we'll be getting in touch with our inner eco-warrior and doing a beach clean-up, in the evening we have a spooky night dive, and then it'll be party time - don't forget your fancy dress!

Really, what's happened to monsoon?! Don't want to jinx it, but the sun is shining, the dive sites are beautiful - time to escape those recession worries and come to Koh Tao!

We lost our two crazy Dutch boys Bart and Dylan, but joining the Big Blue bubble today is crazy Dutch girlie Mickey to take their place! Doing her rescue course with G didn't put her off, so she won't be heading back to Holland just yet, but staying on to do her DMT.

Monday 27th October 2008-

2008-10-27We got 3 candidates this month on the Instructor Development Course! That'll be DM Dan, Shopbitch Donna, & Freelance Helen the Second. So for the next 3 weeks these guys have got to do enough brown nosing to the Koh Tao IDC Groups Course Directors in order to enter the 2 day Instructor Exam. They got to pass physics & physiology exams, demonstrate all required skills with such perfection & precision that it will actually arouse the examiner, & stand up & lecture their classmates on half times & Tissue compartments & supersatureationalismists!

No sweat! Good luck guys!

Just when you thought it was safe to get back out of the water... the Whaleshark is back! & at last Barry was there to enjoy only his second Whaleshark in 5 years! Ridiculous odds that. But then I again I'm so lucky I could fall into a puddle & see a whaleshark! This one is about 5 meters & very friendly! THis morning we spent 2 dives with it & were totally alone with it. Not a single other diveshop there except Big Blue! & people wonder why we were named as THE diveshop to dive with in Koh Tao by that bloke in that paper the other day!

Canada is back. Him & Hannah have been out for the best part of a week doing some really deep diving out there in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand. There are a lot of wrecks in the Gulf here. A lot are war graves from the Second World War. There's a submarine or 2 including the last vessel to be suck in the 2nd WW around these parts the USS Lagarto, now a world famous war grave where over 150 men lost their lives. There's also a couple of fighter planes & lots of transport & cargo vessels. In Canada's treasure trove this week he's brought back with him a teapot, a vase, a plate, a cup, a saucer a 50 year old tea bag & a packet of chocolate hobnobs!

Sunday 26th October 2008

2008-10-26Nice one Helen! Helen has organised another beach clean up today. This morning she's rounded up a bunch of picker uppers who are all spending the morning moseying up & down the beach picking up the remnants of waste products we humans improperly discard. With the recent wind & waves as well that is an awful lot of rubbish! Looking at most of the flotsam & jetsom that has washed up on the beach like plastic buckets, plastic bags, & empty red bull bottles, styrofoam & netting entwined around big bamboo branches, I'd say the biggest cuplrits are quite possibly the fishermen. So they're not only destroying the sharks they're now strewing their litter all over the oceans too! Stinky rotten fush fickers!

Just when you thought the exodus was over suddenly we're caught off guard with another late leaver! James is off soon. & because Dan will be away this week starting the IDC that leaves me with a total of 1 in my DM team- Mireia from Spain. So at this late stage I'm having to scrape something up off the bottom of the barrel & I've managed to bring it in & call it 'Wayne'. Everybody say "Welcome Wayne!"

I'm afraid I have some very sad news for those of you who really know Koh Tao. One of our longest, closest, dearest friends has moved on. Simple Life is no more! Its been closed down & its going to be re opened by different people & in the form of something very similar but totally different. How original! So people for all those of you who spent endless nights & lazy afternoons lounging around or playing pool in the best name & the most original Koh Tao Restaurant & bar there ever was, please stand & raise your glasses to our dear departed friend- To Simple Life. May life always be that easy!

Saturday 25th October 2008-

2008-10-25Well now that Big Blue boat is back its about time we sent our Mothercraft Banzai off to the Beauticians for a while! So Piak has set off to Chumphon for the best part of a month tightening the hatches & practising his Karaoke classics down the local. He's had to drag 'Light Blue' with him as well as we decided after all that work the other day getting her out of the water for a scrape & polish that she actually needed a little more treatment than that. So Banzai & Light Blue & P'Piak are off on a months sojourn at the Chumpon boat yard! & by the time they all come back there'll be looking brand new & irresistable. P'Piak especially!

"Hey Jim, Just wanted to drop you a quick line about my diving in Koh Tao. Despite the worries about my ears, everything was fine... Rich was an absolute legend, and his instructing style and depth of knowledge where fantastic. he also knew a thing or two about the town and pointed us all in the direction of good food and good times - he is a star. The diving wasnt too bad either - 20m visibility and being in the water with a shark! Overall your operation is fantastic and i will be reccomending Big Blue to anyone who will listen...take it easy. Paddy"

So we are in for a severe weather warning Thailand wide! Ooh bugger! That means movie monsoon craziness! Its going to be so wet here for the next few days you may as well either wander around the place naked or live & work in your swimmers! Great thought if you're a guy. Horrendous convulsions if you're a chick!

Friday 24th October 2008-

2008-10-24"I just wanted to say that my wife and I had a great experience taking the Open Water Diving Course. I was only diving because my wife wanted to try it. We took the course with Deano and have only great things to say about him. I am sure you are aware but to state it anyway, he was a professional in the water and class, was patient, helpful and also insightful. He also took the time to meet with us after, share a beer, story, Thai / Koh Tao tip. Because of this, it was tough for us to leave. Had we not booked our flight already we would have taken the advanced course. My wife and are already talking about our next Big Blue trip. We also really enjoyed the resort, dive sites, restaurant, boats, ect. It was truly a great dive experience. -Jay"
Thanks Jay & we'll see you both again soon.

Just in case you haven't heard, read or seen the news, The UK's Sunday Times did an article in their travel supplement entitled 'The 10 best destinations for 2009'. Its basically a sneak preview into the Lonely Planet's annual list of emerging destinations & hip classics! Now 1st on the list is some place in Tasmania, then the Basque Country in France & Spain, then some hotspot in Chile, & 4th is Koh Tao! AND they give us a plug by giving our phone number & website address! How groovy is that! Keep a look out people for Lonely Planets "Blue List"- its the bible on hot spots for 2009 & we're smoking!

Canada & Hannah are off on the Trident Liveaboard for the next 4 days as part of Hannahs Tech Diving Course. Not too many women Tech Divers so Hannah is making a name for herself in the world of deep dark & dirty females! Checking out wrecks that were destroyed during the second world war. The history, the stories, the silence, the isolation, the depth, the darkness & deco stops. Not a bad way to spend 4 days in monsoon!

Thursday 23rd October 2008-

2008-10-23Big Blue has a grand old tradition of humiliating its DMT's in a final challenge before they are signed off as professionals. Similar to american college style 'hazing' previous challenges have seen trainees led into the bar on all fours, spiked collars round theirs necks and leashes held by their mentors. Wearing S&M style peek-a-boo and crotchless wetsuits, they were subjected to a series of lashings, beatings, some light spanking, foot-licking and, of course, drinking unpalatable shots of leftover liquors from the dusty top shelf of the bar. Great fun, what? This legendary DMT Challenge has never been repeated, sadly as were told by the boss that we had gone 'too far'. Since then, we've seen cross dressing Blind Date, 'I'm a DMT Get Me Out Of Here!', Koh Tao Celebrity Hooker Pageants and many, many more. The Big Blue Instructors' evil plans backfired spectacularly at the last challenge, however. Who's bright idea was it to strip ex-army Paul, champion kickboxer Dylan, and personal trainer Bart, down to their skintight jocks and put them through a drunken 'Boot Camp'? Jaws dropped amongst the Big Blue females as the boys were led onto the stage and soon, pools of drool formed around their feet as they were put through their paces. By the time they had finished bench pressing scuba tanks, and performing press-ups over a vodka bucket, the girls were left glassy eyed and lightly panting. Poor old Paul had elected to wear white underpants for the challenge and after they were forced to run through the torrential rain to collect and carry tanks into the sea lets just say he had nothing left to hide. I personally vote that we never exploit men in such a disgraceful fashion again and all subsequent challenges should feature fully clothed males. Please cast your vote below....

Disclaimer: The DMT Challenge is an optional component of the Divemaster Training Program.

Wednesday 22nd October 2008-

2008-10-22Time for a bit of pampering! We've now taken 'Light Blue' out of the water in order to give her a sanding & a polish. & thats no mean feat either. It took about 40 big strong strapping lads all their strength to shift our 10 meter flat bottom boat out of the water & in between bungalows 1 & 2. We had to lug her through the resort then flip her upside down & 3 point turn her into her parking spot. & there she'll sit for the next month while we massage her tender bits & rejuvenate her complexion with a bit of glass fibre moisturising cream! Aah & relax!

After writing about the sale of Shark Fin Products at Tesco lotus outlets in Thailand we contacted Tesco directly to ask for their say in this matter. Here’s their Response.
“I am sorry that you are unhappy with our decision to sell shark fins in our Thailand stores. Please let me assure you that we appreciate your concerns about animal welfare and thank you for taking the time to bring your comments to our attention. Like many other retailers in Thailand, Tesco sells shark fin in its stores as our customers expect to be able to buy it. We know that we need to balance different cultural attitudes, in this case respecting the different traditions and values on this issue that exist in Thailand with the very important issue of sustainability and welfare. This is why we will conduct a review and take expert advice to ensure that we source shark in the most sustainable way possible. I have fully logged your concerns and I can assure you that your own comments, along with any others we receive, will be duly noted. Thank you for letting us know your views. If I can help further, please just let me know."
Frankly I just don't think thats good enough & feel we have been totally fobbed off! Please help us & contact them yourselves. We can’t control local retailers but a major chain who packages and markets their products in english is someone we CAN. Tesco Customer Service .uk> Every letter helps!

