Tel: +66 (0)77 456 050 Email: info@bigbluediving.com           Job Opportunities  Reviews  Video Gallery  Photo Gallery 

Sunset-BigBlue
BigBlueFleet
BigBlue-Beach
At-Sea-BigBlue
Diving-at-BigBlue
BigBlue-Front

Big Blue Diving Resort - Koh Tao - Thailand

January 2009

Saturday 31st January 2009

2009-01-31As I sit here munching on a poppy seed topped bagel filled with houmus, avocado and fresh, crunchy sweet red peppers, caressed by a light, refreshing sea breeze wafting through the open window of the dive shop, trying vainly to pull my eyes away from the bikini-clad swedish female gymnastic team stretching their tired limbs on the beach, I ponder aloud why would anyone want to live anywhere else. The weather is, well...great, the food is fantastic, and the view is magnificent - oh, and the diving's not bad either. Full day trip goes out tomorrow, guaranteed sunburn for those that fall asleep on the roof on the 2 hour cruise out to Sail Rock, Mama's famous Massaman Curry for lunch, and the boat boy's private stash of ice-cold Chang beers for on the way back. Fancy it?

Feel like a change of pace, want to escape the doom and gloom of the 'credit crunch' back home, had enough of the dire european weather, endless steel grey skies, sheeting rain, scraping your windscreen free of ice in the morning after leaving your car running for half an hour, dodging the patches of black ice on the road as you nudge, battle and beep at streets full of fellow motorists just as hacked off as you are, to a job you can't stand, working for a boss who hates being there as much as you do, to pay for the 2 week holiday twice a year to a place that makes you feel happy?

Quit your job, sell your house, dump your spouse and come to Koh Tao to start professional dive training. Change your life completely, work in the dive industry, get a tan, drink some cold beers and kick back and watch the sunset after work..... Courses available from Beginner through to Divemaster and beyond - lifestyle improvement comes with the job. Visit our website for details.

 
Friday January 30th 2009-

2009-01-30Congratulations Big Blue! Project AWARE is delighted to award Big Blue Diving in Koh Tao Thailand the 2008 Environmental Achievement Award. We have determined that your dive operation has met all requirements set forth for Project AWARE’s Environmental Achievement Award and shown exemplary efforts to conserve aquatic environments through education, advocacy and action. Therefore, we’re proud to name you an official 2008 recipient! You’ll find your facility already listed on the Project AWARE website honoring 2008 Environmental Achievement Award winners, which can be viewed at:  http://www.projectaware.org. In a separate email I will forward you the Project AWARE Environmental Achievement Award website banners. Please use these banners to increase your exposure of receiving this honor and stay tuned to industry communications for announcements and recognition. Once again congratulations and please keep us posted with all your eco news and activities. Best wishes Joanna McNamara, Marketing and Fundraising Coordinator, Project Aware.'Economic Crisis' my French friends Arse! There are as many people coming to Koh Tao right now as there has ever been! The boats coming over are full & the boats leaving are also full! I'm looking for staff to cover all sorts of jobs. In fact because it is sooo busy here we have now decided to rent an additional guesthouse! Which means I need staff to man the reception there. On top of that we are also looking for another Divemaster, another Swedish Instructor, a Resort Manager, another shop girl, an emails, bookings & reservations handler & if anyone feels like giving out free massages I could do with one of them too!I would very much like to thank Massive Dave from Vibe Bar for laying on another free Bar B Q last night for all of us here at Big Blue. What is great about Vibe is how its a meeting place for everyone from all over the island. Even if we do have DMT Kym & Freelance Instructor Alicia working their magic & fluttering their eyelids behind the bar & DJ Instructor Tim spinning the decks on the Wheels of Steel! Cheers Massive. & thanks for the tequilla shots you Bar-steward!
 
Thursday January 29th 2009-
 
2009-01-29Professional Divemasters! Its nice to know that when another Diveshop on Koh Tao needs a Divemaster they come to us to employ! Isn't that sweet. So today Mickey has a job! Congratulations! Mickey has been snapped up by Coral Grand for her Dive skills, her languages, & her fabulous personality! That's another newbie trained Divemaster we have now sent out into the big wide world to lead, brief & multiply! & funnily enough I hear Seashell is looking for a brand new shiney DM as well! Who's going to be the next Big Blue trained Divemaster who's going to lose their dive career cherry?!Helen & G are getting ready to organise this months Koh Tao clean up over at Chalok Ban Kao on Saturday. We do this every month except over Monsoon, so its actually been about 3 months since our last efforts already so there should be a fair bit of trash out there. So if anyone is interested in a free afternoon of diving then come & give us a hand picking up the rubbish. Its great fun & you will feel really good about it! So will the Earth, the Sea, your children & all the ickle fishies!Yesterday Canada took 3 of our lucky divemaster interns out for a discover technical diving afternoon with a small introduction to some of the caverns and caves around Koh Tao. It was a chance for these future technical divers to actually try diving in the equipment and also expose them to mock overhead environments to see if they were interested in that sort of diving, especially with our upcoming cavern/cave trip in February. All 3 took to the skills and diving conditions really well and remarked at how different it really was causing even more interest in this style of diving. And of course the T-shirts rock!

Wednesday January 28th 2009-

2009-01-28Its another beautiful day in paradise! The sun is out. The sea is blue. The fish are abundant as are the bikini clad fillies. & Deano & Canada are taking out a bunch of our Divemasters in Training for a day of water skills. Its a skills circuit in the morning then lunch, then an afternoon of swimming, snorkelling, tired diver tows & 15 minutes of treading water. All downed with a healthy measure of Chang Chasers! Now thats good Divemaster Training!Nice to see President Obama taking the reigns of the world with such a firm grasp after the limp wristed attempts of Former Presdient Bush! Apparently though, the last lousy idea of the Bush Administration was to legitimize commercial whaling in the 21st century.Japan has killed more than 15,000 whales and hundreds of thousands of dolphins to prop up its failing fishing industry. The industry blames marine mammals for "eating all of our fish". In fact, overfishing and the government's failure to effectively regulate small, but politically powerful regional fishing coops caused the collapse of Japan's coastal fish stocks. It's unbelievable. We should be encouraging Japan, Iceland and Norway to end whaling, not cooking up deals to help it continue. Reckon we should feed Bush to the Whalers!Hello Big Blue diving ,Here is an email from holland, A few weeks ago we did the diving course with Big Blue Diving, we had lots of fun and it was a great experience to become a padi open water diver,thanks for that! But our trip went on in Thailand and after a few weeks i lost my cell phone with everything in it, also the email address of our diving teacher Anna from Sweden, we made lots of cool pics and i want to send them to her and add her on face book just for fun, she s cool , hope you send this email to her or give me her mail address!???hope you can help me and see you next year !!greetzz Jeroen from holland (friend from Hein eken) Thanks Jeroen!' Sounds like you might have an admirer Ana!

Tuesday January 27th 2009-

2009-01-27Read any good books lately? In Neutral Buoyancy, journalist and diver Tim Ecott takes us on a guided tour of the history of undersea exploration and the emergence of diving culture. He tells the extraordinary story of man's attempts to breathe underwater, from the sponge divers described by Aristotle, to the development of sixteenth-century diving bells, to the invention of modern scuba equipment. Along the way, Ecott intersperses the story with his own thrilling adventures, from the waters of the South Pacific to the remote islands of the Seychelles, from explorations in the clear, flowing tides of Sardinia to a near-death experience in the cold gray depths of the English Channel.Filled with engaging stories of humanity's conquest of the undersea world -- and heart-pounding action that will leave you breathless -- Neutral Buoyancy is a compelling blend of history and adventure, an exciting overview of the world of undersea diving.Congratulations Mickey & Fiona for entertaining us all at their Divemaster Snorkel Challenge last night. Its like a graduation Ceremony for Divemasters in Training & if you fail it you have to take the whole course all over again! But the girls did very well last night showing us that their senses are very much intact. Taste, smell, sight, hearing & feeling! Their 'Smell the Frenchman' round was absolutely spot on! Congratulations ladies on successfully completing your DM Training. Now go out there & DM!We had a solar eclipse here yesterday! In ancient times, and in some cultures today, solar eclipses have been attributed to supernatural causes. Total solar eclipses can be frightening for people who are unaware of their astronomical explanation, as the Sun seems to disappear in the middle of the day and the sky darkens in a matter of minutes. Some people here started panicking & running for the bar! A Solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth so that the Sun is wholly or partially obscured. This can only happen during a new moon, when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction as seen from the Earth. At least two and up to five solar eclipses occur each year on Earth, with between zero and two of them being total eclipses. The most recent solar eclipse occurred yesterday here in Koh Tao at Beer O'clock & it was an annular eclipse.

Monday January 26th 2009-

2009-01-26Its one of my favourite days of the year. From the country that brought us such cult classics like Home & Away, Mad Max, Inxs, ACDC, Yahoo Serious, Pat Cash, & the Barbecued Shrimp today we celebrate along side Gazillions of drunken Australians how to sing extremely badly such fabulous hits like Waltzing Matilda & the theme tune to Neighbours! Happy Australia Day Straylia! Put another Fosters on the Barbie Scobby!'Hi Jim, our holidays in Thailand were so great that we plan to come back there in April :) we would like to come to Koh Tao once again and of course dive with the best diving center in the whole universe..Big Blue!!! ;) best regards, Alex and Anatol from Poland.'
Aw shucks... I'm blushing!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 travelbrochures.
Thanks Divinganarchy.info Very good!

Sunday January 25th 2009-

2009-01-25Welcome back G! After sunning himself & diving himself silly with Manta's & whatnots over on 'The Other Side" with Ricky, Marcel, Barry, Sonia & Church- G has returned home! & not a moment too soon. With Emily all bandaged up from her 'sunburn' & out of the water now for the next few days G has quite literally walked off the boat & straight into the classroom to take over Emily's Open Water Course. Not sure the boys in Emilys class are too happy. Yesterday they thought they were going to be taught how to dive by some Hot English Chick! Today they're getting taught by an unshaven smelly Frenchman... with a fantastic personality! Bienvenue chezWreck Diving today! Canada has rustled up pretty much everyone on the resort who wasn't doing anything today to go out on our first Full Day Wreck Trip of the year. And they are going out on Trident as well which is one of the best decked out boats in Thailand for technical diving. So its a bit of a wreck tech day out! Just the sort of thing that keeps Canada happy & it turns on our experienced divers too!Lovely to see the rain last night. And this morning too! It isn't expected to hang around & it hasn't stirred up the viz at all & there's no wind either & its such a gentle drizzle you hardly notice it anyway. Its lovely rain! Not like your movie monsoon madness that we get in December. Its like April rains in January!

Saturday January 24th 2009-

2009-01-24Nice to see Rick our Big Blue Khao Lak Manager come over to say hello. No rest for the wicked. Its a long sleepless night on the nightboat & then its off to Chumphon Pinnacle with the morning trip for a shark safari. We might not have Manta's in these parts but the sharks are well worth a look see. & Meanwhile Rick being here means Sonia, G & Barry in Khao Lak have closed the shop & have hijacked the boat & are spending the day diving the Boonsung wreck. While the cats away... the mice will play!There's a few red faces here & there at the moment. Deano did his usual Full Day Trip sun soaking but poor Emily. After a very tiring afternoon sunbathing in front of the dive center yesterday in her skimpies she's gone & got herself a very nasty sunburn. Actually its a very attractive butty sunburn but the 3rd degree burns she has incurred on her leg looks very nasty! Emily says it is her first Koh Tao Kiss, exhaust burn on the leg, but we know it was due to yesterdays topless solar soaking! So I'm afraid its a few days out of the water for Emily. Hope she recovers by sunbathing in her smalls again outside the shop. We've never been so busy!I never knew we had soo much hidden talent here! Last night Dan, Ryan Seacrest hosted Koh Tao's very first X factor! With Judges Tim- Simon Cowell, Judge Yvonne- Paula Abdul & Judge Simon came as Randy Jackson! Lots of great critiquing. Tim was a little bit tough, honest but tough. Yvonne was very emotional & Simon was just a very diplomatic liar. Performance of the night went to Jodie who does a very good Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston impression & Canada who looked great as Meatloaf! Even if it was unintentional!

Friday January 23rd 2009-

2009-01-23I 've been looking at swimming pools to present to the owner here so we can build one at our Resort & I have found the perfect one. It is more than 1,000 yards long, covers 20 acres, has a 115-foot deep end, and holds 66 million gallons of water. The Guinness Book of Records has named the vast pool beside the sea in Chile as the biggest in the world. And if we fancy splashing out on one of our own -then it will take five years to build, cost nearly 1 billion, and the annual maintenance bill will be 2 million. Its perfect!I'd like to congratulate & welcome Amanda, (surname Bond!), to the team. Like her father Amanda has a license to shoot people & sleep around alot & will be joining us in our Divemaster Pool alongside our existing pool of Andy from the Isle of Wight, & Ollie from the isle of Switzerland! Unfortunatley Merieia from the Isle of Spain has left us for some serious Flamenco, rather than the hopscotch flamencoing we do round these parts! So 'thank you & see you' Marieia & 'hello congrats & stop lallygagging around now you got a proper job' Amanda! Welcome to the Team.

Hi Jim, Just a note to say thanks to all your staff for making my experience so enjoyable on Koh Tao I was wondering if you have any photos on file of the diving off Koh Tao so I can show my friends and persuade them of the memorable experiences to be had. Thanks, John. Have a look at www.acemarineimages.com at their Photo Gallery. Ours is under construction!

Thursday January 22nd 2009-

2009-01-22Its our first Full Day Trip of the year to Sail Rock tomorrow, & it looks like it is going to be a reasonably busy boat! After all Sail Rock is only the number 1 Divesite in the Gulf of Thailand! In fact if you put the best dive site on the West coast of Thailand- Richelieu Rock, & put it in a fight with the best divesite on the East Coast of Thailand- Sail Rock, although Richelieu would probably win I reckon Sail Rock would still get a good nipple cripple & a Chinese burn in!Meanwhile the sun continues to shine brightly every day now. There's not a breath of wind & the ocean is mill pond flat! The visibility has increased enormously of late & because the Fishing boats haven't been out for a while there seems to be heaps of fish of all varieties frolicking around! And bright red sunsets every night, frisbee at dusk, & one large Chang to wash it all down with. Aaaah... This is the life!So we're adding Canada to our Instructor team of PADI Divemaster trainers! So now its G, Simon, Deano & Canada all taking care of teaching our Divemasters in Training. Which means now by the time you qualify as a Big Blue Trained Divemaster you will be an Equipment Specialist, a Fish ID specialist, a Nitrox, Cave, Wreck & Deep Diver, a Gas Blender, a Dan Oxygen Provider & a Tech Diver Discoverer & a Discover Scuba Diving Divemaster. And if Deano does his EFR Instructor Trainer & Simon his SSI Instructor Trainer & G his PADI Course Director we'll be training Divemaster Cyborgs!

Wednesday January 21st 2009-

2009-01-21If anyone reading this has been looking for a good reason to either start diving or to get back into the sport, now seems a good time as any as you will be greatly rewarded with the honor of seeing and swimming with one of natures most beautiful, gracious and hard to find sea creatures. Ask any diver what is one of the things they would most like to see when diving and everyone will tell you, “a whale shark of course”. Well guess what was seen yesterday at White Rock! A Whale Shark of course! So thats number 99 Whaleshark sitings in the last 2 & half years! Next one will have to wear speedos!Would like to congratulate Darren & Mirko on last nights snorkel test. These boys have been completeing their Divemaster Training with us for the past few weeks & now they've made complete arses of themselves on stage infront of everyone they've completed the final part of their training! Always amusing to watch professional Divers in training turn from responsible polite hard working individuals into food splattered, toothpaste caked dribbling drunkards! Congratulations Darren & Felicitations Mirko Big Blue's newest Divemasters. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said his government may waive visa fees for all tourists for three months in a bid to boost visitor numbers following last year's siege of Bangkok's airports. More importantly he also said there would be prettier stewardesses & there'd also be discounts on aircraft landing fees which will help the tourism sector one way or another. Which means keep your eyes out for some pretty cheap flights to Thailand coming up!

 Tuesday- January 20th 2009-

2009-01-20Liveaboard Diving in Thailand seems to be very popular at the moment. I've booked at least 6 groups over the next 2 weeks to go out on about 4 different boats all going off for a jolly around the Similan & Surin Islands. And at the moment we got such cheap prices for 4 days of breakfast, lunch & dinner, 12 dives, free softdrinks & equipment! All for the much sought after price of just 17300 Bt per person! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to check availability & reserve your trip of a lifetime.Taken from the Samui Express Newspaper
' Local groups are against a plan to explore oil off the coast of Koh Tao for environmental reasons.The government has tapped Soco Exploration Co. Ltd. to explore for oil in the sea 65 kilometers off Koh Tao. Local groups opposed the exploration project saying it could cause serious damage to the marine life and coral reefs in the area. Soco Exploration has reportedly hired a company to make an analysis on the effect of the project to Koh Tao residents and to draw up compensation measures to fishermen who will lose income once the oil exploration begins.It is worth pointing out that aside from dislocating fishermen, the oil exploration could destroy the habitat of various fish species like mackerel. The mackerel lay their eggs during this time of the year & having the exploration done at this time could potentially destroy the fish stock. Diving establishments on Koh Tao are also expected to oppose the project. The beautiful underwater landscape around the island, could be destroyed from the three-dimensional seismic survey method used in exploring for oil. The planned seismic survey is set to for January and February 2009. Soco Exploration has promised to do all it can to prevent any damage to the environment in doing the seismic survey.'Thank you Barry for taking the time the day you leave for Khao Lak to get together all the DMT's & some of the staff to talk about Fish Identification & typical behaviours of our local aquatic marine life. There must have been at least 10 people who turned up to hear about the symbiotic relationships between the Shark & the Remora, the Eagle ray & the Jack, the Goby & the Gobyfish, the Jellyfish & Jellyfish Fish. Nice one Bazza! Have a great time in Khao Lak!

Monday January 19th 2009-

2009-01-19You'll all be pleased to know that the viz is getting better & better & the recent weeks of pea soup & large swelling seas are over & the fish life has increased considerably! The sun is out the sea is also completely flat calm & truely beautiful. Koh Tao is a very special place when the weather & conditions are this good. Bright red sunsets at night & table flat conditions on Sairee Beach. Feels like heaven. Looks like paradise. Smells like coconuts!The State Government and Tourism Queensland are searching the globe for candidates for the "Best Job in the World" - a $150,000 six month contract based on a Great Barrier Reef island. “The successful applicant will live on Hamilton Island for six months and travel to other Islands of the Great Barrier Reef and report back on their adventures to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries, video updates. They'll also have to talk to media from time to time about what they're doing so they can't be too shy and they'll have to love the sea, the sun, the outdoors. The fact that they will be paid to explore the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef, swim, snorkel and generally live the Queensland lifestyle makes this undoubtedly the best job in the world. They'll have a great job and be doing a great job for tourism in Queensland at the same time." Airfares from the successful applicant's home country and live-in accommodation on Queensland's Hamilton Island are included. F%$#in Lucky B#$%ard!Dan is back. He had to whizz home for a couple of weeks. I think it was supposed to be for longer but lovesickness got the better of him & he was back to see his Missus before you could say "Gravesend". Aah isn't young love sweet!

Sunday January 18th 2009-

2009-01-18Look what Lonely Planet just wrote about us!
"This scuba-centric resort is a great place to hang up your fins. Newbies and divemasters alike will enjoy the convivial atmosphere and tasty dishes at the popular restaurant. No-frills aircon rooms are stacked in a pink motel-like structure, and fan bungalows are basic at best.
Big Blue has a summer camp vibe - diving classes dominate the daytime, while evenings are spent en masse, grabbing dinner or watching fire-twirling. The onsite eatery, known as East Restaurant and Beach Bar, serves the best personal pizzas on the island. The joint fills up around sunset as divers pre-game while chuckling at the daily dive bloopers shown on the big-screen TV. Both the basic fan bungalows and motel-style aircon rooms offer little when it comes to views, but who has time to relax when there's an ocean out there to explore?"
Thanks LP! I'd like to wish Heather our No1 Videographer a very happy Birthday congratulations on reaching the big three and oh! 30 years young eh Heather. SO its drinks at Dragon Bar with special priced Illusions & Wild berry Martinis & then some gratuitous American 80's Rock classics. Bit of Bon Jovi & Bruce Springsteen! Born in the USA! Oh well. Nobody is perfect. Happy Birthday Heather!Barry is off to Khao Lak for a few weeks. Big Blue Diving Khao Lak operates speed boat trips to the Similan Islands & Richelieu Rock & Barry's off over there to help out & get some of the best diving in Thailand in! Its a win win situation for all of us. Barry gets to go on a paid holiday. Rick gets to show off his operation & way of life & maybe even get a day off or 2! I get to reward one of my staff with a trip there & when Barry will get back he'll be all full of the praises of Khao Lak & the Similans that we'll have a rush of people going over there to see what all the fuss is about which in turn increases Big Blue Khao Laks profitability & Ricks cheesy smile! Thats about 6 birds we just knocked over with that 1 stone! Genius!

Saturday January 17th 2009- 

Jim, i dont know what it is that you've got but from the moment we (pete, vix, tara) landed in Ko Tao 22/12/08 -29/12/08 we had a really great time. The Staff and Instructors were so helpful ,understanding, laid back! and put one at ease. Even the captain and crew (ask Helen the name of the boat) were so cool, me not knowing any thai and him no english but we were able to understand one another. Not forgetting the staff that ran the restaurant and the people that serviced the rooms. Christmas day on the boat with santa (aka Barry) dressed in all the festive robes and diving too! will be an image that shall be with me for a long long time. I'm not going to go on (unless a cheque is in the post!) but surfice to say we had a great time and an experience.A big thank you from Pete,Vix, Tara have a really good new year.Please see that helen gets to see this (i think she may have promised me money!!lol) X x xG is on his way to Khao Lak for a Liveaboard trip with our friends from Wicked. Not a bad way to spend the next 3 days of your life. Aboard a diveboat cruising the 9 islands of the Similans. Its Manta Ray season as well so unless he's really unlucky he should have a great trip. Problem is however G hasn't been very lucky so far! The boat to Chumphon was cancelled, the plane to Phuket was full & the ferry to Surat Thani lands miles away from Surat Thani so he'll need to get a taxi all the way from the pier to Surat & then a bus to Khao Lak. With any luck he'll be in Khao Lak about the time his Liveaboard trip gets back! Sacre Bleu!We’re the only school doing this right now.. In response to growing demand for diving alternatives. Big Blue Tech will be conducting a 3 day ANDI Cavern Course in Kao Sok National Park on the 13th Feb & the 17th Feb. This trip will be open to divers from around Thailand diving with Big Blue Tech from Koh Tao and Khao Lak.The course will be done on site in the national park over a 3 day period of 4 dives and acaedmic plus dry land skills. This course will be conducted by our in house Instructor Development Director Bruce Konefe. Certification as a Level II Cavern Diver will be received after completing 4 dives and a final exam. Included: Park Fee, Transfer from resort or location to Khao Sok and Back, all equipment (recreational or technical) Accommodation, boat fee’s , transfer around national park, manual, certification. Not Included: Island Transfer for coastal locations to mainland. Food. Tekkies: Technical gear is available for those certified, included in the course price. for more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Friday, January 16th, 2009-

2009-01-16So nice to be off my deathbed & back at work. Man flu's a Bitch! & it can be a very serious ailment though ladies have trouble realising just how life threatening this illness can actually be! Anyhow I'm much better now & very happy & grateful to see that things have been ticking along nicely & I haven't come back to a bombsite or a barrage of problems! Many thanks G & Barry for manning the fort! & a very belated Happy New Year for the rest of you!Don't think I've missed too much. The weather has been awful. Lots of wind but no rain & its been really cold of late! There's lots of us walking around in jumpers, beanies & long trousers. Nice to see we still have a our regular hoard of bikini babes sunning themselves on the beach but they look a bit silly with a beany & socks on tho! extremely Sexy but a little silly!So the Economic Crisis has led to a lot of redundancies & unemployment the world over by all accounts. & apparently as many as 20% of all recently unemployed are looking for a shift in careers. Many people are studying skills like plumbing & baking & what not & others are looking for a change in lifestyle having experienced the recent stresses & strains of the economy in crisis. Which might well account for why we have so many people looking at becomming Dive professionals! Excellent idea I might add. Get in touch people. Become a PADI & SSI Divemaster or Instructor today! Don't delay.The last 11 years working in the dive industry for me has brought nothing but good times & many happy mammaries!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2009-01-14Barry came to me yesterday with the latest issue of the Bangkok Post and a victorious smile. For those of you who have never read this paper, it doesn’t only cover Thailand and world economy, politics and culture, it’s also a goldmine in which you can find many colorful stories happening around the world. One article caught Barry’s attention…The Caribbean island of Grenada is clamping down on the practice and wants tourists to cover up in town.
Those who flout the indecent exposure law, which bans swimming costume wearing away from the beach, are being asked toput clothes on. But they can also be fined around £180 or sent to jail for six months, according to police commissioner James Clarkson.
He said cruise ships usually tell passengers of the correct way to dress when in town, but “from time to time, there is the one or two who take their chances.” He said: “I can’t see any reason why someone would walk around town in speedos”. Mr Clarkson has also criticised people who wear baggy pants that expose their underwear. It is part of a campaign aimed at “bringing back morality into the country”. He added that some young men seemed to forget where their waist is located. “Any time you allow lawlessness to start taking effect on your country, you have a problem,” he went on.

While the Caribbean work hard to takle the growing problem of non-sports related speedo wearing, the rest of the world suffer.

Monday January 12, 2009

2009-01-12Big Blue management is going through a difficult phase. Jim is fully recovering at home, staying away from any possible germ on the island. So we had to put him on a diet of pancakes and kippers, the only things we can slide under his door! Michael had an unfortunate swim 2 nights ago when his bike decided to go off the side of the bridge outside Big Blue resort instead of crossing it. A “No Parking” sign has been placed in the poonama canal to avoid further mishapps. The last diver to take a dunk in our lovely river was also Swedish so Canada thought it would be better to write that sign in their language!

Poor Big Blue Tech! The compressor on Navakid broke down so we took their compressor away to replace it and they're weeping because they have to pump his Nitrox tanks the old fashioned way. And to think I was hoping to do my DSAT Gas Blender course soon. This adds even more insult to injury as the entire Technical Diving Training Department is waiting for the weather to change so they can dive deeper and longer again.

We haven’t seen this many DMTs in ages. It seems like we are signing one on every day at the moment. And we have more coming up. So say hello to Ian, Mikey and Simon as we wait for Lara, Eveliyn, Duncan, Gemma (????) and many more… Needless to say, Simon, G and Deano are working double shifts. Hey, nothing the Big Blue Old Farts can’t handle!

Saturday 10th January 2009

Many thanks to Barry and Rich for putting on a free BBQ at Vibe Bar last night. Sausages ordered from Samui went down a treat, Cumberland, Chilli and regular old pork, not to mention Dave's Special Burgers. All we needed were Alice's bread rolls and we'd've been in Hamburger Heaven. Eager to prove we hadn't just turned up for the free food Big Blue downed their buckets and ripped up the dance floor (literally, Dave's gonna have to replace half his floor boards) till closing time. The hardcore (G, Rich, the 2 Helens) carried on to Lotus Bar and partied till the first strains of American Pie were heard. Ah, reminded me of the old days....

The tide is high today and waves are lapping all the way up to the dive shop - perfect conditions for DMT stamina swims. 400m swim, 800m snorkel, 100m tired diver tow and a 15 min float. Thankfully I can just start the timer and watch from shore, not sure how I'd score on the swims these days...

Friday January 09, 2009

2009-01-09You wouldn’t believe the full moon party is tomorrow night. Usually, 2 days before, the island goes quiet and all you can hear is the buzz of a couple mosquitoes’ flight. Well, not this time. We are very busy, the island is packed and finding a room for everyone is just as challenging as searching for the Holy Grail. But no need to worry, if you do come to the island, our Knights of the Round Pinnacle will find a place for you to stay. It would be a good idea to book through our website if you don’t fancy lying in sand while the waves gently stroke you body on your first night!People coming back and people leaving… Jim is back on the Rock, in great shape. Our old friend Richard from Sweden is back for a 5 day visit. Filip was here with his girlfriend but he left just as quickly as he arrived. Thanks for the T-shirts! Wicked! More importantly, the first whaleshark of the year showed up at Shark Island yesterday. The street meat lady is back but still no sign of the samosa man. The whole crew is in withdrawal and if you have any ideas on how to deal with, please write 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.!Tonight we say happy birthday to Barry and Rich who turn 21. Again! So we’re all having a bash at Vibe on the beach later and there’s free barbecue involved. As if it wasn’t hot on the island at the moment. Well, nothing a cold Singha can’t take care of… If you’re on the Rock come by and celebrate. If you’re in a cold country, we’ll be thinking of you wearing those 3 or 4 layers!

Tuesday January 06, 2009

2009-01-06I must admit it’s funny. This morning as I was watching the news, I saw my hometown covered in snow. Felt cold for a moment but as soon as I opened the blinds, I was blinded by the sunshine. Then I opened the window and felt a warm rush blow into the house. As soon as I was outside, I hopped on my bike and drove down to Big Blue, warm wind blowing in my hair, warm smell of sausage rolls, rising up through the air. By the time I’d walked from the parking lot to the beach, I was already sweating. Lucky for me, the tide was high and the sea was flat and crystal clear. All I had to do was take the shirt off and go for a dunk. Believe it or not, by then I had totally forgotten it was snowing in Europe!
 

News from the crew: Jim is feeling much better and should be back on Koh Tao soon. I just hope he won’t forget my Whopper! Filip is on the island for a quick break from the West Coast. Barry did a fantastic fish ID lecture yesterday and the lucky attendants have gone on a fish ID dive with him this afternoon. They’ve also got a buoyancy practice dive planned with Simon. The topic of the day is how to dodge sea anemones, a topic Simon has become an expert at. Unfortunately, the last anemone victim, Kymmie couldn’t make it today. Advice for everyone, get a long wetsuit!

New photos to print on milk cartons: samosa man and street meat lady have gone missing in the past few days. The crew here is running out of options for lunch. If you see them anywhere, please call us at +66 77 456 415. Our main concern however is that just like every time, samosa man goes away, the prices are gonna rise. If they go up to 25 baht this time, he might as well put his stand in front of Papa’s Tapas!

January 4th 2009.

2009-01-04Good morning and a belated Happy New Year from the Big Blue crew. We all hope you had as great a holiday period as we had here.

New Years Eve was as crazy as ever here. Work finished as normal at around 6pm. The gang went home to put their glad rags on and grab some food. It was then all down to Big Blue Bar to start the evening off. From here the gang moved down the beach to a different assortment of bar to see the New Year in. The partying finished around silly o’clock in a bar that no one seems to remember but everyone was agree that it was a great night……we think? A huge thank you to one of our newest members of staff Alain for volunteering to work on New Year’s Day (or was it Jim who volunteered him!*?) Any hoo well done mate, promise I’ll do it next year.

Life on the island is now back to normal after the festive season and Big Blue Diving is as busy as ever. The sea has been quite rough lately but this has not deterred the soon to be qualified divers. No matter the weather or sea conditions here, there is always a sheltered area around Koh Tao to dive. The sea is now calming down though and the morning boat was able to go out to South West Pinnacle. Tomorrow they will be diving Chumphon Pinnacle so bring on the sharks!!!

Jim our boss is not so well at the moment and is on Koh Samui getting checked out. So from all the Big Blue crew, ‘hope you feel better soon mate”.

Tomorrow morning we are trying out a new lecture for our DMT program. This will be on Fish I.D. and the habits of marine life native to these waters. As far as we are aware nobody else offers this to their DMT candidates so we are very excited and hope that the knowledge learn will be of great benefit to our future DM’s. If this is a success as we are sure it will be, we will then offer this service to our diving customers also.

February 2009

Saturday 28th February 2009-

2009-02-28Well we've got 2 maybe 3 spaces left on next months Caving trip to Khao Sok National Park. Canada is obviously going & Jim reckons he's going & now Ian from Australia is flying all the way out to Thailand just to do this cave trip with us before he then flies all the way back Downunder again. & then John from Siam Dive and Sail based in Phuket will join us as well for his second trip. & then there's 2 or 3 spaces left to fill! Its a trip of a lifetime guys so who's coming with us? Next trip departs March 26th for 4 nights though we're still up in the air as to whether we want to come back or stay a few days longer!

Its another Koh Tao beach clean up today organised by Helen & G. Today we have over 30 divers coming out with us this afternoon for a free dive & an opportunity to give a little back to the island by removing Maehaad Bay & Reef (where all the islands Catamarans & Ferries come in every day to drop off the tourists), of its underwater filth! So you can expect heaps of plastic bags, discarded clothing, batteries, cutlery mugs, pots & plates & if its anything like last year we might even find a portable record player or an Armitage Shanks toilet bowl! USe the bins people & Save our Seas!

A bizarre, psychedelic fish that bounces on the ocean floor like a rubber ball has been classified as a new species, according to a scientific journal. The frogfish - which has a swirl of tan and peach zebra stripes that extend from its aqua eyes to its tail - was first discovered by scuba diving instructors off Ambon island in eastern Indonesia. The fish - named 'psychedelica' - is a frogfish of the genus, Histiophryne. The fish's stripes were probably intended to mimic coral. It has fins on both sides of its body that have evolved to be leg-like. But it has several behavioral traits not previously known to other frogfish. Each time the fish strike the seabed, for instance, they push off with their fins and expel water from tiny gill openings to jet themselves forward. Coupled with an off-centered tail, it causes them to bounce around in a bizarre, chaotic manner. It is an exciting discovery. 'I think people thought frogfishes were relatively well known and to get a new one like this is really quiet spectacular. It's a stunning animal, & it also speaks to the tremendous diversity in this region and to fact that there are still a lot of unknowns here - in Indonesia and in the Coral Triangle in general.' The fish, which has a gelatinous fist-sized body covered with thick folds of skin that protect it from sharp-edged corals, also has a flat face with eyes directed forward, like humans, and a huge, yawning mouth.

Friday February 27th 2009-

2009-02-27Bit of excitement here on the high seas! The 2 whales that have been gracing us with their presence over the last few days were actually seen being chased down by a very mysterious fishing boat with a very long harpoon looking implement seen threateningly off the bow of the ship! Luckily before any harm could be done, this wonderful country's boys in Blue were out at the scene immediately & were last seen boarding the suspicious looking fishing boat in a threatening manner! Since then both whales have been seen again. Not by divers though but by those coming across from Chumphon on the ferries. So if you are coming over soon keep your eyes peeled for 2 lucky to be alive minke whales!

Wow. Got to go & give Canada an enormous hats off for all the work he has done on our www.bigbluetech.net website. Even the wonderful people at Lonely Planet have recognised this & have chosen the Big Blue Tech News blog for inclusion between 5 others in the “Theme Blog” category. Not only is this a great bit of recognition for Big Blue but also its a huge bit of recognition for Koh Tao & for scuba diving be it recreational or technical in general. Voting will close at 12am on Wednesday 20th March 2009 Pacific Time USA. You can find the link here, we’re the only diving one on there! Please visit the link and cast a vote for us. It takes a second but would mean a lot for us all here at Big Blue & of course for Canada too.

Not sure who wrote this on the Lonely Planet Forum but I like it!
" For anyone thinking of diving in Thailand I thought I'd give some feedback about where I've been latley. In 2007 I did a liveaboard trip on Similian Islands...simply some of the best diving you can do. I am not sure exactly the company i did it through but the boat was Manta Queen..nice, modern,not too expensive (think it was 18000 baht for 4 days 4 nights all gear, food included...great staff and such a brilliant once in a lifetime trip!! I checked out Phi Phi from a dive school in Koh Lanta..not bad there either..that was in October too the diving was great..Recently I have been on Koh Tao in gulf of Thailand...I tried out a few dive schools... but the best I think was Big Blue..very friendly,professional staff...really cool people,all heaps of fun and very good courses/ trips. You feel like part of a big family straight away..and lots of cool travelers are passing through (they have accommodation as well) After diving we would hang out at the bar and very easy to socialise..their boats are really nice too....

 
Thursday February 26th 2009-

2009-02-26Oh yeah. When you're hot you're hot! Diving at Chumphon today with Whales! Today we had a large Minke Whale breaching just away from the pinnacle. Breaching occurs when a whale flips itself entirely out of the water, twists in midair, and lands loudly on its side. You may think the cavorting mammals breach just to create photogenic moments, but it probably has more to do with communication, comfort, defense, or predatory behavior. Though I did hear once that Whales breach to loosen their bowels and that they often have a bowel release immediately following a breach. What a load of Minke poo!