So as the season draws to a close & the monsoon winds & rains make their way towards our beautiful island paradise we bid Adieu to one of our most loved members of the team. As you all know Rick has been offered the opportunity to manage our diveshop in Khao Lak & has now left us here to set the wheels in motion over there. So if you heard its monsoon time over here & your looking for a bit of fun & games Big Blue style then go see Rick. & Sonia, Marcel, Filip, Ricky, Anna, Robyn, Paul, Keith, Klaus, Joachim, Takeshi, Naomi, Becky, Tuk. There's a Big Blue Party West Coast style. Might even have to pop over myself! Cheers Rick, thanks for everything good luck & we'll see you & the gang back here again in 6 months!

Sunday 19th October 2008-

2008-10-19Looks like the whalesharks have been here at the one dive site for the past week now & don't look like they are in much of a hurry to leave either. They're having a whale of a time! Unlike Ricky & Anna who can't wait to get off the island & head over to Khao Lak for their new adventure over there with Marcel & the guys. They're on the nightboat tonight so its the last night on the dram eh mate. Cheers Ricky - great job DMing & an equally good job Instructing. Now go out & do an awesome job liveaboarding!

And now that Big Blue boat is back & ready for action its time to send Banzai out for a s**t, shower & a shave. Every year around this time we send our boats out to the shipyard to have them taken out of the water, scrubbed & tickled. Its also a great opportunity to take care of the little broken bits & pieces which need attention. Piaks' crutches, the cd player & of course keeping the boat updated & modern looking! The nice touches. The go fast stripes, the fluffy dice, surround sound speakers, neon lights & beaded seat covers. Its time to pimp up Banzai!

Few injuries here a the moment. We know Amanda hurt herself last week & is having trouble with her ears. & then Helen went over the top of her handlebars the other day & has bruised a rib or 2 which obviously smarts. & now Dan seems to have done something to his knee. Not great timing bearing in mind he wants to start the IDC next week. Still Dan seems to have perked up a little since he's been chatting to that extremely eye catching Californian lady with the nom yai's! Always working is our Dan!

Friday 17th October 2008-

2008-10-17During the months of October - December Koh Tao experiences it’s lovely monsoon season. All of sudden it starts raining and the next thing you know it’s Christmas. That doesn’t mean we stop diving here, but because it aint the best we look for somewhere to dive! We’ll still be doing local training but it’s not terribly exciting for our certified divers or our Tech divers. So now we are going to be offering Technical Cave Training and Day Trips. We’ll also be offering multi day excursions visiting different caves around Thailand. We handle the logistics, hotels, gas, boat, taxi, diving, locations and certification through ANDI instructor trainer Bruce Konefe. These trips will be offered to anyone who is at least Advanced Nitrox or Extended Range technical divers. PS- All divers must posess big Kahunas!

Well the heavens opened this morning! Hopefully it doesn't mark the beginning of Monsoon but it might! Usually the monsoon that hits us on this side is relatively short & sweet bucketing down only for an hour or so, and lasting no longer than a few weeks. The thing I actually hate most about monsoon isn't the lack of sunshine, customers or diveable divesites. It's the bruises on my arse after driving through puddle submerged potholes!

And if Monsoon is just around the corner then I guess its time to get ourselves ready to dive our very own House reef! We really are so lucky to be able to walk straight off our beach & be diving the most beautiful hard corals anywhere in Koh Tao. Some might think I'm exaggerating but show me one thing you can't get in Sairee Reef that you can get in Japanese Gardens, apart from Korean snorkellors in life jackets! Having had a sneaky chat with our Japanese Instructors who are incredible at finding the small & well camouflaged stuff I've been reliably informed that in addition to the mass of large Bommies & other large corals there is a Black frogfish & plenty of seahorses, a pipefish or 2 & more Nemo's than you could shake a stick at! Sounds a little like the Similans! & in our very own back yard!

Thursday 16th October 2008-

2008-10-16Well we are drawing ever nearer to the final parting of the near departed. Both Rick & Ricky have finished their last day at work here at Big Blue now. As you may know Rick is off to head up our Khao Lak branch imaginatively called Big Blue Diving Khao Lak. He’ll be working his little butty to the bone as he sells our day trips on the coolest speedboats anywhere on the West coast to the best dive sites the Similan & Surin Islands have to offer. & Ricky is off to work with Marcel on a Liveaboard. The endless days, the sleepless nights, the never ending customer questions, the lack of privacy, the absence of a relationship. You boys sure you know what you’ve let yourself in for?

Canada is teaching Big Blue’s first ever Gas Blender Course to DM James. It’s a reasonably tricky 2 day course & you got to have your wits about you cos there’s quite a lot of mathematics involved. But James is a sharp tool & I’m sure he’ll get the gist of it all pretty quickly. And if Canada can do it then how hard can it be! So between the 2 of them, & gradually Canada will train all of our staff, we’ll be able to pump out at least double the amount of nitrox tanks we were pumping last week. So that’ll be… er six… plus… er… six… equals… er…twelvety!

So according to Caz we've made the National press in the UK. The Sunday Times Travel Supplement no less. Always good to see free publicity & nicer when it comes as a complete surprise! Fantastic Caz. Thanks for letting us know & if you could send us a copy that would be worth at least 2 free dives on your next visit! Apparently we also got a very good write up in the latest edition of Lonely Planet Thailand's Islands & beaches. & yesterday I had a very nice couple of girls from some Israeli something or other magazine, or paper or website who had such a great time with us that they wanted to write about us as well. What can I say. When you're hot you're hot! Cheers Caz.& just for you I've put a photo of you & your celeb boyfriend & girlfriend on todays blog! ;)

Wednesday 15th October 2008-

2008-10-15Congratulations Kirsty on becoming our newest Big Blue DMT to drop the T! & what better way to celebrate your Graduation than by throwing a Come Dancing party! Everyone came in their best disco clobber including DM Dan who came in his Gravesend Saturday night best as Chip from the mighty Chippendales. Would have been very funny too if the ogling Big Blue chicks hadn't looked quite so seriously aroused! Can you still see it now as the photos get passed around! All right ladies thats enough! Roll your tongues back in your mouth please! Congrats Kirsty!

'Hi Jim, I’ve been home for a couple of weeks now and I admit to being a bit lethargic in catching up with e mails. However now that the backlog has finally been shifted, I want to take a moment to say thanks to you, the instructors, Dms and to the boat crews who made my diving trip great. 2 weeks on Tao is never enough, and although the viz was perhaps not the best (soup!) at this time of year I had the best time ever. The variety of fish was amazing and now I can say that I’ve swam with Whale sharks, Bull sharks, turtles, barracudas and a shed load of other cool stuff. The après’ diving was equally spectacular and most nights I ended up as a giggling heap, so I guess I must have enjoyed a bucket or 5. Ok special mention time…..Firstly my AOW instructor the Germinator. You did a great job Yvonne. I still smile at the thought of you yelling “Vot are you dooingk wrong?” when I got lost on a navigation dive (twice, oops!) James the fish. Going out with James guaranteed a good dive. This guy can find the special stuff like no other. Including putting me right onto a whale shark while all the Japanese swam off in the wrong direction. Craig. Another supreme fish hunter. Go diving with Craig and you just know that most of the dive will be spent head down trying to look at something obscure under a ledge 3 inches from the bottom. If it’s there, he will find it. Jade. Wow!!!! The most stunning diver in the ocean. Always a pleasure to follow her, but a world class diver too. Craig’s a lucky guy. Emily. Unfortunately I only dived once with Emily, but it was a goody. She’s one of the best. Donna. What a diamond! Just does everything brilliantly and looks great doing it. One of the nicest people I’ve met. All the other instructors and Dms that I met or shared a drink with. The equipment guys who do a great job, always in the background but so important. The boat crews who are understated but brilliant. Worth mentioning too is the very good value accommodation. Very comfortable place to nurse a hangover.Koh Tao is a wonderful place and I know that I’ll be back Big Blue next year for sure. Till then……..Andy Gemmell"
Thanks Andy. Nice one Team!

Its a 100% confirmation! There are 2 whalesharks at Chumphon Pinnacle. One has a sore round its tail & the other doesn't! And can you believe it we can't even drum up enough people to get a trip out there this afternoon to see them. So c'mon people where the bloody hell are you?

Tuesday 14th October 2008-

2008-10-14Well it appears all may not have been a bed of roses for one of yesterdays whalesharks. Unfortunatley there was a rope tied to the tail of one of them. Very sad really as it was quite clearly a noose so it does look like someone has tried to lassoe it & bring her out of the water. Not sure what has happened tho cos the rope has quite clearly been cut above the noose so there is a survival story there which is great! Hooray Whale shark-1 Bastard Whaleshark hunter-0. Luckily, So- who is one of our Japanese Instructors and not just an adverb, was able to take the noose off the whaleshark & free her from it, & then you could quite clearly see the considerable chaffing the poor creature has been enduring. But now thanks to Dr. So this little whaleshark will hopefully live long & prosper & will also stick around for a while trying to find its samurai in shining armour! Whaleshark - 2 Samurai So-1 Bastard Whaleshark Hunter-0!

Baby Blues back! Much to all of our surprise! Not sure any of us expected her to be ready this quickly! But she is & she looks well swanky! Nice shiny coat. Gleaming railings,& ladder. She actually looks so good it feels a shame to go out diving on her cos she'll get all scuffed up. Mind you if these streams of tumbleweed don't stop rolling through the resort soon we may not need to use her! So 1 boat down. 2 to go! Who's next. Navakid or Banzai?

Full moon party time in Koh Phangan. Not sure how busy its going to be if Koh Tao is anything to go by. But I'm sure there'll still be a big enough party for all the usual Backpacker tastes. Every month it's different tastes & flavours. Germany is a popular one. So is Swedish. The Dutch don't do badly either & lately its been very French & a little Spanish. Sounds like the flavour this month is going to be Israeli! Oh god- Bargain hunters!