Another great night out at Vibe last night. Massive Dave was there on the Barbie again dishing out the free burgers & sausages. Tim was DJing, G was being compere for Andy's Divemaster Challenge, & Deano, Sonia, Simon & Emily were getting sozzled to celebrate their SSI Instructor Upgrade. Meanwhile DM Paul fell over & landed on Marcel! & tonight its our Divemaster Trainee Night with an evening out with the Big Blue Instructors & Divemasters at the Bowling alley. I'm sure it will be a very sober event. Followed by an alcoholic one soon after. Speaking of alcoholics. Anyone seen Emily today?

And how nice is this..." Hi there I'm looking for Jim´s email address. I'm a friend of Paul Landgraver- (Owner/ Manager Wicked Diving, Thailand) and Joakim Hedelin- (Owner/ Manager Liquid Adventures, Khao Lak), and I have been working for them for 5-6 years and i want to go somewhere else and they told me that "all good instructors should do a few seasons at Big Blue Diving in Koh Tao!" So... I want to send you my resumé :).Cheers Robin." awww- you've made me blush!

 
Wednesday February 25th 2009-

2009-02-25Well I'll be a Monkeys Uncle! Not sure any of us expected that. At last nights Shark lecture we must have had over 100 people turn up to listen to what our Guest Speaker Hayley Unpronounceable- a Marine Scientist from Cairns, had to say about Sharks, their ecological role in the sea & what amazing creatures they are. Then afterwards we played Rob Stewarts prize winning Documentary on Shark Finning called Shark Water. Thank you everyone for coming. Thankyou Hayley Unpronounceable for taking the time to give us a shark presentation on your holiday, thanks Yvonne for organising everything & thanks to all of you reading this who know how important it is to protect this magnificent species. SOS- Save our Sharks.

Not the sort of thing you'd expect from an SSI Instructor Certifier but it couldn't have happened to a nicer Dutchman! Yesterdays Full Day Trip had Marcel & his band of SSI Dive Con Instructor Students Deano, Simo, Emilyo & Sonia-o doing their in water diving presentations. Now you'd of course expect nothing but sheer professionalism & total preparedness from this bunch. So how stupid did Marcel feel when he realised he'd forgotten to bring his dive bag with him & had to wear a shop wetsuit BCD & Reg & fins 2 sizes too small for him & a mask that squeezed that enormous dutch hooter of his across his face! Exce-SSI-vely stupid, hey but you looked great!

Not 1 but 2 Minke whales at Southwest Pinnacle this morning! Unfortunatley we weren't there but being the massively flexible dive shop that we are we have quickly organised a trip out there this afternoon & now have almost 20 people signed up in less than an hour! Hows that for organised! So divers - you're looking for a large underwater mammal that looks like it might hurt you if it landed on you... & his mate! Happy hunting! Sorry whales, wrong choice of words... Happy whale spotting!

 
Tuesday February 24th 2009-

2009-02-24Full Day Trip to Sail Rock today. I reckon it should be a great day if recent reports are anything to go by. There has been a whale shark there last week & yesterday a Brydes whale was seen measuring 12 meters long! Imagine swimming along and then bumping into a 12 meter long fish! They're not terribly common around these parts but because of all the hunting going on around the world it appears they may be hiding out! Remember there's no fleet fishing for 3 months in these waters around Koh Tao right now so the Brydes whale is probably getting in a really good feed about now! Umm... Fish & ships.

So its Shark Night tonight & if its going to be anything like last time we did this there might be as many as 100 people show up! So lets warm you up with a few interesting shark facts- 1. About 80% of sharks are not a threat to humans... Because that 80% of sharks are less then 1.8 meters long, and are classified as not a threat. 2. About 50-70 people are wounded by sharks per year, although about 10 die per year which is no where close to how many sharks we kill per year! We kill up to 100 million sharks, per year. Or I could exaggerate that number by writing it in numbers, 100,000,000 sharks are killed per year by humans, compared to the 10 humans killed per year. Hmmm... makes you think!

So Ian & Georgie have booked themselves a trip on a Liveaboard for 5 days & 5 nights 18 dives, the Similan Islands, the Surin Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai & Richelieu Rock for the all in price of just 23500 Bt per person including Marine Park Fee & Equipment! What a bargain! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get in on the same deal! Trip leaves on the 5th March! Ian & Georgie will get their own double cabin (ooh romantic!) hot water showers, 4 meals a day, an outdoor saloon, a sundeck & they will be guided by the old Big Blue Team of Joachim, Klaus, Keith, Claudio & Anna. Sorry Guys. Can't win 'em all!

 
Monday February 23rd 2009-

2009-02-23So Google Ocean reckon they might have found the legendary lost city of Atlantis 620 miles off the west coast of Africa near the Canary Islands! Google Ocean has found a perfect rectangle the size of Wales lying on the bed of the Atlantic Ocean nearly 3½ miles down. According to Plato who wrote about Atlantis, Historians, scientists & deep sea explorers reckon the host of criss-crossing lines, look like a map of a vast metropolis, enclosed by a boundary. described as a “dense wall” by Plato surrounding the great city, which is just like the rectangular perimeter of the seabed image. Plato told of a complex network of streets and buildings — again similar to the grid in the picture. He learned about Atlantis from Egyptian priests, whose records of the lost civilisation were scrawled in their temples. The ancient equivalent of Google!

Its Shark Week! Well Shark day. Well Shark night... tomorrow! Yvonne has organised our second shark night and this time our guest speaker will be Hayley a Marine Biologist from Cairns Australia. Everyone is invited to come & there will be a short lecture on sharks with some interesting facts like- Sharks never running out of teeth because as soon as one is lost another spins forward from the rows of backup teeth like a cyborg! Then after the lecture Yvonne will be showing the Documentary movie 'Sharkwater' which by the way if you haven't seen it yet you are depriving yourself of something essential. Then the next morning Yvonne will be leading the SSI Shark Specialty Course at Rocky Bay for any of you who want to come diving with sharks. Come one come all & remember- Only soft cocks eat shark fin soup!

Dear Mr. Donaldson, We wanted to write and thank you for a wonderful time at Big Blue Diving. Our family really enjoyed our instructor Deano. He is an excellent teacher and very professional. Yes, he is a funny guy, but when it came time to be serious he acted accordingly. We felt very confident having him with our family during our training. We also enjoyed Duncan and know that one day he will make a great divemaster. Thanks again.
Sincerely, Teresa Seelen and Family. 

 
Sunday, February 22, 2009

2009-02-22Good morning everyone! Some of us woke up feeling tired this morning after saying goodbye to Darren for most of the night. I can’t remember the last time my head felt so bad. But, as professional, I was at work at 9am as usual. No diving today obviously. We had a great time at the Big Blue bar with the usual dancing on top of the bar with the Koh Tao old school. All the newbies got to admire Darren’s Baywatch act as he was looking at the horizon with his old mates. Canada was once again managing our very sophisticated DJ equipment which consists of one iPod and one microphone and it was just like the good ol’ days on the bouncy floor, dancing to classic tunes such as “don’t stop believing”, “farenheit”, “sweet child o’mine” and many more. Later, everybody rushed to Moov for the Goodtime Adventures one year anniversary party. A lot of things happened as usual but I personally lost track and even if I did know, I wouldn’t say a word…

Speaking of Deano, his parents are visiting us right now and they brought the usual goodies from home, among other things. I’d never heard of welsh cakes before but I tried one that Deano’s auntie made and it was delicious. Being French, I’m always pleased to take a bite out of the Welsh. See you Friday!

Canada finished his Swedish celebrity rescue course yesterday and Andy filmed the last water session. The video featured Canada passively watching his students attempting to save lives in a true Sairee beach tradition, guest starring DMT Lara as the most frightening shark to ever set fin on Koh Tao. Thanks to Aussie James for his old costume but I’m not sure you’re gonna be able to use it again!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

2009-02-21This morning, we had a meeting with members of Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, people from Green Fins and Thai marine biologists. It was hosted by the Save Koh Tao group and about 40 people attended. It started with a very interesting presentation on coral watch and conservation by P’Niphon, one of Thailand’s most eminent marine biologists. As it turns out, 25% of Thailand’s coral reefs are located in the Surat Thani province (Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and the Ang Thong marine park) and only 16% in the Similans and Surin. Take that you west coast snobs!

Following was a presentation by the Save Koh Tao marine branch on our various projects, including Biorock the main topic of the day. It is a metallic structure consisting of 5 domes through which a current is sent to help coral grow 3 to 5 faster than it would normally. Hin Fai (electric rock) is located between Koh Tao and Koh Nangyuan. This lead to an open discussion on how Save Koh Tao and different government agencies such as the DMCR can work together.

After a quick lunch break, a lucky group of 15 people including Save Koh Tao representatives, DMCR and Green Fins members, P’Niphon and Big Blue’s Amanda, Colin and G set off on Navakid to dive on Hin Fai. The visibility was amazing and despite a slight current, we had a great dive and saw beautiful hard and soft corals on the artificial reef. It even made us forget that, like our friends on Banzai this morning, we could have been diving at Southwest Pinnacle with a whaleshark!

Friday, February 20, 2009

2009-02-20A new item for the Big Blue Tech museum of cool things you can take underwater: the full face mask. Actually, there’s 2! Full face masks are great for deep long cold water diving as they protect you from the cold. Very comfortable and easy to use, they include a regulator second stage so you don’t even have to bother with a mouthpiece. Canada and Oskar were trying them off the beach this morning. Well, Koh Tao is not exactly a cold water environment but it still looks really cool (rule number one of scuba diving) and we are all eager to play as well. To sign up for your full face mask course, 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.. These masks also have integrated radio systems so you can communicate with your buddy or the surface. Good thing is you can turn them off so you don’t have to listen to Canada mumbling the words to Journey’s hit “Don’t stop believing” while you’re hanging on the line during those long deco stops!

Big Blue is packed at the moment and we are using our three boats everyday. The diving conditions are fantastic and the weather is lovely. Confined water sessions are mostly done in Mango Bay where you can observe the most beautiful school of fusiliers on island, at a depth of 8 metres only! And if that’s enough, we sent another happy group of divers for a double Chumphon Pinnacle trip this afternoon. Our next Sail Rock trip is in two days. Fortunately, we have 23 DMTs right now and they are really helping us out with the load of people. So let’s give them a big hand!

Tomorrow, our old mates exiled on the West Coast are coming to Koh Tao. Marcel is crossing over from Surat Thani to cross over our latest team members that are only PADI instructors to SSI. Oskar, Soren and Dan will get to spend a few days with the Dutchman. Sonia is coming with her brother to breathe some Koh Tao atmosphere which she hasn’t done in a while. One week without the evacuation hotline phone in her hands, I’ll bet you that atmosphere will have a strong aftertaste of Singha! 

Wednesday 18th February 2009-

2009-02-18For over a year the good people of Koh Samui have known that one of the world’s biggest sports names has bought an address there. David & Victoria Beckham are now Samui residents though it's unlikely you'll see them bargain shopping down Chaweng High Street. Well its unlikely you'll see David but Posh might get snapped by the paparazzi pulling that face that looks like a cow with a hand up its arse! But apparently the Beckhams have pissed off the local monks of Samui by innocently killing bugs & mosquitoes with Victoria's Diamond encrusted Mozzie Zapper. A kind source for the Beckhams said: "The Beckhams were very keen to keep the mosquitoes out because they can carry disease, as well as being annoying."A spokesperson for the entire population of Thai monks responded by saying: "The Thai people are very keen to keep the Beckhams out because they offer nothing of value, as well as being annoying."

Well the diving at the moment is absolutely awesome! Water clarity at Chumphon is up to 30 meters & you are able to see the depths from the surface. There is a massive wall of chevron barracuda there, a large school of batfish, & the biggest groupers to be found in the Gulf of Thailand. We have even seen our first reef shark of the year there yesterday which means there will be plenty more to come. When they come they are big, fearsome looking sharks, some of them a couple of metres long, bigger than a frenchman - but they are harmless to divers, although of course they have to be treated with utmost respect, or they'll bite your nipples off!

Want a cheap flight to Koh Tao? We are a 4 hour ferry ride from the mainland port of Surat Thani. This isn't so bad, but the only cheap way of getting to Surat Thani before was a gruelling overnight bus ride from Bangkok which took around 12 hours and dumped you at the ferry terminal at 4 in the morning. Now www.airasia.com, the budget airline carrier that seems to be expanding its routes all over the continent, has started flying daily trips from Bangkok to Surat Thani - which means you can be at the port in a couple of hours and then catch the ferry. Much more civilized. Prices start from 499 Thai Baht - about $12 US! - although taxes will double that price to around 1100 Thai Baht. Even so, it's still a bargain. You could also catch a flight with www.bangkokair.com to Koh Samui and catch a ferry www.lomprayah.com from there to Koh Tao, which only takes a couple of hours as Samui is much nearer. Bangkok Airways have a monopoly on flights to and from Samui so their prices tend to be a lot more expensive.

Tuesday 17th February 2009-

2009-02-17Jealous as hell! The boys & Yvonne, are back from their caving trip & by all accounts it has been a massive success. Khao Sok is one of Thailands unspoilt treasures. A National Park with a massive lake in the middle of it & virtually unknown on the Koh Tao Backpacker circuit. Well not for long! With the enormous success of this last cave diving trip its time to subject this unspoilt paradise to the eyes of the world. Monkeys swinging from the trees, a beautiful fresh water lake with 20 meter visibility & a water clarity to rival anywhere in the world. Next trip is on 26th March & there's only 4 spaces available. Sorry make that 3. Think I've just decided to go myself!

Video: Cave Diving in Thailand

We have ourselves another celebrity diving with us right now. Probably unknown to all nationalities other than our Swedish buddies we have Mr Erik Blix hanging out at Big Blue for the next few days. Erik is a TV & Radio personality in Sweden apparently & has just signed up to do his Rescue Course with us. Now because he's the theatrical type & he's doing the course with 3 of his friends who are also thespians we've decided to make this one of the most theatrical courses we can engineer. & with Canada directing the Rescue Scenario & Heather from Ace Marine videoing the whole shannanigans this could be the end of Eriks illustrious career! Oh dear.

How about this for something different- Dead Sea Diving! It must be one of the most unusual and unique scuba diving experiences in the world. Most divers don't imagine it is even possible at all. The amazing underwater scenery with its magnificent salt consolidation is breathtaking. In a clear day you can expect to see the salt crystals shining like million diamonds. The best description is that it's like diving in an ocean of ice, but the temperature and the weight you are carrying on you, remind you you are not. Water temperatures vary between 18° C in January to 28°-35° C in August. Visibility ranges from 1 up to 20 meters. The Diving season is all year around. Be warned- don't dive with cuts- It smarts!

Monday 16th February 2009-

2009-02-16Well there have been a lot of crook necks about Koh Tao in the last few days. I think its because of the massive infestation of young nubile Scandinavian teenage fillies! All this head turning stretches neck muscles that haven't been used so often over the monsoon period. I actually question if there could be a more beautiful place than Koh Tao to be right now. The crystal clear flat waters on Sairee Beach, the tropical sunshine, the palm fringed beaches, & the beautiful buxom blond bombshells in their mini bikinis sunbathing topless outside Big Blue right now! Don't you just love Monday mornings!

The Fisheries Department yesterday issued a fishing ban in parts of the Gulf of Thailand for three months during the spawning season. The annual fishing ban, which takes effect from today till May 15, covers more than 26,400 sq km of sea including the seas around the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, & Koh Tao. The ban is expected to increase fish stocks in the Gulf as the fish can breed without harm from fishing gear! Destructive fishing gear and large fishing vessels will be banned from operating in the area during the three-month ban. Violators are liable to 5,000-10,000 baht or one year in jail or both. Hooray long live the fish... for 3 months!

Deano is off to meet the parents. His own actually. He's going to do a bit of Thailand sight seeing & then he'll end the trip with a night on the town in Koh Tao with them. Meanwhile DM Craig is back from his trip to Australia to be with his not so loved one anymore, & Andy Luckman is back as well, looking to be the next BB Trained DM to get work on the island. In addition to them, Simon & Jodie get back from their Similan trip tomorrow & Canada, Oskar & Yvonne all get back from their cave trip tomorrow as well. And today Helen gets back after she has been away on an excessively long dirty weekend romancing her beau for the last few days. Glad you've all had a great time guys & sorry if you find I've moved people into your houses while you were away but I totally ran out of room. My bad! Sorry!

Sunday 15th February 2009-

2009-02-15So waking up on this beautiful island paradise we call home to the sounds of Land Of My Father as the Welsh do themselves proud one more time as they equal an eighth successive win in the 6 nations over arch rivals....er......er...oh yeah England. So i guess the French are gonna be next on the agenda as Deano and G go head to head next Friday night both sitting and waiting along with both their mum's and dad's to referee the next chapter of the welsh temporary delusion of Grandeur!

So it definitely seems extremely busy here on Koh Tao with more and more people wanting places to stay here and to get their diving license so they can explore an underwater world which will blow your mind away, Especially with 30 meter visibility at all our dive sites right now. My advice is book ahead to avoid the disappointment and not missing out. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Its so funny to see a frenchman run around like a big pansy trying to work out what to do when you have a group of people waiting to be rescuers. Its easy my giant friend, press play on the DVD player like the rest of us duh !! Double Chumphon this afternoon with group of fun divers waiting to see if the big fish with white spots will be waiting and Emily i'm sure has lots of camera's at the ready to capture that moment with her Advanced students with fingers on the buttons, cross finger for you.

Saturday 14th February 2009-

2009-02-14Word on the street is that the reason the island looks like Swedens beaches in Summer right now is because a very famous Swedish bloke called Timbuktu is playing here on Sairee Beach tomorrow night for free! A Swedish rapper and reggae artist. He was raised in Chile and Sweden. He sings primarily in Swedish, and occasionally in English. He has released four albums and is firmly established as a considerable improvement to the dreadful rapping of the Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show!

Happy Valentines Day! The Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony is widely known amongst diving couples and tourists throughout the world as an annual event romantically organized on Valentine's Day. Bridal couples participate in a Thai Traditional wedding ceremony and perform marriage registration underneath the turquoise Andaman Sea. This coming 13th Anniversary of Trang Underwater Wedding is under the theme of, 'Love & Harmony in Us All' which signifies the love among us and the harmony with our surroundings. The bridal couple will also be participating in eco-friendly activities, for instance, releasing 'Corallimorphs', a colorful coral and planting the trees of love in a botanical garden. Corallimorphs reproduces very quickly in nature and benefits the eco-system by acting as a nursery for young sea creatures, such as shrimps, crabs and corals. Isn't that romantic. Crabs for Valentines!

Congratulations to Chris & Colin our newly certified DM's who did very well in yesterday- Friday the 13th- Divemaster Challenge. Chris looked a very suave & dapper Freddy Kruger till about his 3rd bucket when he really did start to look a little scarey. Colin on the other hand looked scarey from the start dressed like a bad doodle as Jason from the Halloween films in hockey mask and butchers apron. Well Done Boys. Now go out there, spead your wings & Divemaster!

Friday 13th February 2009-

2009-02-13Whaleshark Whisperer strikes again! I told you it would be going to Chumphon Pinnacle & lo & behold there it was, trying to hide behind a rabbitfish no less! Shame we weren't there to see it but at least we know it was there according to the reports of another dive boat in the area. Whalesharks have been seen around the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Eastern Pacific Islands of the Northern Galapagos, Malpelo, Cocos, the Revilligigedo Islands, the Sea of Cortez, Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Maldives, the Seychelles, western Australia at Ningaloo Reef, the east coast of South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Malaysia, Comores Islands and of course here in Thailand. Whaleshark whisperer says next siting will be tomorrow morning at Chumpon again! Anyone fancy a bet?

I didn't leave work yesterday till 10.30 last night! & why was that? Because at 8pm the Catamaran & the Ferry to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan arrived with 500 revellers all looking for a place to stay! Why o why Full Moon Party people don't you organise yourselves a little better & book yourselves accommodation in Koh Tao before you get here. Its the same problem today. Every one on Sairee Beach is full. There isn't a bed anywhere in Sairee & I have literally been through the phone book ringing looking for rooms for people and there are none. So word of warning to any one reading this who is planning on going to the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan & then coming to Koh Tao after- book ahead! My wife worries about me if I don't get home till 10.30!

Fancy a holiday but can't afford it? Wrong! Check out www.airasia.com I just booked me & the Missus a 3 week holiday to the Phillipines leaving from Kuala Lumpa for only 5000 Baht return for 2 people! Its a deal, its a steal. Its daylight robbery! Sale of the effing Century! What you still reading this for! You should be on the Air Asia site. You can even fly from KL to the UK for just 5000 Baht. No idea why anyone would want to do that but you can if you want! Offer is only valid till 15th Feb so everyone hurry up & get on it! See you all soon!

Thursday 12th February 2009-

2009-02-12So its the departure day of our very first Big Blue Caving trip to the Khao Sok National Park. This morning Canada took Yvonne & Oskar in tow & are off to meet John Williams of Lonely Planet Diving & Snorkelling Thailand fame for a 4 day jolly diving the infamous caves of Khao Sok! The course will be done on site in the national park over a 3 day period of 4 dives and academics plus dry land skills. This course will be conducted by Instructor Development Director Bruce Konefe and certification as a Level II Cavern Diver will be received after completing 4 dives and a final exam. Nice one guys! We are now Koh Tao's very first Cave diving school!

Well I might not be as pretty as the normal weather girl but I can predict the actions of a whaleshark! That Whaleshark I was talking about that the people on the Songserm Ferry saw was seen at Southwest Pinnacle yesterday morning! I'm like the Whaleshark whisperer! & yesterday she told me she'd be heading north in a few days after popping off for a bit of slap & tickle on its way to Chumphon Pinnacle. So if you want to see a Whaleshark then come to Koh Tao now, so you're here for our legendary Whaleshark trips to Chumphon Pinnacle! Guaranteed Whaleshark dive or your money back! Damn did I say that out loud!

How good for KohTao is that! If you look at the Lonely Planet home page there is a banner of self promotion with colorful ads down the right hand side of the screen & if you scroll half way down the page the ad reads-' Where to go in February - Casablanca for Valentines Day, Rio De Janeiro for Carnival & Koh Tao for the world-class diving!' Casablanca, Rio & Tao! Can you believe we are being compared with such legendary greats like Casablanca & Rio! A tale of Two Mighty Cities & one tiny little Rock! Haven't we gone a long way in a very short time! Gulp, for someone who's been living here 10 years it feels kind of spooky!

Wednesday 11th February 2009-

2009-02-11So for those of you who came to Koh Tao yesterday on the Songserm ferry it looks like you guys had yourself the perfect journey! Apparently there were about 100 dolphins seen swimming alongside the ferry as it set out from Surat Thani yesterday morning. & then on its way from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao it came across a Whaleshark! That's the first time I've heard that happen! So that means there will be a Whaleshark spotted around Koh Tao dive sites shortly. The smart money is on Sail Rock, Southwest Pinnacle or Shark Island! Better organise ourselves a Full Day Trip then!

So how about this for an idea. Construct an artificial island using plastic bottles collected from Koh Tao. The bottles would be put into cages that would be bolted together to form a floating platform, then soil & sand is placed over the cages and trees are planted to create an artificial ecosystem. The cages will be electrified like the Biorock, improving growing conditions for corals and clams. It could also act as a floating power source (wind, solar, wave) which could be moved around to power smaller Biorock structures. Its size will be 65 square meters large & because its floating it can drift around the island according to the conditions. We can also in latter years use it as a Marine lab for research & education & as a data collecting centre. & the cost of this idea? Well how does 300,000 Bt & 400,000 empty plastic bottles of water sound?

Salvagers claim to have found the world's most valuable wreck - a British ship sunk by a German submarine during the Second World War while laden with a $5 billion cargo of gold, platinum and diamonds. In a project shrouded in secrecy, work is due to start on recovering the cargo, which was being transported to the U.S. to help pay for military goods provided to Britain by the U.S. in the Second World War. The ship first sailed to a port in South America to drop off cargo and was torpedoed by a U-boat off the coast of Guyana.... Bugger!

Tuesday 10th February 2009-

2009-02-10Had a lovely morning around the other side of Koh Tao today diving the magnificent dive site of Hin Wong Pinnacle! Often over looked in favour of KT's more famous Dive Sites, Hin Wong can be a real treat with lovely colours, soft corals, fish we don't get anywhere else in Koh Tao like the razor fish & some funtastic trenches to swim along. Helps of course if the viz is 30 meters too! Time to plan another trip over to the east coast of Koh Tao to do Laem Thien Caves & Shark Island too. Any of you lot fancy coming?

Some time ago, a group of tourists found that the most beautiful moon was in Koh Phangan. They arranged a party along the crescent-shaped beach of Haad Rin to celebrate the Full Moon night. From then on, people from all over the world come to join the celebration. And now there are 7,000-10,000 people at the party each month. The party begins at dusk, when the round yellow moon makes its appearance over the white sand beach. As the evening progresses the beach explodes into a dancing frenzy of trance, techno, drum and bass, commercial dance and reggae. Jugglers and fire-eaters entertain the crowds as the night goes on and with the brilliant impromptu fireworks display, the party atmosphere is complete. There are no barriers here, no inhibitions, just people enjoying themselves with one unified intention, to rejoice in the magic that is the paradise of the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party! 'Put your hands in the air'

Well our techie boys are now bonding in the back room together learning how to blend gases. If you put more Oxygen in your tank than there is in the atmosphere upto a maximum of 40% then you can actually increase the length of time you stay at your maximum depth when you go diving. Its called Nitrox & it is the future of diving. In a few years from now courses will probably be conducted using Nitrox instead of air, so you can see the value in getting the qualification needed to mix the air in your scuba tank. Only downside is you got to spend a couple of days in the back room with Canada- The Mighty Gas Bender!

Monday 9th February 2009-

2009-02-09We're all off to Vibe again tonight to celebrate the 36th year of Darren's existence on this good earth! As always I'm sure there will be a plethora of pals & a gaggle of gals turn up to wish this man a Happy Birthday & make sure he can't remember a thing tomorrow. In fact so popular is our Dazza that Dean from Hed Kandi has agreed to play for 1 more night! How's that for a Birthday present! Nice one Darren. & rumour has it there's going to be a giant cake with an Ally popping out of it. Wouldn't that be nice. Big sloppy wet Kiss Ally! Manly Birthday handshake Darren!

Always dreamt of being a wildlife Photographer? Come dive with sharks, dolphins and whales, and learn the tricks of the trade from an award winning Wildlife cameraman. Gil Arbel from BBC's "Planet Earth" ,who is offering you the chance of a lifetime - to accompany, photograph and learn the trade from a pro. This June a small team will be leaving for South Africa, to shoot two incredible underwater scenes: First is the Sardine Run, and its predators. Among the players are hundreds of Copper sharks, Dusky sharks, Blacktip sharks, thousands of Gannets, thousands of Common Dolphin, hundreds of Bottlenose dolphin. Also to be seen are hundreds of Humpback whales and the Brydes whales. Many species of ray follow the sardines, as well as many bird species. Penguins and seals are frequently encountered. The second scene will be the shooting of the Great White Shark, the ultimate sea predator. As well as cage diving with these giants you will get a close up look at the highly athletic jumps that they make in pursuit of Cape Fur seals which they hunt in the area. This trip is a diver's paradise but the logistics of this trip are complex & include an ultra-light plane that will direct you to the Sardines, and securing shark diving cages. The cost of this trip will be divided amongst the team. Registration closes at the end of February. For this opportunity of a lifetime please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bazza is back, looking all refreshed & fighting fit! After a few weeks of Khao Lak singing with the Blues Brothers & dancing with the Manta's at Koh Bon. Perfect timing too. Its Full Moon Party tomorrow so we're expecting our monthly rush of party poppers in the next couple of days, & Canada, Yvonne, & Oskar are off soon to do their Cave diving trip in the Khao Sok National Park & Helen is off for a week long jolly with her chappy today as well. Perfect time to come back! Welcome home Baz!

Sunday 8th February 2009-

2009-02-08Last years Koh Tao environmental project was the Biodome- an electrically charged iron Dome which speeds up the growth of coral by 5 x! This year Nathan from Eco Koh Tao has come up with Buoyancy World! It'll be like an underwater Theme Park or Amusement park. The objctive is to construct a series of objects on land & submerge them to make an interesting fun dive site where new divers can be taken to practise their skills before being taken to natural sites that are currently being well over used. Objects will be made from garbage or recycled items which will promote the idea of re-use & also provide a research ground for new growth on different substrates! Like a wreck we'd be able to see what marine life gravitates to new structures & differing materials! Sounds funtastic! Lets make a Manta Coaster!

Well apparently 20Million people just got made unemployed in China alone & the headlines are of more people being made redundant every day! Well don't despair people. Become a Diving Professional. There are heaps of jobs out there & I get this type of email sent to me everyday- 'Hi Jim, We are based in Fiji and are currently looking for an Instructor and another Diver – could be a Rescue diver/Dive Con or another Instructor. If you know of anybody who would be interested, please could you ask them to get in contact with us. These positions will not be available for long as we need to fill them as soon as possible. They would be for a 3 month period with the possibility of being extended to 6 months. Thanks very much Jim for your help. Zoe Trickett, Business Manager, Reef Safari (Fiji), PO Box 9090, Nadi Airport FIJI ISLANDS'
So... anyone fancy a Diving job in Paradise??? Existing Big Blue Koh Tao staff need not apply!

So our Techie heads have set off for a day at Sail Rock today! Thats Monsieur Canada & his deux garcons, Guillaume & Jean Claude! (can you imagine 2 better french names!) They're off to plough the depths in excess of 50 Meters! To put that into perspective 50 meters would be the same height as a 17 storey building! Its cold dark, deep & dirty at 50 meters. Just the sort of place to send the French after their humiliating defeat to the Irish in last nights 6 Nations clash! Chortle, chortle! Guffaw guffaw! Smirk smirk!

Saturday 7th February 2009-

2009-02-07'Hello staff of Big Blue. I am Jan (the dutchguy) i did my Divemaster last year at Big Blue (march-April'08). It was a great experience. So i decided to do more with diving. I sign in for the Dutch commercial diving school.(NDC) And after a very very hard selection, i have been selected!!!! so in April i go for 3 months in training with the dutch marines. After that i have a job at www.duikbedrijfeuropa.nl ....A big career change from truckdriver to prof.diver so special thanks to all of you greetings Jan'
Man we are so proud & happy for you Jan! That's fantastic news! A massive congratulations to you from us all!

I came across this amazing photo of Golden rays migrating in the Gulf of Mexico which was taken by amateur photographer Sandra Critelli, in July 2007. Sandra Critelli, an Italian living in New Jersey was on a whale shark snorkeling expedition in the Gulf of Mexico when she noticed a group of migrating golden rays on their migration. Having gone over to the group they discovered that there were in fact thousands of them. Unbelievable photo! Imagine if she'd been in the water with them. Awesome stuff!

It was another great night out at Vibe last night with the DJ from Head Candy playing till the early hours of the morning! Great turn out, great music, & a free barbecue! & apparently the no 1 Swedish group Timbucktoo are playing here in Koh Tao next week as well. Cool! Koh Tao seems to be attracting a few big names here now! Paul Rutherford from Frankie goes to Hollywood has been coming here for years & The Red Hot Chilli Peppers did their Open Water Course here a few years ago. I'm going to write to Fatboy Slim & see if he wants to organise one of his legendary beach parties here too! I'm sure he'll come. He can stay in Bungalow no 1! I'm sure he'd like that!

Friday 6th February 2009-

2009-02-06Welcome back Emily! Our lovely Emily has been sunning herself stupid over on the Other Side for the last week or so! She's had 4 days & nights galavanting around the Similans & Surin Islands spotting Manta's juvenile Clown Triggers, Leopard Sharks, turtles, a vast array of ocean pelagics, a Barry, a Marcel & a Sonia! & apparently just missed a Simo & A Jodie! Sounds good the Similans! Except for the Manta's & clown Triggers sounds very similar to the marine Life we get in Koh Tao, though the Marcels, Sonia's & Barry's aren't seen over here as often as they once were!

So you are swimming and you get tired of floating in that horizontal position. What’s the way out? You could choose to just sink to the bottom and walk upright. The only problem then would be those stupid fins. Jokes apart, every diver would agree that fins – as necessary they may be underwater – make it terribly hard to walk (for instance while climbing boat ladders). The way out is the award-winning Amphibian Dynamic Scuba Fin. Designed by Designcraft and bronze winner at IDEA 2008, the Amphibian Dynamic Scuba Fin obliterates the need to drag stupid fins around. A handy mechanism on each fin is activated with the opposite heel and it readily transforms the fin into a shoe. The blade of the fin goes vertical and comes to rest against the diver’s fin. When someone wades into water, the opposite happens as water resistance opens up the fins in a matter of few kicks.

Its getting to that time of year again when we can't do Confined off the beach anymore so have to put everyone on the boats & take them over to the beautiful bays & beaches of Nang Yuan Island! If we can't do Japanese Gardens then we'll be at Mango Bay & sometimes we'll even venture round as far as Aow Leuk on the south of the island. Wherever we end up you can guarantee its a beautiful picture perfect bay or beach & there's fishies all over the place! Why would you even think about doing your Open Water Course in the pool when we have so many perfect places to take you to around Koh Tao? So today Dan & Helen 2 (soon to be christened Zoe to make Jims life easier) have hijacked a boat & are spending a very enjoyable afternoon at Mango Bay! & then when they've finished it'll be back to the Big Blue Bar for a sunset beer & a debrief! Doesn't sound too bad does it? Its got to be better than sitting stranded in a wintery British Blizzard!

Thursday 5th February 2009-

2009-02-05You got to love those legendary spontaneous parties where everyone goes out together & gets truely hammered! The sauce flows & everyone loses their inhibitions! & when I say everyone I mean everyone! Students, locals, DM's, DMT's & even Instructors! So should I go on? Should I spill the beans? Who did what to whom? Who snogged who? Which Instructor went off with which Divemaster in Training? Which DM fell asleep on their way home. Which customer woke up in someone else's room thinking it was their own? & who is the person that gave Jim the photos of last night to put on the Blog today?

So Simon & Jodie are off to Khao Lak for a jolly! The Liveaboard MV Octavia is setting off in a couple of days for 4-6 nights of sunshine, scuba, sleep & scoff! In fact it seems to be a bit of an old Big Blue staff jolly with a few of the old faces from years ago coming along like Joachim & Keith, & Guy "King of Pain" Veneer! Should be fun! Nothing but sun & sea, cheese & wine, isolated islands, pristine reefs & a reg a scuba tank & a bunch of old Big Blue alkies!

A 29 year old man has been left with the 'beak' of a needlefish stuck in his face after it leapt from the sea and impaled him below the nose. The man was admitted to the hospital after the fish hit him in the face, and left its toothy jaws wedged in the hole. The fish apparently leapt from the sea and impaled the man at the side of the nose. It's jaws hit with such force that they pierced his naval cavity, went through his maxillary sinus and stopped just short of the wall of his eye socket. Surgeons managed to remove the jaws of the needlefish and the patient was discharged with no further complications. In 2004, a patient checked in to an Eye Clinic five days after a needlefish impaled his eye socket. The fish caused a serious injury to the optic nerve as it tried to flap free, and pieces of bone from the fish's pointed jaws snapped off damaging the orbit of the patient's eye. In 2005, a 19 year old Hawaiian man was rushed into intensive care after a four-foot long needlefish impaled him in the chest while he was on a night dive. The man was rescued by his friend who managed to pull him into their dinghy and drag him for nearly a mile before getting help from a police officer. Big Blue Top tip! Don’t night dive!

Wednesday 4th February 2009-

2009-02-04A quick update on the weather then. Its sunny & beautiful here. Its blustery cold & miserable everywhere in Europe! By that I mean its hot & swimming in the ocean weather here. While its bitterly cold, arctic winds & howling gales in Europe! Here the need to even wear clothes is minimal whereas in Europe people are wearing all their own clothes all at the same time! So in summary- its hotter than balls here. & its ice encrusted balls over there!

The average diver at 10 meters in warm, calm seas can expect an average tank of air to last about an hour. But as any diver can tell you, scuba diving is anything but average. Deeper dives, stronger currents and chilly water can drastically reduce bottom time. New divers, a little panicky and prone to “panting” rather than easy breathing, have been known to suck a tank dry in 15 minutes. Obviously, increasing your physical fitness is one way to get more out of every breath, but even fit divers can find themselves breathing too fast or too shallow from the stress of diving. That’s where yoga comes in. Like scuba, yoga places emphasis on proper inhalation and exhalation, as breathing is considered the essential connection between body and mind. “Practiced regularly, yoga promotes deep, slow breathing, and teaches you how to calm your mind. Yoga also strengthens and stretches muscles that are important in diving. This all adds up to more quality time admiring the marine life on your next dive. So Diving with Big Blue & Yoga with Kester! Could there be a better combination?!

Well it must be a Blue Moon cos Jim is going diving! Its that special time of the month when demand from our customers to sleep in & do some good diving later in the day takes over! So its 2 dives at Koh Tao's No.1 Divesite, Chumphon Pinnacle, this afternoon & it looks like a pretty full boat. Canada is taking his French techies out for a soucisson or deux & there's a whole horde of Advanced divers & Fundivers all going out in eager anticipation at the Whaleshark we are all going to see this afternoon! Oh I do love those Blue Moons!

Tuesday 3rd February 2009-

2009-02-03Its a tragic day for Big Blue today. Our Resort Manager P'Lyn is off to run one of Koh Tao's newest, swankiest & poshest Resorts! I can't believe she is going to leave me after all these years but when you've got something quite as amazing as P'Lyn you just have to let them go & flap their wings once in a while & hope they'll come back! But its really no wonder she has been stolen from us. You are 1 in a million, you've been amazing P'Lyn & we shall all miss you! Damn that new swanky posh resort!

Well its obviously a week for feeling sorry for everyone out there. It was only a couple of days ago we had to send out our positive vibrations to Barry & the boys over in Khao Lak for having their vision underwater consistantly being disturbed by Mantas in there way & now our feelings of condolences must be stretched as far across the globe as England for the heavy winter & snows they are facing at the moment. You poor so & so's. It was only last night when we were all sitting around a beer watching the large bright red sun set behind the huge wobbly ocean that we were talking about you all over there in England & how cold & miserable it must be! & then someone bought a round of drinks & we changed the subject & started talking about girls & football! There's no point in feeling too sorry for you all!

Google Earth has expanded with the introduction of Google Ocean which is basically an Underwater map! Users can dive beneath a dynamic water surface to explore the 3D sea floor terrain. The map also includes 20 content layers, containing information from the world's leading scientists, researchers, and ocean explorers. You can now dive into the world's ocean that covers almost three-quarters of the planet and discover new wonders. You can not only zoom into whatever part of our planet's surface you wish to examine in closer detail, you can now dive into the world's ocean that covers almost three-quarters of the planet and discover new wonders. Approximately 70% of the worlds surface is covered by water and contains nearly 80% of all life, yet less than 5% of it has actually been explored. Google Oceans aims to let users visit some of the more interesting locations, including underwater volcanoes, as well as running videos on marine life, shipwrecks and clips of favorite surf and dive spots. So now folks you can dive Chumphon Pinnacle without even getting out of bed!

Sunday 1st February 2009-

2009-02-01I think we should all spare a thought for our poor friends & colleagues in Khao Lak who are at present spending every underwater moment diving with Manta Rays! Chinese whispers has it that Barry was out diving with 8 Manta Rays & Church has been so kind as to even name some of them after us on Faceboook. Its really unfortunate that we don't actually get Manta Rays here in the Gulf but they love hanging out there in the Similans & especially at the cleaning station in Koh Bon. Its a magical creature & well worth writing in to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out how you too can get to experience something as amazing as diving with Manta's. Nice 1 Barry! Nice 8 Mantas!

Canada is teaching G his Tech Diver Course today. Jean-Paul is also joining in the fun. & seeing as Canada's French is tres merde its a good job Guillaume & Jean-Paul are actually in the same class or it could have been diabolique for Jean-Paul who non comprends pas Canadian! But c'est bonne! Our Knight in shining amour' The gallant Guillaume has come to the rescue! Hurrah! Onions all round! Bonne Chance Canada!

Lots of new faces wandering around the place today! Sao our super shopgirl is off to work as our super Receptionist at our new Guesthouse & I've found Yo & Jo to replace her in the shop & to help fill the time shifts in over at our guesthouse too. Then in addition to Yo & Jo who'll help Kate, we also need to welcome Paul who is joining us in our DM team alongside Andy, Oliver, Amanda & now Paul. Paul was trained by Marcel in Khao Lak funnily enough but we won't hold that against him! So welcome to Big Blue Paul, Yo & Jo!

March 2009


Tuesday 31st March 31 2009-

2009-03-31-1Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaleshark! At Sail Rock, second trip in a row. Not bad, eh? Helen finally got to see her first big fish, thank god for us, no more moaning and complaining on her part every time we see one. And guess who else was there? Scobby! Our favorite Aussie is here on holiday and started with a whole day of boozing with Spaz at the end of which he called Jim telling him he was lost and couldn’t remember where he was staying. Only thing he could make out was that he was on his back, looking at the stars! The next day, he “rested” and thought it might be a good idea to get wet again. Well, good on ya matey! No diving for a year and the first thing he sees when he jumps in the water is a whaleshark. I got to say, Scobby is still the luckiest man on the planet. And I can already hear people saying as they read this: “wait a minute, hasn’t he always been on holiday, what’s the difference now?”. Well, he hasn’t changed at all, apart from those few extra kilos from eating steaks every day. I’m guessing he’s not missing the Big Blue restaurant’s Scobby Special Steak too much!

From the 24th to the 29th of March Big Blue Tech were in Khao Sok conducting a Cavern Diver course for 4 people. Those who joined the trip came from a variety of destinations. One person in particular came from South West Australia, Ian, who flew all the way up to Thailand just for the course. He left enough room for a couple of nights on Koh Tao and quickly rushed back to far edge of the world. Also joining us was Trevor from Sai Ree Cottage who combined this event with the completion of his technical diver course conducted by Matt Rolph. And last but not least was “Dive Medic Cum Dive Instructor” Sonia Scott who came from Khao Lak (west coast of Thailand) for a completely different type of diving. For those who want to join us on the next cavern course check www.bigbluetech.net. At the moment the 18th trip is full and we’ll be staying on site to accommodate a second course.

Happy Birthday Emily, Happy Birthday Andy! We’re all off to Vibe tonight for another fantastic night of free barbecue, acoustic set by Steve Whelan and DJ Tim behind the decks. We’ll give you a full report tomorrow if we can remember any of it, right Cory!

 

Friday 27th March 2009-

2009-03-27Another evening of mutual humiliation & self degradation last night! & not a choked chicken to be seen anywhere! Last night the starring attractions were Ian, Simon & Cory, our newly certified Divemasters. After 6 weeks of pure misery & pain, public humiliation & much cross dressing these 3 have been so well conditioned they actually voluntarily step up to the plate when self degradation is needed. & so great to see all our other DMT's showing their support. Hey if you embarrass one of us you embarass us all! Well ok then! Its a Can-can on the bar for everyone then!

Earth Hour was first celebrated two years ago in Sydney, Australia, when 2.2 million people and thousands of businesses turned out their lights, allowing the message about climate change to shine brightly. In March 2008, Earth Hour went global. More than 400 cities, thousands of businesses and over 50 million people around the world turned off their lights for one hour to demonstrate their commitment to slowing the effects of climate change. The movement captured the public’s imagination with lights going out at some of the world’s most iconic landmarks including the Sydney Opera House, Bangkok’s Wat Arun Buddhist temple, the Coliseum in Rome, Stockholm’s Royal Castle, London’s City Hall, New York’s Empire State Building, Sears Tower in Chicago and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Other symbols going dark this year includ Cola-Cola’s famous billboard in Times Square and the Google homepage as well as the Big Blue Beach Bar & Restaurant! Save the Cheerleader! Save the world!

How romantic! Kelli took a couple of Israeli divers out yesterday for their first taste of diving underwater. Now we do this a lot obviously but we don't often get proposals underwater! We do get them but not often. So congratulations Tzlil & Eli who are to be married in the not too distant future. So love is in the air folks. Wonder who's going to be next to get hitched. Could it be Soren & Emma? Oskar & Eveline?? Deano & Lara??? Dan & Kymmie???? Michael & Pim?????

Thursday 26th March 2009-

2009-03-26Lia Barrett our undiscovered soon to be extremely famous, Professional photographer is back with us for a week or so to take more action shots of life in Koh Tao, or more importantly for marketing purposes, the lifestyle you can expect to enjoy when you stay here with us at the Big Blue Dive Resort. & today we're going to be having another staff photo. Lia has already been taking a few underwater shots for us already & has some new great whaleshark snaps aswell. & this morning I've seen her wandering around the resort taking a few unposed shots of everyday life. I can't wait to see all the 1000's of photos I'm going to be left with when she's gone so that I can go plastering them up all over the website! Hoep there's some nudie shots!

Scuba diving has attracted the attention of many enthusiasts all over the globe. It is a very fulfilling and enjoyable activity. Some people are even making careers out of their passion for scuba diving. The world has sensationalized scuba diving in such a way that it is helping to preserve the environment and is greatly contributing to the awareness regarding the environmental issues that are associated with our aquatic resources. One of the major issues that are continuously being discussed in the scuba diving arena is the conservation of air under water. An emerging scuba apparatus design is called a rebreather, which can help people address the concern about rapid air consumption. It functions in such a way that the exhaled air by the diver is stripped of carbon dioxide and is re-circulated to the air chamber. This way, one can enjoy the deep seas much longer. If you are an 'Air Pig" then this is the only way forward! Oink, oink, bubble bubble!

Police arrested four fishermen who accidentally killed a diver with explosives. Police officials in the Phu Cu District in the central province of Binh Dinh in Vietnam told the Coast Guard heard an explosion and caught the fishermen who tried to escape. The fishermen told police they saw bubbles and movement under the surface and thought it was a large fish. One of the fishermen tossed dynamite into the water and after it exploded the group jumped into the water but instead of finding a fish, they found the body of the dead diver. Dynamite fishing, which severely damages coral reefs, is illegal in Vietnam but a common practice. Head of the Phu Cu District police department, said the fishermen would be charged with killing the diver and destroying aquatic resources with the illegal use of explosives! Feed them to the sharks!

Wednesday 25th March 2009-

2009-03-25Hi Jim, I just want to say thanks for a terrific Open water course! Me and my girlfriend Maire just did our last dive today and we are very happy! Our instructors Soren and Craig have made an excellent job, I must say. We have singed up for the advanced course today and we start tomorrow with Soren as our instructor. I´m already looking forward to it. Again, many thanx! Adam & Marie.
Your welcome guys. So glad you are enjoying your diving with us. Guess it helps having a whaleshark in the water!

So Canada & his gang of merry cavers left last night for Khao Sok for Big Blue's second caving expedition. They are going to be spending the next 4 days & nights learning the correct procedure to take when diving in caves. Do you have what it takes? For the average diver, the answer to this question is a resounding No. Many experts estimate that less than one percent of the recreational diving population possesses the knowledge, skills, attitude and judgement needed to cave dive as safely as possible. Could you be among this group? Although there are few formal prerequisites for Cave Diver training, other than Advanced Diver certification, the fact remains that students who complete training successfully typically have the following in common, small brains & large Kahunas!

British scientists will release a school of five robot fish next year off the northern Spanish port of Gijon. Shaped like carp, the robotic fish will be used to search for potential pollutants in the sea. The robot fish, which cost about $29,000 a piece, will be operated with Wi-Fi technology and use chemical sensors to find biohazards in the water. One major difference in these robot fish versus earlier models is they aren’t operated by remote control, but are able to run autonomously without human guidance. They have batteries which last five to eight hours. If the robot fish are a success, plans are in place to embed the fish in seas, lakes and rivers across the world. Computer scientists at the University of Essex in the U.K. developed the self-guided robot fish, seen here swimming in the aquarium. The designers say it is the smartest such robot yet created—the fish uses artificial intelligence and built-in sensors to avoid obstacles and respond to environmental changes.

Tuesday 24th March 2009-

2009-03-24There we go that's much more like it! Now we're back on top of our game! Whaleshark at White Rock & on a night dive! How's that! Even Jacques Cousteau never got to dive with a whale shark on a night dive! Must have scared the heebee-jeebies out of some of you! Apparently its very rare to see a whaleshark at night. Like most intelligent creatures, whalesharks would rather be down the pub with their mates at night! Congratulations all those that saw the whaleshark. High 5's all those that didn't kak themselves!

Congratulations Big Blue! We are now the proud parents of 1000's of little anemonefish! Our Japanese Team have been charting, logging, planning, & data tracking the developments of a large number of soft anemone corals & the family of Anemonefish that inhabit these corals, located just underneath our boats moored up on Sairee Beach! And because of all this research we can actually calculate to within 10-20 minutes exactly when the eggs will hatch! What happens is Mrs Anemonefish lays her from 100-1,000 eggs depending on how hard she's been working. Mr Anemonefish then passes over the eggs and fertilizes them. The male looks after the eggs, fanning them with his fins and eating any eggs that are infertile or damaged by fungus. & then last night all 1000 of these eggs hatched & we were there to see it! Our first 1000 Anemonefish!And of course being hermaphrodite, we'll have to call them Billy the Fish 1, Billy the Fish 2, Billy the Fish 3 etc in case we run out of asexual names... like G !

Weather report! Well we'll start by saying its hot. The sun is out & has increased the air temperature to a staggering 40 degrees centigrade! Choice of fashion this season seems to be skin, sweat & tattoos! There are some people walking up & down the beach with rubber band sized swimsuits, but I'm not sure its catching on. Strangely the girls are being cheered & the guys are being jeered! Water temperature at the waters edge seems to be similar to that of this mornings hot cup of cocoa though its a surprisingly muggy 30 degrees at the dive sites so there are some extremely brave individuals flapping around underwater without a wetsuit! Forecast is that there may be another day or 2 or 3 or more of pretty much the same thing with intermittent spells of extreme sunshine & heat! 'Hotter than Balls' I believe is the correct meteorological terminology!

Monday 23rd March 2009-

2009-03-23Well we've got to take our hats off to all those involved with the Big Blue Grease Lightening rendition. The whole thing went down a tremendous storm & it was quite literally the talk of the Koh Tao Festival. The boys had rhythm, the girls looked fab & Cory & Pete looked excellent together. What chemistry. I think we might have started something here! Reckon there will be a few more shops coming up with a few skits of their own next year. Once again massive thanks to Barry Kymmie & Lara for getting the whole thing together. Maximum R-E-S-P-E-K-T!

Lovely to see Sonia & Paul come over from the west coast to say hi & join us in Koh Tao for the Festival. Great to see them both even if it was a little bit whistle stop! Got here yesterday afternoon left already this morning! But here to give one of the best prizes of the night - a 2 person cabin for a 3 day 3 night liveaboard trip to the Similan Islands with Wicked Diving. Sorry second best prize. Best prize was of course the free Divemaster course at Big Blue Diving worth 25000 Baht!

The broken handed Dan will be the first face you meet from Big Blue if you are going to be arriving here in the next few weeks. Dan fractured his hand last week so can't dive for at least 4 weeks & so will now be prostituting himself out in the dive shop by helping out in his free time with the meeting the greeting, the accommodation enquiries, accounts enquiries, Diving, courses, entertainments, bookings enquiries. The lot! The rest of us can sit idly by while Dan goes about doing his job & everyone else's too. So if there is anything you need ladies & gentlemen when you are here this month just give a little tinkle & Dan will come running.

Sunday 22nd March 2009-

2009-03-22Apparently 'Grease' is the word! The whole island is buzzing! Word has finally got out that Barry & the gang are really going to be up on stage tonight at the Koh Tao festival singing & dancing to the tunes of Summer Nights & Go grease Lightening! Peter is our John Travolta & Cory looks resplendant as Olivia Neutron Bomb! Then we got Barry, Dan, Tim & Duncan are our boys & the girls are Emma, Laura, Becky, & Hanna. Its all being choreographed by the very experienced & professional Kymmie & Laura has just gone completely to town on the stage set. It looks fantastic & its on stage tonight at 7pm so come one come all & lets go have a good laugh at Big Blue's expense! "You are supreme the chicks'll cream for grease lightning, Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go grease lightening!'

I knew our spell of bad luck & missing things couldn't last forever! Congratulations to all our divers who broke their Whaleshark cherry yesterday & dived with the largest fish in the sea- the Whaleshark. 5 or 6 meters, depending on whether you ask a guy or a gal, this particular whale shark was witnessed at South West Pinnacle so chances are it will remain in these parts for another few days at least. After all it is whale shark season & they have been known to hang out as long as 3 weeks on some occasions and with their mates! "Step up! step up! Get your lovely whalesharks! 2 for a pound!"

Mother's Day is the one special day of the year when sons and daughters take a moment to thank mom for all the hard work and care she's put into raising her children. So for those of you, like me, who forgot Mother's Day, the situation doesn't bode well. Luckily I have a very understanding mother who realizes that her son who has spent the last 38 years forgetting Mothers Day isn't suddenly going to start remembering while poncing around on a tropical island in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand! Happy Mothers Day Mums!

Saturday 21st March 2009-

2009-03-21Save Koh Tao today. Boys, girls, men & Women, Thai & Farang, are all getting together today to do one thing. Raise everyones awareness of the problems we face in Paradise. We are amazingly lucky to be living here in Koh Tao & if we don't take care of this place then we won't be amazingly lucky for much longer! The tourist footprint has left a very large mark in recent years & its up to us as a community to make things right & ensure that the footprint we've made already doesn't get any bigger. Save Koh Tao & give generously. All donations will go towards planting trees & plants to strengthen the soil & reduce erosion. Money will also go towards generating a means & ways to treat our waste water. & we are also raising money to promote, maintain & increase our Biorock project & to launch our new Buoyancy World Project. Rock on Koh Tao! We love it!!

And to ensure we do our bit underwater as well as ontop, G has organised a big Sairee Beach Clean up with over 50 divers this afternoon including 10 divers from the Royal Thai Navy who are all here to help pick up the rubbish underwater. Amazing the consistency of the rubbish found. In addition to the usual empty beer bottles & odd bits of clothing we'll find batteries, plates, cups, knives & forks, & biscuit tins. Two years ago in Maehaad we came across an Armitage Shanks porcelain toilet bowl, & last year we came up with a DVD player. In fact last time we did Rocky Bay Yvonne came across a 2 CV car! Its amazing what crap you'll find when you are actually looking for it!

Had a lot of rain in the early mornings recently. Its lovely too... for us. Though I imagine the tired & weary travellers who have just come all the way down overnight on an 8 hour busride from Bangkok aren't feeling quite so lovely as they realise their bags are going to get soaked getting off the boats. But good news is people that its just morning showers & its all gone by lunchtime. Highly refreshing actually & the island could do with a good downpour at that time of day. As long as its fine & sunny for the festival! & your bags are waterproof!

Friday 20th March 2009-

2009-03-20Congratulations Craig for reaching the dizzying heights of PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor! For the last 3-4 weeks Craig has been sitting his Instructor Development Course learning how to teach scuba, how to demonstrate skills, & how to pose like an Instructor, Zoolander style- Tilt one of your shoulders towards the camera, make sure your face is looking directly at the camera, elongate the neck, pucker your lips, and suck in your cheeks some. Squint your eyes just a bit, as if there is a strong wind or sand blowing at you, spread the chest wide & breathe in the gut & say 'Hi' in a manly manner. All essential skills for a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. Congratulations Craig. Now go out there & show us your 'Blue Steel'!

So the Save Koh Tao Festival is almost upon us & the island is clubbing together to get everything ready in time. One of the biggest occasions on the Koh Tao Calendar with over 1 million baht being raised with raffles & prize drawers etc. We are donating a free Divemaster Course, & there are IDC's & liveaboard spaces to be won as well. There'll be a Mr & Mrs Koh Tao beauty pageant & there will be a turtle release with the 44 Miss Thailand entrants all in their bikinis, as nature intended, there will be a beach clean up, a concert, & Big Blue are actually going to be doing a quick 10 minute skit of Grease choreographed by Kymmie, performed by BB boys & girls & created by Barry with Lara in charge of costume, make up & set design. Should be a lot of fun. Save Koh Tao people & donate to a good cause!

Whale Shark at South West Pinnacle yesterday! Same one that has been swimming around the South of the island I guess. The Whale shark usually follows pretty much the same path when travelling through these parts. Usually we get wind of it when it comes up past Koh Samui through the Angthong Marine Park or at Sail Rock. Then it heads off to South West Pinnacle. This is where it does one of 2 things. It either heads straight up the West side of Koh Tao via, White Rock upto Green Rock & then onto Chumphon Pinnacle, or it goes from South West to Shark Island then up the east coast of Koh Tao over to Hin Wong & onto Chumphon Pinnacle. Either way it loves to hang out at Chumphon for a few days, sometimes a few weeks. You see! Everyone loves Chumphon!

19th March 2009-

2009-03-19Well there was another Whaleshark spotted yesterday & the day before at Shark Island. Another 5 meter one apparently. Not that we'd know as we went twice & missed it both times. & then there was a 2 meter Tiger shark seen at Green Rock yesterday as well. Yup. missed that one too! Looks like we're on a roll! Missed the Minke Whales, the Brydes Whales, the Whaleshark, the pods of dolphins & now the Tiger Shark. Bugger! Still mustn't grumble yet. After all this is just the beginning of this Summer's visitors.

The 'Plong Sai Yai Canadian' or 'Large Canadian Grotto' in Thai, is a cave filled with fresh water in the area of the Khao Sok National Park here in Thailand. It is an easy fresh water scuba cave dive. Cave Diving! The thought conjures images of delving into the dark depths of Cocklebiddy Cave on Australia’s Nullabor Plain or the sink holes of Mt Gambier. For the vast majority of sport divers this prospect is either too dangerous or simply not enjoyable. However, there is one scuba dive in a fresh water cave dive that is easy and doesn't require any complex training. This is the Plong Sai Yai Canadian in Khao Sok. 'Canada's Grotto' as us local's call it, is a limestone cave filled with fresh water. Many years ago it would have been above the water table, enabling stalactites and stalagmites to form. Then the water table rose, filling the cave with fresh water & oversized Canadians! Next trip departing on the 24th. & there's still 1 seat left. Going... going...

So DM Paul has done well by combining his Koh Samui Visa run with the hosting of the Miss Thailand Beauty Competition for Miss Universe being held in Samui today. Apparently the 44 final contestants have all arrived in Samui for the Final showdown to see who will be crowned Miss Thailand 2009. & Paul is going to there stuffing his face with Big Macs while soaking in the ambience of having 44 of Thailands most beautiful women parading themselves infront of him! You got to be pretty multi-talented to get a job working as a DM for Big Blue these days!

Wednesday 18th March 2009-

2009-03-18Tis the season to be... avoiding Triggerfish! They are after all known to nest and guard their eggs during periods of the full moon especially March, April & August & September. Triggerfish may be gregarious or unimposing, but during mating season (and during the full moon) the females of at least two species the Titan Trigger & the Yellow Margin Trigger can become extremely territorial in guarding their nests and thus aggressive, inflicting painful bites. The strong jaws each carry eight long, protruding, and chisel-like teeth in an outer row, backed by an inner row of six teeth. Usually the fish “bites and runs,” but some triggerfish have been reported to bite and not release. According to one knowledgeable Divemaster "It is common to have to strike the fish in some manner to get it to release. In the Gilbert Islands, a release technique is to bite the fish on the top of the head." So if you find yourself with a triggerfish stuck to the end of your fin, bite it in the head! Apparently this works for sharks, crocodiles & alligators too! Though offically no one has lived to tell the tale!

Big Blue Bar held their first official Striptease last night! Luckily for everyone it was a very PG striptease with Simo, Cory, Duncan & Rich revealing everything above the waistline! There was a little apprehension as to whether the boys would be putting on the Borat Lime Green Mankini's in celebration of St Patricks Day but luckily the Mankini's haven't come back from the wash yet. Still you got to feel sorry for Kymmie who was looking rather excited at the thought of having a plethora of lime green handsome hunks strip for her on her Birthday. Happy St.Patricks Day Ireland. Happy Birthday Kymmie. Happy you kept your drawers on boys!

Nice to see Alain, pronounced Elaine, continuing the tradition of Weird Beard Wednesdays! I think it must be some sort of Multilingual side effect; the irresistible urge to shave a weird & wacky design into ones chin beard! Last year our cunning linguist Hal held the mantle of Weekly Weird Beard Contender & could interpret Weird Beard Wednesdays into 7 languages. Unfortunatley Elaine can say weird beard Wednesday in 5 languages only but does have one hell of a weird beard today! Kind of looks like George Michael after a hot & sweaty session with Edward Scissorhands!

Tuesday 17th March 2009-

2009-03-17Koh Samui... for some its the crystal clear azure waters of the Gulf of Thailand. The sound of the gentle lapping waves. The coconut palm lined beaches. The varied and delicious local food, the lush tropical vegetation, the choices of many waterfalls, idyllic beaches, numerous Buddhist temples, sightseeing around the island on motorbike or car, trekking around inside the island by foot or by bicycle. Or maybe its the shopping or the golf, or the jet skis or the wide varieties of massage on offer. Or maybe for some its the chance to go to the cinema & grab a Big Mac meal at McDonalds. Ah a tropical island paradise. A Big Mac & a movie!

A baby whale shark has been found in waters off the eastern Philippines, raising hopes that the world’s first breeding ground for the creature may have been discovered, the World Wide Fund for Nature reports. The whale shark, measuring just 38 centimetres, was found in shallow water off Donsol in the Philippine province of Sorsogon. Local fishermen had tied a line to its tail and anchored it on a local beach so it would not escape. Whale sharks, which can grow up to 12.2 metres long, are the largest fish on the planet. Donsol is known for its large adult whale-shark population but it is not known to be a breeding ground. After it was examined by biologists the whale shark was taken to deep water and released. In spite of all the research being done worldwide on whale sharks, to this date no one knows where they breed or give birth. “The pup was so small, it was probably born here. For many years, scientists thought Donsol was merely one of many feeding grounds along the global network of marine highways where whale sharks cruised. This new discovery is the first indication that this coastline may actually be a birthing site." Isn't that cute!

Hi Jim, back in the cold and damp of the UK and recovering from the jet-lag, but thought it appropriate to say "Thank you" for all that Big Blue represents to me and my family. I read the BB blog very regularly as one way of staying in touch with what Amanda is up to and the overwhelming feeling I get is always the same, that BB is not just a business venture but is one big happy family! I was pleasantly surprised to find that your blog is entirely accurate in real life. The last three weeks I spent on Koh Tao were fantastic, not just because I was catching up with Amanda after so long, but because I was also treated as if I was part of the family. For that I am really grateful, to you and to everyone involved with Big Blue! Next time I e-mail I will revert to a bit of 007 banter but this one is a sincere sentiment ..... Thank you! Kind regards, Don Bond.

Saturday 14th March 2009-

2009-03-14Living on a small tropical island like Koh Tao means every now & then when something major needs to be done to the islands power supply or water supply certain parts of the island shut down for a few hours. It doesn't happen too often & we do try & notify everyone staying with us when it does happen but sometimes people for one reason or another just don't get the message relayed & then end up in the most awkward situations. Just ask the girl in Bungalow 5 who looks like she's just seen a monster who made a mess on her head!

'Four Little Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.' What on earth is happening to our DM team. They are dropping like flies! As you know Andy ended up in hospital in Samui having the doctors trying to photograph his innards! And then last night Amanda came down with a spell of 'overworked, dehydrated, no sleep & overknackeredness' Knackeredness & had to be admitted to the island doctor. Whats going on! Who keeps bumping off my DM's! I bet its one of our almost ready to be signed off DMT's.

Each year Koh Tao is host to the Underwater world Festival. This year, the festival will run for two days and two nights, march 21st/22nd with local and international bands, dancing, entertainment, food, games, history and educational booths, and day time activities such as volleyball and water jousting. The money raised from the festival goes towards social and environmental projects on the island conducted through the Save Koh Tao group. Last year's profits went to the construction of a new school building, and funded part of the Koh Tao Biorock 2008 Project. Big Blue Diving will be actively participating in this event. We will run a reef and beach clean up on the 21st on Sairee Beach. On the 22nd, we will be on stage with a choregraphy by some of our staff and DMTs. And finally, we have two "volunteer" contestants for the Mr. and Mrs. Save Koh Tao pageants! So please have a look at the following link:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/event.php?eid=57483605527 Hope to see you there.

Friday 13th March 2009-

2009-03-13An activity that only a decade ago was widely considered to be beyond the scope and purpose of recreational diving, technical diving has now come in from the cold to play a leading role in the development of practices that have opened up a whole new world of exciting underwater discoveries and possibilities. Although still regarded as a niche component of the recreational diving market, the demand for technical diving training is growing rapidly, especially here in Koh Tao. & now it appears Cave diving might take off in a big way too! Both technical diving & Cave Diving still arouse alot of curiosity especially form those who wonder what it is that drives otherwise seemingly sensible people to want to commit themselves to a challenging activity fraught with risk? Apparently its the chicks!

When you spend your life in the water, I guess you tend to develop a good intuition for its subtleties. One of the most important things Professional divers have to be able to learn is how to blow bubble rings. Its a tricky skill but once mastered is worthy of all the ooh's & aah's divers who have never seen it give it. Even dolphins have been known to go ooh aah & have even been observed creating their own bubble rings by exhaling air carefully in the middle of the vortices caused by the motion of their fins through the water. This neat demonstration of fluid mechanics, is not only fun to do but it also looks good and really ups your underwater street cred!

So Dan comes out of hospital today with his titanium hand, but only to be replaced by DM Andy who seems to have gone into hospital with some form of a nasty kind of stomach problem. Sounds delightful! & meanwhile Helen is on a visa run with Kelli, Canada is in Pattaya learning how to give a good servicing, & G is still on this IDC with Craig! On top of that we have boats load of customers, a whole truckload of Freelance Instructors with a gazillion questions, the History Channel TV crew, a broken longtail, I can't find the Nitrox exams, Ugly doesn't seem to be very well, the neighbours are complaining that every time it rains they have to close their Restaurant because of all the water run off from our AC Building, & I haven't had a large Chang for 10 weeks or a cigarette for 4 months! No wonder I'm bald!

Thursday 12th March 2009-

2009-03-12Yvonne is back from her very exciting Liveaboard trip aboard the Manta Queen, cruising the 9 beautiful islands of the Similans & then the Surin Islands as well. Nothing but eating, sleeping, sunbathing, reading & diving! Sounds like heaven. Wake up have pre-breakfast & then a dive then breakfast & then a dive, then lunch, then a dive, then afternoon tea then a dive & then dinner a few beers to round off your day. Sunshine, scantilly clad females, & scuba diving. Throw in a bit of slap & tickle & you've got yourself the ideal holiday! Ja!

Our painted Canadian is up in Pattaya this week getting qualified to service & fix compressors. A very useful skill to have under your belt especially if you want to be working in Scuba Diving. Just a shame you have to go all the way up to Pattaya to learn how to do it! But once certified Canada will be able to give our 5 compressors a fortnightly going over thereby insuring our compressors don't break down about the time they usually do... the day after the Full Moon Party! All we need now is someone to become an outboard engine mechanic who can service our ferry boats outboard engines & stop them from breaking down every full moon & we might be getting somewhere. Anyone know how to fix friggin' outboards?

Got to love those Full Moon rushes! 100's of people all arriving on the island all at the same time looking somewhat accusingly at us because we have run out of rooms. Sorry guys but I only have what I have. & there's only a certain amount of rooms on Sairee Beach & when they go you need to dig a little deeper in the pockets to afford the AC rooms in Sairee Village or the posh bungalows along the beach. But its really not my fault if you didn't book ahead! & I know you've been partying hard for the last couple of days & I know you are hot & I know you are tired, but losing it with the locals isn't what I'd call the best way of finding accommodation. Everybody be cool. We'll do everything we can to help you, just be cool!

Wednesday 11th March 2009-

2009-03-11Whaleshark at Hin Wong Pinnacle! About time too! It must have been at least a week since we saw our last whaleshark. & what great timing too! This Friday Big Blue & Ace Marine Images will be taking out a camera crew from the History Channel to do some diving at Chumphon Pinnacle in the hope of seeing a Whaleshark. Not quite sure what its got to do with the History Channel, but hey who am I to argue. If a well respected TV Documentary company want to come out & dive on our boat then who am I to stand in their way? Still I wish it had been National Geographic or Discovery. Bet the whaleshark does to. It might possibly feel a little threatened if it knew it was being filmed on the History Channel!

Not quite sure what the fascination of wearing Speedo's actually is. It seems to me that prancing around in your smalls is something that should only be done at home & without the presence of mirrors. Why some men insist on walking around the beach, the resort, through the town & in some restaurants with nothing but their 'Budgy smugglers' is beyond me. & how come some nationalities seem to be so good at it! Well don't worry ladies here at Big Blue we are a No Speedo zone. You might catch the odd Instructor wandering around in their Mankini from time to time but you'll never catch us in our speedo!

The first Full Moon Party either went off in 1987 or 1988, no-one is really sure; and it was someone's birthday. It was such a good party that the same crew met up again at Paradise Bungalows and partied under the next Full Moon. From there on the party grew to be a mecca for travellers in the 90s and then became the global dance music festival that it is today, attracting thousands of visitors from every walk of life. There are now over 10 major sound systems on the beach playing everything from psy-trance to drum and bass with each one representing a different genre. Crowd sizes vary from around 8,000 in low season getting up to 30,000 in the high season. The expected number to arrive on Koh Tao over the next couple of days will be somewhere in the region of 10000 people! Hope you've all booked!

Tuesday 10th March 2009-

2009-03-10So what does one do in Koh Tao when they aren't diving? How about snorkelling! At Thian Og Bay or known locally as Shark Bay, or Rocky Bay you can even dive with Sharks! Heaps of them! Are they big? Up to two meters. Are they dangerous? No, not under normal circumstances. Will my heart beat faster when I see one? Why else would one want to snorkel with sharks? These are Black tip, and White tip reef sharks. They look just like the real thing, but are essentially harmless. Much of the coral here was severely damaged a few years back, and is in the early stages of recovery. That does make it an ideal opportunity to spot cruising sharks especially in the deeper water in the middle of the bay. The rocks at either side of the bay also give some excellent snorkeling. Popular with longer term farang residents as well as the Thais themselves, Rocky Bay can sometimes get busy, but I've yet to see it crowded... other than with sharks!

Unbelievably tragic news emerging from Phuket, which I'm sure most of you have already seen or read about in the news about our friends at Dive Asia in Phuket who had their brand new Liveaboard topple over in an unexpected storm causing the boat to sink with what is believed to be 6 customers & 1 staff still on board. I have ahd a few emails from you checking to see we are all Ok as we do have staff working in the Similans & as you know Yvonne is out there now & I'm very relieved to let you know everyone we know is safe & sound. For our friends at Dive Asia & for the friends & families of those missing our hearts & thoughts go out to you. A truely tragic event.

Unlucky to our Big Blue Volleyball team who failed to retain the cup after last year's heroic win. This year we were beaten in the semis by the semi professional boys from Bans. Of course I don't want to make excuses but if Instructor Dan had been able to play that night instead of hanging around the Doctors clinic with a broken hand we might actually have won! Yes Dan has broken his hand & is in hospital having a Titanium rod inserted. He broke his hand doing some sort of synchronised motorbike dance with his mate from home Steven. Pair of synchronised Ponces! Hope you feel better soon Dan!

Sunday 8th March 2009-

2009-03-08Gentleman if there is one reason to do your diving with us here at Big Blue then it really must be in part, due to the amount of extremely attractive barely dressed young ladies wondering around the place. We all know of course how drop dead gorgeous our lovely team of female Instructors DM's are. And you can't miss our bevvy of beauties in our DMT's & then of course the very many stunners we have who learn to dive with us. Take for example Jarah Mariano who did her Open Water Course with Yvonne a few weeks ago. Now a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model. Just one of our many Big Blue Honeys. Congratulations Minnie! You look amazing!

I recently asked one of our newly certified DMT's to write something about their course: The DM course…" For me one word sums it up “exceptional” I have had an outstanding experience during the past 11 weeks, I would without any hesitation recommend this course anyone with any interest in diving. Whether with plans of becoming a working professional or just as self advancement this experience will give them a real insight not only into the workings of a well run dive operation but also into themselves. All of the staff at Big Blue from the boat boys to the mentors have earned both my respect and an enormous amount of gratitude, never was any question to stupid to be answered and never was a request for help turned down. To the instructors I assisted on open waters a huge thanks, it was a privilege to see new divers take their first breaths underwater in the hands of people whom genuinely care but at the same time who can look in six directions at once whilst holding the reg in one student and the weight belt of another, should I go on and do my IDC it will be in large part due to those assist’s again thank you. To the DMT’s I shared the “board” with, a salute, a cold beer and good luck to each and everyone of you, from lectures to skill circuits and from stress test’s to my DM challenge. To the Mentors and instructors in general, you’re the “best” the results of your guidance are the best testimonial you will ever have or need, whether newly qualified divers or cocky new DM’s they got the best. Not sure I can really ever tell my friends back home I hade a French mentor without being called gay but thanks “G” it was cool! Finally to the Dm’s… the “grunt’s” of the diving world without whom the boats would stay tied up and the tanks, weights and regs would all be in the wrong place, I take my hat off and will always owe you all a beer. Again big thanks to all it was the time of my life…" Thanks a lot Andy & Fiona, look forward to seeing you both again soon.

I'd just like to thank Instructor Rich & DMT Hannah for nominating themselves as this years representatives for Big Blue Divings Mr & Mrs Save Koh Tao. Last year we had Darren Hasselhoff Buckland as our Mr Macho Man & Heather came as the always beautiful Miss Koh Tao. Of course neither of them one but if I remember correctly we did win the Best male Beer Drinker & female beer drinker- Ally won both! This year we will be dressing our Big Blue Models in recycable materials. Hannah will be dressed in Sea Weed & Rich will be wearing his boxers inside out & back to front! The original in recycable!