Monday 13th October 2008-

2008-10-13So you all owe me a large Chang! Actually you owe me 2! Today we dived with 2 whalesharks at Chumphon Pinnacle. Told you so! Conditions are absolutely perfect for Whalesharks right now & have been for a few days so it was a pretty safe bet really. Lots of plankton & krill in the water brought about by last weeks heavy rains & recent winds & this weeks currents brought about by tomorrows full moon. & right now the viz is fantastic, the water is still & there's a Whaleshark of a party going on all day at Chumpers today. We're going there again this arvo due to popular demand. Do you want to come too?

Our friends at ACE Marine Images have started a whale shark ID database. The hope is to collect as many images as possible of these beautiful creatures in order to learn more about these illusive fish. They are working in conjunction with several leading worldwide databases and environmental groups, including ECOCEAN and Project Aware, to try and track their migratory patterns and breeding habits, which to date little is known of still. Ultimately, it is whale shark conservation that is their priority and we want you to be involved. If you have photos of whale sharks either from around Koh Tao or elsewhere please send them into us or whaleshark@acemarineimages>. Now, before you all go searching through your albums and hard drives for photo's, it needs to be said that we need photo's of specific parts of the whale shark so they can be identified properly. Ideally, we need images taken at right angles to the shark which clearly (or as clearly as possible) include the following areas, top and bottom of the 5th gill slit and the inner trailing edge of the pectoral fin. It is these area's that contain large distinctive spots and include suitable reference points for comparison between images. Ideally the images need to be of the left side although the right side is acceptable, both sides would be fantastic! Include any photo's of scars or other distinguishing marks and if you can a photo of the pelvic fins in order for us to determine sex. With each individual submission we also need to know the location of the sighting, the date and a measured or estimated length. Lastly, we would appreciate a good "normal" photo of each whale shark so we can post those on the site and not have hundreds and hundreds of images of the left and right sides. It is also worth mentioning that each positively ID'd whale shark photo that gets posted in the database on the ACE website will be credited to individual divers. If you like you can also include a quote about your experience for inclusion on the website. Go to the whale shark photo ID page of the ACE site for examples. www.acemarineimages.com

Sunday 12th October 2008-

2008-10-12When its this quiet what else do you expect the ladies on our team to do? Go out on Banzai for the afternoon & do some sunbathing! Yvonne, Sonia, Hannah, & Emily had a lovely afternoon out on the boat the other day dressed down to their skimpies tanning themselves! Which must have been the reason we got busy again when everyone else had tumbleweed rolling through their resorts! Thanks ladies.

The more it is talked about the more people listen! Tesco is to review the sale of shark fin products in its stores. More than half of the world's sharks are under threat of extinction but demand for the delicacy shark fin soup means millions are killed every year. The fins are cut from living sharks that are left to die in the water. And Tesco, the world's third largest retail group, is selling shark fin products in its stores in Thailand where it is considered to have medicinal properties. Ali Hood, Shark Trust director of conservation, said a multinational group that prides itself on its environmental record should withdraw the product. "Sharks now rank amongst the most endangered species on the planet and the demand for shark fins is the root cause of the alarming decline in shark populations. The Trust has asked Tesco to follow the example of Disney who withdrew Shark fin soup from the menu of their Hong Kong theme park." Shame on you both for ever thinking it was a good idea!

Eagle Ray at Southwest Pinnacles this morning! Beautiful creatures & unfortunatley here in Thailand very rare & oddly enough its always alone. We don't get the schools of them like they do in Mexico. The loners have been seen before at Chumphon Pinnacle (of course) there was a baby one that hung out in Japanese Gardens (surprisingly) for a while a few years back & now G saw one at Southwest! Cool. Whalesharks, bull sharks, blacktips, & eagle rays! Dive Koh Tao- Cartilaganous-fish- tastic!

Friday 10th October 2008-

2008-10-10Canada installed the nitrox panel today. Ooh exciting! Now we just need to wait for the right oil to use & get a few more stickers around the place & paint lots of things yellow & green. Then of course we need to buy the nitrox compatible snorkel & mask set & get the fins calibrated & someones gonna have to have the long wait & we need to fit all the regs with the left handed mouth pieces & then & only then will we finally be in business!

It's my favourite time of year! There was a massive downpour this morning. The potholes in the roads flooded immediately the Poonama Canal overflowed within a few minutes & everyone on their way to work looked wetter than those who were actually diving. If what I saw this morning is anything to go by then this Monsoons wet t-shirt competition should be quite a big hit! & who said they didn't want to be here in monsoon. For many red blooded males this is the best time of the year!, eh boys!

So its our party at Vibe tonight. As I said a few days ago, Dave has invited 100 of us staff & customers for a free BarBQ at his Beach bar tonight. Everyone is so excited cos we haven't had a party for at least a few days & there's so much to celebrate! The worlds economy is on the mend. The protestors in Bangkok have resigned. The rains are filling up the islands depleted water supply & I got a day off tomorrow! Life is beautiful people!

Thursday 9th October 2008-

2008-10-09Well the sea is flat still today. You'd probably see a ripple for miles if you were to break wind in it! Its gorgeous & it also marks the turn in the weather & the season. Now we enter the most beautiful time of the year just before monsoon. The calm before the storm if you like. Its float bar time on the beach at sunset & glorious conditions for diving. Bet you a large Chang we see a Whaleshark next week!

Day 246 of our staff exodus to other exotic places far & wide! & number 7 of our 9 dearly departeds! Today its Sanna's turn. That Swedish charisma & sassy smile is going to take Indonesia by storm! She's been here since the West coast closed last season & has been our Sub aquatic Scandinavian representative since. Now she's off to Bali to experience more fun & games! Oh to be a dive instructor- diving the 7 oceans of the world, jetting off to all 4 corners; nothing but sunsoaked days & marvellous memories. Good on you Sanna. Have a wonderful time, wish you luck in your new job & thanks for all your hard work & happy smiles.

Another packed Full Day trip out to Sail Rock & Samran Pinnacle. Barry is ultra excited as he's lived here over 5 years & still hasn't dived Samran till today. & by all accounts its been absolutely fantastic today. Everyone had a great time except for poor old Amanda who just can't seem to escape misfortune at the moment with what appears to be now a perforated ear drum. Ouch! Bet that hurts. I said " OUCH I BET THAT HURTS!'
Hope you feel better soon mate!

Wednesday 8th October 2008-

2008-10-08One more down, still a few to go... We can now count the number of Big Blue instructors on our two hands. Sonia has temporarily left the Rock to live some new exciting adventures on the West Coast. I’ve heard she’s already started teaching an advanced course. That was quick, did you even have time to unpack, Sonwan? She’s gonna be running the evacuation facility for diving injuries in Khao Lak and we are all very proud of her. We also hope she will be back next year because we all miss her company here and of course, her world famous Sponge Bob bikini. The DM team has lost one of its members as well. Craig is going Down Under, kidnapped by Big Blue’s hottest marine biologist. He’s probably gonna go back to his old occupation: fixing engines on cranes and bulldozers. Yeah… that’s gotta be more interesting than diving on wrecks with whalesharks! Those strange things love can do to you… Good luck to Craig and Jade and hope you will come and visit us again.

I'm sure you've read or heard about the goings on in Bangkok & are probably wondering if its safe to travel to Thailand at the moment. Well apparently the protesting against the government is intensifying. The people of the PAD (People’s Alliance for Democracy) are accusing the current government of being a proxy for Thaksin, the former PM now in exile in the UK after being overthrown 2 years ago and accused of corruption. Mind you, the new Prime minister, happens to be Thaksin’s brother-in-law. The PAD want the government to quit and the troubles reached a new high last night as a number of protesters were injured in clashes with police. Meanwhile on the island of Koh Tao, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the fish are swimming, the vis is terrific and its ladies night at Choppers tonight!

Big Blue Tech is in a full effect. Canada’s got a new student who actually wants to know how it feels to go below 40 meters while carrying more gear than a one man band trying to play a Beethoven symphony. The student is no stranger, it’s Hannah and she admitted feeling like an Open Water student again after her first tech confined session. Well, there’s always room for learning and Tech diving is the New Frontier for us Instructors. Hey, as long as it doesn’t require getting the same amount of tattoos as Canada, I might even give it a try myself someday.

Tuesday 7th October 2008-

2008-10-07It is so incredibly rare, that you would think Siamese twin fish attached at the stomach would never survive. But at eight months old, these two Nile Tilapia fish in Thailand have found the perfect way to cope with life upside down... or the right way up if you're the lucky twin. The bigger fish protects its smaller sibling on the bottom, while it in turn looks for food. Believe it or not: These fish really are conjoined twins. The Nile Tilapia fish is a common freshwater species found in tropical rivers, canals, lakes and ponds but these two were found in a Bangkok aquarium. Isn't that sweet. Buy one get one free!

If you do good things, good things happen! So our Instructors generosity the other evening has been returned enmasse! Our friend Dave from Vibe has just been over to tell me that because we have been such frequent customers & he really appreciates everything we've done there he'd like to return the favour & is inviting all the Big Blue Instructors, Divemasters, DMT's, every Big Blue customer & all our Resort staff to a free Bar-B-Q at Vibe Bar this Friday night! Dave thats awesome! Thanks soo much! You've just proved that Karma really does exist. My name is Earl!

Went out today for a spot of diving & a TV interview for ACE Marine Images who are making a fantastic documentary on Whalesharks in Koh Tao. We went to Southwest Pinnacle & Shark Island. Both divesites are looking absolutely beautiful right now. Viz was way over 20 meters & there's a quite beautiful school of baby yellow tail barracudas at Southwest right now. We didn't see a whaleshark but that was fine. It was just lovely to be submerged in Koh Tao again!

Monday 6th October 2008-

2008-10-06Wow! Not sure any of us expected that! It was Yvonne & Jades Shark lecture last night followed by the movie Shark Water. I think we were expecting maybe 20 people at a push to show up but last night there was nearly 60 people there, all come to listen to Jade our Marine Biologist tell us all about the wonderful world of sharks. It was great, very informative & you could tell some of the facts that came out last night were incredibly shocking. Did you know fishermen kill an estimated 30 million to 100 million sharks every year & about 75 shark species are in danger of becoming extinct. Can you imagine being a shark. Being hooked & pulled out of the water & then having your fins & your tail cut off & then being thrown back into the sea while still alive. This is the horror of the Shark Finning Industry. It must stop. Please help guys. Watch the movie Shark Water, & please tell everybody about the horrors of shark finning so that we can put a stop to this Insanity!
SOS everybody. Save our Sharks!