Saturday 7th March 2009-

2009-03-07'Every time you see him, The Hammer's just so hype, He's dope on the floor & he's magic on the mike! You can't touch this. Break it down. Stop. Its G time!' Congratulations Monsieur G Hammer (or MG Hammer) for winning last nights Pop Idol at the Big Blue Bar. An unprecedented turn out & surely one of the most memorable nights on Koh Tao. G sang & danced his way to the finals as if he was MC Hammer himself! A fantastically gutsy performance which brought the place down. & a very worthy winner. 'Its Hammer, go Hammer, MC Hammer, Yo, Hammer & the rest can go & play!" Well Done MC G!... can't touch this...But you can download it!

Anyone looking for work? I think I can help. Rick- Leader of our Westside Massive- needs someone till the end of the season. The suitable applicant needs to be able to work the shop about once or twice a week. Shifts are from 11am to 9pm. They will need to visit Koh Kho Khao island from time to time to see the hotels there and keep up relations & work our new account at a 5-star resort. And they will need to staff our new office from about 4pm to 8pm, starting april 1st. They will staff our Big Blue Khao Lak office about once a week, go to Koh Kho Khao about 3 times a week, and then April 1 they will start to staff the 5-star resort office. The position includes free fun diving in the Similan & Surin Islands. The person we're looking for would need to be able to ride the company scooter,be good with office work, know how to use a computer, is a good speaker & can talk to people comfortably or is outgoing.They need to know about diving & it would be nice if they had previous sales experience. & finally & most importantly isn't an idiot. This has proven harder to find than i thought it would be! All applicants please send their Resumes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I got given a very fascinating breakdown of how Andy, a recent Divemaster in training, now Jedi Divemaster, spent his DM training with us over the last couple of months. Andy spent 62 days learning how to be a Divemaster. In that time he did 154 training dives with us, & since certifying has done an additional 24 dives to gain experience. Coming to a total number of dives of 178 or just under 3 dives a day on average for the grand old sum of just 140 baht per dive. Of that 62 days training he has spent just over 5 days total underwater & only 1/2 a day total having sex! Last I heard Andy was sleeping in the spare room!

Friday 6th March 2009-

2009-03-06Inviting all non divers, divers and professionals. What are you waiting for? Do you dream of living the dive life but haven't taken the plunge? Want to spend your days diving instead of sweating it out in an office? If so, now's the time to jumpstart your career as a PADI Professional by entering the 2009 Go PRO Challenge Contest. To enter simply complete a Professional-level PADI certification (Divemaster or above) before 30 September 2009. Then, submit a home video (or captioned photo) describing “Why I Became a PADI Pro.” Submit the winning home video or photo and you’ll win the $10,000 US prize. The PADI Pro who submits the most passionate testament to living the dive life as a PADI Pro will win the contest and the $10,000 US. A First Runner-up Prize of $1,500 will also be awarded. & if you mention how great it was to do your course with us at Big Blue we'll throw in a large Chang & a Big Blue takeaway pizza! Hmmm almost better than the PADI prize!

Its Pop Idol at Big Blue Bar tonight. Always a favourite when you get the Instructors & DM's up on stage to embarrass themselves silly. Last time we hosted the Big Blue Pop Idol we had Canada singing a very heartfelt rendition of Bright Eyes & what could be funnier than that! Maybe a duet! Dan & Kymmie with Rene & Renate's famous classic 'Save your love my darling save your love' Or how about Corey with his version of Percy Sledge's absolute classic Ballad " When a man loves an 'older' woman".

So the number of tourists coming through the main international airport in Bangkok is down 20% from last January. The worlds economic problems has led to the massive decline in tourists from Japan down 32%; UK down 9%; US Down 13%; China down 36%; Germany down 8%; Korea down 53%; France down 4% and Russia down 33%. The continent of Africa down 21%; Oceania down 19%. The Americas fell 13%! Europe was down 12%. Big declines were registered in Spain 33%, Sweden 17%, Belgium 14%, Norway 14% and Ireland 12%. In comparison one country has increased the amount of tourists coming in to Thailand up 90% from last year. Which means we are now going to be seeing a whole new wave of tourists coming to Koh Tao to learn to dive. So in order to avoid our own economic crisis we shall be focusing our advertising towards the fastest growing new tourist to Thailand ... The United Arab Emiratesianish, up an unbelievable 90%!

Thursday 5th March 2009-

2009-03-05One of the very first things you'll notice when you arrive in Koh Tao at this time of the year is the overwhelming sound of Cicada's. These not so little bugs spend up to 17years under ground as nymphs till one day they shed their skin & become the noisiest bugs in the world. In fact the sound carried by a male cicada can travel up to a mile. They actually make the loudest sound in the insect world. & when 1 starts they're all at it! But before you get too annoyed remember the noise is made to attract a mate & you know how much noise some people can make, like Yvonne, when they're looking for their mate, so why can't Cicada's be that noisy too?

Australian Geographic magazine is sponsoring an unusual competition - the construction of an underwater house where aquanauts may stay for weeks without leaving. The first underwater mission was successfully completed by a trained aquanaut and lasted for 13 days. The 8 by 10 foot under-sea home is constructed from metal parts and maintains healthy air pressure and oxygen levels to recreate living conditions in the atmosphere. The special chambers supply oxygen to the room, and filter out the carbon dioxide produced from breathing. Last but not least, this sea house has a supply of food in the fridge and is equipped with a bathroom. Sounds like our Fan rooms last Monsoon season!

Introducing Big Blue Diving's Noodle run! (Thanks Andy:)) For you certified divers out there who don't want to get up at the crack of dawn but would like a bit of a later start then I think we have just the thing for you! 10am departures! We'll do our first dive wherever the best viz & conditions are & then we'll have a Pot Noodle (hence the imaginative marketing name- the Noodle Run) for lunch during our surface interval & then a second dive wherever the wind takes us. Should be back on land by 3pm just in time for pre-beer o'clock!

Wednesday 4th March 2009-

2009-03-04Twas the week before Full Moon & all through Koh Tao not a creature was stirring except for a ... Big Blue DM! Looks like Amanda has been doing what is needed to keep up good international relations. After all we are about to be inundated with our friends from Japan who shall be descending on us for Golden Week later in the month, so what better way to keep the Japanese end up. And who could do a better job than our Saintly Amanda. Sorry... Our not so Saintly Amanda! More like our 'Yuta Saintly' Amanda (nudge nudge wink wink).

Glorious weather we've been having. There was a couple of days where we had a spot of rain but it never lasts long. Just stays long enough for a beer in the bar & then its all over, unless you want another beer in which case it rains again! The sea is flat, the water is clear, the cicada's are singing & the beach is awash with bikini strewn lovelies. Have I died & gone to heaven. Bugger. No I haven't... I got a meeting at 6 with the Instructors. Aw shucks & in my head it was all going so well!

So in South Africa the most amazing events are happening right now as we read this. Each winter, cool ocean currents drive millions of sardines northwards along the eastern coast of South Africa. These immense shoals, squeezed into this narrow cold-water corridor, provide an incredible feeding opportunity for the predators that live in and around these waters. Thousands of sharks and dolphins, as well as elusive Bryde's whales, Minke Whales & Gannett birds are feasting on a banquet of sardines. And for those of you who got the heads up from me earlier in the year & are there right now enjoying this most amazing live action scene we only have 4 words for you - You Lucky Lucky B@#%*@#^'s!

Tuesday 3rd March 2009-

2009-03-03Big Blue Diving is the only Dive center in Thailand who can certify you as a PADI Cavern Diver. We can only take a handful of people each trip & since our next trip is now actually over booked we've had to run a concurrent trip! So having filled up the last couple of spaces we need another 3 people to fill up the overspill! Who'd have thought putting on all that kit & clambering around through dark flooded caves while underwater could be so much fun!

I have just finished reading 'The Swarm' by Frank Schatzing. It has to be the very best book I have ever read! In it whales begin sinking ships. Toxic, eyeless crabs poison Long Island's water supply. The North Sea shelf collapses, killing thousands in Europe. Around the world, countries are beginning to feel the effects of the ocean's revenge as the seas and their inhabitants begin a violent revolution against mankind. In this riveting novel, full of twists, turns, and cliffhangers, a team of scientists discovers a strange, intelligent life force that takes form in marine animals, using them to wreak havoc on humanity for our ecological abuses. Soon a struggle between good and evil is in full swing, with both human and suboceanic forces battling for control of the waters. At stake is the survival of the Earth's fragile ecology, and ultimately, the survival of the human race itself. This gripping, scientifically realistic, and utterly imaginative thriller, will keep you in tense anticipation until the last suspenseful page is turned. Read it now- Frank Schatzing's book- The Swarm.

So after the success of last nights sunset & night dive at Chumphon Pinnacle & todays rip roaring Shark Safari trip with Yvonne, the team are now organising a dawn run to Chumphon to be there descending on the dive site as the sun comes up! At that time of day there are always heaps more sharks, way less divers (if any) & a chance to see Chumphon in all its naked splendor, standing tall & proud! What else would you expect at that time of the morning!

Monday 2nd March 2009-

2009-03-02Today, we organize a trip that is a first in Koh Tao history: 2 dives on Chumphon Pinnacle. One at sunset, one at night. Imagine the sun coming down on thousands of barracudas, fusiliers, rabbitfishes and malabar groupers. And just there, out of the blue (or is it the black?) comes the largest of all fishes… aahh, just imagine!

Shark day tomorrow with Yvonne. Nehh?! This follows Hailey’s awesome presentation from last week and the projection of Rob Stewart’s Sharkwater. Yvonne is our in-house Shark specialty instructor and she’s gonna spend the morning delivering even more sharkish knowledge to a group of lucky students. In the afternoon, the whole group gets to go looking for sharks at Rocky Bay while Canada gets to stay home and do the dishes. In the end, they receive a certification and a nice looking Shark Diver specialty card. The idea of this course is to broaden people’s knowledge about one of the world’s oldest and unfortunately most misunderstood creatures. After all, in Canada’s own words, Yvonne is a very misunderstood instructor and that’s why she has to talk so loud!

Craig started his IDC today with G staffing it. 13 candidates for Koh Tao IDC group on this session, who said anything about a crisis? Yvonne is on her way to Khao Lak for a week to work on a liveaboard. Canada is doing a compressor repair course soon. Deano is missing his parents. And Cory has just been casted for the Koh Tao version of the “Graduate” to take Dustin Hoffman’s old part. So here’s to you Mrs. Robbinson…


By the way, did I mention that France defeated Wales in rugby on Friday?

Sunday 1st March 2009-

2009-03-01Well its gone a little quieter over recent days. In fact the last week of February has felt a little like monsoon without the inclement weather. After all its nothing but sun every day, flat seas, great viz a whale shark at Sail Rock, Minke Whales at Chumphon & Brydes whales at Southwest. And this is usually a very busy time of the year for tourism too. Oh dear I do hope that doesn't mean the economic crisis has finally hit us here in Koh Tao as well. I guess if it has then I can get some time to do some diving at last! Ah the power of positive thinking! Hold on Whales I'm coming!

G is going to be taking Emmanuelle diving today. Sadly Emmanuelle, a lovely french filly, had a very nasty accident a few years ago which has left her in a wheel chair for the rest of her life. But with drive, enthusiasm, & an ability to make a positive out of every negative Emmanuelle is travelling the world & is here to dive! & she's come to the right place. So today our Dashing Frenchman will be showing Isabelle what an unforgettable experience she can have; the extra dimension diving offers to a physically challenged individual is awesome. Whenever we dive we take for granted the sights, sounds and sensations of being underwater. For many physically handicapped divers, some or all of these sensations are heightened and diving provides a unique opportunity to move freely, weightlessly and without restriction. Enjoy your day G! Enjoy the experience Emmanuelle!

The next time you think you are having a bad day... Fire authorities in California found a corpse in a burned out section of forest while assessing the damage done by a forest fire. The deceased male was dressed in a full wet suit, complete with SCUBA tanks on his back, flippers, and face mask. A post-mortem revealed that the person died not from burns, but from massive internal injuries. Dental records provided a positive identification. Investigators then set about to determine how a fully clad diver ended up in the middle of a forest fire. It was revealed that, on the day of the fire, the person went for a diving trip off the coast some 20 miles away from the forest. The firefighters, seeking to control the fire as quickly as possible, called in a fleet of helicopters with very large dip buckets. Water was dipped from the ocean then flown to the forest fire and emptied. You guessed it. One minute our diver was making like Flipper in the Pacific, the next he was doing the breast stroke in a fire dip bucket 300 feet in the air. Apparently he extinguished exactly 5'-10" of the fire. Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed!

April 2009

Thursday 30th April 2009-

2009-04-30Sail Rock. A large granite rock that rises 15 meters above the surface & descends some 40 meters plus below! Its full of fish and various hard and soft corals.There is a "chimney" which you enter at 18m and can exit through a window at about 10m or go to the top and come out at 5m. Two divers at a time can come up the chimney,but take care when entering so that you don't cause any damage and look out for small shrimps & white eyed moray eels & if you were lucky enough to be diving there yesterday in 30 meter visibility we hope you managed to avoid the large Whaleshark there too! No wonder our Sail Rock trips are always a sell out, everyone has a whaleshark of a time!

Can't emphasize enough how important it is you take good care of your health when you first arrive in Thailand. Dehydration is the biggest thing that hits most new comers especially form chillier climes! The heat, the sweating,the swimming in salt water, the lack of H2O intake & often the latent excess of booze can all lead you straight to the Koh Tao clinic & a drip! You just don't realise how much fluid you lose when you are under the heat of the Thai sun! So sup up people! Stay healthy! Drink water! & have a great holiday in Thailand without having to spend a day in the clinic. Top Doctors recommend it!

Well the weather outside is gorgeous. There's a big sun in the sky, the sky is blue, & there are no clouds! There's not a breath of wind, the sea is nice & flat & a tropical 30 degrees & visibility is an above average 20+ meters at most divesites. & because viz is sooo good lately we've been managing to venture out a little further than normal on our dives & guess what... we saw 4 reef sharks at Twins yesterday! Ooh its a good life here! Sunshine, tropical seas & reef sharks! Top that off with a sunset beer & a bevvy of beauties in their bikinis. Its hard to imagine a better place to be right now. Aren't we the lucky ones!

Wednesday 29th April 2009-

2009-04-29We at Save Koh Tao are asking for your assistance in recovering the sea turtles from our Turtle Head starting and Nursery Program. Sometime last night or early this morning the turtles and their in-sea enclosure baskets were taken from Ao Leuk. They were most likely loaded up into a longtail boat or similar small craft while the staff slept. These turtles were being held in a natural but predator free environment for the next few months to allow them to grow larger before being released. This program is a joint program between Save Koh Tao and The Thai Navy, and these turtles were the property of the Thai Navy. If you know about or hear anything about these turtles please notify us or get them returned somehow to us.We will not be pressing charges, but if it is the Thai Navy who discovers who took them than there will be harsh consequences. Just last month a Koh Tao resident was fined 40,000 baht for taking a Giant Clam from the sea. Thank you for your assistance and please help us to spread awareness about the benefits of marine organisms and what can be done to make positive impacts instead of negative ones so that we can reduce these types of problems.

Our slightly plump resident Tech Instructor has decided to get fit & in true Canada style has got his group of tech divers to get fit with him! To even think about being a tech diver you now have to go through an equivalent of the Divemaster Waterskills, the swim, the tread, the tired diver tow & the snorkel. However because this is Tech Diving & we're talking about Canada you now have to be able to run, do press ups, lift weights, do chin ups, fold clothes, & parade around the place topless & sweaty & revealing your moobies!

Unfortunately the 3 month fishing ban imposed on the fishing fleets operating from the provinces of Chumphon & Surat Thani are now over. You can tell because the horizon was awash with lights last night! Such a shame. & it seems like this mornings massive undiveable current at Chumphon Pinnacle might be a good indication as to how much fish life is around at the moment! Strong currents equals schools of fish!

Tuesday 28th April 2009-

2009-04-28Well lets see. After 9/11 the impact on tourism in Thailand was affected but really only slightly. Then there was the invasion of Afghanistan & Iraq & the fear of terrorism in the skies & the Bali bombs, & the huge reduction in tourism. Then after that we had SARS & then the Bird Flu, & then we had the Tsunami. After that there was the overthrow of the Thaksin government & the Military coup,& then there was more political unrest, & then the airport problems last year, the current economic crisis & then the street rioting just last month. So how is Thailand going to cope with the Swine Flu. Pretty bloody well if you ask me! We've had heaps of practise!

Dive into the Big Blue with Sharks! One of the big debates on Koh Tao according to some people at least is whether the sharks just off to the south of Barracuda Rock are Grey Reef Sharks or Bull Sharks! Well I reckon there are both but in recent days it has been the Bull Shark that has been seen cruising around at 30 meters. Chumphon has to be one of the very few places in the world where you can safely get this close to Bull Sharks. Anyone want to come & play? Do something exhilarating. Dive with sharks!

Tattoos- perhaps the attraction of tattoos in this day and age isn’t so much in their existence, but rather in the stories they tell. Dan wants to have an Excalibur Sword that fires bullets tattooed the length of his forearm. (Wonder whats on his mind). Lala wants the date she dived with her 1st Whaleshark tattooed on the side of her foot small enough to be lasered off when she's gets married & then she'll put that date in. Who can forget Tuesday who had the Big Blue Dolphin emblazoned across her back. Then there was the guy who had the words 'Chinese Symbols' tattoed down his leg in Chinese symbols font! Darren had his Hok Tao Divers Turtle & so did his protege Matthias. & Canada has more ink on him than a recently shafted octopii! So what kind of tattoo would you get? How big, what would it be of & where would you put it?

Monday 27th April 2009-

2009-04-27Sorry to have to keep repeating myself. I know its boring for all of you who read this daily (thanks for that) but there was another Whaleshark this morning at Chumphon Pinnacle! Whale sharks are considered to be good-luck fish. The Japanese fishermen are careful not to catch a whale shark. They call them "ebisuzame" which is a good luck symbol. Obviously very good luck as our big Japanese group diving with us have now seen 2 whalesharks in 3 days! If they keep this up they'll have seen 8 whalesharks by the time they leave! Now if that aint ebisuzame I don't know what it is!

With Big Blue Tech becoming increasingly busy with cave diving, rebreather training and technical diving Canada has found the necessity for a full time personal assistant! & He's found that person with our former Dive Master intern Cory Lewis. Cory showed a great interest in Nitrox Diving, Deep Diving and Gas Blending. It was his continued interest in all things tech that earned him the full time job. Cory was welcomed into the team by both the technical and recreational diving department and after his extremely popular performance as Sandy in our Grease rendition at last months festival, Cory has also been welcomed in by the boys at the Koh Tao Cabaret too!

Where have all my DM's gone? Well Ollie, our Swiss Zoolander, is still doing his IDC. Big Paul, our poker playing Canadian got bitten in his arse by a tiny spider in Malaysia & is now home recovering. Amanda is also recovering at home ( a different home though) from overwork & underplay leaving Andy to run 3 boats in the morning 3 boats in the afternoon & a night dive every night! & you thought being a DM was an easy life! Why do you think most of us are Instructors!

 Saturday 24th April 2009

2009-04-24Its raining Japanese! The start of a big holiday in Japan today! The end of April through to around May 5th is called "Golden Week" since there are so many Japanese national holidays during this period. Many Japanese offices close for about a week to 10 days. People take a vacation and travel around the country, so tourist attractions in Japan are very crowded during Golden Week, so people escape abroad for a week or so. Which is why its raining Japanese here today! Golden Showers!

I beleive the Koh Tao Electricity Board need to replace the electrician they have working for them. He's rubbish! We've been having a lot of problem in Koh Tao at the moment with dodgy electricity & terrible internet connection. Not quite sure what the problem is but its been a week already of really dodgy power. Some poor peasants haven't had electricity for a few days already but hey Canada & Yvonne that's what you get if you live in the sticks.

It seems like wherever we go right now we are being followed by a Whale Shark! Yesterday Amanda showed all her divers what a Whale shark looked like at Sail Rock & thismorning everyone got to see again another Whale shark this time at Chumphon Pinnacle. Rumour has it our mate Jack Cousteau dived for 20 years before he saw a whaleshark, & he'd spent 2 years diving this area. Obviously don't want to be diving with Jack! You want to dive with Big Blue!

Thursday 23rd April 2009

2009-04-23Was there another shooter on the grassy knoll? Did Saddam have WMD's? What does DMT Duncan get up to in his spare time? What (or who) really went down in the Banana Resort room 16 with two members of BB staff, a whole load of booze and 2 ladyboys after their Similan trip? These are all questions for which, in all likelihood, we will never know the true answers. All that's left for us to do is speculate, surmise, make stuff up and then disseminate widely to all and sundry through the Big Blue Blog ;)

So here goes... Why were they there in the first place, were they invited back to give them a Queer Eye for a Straight Guy-style makeover? How to explain the cries heard from their room in the small hours of 'No, ****, no!'? (real names withheld because one of the guys is MUCH bigger than me). Perhaps he was about to lay a vowel on a Triple Letter Square and therefore ruin the game of Scrabble they were enjoying? After waking up and finding his wallet and dive computer missing, did ***** ponder on what else he had lost that night. Innocence, anyone? Dignity? It may have been a Stinger in more ways than one....?

Veteran dive guides all over the west coast were in awe of BB DM Paul's guiding skills as he led his group of DMT's through three dive sites in one dive! One way to escape the crowds underwater is to swim in the opposite direction for sure and who really needs to see the huge coral bommie covered in a variety of soft corals, sponges, anemones and fish. The bommie that's big enough to spend an entire dive on and a National Geographic team once spent a week filming in just this one place! I get it Paul, its been done to death, exploring is much more fun...

Finally, our Sonia is counting the cost after her James Bond-style backroll from the RIB on a Similan night dive. How she managed to hook her fin through the strap of 2 Vytec dive computers and one Oceanic Shadow mask and launch them all into black depths I'll never know - Good Job though, Sonia!

Wednesday 22nd April 2009-

2009-04-22I believe its called Murphy's Law! As we all know, Murphys Law states 'The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet'! So with Golden Week coming up now was not the time to be dropping our bread or for that matter to be having a problem with Banzai! Apparently Banzai propeller has a problem & we need to take the boat to the Chumphon dockyard & take it out of the water & fix the problem which means we are in the market for a new boat for a week or so to take care of our Japanese colleagues. So everyone say Konichiwa to Seafarer! Seafarer say Konichiwa back to everyone!

'Bill and Harry had been dive buddies since college. Almost every weekend, they went diving, summer and winter, drysuit or shorty. On one rare occasion, Bill invited Harry to his home for dinner. (Bill was married, Harry was not.) During dinner, Harry noticed that every time Bill spoke to his wife he used very loving terms — Honey, My Love, Darling, Sweetheart, Pumpkin, and so on. It was when Bill’s wife was clearing away the dishes and carried them to the kitchen that Harry remarked, “That is really nice — after all these years that you’ve been married, you still keep calling your wife all those pet names.” Bill looked round quickly and whispered, “To tell you the truth, Harry, I forgot her name years ago.”
Boom boom!

Many thanks G & Hannah from Asia Divers who together organised todays beach clean up along Sairee Beach. & thanks to all those who turned up today to rid our beaches of the filth & debris that has been washed ashore in recent days! You wouldn't believe how much crap has collected in just a few days. & it was great to see so many people come down & give us a hand. Especially all those who had absolutely nothing to do with us or diving but were still willing to help out & lend a hand. Free beer for everyone! Whoops did I say that out loud!

Tuesday 21st April 2009-

2009-04-21The PADI Open Water Course used to be the most asked about course when it came to email enquiries. Of course we get heaps of enquiries about everything else as well but it was the Open Water Course that was way above anything else when it came to email jabber. But that seems to have changed for now. Because right now the focus is on the PADI Divemaster Course & in this time of recession & redundancies who 's surprised. & looking at the PADI website today there are over 150 jobs posted around the world for diving professionals! & if you do your SSI Instructor Course you are guaranteed a scuba diving job! So its not really a surprise then is it that more than 70% of our email enquiries these days is for the bright ones among you who realise there is more to life than offices, bills, a shit job & the fear of unemployment! Make the best decision of your life! Sign up for Divemaster Course! It'll change your life!

How's this for a James Bond entry... diving from a helicopter! If a giant stride is just not as daring as it used to be, then Dive Charter Curaçao in Willemstad has an entrance that is positively not for the faint-hearted. Divers are flown in full dive gear to the sites, beneath as well as over bridges, before the chopper hovers 2m above the water. They climb out and drop themselves backwards into the water simultaneously, after the dive a fast RIB takes you back to the helibase to receive your certificate of participation. The price is US $249 with tanks, weights, guided dive, helicopter ride, boat ride back, a photo CD of the whole trip & a banana in your pocket!

Not sure our Big Blue Mascot is doing very well at the moment. Poor old Ugly dog. He is looking a little under the weather. We've had the vet come in & she's given him a jab which should get rid of these rashes & spots & the vet is coming around today to give him another jab but its more than just a case of a spotty dog. Ugly's paws are inflamed & on occassion weeping. The paws are very swollen & patchy & it looks like agony for poor old Ugly & the vets don't quite seem to know what it is. But she has clearly got some sort of toe infection. So if anyone knows the correct treatment to cure an ugly dogs paws then please drop us a line & let me know. Sonia is going to kill me if I don't take care of Ugly while she's away!

Monday 20th April 2009-

2009-04-20Whaleshark at Shark Island this morning! Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), grow to lengths over twelve metres and have been allegedly reported as large as twenty. Koh Tao plays host to these rare creatures typically between the months of March and October, however reported sightings around the island and Sail Rock also cover December, January and February; possibly proving that whale sharks use unreliable calendars, or more likely, that we still know very little about their migratory habits. The whale shark cruises the oceans feeding on krill, plankton & small fish and is harmless to divers and snorkellers, although my favourite report is that of a Japanese snorkeller who did once manage to get sucked into a Whale Shark's mouth but was quickly spat out again!

I'm afraid the weather has taken a turn for the worse. Actually that's putting it a little mildly. The weather has completely turned on us! Its big waves, strong winds & taxi's to Maehaad right now as its just too choppy to get out on the longtails at Sairee right now! That marks a change in the season. Officially the summer is over & we're now on our way into winter! So we'll put the summer thongs back in the cupboard now & get the woolly bikinis out!

Voulez vous? Ooh its sooo sweet! Me thinks our little Frenchman is in lurve! Yesterday G couldn't wait to tell everyone how long it would be till 'my little Canadian' gets back! ooh le passion! L'Amour, Le lust! There aint nothing going to hold this frenchman back from his true lurve! I believe he's paid a Burmese housekeeper to clean his room, he's bought 15 red roses to bury her under, (one for every minute he's known her!) & he's got his 'baguette' out, along with a nice bottle of Chianti chilling & he's got his Christina Aguillera CD ready! Aint no one as romantic as our G, n'est pas!

Sunday 19th April 2009-

2009-04-19Time for a room make over! Its not terribly busy right now in Koh Tao despite the great diving so we are going to grab the opportunity to be a little bit of interior decorating. So with the help of Kymmie, our world famous choreographer & home improvements expert we are going to be painting some walls, putting up some pictures, changing some fittings & fitting some changes! You won't recognise the place by the time we've finished! Our fan rooms we'll be upgraded to deluxe rooms, the bungalows we'll call villas' & our AC Rooms we'll call studio apartments. Yeah man! We're jammin!

Seems we are getting reports from all 4 corners of Koh Tao. Its the triggerfish season! Triggerfish are extremely territorial, and especially during the breeding season in April/May they will protect their nest aggressively. During these months the male will guard the nest against all on-comers, including divers who choose to unwittingly swim into the 'Protection Zone' which goes directly up from the nest in a cone shape (as they can see upwards). Their bites can cause infection as they contain a natural poison called Ciguatoxin, which can have serious affects on humans, and they use ramming techniques to scare other creature's away (including divers).Titan's are generally short sited, so can not see well at distance. They usually feed on hard corals or hard bodied invertebrates and divers! So if you see a triggerfish, be afraid. Be very afraid!

Our West side Posse are going to be closing up shop this week & will be returning home to their Motherland- Koh Tao & a hero's welcome! Its not been easy in Khao Lak this year. A dreadful start to the season brought about by the airport closure, & then the economic crisis & finally a nasty accident on another dive centre's Liveaboard boat in the Similans could have spelt disaster for some, but not for our band of merry men & women! So Nice one Rick & Fanette & Sonia & Team Japan. Now come over here & give us a cuddle!

Saturday 18th April 2009-

2009-04-18Kop Khun Krap P'Piak! Today G, Rich & Spaz took with them a couple of DMT's & 1 Boat captain to attach the new buoy line we made yesterday to Green Rock. Very nice of P'Piak to offer to lend a hand. In fact very nice of P'Piak to take over the whole show & undo the knots we so carefully made yesterday, cut the rope & shorten the line & affix the mooring to somewhere completely different to where we'd planned to put it. Still not sure anyone fancied telling P'Piak differently. So anyway now we have a brand new & perfectly good mooring line at Green Rock... right over the Trigger pits. Excellent!

Scuba diving Satanists who hacked off the arms of a submerged statue of Jesus Christ are being hunted by Italian police. The attack was carried out at a depth of 75ft below the surface of the sea on the statute which is known as the Christ of the Abyss. It was sent to the bottom of the Mediterranean by Pope John Paul II in December 2000 at a ceremony for the Italian Diving Association and is a well known landmark for divers. The hands of the Christ were raised upwards and it faced out to sea and it was a symbol for anyone who had anything to do with the Mediterranean. 'Someone has deliberately wanted to attack a religious symbol that is held very dearly by fishermen, divers and locals - we hold a yearly procession to the statue.' A police spokesman on Giglio said: 'Because of the depth it is very unlikely that the statue was damaged by a propeller or net. 'It looks like a very deliberate attack and because it is 25 metres underwater someone was very well equipped to go down there and take off the arms. 'It's possible it could be an attack by Satanists who knew the statue was there and who also knew that it was a very revered symbol for the locals so it is a line of investigation.'

Sounds like there has been a few more sitings of Black Tip Reef sharks over the last few days. DM Andy reckons he saw a nice one at Aow Leuk the other afternoon, & today DM Lisa saw a couple at Barrracuda Rock at Chumphon Pinnacle. That's great news. Its about time the sharks came back & paid us a visit. It feels like ages since we were diving with sharks on a regular basis. Woohoo. Its Shark Safari Season!

Friday 17th April 2009-

2009-04-17Got to give a huge thank you to P'Chok our Big Blue Carpenter who's job it is to go around the resort fixing things, making things and generally just being an all round handy man! Well over the last couple of weeks P'Chok has been making us a very nice outdoor classroom & reception area in anticipation of the summer high season. It all started as a necessity for our live stage show of Grease last month & now we've turned it into the best outdoor classroom on Koh Tao! It looks awesome & we're all very happy with it. Now lets see if P'Chok can't make us a swimming pool with diving board next!

Nicely done Olga! In a time of deep recession & a very negative employment market it appears that our very well trained Divemaster par excellence from Espana has managed to find herself a job as a DM at one of Koh Tao's larger Dive centers! Congratulations Olga. You see guys don't ever let it be said there are no jobs in diving. There are heaps of jobs & if you find the right aptitide, apply the right attitude & deliver a little Latino latitude then you just can't fail. I bet looking like a foxy Flamenco Dancer helped as well of course! Felicitaciones Foxy!

"Hey Jim. Exciting news! I wanted to let you know that the United Nations has declared June 8th as World Oceans Day. The concept of a "World Ocean Day" was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The Ocean Project has been working closely with the World Ocean Network for the last six years to promote and coordinate World Ocean Day events and activities with aquariums, zoos, museums, conservation organizations and agencies, universities, schools, and businesses. Each year an increasing number of countries and organizations have been marking June 8th as opportunity to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea. With the World Ocean Network, we also developed and widely circulated a petition to the United Nations urging them to officially recognize World Ocean Day. With help from our Partner organizations, tens of thousands of people from all parts of the world signed online or paper copies of the petition. Your participation in all of this made a real difference. While official U.N. designation is not going to change things overnight it is an important step in improving the health of our world's ocean. Now we need to capitalize on this fresh momentum! I hope you will be involved in planning or participating in a World Oceans Day celebration near you in June. Please visit the World Oceans Day website to list your event, get celebration ideas, access the media and outreach kit, and more. Cheers! Bill Mott, Director,The Ocean Project" Congratulations to all! Making this happen was truly a worldwide effort!

Thursday 16th April 2009-

2009-04-16In order to reduce incidences of structural damage to the reefs around Koh Tao, The Save Koh Tao Group and the Thai Navy will be undertaking a mooring buoy project tomorrow & the day after. For this project, 10 mooring buoys will be installed or repaired in the areas around the island deemed to be most at risk of anchor damage. They are Mango Bay, Red Rock, Japanese Gardens, Green Rock, Barracuda Rock, Sai Nuan, Sai Tong, Shark Island, Aow Leuk, & Laem Thien. It is hoped that by working with the local community for the installation, maintenance, and repair of these buoys that we can increase the amount of education and awareness about human impacts on coral reefs and reduce those impacts for Koh Tao. Inst G & DM Spaz & their team of DMT's will be installing the buoys at Green Rock & Red Rock tomorrow! Its a great day out! Have fun Buoys!

It's really important that you help us bring the award-winning documentary Sharkwater to China. China is the largest consumer and trader of shark fins in the world, fueling the growing demand for shark fin soup that is destroying our oceans within our lifetime. Most Chinese consumers don’t know that shark fin soup contains shark, because the translation literally means, "fish wing soup". Shark populations have dropped more than 90% in 30 years, destroying the most important ecosystem for our own survival. Conservation isn't just saving species and ecosystems, it's saving humans. This is a huge consumer awareness issue that we have the power to change. We urgently need your help to create a Chinese version of Sharkwater that will target an audience of over 300 million people. We can change the world, with your help. WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1- Donate now to the non-profit foundation SAVE THE BLUE that is working with us and WildAid to bring Sharkwater to China & receive a special custom-made tribal shark pendant, shirt or bag! Wear your special shark pendant with pride to engage people in making shark conservation an international priority! It’s cool to save sharks!
2- Post this article in your blog and help us get the word out.
3- For TEFL, TOEFL and Nat. teachers working in China or the SE Asia region: Use sharkfinning as a discussion topic in your classes.
4- Act Now & Donate to bring Sharkwater to China.
Thanks for helping us save sharks,
Rob Stewart and the Sharkwater Team.

Mass evacuation form Big Blue tonight with Inst Deano & DM Paul taking over Duncan, Laura, Cory, Emma, Colin & Alan for a Liveaboard trip with Wicked Diving in Khao Lak. Departing the day after tomorrow the guys are going to be spending the next 3 days & nights cruising the 9 beautiful islands of the Similans & then the 3 greatest divesites of the Surin Islands at Richelieau Rock, Koh Tachai & the 'Manta Magnet' that is Koh Bon! Have a great trip guys. May the Manta's be with you!

Wednesday 15th April 2009-

2009-04-15What's with that terrible fashion accessory of the mid 80's the bandana & its introduction into scuba diving? I know certain staff members have been diving with a bandana for a while here at Big Blue, but I never had either of them down for fashion trend setters. But Emily, G, it seems the ridiculous underwater look you have adopted has now brought about the top selling scuba related item on the market these days... the neoprene bandana! So I guess you guys will be upgrading soon. & then I reckon you better start another underwater trend. How about an underwater onion necklace? Just as cool!

Well it looks like the problems in Bangkok have subsided a little. In fact it actually looks like the government have taken the necessary action needed to completely quell the Red Shirted uprising. Thank God. Thai authorities have issued arrest warrants for 13 protest leaders and the man the protesters support, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The group has been charged with inciting a public disturbance and illegal assembly. So who won? Well lets be honest- Nobody! Not the red-shirts, not Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva either. Not Thaksin Shinawatra. In fact 3 years of intractable political conflict are taking a debilitating toll on Thailand. There appear to be no towering, Obama-like figures in Thailand, who can win the respect of both camps. Well apart from P'Piak our illustrious Captain.

Canada is planning his next Cave trip to the Khao Sok Marine Park. This will be our 3rd trip & so far our busiest. Its been a resounding success the cave trips as its not just the opportunity to do some very cool & different diving but also an opportunity to see another very beautiful part of Thailand. Khao Sok National Park is located on the mountain ridge which separates the east and west coasts of the Thai peninsula. Originally the north side of the park was bounded by the Pasaeng River. However, since the construction of Rachabrapah Dam in 1982, and the formation of the artificial lake, the boundary of the park has been extended to include the reservoir. The reservoir itself covers an area of 165 square kilometers. & about a gazillion little nooks crannies & undiscovered caves! Fark Yeah! Let's go Cave Diving!

 Tuesday 14th April 2009-

2009-04-14So after a heavy day of violence things have now settled down a bit! I am of course talking about Songkran & the violent water fighting that went on all day! There was mass shootings & territorial raids on neighbouring dive shops & local businesses & witnesses say that the amount of water being spilt was criminal! People were going down everywhere in a barrage of water fire & liquid. There were scenes of hysteria & mass panic when the ice water came out about midday & some people needed considerable looking after by the end of play last night. Bodies were strewn all over the beach. What a fantastic day! Happy Songkran everyone!

In the interests of entertaining the staff I've been asked to dish the dirt on yesterday's sordid goings on! But thats not really cricket is it! After all if Oli & Tina wish to re-enact the love making scene in 'From Here to Eternity' between Burt Lancaster & Deborah Kerr in front of 200 people then who I am to tell the world! & if G stopped drinking by 6pm because he couldn't get that lovely lady off his lips is that really her fault? What about Soren? Did he? Didn't he? & Om ?? & Lee??? & what about that kiss between Becky & Helen? & who was that girl that went to Bans bar at 3 in the morning & did an impromptu striptease on the bar & then came into work this morning a little red faced & late? & why doesn't Dan's phone work anymore? & Hannah, what have you done with Thomas? Surely you didn't consume him whole did you?

A breakthrough study has discovered all octopuses, cuttlefish and some squid are venomous. It was previously thought that only the blue-ringed octopus was the one to watch out for. Scientists have found that, while the blue-ringed octopus remain the only species dangerous to humans, other groups have been quietly using their venom for predation. Venoms are toxic proteins that performed functions such as paralysing the nervous system. "We hope that by understanding the structure and mode of action of venom proteins we can benefit drug design for a range of conditions such as pain management, allergies and cancer." Octopuses, cuttlefish and squid - known as cephalopods - remain an untapped resource for drug development. The team analysed tissue samples from cephalopods from Hong Kong, the Coral Sea, the Great Barrier Reef and Antarctica. The different species' genes were then studied for venom protection and it was found that a venomous ancestor produced one set of venom proteins, but over time additional proteins had added to the chemical arsenal. The animal worlds equivalent to Rambo.

Monday 13th April 2009-

2009-04-13Happy Songkran Everyone. I believe the year is 2553 today! Happy New Year or as you say in Thai Sawadee Pi Mai! Right, now then... lets go find ourselves a great big water pistol & and have ourselves a big water fight! Happy New Year Thailand. Dryest person standing at the end of the day is a Ponce!

Oh dear. As you've probably seen there looks like another another bout of political tension here in Bangkok. Last November it was the Yellow Shirts who staged anti government protests culminating in the closure of Thailands International Airport & consequently led to the positioning of the current Prime Minister. Now we've got the Red Shirts demonstrating against what they see is an illegal government. They are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva & would like to reinstate deposed leader Thaksin Shinawatra who is currently in exile in Dubai (whoops that's supposed to be a secret!). So the whole thing is a bit of a mess & there doesn't seem to be a very obvious way of solving the problem. Lets just keep our fingers crossed that things will work themselves out & that tourism in Thailand won't be too badly affected. Meanwhile if you are on your way to Thailand or are planning coming rest assured here in Koh Tao there aint no red shirts or yellow shirts! Today we're all wearing wet shirts!

Whaleshark at Southwest Pinnacle! Its getting kind of boring! Amazing isn't it. That's about 5 consecutive days with the Big Fish & people now want to see something else! But they can't cos there is a bloody great big Whaleshark keeps swimming through into view! Thoughtless beast!

Sunday 12th April 2009-

2009-04-12Songkran Festival starts tomorrow! Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year. This is the time for Thais to pay homage to Buddha images, clean their houses, and sprinkle water on their elders in a show of respect. Anyone who ventures out on the streets is likely to get a thorough dousing of water, all in good fun, but also quite welcome at the peak of the hot season. So being the fun seeking people we are here at Big Blue you can pretty much count on there being a rather large party here tomorrow. Anyone arriving tomorrow please don't wear anything you don't want to get wet! There'll be discounts for ladies who forget to wear their brassieres! There'll be savage water dousings for chaps in speedos!

An Israeli Inventor has developed a breathing apparatus that will allow breathing underwater without the assistance of compressed air tanks. This new invention will use the relatively small amounts of air that already exist in water to supply oxygen to both scuba divers and submarines. The system uses "Henry Law" which describes gas absorption in liquids. As all DMT's will tell you this law states that 'the amount of gas that can be dissolved in a liquid body is proportional to the pressure on the liquid body'. The law works in both directions lowering the pressure will release more gas out of the liquid. This is done by a centrifuge which rotates rapidly thus creating under pressure inside a small sealed chamber containing sea water. The system will be powered by rechargeable batteries. Calculations showed that a one kilo Lithium battery can provide a diver with about one hour of diving time.The invention has already captured the interest of most major diving manufacturers as well as the Israeli Navy & if everything goes according to plan, in a few years the new tankless breathing system will be operational and will be attached to a diver in the form of a vest that will enable him to stay underwater for a period of many hours. You go first. I'll watch!

Its a Full Day Trip to Sail Rock. Considered the premier dive site in the Gulf of Thailand, Sail Rock is 15m above and 35m below surface pinnacle that lies between Koh Tao and Koh Pha-ngan. Its famous for its natural underwater vertical swimthrough or chimney which divers can enter at 6 metres and exit at 18. It is also the visiting site of many larger pelagics including chevron barracuda, big schools of mackerel, jacks, trevally and tuna. You may encounter a seasonal whale shark or marlin here also. Top site. Top day out.

Saturday 11th April 2009-

2009-04-11Imagine being in the water with a shark six times your size and weighing nearly 15 tons, with a mouth that at full gape can open to over a metre in width. It’s not the stuff of nightmares but it is an experience many scuba divers who come to Thailand have at the top of their Must See lists – an encounter with the enormous, enigmatic and perfectly harmless whale shark, which can grow up to a staggering 12 metres in length and is officially classified as the world’s biggest fish. Congratulations everyone who saw the whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle this morning. Commiserations DM Paul who wasn't on the boat & has yet to break his Whale shark virginity.

Not the sort of thing you come across every day but well worth another look, even a closer inspection! Today there was a posse of 9 naked divers at Chumphon this morning. It looked like it was 6 fella's, 1 chick, & what looked like a couple of asexuals. Hard to tell from the distance they were at. Not sure which diveshop they were with but they were obviously being taught the PADI Naturist Course. We obviously don't do enough of this here at Big Blue, so from today we will be promoting it heavily from here on in. In fact if you come in & say you want to do your PADI Naturist Course we'll even give it to you for free! Please note PADI Naturist Course is not a real certification... but it bloody well should be!

In the interests of creating more space in our equipment room so that we can take better care of the 15 new sets of equipment we have just purchased, the equipment room looks like a bombsite today! There's hammering, drilling, screwing, banging & swearing going on all over that room! Mo is obviously very excited its all happening & has even come into work on his day off which is either highly admirable or completely crazy. Anyway once its all finished its going to create about another 3 meter square area of space especially for our DMT's & all their lovely brand new equipment! In fact there's still enough space for an other couple of BCD's if any of them want to buy a new one or two!

Friday 10th April 2009-

2009-04-10Another Whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle today! Its a beautiful thing! To be in the water with one of these behemoths is a truly humbling and exhilarating experience, especially as, despite their size, whale sharks remain one of the ocean’s most rarely encountered creatures. Little is known about their migratory patterns, their mating habits, or even about their numbers – while the whale shark is a protected species in Thailand, they are considered endangered by both CITES and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and they are hunted across Asia for their fins along with other shark species. Therefore everytime a whale shark is spotted it’s a cause for celebration. Think I'll have a large Chang!

It's that time of the month again. The party people are all going to be arriving here from Koh Phangan over the next few days. Koh Tao is going to be bursting at the seams! & what seems to be the majority nationality on holiday at the moment- Israeli. Some nationalities are here all the time like the English & Germans! In January though its the Scandies, the French in Feb, The Irish in March. Right now its the Israeli's. Next month the Dutch will be here in Full force. Then we'll have the Japanese. In August the Italians. September time we'll be predominantly Spanish. & then before you know it there will be scantily clad Scandies running up & down the beaches again! But for now its Israeli season. 'Yalla! Yallo Bo!'

The day after a man lost his wife in a scuba diving accident, he was greeted by two grim-faced policemen at his door."We're sorry to call on you at this hour, Mr. Wilkens, but we have some information about your wife. ""Well, tell me!" the man said.The policeman said, "We have some bad news, some good news and some really great news. Which do you want to hear first?"Fearing the worse, Mr. Wilkens said, "Give me the bad news first."So the policeman said, "I'm sorry to tell you sir, but this morning we found your wife's body in the Gulf of Mexico.""Oh my god!," said Mr. Wilkens, overcome by emotion. Then, remembering what the policeman had said, he asked, "What's the good news?""Well," said the policeman, "When we pulled her up she had two 5 pound Spiny lobsters and a dozen good size Stone crabs on her.""If that's the good news than what's the great news?!", Mr. Wilkens demanded.The policeman said, "We're going to pull her up again tomorrow morning."

Thursday 9th April 2009-

2009-04-09Well the results are in! This years KohTao Festival was a resounding success with a total of 2million Baht being raised all together & a total of 360 kilos of trash being collected off Sairee Reef. That is a whole truck load of garbage that is no longer messing up our underwater environment. The Save Koh Tao Group were given 10 new Mooring Buoys to install at certain divesites by certain dive shops- Big Blue will be tying up a line at Japanese Gardens on the 18th April- & all in all 26 sea turtles were released into the ocean & we have another 20 being raised & nursed in Aow Leuk for the moment untill they are a little bit bigger. Nice one Koh Tao Community! We doubled what we achieved last year! Imagine how much good we can do for Koh Tao if we can do the same again next year!

Well this rather unpleasant wind has meant we've had to send Bang up the coconut trees to chop down a lot of these dangerously close to falling and landing on your head coconuts. We don't usually do this till May or June but you know Paradise can be a dangerous place! According to some experts, 150 people die every year due to falling coconuts. When the coconut palm, which is on average 25 metres high, lets drop it's 2 kilogram coconut, & it hits your soft sun-soaked skull at a speed of 80 kilometres an hour, its going to smart like a mother father!

If a picture speaks a thousand words how many thousands of words do you think this particular picture is worth? This stunning photo of a diver's close encounter with a 70-tonne whale off New Zealand is one of the winners of the Wildlife Photographer Exhibition of the Year. The picture, taken by Brian Skerry, won first place in the competition's 'Underwater World' category. Now what would you rather do slaughter them or photograph them?

Wednesday 8th April 2009-

2009-04-07Its a landmark day at Big Blue today. ACE Marine Manager & Camera Queen is doing her Divemaster day this afternoon. After nearly 5 years Heather is finally about to be qualified as a PADI Divemaster. I wonder how many years it will take her to do her Instructor Course? Today Heather will take out our boat with about 20 divers out to the No 1 divesite in Koh Tao -Chumphon Pinnacle, & today instead of filming everyone & everything this time there will not be a camera about on her personage at all! It could be very unsettling for her with no camera so its a bit of a stress test for her as well! Good Luck Heather... hope you can find your way back to the boat without looking thru your viewfinder?

Ten decommissioned military aircraft have been dumped in the Andaman sea, about three kilometres off Phuket, to create an artificial reef for divers. Dubbed the "Coral Reef Squadron", the skeletons of four DC-4 Dakotas used in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and six Sikorsky S-58T helicopters are being sunk near Koh Weaw. The operation, run by the Thailand Diving Association was initiated by the For Sea Foundation shortly after the tsunami struck the Andaman coastal provinces in 2004, causing grave damage to coral reefs in the area. It aims to create new diving sites to replace those destroyed by the tsunami, and to ease the tourist load on existing natural coral reefs. Excellent idea. & we'd like a 10 here in the Gulf as well please!

Well its been at least a week since one of us had a bike crash so I guess we can't be entirely surprised to come to work this morning & find that both Emily & Kelli have gone & injured themselves trying to perform an Evil Kneivel like manoeuvre over a pot hole cunningly disguised as a puddle! What with Hannah & her foot, Kymmie & her tummy, Lara, Donna, Dan & now Emily & Kelli, & Jodie all wrapped up in plasters & bandages its looking more like a Doctors surgery around here than a Dive Center.

Tuesday 7th April 2009-

2009-04-07So its getting to the end of the season for our west coast friends. Soon the winds will step up a notch & the heavens will open & rain down swimming pools worth of water every minute. But by all accounts its been quite a season. Heaps of ghost pipefish, Whalesharks, leopard sharks, dolphins & manta's but of all the stories & photos I've seen & or heard I got to give Church the award for best find & proof- the ever elusive White Manta. Congratulations Church. You get 2 thumbs up & an eggnog!

The island can breathe a sigh of relief today. Luckily Spaz & Scobby are both off to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party so the rest of us can sober up a bit at last. Its been fun but it aint been healthy! So our renegades are off to party with the masses. To wreak havoc & devastation wherever they go. To cause controversy, raise chaos & dance with the masses! Pretty much the same sort of thing they've been doing here for the past few days! Same same but different!

Last week on our last Full Day Trip to Sail Rock, ACE Video Camera Girl Extrordinnaire Heather filmed another whale shark. After studying the images and entering them into the ACE photographic identification database we are happy to confirm that this young shark, as of yet unknown sex, called April, is back in the area for at least the second time! This is the first ever match on returning whale sharks; April was first seen on 5 February 2008 at Chumphon Pinnacle and came back to Sail Rock on 30 March 2009, just over a year later. This is incredible news and we are delighted to see one of last years sharks alive and well and back in the same area. Congratulations to Heather who seems to have an affinity for this particular shark as it was her that first filmed and identified April last year and went on to name her after Heather's sister. What a great story and a real triumph for the shark database. This is the first true confirmation that we have returning visitors, a giant leap into the understanding of the whale sharks migration patterns. High 5 Heather. Ace 1 ACE!

Monday 6th April 2009-

2009-04-06Where has everyone gone? The place is feeling a little bit streamlined right now with so many people injured or on holiday. After all Barry left last night for the UK & won't be back for 3 weeks, G went upto some PADI tupperware party in Bangkok, Simon & Jodie went off for a Big Mac & a movie in Samui, Tim is having a romantic week away with his young lady friend, Kelli & Helen our trusted & reliable Freelancers are finding themselves a little bit at a loose end with not much work around for them & Donna's gone & injured herself. Meanwhile Jim just got back from a trip to the 'Other side', Amanda's just returned from her first Manta Ray Dive in the Similans & our Japanese Team are all in Japan at some Dive exhibition! Good job things are quiet. Might have to go to the Full Moon Party with Spaz & Scobby... then again I might not. Sometimes life is just too precious!

So Big Blue Tech chartered the Mv Trident to take 15 people wreck diving the other day. We collected the 15 from our divemaster internship pool who were eager to try something a bit deeper and challenging from their everyday diving.cAfter a briefing and orientation from the night before we all met at 7 am and loaded into taxi’s for the drive to the main pier where we met the Team who would be helping lead the divers below. As we steamed towards the wreck we had breakfast while being treated to live music being played by Alan on the Fiddle/Violin. The techies tied on to the wreck using a shot line system and then in groups of 3 we descended to the wreck. The conditions were not ideal, a bit murky, bit of current, bit of chop but none the less a thrill for everyone. Many were combining the 40m depth with their PADI Deep Diver Specialty. After 2 dives and a good lunch the bar was open and we sailed back to Koh Tao for a mighty big knees up. All in days work!

It's just not in my nature to go round spreading gossip. In fact I'm not even out very often so don't really even know when gossip is actually gossip but with the relentless barrage of information I've been receiving from people lately I know that the other nights "Live Act" between an ex DMT currently working at another Grand Dive shop, (likes windmills wooden shoes & tulips), & current country Bumpkin DMT, (likes Olive oil & coming back to Koh Tao every year for the past 9 years) is very saucy gossip indeed! Very Red Hot & Dutch! But as I said. Its just not in my nature to gossip!

Only 8 sleeps left till Songkran!

Sunday 5th April 2009-

2009-04-05Despite the many positives to living in the tropics there are also a few negatives- the constant heat,mosquitos, the dangers of falling coconuts, gecko poo & of course unreliable electricity, phone & internet connections! So apologies to those of you who have been trying to contact us in the last couple of days. It seems we've had a small problem on the island with our local communications. It appears it blew up yesterday afternoon & rumour has it it won't be repaired for another 3-4 days! So if you are having problems contacting us or think we're being rude by not contacting you then please relax. We're living in the tropics & someone forgot to put the coin in the island meter again!

Koh Tao has its first little red fire engine! It looks like its just stepped out of a Thomas the Tank Engine story! Perfect for Koh Tao! Well you would of thought so at least. But unfortunately its first big test was yesterday & I'm afraid it didn't do very well. When the island's main electricity grid blew up & caught fire it took no time at all for the little red truck to arrive & get its hose out ready to put out the fire. Unfortunately a small boy needing a wee could have put more water over the fire than the little red truck did as someone had forgotten to fill the truck up with water! Still it was its first big outing & I think it got stage fright! Poor little useless red fire engine.

Not sure quite what has happened to the weather. Haven't seen skies this dark & grey since the monsoon! & I hate to say it but the weather forecast aint that great for the next few days either which of course sucks big time! Its Full Moon here on the 9th & the Songkran Aquarobics kicks off on the 13th so its going to be a very busy period. Guess it doesn't really matter if it rains really after all we're all going to get wet even if its glorious weather, only now we can all go home with pneumonia too! Only 9 days left till Songkran!

Friday 3rd April 2009

2009-04-03Hello all! Looks like another busy day at Big Blue!!
Canada and Matt have been in the Tech shed all day nailing, hammering, sawing and painting, their meant to be improving the place but the result is yet to be seen! but in all fairness their actually doing a very good job. Canada has worked very hard to make Big Blue Tech one of Koh Taos leading Technical diving schools and all the hard work is really starting to pay off so for those of you that want to go deeper, darker, and longer or just wanna look really cool in technical diving gear then here is the place to do it!

DMT Lara is nearly finished with her "resort info" sign giving directions to everywhere you want to go around Big Blue....the dive shop, the office, the beach.......the sleeping dog! Lara is fast becoming our resident artist so if your coming soon you'll be able to see her handy work all over the resort...cheers Lara!

This morning saw the end of two more DMT courses and the start of two more professional diving careers as both Justin and Josie had their DM day this morning, this basically means they have to run the dive trip dealing with all manner of logistics, planning and above all good customer service! they both did very well and i'm sure they'll be found dancing on the bar tonight after their DM challenge! Well done guys!!

Instructor Dan is looking forward to teaching his first open water course since his broken hand incident, which is very good news for all of us here as he has been climbing the walls trying to keep himself busy and at last he can feel useful again....Thank god!!

Countdown to Songkran.......10 days!!!

Thursday 2nd April 2009

2009-04-02Well well well, sorry for the missing day guys but after Andy and Emily's joint birthday bash the night before yesterday seemed to come and go in a hazy blur! not that we were all hung over because as you all know we here at Big Blue are diving professionals and never touch alcohol, more like the evening left us with lots of questions and we were all busy trying to answer them!

Questions such as....

1:How is the love Triangle between Duncan, Mickey and Alain going to play out???
2:Will DM Paul throw his keys into a bush thus locking himself out of his house, break into afore mentioned house then forget it all in the morning leaving himself locked inside his own house after every party in the future??
3: And last but by no means least is anyone ever going to figure out who the very illusive girl is that Instructor Craig is spending alot of time with at the moment???...beware guys the island is small and you cant keep a secret forever!!!

Answers on a postcard please!
Ok, so staff personal lives aside what else do i have for you? it seems that every other day someone somewhere is spotting a Whale shark, obviously i don't need to state what an awesome experience this is, also the turtle has taken up residence at White Rock again, We call him Trevor {I'm not sure why,he just looks like one} and if that's not enough for you the sharks are coming back to Chumpon Pinnacle again.....Get in!

We're now on the official countdown to Songkran!! for those of you who don't know what 'Songkran' is then allow me to explain...its the Thai new year festival! Which translated means an all island everyone included free for all water fight, you will have to look long and hard to find someone not carrying a water pistol so if your planning on coming out to us anytime soon..bring a shower cap and a kagool!!

May 2009

Sunday 31st May 2009-

2009-05-31Another day of diving here at Big Blue and wouldn’t you know it….Another whale shark!! Reports came in today that a rather large whale shark had been spotted at Chumpon Pinnacle. Luckily enough, our rather large friend hung around long enough that we managed to send one of our dive boats out to see it!! Did you know that an average whale shark weighs nearly 12,000 kilos, which is roughly the same amount of Deano’s tab at Vibe last night after buying a round for the entire bar!! Good job, Deano!! Great time last night for Dean and Ricky’s Birthday Bash at Vibe Bar…From what I can remember.

Congratulations to Big Blue’s newest batch of recently signed off Divemasters – Duncan Tyler and Lara Roberts. Duncan may have set a new record in how quickly he completed his Divemaster Training program and Lara, well, she and her mentor were very much on again, off again, on again, off again, on again and off again…..while picking a date for her to finish her course. After last night, it looks like they sorted everything out, again. Congratulations to the both of you…..Lara and Duncan that is.

Wreck diving in Japanese Gardens!! That’s right…..It looks like Japanese Gardens is home to a newly sunken wreck for all to explore!! A small boat recently sank on Sairee Beach and it was brought back up and moved to Japanese Gardens where it had the misfortune of sinking again!! A buoy has been attached and it looks like it may be there to stay so… come in, sign up and go diving on a new wreck!! Sounds like a great afternoon to me…


Saturday 30th May 2009

2009-05-30The Giant Clams have been strategically placed between some staghorn coral and some compact hard corals at a secret location somewhere in Japanese Gardens after narrowly avoiding further consumption in one of Big Paul's Clamato Juice Ceasar Bloody Mary concoctions. Luckily, said clams activated their anti-personnel devices and spat clam juice in his eye as he reached into the bucket - bleugh!

DMT Duncan finally lost his 'T' yesterday after almost 6 months of training here. Duncan left his Family's olive oil import/export business (I know it was you 'Fredo) and came to Koh Tao to....well, to loaf about and drink G&T's it seems - and good on him. His final DM day was only marred by the record-breaking beer fine total he amassed. A few examples - 08:51 fined 1 beer, shop door left open. 09:50 1 beer, not taking job seriously. 11:23 1 beer, didn't get beer fine between 11:00 -11:23. 11:24 1 beer, arguing about beer fines. And so on....

Thursday 28th May 2009-

2009-05-28I'd very much like to thank Sao our Receptionist at our Big Blue Guesthouse for stopping a couple of innocent Burmese workers from devouring 2 large clams yesterday that had been stolen from the clam growing farm the Save Koh Tao Group have built over in Aow Leuk on the other side of the island. So having saved the clams we have now put them in a bucket of sea water overnight & this afternoon Simon & a handful of excited Divemasters in Training are going to go & plant these clams back underwater at a secret location around Nang Yuan. Once they are wedged into a firm spot they should start growing & it won't be too long till they are as big as a Canadian! Paul or Canada. Take your pick they are both huge!

Another day, another Whaleshark! So off we go again for another afternoon trip Double diving this afternoon with the Whaleshark! And just when I thought it was nigh on impossible to come up with any more interesting facts regarding whalesharks I have gone & completely pulled one out of the bag! I mean we all know these are the biggest fish in the sea & eat the smallest fish blah blah, said it all before. But did you know this! Whalesharks can't play tennis or tie shoelaces! And you thought you knew it all!

So I've had a lot of email recently from prospective visitors to Koh Tao and asking about swine flu in Koh Tao! C'mon! Are you serious? Well ok! Some of us have had a rasher but we've had some oinkment for it. We've had it for a bout a Wee wee wee wee eek! Recent arrivals to Koh Tao have come wearing pigtails but we had them all hambulanced out of here! We did try to contact the local government agencies but all we got was crackling! & then Banzai ran out of petrol on its way home from Sail Rock. I asked P'Piak “Why didn’t you fill up earlier?” He said “Too risky – swine ‘flu”. “You moron" I said "Its Mexico not Texaco”.

Wednesday 27th May 2009-

2009-05-27Scuba Diving! It may not sound like much of a fitness activity but scuba diving cranks up the calorie burn, requires cardiovascular strength, upper body brawn, demands the power of a good leg-kick, challenges your core muscles, and envelopes you in deep relaxation all at once. You burn off about 600 calories per hour during scuba. This is not so much due to athletic activity as to the bodies energy created to keep our core temperature stabilized. Additional calorie expenditure happens while kicking through currents, and lugging your dive gear around. The tanks can weight from 30 to 50 lbs. Once underwater, they feel like nothing, but getting back on & off the boat counts! Yes, fitness takes many forms and although none of us here at Big Blue have any current modelling contracts we're sure it's just a matter of days!

Nice to see ex DMT Hugo from Holland hasn't been wasting away the hours while slaving away at his job as a welder back home! Hugo used to be employed at one of the worlds largest & most popular private luxury yacht manufacturers & claims to have worked on boats owned by the likes of Roman Abramovich, the Russian oil Biilionaire & the owner of Chelsea Football Club. But times are hard & the rich are being as badly effected by the current economic crisis as anyone! So now, instead of ordering multi million dollar yachts they ask Hugo to make large metal stick men in sporting poses! Check out Hugo's Stickman Diver! Anyone else think it looks like ex DMT Daniella?

Right so where are we right now? Well Kate went to Chumphon for some shopping & is 2 days late coming back! Aom went to Samui shopping & came back 2 days earlier! Andy's entertaining his folks! Jim's about to entertain his folks. G's inbetween IDC's. Deano's about to start the next IDC. Amanada is in England, Yvonne is in Germany, Anna is in Sweden! Helen just got back from Malaysia, Rich is back from Bali! Robyn & Church & Takeshi & Naomi just went there! Hannah is going next week! Paul saw a whaleshark. Oli saw a whaleshark! Lara & Duncan saw a whaleshark & are getting tattoed! Canada has lots of tattoos. Corey has none! Simon stopped smoking this month. Barry & Sonia are celebrating 1 year together... as non smokers. Emily is a good girl & has never smoked! Soren is sick. So is Tim & so is Oskar! All 3 of them smoke! And if anyone asks... the answer is quite firmly, ' No! Alain is not drunk!'

Monday 25th May 2009-

2009-05-25Whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle again! Actually it was the same one that was seen yesterday afternoon at Chumphon Pinnacle as well! Only today it was seen by more people! Which now brings our Whaleshark versus Giant Moray sitings this year to Whaleshark - a manly, proud & macho 34, against the Giant Moray- a femininely poncey single figured 6! And just because everyone wants to go diving with a Whaleshark we have organised a last minute trip to Chumphon this afternoon as well & in the space of just half an hour have signed up almost 20 divers to go out Whaleshark spotting! Thats 20 divers paying minimum 700 Bt per dive, 2 dives, thats 28000 Bt raised just from 1 diveshop alone in only 30 minutes! And we didn't have to chop a fin off or harm or kill a single fish to do so! I think the Japanese & Norwegian & Icelandic fisherman & governments could learn something here!

Acupuncturist & Chiropractic & Divemaster James is back from his 6 months working aboard the Loveboat, or some other luxury Caribbean Cruise Ship. But he's home now & looking to make his skills & services available to all those interested. So for 3-4 hours everyday James is offering acupuncture & chiropractic treatment to all of our Big Blue Divers & staff for a FREE introductory offer! Needless to say James has been flat out pinning, poking, prodding, jabbing, twisting & adjusting since he started! But he says he draws the line at massages & rubbings so don't ask him for a happy ending!

Conservationists fear a falling shark population is prompting Asian chefs to look for manta and devil rays to help meet the voracious demand for shark fin soup. Found in coastal waters throughout the world, rays present an easy target as they swim slowly near the surface with their huge wings. So far, they have escaped commercial exploitation and have been hunted only by small numbers of subsistence fishermen, who traditionally catch them using harpoons. But the growing demand for the manta ray is turning ray fishing into an export operation. In the eastern Indonesian port of Lamakera, catches of manta have rocketed from a few hundred to about 1,500 a year. Mantas and mobulas are being used as shark fin soup filler! Christ what is the world coming to! Depleting our oceans of such magnificence!

Saturday 23rd May 2009-

2009-05-23Members of the Save Koh Tao Group organised a very interesting Seminar this morning with Assistant Professor Dr Anond Snidvongs Director of South East Asia START Regional center on the Impacts of Future Climate Change to Koh Tao in the Surat Thani Province. In a nutshell we were shown figures for temperature, rainfall, wind speed & sea levels as taken since 1979 till today 2009 & then a prediction of the future & its impact in Koh Tao! In an even smaller nutshell... we're all doomed at this current level so you may as well all come over to Koh Tao now because in 30 years the rising sea levels, pollutants being put into the water, tourist development & overfishing will have shattered Koh Tao completely! There is good news however. Because we know this is what could happen we do have time to change things! Be green! Save Koh Tao.

Canada & his Band of Merry Men & women are back from their trip to the Khao Sok National Marine Park having done a spot of cave diving! Congratulations all you new Cave Divers - 8 in total! & even more congratulations for being the team to first dive the legendary Sunken Village! Years ago when the Ratchaprapa Dam was built the local villages had to be moved or resettled. Some villages were left where they stood & are now as deep as 60- 70 meters below the lakes surface. & with the aid of a wise old man, an information kiosk, & a GPS Canada & his techies have located one of the villages! Unfortunately they ran out of time & couldn't investigate too much further. But they will be back! So if you are a tech diver & are interested in being a part of the next exciting installment of The Adventures of Canada & the Sunken Village then sign up now. Next trip departs on the 5th June! Trip after that departs on the 18th June so hurry as there are only 4 spaces left!

Weather at the moment... well right now its beautiful flat seas in the mornings. Just a nice gentle sea breeze to cool you down while sunbathing in your skimpies. The afternoons however can pick up on the wind front blowing everything off the balconey, & your Y-fronts off the washing line. Although having said that this afternoon is loverly! Time to make my way to the bar, have a large beer, chat with happy people & then watch a video on this mornings excellent dives! Yes the weather right now is just fine! Perfect time for a Thai holiday!

Friday 22nd May 2009-

2009-05-22Time to mousse up your hair, put on your platform shoes get out your drainpipe jeans & dab on a touch of Old Spice! Its School Disco night at Vibe Beach Bar tonight with none other than our very own DJ Andy Luckman on the wheels of steel! If you are lucky enough to be hanging out on the beach this arvo you might get a glimpse of Andy himself all dressed up in his old school uniform promoting tonights razzmatazz! And if you are really lucky he might even get one of our Big Blue girls dressed in their old school uniform too! That'll be nice! Party starts at 9pm! Free shot if you come in school uniform and or with an 80's haircut! 100 lines & a beating if you don't!

"Hi Jim, I just wanted to write and say thank you and to say what a great stay I had with Big Blue. My room was great and the diving was just brilliant. My open water instructors Soren & Kelly was lovely and my two fun diving DMT's Duncan and Lara were also great, i had a some very good dives with them which of course was topped off by seeing the Whale Shark on my last day. I am now hooked on diving and will be returning to Koh Tao at the end of June to do my Advanced with you guys and who knows what else. I will certainly be recommending you guys, thanks and see you soon. I was just reading your blog and spotted that a production company is making a program about you that's great news. I work in tv myself and was wondering which production company it is that's approached you. Thanks. Caroline " You are more than welcome Caroline & we look forward to seeing you back here soon! Might even get you on the telly for a rival Production Company!

Lets talk about Free Diving. As in Apnea. Not free diving! That would be outrageous! I mean breath hold diving! Now there are a lot of myths about the sport of freediving, especially among scuba divers. . It’s insanely dangerous. Only super fit people can do it. Some believe you have to be a Jedi Master to do it. If you hold your breath for more than five minutes your brain cells will start dying. Well you should know that is all a load of cods wallop! In fact Free Diving is a form of meditation and relaxation which very often leads to a positive change in one’s awareness of oneself and the surrounding environment. Freediving very often leads to a better physical and mental condition for those who practice it, not only because of the activity itself but also because of the change in lifestyle very often associated with it. That’s also the main reason why it is getting more and more popular. Its a modern lifestyle for people who love to be underwater. And it just may be something we might start offering here! Hmmm. Interested?

Thursday 21st May-

2009-05-21" Hey Jim- Thanks for letting us use your boat and staff for the Salvage trip the other day. Its too bad we didn't find it, but hopefully it will turn up sooner of later. Thanks also for all of the other things you guys have been helping out with, this last month it has seemed like every event is mostly Big Blue people. G is doing a great job and I am glad he is coming to all the meetings and getting the word around so effectively. Thanks again for all you help.
Chad. Save Koh Tao Group."
Cheers Chad, thanks for the email & well done Eco Warrior G! You are officially the Man! Aint no one can touch you!

Well our weird little Belgium is back a little earlier than anticipated, and bearing an uncanny resemblance to Gerard Depardieu too! Unfortunately for Alan he managed to crack his nose a treat while attempting to surf & spent the next few days in & out of hospital trying to get his nose fixed! Having then had enough of Bali he made his way to one of the Gilli islands where he kept bumping into ex girlfriends! Then he couldn't get his visa for Thailand sorted so had to go to Malaysia first. Poor chap. Didn't much of a holiday... but he's got a hell of a hooter!

Greetings from The Ocean Project!
With the newly official World Oceans Day coming up June 8th, The Ocean Project encourages Partners to launch a "Wear Blue and Tell Two" campaign to celebrate. Participation is easy: wear blue in honor of the ocean, and tell people two things they likely don't know about the ocean and ways they can take action. Recent research indicates that the public is looking to zoos, aquariums, and museums (ZAMs) to learn more about ocean issues and how they can help; through this campaign, we hope to help our Partners find new ways to meet this need.

Tuesday 19th May 2009-

2009-05-19Cave Diving in Khao Sok. 66 millions years ago the Khao Sok landscape in Thailand was formed. The limestone was forced upwards when the Indian land-plate crashed into the Eurasian plate. The ice age never affected Khao Sok much. The ice never reached this far south in Asia, leaving the landscape and the rivers as they where. When the ice melted again, more water than ever floated into the rivers of Khao Sok, making the flora even richer than it was before. Nowadays Khao Sok not only offers an amazing tropical rainforest experience but since the building of the Ratchaprapaw Dam it also harbours some of Thailand's most awesome underwater caves. & if you were to go cave diving right now you'd find for yourself 1 large Canadian & a gaggle of very excited Big Blue Cavers!

Well the weather is delightful. Its not too hot, but its hot enough to turn a white skinned European a tender shade of salmon pink. Its not windy or wavy so the seasickness bags are still wrapped up in storage. & its not too busy so there's enough space to swing a cat on the boats & in the restaurants, should you be so inclined. In fact the weather is so very nice at the moment that half our Instructors have gone off for a jolly to Sail Rock seeing as it aint too busy! That doesn't mean the rest of us are jealous. It just means we hope they come back salmon pink & swinging seasick cats!

Has anyone else noticed this? In 2007 it was the Chinese year of the Chicken and Bird Flu Pandemic devastates parts of Asia. In 2008 it was the Chinese year of the Horse & Equine Influenza decimates Australian racing. In 2009 the Chinese year of the Pig & we get hit with Swine Flu Pandemic which kills hundreds of pigs around the globe. Has anyone else noticed this? It gets worse........ next year......2010... its Chinese year of the Cock!

Monday 18th May 2009-

2009-05-18Baby whaleshark again this morning this time at White Rock! We've had them all weekend too but obviously they are getting so mundane recently that they weren't deemed to be worth writing about on the blog over the last couple of days! (subtle dig!) Anyway this one seen today is just a baby measuring less than 3 meters! Oooh how cute! And nice to see that Kate our shopgirl extraordinaire was out on the boat this morning too so she finally got to dive with her first whaleshark! Apparently it was the best time she has ever had in a swimsuit! Although I remember that time she got on the bar in her swimmers over Songkran & she looked like she was having a pretty good time then too!

Nothing more annoying than going looking for something that just aint there! Well that's kind of how Canada & his team of Tech Divers felt on Saturday after scouring the sea for last month's sunken nightboat! Unfortunately it seems the coordinates we were given are incorrect as there is most definitely nothing there & the fish finders couldn't find anything in the vicinity either! So where is it? Well we're going to have to hold you in suspenders I'm afraid as Canada & his band of merry men are off cave diving but they will be back here trudging the depths for this elusive bloody nightboat before you can count to infinity! Watch this space!

We've bought you a beer! And had the dogs shampooed! We've saved you a spot on the beach! We've blown up the inflatable whaleshark. We've gotcha a house on the cliffs. And we've got the urine out of the pool! We've got the gecko shit off the walls. And Bill's on his way down to open the front gate! Your taxi is waiting! And your penang is about to be served. And we're ready to give you the time of your lives! So where the Bloody hell are you?