'It was a great day, great instruction and great to see a whale shark… we learnt a lot and most importantly we learnt in safety! Will be back at Big Blue and Big Blue tech, soon, real soon.- Andy & Fiona Campbell letting us know what they thought of their combined Deep & Nitrox Specialty Course to Sail Rock with Canada the other day! Cheers guys & we'll see you soon for your DM Training!

And as each day passes now, for a while, I shall be rubbing the names off the whiteboard as some of us are heading for pastures new. Todays defector is Hal! Our friendly Norwegian is off to learn another language. Hal will be borrowing G's bicycle, the onion necklace, the stripey sweatshirt & that outrageous accent & taking it all to Paris with him as he tries to impress his long lost love Laleh who he imagines is pining for him while he wastes away his days on the Rock! Ooh L'Amour. Cheers Hal, Thanks for all the weird beards & great Morten Haarket impressions! Bon chance mon ami!

Sunday 5th October 2008-

2008-10-05Not sure quite how many we've seen this year but its got to be close to 1 a week. & our last trip to Sail Rock the other day was just another notch on the bedpost for most of the staff. Think Dan & James must be into their double figures by now for the amount of times they've swum with a Whaleshark this year. & now Clarkey the Godfather of Ace Marine Images is putting together an underwater documentary & has asked myself & Michael to go diving with him on Tuesday as he feels its a little rarer to film us underwater than the whaleshark!

A wonderful night was had by all last night & I'd like to thank all the Instructors who between them raised 20000 Bt in order to throw a party for all the staff the DMT's & customers as well at Koh Tao famous Bowling alley & minigolf course. We only expected 40 to show but there was actually 60 who turned up for the free frolicks & bullocks. Great fun & haven't noticed a hangover today on anyone either but then again Monsieur G is keeping a very low profile today! First time I've ever not seen him at work on his day off!

Didn't take long & Canada is spring cleaning again. Actually its more a case of changing rooms. Today we are taking over the Staff complex storeroom in order to make way for the ever expanding Big Blue Tech Department. We should be receiving our lovely green Nitrox Panel this week & then we'll have Nitrox for free! for all Nitrox divers. We'll be able to sell Nitrox to other dive shops & do Nitrox & Gas Blending courses & of course mix the tanks for the Tech stuff. When you going to have time to do the housework Canada if you're going to be so busy?

Thursday 2nd October 2008

2008-10-02It's beautiful out here at the moment. The sun is shining, the sea is flat...great! but the island is like a ghost town. Where are you guys?? but i can't really say I'm bored, because a lot of stuff needs to be organised - and that's something the germanzz are really good at! so, the first thing which will happen on saturday night is our *BigBlue SEND-OFF Bash*. we are all going to have a blast at the bowling place with BBQ, Buckets, Minigolf and Bowling. the whole place is booked only for BigBlue Family&Friends. Main reason is the last rush off Koh Tao for 5 more people from the team...there is Rick, who starts managing BigBlue in Khoa Lak, Ricky, who is working the season over there as well, Sanna, who is off to Bali for work, Hal, who is leaving because of love and of course Sonia, who is doing her divemedic course. The Party starts at 7.30pm and last till late...can't wait to beat everyone at bowling - I'm always winning, I just can't help it!!
Another thing will happen right after. Our *Big SHARK Day* on the 5th + 6th. It starts with a presentation, followed by the movie *sharkwater* and a discussion afterwards. The actual day is monday, when we go for 2 dives in chumpon to see them, and while cruising to sharkbay for some sharksnorkeling, we'll have some yummy lunch on the boat. I can't wait for that whole thing...i just hope, our friends in chumpon are not on a visarun or something?!! please show yourself, bully! Don't make the germanator angry ((:

What else is going on? ahja, of course...G IS BACK!!! not quite back on track, but he is back and that's good!

Canada is back in BigBlue and everyone can tell. Yesterday he had his wreck-wednesday-trip and took 7 people from bigblue with him. Finally Ricky gave him a go and had the best time ever...still in the evening he was talking about his narcosis and wouldn't stop!! nice to see everyone after that day so happy .

Today Canada went out with 8 people doing TechDSDs...except ricky, he had celebrated too hard after the wreck trip and couldnt make it.
they were all very excited about the afternoon in techgear and the longest dive in japanese garden ever!! You Go Guys!

Wednesday 1st October 2008-

2008-10-01So there was a large number of the crew went out to join in the efforts of the Bio Rock Project by tieing up the floats to the Bio Domes to ensure they could be transported to the right location where they were to be sunk. Having successfully transported the 4 semi spherical structures to an old dive site some of you may remember called Waterfall (if my old mans memory serves me correct), they were then lowered on to the oceans bottom 1 by 1 where we hope they will stay being electrically charged- expanding & growing & cultivating lots of baby bio rocks! Cheers for all the help Helen & the team, & thanks for staying away from the dive shop customers so we could give all these guys the time off to do some proper work!

Recently had a clear up in the classrooms getting rid of crap that collects over the months. Last time I had a swoop around was about April when I noticed how many used PADI Open Water Manuals we had. There was at least 4 beer boxes worth with 28 manuals in each box. I gave it to P'Nen who took them to Chumphon for recycling. Now I have another 4 boxes again! People please! If you don't want to keep the manual then don't do the PADI Course. Do the SSI course. I'll lend you the manual & you can give it straight back to me after your course is over! Its equally valid at 100% of all diving destinations around the world! Then we can all go hug a tree!

I'm sure you will all be very pleased to hear that the sun has decided to come out & play again. Its been a while, well only a week I guess but the crap spell of weather we just had really slowed business down a lot! Now that the sun is shining again guys I reckon its time everyone came over to see us! Weather's hot & the water is fine! Get your togs on & jump on in! Last one ins a Ponce!

November 2008

Sunday 30th November 2008

2008-11-30I'm back, & I have had a wonderful time with my very lovely wife (still feels weird to call her that!) over there in Indonesia. If anyone is interested Bali is wonderful Lombok was beautiful & the Gilli Islands were spectacular. We dived, ate, read & sunbathed & even managed to turn a weird shade of skin colour- apparently it's a tan! (Surprised me too!) Even bumped into Sanna underwater who is now working over in the Gilli Islands! A wonderful 3 weeks of bliss, romance & excessive spending. & all made the better knowing that Big Blue was being extremely well looked after by Barry on lead vocals, G on drums & Yvonne on keyboard. Thanks guys!Now the question everyone wants to know the answer to is how much longer are these protestors in Bangkok going to keep the airport there closed for! Unfortunately it doesn't really seem to be drawing to any quick conclusion & I got to be honest with you people, we are really feeling the effects! We've had a lot of bookings that aren't able to get here now & we haven't had a single new booking since all this kicked off. Still getting a squillion emails every day though but unfortunatley they are all asking the same questions- do we know when the airport will be re opened. Well the answer is no but we do have some solutions for you. Fly into Phuket, Pattaya, Krabi, or Kuala Lumpa & then get a connecting flight to Koh Samui. These airports are protester free!Meanwhile the sun is out but I'm afraid the waves over here are huge! If you want my advice I'd take the Seatran Ferry over to Koh Tao right now. There hasn't been a night boat for a few days & the Lomprayah catamaran makes you feel like you are in a marble on a plate being carried by an amputee riding a bicycle! A wee bit wobbly! Seatran it is then!

Thursday 27th November 2008.

2008-11-27Morning from a sunny Sairee! We’re back onto another of our favourite topics – the weather!

The sun has returned, and we’re all getting a bit confused with this monsoon malarkey.

 Anyhow, let’s not worry where the rain went, we like this kind of weather! Not only is it time for some sunbathing, it’s beer float time!

It’s all go at Big Blue, we’ve got a load of fundivers out at White Rock and Twins, which are fast becoming two of our favourite sites, and they’re getting nicer as the days go by, better visibility and plenty to see. Simon and Deano are out with the DMTs doing a skills circuit, Rich is introducing new students to their Open Water course, Barry is meeting and greeting, Helen’s organising beach clean-ups and DM Wayne is refreshing, everyone’s just busy busy busy!!

All of us here at Big Blue want to say a huge ‘Thankyou!’ to Barry for doing such an awesomely stellar job of holding the fort whilst Jim’s been away.  Barry, Yvonne and G have been working so hard running the show, and we’d have been lost without them. So get them all a beer when you see them next!

Yvonne will have to wait for her beer though, she’s off to Bangkok for a week with Canada for a very well-deserved break. Shopping, Starbucks, the new James Bond film…nope, we’re not at all jealous! Enjoy!!

So as Yvonne and Canada escape the Rock, Jim is on his way to Koh Tao - he’ll be back tomorrow to make sure we’ve all been behaving ourselves whilst he’s been away! Which we have…honestly!!  Um, yeah, back to that beer float!!

Wednesday 26th November 2008. 

2008-11-26Remember that monsoon we lost? Well, it’s back with a vengeance! However, the visibility’s clearing up, and there’s lots to see - fundiver Jen and DM Andy have found some more lionfish just south of White Rock! (much to instructor Dan’s chagrin as he wanted to be the only lionfish discoverer on the island!) We love these fish, they can be dangerous if you touch their spines, but stay at a safe distance and they’re really beautiful to look at!

Just ‘cause it’s raining doesn’t mean we’re not having fun! Our hard-working instructors, DMs and DMTs had a bit of a break this morning, someone cracked up the volume of the music in the shop, and they were all dancing along to YMCA, a little bit of in-house entertainment for everyone!

Despite the problems at Bangkok Airport, we’re still going strong, the weather’s improving every day and our spirits are running high. We’re looking forward to welcoming the beginning of the high season that’s fast approaching, so don’t be put off by the airport news, get on the overnight train instead…or a bus…or a taxi….or a friendly elephant!!! You choose!

It’s been a crazy two weeks trying to tell the difference between DMT Amanda and her twin sister, one of them’s going back to Bangkok today, and we’re not even sure which one!!  So have a safe trip Jessica…..or Amanda, or is it Jessica????

Jim’ll be here soon after his well-deserved break, and we can’t wait to see him donning his Captain Kirk uniform and taking his rightful place back at the helm. He’s been well missed and we’re looking forward to him taking the reins once again!

Monday, 24th November 2008-

2008-11-24-1They’re back! So many of those people and things we’ve missed have returned or are coming soon... Banzai had his first dive trip yesterday morning and it was a delight. The carpet in front of Pi Peak’s cabin is softer then ever (I fell asleep on the surface interval), the paint is fresh and bright and she sails smooth in these hard times of strong winds blowing in the Gulf. Navakid leaves tonight for its annual polishing and we will have a whole fleet of shinning boats!

2008-11-24-2Amanda and Donna are back from the West Coast after a well deserved break and they’re already straight into the action. Amanda did a skill circuit with Deano and G yesterday along with 6 other DMTs and she’s helping in the shop again. What would we do without her?
 
Donna started the IDC today after interrupting the last one
because of a stomach infection but she's fully recovered and ready to
kick some Course Director butt!
And she’s been joined by the guy in tech gear on the posters in the toilet, the one and only Oskar!
Good luck to both of you, make us proud!

Latest news… DARREN AND ALLY ARE COMING BACK FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!! Now that’s a proper present for the Holidays!

Saturday 22nd November 2008 Year of the Scuba Diver

2008-11-22The time has come, its now and then never again, its the Big Blue Awards! Please send in your nominations for -
Most Male Flesh Squeezed into a Wetsuit - Now that Poppa Bear Andy has returned to the UK who will waddle up to the plate and attempt to eat this coveted accolade?
Shopgirl Tantrum of the Year Award goes to.....? Ow! Sorry Tor....
Outstanding Customer Service - Can you think of anyone who's devotion to service has taken him/her above and beyond the normal level of service one would expect. Anybody tried to please more than one customer at the same time? Or perhaps someone who has gone the extra mile to ensure a customer 'gets home safely'?Weird Beard of the Year - Speaks for itself somehowRestaurant Price Increase of the Year Award - Which menu item makes you laugh most every time you decide not to buy it?

James 'Canada' Thornton Allen will compere the extravaganza and the worlds media are sendind representatives, so put on your best cargo shorts and come on down!
 
Thursday 20th November
 
2008-11-20Rain or shine, we dive ALL the time. Four seasons in one day at the moment means we can lay on the beach and cook in the mornings then run for cover in the afternoon as the heavens open and Koh Tao turns into a gigantic swimming pool. Half the staff are sunburnt while the other half look almost blue, accusations of ST Tropez fake tan use are flying around and Barry has suspicious 'goggle' rings that suggest he has a tanning lamp at home (or a thai-standard microwave oven).

Whalesharks are back at Chumpon Pinnacle although you still have to be lucky to see 'em. How you can miss a 7 metre fish is still a mystery to me but I still managed on Tuesday. The students were very understanding (at least to my face).DMT numbers have gone up again. Please welcome Collin from Ireland. He did his Rescue course with Hal in March and now he's back on the Rock. Despite being disappointed that our pocket-size viking wasn't there anymore when he cam he back he decided to go for another round with Big Blue
 
Wednesday, November 19th

2008-11-19There is a bit of a mystery occurring on Koh Tao. It appears that someone has stolen the monsoon. It was here 7 days ago and now has just vanished. I’m sure it will be back soon, but if anybody does see it please let us know.

Things are very busy at Big Blue today. Helen, and Rich are currently teaching Open Water courses. G is out there Advancing and Canada is First Aiding followed after with a spot of Rescue.

Dan are newest Instructor received his teaching status today, this means he can now go out and teach all you soon to be scuba divers. Ladies……… please form an orderly cue!

Banzai arrived back from Chumphon this morning supporting a beautiful fresh coat of paint. Every year the boats (all 3 of them) take it in turns to go over to the main land to have any breakages that occurred over the year repaired. The boats are then cleaned and repainted ready for the next year. In the next few days it will be the turn of Navakid to make its way for a good scrub and some well deserved pampering. So welcome back Capt P-Piak and Japanese Inst Asuka.Amanda, aka DMT, shop girl, organizer and anything else that requires doing has gone off to the Similan Islands with her twin sister for a very well earned rest. Once again I’m not jealous at all, happy diving.

Saturday 15th November 2008

2008-11-15Good afternoon from a sunny Koh Tao! Sairee’s got the sun today, all the flood waters have dried up (Shame, we were going to re-create the fun of Laos and go tubing through the streets!).Instead, we’re getting out the suncream and upping our vitamin D levels. Everyone else is relaxing and having fun, some of them recovering from the IE bash, Dirty Nelly’s sure knows how to throw a party!

Well, there’s relaxation for those of us who aren’t working! Everyone else is go, go, go - the Full Moon Party contingent has arrived and we are BUSY! Lots of eager students ready to get addicted to diving!

Even though it’s monsoon, people are still heading to the Rock…Oskar’s back! If you don’t know him, he’s the guy in the tech gear in the toilets Ok, that’s not entirely true, he’s the guy on the poster in the toilets. Ex-Big Blue DM, he’s going to be starting the IDC, welcome back!

We’re also welcoming Dan back to the DM team too! He’s been missed whilst he’s had his head buried in books. This time it wasn’t a trashy novel (apparently he’s read all of those on the island) but the Instructor manual! All that reading was well worth it, he aced his exams and is ready to be let loose on students! Two weeks without him and now he seems to have a new glow about him … the Instructor Aura. It’s kinda blue with a touch of red and a PADI Logo.

The DMT contingent is on full force with Andy, Mickey, Mirko, James and Peter forcing their way through PADI Manuals and exams. Should you come to Big Blue in the next month or so you will have one of these lovely people assisting your course and making sure you are looked after. Be nice to them (buy them a beer) and they will … drink the beer with an appreciative nod of the head.

Thursday 13th November 2008

2008-11-13Good morning sea lovers, Big Blue signing in. Wow what a last few days we have had on Koh Tao. So much has been going on!Where do we start?!

Well I guess the Monsoon rain is as good place as any. Since Monday evening the heavens opened continuously through to Tuesday evening with approximately 150mm of rain falling. All rather exciting really. Unfortunately the drains didn’t quite see it that way, nor the rivers come to that. Yes our motorbike park being quite a low place and by a river slowly started to disappear. At one point Canada our Tec/Wreck Inst was advertising Wreck Specialty Course Dives in this location. Fortunately for us and not for him the water level soon receded and the motorbike park reappeared.

Another brave diver has decided to enroll in the DMT program and brave he is. I am not referring to our DMT program being scary, no no. Our newest member is a war veteran and has seen combat action. I will call him Sir for the whole course. Not only is that something, but there is more to this character……. Yes, he cycled all the way from Singapore to be with us (I’m sure a boat came in to the equation somewhere on the journey), now that’s what I call an eager beaver. Welcome Peter we all look forward to your stay with us here.

Today is the final day of the Instructors Examinations for Dan and Helen. So far they have flown through the course with flying colours. This morning they are in the swimming pool completing the confined water section of the exams. Once they have completed this, and we are waiting by the phones, a closing ceremony will be followed by a few well deserved drinks and some back patting. Well done also to G and Deano. They both staffed on this course which was of great help to Dan and Helen.

The beautiful Emily is off on her holidays today (so jealous). A very well deserved break for this hard working Inst, so we wish her and her boyfriend a wonderful holiday, oh and yer, can you bring me back a t-shirt or something?

Talking of hard working people Amanda DMT is super excited. Her twin sister is arriving tomorrow so Amanda’s off to Bangkok to meet her and do some sight-seeing, I think this probably means shopping. Have a great time girls!NEWS FLASH………

Dan and Helen are now Instructors. A massive congratulations to you guys!!

Wednesday 12th November 2008

2008-11-12Well, for all of us umming and ahhing over whether monsoon was here or not, yesterday we had a definitive answer in the form of several hours of torrential rain and a lot of flooding! Koh Tao is a tad waterlogged, with some of the roads turning into rivers the island’s starting to resemble Venice,

However, the divers came back yesterday morning to report that once they’d dropped down through the layer of silt on the surface, the visibility was 20-25metres, always good!

The sun hasn’t abandoned us yet though, just now it’s making up for yesterday and we’ve had a bit of glorious sunshine, enough time to sit outside and top up any fading tans before the weather changes on us again!

Sitting in the bar of an evening watching the videos of new Open Water students is always great fun and a good way to end the course, but one of the latest videos drew in one of the biggest crowds we’ve seen in a while – the videographer’s visit coincided with DMT Andy’s 100th dive, traditionally done wearing your birthday suit. Not one to mess with tradition, with just a hat to protect his modesty, Andy proved that there’s more than just fish to see at Twins!

Like lambs to the slaughter, DMTs are flocking to Big Blue. No, really, the programme’s awesome, and the more the merrier! So we’ve added Mirko from Italy, an international Casanova who moonlights as a restaurant manager; and James from Tasmania, who’s trying to adjust to life without groupies after spending the last few months travelling around Europe with his band.