Friday 15th May 2009-

2009-05-15"Hey Jim, I just wanted to send you a quick message to say thanks to you and your staff for an amazing experience over the last couple of days. My instructor Oli was absolutely fantastic, really friendly and professional and made me feel completely comfortable. You probably hear this all the time but I always think it's nice to give good feedback when you have a good experience. I'll be recommending Big Blue to other travellers and will definitely be back again in the future. Thanks again, Caroline." Thanks Caroline & good job Oli! I knew the inflatable Whaleshark would do the trick!

Congratulations our Japanese Team who have just finished a very busy but extremely successful Golden Week. 20 days of 4 dives a day in groups of over 50 per trip! 10 Full Day Trips in 14 days. 60 dives with 18 whalesharks, 2 DMT's 3 Divemasters, 8 Instructors & 1 legless Captain! Not bad eh! & you know what really really really impresses me about the choreography of the whole Golden Week period? Not 1 night dive! So anyway, last night was time for a little celebration for our Team from Japan who went to have a good ole fashion knees up onboard Banzai to thank everyone for a job well done! Everyone turned up including Ricky & Anna & of course Amanda who wouldn't miss out on a Japanese collective for all the tea in China...or Utah! or Rio!

Another day, another Whaleshark! Think we're on 12 days & 15 whalesharks & we haven't even finished the day yet! We got another boat out there right now aswell which gives us the potential of actually having 16 whalesharks in 12 days! Which gives us an average of 4 whalesharks every 3 days or a Whaleshark and a quarter every day! On those statistics that would mean we see more whalesharks every day than good looking Frenchman! Mind you I guess that's the same the world over!

Thursday 14th May 2009-

2009-05-14Its like a Mills & Boon Story! Its a very sad day if you believe in love! Dan's love of his life is leaving the island today. Both Kymmie & Hannah are off today & heading back to Blightey for a few months. They've had a bit of a rough ride lately what with Hannah & her leg & Kymmie & her everything! Hannah has been running the Big Blue Bar for a few months already & Kymmie has been helping the girls in the shop & finding rooms. They are going to both be sorely missed around here. Reckon the Bangkok Samui Hospital might miss them more though! Good luck ladies & look forward to seeing you both back here in September!

Well that's it! That's everyone now. & he did it teaching his first PADI Advanced Course! This morning Oli joined the same status as the rest of us who've all done it with a Whaleshark! Diving with the largest fish in the sea. Being that close to something so grand & special, something that roams the open oceans from Australia to Belize, from the Phillipines to Hawaii. A creature we actually know so little about. There aint no feeling like it. Its better than buying a Toyota any day! & to think Oli is planning on giving all this up to go join the Swiss Army!?? Large fish or multifunctional pen knive? Hmmm. I think that boy has too many holes in his cheese!

Welcome Back Rich! Looking nice & brown having returned from his Busman's holiday to Bali & the Gilli Islands! Sounds like he's seen everything you can hope to see while he's been away. He's been diving with turtles, Manta Rays & even got a large Sunfish in while he was diving the wreck at Tulumben! Lucky Barsteward! Mind you he hasn't seen a Whaleshark nor has he seen a Mobular Ray or the black tips at Twins, or the 15cm Seahorse or the bull sharks or grey reefs either. There's no place like home!

Wednesday 13th May, 2009-

2009-05-13SOS! It's 2099, and across south-east Asia, a hundred million people are on the march, looking for food. The productivity of the ocean... is plummeting right now. The fish they once relied on is gone. Communities are breaking down; economies destroyed. That is what we can expect, says the new WWF report, if the world's richest coral reef is destroyed. And that, it says, could happen this century unless fast action is taken. The international conservation group WWF warns that 40% of reefs in the Coral Triangle have already been lost. The world's most important coral region is in danger of being wiped out! The area is shared between Indonesia and five other south-east Asian nations and is thought to contain 75% of the world's coral species. It is likened to the Amazon rainforest in terms of its biodiversity, & if we lose it we will all die too! SOS! Save our seas!

Its a very big day for some today! Well done Paul! After a season in Micronesia, another in the Similans & coming to the end of his first season in Koh Tao DM Paul has finally broken his cherry! Today at Southwest Pinnacle Paul dived not once but twice with a 6 meter whaleshark! Infact there was another 1 at Sail Rock & another one at Chumphon Pinnacle as well! Thats 3 whalesharks here around Koh Tao right now! There are even reports coming in that there were actually 2 whalesharks at Southwest this morning but that is incorrect. There was only 1 whaleshark... & 1 very large happy Canadian whaleshark looky-likey!

There has been a lot of interest in helping us out with the night boat salvage trip on the 16th, which is great.So now we will be going out on both the 16th and 17th, and all interested divers can come along to help document, photograph the site and recover anything of value from the wreck. The current plan for the 2 days is as follows: Saturday- Canada & his team of Tech Divers will go out in the early morning to locate and mark the site with a buoy, and also to evaluate the conditions and depth at the site and any possible hazards that need to be addressed. Then we will send out another boat in the afternoon with the tech team and about 15 divers who want to join in. On Sunday we will be going back out again, this time to recover the rest of the items and get good information about the condition of the wreck/site. Nobody has been there yet, and we do not know the actual bottom depth or the conditions at the site so if it turns out to be more than 50-60 meters don't worry; there are plans to tow the wreck closer to the island to make it more accessible and maximize its use and value to the Dive community. DO you want to come? Then drop by Big Blue & sign up! You must be a minimum Deep Diver or Rescue certification with 30+ dives.

Tuesday 12th May 2009-

2009-05-12At last Big Blue has said goodbye to all the Japanese customers as golden week comes to an end, don’t worry Amanda they will be back!! We haven’t set foot on Banzai in nearly 3 weeks so it will be nice to see P’Piak our one-legged captain again, and be allowed to go to Sail Rock again.

Another seahorse was found at Twins yesterday, after all the Whalesharks and Mobula rays and strange sharks its nice to see the small stuff again, we like seahorses!

The Khao Lak mass exodus is nearly over and the monsoon is in full swing, Robyn and Church returned to surprise Canada on his birthday, they are enjoying a few days back on the island before a well earned vacation in Bali, good to have you guys back. And church get a haircut Cory is getting jealous of your bunches.

Tonight we have a divemaster challenge for recently graduated Tina, Klaus and Laura, after weeks of hard work shadowing our divemaster team and assisting instructors with their drinking, I mean teaching, they have just one more test to pass!! Come along tonight to the big blue bar to see how they will do, we all know DMT stands for Drink More Training.

Sharks. Of the hundreds of species of sharks, there are only four kinds of shark known to be dangerous to humans - great whites, tiger sharks, bull sharks and oceanic whitetip sharks. There have been no recorded fatal shark attacks in Thailand on scuba divers or swimmers. The shark divers are most likely to encounter in Thailand is the grey reef shark, which grows quite large - up to 2 metres - but is harmless. Snorkellers will often see baby sharks on shallow reefs as these are shark nurseries - Shark Bay here on Koh Tao is an excellent example. The prospect of being attacked by a shark while in the water in Thailand is incredibly small. There are plenty of other things more dangerous to worry about, like rip tides if swimming on the beach or having a motorbike accident. And there is zero chance of being attacked by a great white shark while in Thailand, so please stop worrying ladies. Just because you scuba dive doesn't mean you are going to get eaten by a shark!

 Monday 11th May 2009-

2009-05-11Well we seem to be seeing all sorts of new surprises around here lately. It all started with the Brydes Whales followed shortly after by their mates the Minkes & then we've had a bumper season of Whalesharks & then Simo saw the Devil Ray cum Manta Ray the other day, which we now believe was actually a Mobular Ray, & Sarah went off & found a whole posse of sharks having a jolly in the shallows at Twins & then at Sail Rock Dan & Kymmie reckon they came across a Sandtiger shark! Not bad eh? Rays, sharks, & whales! As long as we don't send DM Paul out again lets see if we can't get a school of Hammerheads, a pod of dolphins & a Mola Mola as well!

As you may recall Barry & Kymmie got the Big Blue Dance Troupe to get together last month for a very professionally choreographed rendition of all those classic Grease numbers of yesteryear. The whole thing went down a huge success last month at the Koh Tao Festival & we even got a letter from the Mayor of Koh Tao, the Orbitor, (from Star Wars- Empire Strikes Back) thanking us for our efforts. Well tonight we're watching 'The Making of Grease - the Big Blue Musical' at Dirty Nelly's. Free food, & private dancing lessons with Barry 'Footloose' Coville for everyone who turns up in their Disco trousers.

What would you say was the oceans most fearsome predator? The uneducated amongst us would say the shark! And of course they'd be wrong. Those with a little more about them might say it was the Jellyfish! But again they'd be incorrect as well. And the scholars amongst would say that the most fearsome predator in the oceans today is the French! Just ask the poor sea cucumber which got knelt on yesterday by our klutzy Beret boy! Serves you right G if it took you all afternoon to get the sticky bits off you, even if it was an accident! Cucumber pervert!

Sunday 10th May 2009-

2009-05-10Not too much going on a the moment. So perfect time to catch up so far on what's been happening here lately! So where do I start... well... let me see... erm well. Amanda sneezed, Barry went for a run, Corey climbed up a mountain, & came down a Donna (an Italian woman!) Emily got back, Alain left, Rich is on his way. we just found out Yvonne used to represent Germany at Squash, & Sonia represented England at ballet not Rugby. Deano got stung... between the legs. Simo saw a Manta Ray, Pauls friends saw a whaleshark. Paul didn't. Nor did Ollie. Kelli fell over, Rick rode off, Andy is on his way. Our Japanese team went Chicken Oriental. Dan & Kymmmie have been going mental, & in these times of low tourism & high boredom never could a truer statement be made -Canada is a terribble spellar & G can touch pretty much anything he likes... now!

The bells are ringing, the red carpet is out, the white doves are being released & soon there'll be a speech made. Anyone would think the King was coming, so what is all this in aid of? Well everyone's favorite roley poley Canadian turns 30 today! Sorry I must be more specific bearing in mind both our Big Blue Canadians are a little bit roley poley! Our roley poley ink stained Canadian! It's James 30th Birthday today so everyone has been invited to join the festivities at Moove tonight. Dress code Red & white in respect of the national colours of Canadia so if you are wearing red & white, or have your genitalia covered by a maple leaf come along! Happy Birthday James!

So the best job in the world has gone to Mr Ben Southall, an adventurer from England, who has already travelled the world on various fundraising expeditions. He worked as a tour guide in Africa after graduating from university with a science degree and then came back to the UK where he has spent the past few years working as a charity events manager and fundraiser. The 34 year old introduced himself, in his one-minute video pitch for the Queensland job, by saying: “Hi, I’m Ben, otherwise known as the adventurous, crazy, energetic one.” He describes himself as a dynamic, gregarious and hardworking go-getter. He has ridden an ostrich and his interests include scuba diving, bungee jumping, mountain biking and photography. In his spare time, he also manages a music festival and keeps fit running marathons and climbing. “The most important thing to me in life is to have an exciting job that makes me happy, puts smiles on peoples’ faces and achieves challenging goals.” I couldn't agree with you more Ben. So when you've finished over there give me a shout & we'll offer you next years best job in the world! a Big Blue Diving Instructor!

Saturday 9th May 2009-

2009-05-09I knew it! Koh Dorado was not as silly an idea for a TV program as we first thought! A large television production company in the UK have written in. They are currently developing a docudrama for a UK broadcaster and are interested in hanging out at Big Blue for a month & recording capturing & airing the shenanigans & goings on in the life of a diving school. They thought they’d get in touch to see if this was something ourselves at Big Blue might potentially be interested in? Ha... well der... Does the Pope shit in the woods? Does a bear kiss runways! You betcha your Ass! Dive with Big Blue people. We'll make you famous!

Everybody with a booked last minute ticket to Thailand; can I have your ATTENTION please! Local fisherman made a remarkable discovery recently. According to our informants there are 8 containers full of human remains dumped at several diving hot-spots in the Gulf of Thailand. Nobody seems to know where these body’s originate from. Mafia, Khmer Rouge, human traffickers... According to witnesses these containers were dumped overboard at least 2 decades ago. Fisherman have dredged human bones for years. On top of that according to the local fisherman it’s one of their favorite fishing destinations. In other words: ‘Diving in Thailand is getting exciting again.’ Finally something else than manta rays and bloody boring whalesharks !

Well its been a quiet couple of day recently. Despite the excellent diving & the presence of Whalesharks & yesterdays Manta Ray, the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan is on tonight. All the backpackers from far & wide travel to Koh Phangan for a night of partying- buckets of booze & loud music & disco dancing! Which explains why Koh Tao is quite so quiet right now. But not to worry Emily is back from the UK with her pasty white tan & has promised to do some sunbathing out the front later. That always draws a crowd! Welcome back Emily. Now put your bikini on & get to work!

 Friday 8th May 2009-

2009-05-08Ok thats it! Spread the word! We have now converted all our 5 downstairs Air con Rooms into 6 bed dormitories which we will be able to offer for free! Yes you heard right! Free Accommodation.Yes Free Accommodation for anyone doing their Open Water Course with us in one of our brand new dormitory rooms & each room comes with hot water shower, bath! & Air Conditioning! We'll make a room for the boys, a room for the ladies, a couple of mixed dorm rooms & hey what the hell... we're in Thailand. We'll make a room for the ladyboys too! We might even have a member of our staff interested in taking up digs in that particular room eh Boyo?

Whaleshark at Chumphon again this morning. What can I say about the biggest fish in the sea that I haven't at some point over the last 2 years said already! I've told you they were big, they were spotty, that they were the biggest fish in the sea & that they eat the smallest fish in the sea. I've told that we see them more & more these days than we ever have before. I've told you it costs 3000 Aussie dollars to dive with a whaleshark in Ningaloo, but only 10 AUD to dive with one here in Koh Tao. I've even told you about the largest one ever photographed measuring at 20 meters & the smallest one measuring at just 30 cm's. But did I tell you about the size of the whalesharks sexual organs? Well that one I'll save till later. After all we're bound to see him again tomorrow... for the 8th day on the trot!

I don't care what anyone says. According to the encyclopedia Brittanica & Wikipedia the Devil Ray & the Manta Ray are the same fish! Which means that this morning at Southwest Pinnacle Simon & his Advanced Course were lucky enough to be the only 3 people on Koh Tao who danced with a Manta ray! How about that people. We have Manta Rays & Whalesharks around Koh Tao right now! Doesn't that make you want to put on your neoprene & get moist? It does me! I'm finding myself reaching for my speedo before I even finished writing the end of this...

Thursday 7th May 2009-

2009-05-07At the risk of sounding boring- "WHALESHARK"... again! So whats that our 10th different Whaleshark in less than a month? & this one is a beauty. Its not the same one that was seen yesterday at Green Rock, the one DM Paul didn't see. & luckily for everyone Paul decided not to go off for a Fundive with his friends this morning either so everyone got to see this new whaleshark too! Nice one Paul. Very thoughtful of you mate. Luckily our ACE Videographers were there though so we have the recorded data we need to be able to enter this new Whaleshark to the whaleshark database at ECOCEAN. And if you have any photos of the whalesharks you have seen while diving with us this last month or 2 you can upload them on www.whaleshark.org

Aw c'mon guys use a bin! A high-seas mission departs from San Francisco next month to map and explore a sinister and shifting 21st-century continent: one twice the size of Texas and created from six million tonnes of discarded plastic. The toxic soup of refuse was discovered in 1997 at the centre of the North Pacific gyre (a vortex or circular ocean current usually avoided as these high-pressure systems — also known as the doldrums — lack the winds and currents to benefit sailors). There are bottle caps, plastic bags and polystyrene floating with tiny plastic chips; when worn down by sunlight and waves, discarded plastic disintegrates into smaller pieces. Suspended under the surface, these tiny fragments outnumber plankton by six to one. The fragments act as sponges for heavy metals and pollutants until mistaken for food by small fish. The toxins then become more concentrated as they move up the food chain through larger fish, birds and marine mammals. In June the 151ft brigantine Kaisei (Japanese for Planet Ocean) & a decommissioned fishing trawler armed with specialised nets will set sail & try collecting the plastic while minimising the catch of sea life. With a crew of 30, the expedition, will use unmanned aircraft and robotic surface explorers to map the extent and depth of the plastic continent while collecting 40 tonnes of the refuse for trial recycling.

Bitterly disappointed to meet Mrs Canada today & find out she has no tattoo's at all on her. Not a Maple Leaf or an I heart Canada to be seen anywhere. Still she is here for at least another week or so, so I'm sure we'll get someone to doodle on her before she's off. Meanwhile this afternoon she is off for a spot of Discover Scuba Diving with her ink stained son. This may well be Canada's first ever time at taking someone for a Discover Scuba Dive. Not really Canada's bag the DSD. Hope he doesn't give her his usual military training by putting a twin set on her back, or making her run up & down the beach carrying a scuba cylinder chanting. 'I don't know but I've been told, James Thornton Allen is turning 30 years old'!

Wednesday 6th May 2009-

2009-05-06Another oh so popular Full Day trip to Sail Rock & another Whale Shark. Actually 2! One was about 6 meters & the other was only 4 meters! & as I write this we are getting breaking news right now that there is another Whale shark, this time a large one ( size unspecified - but you can bet your arse its bigger than you or me!) right now at Green Rock! So the troops who aren't working this afternoon have chartered themselves a longtail & are off to go snorkeling with it! But for all of you cursing & cussing at our good fortune, don't fret. DM Paul is going out on the longtail so the Whale shark is bound to have gone by the time he gets there!

It was a couple of weeks ago, when we had that really bad weather, & one of the cargo nightboats ended up sinking. Thankfully all the crew were easily able to jump ship & were rescued. Now Big Blue Diving has been nominated by the Save Koh Tao Group & has been invited to go dive the wreck & check it out for salvage opportunities & to check the state in which it is in. Of course it is lieing in relatively deep water so this kind of diving falls under the realm of Big Blue Tech so Canada & his team of Tech divers will be first in to tie the descent line to it & check for danger signs, explosive materials & make it safe for the rest of us to go down & dive on! Its going to be a great experience & we will be the first to dive on Koh Tao's most recent wreck!. Not bad eh! Anyone fancy joining us? Men with small kahuna's need not apply!

I'd just like to voice my support to the new government of Thailand! Ooh controversial, especially in these heady times of political uncertainty, but hey, the man deserves credit where credit is due! The Government has now launched a plastic bag initiative! It will reduce plastic bags in Thailand by 10% this year alone! & after cigarette butts being the most amount of litter found on beaches around the world next is the plastic bag with estimates of over 40000 tonnes of plastic bags washing up on Thai shores everyday. Well done Thailand. You've just single handedly cleared the beaches of 4000 tonnes of plastic bags of rubbish every day! Lets see if we can't reduce that figure even more or even better get other countries to match what we do here in Thailand! Save our Seas people! Say no to plastic bags!

Monday 4th May 2009- May the Fourth be with you!

2009-05-04How do these precariously placed boulders get to be on top of smaller precariously placed boulders all over Koh Tao? Its a question we get asked every day we're out on the boat, & the answer is not entirely known! One story is that millions of years ago these boulders were buried beneath the ground but over years of erosion & glacial movements they have become exposed. Another theory is a huge flood altered the earths landscape. Strong water currents flowing back & forth destroyed existing formations & created new ones with bizarre shapes as well as caves, coves & gigantic boulders. After the water subsided everything remained as you see it today! But my favourite is the theory that during the Second World War the Japanese used the island as target practise & these boulders you see now are just remnants of exploded rock! Can you imagine pointing your guns at a poor defenseless island & just battering the crap out of it. Must have been so much fun!

In this time of economic hardship, medical turmoil & social unrest its nice to know that the world of scuba diving is as busy as ever. Those Divemasters in training who've been with us for the last couple of months & have been looking for work have all found work here in Koh Tao. Well done Colin, recently certified Irish DM & congratulations Emma, our recently certified Swedish speaking Yankee who have both got regular work guiding people around dive sites here. So if they can become a professional diver & then get paid for it then why can't you? Contact us & ask about doing your Divemaster Internship. It'll change your life! Just ask my Mum!

Well thanks to Clare Ace VDOgrapher supreme ( after our Heather Speilberg) we now have a flipping great video promo for all of you who are interested in coming out with us to the Khao Sok National Marine Park for a spot of Cave diving! Unfortunatley we won't be able to squeeze you in till June at the moment. We knew it was going to be popular when Canada set this up but we had no idea it was going to be pre-booked a month in advance every time! So I'm afraid the 8 spaces we had for May are all gone, and there'll also be 2 certified Cave divers coming along as well, and as I say if you want to book in for June then you better let us know quick smart! If you're not sure then just watch the video! That will make you make your mind up for you! You can view the video here

Sunday 3rd May 2009-

2009-05-03Happy Birthday Simon! Bless him. He so badly wanted to keep it quiet & not have anyone know that he was going to be turning 35 today but good ol' Jodie, the wife, decided to tell the whole island! So there's going to be a few sunset bevvies after work today, & then everyone is heading off to a dinner & an aperitif at Fizz & then afterward's we'll all be going to Vibe for a beer or 2 via the Big Blue Bar for one of Spaz's legendary Birthday buckets! Happy Birthday Simo!

If you choose to get to Koh Tao by flying down from Bangkok to Samui then sit on the left side of the plane so that you can look out the window on your way down because you fly right over Koh Tao! From 12000 meters up I'd be impressed if you could actually tell which buildings make up Big Blue Diving, but for sure you will be able to see Sairee Beach & if you look really really closely you'll be able to tell exactly where we are by looking for all the best looking girls with the least amount of clothes on! That's Big Blue Diving! See you soon!

Members of the Cigarette Butt Advisory Group plan to recommend that filtered cigarette butts should have new requirements for disposal. They say the toxic waste in the butts harms wildlife and the environment. "It is toxic at rather low concentrations, even one butt in a liter of water can kill the fish in a period of 96 hours." A cigarette butt is a combination of a plastic filter and the remnants of a smoked cigarette. The filter is non-biodegradable, and the tobacco remnant is toxic until it biodegrades into the environment. What remains in the filter are residues, tars, and particulates. Cigarette butts are the number one littered substance in the world, with several years as the number one single item picked up on beach cleanup days the world over. So put it in the bin! Or how about this for a revolutionary idea... Stop smoking!

Saturday 2nd May 2009-

2009-05-02Thanks to all those who assisted us last night moving the half tonne broken compressor we have on Banzai back on land. It needed at least 8 of us to shift that bloody thing & it took us nearly 2 hours to swap it for another compressor that we were able to put on Banzai as a replacement in less than 30 minutes! Special thanks to Duncan & Andy L who we had to drag from the bar to help us out & to Kuma the strongest man on Koh Tao ( & BTW a professional Sumo Wrestler!) & to all our Burmese staff who ended up missing out on dinner, & to our kitchen staff who had to make dinner for those that missed out! A good team effort there guys & we really appreciate everyone's help. Hope those on Banzai today apprecaite just how late into the night we had to make everyone work just so that they could dive with the Whaleshark today!

A survey of scuba divers shows they'd pay more money to see healthy marine life than they pay for their diving at present. The group Oceana says the survey shows divers would pay more money beyond normal dive costs to see healthy corals, sharks and sea turtles. As part of the study, scuba divers were asked the maximum amount of money they were willing to pay. Of the scuba divers surveyed, 76 percent were willing to pay more for an increased likelihood of swimming with a sea turtle in the wild and 71-percent were willing to pay more to see sharks. This clearly shows that marine wildlife and marine habitats have a value. Not just the typical ones that we think of in terms of fisheries but also those that are a benefit to divers. When analyzing the market for the U.S. shark fishery - now valued at $19 million - sharks are worth more alive as part of the ecotourism industry than dead as part of the fishing industry. Hmmm. Now how do we convert the fishing Industry into the Dive Industry?

Well we are all getting very excited at the imminent arrival of Mommy Canada! Its been an unbelievably long time since Canada & his Mum, sorry Mom, last saw each other- 5 years in fact- so you can imagine how extremely excited young Canada, better start calling him James,is! He's off to Bangkok tonight & will meet his Mum off the plane & then bring her down here to introduce her to all of us! We are all very excited to meet her too. She's got to be some kind of lady to have brought Canada, sorry James, into this world. Bet she's hard as nails! Probably got more tattoo's down her forearms than James has! Welcome to Thailand Mrs C! We're very pleased to meet you & hope you have a great holiday!

Friday 1st May 2009-

2009-05-01Time for a bit of wonderful news! For the 1st time ever there is a report coming out from Australia stating that the population of Whalesharks around the world is increasing! This is of course fantastic news & its very much because of 'citizen-science', that ordinary people around the world can make a real contribution to serious research and conservation by updating their whaleshark encounters with online photo identification technology like ECOCEAN. Prior to the 1980s there had been only 350 confirmed sightings of the giant fish. Now there are over 500 sitings of different Whalesharks around the world every year. & after Ningaloo Reef on Australia's west coast where do you think the most amount of sitings are recorded? Here of course- Koh Tao!

Congratulations Ollie & Olaf! Big Blue's 2 newest Instructors are going to be having pretty sore heads today after celebrating last night having finished their Instructor Exams with flying colours! The IE takes only 2 days & to be honest is pretty easy, but it follows a 2-3 week fairly intensive Instructor Development Course Training where you need to show that you can stand up & give a lecture, demonstrate skills in shallow water & then identify problems with students in deeper water or the ocean! So well done boys. Its about time we had some decent Instructors around the place! ;)

Barry's back! He's been sunning himself for the last 3 weeks in the UK (yes he's actually browner now than he was when he left!) Sounds like he's had a fantastic time too! After all, he's been Rocking with the Gods of Heavy Metal none other than AC DC, & Rolling with the boys from the best football team in North London- yes that's right Tottenham Hotspurs, Barry has returned & as reliable as ever he's brought with him my crumpets! Good man Baz! Glad you had a great holiday & hope you're looking forward to some underwater fun & frolicks!

June 2009

Tuesday 30th June 2009-

2009-06-30Canada, Christos & Bryan are all off for the next few days on the Trident Liveaboard cruising in search of new & undiscovered wrecks with Thailands best Deep Sea Detectives Inspector Jamie Mcleod & Sergeant Stu! These guys have been locating wrecks around the Gulf for the last 10 years & can now run liveaboard trips which only dive the wrecks they have discovered. Its awesome stuff diving 2nd World War wrecks, submarines, cargo ships, & planes & its pretty deep & dark diving so this trip is not for the weak of heart but is really only for the techies amongst us. The rest of us can only sit on the sidelines admiring the technical divers enormous equipment, huge wetsuit pockets, big biceps & unkempt hair! Have a great trip guys! & bring us back a 2nd World War souvenir!

Apparently to be a dive Instructor you need to be relatively fit & strong. There's lots of working out to be done, lugging around of tanks & weights, occasional surface tows & the odd strong current to swim into! And most of us do try & keep in shape with various exercise regimes & what nots but I can't help feeling that Rick might have taken things to an extreme last week with his swim from the very north end of Sairee all the way round to Mango Bay! It took him 1 hour 40 there & an hour 50 back! Crazy Hawaiian! If you'd waited 5 minutes you could have got yourself a longtail taxi!

Its a 40meter deep dive with Emily for some of our DMT's & a couple of our regular divers tomorrow. & best part is that it's going to be at Sail Rock! Now to give you an idea of exactly how deep 40 meters actually is then consider standing at the top of a 15 storey building & then falling over the edge untill you reach the bottom. That's about a 40 meter drop! It just hurts less when you do it in water!
Happy diving everyone.

Monday 29th June 2009-

2009-06-29Apologies to all who have been trying to reach us over the last couple of days but the problem with living on a tropical island is that quite often the internet goes to pot! So please don't think I'm being rude or lazy as its possibly more frustrating for me than it is for you not being able to send these answers to your questions! & these smoke signals are really stufing up the office!

Hi there, I was surfing around looking for a selection of dive shops in different locations as I have a specific request. I am looking to translate the following phrase into some 20 or so languages for a current awareness project:
1) Say NO to Shark Fin Soup
2) Say NO to Shark Finning
I currently have the phrase in 18 languages and am looking for seven more. For those languages which use characters other than the standard English characters I request if it is possible to receive a jpeg or psd file of the written phrase with a BOLD font size no smaller than 32 points. As this is a matter that is very close to most divers I trust that you would be happy to help out. Much appreciation in advance if you could help with this.Cheers,Mark. 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.
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. 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." Thanks Mel & nice one Simo!

Friday 26th June 2009-

2009-06-26Hot on the tails of Sharkwater (about shark finning) & The end of the line (about overfishing) comes The Cove. A documentary about a town in Japan called Taiji. The little town with the really big secret. Dolphin slaughter. Everyone grew up loving the TV show, Flipper. Unfortunately we have loved dolphins to death. This award-winning “eco-thriller” shows how a hodge-podge group of filmmakers, activists, & freedivers shine a light on this crime against dolphins, the oceans and our planet. The Cove is as suspenseful as it is enlightening. The final result is a heart-wrenching, but inspirational, story that shows the true power of film in the hands of people who aren't afraid to risk everything for a vital cause. Check out their Website http://www.thecovemovie.com & spread the word & help bring an end to the slaughter of not just the dolphins,but also the whales the tuna & the Mafia run fishing fleets!

One of the greatest things about Koh Tao is that this beatiful tropical island paradise on the East coast of Thailand will never drown under the invading weight of capitalist commercialism...we hope! With no airport here, the big chain industries can't branch out & spoil this place. On the other hand, one of the greatest things about our other dive shop on the west coast of Thailand, in Khao Lak is that they are susceptible to capital commercialism thus the raising of the Golden Arches this morning has instilled a longing in the staffs bellies & everyone is putting in for a transfer! Capitalist pigs!

Weather forcast for the next week or so is glorious! Not a breath of wind or even the slightest swell in the sea. Average temperature is 30 Degrees & average visibility is 20+ meters! If you're like half the staff it is the perfect day to go for a sunrise dive at Chumphon Pinacle & then Southwest Rocks! If you're Rich its the perfect time to get back from your trip to the Uk. If your Barry its the perfect time to get the clubs out & go for a jolly over to Chumphon for 18 holes or 36! Aah. This is the life!

Thursday 25th June 2009-

2009-06-25Its a sunrise dive tomorrow morning on board Banzai! 5 in the morning is the meeting time & then we're off straight after that! Its a sell out too! more than 20 people all getting up before the cock crows just to go & see what a bunch of sleeping fish look like when they wake up for the day! Cool! Exciting! Reckon they'll see a few sharks at that time of day too! Blimmin well should do especially if they are getting up 10 minutes before half the population of Koh Tao have even gone to bed!

Many species of open ocean shark are under serious threat, according to an assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Red list gives the status of 64 types of shark and ray, over 30% of which are threatened with extinction. The main cause is overfishing. Listed as endangered are two species of hammerhead shark, often subject to "finning". A further 24% of the examined species has been classified as Near Threatened. Sharks are "profoundly vulnerable" to overfishing, because many species take several years to mature and have relatively few young. Many pelagic sharks are caught in high seas tuna and swordfish fisheries but despite mounting threats, sharks remain virtually unprotected on the high seas. Although some are accidentally caught in nets meant for these other fish, they are increasingly targeted for their meat, teeth and liver oil, and because of high demand, particularly in Asia, for their fins. Save the shark! Stop eating fish!

Congratulations to DMT Pete who now after last nights DMT challenge can finally drop the T! & how about that! Even before he's been certified as a Divemaster the biggest diveshop in the world has gone & snapped him up & have offerred him a full time job as a Divemaster! Now that must have taken some serious impressing to have been offerred a job there! Either we've done a magnificent job training him up or he's been sleeping with his prospective employer! Ah! Yes. That'll be it! Its not what you know. Its who you sleep with! No it isn't only kidding! Well done Pete. Congratulations! DMing for the biggest Dive shop in the world! & Sylvanna said she aint coming back to Koh Tao now cos there aint no jobs! What a load of codswallop!

24th June 2009-

2009-06-24Whaleshark at White Rock this morning! And it was only a baby! Some say it wasn't even 2 meters big! So it was a macro whaleshark! It was a beautiful morning today with flat seas glorious sunshine 20 meter visibility & as I say, a Whaleshark! & then this afternoon with the news of a whaleshark we managed to fill Banzai & have sent a trip out to White Rock again to see more of our little friend! Again flat seas, glorious sunshine, 20 meter visibility & ... fingers crossed as they aren't back yet... another whaleshark! Life's a peach!

Thank God Yvonne is coming back soon. For a while now we have been questioning the state of Canada & Cory's relationship. At first it seemed to be one of teacher & student but ever since Corey became Canada's official bitch their relationship seems to have taken a turn for the homosexual! (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) & their actions last night has really got people talking. Mind you it would do if 2 grown men are seen rolling around on the ground in what looked like a lovers embrace. They say they were 'playfighting' but witnesses say they were rolling around naked, slapping each other's butties! Yvonne Hurry home! Your man is turning ginger! Not that there's anything wrong with that!

"To every one at Big Blue, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I got back from my 5 week trip 2 weeks ago, i've watched my dvd every day I think, Thank you to Heather for giving me this memory. Thank You Sonwan and Mike for your patience and, well frankly, to teach me how to dive and all the fun we all had on (and off) the boat. Thanks to all the dmt's, dm's en di's for all the good times in the bars and on the beaches and of course the staff from the bar and restaurant. (thanks Olav and Richard from holland, veel succes met de opleiding) You ALL have turned an almost 20 year overdue decision into the experience of a life time. I knew i was going to love diving, and i am hooked now. Why do i have to choose all these expensive hobby's, ah well i will just have to come back to Big Blue next year. I can not express in words how much space Koh Tao and Big Blue have in my heart. I hope everyone is well there and i will be coming back and tell everyone about Big Blue and Koh Tao. Frits."
Cheers Frits. You da man! 

Tuesday 23rd June 2009-

2009-06-23Another Tuesday & soon to be PADI Course Director Guillaume Froisgrois has taken our DMT's out today to check out how the islands Bio Rock Project is getting on. Its been about a year since the project was first actioned with the construction of the dome & Chad the Island's main Eco Warrior came along today to see how things are getting on as well. In 2008 The Bio Dome was placed in a depth of about 12 meters in between Nang Yuan Island & Koh Tao & its electrically charged frame generates & speeds up coral growth by upto 6 times as fast as normal coral growth. Its a great project & could well be the answer for the future of the worlds depleting coral reefs! Yeah Man! Bio Rocks!

Bit of a Birthday bash tonight for a few of the team turning 21 again! DM Paul & Helen aka Zoe, have invited everyone down to an evenings entertainment at Vibe Beach lounge here on Sairee Beach. There'll be food & drink, singing & dancing & at some stage Paul is bound to fall over & squash some poor innocent nearby Dutchman! Ya big Moose! Happy Birthday Paul! Happy Birthday Zoe!

I'm just too kind! The guy who won our Full Day Trip to Sail Rock yesterday at the party to raise money for the Koh Tao animal clinic, missed the day & came in approximately 3 hours after the boat had left. I've never seen anyone so gutted I had to let him have another shot at making our next trip to Sail Rock- the best dive site in the Glf of Thailand- but if he's going to be 3 hours late again he's flippin well going to have to swim there!

Monday 22nd June 2009-

2009-06-22"Hi Big Blue, I am sending you an email because I wanted to say thank you for the great experiences we gained during our one-week stay on Koh Tao three weeks ago! We came to Koh Tao with neither diving experience, nor intention to dive. But when we decided to take the open water course and the advanced course with Bi Blue, we probably made one of the best decisions of our lifes. We were amazed by the professionalism and the kindness of the crew members. Especially our diving instructor Deano Jenkins had a great impact on the fun we had and the things we learned for our lifes. He was helpful, competent, professional and funny, that's why we trusted him from the beginning. He was always there, even after the dives he took us out and gave us information where to find good food, nightlife, etc. I think that's what you call "to walk the extra mile". We will always recommend Big Blue to the people we meet and we'll come back when there's time. As I wrote before, we came to Koh Tao with neither diving experience, nor intention to dive and we left as great diving fans! Again, thank you so much for a very special experience and keep continuing the good work!!! Hope to see you soon... Best regards from Germany, Mischa Lietzke and Deniz Guentepe"
Thanks Guys for taking the time to write in! Really appreciate & glad you had such a good time with us.

Love the sign Lara! So as you enter Big Blue now from the Sairee Village end one of the first things you will now see is a very long awaited sign saying Big Blue Diving! Its only taken us 16 years to get a sign in place there & now we've finally gone & done it! & it looks beautiful. Its bright, its shiney, & if you don't look where you're going you are likely to walk straight into it! How's that for in your face advertising!

Dan, Alain & Tim are all starting their Open Water Free Diving Course tomorrow with Big Blue Free-Diving Instructor Jeroen De Belgian. Rick has set an incredibly high bar with a static breath hold lasting over 4 minutes & 30 seconds. That is obviously quite impressive! Pressure is on boys! Who's got the biggest lungs? & you know what they say about the size of your lungs! Large lungs equals large breasts! So come on chaps. Who's got the biggest breasts?