Welcome to Big Blue!It’s Loi Krathong tonight, the Thai ‘Festival of Lights’, so we’ll be either watching or joining in with the Thai staff as they float their Krathongs off into the Gulf of Thailand, can’t think of a better way to end a day of diving than relaxing on a beach under the stars, in fact, we’re off to do just that…
 
Sunday 9th November 2008
 
2008-11-09News in from Bali, Jim is having a brilliant time relaxing in the sun! We’re all missing him, but sure he’s glad to be having a break from the Rock!Meanwhile, Barry, Emily, Yvonne and Amanda are working their socks off keeping everything running smoothly and making sure we’re all behaving.Which we are, mostly!
Deano and G are both having a bit of a break from their IDC staffing, but they’re still working hard! Our resident Welshman is assisting on a rescue course with Hannah; and our French bloke is thinking up ingenious EFR scenarios to help his students to practice their first aid, involving DM Andy sprawled out on the deck covered in tomato ketchup – got to make things realistic!Brilliant diving again at Chumpon this morning, more sharks, we like to keep our fun divers happy! 20 metre visibility, better to dodge the rain and get underwater!
Remembrance Sunday today, so before we all head out for our roast dinners and watch the gorgeous Koh Tao sunset, some of us will observe the 2 minute silence – wear your poppy with pride!

 

December 2008

Saturday 27th December 2008-

2008-12-27Well Happy New Year again guy and Happy Diving for the New Year. Course today. Our Burmese staff think its amazing. They do this thankless job everyday pumping the tanks. & now in the season to be jolly Canada has really gone out in the name of festive spirit & not only given our Burmese boys a bit of a break from it he's also gone & got a couple of Farangs to step up & do the job & he's even got them to pay for the pleasure. How do you say these Farang are crazy in Burmese?We’re running a Khao Sok Cavern course on January 10th and 14th. This is a first for us to see if it’s a viable business idea. The certification is through ANDI by Bruce Konefe. 3 days, 4 dives course. You must be Advanced with 20 dives. All “cave” gear, certification, cylinders are included. Technical gear also included for those certified. Accommodation and park fee included. Not Included. Transport to and from Khao Sok, Food and Drink, personal dive gear. Max 4 cave virgins per trip.Well blow me! Not sure any of us were expecting the big waves & wind that have belted us about throughout the night. Apparently there were 6 coach loads full of happy holidaymakers coming to Koh Tao from Bangkok for New Year. Not sure how happy they are going to be to be here now!  

Friday 26th December 2008-

2008-12-26Great Christmas gossip making the rounds at the moment. You just can't throw a Christmas party anywhere in the world without 2 members of staff playing embarrassing tonsil hockey with each other! & who were our horny little love blossoms this Christmas time? Well it wouldn't have been Darren & Ally or Canada & Yvonne as that wouldn't be good enough gossip. & Dan & Kim can't keep their hands off each other so that's hardly going to be newsworthy. So which 2 members of our Big Blue DM team were caught Christmas tongue cuddling the other night?Congratulations to Fizz Beach Bar & Restaurant who managed to do a 48 Hour Extreme Make Over & were able to open up for Christmas Eve by 7pm (only an hour late) & had the whole of the island out with them! Now that the Tree has been removed from the Dry Bar a massive bar decking area has been made there & the restaurant decking has also expanded somewhat. Fizz is a great place for food & drinks & when it comes to parties its really Fizzing over there!4 Year Anniversary today of the Wave that shook the World. Just wanted to say Cheers to those we choose to think of on this day.
 
Wednesday 24th December 2008-

2008-12-24Like to wish you a very Merry Xmas to one & all & hope that Santa buys you all the scuba toys you've ever dreamed of! A titanium strapped D-9 dive computer please Santa. Did you get that wifey? ;) Its dinner at the restaurant then a wine or 2 at the bar & a bit of disco dancing after prezzies round the tree! Ah, a Merry Koh Tao Chrimbo everyone!Today Big Blue Tech celebrates the graduation of Paul Leech who completed his Tec Basics Course. Paul is an avid diver in the Uk and spends much of his time in quarries around England. His interest in the tech course was not about going deeper but having the safety and comfort of technical diving gear in his normal recreational limit. For Paul who wears a drysuit and dives in colder water, having the ability to dive in technical gear will provide him longer dives with now having twice the air as before. Paul had previously completed his Deep Specialty and Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty with us and Drysuit Specialty and Wreck Specialty in England. Bringing his specialty collection to 4, this course is equivalent for a 5th Padi Specialty making him eligible as a Master Scuba Diver, so Paul not only leaves Koh Tao as an entry level technical diver but also as a Master Scuba Diver! Yikes!The Queensland government in an incredible display of ecological insensitivity has proposed a shark fin fishery in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and in marine parks in Queensland waters. The practice of shark finning is the most nonsensical, ecologically destructive, and unethical fishery in the world. Queensland wants to issue licenses to take an unlimited number of sharks in what amounts to an extermination policy against these essential and magnificent creatures. Is a bowl of sharkfin soup worth the irreparable ecological damage we are doing to the world’s oceans? Crikey!
 
Tuesday 23rd December 2008-

2008-12-23Great turnout last night for an evening of much mirth & merriment. Good food tasty beverages and an excellent VDO compilation from our friends at ACE Marine who put together a collage of this years stupidity. Lots of memories, lots of old faces, & lots of mischief. Things that spring to mind are Hals weird beards, Alex & Lucy, Lia's time here taking fantastic photos, Jim & Andrea's wedding, Sonia driving Banzai with P'Piak head in his hands, Marcel sleeping on the job, many of our DMT's, Yvonne & Jade's Shark Day, Barry's fancy dress costumes, Panos & Church at Songkran, Darren & Ally, any one of Ricky's drunken evenings, P'Nen... the list goes on & on. & if you'd like a copy of the vdo then write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Price is 500Bt + postage & packing! A truely great memory of Big Blue 2008! Thanks for the memories everyone. Are you on the vdo?And who won what this year??? Well Deano won the most spectacular injury with his broken toe while doing the worm, Captain Dam won best Male Breasts closely followed by Canada & G! Dan & Kim won couple most likely to get married next year! G's unkempt beard won him best George Michael lookalike! & P'Lyn won America's next top model award while our accountant Tai won best hair! Award of the night goes to Rich though for his 'walk of shame' a few weeks ago. I can't go into details as this is a family show but he was a clear winner for the years Most drunk Staff member. Its a deadly serious business these Christmas Awards! Tequilla & buckets for everyone!And enter into this mood of festive merry making & in walk Darren & Ally! Having spent the last 6 months living & working in the Maldives they've come home, back to their family for Christmas & New Year. Welcome back guys. Its funtastic to see you both again. Shame we've all got hangovers to greet you with!

Monday 22nd December 2008

2008-12-22Well the weather outside is .... glorious! & there are an awful lot of extremely happy punters over here at present! Nice calm flat seas, tropical sunshine, fantastic sunsets, great snorkelling straight off the beach & Santa is wondering up & down Sairee in boardies! Don't you love that tropical Christmas feeling! Palm trees instead of mistletoe, sand instead of snow, & scuba instead of Church!I'd very much like to thank all our ex Big Blue Staff at Wicked Diving in Khao Lak for what has been a truly memorable trip over on the west side. Thanks Paul, Marcel, Robyn, Klaus & Filip for great diving, & mirth making & then thanks to all our other ex Big Blue Staff for getting me completely wasted in the bar both before the trip & after the trip. Thanks to Sonia, Ricky, Joachim, Keith, Rick & Fanette for the worst hangover I've had this year!Staff Party tonight. Everyone comes in their fancy frocks & what nots & then there's free food & beverages for all the staff, a Christmas vdo, & then its the Staff Awards. Wonder who's going to be the lucky recipient of this years 'Most flesh squeezed into a single wetsuit' award?

Friday December 19, 2008

2008-12-196 days to go! Time to rush for the last minute Christmas shopping. Time to be creative and get that perfect gift. We are all twisting our minds here to buy something right for our secret Santa and I won’t tell you who mine is, no matter how much Simon tries to woo me. So for the women out there who don’t know what to get for their man, here’s an idea: “Flame”. Available all over the USA for $3.99, it’s Burger King’s (no kidding) body spray for men. The company describes Flame as "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat". Beefy, ain’t it? On Koh Tao, we are looking at launching our own local fragrance with a touch of wet dog, a zest of Chang breath and an ounce of poonama canal scents. Come to think of it, maybe it’s not such a god idea. Well, tell that to the geniuses at BK, if they can get away with it why can’t we? “Eau de Sairee”, 99 baht at your local 7-eleven!

So they’re back! P’Kaow and his wife and their son sailed in today on a freshly painted and refurbished Navakid. This time, the Big Blue dolphin at the bow actually looks like one! Our fleet is reunited and ready to conquer the treacherous seas of the Gulf of Thailand. Darren and Ally are back too, enjoying time in Bangkok before setting foot on the rock for the Holiday madness. Message to them: while you’re in Bangkok, can you get me a Whopper please? I’d like to scrub it on my skin to maximize my seduction potential at the Big Blue Christmas party!

I know we keep saying this but it is definitely high season now. No less than 8 bookings are expected to show up today and the weather is bee-eautiful. If you’re coming, make sure you book your accommodation ahead. And sign up for your Christmas dinner while there is still time. The Island’s restaurants are offering the tastiest menus for the occasion and I’m having a hard time making my pick. Hey, as long it’s not Burger King!
 
Thursday December 18, 2008
 
2008-12-187 days to go! In proper Big Blue tradition, tonight, we will each draw our Secret Santa at 6pm. So far, there are 31 of us but there is still time for more to sign up. So come join the fun and maybe you too can receive a wonderful gift from the hands of a mysterious colleague or friend, that may last a lifetime. Simon still plays with the remote controlled jeep he got two years ago and Jim still has the Casino Sairee poster as his profile pic. As for Deano and his toy black sheep… well, nobody really knows what’s going on there!News on the recently certified Instructors: when some of us would think it’s time to take a break after the IDC, the induced stress and the hard work, Donna and Oskar won’t rest. They both now have teaching status and are already instructing. Donna completed an Open Water course team teaching with Yvonne yesterday. Vel tone Tonna, you can now teach ze German vay. Oskar is team teaching Nitrox with Canada today, following a logical path with his tech mentor. We are all very proud, as long as they don’t call each other “schatzi” after working with Big Blue’s infamous couple!
 