Sunday 21st June 2009-

2009-06-21Lucky for Guillaume France lost yesterday at rugby playing the Mighty All Blacks from New Zealand. Lucky for G that they lost as it meant Jim wasn't going to have to sack him! Jim also got relatively lucky as he won 1000 Bt off G & didn't have to sack the hairy Gaul! See. France lose. New Zealand win. Everyone's happy!

Caitlin has her Divemaster challenge tonight. Now being a fully fledged thespian Caitlin is all too familiar with the feeling of being watched! Which is all the more surprising that she seemed soo shocked that time our team of tech divers caught her outside the wheelhouse of the Island Divers ship wreck at Japanese Gardens in nothing but her BCD & her birthday suit! Well tonight she will be giving her DM rendition of a James Bond Style Greek Tragedy. I beleive its called Oedipussy!

TDI - Technical Diving International is the largest and one of the most respected technical diving certification agencies in the world. At Big Blue Tech we have always provided TDI courses to our customers but now TDI is our primary source of certification for all our Tech courses that we offer. We’ll still have all options available like DSAT from PADI but now Big Blue Tech is the only TDI Dive Centre on the east coast of Thailand (Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Koh Phangnan and Pattaya; according to www.tdisdi.com) Along with the Dive Centre recognition meant a big box of promotional toys, manuals and certifications. Which Canada had great fun finding somewhere to put the giant flag! To learn more about TDI and courses through Big Blue Tech, feel free to contact us.

Friday 19th June 2009-

2009-06-19Dreams do come true! For any self respecting red blooded male today's the day when you get the opportunity to watch a bevvy of wondrous women dancing around a pole. In the UK its called Maypole dancing & everyone laughs at you. In Sweden its called Midsommer & everyone gets jolly & drunk &...to quote my Swedish friend...' end up in someone else's bed the next morning & not feel guilty about it!' Happy Midsommer Sweden! I live at No 4 Sun & Sea Bungalows!

Fabio, the underwater VDO/photographer from Brazil, not Fabio the Male Model Adonis from Italy who once had a low flying goose fly full on into his face on a rollercoaster ride, has been hanging around lately taking some photos so we can use them in our new, soon to be published Big Blue Brochure! Many thanks to all who've posed unwittingly & those who posed knowingly & are about to be exposed to 90% of all new arrivals on Koh Tao. You all look great!

So now that seems to be 3 days out of the last 4 where our Japanese Team have seen a Blue Marlin darting around at Chumphon Pinnacle! & a Blue Marlin is one of the largest fish in the sea! So now we get 2 of the largest fish in the sea hanging around Koh Tao! No wonder Koh Tao is known as one of the best palces in the world to dive!

Thursday 18th June 2009

2009-06-18Barry flew through the air with the greatest of ease,
That daring 'young' man on the flying trapeze.
His movements were 'graceful', all girls he could please
He looked like he'd escaped from a KISS concert...

Oh, Emily floated through the air with the greatest of ease,
You'd think her a man on the flying trapeze(high praise indeed),
She does all the work while we took our ease (not the controlled substance),
And she wore a lovely pink wig.

No-one knew we needed a Trapeze school on the island until someone went ahead and started one. I for one think the clowns were unnecessary, though. Something about clowns, especially drunken ones wearing torn fishnets and brassieres just scares the crap out of me. Never mind the freaks on stilts, the bearded lady (sorry G) and 300 kilo woman (Cory didn't quite pull that one off). Fortune tellers, lions in cages - Koh Tao Carnival in fact!

Wednesday 17th June 2009-

2009-06-18Obviously day 1 of Big Blue's first ever Freediving Course has gone very well as Fanette managed to a static breath hold for a personal best of 3.30 minutes. But Rick broke has set all records by being able to hole his breath for an unbelievable 4 minutes & 30 seconds! That is quite an amazing achievement & Rick is every ones hero today! Not a bad advert for Big Blue Breath Holders too eh Jerome!

So Barry & Emily are all set for their big night tonight as they represent Big Blue on the opening night of Koh Tao's newest business adventure here in Sairee- The Koh Tao Flying Trapeze School! So Barry & Emily are going to be flying through the air performing mid air somersaults & spins & then being caught on the other side dressed up all the while in their tight spandex leotards! and as tonight is opening night it will be a massive turnout with food stalls, beer tents, & a raffle where Big Blue will be giving a free Full Day Trip to Sail Rock & 2 part-time Dive Instructor jobs in case Bazza & Emily don't make it back to work after tonight!

Must have been another School Disco night at Vibe Beach Bar last night as I saw a couple of 'knock kneed' school children parading up & down the beach in their school uniforms touting for business! Looked very much like Andy Luckman & Micky! & judging by what Micky's school uniform looked like I wish my parents had sent me to her school! Think the majority of red blooded males did too as they seemed to have followed her to another very busy night out at Vibe moving & grooving to the sounds of Kenny Loggins & Banana Rama! Everyone loves the 80's!

Tuesday 16th June 2009-

2009-06-16Congratulations to Serra for finishing her Divemaster training. Our Aussie DMT lost her T last night along with her bag and camera and keys, after an uneventful search last night she woke up in Moov this morning. Good effort Serra!

The DM team put on a Magical Mystery dive tour yesterday, Koh Tao has a lot of unexplored areas on the East side of the island so today the boys have decided to stick a pin in the map and jump in to see what they can find, who knows they might find some caves, sunken treasure, mermaids, tuk tuks? Who knows, good luck on a new dive sight discovery.

We have a very athletic team at the moment if they’re not running round hitting rounder’s balls or doing chin up with twin tanks on in Canada’s Butch Club, they are spinning and flipping on the new trapeze, practicing for the opening night on the 17th Barry And Emily are doing Big Blue proud, the rest of us will be the clowns watching from solid ground.

Monday 15th June 2009-

2009-06-15So there seems to be a few aching limbs, a dabble of sun burnt bits, a cluster of headaches & a lot of Dan voice impressions, even now, 2 days after Husky Dan's legendary 30th Birthday Party. The headaches don't take much investigation but whats with the deep throats, achey limbs & sunburn? Might have something to do with Saturdays game of Rounders! All that sun, all that running & all that word repetition! 'Rounder, rounder, rounder, rounder!' No wonder everyone sounds like Husky Dan!

Its like the calm before the storm. We've just had our monthly Full Moon rush, & the majority of the Phangan revellers have finally starbursted out of here! Now there'll be a lull before the busiest time of the year! July August & September! Soon Peak High season will be upon us! So staff better get your sicknesses, ear infections, colds, bike spills, coral cuts, tropical infections & days off out the way now before you're all busier then a brickie in Baghdad!

Diving at the moment is marvellous! The visibility right now seems to be as good as its been all year! So we are talking up to 30 meters at some of our further dive sites like Chumphon & South west. Twins & White Rock too appear to be on a 30 meter par! Even in the shallows in confined you can see further than you could if you were in a swimming pool! Mind you that wouldn't be difficult! Its hard to see through all the wirey strands of body hair & smegma that harbours in some pools here! Much better diving in the sea than the pool. Much healthier too. For body & mind!

Sunday 14th June 2009-

2009-06-14Freediving is simple. A freediver relies on a single breath of air to explore the undersea world. Moving gracefully without wasting energy, a freediver can spend minutes underwater and experience the ocean as any other marine mammal does. Free from cumbersome equipment, a freediver can sneak up on a turtle, or glide to the bottom for a meeting with a manta ray. To get started, all you need is a basic knowledge of freediving safety, a buddy to dive with, equipment and a few tips on technique. Here at Big Blue we are now proud to offer freediving courses with our man Jeroen a Free Diving Instructor from Belgium, & it looks like Rick & Fanette are officially going to be Big Blue's first Free Diving students! Who's going to be our second set of students?

'Dear Jim, I just wanted to write to say how much I really enjoyed my Divemaster course at Big Blue. There is a great atmosphere there & everybody is always so very helpful. Both the Instructor mentors & all the Divemasters would go out of their way to help out. I'm very gald that I chose this Dive school to learn how to become a diving professional. Thanks to all the team. Lara Roberts'. Thanks Lara. Thanks for your letter & a really big thanks for doing all the signs around the resort for us!

Well the word is obviously out there, as our Barry has been invited by one of the largest IDC Centres in the World, Bans Diving, to guest speak at this months IDC. His Fish Identification lecture that he does here at Big Blue every month for our own DMT's, has become so popular & informative that Jonas Samuelson & Tim Hunt the Koh Tao IDC Group Course Directors now want Barry doing a lecture regularly on their IDC's as well. Nice one Bazza! First it was Barry Footloose Covill dancing on stage infront of 1000's of people at this years KT festival. Now Professor Barry is teaching a generation of new Instructors what fish have what names & why! Is it possible Barry might surprise us all with another secret other unknown talent in the next few days? Watch this space!

Saturday 13th June 2009-

2009-06-13So who was the mysterious diver wandering around the ocean with no wetsuit or even a swimsuit on yesterday afternoon at Japanese Gardens of all places? Poor thing appeared to get the fright of her life as she nonchalantly cruised past Canada & his team of Techies completely oblivious to them sitting in the wheelhouse of the wreck that rests there. Luckily for them & all of us reading this website, & unluckily for our underwater Lady Godiva, they had a camera!

Going! Going! Gone! First it was the whales. Then it was the sharks. & now it seems to be the tuna! There are warnings that tuna could start to disappear from the sea as early as 2012. There are fears that the creatures, known as the "cheetahs of the ocean", could be driven to extinction by our growing appetite for sushi and omega-3 oils. I mentioned last week of the movie that is about to change the way you look at fishing- 'The end of the Line' is another amazing Documentary movie to rival Sharkwater. Do your thing people & do what you can to reduce over fishing. You can start by watching this!

Happy Birthday Dan! 30 years young today! Seems to have been an awful lot of Birthdays in May & June what with Canada, Ricky, Deano, Tim & now Dan we all seem to be putting on a bit of a party paunch! And I guess tonight isn't exactly going to help what with dinner & then drinks over at Vibe after! Don't worry Kymmie we'll look after him. We'll make sure he doesn't get too sozzled. After all he's no spring chicken anymore. We're bound to need someone to help the frail old man! Happy Birthday Dan.

Friday 12th June 2009-

2009-06-12Well we've been having some gorgeous tropical weather over here in Koh Tao lately. Apparently its been pretty bad weather all over Thailand right now but here in the Gulf its another beautiful day of sunshine, smooth calm seas, warm crystal clear azure waters, not a breath of wind, not a cloud in the sky! In fact if it wasn't so bloody early it would be a perfect place to have a Pimms about now!

Great to see our ladies showing some initiative and organising a big game of rounders on the beach tomorrow afternoon! Girls versus boys! And so far there appear to be almost 30 players signed up to swing a bat & ball around! Of course the great thing about beach rounders is you can just jump in the sea when it gets too hot which is why the majority of players are going to be dressed in their swimsuits! & jus t to make sure we know who is on who's team the boys will be 'shirts' & the girls will be 'skins'! That should draw the crowds!

Nice to have Ricky back & doing some teaching for us again! Ricky has been working in the Similans for the last 6 months as a Trip Leader on board one of the Similans more successful Liveaboard Operators with Wicked Diving. But now its the off season on the west coast right now so he's come back to be with his family for the next few months till he has to go back again & do some more Liveaboard trips leading, & diving with Manta Rays & Leopard sharks! Its a hard life. But somebody's got to do it eh Ricky?

Thursday 10th June 2009-

2009-06-10Well it looks like Sonia has gone down with something & might need a few days to recover! But being the tough ballet dancer that Sonia is she is bound to be back up on her feet in no time! Triple Pirouetting all over the place! More than can be said for Simon who in an inevitable Simon style got himself a teeny weenie cut, so small you need a magnifying glass to see it. Well now its infected & the Doctor says he'll be out of the water for 5 days. But knowing how slowly Simon heals we'll double that, add 3 divide by 5 & then times it by the number you first thought of! Get better soon guys.

Bit of a delayed Full Moon Rush but as they say better late than never! Once every month for about 5 days Koh Tao gets really busy as the revellers from Koh Phangan make their way to the next island & the next adventure on their travels around Thailand & Asia & this, unsurprisingly, is where everyone comes to learn to dive! So welcome Revellers & Party people. Glad you had fun under the moon on Koh Phangan. Now lets have some fun under the sun & under the water here in Koh Tao! So shirts off trousers down... mask snorkel & fins on!

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Tuesday 9th June 2009-

2009-06-09Imagine an ocean without fish! Imagine your meals without seafood. Imagine the global consequences. This is the future if we do not stop, think and act. The End of the Line, is the next big feature documentary film, following in the steps of An Inconvenient Truth & Sharkwater. It reveals the impact of overfishing on our oceans & shows the effects of our global love affair with fish as food. It examines the imminent extinction of bluefin tuna, brought on by increasing western demand for sushi; the impact on marine life resulting in huge overpopulation of jellyfish; and the profound implications of a future world with no fish that would bring certain mass starvation. Scientists predict that if we continue fishing as we are now, we will see the end of most seafood by 2048. We must stop thinking of our oceans as a food factory and realize that they thrive as a huge and complex marine environment. We must act now. Overfishing is the great environmental disaster that people haven't heard about, & ultimately its demise will make the dive industry obsolete!

In the world of the DMT's its a very big day today as its graduation day for the world's longest serving DMT! After 6 years 4 months, & 21 days Heather has finally completed her Divemaster Course & not only that is seriously considering taking her Inst Course next! But first she has to under take the final test of the Divemaster Course & that is tonights DM Challenge! DMT's from all over the world have been flying in to mark the occasion. The press are here & I believe there is a letter from the PADI Daddy on its way as well. As I said its a very big occasion! Congratulations Heather! Now when do you sign up to be an Instructor?

Great to see Rick back in the fold after his Honda Dream road trip around Thailand last month. Rick is of course our manager at our Big Blue Dive shop in Khao Lak & has been over there on the west coast since October so its great to have him back. And as its his first day back at work he's straight in team teaching with Instructor Dan a whole cluster of very excited Discover Scuba Divers. You're in for a blast guys!

Monday 8th June 2009-

2009-06-08Looks like a couple of our young DMT fillies managed to get G's knickers in a twist! Poor Frenchman got so stressed at such a critical moment! He was supposed to be controlling the equipment exchange between Mette & Caitlin when suddenly they flooded G's mask as they performed the bikini top exchange. By the time G had stopped panicking & replaced & cleared his mask the girls had completed their exchange. Poor G. Flooded mask at the critical moment! He must have felt like a right boob! Cos he certainly didn't see one!

Full Moon Party last night in Koh Phangan. A legendary event that brings the sleepy little island alive with music, people, & everything you can associate with good times including sex, drugs & neon paint! There'll be somewhere in the region of 5000 revellers on their way from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao over the next few days. After all, the June Full Moon usually marks the beginning of a 4 month high season for us here in Koh Tao. So if you are on your way here anytime from now till October especially around Full Moon then I would highly recommend dropping your drugs & putting on your neon Paint & booking yourself a room quick smart. Sex is optional. Highly recommended... but optional!

Well we're onto the second intriguing tale of Canada & his Adventures in search of the Hidden Village in the Khao Sok National Marine Park. The last exciting installment ended as Canada & his team of intrepid techies discovered some man made steps on the outskirts of the Sunken Village. Since then we've all been hanging on a knife edge in eager anticipation of what might be discovered next. & we are just getting word that the boys have discovered a sunken temple! Might be a little deep for recreational divers but for those of you interested in doing some Tech Diving then this could be just what the high priest ordered!

Sunday 7th June 2009-

2009-06-07There's going to be nudity tonight! Rumour has it 3 of our almost finished DMT's are about to log their 100th dive & as custom dictates the rules of diving state that a Divers 100th logged dive must be done in one's birthday suit! So Caitlin, Mette, & Sara, & Guillaume our BB Official, (there in an offical capacity) are all down the tanning salon getting bronzed & having their bikini lines waxed in preparation of tonights naked antics! Needless to say tonights night dive is a sell out! As everyone is wanting to see what G's bikini line looks like!

Koh Tao. Its changed a lot over the last 10 years or so. Realistically I don't think anyone can actually say its changed for the better but at the same time I don't think its really any worse either. It has a vibe here like nowhere else I've every been. & once you can get away from all the commotion of the touts that greet you off the boats pledging free palatial suites & ease into the lazy island hammock lifestyle you'll quickly feel the magic this place has to offer. You'll be throwing away your jeans & trainers in favour of a pair of Fisherman Pants & flip flops in no time!

Mammoth evenings entertainments for all Big Blue Staff, DMT's & any of our fundivers or students that wanted to come too! Barry, who seems to have adopted the social responsibilities duties organised a fabulous night of bowling & mini golf at Koh Tao's only Bowling & Minigolf course, originally enough! Everyone had a great night knocking off each others pins & sticking their balls in the holes! In fact some people had so much fun it was even suggested they leave their clothes on next time!

Thursday 4th June 2009

2009-06-04Good morning and a great big sorry for the lack updates in the last few day. What with Jim’s parents visiting and a few recent birthday hangovers suffered, the writers have not been tapping on the keyboard. So today I have a mass of information to update you guys on, so here goes…..

First a big welcome to are four new DMT’s, Emma from England, Geoff from France, Lee from England and Glen from England. And, with the DMT circle of life we would also like to congratulate Alex, Sarah and Cody on completing their DMT. Good effort guys and an excellent DMT challenge.

We today also say a very sad farewell to Oskar who leaves our beautiful island today. Oskar is off on a trip with the Big Blue Tech Dept to Khoa Sok National Park on a cavern diving trip then heads off back to Scandinavia . Good luck with everything Oskar and come back soon mate.

Keith an old Big Bluer rolled in to town yesterday with his girlfriend Alex which is great news. The bad news is that he is only here for a couple of days, so…… you can expect a lot of catching being done in the local bars around here. Good to see you buddy!

Finally another big welcome back to Rick and Fanette who have returned from the west coast. Rick has been managing the Big Blue office in Khao Lak since last October and with the season now finished has returned, welcome back guys.

July 2009

Tuesday July 28th

Big Blue has been saying hello and goodbye to some familiar faces, Sonia is back with Jims crumpets and angel delight, Barry and Paul’s wine gums, apparently the Cadburys Wispas got lost in transit, funny that!!

We’ve all known for a while just how lovely Koh Tao is, but everyone else is starting to realize! The UK Sunday Times travel section has described Koh Tao as a “diving mecca…a rocky isle of chalky-white beaches, surrounded by a rainbow of coral gardens in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand, where divers flock to see the whale sharks that often pass through the local waters.”  The Times is also singing the praises of Koh Tao’s freediving community –  Lucky we got in early and snapped up Apnea Total-taught Jeroen as our very own Big Blue Free Diving instructor!  “The vast majority do it weighed down with scuba gear, but a pioneering few are choosing to freedive instead of using the clunky and awkward scuba clobber.”

Also last nights wedding celebration for Dave and Terresa's marriage at Vibe was a great party, the effects of the nights events can be seen clearly on the faces of the poor staff who are suffering through their day off. The drinking proved too much for one person who we'll call "Lannah Husby" who had a bit of a identity crisis during the party. A year ago "Lannah" had met a man called Andy who was travelling through Koh Tao and shared an evening of magic only alcohol and tropical conditions could produce. Last night "Lannah" tried to get a hold of Andy who was back on the Island for his Technical Divemaster Internship . After harassing the entire party for Andy's number, she got what she was looking for and started to send a variety of texts in an attempt to "share a drink". After a few more texts, a phone call, a debate over location and ice cream "Lannah" was on her bike up to Andy's house. With a deep breathe and a firm knock on the door, Andy answered. However, to "Lannah's" horror and complete embarrassment there stood the wrong Andy, what luck man!

In other news Hannah left today after a 3 day visit from a sabbatical in Bali, she's off to Cambodia for a diving job. Good luck man!  

Also today, Big Blue Diving conducted a Full Day Trip to Sail Rock that took over 40 eager divers to the best dive site in Koh Tao. With 2 dives at sail rock with 30 meter visibility and one more at a South West Pinnacle everyone came back with smiles and memories to last a lifetime.

 
2009-07-27Monday 27th July 2009-

Canada is having one of his "episodes"! He's been known to clean windows, tidy the shop, & classroom & now he's completing his full reportoire with a massive Resort clean out! The place looks sooo much better & check out what he's come up with! He's found a brass propellor, an old shop door, shop shelves, bags & bags of sand, a couple of kitchen sinks, a half a forrest, a lion a witch & a wardrobe! Yvonne is furious. Apparently he lives like a pig at home!

I woke up this morning I had an early morning swim from my house on Sairee Terrace south, a couple of hundred meters, to Sairee Beach & then back again. Me & my lovely wife walked the dogs down to the beach & then we had breakfast on the balcony at home. Then when I drove into work this morning the breeze was a refreshing break to the early morning heat of another beautifully bright hot sunny day. I went to yoga & put the fans on full. I got to spend most of my working day in my air conditioned office & then I’ve got a wedding party at the beach tonight at sunset. Then tomorrow I got to do the same again though I might replace my yoga work out with a couple of dives at Chumphon Pinnacle! I'm living the dream : ) Are you?

Its a full Full Day Trip to Sail Rock departing tomorrow. In fact so popular was our last Full Day Trip we had to reschedule another one just as soon as we could! & even now I'm kind of thinking we need to schedule another one again in the next couple of days. In fact we are getting so inundated with requests for Sail Rock Full Day Trips I think I'll need to schedule a schedule to reschedule our Full Day Trips!
 
 
Sunday 26th July 2009-

2009-08-26"The walk of shame" For any red blooded male who's lived in Koh Tao a while its something we all do at least once in our Koh Tao lives! Waking up, face down on the sand, at the beach. No memory, no phone, no shoes, no bike keys, no money & when you woke up your trousers were round your ankles! Only one thing you can do- head down put one foot infront of the other & walk home. Just hope that no one recognises you & that no one finds out! Cos if they did they'd probably write about it on the blog the next day, eh Paul!

There is a poor lonely fish stuck in a fish tank at one of our local restaurants here in Sairee. If you put your finger to the class the fish will follow it. Move your finger along the tank it will follow. So bored with life is this poor fresh water fish! Up, down, left & right, the fish follows! So in comes DMT Emma & puts her finger to the fish tank, & lo & behold the fish darts over. BUt this time Emma tried something new & put her finger in the water & consequently the fish bites the tip of her finger. Emma screams! With lightening fast reactions she pulls her finger out the water with foot long freshwater fish attached & in panic Emma waves her hand out & the fish goes flying across the restaurant & lands on her own table on the other side of the room! How's that for service! Fresh fish delivered to your table in seconds!

Nice to see so many old faces returning to Koh Tao even if it is for only a few days. Hannah is back for a whistle stop visit of only 3 days before she is off to Cambodia to work in Sihnoukville as an Instructor there. Nice one Hannah! Our favourite German Nora is back for a 4 week holiday to celebrate having finished her University degree. And tomorrow Sonia returns from her trip to England to get Jim his crumpets! Time goes so quickly on Koh Tao it feels like no one ever left! Welcome back!
 
Saturday 25th July 2009-

2009-07-25Its another land & beach clean up this afternoon as organised by our very own Eco warrior G! AS relaible as ever G has organised another 20 volunteers to come diving with us at Maehaad this afternoon to pick up crap! Thank you to everyone who is here to help & hats off to you! Trousers down for those who said they were going to come but didn't!

Here's something I never knew till this morning! Why is the sea salty? I always thought it had something to do with rock minerals but apparently I have been ill informed! Its because of all the horny whalesharks! Apparently a whaleshark produces over 400 gallons of sperm when it ejaculates. But only 10% actually makes it into his mate! Which means there are 360 gallons spilled into the ocean everytime one unloads! I knew there was a reason we are taught not to drink sea water!

The new brochure has been made & now we're sending it up to be printed & distributed! It looks awesome! Cheers Canada for making it for us & sorry to have to keep sending it back to you for the small changes. But it does look really good now & I'm sure we'll get heaps of divers coming to us now just because our brochure looks so jig!
 
Friday 24th July 2009-
 
2009-07-24We have got to have another of those! That was awesome! Playboy parties rock! No wonder Hugh Heffner is such a God! Great to see how everyone made such an effort & we really have to take our hats off to Rick for having his Birthday & organising such a fab party & walking around all night in just his speedo's & medallions & also to ACE Marine Sonia who won the best Playboy Bunny costume! A fantastic night culminating in a mass orgy in the pool at the end of the evening!

Speaking of orgies! A male sea lion has died of exhaustion after a marathon mating session at a zoo in Germany. The mammal, named Mike who was originally from California, was already a father of 12. He passed away yesterday after an extended session with the females at the park in Nuremberg proved too much for his heart. Mike - described as 'good-natured' by the zoo - had mated repeatedly with females Farah, Tiffy and Soda. Mating season is a common time for fatalities when bulls often stop eating for days to devote themselves fully to mating. For sea lion bulls with a harem this is the most exhausting time. Careful Heff!

Well the big bright light in the sky is back after a few days of absence! The weather has been pants for the last few days but there is a massive improvement today! Perfect timing too as we had a full boat heading out to Sail Rock this morning. 2 dives at the number 1 divesite in the Gulf of Thailand with a spot of breakfast on the way out & chef's fantastic Massamun curry for lunch followed by a 3rd dive at Shark Island! & sunburn! Sounds perfect!
 
Wednesday 22nd July 2009-

2009-07-22The Big Blue Tech family became a little bit bigger with the arrival of Andy Holdaway to start his technical dive master internship which will take him from a rescue diver to a member of staff as an instructor in just a few months. Andy joins us from England where he has spent the past few years as a Royal Marines Commando and served with Canada over 4 years ago. Andy has been to Koh Tao before but this time he’s staying. Being as Andy already has a relationship with the staff means there’s been quite a few late nights and shakey mornings. However the celebration of his arrival is over and now it’s time to get to work. And once all his training is done Andy will be joining us to take over the responsibility for all our specialty course training and freelancing for recreational diving while he builds up experience to take on the ominous role of TDI technical instructor. Sounds like a bucket load of hard work! sorry I mean fun!

Woo hoo! Its Ricks Birthday (a few days ago) & everyone is getting very excited at the prospect of celebrating at tonights Playboy Party at Koh Tao's Playboy Mansion in Sairee! Dress code for the fella's is either a Tux, dressing gowns or Bling! & for the ladies its a ball gown, bikinis or a bunnygirl costume! What a hoot! Just hope the weather holds! We'd all be so disappointed if it rains & the ladies turn up in wet bunnygirl costumes!

This September 13th the River Kwai will be crossed by a succession of hot dripping wet sweaty panting runners during their annual half marathon which is expected to bring 1500 such sweaty people to this beautiful natural environment. This event is sponsored by New Balance sports company making this year its 28th. Barry & Canada & DMT Andy (all proud ex-forces boys) will be running to raise money for the Help For Heroes charity, a non profit agency who’s sole goal is to help wounded men and women serving in the British military. This course through & around the Bridge over the River Kwaiw has been verified and sanctioned by Association of International Marathons and Road Race (AIMS). Beginning at 6am the start & finish line will be at the front of River Kwai Village Hotel, in Kanchanaburi. To Register please go to  http://www.goadventureasia.com/rkh.shtml & help support a great cause!
 
Tuesday 21st July 2009-

2009-07-21'Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling'... Well the chicks are in floods of tears & even some of the fella's are struggling hard not to shed a tear today as we bid farewell ( but not goodbye) to Dan who after spending the last 2 years with us as a student, a DM, & now an Instructor is returning home to his true love, Gravesend! Oh sorry, 2 true loves- Kymmie & Gravesend! Its been emotional my friend but as you say you will be back next Easter for some more fun & frolicks so we all wish you luck & please give your lovely Missus one from us all too! So Danny boy so long fare the well, pip pip cheerio & see you at 8 oclock tonight for your send off! Cheers for everything!

Chumphon Pinnacle, one of Koh Tao's very famous & probably most popular Dive sites is looking very healthy at the moment. The resident school of Chevron Barracuda, a huge wall of them, & the friendly school of Bat fish which greet all the divers on their descent down the buoy line are all there! There's also a couple of large Pickhandle Barracuda's traipsing around the place at the moment as well. So the only thing we are missing now are the mass of sharks that parade there & of course the large white spotted Whale shark! Won't be long now. I imagine they'll be back before you can say Ken Dodd's Dad's dogs dead!

In case you haven't already heard Marcel, a previous Instructor here & now part owner of Wicked Diving in Khao Lak is engaged! I know! We were as surprised as you! But its great news & everyone is very excited for him & his lovely wife to be who funnily enough he met here when he taught her her Advanced Course! Isn't that romantic! So they are to be married next year& as I'm sure this is going to be just one of many in the forseeable future (eh Rick & Fanette, Dan & Kymmie, Duncan & Mickey, Ricky & Anna, Panos & Kayleigh, Amanda & Yuta!) I figure it might be worth advertising for a Diving certified priest & we'll start doing underwater weddings! Hubble bubble toil & trouble!
 
Monday 20th July 2009-
 
2009-07-20My God if I wasn’t a married man already I might have enjoyed that but as it is & as it went down it made me feel a little hot in my swimsuit region! A few of our Big Blue babes cornered me this afternoon & didn’t just request, they absolutely demanded I pull my finger out & get busy buying a bundle of specifically made Big Blue bikinis! OK I said on one condition! I design them! So a deal is a deal & I’ve submitted my design to our tailors & our Brazillian Big Blue bikinis will be here next week! Big Blue Babes in Brazilian Bikinis! Now who’s feeling hot in their swimsuit region?"TO Paul FROM Ploy & Tan, Thank you so much for taking care of me & my brother. It was absolutley lovely meeting you. We had such a wonderful time with Big Blue & really enjoyed our diving with you. Many thanks."-Thanks guys, so nice of you to show your appreciation of all the hard work we do! Not sure you thanked the right guy though! Paul? Are you sure it was Paul? ; ) (only joking Paulie! Please don't squash me!)That's 1 small step for man (static) 1 giant leap for... Whalesharks! Have a look at www.thaioceans.com a new website set up by our friends at ACE Marine Images dedicated to the preservation & conservation of Whalesharks in Thailand & Phillipine waters. The idea of the website is to use it to upload your own photos of the Whalesharks you dived with into a database of the whalesharks in this area so that we can learn more about them. After all can you believe we know less about Whalesharks than we do about the moon! Sign in sign up & save the Whaleshark! Oh yeah & well done Neil & Buzz & that 3rd guy no one ever seems to know the name of! Happy 40th Anniversary!
 
Sunday 19th July 2009-
 
2009-07-19Much nicer day today weather wise. & it really looks like Koh Tao is enjoying the Summer High Season. The restaurants on the beach are full, so are the bars, the email shops & all the resorts. There are very few bungalows available along the beach now & even those resorts further inland & away from Sairee are also experiencing maximum occupancy! So if you haven't done so already then its high time you did... book ahead - contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a good time!

Seems like we are missing a few of our familiar faces. Where have they gone? Well, Sonia has been sent back to Blightey on a crumpet & chocolate Angel Delight mission for Jim. Simo has also returned to the Mother Country to see his better half & show her quite how much he, & his loins, have missed her. And Barry is home, here in Koh Tao, not the UK, with a bout of flu, but isn't snorting & hasn't grown a curly tail so we aren't too worried. Hope you are all having fun guys. We miss you. & can't wait to see how many crumpets you can each fit in your bags when you come back!

"Hi Jim, just a quick note to say we have left the island now. 5 nights was not long enough. I am on Samui now, waiting for a flight back to bangkok. THanks for all your help. The diving was amazing. I didn't get to do my adventure deep dive as on my refresher, my ears gave me a bit of trouble. SO i didn't take any risks. A big thanks to Paul who took me on my refresher and first fun dive. He was excellent. And also to Lena who took me on thursday. She is great. ANd huge thanks for Andy, who took me out friday. He has a great sense of humour. Your whole team is amazing. ANd between you organising my trip, and them taking me diving, it was perfect! Dawn and Nic came out snorkling with us one day and they enjoyed it. SO thanks again. Pass on my thanks to the Big Blue team for being so friendly and welcoming. Planning to come back in December. Fingers crossed. Sarah Darville"Thanks for writing in Sarah - its great to get your feed back & look forward to seeing you back here around Christmas. Ho Ho Ho.

Saturday 18th July 2009-

2009-07-18... & I'm back! Thank you Rick for taking the reins while I've been away in Samui starving myself to death! Some people call it fasting others call it stupidity! Especially when you see the bill! But I have lost 5 kilo's in 4 days & the locals have stopped calling me Pom Pui which is their endearing way of saying you're fat! I'm now butch, rugged & virile... till about beer o'clock! Then I'll probably be quite Mao qute quickly! Aah its good to be back! There's just no place like home!

The weather in Koh Tao right now is a little like taking out your favourite pair of speedos from the fridge & wearing them... cold wet & miserable! We shouldn't really be too surprised as it is quite normal for this time of year & its not really too bad if you are diving every day as we just dive the sites on the East coast of Koh Tao, where its flat & calm & still has good visibility. So despite cancelling our Full Day Trip to Sail Rock we are still able to go & enjoy the caves at Laem Thien, the trenches at Hin Wong & the soft corals at Shark Island! Its the wet speedo feeling that no one is really digging!

The Asian whale shark photo ID database is up and running at  http://www.thaioceans.com/ . ThaiOceans is trying to nail down the migration routes and reproduction behaviour of whale sharks particularly in the Asian Oceans. We believe that sharks from the Philippines and Thailand may be connected and are striving to uncover their secrets so that we may help in their global conservation. The database and website was created by our friends at ACE Marine Images and has been outsourced to volunteers in order to encourage more local videographers and photographers to submit their images. They are also working in conjunction with Ecocean amongst others so all your images will also end up in global databases credited to you! Better get snapping

Wednesday 15th July 2009-

2009-07-15Apologies for the lack of entries over the last few days, all work and no play whilst Jim’s been away! Or is that all play and no work…?!

Whale shark at South West this morning! I know we go on about them, but they’re so endangered (who’d have thought it with all the sightings we’ve been having!) and it’s a guaranteed natural high for all the divers lucky enough to see the big fish! Shame that all the DMTs were diving at Chumpon instead, should’ve been on the other boat!

A little re-arrangement of the afternoon boats and we’re heading out to South West again this afternoon for all the fundivers and Rick’s advanced course to see if Mr Whale Shark shows up again.

Saturday saw a very successful bowling evening take place with all the Big Blue crew, the teams were a mishmash of instructors, DMs and DMTs with a variety of differing skill levels from totally useless to just about average! Barry put us all to shame with a score of 211, then showed us all up just as much the night after accompanying the live music acts at Choppers playing the spoons! He’s multi-talented is our Barry!

The weather was a bit ferocious at the beginning of the week, the winds picked up, so Chumpon was a no-go for a few days, but never fear, we’re still diving! In fact, it’s been the ideal opportunity for us all to explore the East coast sites, the winds are from the West so the other side of the island has been lovely and calm, and the dive sites beautiful, shoaling Weavers butterfly fish and unicorn fish at Laem Thien, and a massive school of fusiliers at Mango Bay.

Our resident Welshie’s coming home! Deano will be arriving on the afternoon Lomprayah, and we’ve got a huge welcoming committee heading down to the pier to meet him. Well, kind of. We’re sending P’Tea down with the taxi, and we’ll have a beer waiting for him when he arrives back at the resort!

Also very welcome back to Big Blue are Panos and Kayleigh! They’ve been jetsetting round Europe and the Maldives for the past 14 months, but those magnets that we stick to people when they leave the Rock have pulled them back again! Koh Tao’s addictive!! Panos will be instructing, and Kayleigh’s going to be the new mini-Jim around the resort – good to have you back guys!

G’s holding a DMT day tomorrow - who’s up for a full day trip on Big Blue to Japanese Gardens! Breakfast and lunch not included, plus you’ve got to prep your own boat! G will be putting all the DMTs through their paces with swim tests, skills circuits and rescue assessments – wish them luck!

Apparently amphibians synchronise their mating activity to full moons – a recent study by biologists at Cardiff University suggests that frogs use the lunar activity to coordinate their encounters, helps them to maximise their spawning success! Sounds vaguely similar to the hordes of people heading to Koh Phangan during full moon…

Thursday July 9th 2009-

2009-07-09Lucky old Lara! Today Lara will be taking Bernard Curry from the hit Australian Soap Opera, Home & Away, & Sofia his missus, for a refresher dive! I haven't seen Lara this excited since she had her last beer! She's got her waterproof make up on, she's washed her hair, shined her flip flops, & has her sexy seethrough rashie at the ready, & just in case has her overnight bag packed too! Its only an afternoon Scuba Refresher Lara! Its not like your spending the weekend at Bernies! Have fun guys!

Fish that are supposed to clear people's skin by eating off the dead layers bit a man's private parts after he stepped in the water naked at a hot spring club in China. The man, who had visited the spa for a "special water treatment", sat in the water for half an hour without realizing the special fish were nibbling on his special parts instead of the dead skin. The manager of the club saw the man bleeding as he stepped out of the water and rushed him to a nearby hospital. The manager however refused to compensate the man, saying it was mandatory to keep pants on during treatments in the club. Spoilsport!