Koh Tao is getting busy again and everybody is getting ready for the holidays. Aukotan is running out of Santa hats, the streets and shops are fully decorated and only thing missing here is snow. Not that we really miss it actually. You have snow at home? Good for you! We’ll be spending Christmas in boardies with a Singha or a Chang. Oh and did I mention the visibility was great this morning? Anybody care to join us? 
 
Wednesday 17th December 2008
 
2008-12-178 days to go! Jim's off on another jolly doing 'research' on West Coast liveaboard diving or 'summit. I swear you'd almost think he prefers being on holiday to sitting in the office and answering emails all day long. Weird.

Our G has just become a Master Instructor today! Soon he will be invited to join the Council and train the Padawans as well as the Novices, he is only a step away from the rank of Course Director, the PADI is strong in this one, hmm? If only he can resist his attraction to the Dark SSIde....
 
Monday saw the Divemaster Challenge for Amanda and James, this time the theme was 'House', the US medical drama that has half the island hooked. G slammed back his 'Vicodin' shots and walked with a stick as he took on the role of Dr. Gregory House, the cynical medical genius who heads a team of diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. Emily played the part of Dr. Lisa Cuddy, mainly by wearing two bras and a pair of socks for a knockout cleavage. Our Challengers were subjected to the usual shots, buckets and ice-water drenching as our newer recruits to the DMT program looked on in horror :)
 
Tuesday 16th December 2008
 
2008-12-16Koh Tao doesn't really have a traditional Chrismassy feel to it yet, so in an effort to inject some festive cheer, we've adapted xmas songs for crimbo on the rock...Ugly the Big Blue beach dog
Had a very shiny nose
And if you ever met him
You would have to say he smells a bit, tooChristmas is coming, Ugly's getting fat
Please stop feeding him 7-Eleven sausages they're really no good for himDeck the resort with coconut palm leaves
'Tis the season to wear short sleevesWe've got bars on the beach
We've got rivers of Chang
You can dance on the bartops
End the night with a bang
When you first drink a cold beer on a warm Christmas Eve
You'll realise you're stuck here and you're never going to leave!Oh the weather outside's delightful,
And we know back home its frightful
And since its not going to snow,
Let it glow, let it glow, let it glowOk, ok, stop groaning, Christmas is meant to be cheesy!
 
Monday 15th December 2008-

2008-12-15Well if you had 4 days & 4 nights to spend on a luxury boat cruising the best dive sites Thailand has to offer submerging in the Similans, exploring the mighty Richelieu Rock, surfing the underwater currents at Koh Tachai, & bathing with the Mantas at Koh Bon & all that with your wife & some of your best mates you'd be excited too! I'm off tomorrow for a few days- Liveaboarding with my lovely wife, & the Director of SSI Thailand & his wife. Don't envy our Divemaster. We're going to be the most demanding customers they've come across this year. Hope we get Marcel!So as of today Thailand has another new Prime Minister & by all accounts he seems to be a popular choice! Born & raised in England Mr Abhisit Vejjajiva will now lead the country out of the doldrums of recent months & get that infamous smile back on the faces of these wonderful people. So all of you who have been hanging out & waiting to see whats going to happen in Thailand now, can get back in line & form an orderly queue & confirm that booking reservation you had earlier. Now that the troubles are over lets get some diving done!Finished adding the photos to the accommodation page on our website now & its made such an incredible difference to the amount of enquiries we are getting every day. Figure I might change my profile picture on our Meet the Team page & see if that makes any difference too! 
 
Sunday 14th December 2008
 
2008-12-14Aahh, what a beautiful day...it's sunny and warm, the sea is flat and everyone is in a good mood.
Christmas is only -10 days for the germans and 11 days for the rest of the world - away and I m getting really excited. The shop looks finally christmasy and our tree muuuucchhh better...all blinky and shiny with a proper star on top!
Our X-mas Movie is almost done as well...everyone tried the best with singing and looking good. so, you see...we are prepared!It' s time again to say 'hello again' to someone...Olaf from Holland is back and he is staying now for one year!! Olaf finished in May this year his DMT Course with us and decided to sell everything at home to live a beautiful life on a beautiful little island. good decision and WELCOME BACK BUDDY!Last night we had a fancy dress party for Silke´s 30th birthday. For those who don't know her, Silke is a non diver who's been hanging around with the crew for a while. The idea was to come dressed as something that starts with an S. James was a very convincing shark, Rich a Spice Girl(!) and Deano came as a cereal killer. The Welshman's spelling skills are not perfect so if anyone knows a good English teacher, please let us know before he starts flirting with cheep!
 
Saturday 13th December 2008-

2008-12-13Looks like monsoon is definitely over, another beautiful day of sunshine on the Rock. Temperatures are rising and bodies are tanning again. Just in time for high season, today being the official start of another few months of madness. The Full Moon rush started this morning as a number of bright color painted travelers swarmed to the island still wearing their party dress. People in the restaurant this morning were exposed to a horrific vision of what can only described as… well, I’m not really sure how to describe it: imagine a man in an old women’s bathing suit, the color being a cross between purple and pink. I thought I’d seen enough horror with the mankini trend we had this year but this was even worse. Yech! By the way, with the Full Moon, the island is fully packed, please book your accommodation ahead because rooms are going really fast and there's just so many pieces we can cut out of Rick’s hammock! 

Canada’s doing a Rescue course today. Much to his dismay, the poor boy has been spending more time with a single tank than twins lately. He’s just done Open Water, Advanced and Rescue in a week. That’s a Zero to Hero Recreational Scuba Instructor Update! OK, so he claims it’s a Tech Rescue course, whatever that means. For all I know, he’s only got one tank, a shop BCD and he’s just going off the beach today. Well, I guess the wetsuit with the extra pockets full of weights counts as tech gear and gives it some legitimacy. Boys with toys…The official date for the annual Staff Party has been set to the 22nd. That leaves us just 2 days to recover before the Christmas Eve party. For you, it’s 9 days left to vote for the Big Blue Awards. Please send your suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so the winners can do a little dance on the table with a tequila like last year!
 
Friday 12th December 2008-
 
2008-12-03Well..the sun is shining brightly, the vis is getting better and better with every day and we're all eagerly anticipating yet another full moon party rush, the party goers are going to sober up and ditch their buckets and cans of spray paint in favour of a scuba tank and mask and come learn to dive on our beautiful little island!!All things are go here as usual, two of our very own divemasters were signed off as instructors yesterday, so after a lot of studying and exams they finished off nicely with a quiet evening at the library and a good book...well ok, that last bit wasn't strictly true but suffice to say we all celebrated in style!...A big congratulations to Oskar and Donna, well done guys!!It's time for our beloved Amanda to lose the 'T' from her DMT, yes that's right guys after many injuries and the loss of a toe nail, Amanda's DM day is finally upon us! It's always good to watch our fledgling trainees blossom into diving professionals and it's no less with Amanda so another big congratulations to her too!!!! Her challenge is coming up so we'll keep you posted for embarassing stories and "interesting" pictures!All the staff are now rushing to get their names on the Big Blue secret santa list and looking forward to getting lots of pressies but between you and i there may be just a few lumps of coal in thier stockings!!!What?....they can't all have been good boys and girls all year!!! 
 
11th December 2008
 
2008-12-11On the 5th day of Christmas my true love sent to me, 5 'o' rings! 4 scorpion fish, 3 morays, 2 puffer fish and a clown fish in an anenome!The Big Blue xmas video is in the making right now and the theme tune will be something like the above - any suggestions for a fishy, diving style 12 days of christmas?Huge welcome to our newest DMT's - Hannah and Kym, Fiona and Kirsty and.... Chris! More females than males at the moment so we've decided to close for a week each month, or stay open, or whatever they want basically so long as they're happy and non-violent.Big Blue Resort also 'has the painters and decorators in' this week. The decking in the restaurant is being replaced and the fan rooms are having a facelift, too. Rest assured, all the hammering, banging and drilling ceases at around 5pm and there's nothing of the sort after that until morning...................Well, what did you think I was going to say?
 
Wednesday 10th December 2008-

2008-12-10In the immortal words of Sir Cliff Richard- 'Its Christmas time, Mistletoe & large Chang!' After much nagging & moaning about how our Christmas tree aint out yet I got out our Christmas tree! I was under the impression once I'd put the tree up that it would be received with cheers & rupturous applause. I wasn't expecting the barrage of insults & tumultuous abuse I got for my decorative efforts! So much for the season of good cheer! So today the staff chicks are going to have a go at making our tree look a little more festive! & who was it that accused me the other day of not knowing how to get things done properly?Oh dear. Poor old Redvers! In the spirit of Truth or Dare Deano had to breakdance on the beach last night! Most unfortunate as he's now come in to work with a broken toe! How does one break their toe doing the worm? & how come whenever one person injures themselves we end up with another doing exactly the same thing! Wayne has a gangrenous toe, Andy dropped a tank on his toe & now Deano has broken his toe! It's toe much!Congratulations DMT Peter on finishing your DM Course. Peter is a real character. He served 3 tours of duty in Vietnam ( which gives you some indication he aint no spring chicken!) & has cycled to us all the way from New Zealand! & now he's a fully qualified DM he plans on going home for 3 months & then coming back out here in March April time & will do his IDC & then plans on working as an Instructor for a bit! Good on you Peter! & congrats on doing such a fine job on your DM Course! We look forward to your return in a few months!

Tuesday 9th December 2008-

2008-12-09Dan & Kim up the tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G... Sorry Ladies! Looks like Dan has only gone & got himself a girlfriend. As I sit here writing this I can see the happy couple strolling through the resort arms around each other! I can only anticipate the shock waves this knowledge will send around the world but we think its better we tell you now rather than break it to you all over Christmas. Look at it this way at least you can save some money on prezzies now! Unless of course you want to send them to me!First there was Bio Rock & now comes the world’s first underwater sculpture park. Jason de Caires Taylor has gained international recognition for his unique work. His sculptures highlight ecological processes whilst exploring the intricate relationships between modern art and the environment. By using sculptures to create artificial reefs, the artist’s interventions promote hope and recovery, and underline our need to understand and protect the natural world. The sculptures are sited in clear shallow waters to afford easy access by divers, snorkellers and those in glass-bottomed boats. Viewers are invited to discover the beauty of our underwater planet and to appreciate the processes of reef evolution. We'd love to build a sculpture park here too. Anyone interested?Hmmm... accommodation is getting a little hard to find of late! Might need to pop over to Khao Lak & borrow Ricks hammock! I've now sold the last 3000 Bt per night beach bungalow for the rest of the year. The 800 Bt ones were sold out a couple of weeks ago already, the 900 Bt ones are gone now as well & we're really only left with our brand new rooms with hot water, AC, refrigerator, TV , balcony! & that all important flushing toilet! Aah the joys of having a First World WC.

Monday 8th December 2008-

2008-12-08Like to give Oscar & Donna a good luck vibe for their upcoming IDC. They have been slaving away for the last 3 weeks under the watchful eye of IDC Staff Instructor Dive Guru G & are now ready for the next step into Divedom as they hopefully pass their Instructor Exam next week. & then of course the hardest part of the whole IE is the IE Party! G's already booked his morning off after! Good luck guys!Nice to see Canada taking off his techi wrecki hat to get back to the basics of Open Water Confined today! What with the continuous build up of students we've been getting daily we've had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find an Instructor that could teach yesterdays course. & lo & behold, we came up with Canada. Just remember James, its only 1 tank per diver, there's no mixed gases & we'd appreciate it if you didn't take anyone deeper than the obligatory 18 meters... but not in confined!For most of us, water activities are one of those things that will soon or already have become far too cold to enjoy. However, there are those lucky few that can enjoy them year round, (especially if you are lucky enough to live in Koh Tao!) So, some of us might want to check out these waterproof over ear speakers. Not only is it a set of speakers, but it is also a case that will fit your iPod and keep it safe from the water. The cases can fit several of the current and older iPods. It will work underwater up to 300ft. The speakers are designed to be tucked underneath a dive hood or to a mask strap. The case also allows for you to see the screen if you’d like to watch movies while you’re underwater or preparing to be. It will cost you quite a bit though. The set is being sold for a whopping $349.99. That's more than the DM Course costs! Hmm- DM Course or Underwater Ipod? Hmmmm....

Sunday 7th December 2008-

2008-12-07I have got to get me one of these! The Lunocet is a hydrofoil for your feet, a kind of swishing fishtail that will propel you through the water like Aquaman. The device clamps on to the feet, which are kept together, and when you kick, the tail flexes. Instead of just relying on your legs to push the water out of the way and thereby provide propulsion, the Lunocet acts more like an airplane wing and actually provides an airfoil-style "lift" which should enable you to leap from the water and clear the surface like a dolphin. That sounds awesome. Just how fast is it? According to the "LunoFAQS", you can hit 8 mph. That's almost double the speed of Michael Phelps at full tilt. Oh Yeah!It was an excellent turnout at last nights snorkel test & we had people from all over the island come & witness another one of our brave DMT's make an arse of themselves on stage! Congratulations DMT Andy who managed to successfully drink everyone under the table last night at his Divemaster Challenge. Ex Radio DJ mix master Andy Luckman has been with us for the past 6 weeks training to be a Divemaster & now that he's completed it he's addicted & wants more! Can you blame him? Sunshine, underwater nature, beaches, bikinis! Who in their right mind wouldn't want some of this? Sorry Craig!At a time when the rest of the world is sacking their staff left, right & center we are looking to take on more! Yesterday we put an ad out for a Scandi speaker & today we need a Bar DJ, a shop girl, another German Instructor, another Dutchie & whats with all these Spaniards lately? I'm going to need one of them too! Ooh its real busy here. Think I need another holiday. I'm off to Khao Lak to see our buddies over there. Rick, Sonia, Marcel, Paulie, Klaus, Robyn, Filip, Ricky, Anna... save us a seat guys we're coming over!

Saturday 6th December 2008-

2008-12-06So if you check out the news headlines its all doom & gloom for Thailand! Looks like a load of hot wind if you ask us. The emails are relentless, boats to Koh Tao are full, our accommodation is full, all our Instructors are busy & our DM team is full on too! I'm also hearing Samui is getting busy now too. But apparently tourism is down as much as 50% according to some sources. Well people, take it from the horses mouth! Its busy here & rooms are getting hard to find. Highly recommend booking ahead if you are looking at coming over to this beautiful island paradise in the next few days or weeks! Especially around Full Moon which is next week & then Christmas in only 19 sleeps time! Ho ho ho!Getting to that time of the year again when the whole of Scandinavia immigrates to the warm shores of Thailand. The Swedish newspapers are recommending Thailand (well done Swedish newspapers) as this years choice of winter sun destinations & Koh Tao comes 7th on their list of top spots. So looks like we're going to be inundated with foxy blondes & teutonic fellas within the next few weeks so I'm putting out a Situation vacant advert! If you speak Swedish, Danish, Norwegian or Finnish & and are a stunningly attractive, have an infectious personality & are a diving Instructor then please contact us. Interviews with the fellas will be held down the pub! Interviews with the ladies will be held over a candlelit dinner & a movie!Word on the street is that you can only get 15 day tourist visas now! That's initially quite shocking news but when you check it out in a bit more detail it's not actually as bad as it first seems. If you arrive in Thailand via an airport then you get your normal 30 day visa which bearing in mind is the majority of visitors to Thailand. But if you come in Thailand by land then you get stuck with the 15 day visa! So our recommendation then is if you want to stay longer than 30 days then go to your local Thai Consulate or Embassy get your 60 day Tourist visa then after 60 days whizz off to Samui & extend for a further month & a month later off to Malaysia & get another 60 Day tourist visa! Easy. Same same but different!

Friday 5th December 2008

2008-12-05Managed to make it to Chumphon yesterday morning with our divers which made a change & by all accounts well worth the effort! Good viz flat seas & because the fishing fleets don't go out in big waves there was heaps of fish! What's been particularly interesting are all the peculiar looking fishies we've been spotting amidst all the flotsam & jetsam on the surface. Reasonably odd behaviour especially for the well camouflaged pipefish & also for the very appropriately named Sea moth. A very bizarre looking fishy- a swimming moth! Cool!As you may know we take care of a few dogs here at Big Blue. We got Panda & Major that both adore DM Andy! Then there's Massaman who gets taken care of by Na, our restaurant cashier, Uri our Japanese dog & our 2 favourites Sausage & Ugly! Ugly even has her own Facebook Group- the Ugly Dog Appreciation Society with almost 200 Members! And we do have to take care of our dogs of course after all they aint just for Christmas! So thanks on behalf of Ugly, Dan & Deano for bathing her,washing her thoroughly & giving her a nice new clean coat. Not so Ugly now are you Beautiful!Just like to wish the King of Thailand a very Happy Birthday. It's his 81st Birthday today & his 62nd year on the throne making him the longest serving Monarch in the world. & unfortunatley its only his 1st time when he hasn't been able to give his yearly Birthday address ( due to illness) to the people who love & respect him so.Thais talk of their love for him as though he were a cherished member of the family. In his speeches to the nation he likes to joke and tease them. Earlier in his reign when he was younger and traveled a lot, he clearly enjoyed meeting and mixing with people from the poorest rural communities. People often refer to his long life of service to the nation, to his experiments with agriculture and irrigation, many of them carried out on the grounds of his palace in Bangkok. A truely great leader & we all wish him a very happy Birthday & hope that he gets well soon. 

Thursday 4th December 2008

2008-12-04Bah humbug! What monsoon? I've been back a week now & it's been nothing but glorious sunshine! Not a drop of rain & nothing but fabulous sunsets everynight. The water is flat, well at Sairee Beach it is at least, & the conditions have never been this good for Open Water Confined. Much better learning to dive in the sea than it is in a swimming pool. Wouldn't you agree?AAah. So nice to see one of our little ones teaching their first Open Water Course! Dan came to us over a year ago as a small spotty little nipper to learn how to dive. He signed up for his Open Water Course then did his Advanced, followed by his Rescue, then hung out a while longer & did his DM with us as well. Then as a maturing male we ended up offering him a job in our DM Team where he rose to the occasion & became a very considerate DM. & now he's grown into a proper man & passed his Instructor Course he's teaching his first Open Water Course today. Bless. Congratulations Dan. We're all very proud!And it looks like the troops are gradually returning. Canada & Yvonne got back yesterday after enjoying themselves with the troubles in Bangkok. & Emily got back this morning after peeling herself off the beach in the Phillipines. All we need now is Rich to return from his visa run & Barry to get off the potty & we'll be one big happy family again! Welcome back peeps!
 
Wednesday 3rd December 2008
 
2008-12-03And after all the fun & frolicks of recent days at Bangkoks 2 airports it seems the protestors have now got what they asked for & the leader of the ruling party has been ousted from his position as the Thailand High Court has dissolved the Ruling PPP. And what does that mean to everyone? Well it means the airports will be open again here in the next 2 days & you'll all be over to pop over & see all of us on this lovely little tropical island paradise! And if you're really lucky then maybe the airport will get closed again & you can stay a little longer!Got to feel sorry for poor Emily. Poor thing had to extend her holiday to the Phillipines & even managed to get a sojourn to Malaysia for a few days while those in Bangkok dilly dallied! Must have been awfull poor thing. Having to unpack your bikini for another 8 days worth of sunbathing. I don't know how you coped!Weather at the moment is supposed to be wet & stormy but actually its beautiful. Rays of sunshine, flat seas here in Sairee Bay, and they are getting flatter on the crossing over from the main land! & the viz seems to be increasing a little as well! Could this be the end of Monsoon??? (I immediately regret saying that!)

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