Right we are now completely totally & utterly ready for high season! we have 3 new members of staff which means the rest of us can all go off on a holiday! First off lets welcome Christos, Canada's new technical diving assistant. Christos is a Marine Biologist, a tech diver, & an underwater videographer! Not a bad catch for us even if he is Greek! Then we have Koen from Belgium who's joining our Instructor team & bringing with him a total of 435 extra languages! And finally Duncan. Big Blue's longest serving customer! He's been diving with us since 2000 every year & this year he's taken some time off work to become a Divemaster & now he has achieved that status he's got himself a job within our DM team! Good work chaps! Now get on the floor & give me 20! What did you think this was- summer camp?
 
Wednesday July 8th 2009-

2009-07-08Before we had Brett from Neighbours & but now we have Bernie from Home & Away! Bernie is famous for baring his bum on the telly! Both Bernie & Brett are here to see Barry from Big Blue! Don't quite know how Big Blue Barry became a buddy with the boys but the boys have come to see Big Blue Barry at the beach. Brilliant! Soap stars seeing Sea stars at the seashore!

Corey is off tomorrow for a trip to India with his Dad. & don't believe he'll be coming back here after as he's heading to the bright lights & big titties of LA to become a star! (That stint as Sandy at Bazza's Grease rendition has obviously gone straight to his head!) Canada is in tears! And Sonia is off as well but she will be coming back! She better be! Jim needs his crumpet & chocolate angel delight fix!

In other news... Lara has finished our brand new board signs on our brand new dive board! It looks very big & yellow & seems to be the talk of the resort. Everyone's commenting on Lara's big new shiney signs! & how quick she was getting it finished compared to how long it took her to make the other big new shiney sign at the entrance. I wonder if that had anything to do with DM Paul not being here this week! 
 
Tuesday, July 7th 2009-
 
2009-07-07Whaleshark at White Rock! We’re sending a boat again this afternoon to swim with the biggest fish in the ocean. Seems like they’re being spotted every day again, maybe preparing for high season after the Full Moon Party. Just a few warm up dives before entertaining a larger crowd. In fact, we are all getting ready. Lara is making new shiny signs for the resort, Emily’s covering her black eye with makeup, Canada’s working on the compressors, Alain is studying various languages to enhance his social skills and Rick is polishing his hammock, the ultimate Koh Tao accommodation! Dan came back from a visa run this morning after a relaxing night in Chumphon and brought a souvenir. The Chumphon tourist board publishes a free map that is handed out to all visitors and you can grab in most guest houses or cafes. It contains a lot useful pieces of information such as the highlights of the town, of which “Snorkeling or Scuba Diving at Ko Ngam Noi and Ko Ngam Yai, visitors can touch whales sharks and coral reefs”. For those of you who were looking for the only place in the world where you touch any of these, guess you’ve found it. As for the others, thanks for caring about the underwater environment. Seriously! We had another fantastic Full Day Trip to Sail Rock yesterday with 30 metre visibility, fish everywhere and of course, the world famous massaman curry. Diving conditions are brilliant right now, the seas are flat, the sun is shining and the batfish are back at Chumphon Pinnacle. So what are you waiting for? Come down and sign up for your dives today!
 
Sunday 5th July 2009-
 
2009-07-05Long live the practical joke! Poor Lara. Not sure what it is that makes people change the spelling on her signs, or draw on her back or tease her so but putting her brand new bicycle up the tree & leaving it hanging there with a No Parking sign was a very immature & silly thing to do! But it was also an awful lot of fun & caused much mirth & merriment for those of us hanging around with nothing better to do with their time, eh Spaz! Tune in next week to see where Lara's bike will be parked tomorrow! Jim wants to put it on the top rock at Nang Yuan Island. Spaz reckons we should hide it in the fridge at the 7/11! & Paul wants to put it as a figurehead on the bow of Banzai! Till we think of somewhere better to hide it, let's leave the bike in the cave at Red Rock!The last few days on Koh Tao has seen an awfull lot of people arriving! In fact right now we are almost full! Its the lead up to the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan which is on this Thursday 9th July and it seems everyone in Thailand is on their way there,via here, right now! Then we'll have a 2 day lull & then this island will explode with the amount of holidaymakers here! So people please make sure you book a room before you get here or you might find yourselves sleeping in the Big Blue Bar or one of our classrooms!Now what has Emily been doing to earn herself a black eye? Was it the temporary breast implants she had before her morning run? Was it the awesome girl on girl on girl fighting she had with Angelina Jolie & Baby Spice? or was it the stupid American with the misdirected firework? My money is on the stupid American... but my mind is on Baby Spice & Angelina!
 
Saturday 4th July 2009-
 
2009-07-04What a week its been for America! First Michael Jackson, & now the aliens have blown up the White House! Meanwhile Corey parades around the Resort with his Stars & Stripes Bandana & neck tie on, the rest of us are left wondering, if the Aliens really did blow up the White House on Independence Day, then where the heck is Obama gonna live! Poor chap. The black guy who got the worst job in the world & then his house got blown up by extraterrestrials! Happy Independance Day Rick. Corey. Kelli. Barrack. Alf!

 
Whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle! About time too! Haven't had one for almost a week now! & whoever's decision it was to schedule an afternoon with 2 dives at Chumphon is a genius! & amazing how quickly the news of the whaleshark doubled the number of divers going out on this afternoons trip. Generating a revenue of about 1000 bucks! & thats just us! So multiply that by at least 25 dive shops would make 25000 bucks to see a fish! today. & then tomorrow! the day after & so on & so on. AS long as the Whaleshark stays alive! As soon as it dies its value is only about 300USD. Hmmm. Dive don't fish! You'll be richer for it!
Thanks to Sara & Eddy who have written Simon a little poem in appreciation for his patience & expertise as an Instructor when he taught them their Open Water & Advanced Open Water Courses. If it wasn't so embarrassingly flattering I might even have written it here but phrases like 'we studied hard you taught us well' & 'we had so much fun we thought you were great!' & ' A huge thank you. You are the best Divemaster we could ever have got!' would be enough to make you hurl! & as a matter of interest... every single one of Simon's Open Water students last month did their Advanced Course with him as well! But interestingly only 2 wrote an Ode to Simon! See mate. There's always room for improvement!
 
Friday 3rd July 2009-
 
2009-07-03The full day trip was full of surprises, not only did our Khao Lak Manager Rick find a baby lionfish but less than a meter away Sonia also found the only false clownfish to be seen around Koh Tao. Asuka confirmed that she has never seen one before, and if the Japanese staff get all excited about a Nemo you know its got to be good! Either that or its Sushi time!Another dive master challenge too, congratulations to Sara and Karen. Whenever we have a costume based challenge the instructors always put in so much effort. The time they spend working out what clothes to wear is amazing! Rick was awesome dressed as a cross between Jamiroquai and Willy Wonka, Simon came dressed as Jodie (looking very comfortable in the tight little red dress) & G put on his sports bra! You'd have thought the girls would have worn something more than just their bikinis but hey! Who am I to complain! Good effort everyone.Our favourite Germinator has returned from a month back at home eating german sausages, wearing dirndls, drinking beer steins, shouting at people and slapping her knees. Canada her loving fiance has missed her that much he left for a 4 day liveaboard the day after she got back!!! Welcome home Yvonne!

August 2009

Monday 31st August 2009-

2009-08-31Project AWARE says an estimated seven billion tons of debris enter the world’s oceans every year. The consequences are devastating, it adds, nearly one million birds are killed by aquatic litter and an estimated 100,000 marine animals, including dolphins, whales and sea turtles, choke or get tangled in debris every year. Sponsored by PADI Asia Pacific, International Cleanup Day will be marked in 23 countries throughout Asia Pacific with over 100,000 volunteers taking the lead. At least 50 of those from Big Blue! Support & celebrate International Clean up day this September 17th!

We have another 4 new Divemasters in Training starting with us today. Welcome to the next 2 months of unlimited diving! You are going to see so much marine life, you're going to get to dive with Whalesharks, & turtles, you'll watch Barracuda's feeding at night, you'll learn all about Pressure, Henry's Law, Boyle's Law & PADI standards. You'll see the human body in all its varying shapes & sizes & by the time you finish you will have lost weight, gained a great tan & earned yourselves a qualification that permits you to work on the beach anywhere in the world! So how come there was only 4 signed up? Sounds awesome. I'd have thought there'd be 100's of people signing upto do something like this!

It was brought to my attention ( just a few minutes before I realised it was my 1 year wedding anniversary- Whoops!) that we are about to have our yearly mass exodus! Its in the next couple of weeks a lot of our guys are going to start making preparations for their return to the Dark Side- Khao Lak, the portal to the Similan & Surin Islands. Of course we knew already that Rick is leaving to steer the Big Blue Khao Lak operation. & Fanette of course. & most of team Japan & Ricky & Anna & Keith are all returning to their previous Westside posse. But unfortunatley we are going to lose Panos & Kayleigh, Rich, & Soren & Koen as well! Bugger! Good staff is hard to find! : (

Saturday 29th August 2009-

2009-08-29POLICE raided the Takuapa bus station in Phang Nga on Friday and found protected coral reef fish in transit to Bangkok. About 180 coral blooms were rescued and are being brought back to Phuket. A man who was accompanying the blooms ran off. And in Bangkok a man has been arrested and accused of being the mastermind behind a 100 million baht-a-year coral reef fish poaching ring. Police were taken to a house in the sea gypsy village at Rawai where they found 150 protected fish of 18 species in aquarium tanks. More than 100 living coral blooms were also found in the house by officers. The man accused of organising the poaching, had between 100,000 baht and 500,000 baht moving into his bank account each week. The bulk of orders came from Chiang Mai. The fish and the blooms would be sent to buyers by air transport, once sufficient orders had been filled. Police are now tracing the sources of his bank-book income of 100 million in the past year.

Big thanks to none other than Mr John Williams the author of Lonely Planets Diving & Snorkelling Guide to Thailand & the 'go to' guy if you ever want to know anything especially about Liveaboard boats. Here's what he says about our recent Liveaboard acquisiton! - " Looks like our buddies at Big Blue Diving Koh Tao & Khao Lak will be taking over management operations for the MV Pawara. While always a well run boat, we know that Michael, Takeshi, Rick and the rest of the team will make it even better and more... fun than ever. Bent and John look forward to working with them!" -Nice one John! There's our first seal of approval from the Dam Nam man from Siam!

Thanks again to G our Big Blue Representative who has put soo much into Koh Tao & the Save Koh Tao Group. He goes to every meeting, every workshop, every coordinated get together & today he is organising the Sairee Reef & Beach clean up. We got 3 diveboats ready 5 kayaks, & 2 longtails. G is managing events underwater & Deano is managing the boats & the rubbish collection! Its not as easy as you think organising a beach & underwater clean up. It requires organisation, preparation, coordination, a baguette, a beret & an outrageous French accent! C'est bon trevally! Merci Monsieur Guillaume.

 
Thursday 27th August 2009-

2009-08-27Well first off I think we should all bow down with our hats off to Dale who organised last nights premiere showing of the movie The end of the Line a documentary on over fishing. It is a rare movie that will change your life. I am going to stop buying or eating from this day forth Atlantic Cod, halibut, sea bass, tuna, hake & scallops! It not only made me feel sick it made me feel ashamed, despondent & anxious, increasingly disenchanted with our politicians & above all, guilty! Great job Dale. There must have been over 100 people show up! Imagine if all of them choose not to eat fish anymore! & they tell 100 people. And so on. And so on. Till we got no cows left cos we've eaten them all! Oh dear. Mankind. We're so screwed! We are slowly killing ourselves! Time for a happy movie! Anyone want to watch Top Gun next?

Its that time of the month- the Koh Tao underwater clean up. This Saturday our save the world from Rubbish representative Guillaume with his trusty side kick Kayleigh will be tackling the beach in the morning with a big Beach clean up & then in the afternoon we will have about another 30 divers all coming out with us to pick up the rubbish that we can find on Sairee Reef. Everyone welcome & then there'll be another free Barbecue at Vibe Beach bar after, for all participants. Be green. Drink Beer & Eat Sausages!

So while some of us are toiling away on the beaches & in the water, socialising at night, educating by day, Canada & his team of Hill Billies are in the deepest darkest densest part of the Khao Sok National Marine Park strumming on their banjo's (tech diving) & delving through their nether regions (Cave Diving). They've been gone 4 days now & we've not heard a squeak from any of them which obviously means they are having an absolute blast or... they're on a new Reality Thai TV equivalent of the Blair Witch Project!

 
Wednesday 26th August 2009-

2009-08-26M.V. Pawara is going to be one of the nicest Liveaboards operating on the west coast of Thailand next season. I know this to be true because our favourite Hawaiian Rick will be at the helm leading the Big Blue Diving Khao Lak team. It's going to be a little daunting operating 2 speedboats & a luxury liveaboard but hey, if anyone can do it it's going to be our man Rick! So remember people if you are looking for something a little different on your next holiday then book yourselves a Liveaboard aboard MV Pawara & tuck in to 4 meals a day, 12 dives, 9 Similan Islands, a couple of Surin Islands & more Manta Rays than you can shake a stick at!

It's the Movie Premiere of the 'The End of The Line' an award winning documentary in the style of Shark water explaining how overfishing is changing the world & what we eat. Anyone with the slightest interest in where our fish come from & the devastating effects of our voracious appetite for it should watch this. We have reached a pivotal moment for fishing, with 75% of the worlds fish stocks either fully exploited or overfished. If nothing is done to stop the squandering of fish stocks the life of the oceans will face collapse & millions of people could starve!. The End of the Line looks at the problem & proves that we, as consumers, have to change if the situation is to improve!
     
Despite looking like boys, sounding like boys, & swearing like boys, the boys at Crystal sent out the ladies team to last night's Crystal Diving Vs Big Blue Diving Sports night at Crystals Sairee Beach Bar Vibe run by the legendary Massive Dave!. Well we think it was the Crystal Diving Ladies team. They certainly drank like a bunch of girls & they were pretty easy to pull over in the Tug of war & they didn't know any answers to the sports questions so it certainly felt a little one sided! Cheers Dave & Matt! Apart from the cricket you boys just aren't having a very good week for sport! 
    
Tuesday 25th August 2009-

2009-08-25Not sure what happened there but quite literally overnight our email inquiries have quadrupled. Many thanks one & all for writing in with your questions & such & I will try & get to them as quick as I can but wow looking at some of them this might take a while. So if you happen to be one of those waiting here's a couple of answers to some of the same questions. Monsoon starts mid November & finishes by Christmas. Yes it's still good up till then. Yes you can still go diving during monsoon. Yes we have our own Liveaboard in the Similans next season. Yes we are open on Christmas Day & New Years Day for afternoon diving. And 'No'. Simon isn't enjoying the football right now after his team's dreadful start to the beginning of the season! But Barry & Jim are!

Whaleshark at Southwest Pinnacle was spotted yesterday afternoon so we sent Banzai out this morning to see if we could treat our customers to something really special- spending the morning diving with them. Unfortunately we failed as the Whale Shark was obviously hiding under a rock somewhere cos we didn't see it. We did however see a large school or 2 of Fusiliers & Barracuda's & a couple of Cuttlefish & an ink squirting octopii! Would have seen a few sharks in years gone by if Mankind hadn't brought them to the brink of extinction!

Rumour has it the staff at Crystal Dive have been working out, pumping iron & then going home early to study in preparation for tonight's big match between ourselves & the guys at Crystal. Its competition night at Vibe Bar & Massive Dave has laid on a tug of war, a potato sack race, a general knowledge quiz, an egg & spoon race, a muscle man competition & an all you can eat Barbecue. Should be a breeze for us. Big Paul just got back off his visa run so we'll win the All you can eat, the muscle man, the general knowledge, & the tug of war. Not sure there's a potato sack big enough for Paul but we've got the rest covered! 

Monday 24th August 2009-

2009-08-24Bluefin tuna are a pelagic species: they live in the open waters, far beyond the reach (and governance) of individual nations. They are also one of those predators at the top of the ocean's food chain, preyed upon mostly by man. They grow up to four metres (12 feet) in length, weigh as much as 250kg (550lb) and, when chasing prey—mostly sardines—can swim at a speed of 70kph (45mph). They also range widely, traversing the Atlantic Ocean to reach breeding grounds in the Mediterranean Sea. But what was once known as the common tunny has, over the past few decades, come to be at serious risk of extinction, thanks to overfishing driven by demand from Japan, where bluefin tuna are considered a delicacy and are used in sushi and sashimi.To find out more come to the Thailand premiere of the movie The End of the Line at Big Blue Bar & Restaurant this Wednesday. The first 100 tickets are free!
Its Monday night 'New Restaurant night' Last week Lara chose a Burmese Restaurant which was delicious. Apparently the sauteed Catfish with roast leeches is apparently devine though not sure anyone had that particular dish, well not on purpose at least! & tonight it is Emily's choice. Last week Burma, this week India! We're so Continental here in Koh Tao! Tune in to see which corner of the world we shall be visiting next week when its Barry's choice! If you haven't got anything better to do!

Canada & his team at Big Blue Tech are off tonight for another 4 days & nights of adventure in the Khao Sok National Park. Descending through the murky depths of the lake, delvng into unexplored cavern systems – The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of Big Blue Tech, its continuing mission to explore a strange new world, to seek out new life and new civilizations and to boldly go where no one has gone before.
 
Sunday 23rd August 2009-

2009-08-23Thats sad. 3 dead turtles found in the last 3 weeks. The one we found today has been dead for a few days already. We sent a long tail out to go pick it up & bring it back to land & then the vet came round & measured her took a few photos & then did an autopsy on it to see how it died. And surprise surprise we have the results from Hawksbill Turtle CSI! This poor little fellow choked on a plastic bag. Not an uncommon way for a turtle to die but a very unpleasant one. Save the turtles & say no to plastic bags!

One of Koh Tao's biggest problems is that we run out of fresh water quite regularly. Alot of businesses have actually been importing water from the mainland for the past few weeks already. So if you are coming to Koh Tao or if you are even here already please be careful with the amount of water you use. Save water. Drink beer! When you wash shower with your partner! And keep your laundry wash to a minimum wear the same pair of pants for four days. The correct way, then back to front, then inside out and then inside out and back to front!

"Hey Jim. I am off to Australia today. Really excited to see my sister, although I have to admit I am a bit worried it is way to cold over there...Once again thank you so much for letting me have such a fabulous time on Koh Tao. Nora x" You are more than welcome Nora. It was great to see you again & Caz is missing you dearly! Enjoy Australia & Happy diving!

Saturday 22nd August 2009- 

2009-08-22Hats off to DMT Dale who has done an outstanding job & has got himself a copy of the movie 'The end of the line' sent to him directly from the film distributors themselves! Which means this Tuesday at the Big Blue Cinemaplex we shall be screening the Thailand Premiere of this amazing documentary portraying the plight of the Blue Fin Tuna in our oceans due to over fishing & deep sea trawling. Nice one Dale. Now Dale, would you mind writing a letter to James Cameron as I'd really like to see the new Sci fi movie Avatar next!

Just beautiful! Our new Big Blue Brochures have been printed & we have a few thousand in stock ready to be handed out & distributed around the place. The touts are all armed & ready for action. So are the Instructors & Divemasters. In fact we are all very excited. The brochures really look great. Thanks Canada for the design & layout, thanks Tetsu & Lia for the photos & thanks Sanna, Dan & Oskar for the posing. You all look great. Except you Dan. Your mask makes your bum look big!

Hot on the heals of Simon & his bid to become our SSI Instructor Trainer is everyone's favourite Frenchman G who will be launching his bid to become our very own Big Blue PADI Course Director. Simo will be able to start his SSI ITC within the next couple of weeks & G can get cracking on his PADI CDC at the beginning of next year. So its the SSI ITC ASAP & G's PADI CDC TBA! TTFN!

 
Friday 21st August 2009- 

2009-08-21Congratulations to 3 of our new Advanced Nitrox divers, Andy, Panos & Jean Louis. The course is designed to train the divers in the benefits, hazards and proper procedures for utilizing Enriched air nitrox through to 100% oxygen for dives not requiring decompression. It's exciting stuff & both Panos & Andy will be continuing this Advanced technical diving when they set off for the depths of the Khao Sok National Park next week to complete their TDI Cavern Course. Technical diving. Not for the faint of heart this tech & cave diving thing but thats alright for these boys. After all Andy was trained by the Royal Marines & served a stint or 2 in Afghanistan. & Panos Iosifoglo is... from... SPARTA! Hoo!

How's this for a free dive- coming face to face with a 50ft female humpback whale. Imagine diving along side one of these great giants of our seas. As we know whales come in all shapes & sizes & one photographed recently measured over 50 feet & is estimated to weigh about 50 tonnes. It is allegedly the smallest man a whale has ever been photographed next to. Or is that the largest whale a man has ever been photographed next to?

Well Simo has his nose in the books right now as he is studying for the big exam! Simon is soon going to be our SSI Instructor Certifier which is the PADI equivalent of the Course Director. So before too long we will be able to train all those interested in becomming SSI Instructors. Which is becomming increasingly more popular. & of course because Big Blue Diving is one of the largest SSI Dive centers in the world old Simo could find himself pretty busy over the next few weeks, months & years! Good luck Simo. Hope you pass the Fizzix Eggsam!

 
Thursday 20th August 2009- 

2009-08-20A few months ago one of the islands dive boats actually sank here on Sairee Reef. It was I believe a case of schoolboy error when the Captain forgot to turn on the bilge pump one stormy night & came to work the next morning to find his boat 6 feet under...water! Anyway its since been delicately lifted & towed to the deeper depths of Japanese Gardens to become for the moment a Koh Tao Wreck Dive! Not quite the type of wreck Canada & his Team at Big Blue Tech are used to diving but Yvonne & her group of Advanced Divers they all thought it was pretty cool! Deep Dive at Chumphon followed by a wreck Dive at Japanese! Sounds pretty cool to me too!

Thai fishermen have been issued a warning against dropping broken trawl nets in the sea, saying the net could kill marine animals, particularly the Ridley's turtle. Swallowing a small piece of net could be very dangerous for marine animals, while larger pieces could trap them & cause drowning. The warning came after a 2 year old Ridley's turtle was found stranded on a beach in Phuket with severe injuries caused by being trapped in a large broken piece of trawl net. The turtle was believed to have been trapped in the net for several days & its front leg was missing presumably cut off as it struggled to free itself. Wounds were also detected on its front right leg & head! Save the turtle! Stop trawling!

"Hi Jim, as I've recently ran out of log space in the little yellow logbook I got doing my OW/AOW/Nitrox with you guys in 2008, I thought I should send you guys a little thank you note for a great introduction to the world of diving. The classes were fun, yet efficient (managed to transition to no-vis and cold water easily), the diving was great and I certainly left Big Blue with a strong urge to dive more and the skills to do it. So send my thanks to Rick, Panos & Celine if they're still around.- Dominic Couture" You're the man Dominic! & Rick & Panos. & yes Celine you are the gal! Cheers for writing in Dominic & see you next year for another logbook!

Wednesday 19th August 2009-

2009-08-19Its been a while since we had any new ones & then 4 come along all at once! I'd like to welcome Nick & Taylor from Californ-I-A & Harry & Guy from Witshi-R-E! The boys have all signed up for their Divemaster Courses so will be swimming & sweating & studying & partying & demonstrating & correcting & listening & lecturing & diving & drinking till the cows come home! Which at Big Blue is an average of about 8 weeks! Welcome to your Divemaster Courses boys! These are going to be the best days of your lives!

"Hi Jim, I left Koh Tao today and Im already up in Bangkok. Sorry I didn't say goodbye, couldn't find you this morning. Just to say thanks for everything, I've had a wonderful time on Koh Tao and at Big Blue. A very warm reception coming back after 4 months and its been great seeing everyone again. Also, thanks for helping me out last week with accommodation and diving, had an excellent week! :) Hopefully will drop into Big Blue next Summer! Cheers, Simon" You're welcome mate it was nice to see you again & appreciate you dropping me a line. See you next year!

K-I-S-S-I-N-G... Thats what we like a woman who knows what she wants & aint afraid to go out & get it! Latest news on the on again off again relationship of the year is that they are on again! Well they were a couple of nights ago but apparently things have changed since then & now they are off again untill the next time she has a drink. So this time tomorrow they're bound to be back together! Must be true love! Congratulations Lara & Deano you make a beautiful couple... yesterday... & in another couple of days time... probably! 

Tuesday 18th August 2009-

2009-08-18Another gloriously hot and sunny day on Koh Tao! The full day trip yesterday was very successful, Sail Rock and Southwest were crystal clear, huge schools of barracuda, batfish and fusiliers about, Banzai dropped a load of sunburned but happy fundivers back to Sairee!

Everyone’s working their socks off (hypothetically of course, bare feet and flipflops are the way forward in life!), G’s off out to the Biorock in the morning with a gaggle of enthusiastic DMTs, Jeroen’s got people signing up left right and centre to go freediving, Canada’s starting another techie course tomorrow, and there’s fundivers and open water students aplenty to keep us all busy!

The Big Blue girls have come up with a new idea for our Monday nights – the aptly named ‘Monday Club’ – each week an incredibly fussy and critical team of instructors, dms, dmts and anyone else they pick up along the way head to a different restaurant for fine wine and dining, watch out dining establishments of Koh Tao!

Shopgirl Kate treated herself to a well-deserved day of relaxation at the Jamakhiri spa, and who should she see up there also but DM Duncan, revelling in his femininity whilst getting his nails done! He’s obviously trying to spruce himself up for Mickey’s return in a few weeks…he’s got a long way to go, some say he’s fighting a losing battle, the rest would be more mean!

Preparations are underway for the up and coming cave trip to Khao Sok, compressed are prepped, reels are being reeled, longtails getting booked, P’Tea’s got a holiday...who's up for some cavern diving?!
 
Sunday August 16th 2009-

2009-08-16What an enormous success our Free dorm rooms are proving to be! 3 bunk beds or 6 beds all with their own individual light, Air conditioning, hot water shower, fridge & individual lockers & all of which is for FREE on the days you dive or 200 Bt per bed on the days you don't dive. What a bargain! Especially for the single travellers who are looking to meet people, go places & do things! PADI loves these rooms!

Well Rick has been a busy little chap organising the new Liveaboard Big Blue will be operating in the Similan Islands next season. & the bookings are already starting to pour in as the season advances. Come November the 1st Rick will be standing on the end of the pier as he waves goodbye to his first Liveaboard voyage of the season to the Similans & Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, & Richelieu Rock. Waving with 1 hand & wiping away an emotional tear with the other. Its like sending your baby off for the 1st day of school.

Simon is back & he's brought more hair back with him than he had when he left. Hippy Simon! & he's also brought his better half Jodie back with him as well. & other better half , Hairless Keith! & as soon as Hippy & Hairless are back they are working! Simon is straight into an SSI Stress & Rescue Course & Keith is taking a posse of excited Open Water Divers off for their first Advanced Dives this afternoon. Welcome back boys. Time to get you working again & lose some of the pies you've been eating while you've been away!

Friday August 14th 2009-

2009-08-14Not a bad day for marine life yesterday. 1 of our boats got to dive with the whale shark at White Rock. 1 of our boats managed to squeeze in a snorkel with a pod of pilot whales just off Sairee Reef beleive it or not! & Our Full Day Trip managed to spend a bit of time with another mobular ray! Not a bad day! Not as good as being able to find a guitar shark, a dolphin & a manta ray but not bad!

'Imagine what people would say if a band of hunters strung a mile of net between 2 immense all-terrain vehicles & dragged it at speed across the plains of Africa. This fantastical assemblage, like something from a Mad Max movie, would scoop up everything in its way: predators, such as lions & cheetahs, lumbering endangered herbivores, such as rhinos & elephants, herds of impala & wildebeest, family groups of warthog & wild dog. Pregnant females would be swept up & carried along, with only the smallest juveniles able to wriggle through the mesh. Picture how the net is constructed, with a huge metal roller attached to the leading edge. This rolling beam smashes & flattens obstructions, flushing creatures into the approaching filaments. The effect of dragging a huge iron bar across the Savannah is to break off every outcrop, uproot every tree bush & flowering plant, stirring columns of birds into the air. Left behind is a strangely bedraggled landscape resembling a harrowed field. The industrial hunter gatherers now stop to examine the tangled mess of writhing or dead creatures behind them. There are no markets for about a third of the animals they have caught because they don't taste too good, or because they are simply too small or too squashed. This pile of corpses is dumped on the plain to be consumed by carrion. This efficient but highly unselective way of killing animals is known as trawling!" Taken from the Book "The End of the Line" by Charles Clover.
Well the manic rush has subsided alot now. Word is that there are no more rooms left on Koh Tao & though that may well have been true a couple of days ago it just aint so now! We got bungalows by the beach budget & luxurious. We got rooms with fan or AC, we got cold water or hot water. I got dorms, singles, doubles, triples & with the boss away I even have the keys for his house & we can squeeze a whole posse of people in there! So now there's no excuse to not come & visit the best island in Thailand! (as voted by the Koh Tao Tourism Authority!)

Thursday August 13th 2009-

2009-08-13Right on time! Whaleshark at White Rock! Perfect timing for all our Full Moon Party people who were diving this morning with it! Not bad is it. Only 2 dives out in the open ocean & then wham dive 3 with a Whaleshark! Jacques Cousteau would be turning in his grave after he spent 20 years searching for what was then the elusive whaleshark. Still Jacques never dived with Big Blue though I bet he wished he had! Could have saved himself a few years of cold water skin winkle!

It is known as the ultimate 80s fashion piece for men and has graced many an embarrassing holiday snap, but it could be the end of an era for the humble Speedo 'Hurrah!' The Alton Towers Resort in the UK has declared a war on the minute swimwear, in a bid to maintain Britain's modesty and prevent embarrassment among fellow members of the public. 'We feel this small brief style is not appropriate for a family venue so we are advising male bathers to wear more protective swimwear such as shorts.' The decision is somewhat contrary to the stance taken by many resorts, particularly in France, & funnily enough at the Andaman Club in Burma when you do your visa runs here, because Speedos are considered more sanitary than their more modern counterparts, the boardshort!

Well despite the madness of the last few days (congratulations on handling all that Amanda), we are still able to organise a Full Day Trip to Sail Rock today. & the weather is gorgeous at the moment & so is the diving so it should be a fantastic day out. Fried Breakfast followed by 3 dives in the Gulf of Thailands best dive sites & then the worlds best Massaman Chicken Curry! Don't give the leftovers to Rick tho! Last time we did that he put it in an empty water bottle but after a couple of hours the curry exploded in his bag! Messy Massaman! 

Monday, August 10th 2009

2009-08-10Well, the Full Moon rush is actually happening. People are flocking from Koh Phangan every day, Kayleigh is running around Sairee Beach every morning to find some more rooms to accommodate all our customers, Jim and the DMs are hunting for any extra piece of diving equipment they can get their hands on, the restaurant and bar are packed all day (and night) long. And all our customers get a room to sleep in, dive gear to swim underwater and they can even order food and drinks when not on the boat, all served with a smile. Well done everyone, let’s keep up the good work!

Congratulations Toby! After 5 weeks of hard work assisting, leading, passing exams and other extra-curricular activities, he is a now a professional Divemaster. Now, as you know, this always ends with a challenge. Toby proved to us last night that he was not only a great diver by performing a boozy check or doing press ups with a tank, he also reminded the crowd that he was a great German by giving us a great demonstration on how to dance to David Hasselhoff hits!

Now Emily, let’s watch what we say to our students, shall we? This morning, when getting off the longtail after the dives, one of Emily’s students felt disappointed that everybody else had picked up a bag, any bag, two if they felt strong (you know the story…) and he had nothing to carry. So Emily cleverly suggested that he picked her up, without hesitation, the young lad hastily grabbed his instructor and carried her on his shoulder. At this time, we are still trying to find out with rinse tank he dropped her in!

 Saturday 8th August 2009-
 
2009-08-08Whaleshark! About time too! Must be something to do with the moon, the tide change, the fact that everyone else is coming to Koh Tao so why not Whalesharks aswell? And the visibility at Southwest Pinnacle this morning is wide open so anyone who went diving saw the Whaleshark this morning poncing around at Southwest. Well anyone who didn't dive with Big Blue saw it! We were at Chumphon! Doh!

Andy Griggs! What a nice surprise. & then Alex Daluisio! Not 1 but 2 of our olde Instructors from days of yesteryear or 2 ago has popped back to say hi & whats cooking? In fact there are a few old faces hanging around at the moment. We got Graphic Designer Caz & China Nora, Hoang from Holland, & then there's Keith Blues Bros Angles on his way too. Just one big happy magnet around here! See you all at beer o'clock!

In an effort to help the world last a little bit longer & decrease our own demand for water & its consequential plastic waste we are proud to present you with a water 'Cooler Jacket'. These ingenius environmental contraptions have a thermal sheet in side which keeps your ice cold bottle of water ice cold all day! & if you buy one of these then you can fill up your water everyday you stay with us for free! Free Water! Save money!Reduce plastic bottle waste! & keep your water cold all day even when you are on the boat! Go green! Save Water! Yours now for only 400 Bt!

Friday 7th August 2009-
 
2009-08-07Ok guys & gals, its the busiest week of the year! All action stations at the ready. Kate & Por our shopgirls are ready to show you your rooms. Today Soren is at the ready to answer your questions. Amanda has the boats ready. Kayleigh has the keys ready & Sonia & Yvonne are on standby in case we need back up! The beds are made, the rooms are clean. The classrooms have been chilled, the toilet seats warmed, our taxi's are on the pier, & we're all just waiting... waiting... for the Full Moon Party rush. I know its coming I can feel the ground move!
Well the Big Blue chicks are back after their night of debauchery & misdemeanours & look ridiculous with their neon face paint. Apparently the party was packed to the rafters with over 20000 revellers partying like its two thousand zero zero nine! Anyway it was all a great success & Sonia said she can't wait to do it all again next month! And the month after that, and the month after that!
Nice one Kayleigh. Yesterday afternoon Kayleigh got her hands dirty along with another 100 volunteer conservationists who all got together at the Tanote Bay Water Reservoir which is a Koh Tao initiative to help solve our water shortage issues that effect us every summer. Kayleigh spent the afternoon planting trees & vetiver grass to harden up the soil to make it firmer, stronger & less resistant to erosion & mudslides, thereby ensuring a successful sturdy reservoir! Nice one Kayleigh.Go Green!  
 
Thursday 6th August 2009-
 
2009-08-06Its now official! As of today Big Blue Diving now has their very own luxury Liveaboard boat in the Similan Islands! Welcome to MV Pawara - 32m in length, and built of steel making her one of the largest liveaboards plying the western Indian Ocean. She takes a total of 20 divers in 10 air conditioned cabins on regular departures. She has two types of cabins deluxe and standard, and both types are air conditioned, have twin beds and en suite bathrooms. The huge interior saloon seats everyone comfortably and is completely air-conditioned & she has a 'breakfast nook' and briefing room right next to the dive deck so you can duck in for a quick bite or a cup of tea without having to walk upstairs to another deck. And she also has a huge dive deck and dive platform making getting in and out of the water a breeze. One of the finest boats cruising the Similan & Surin Islands & its ours! How exciting!
The Big Blue Ladies are all off to the Full Moon Party tonight in Koh Phangan so are spending the afternoon putting on their make up, fixing the stilettos on their high heels & ironing their bikinis in preparation for their all night Full Moon Bikini party! Yvonne has managed to bully Sonia, Emily, Kelli, & Lara & about 15 of their recent dive students to all come along for the night as well! Actually they have been extremely cunning in getting Jim to allow them the time off work to go by making Emily sunbathe topless outside the dive shop all afternoon! What a nice boss! Have a great party ladies! Remember don't take anything to Koh Phangan you don't want to lose! May as well leave your top here Emily!
Congratulations Jim ( If I dare say so myself) for having completed his beginner Freediving Course with Jeroen our Big Blue Free Diving Instructor. He has successfully descended, & more importantly ascended from a maximum depth of 23 meters with just a single breath of air! Lungs the size of melons! Next step is the Advanced Free Diver Course where he shall attempt to descend down to a maximum depth of 30 meters though he might have to wait a few days till he has a go at that depth. For that you need balls the size of melons!
 
Monday August 3rd- 2009-
 
2009-08-03Should I tell? Should I spill the secret? Should I? Could I? No I mustn't! Bringing attention to it will just make the whole thing fall flat on on its arse! But it is very exciting & when word gets out its going to make some people very aroused & others very jealous! So what is it then? Well I can't really tell you all I can say is it involves 5 days 4 nights 3 men 2 fat ladies & a boat! & no I'm not just talking Bingo! Can you guess what it is yet? Answers on a postcard & watch this space for more news!
What is it with a divers fascination for doing their 100th dive in their Birthday Suit? Congratulations Tobi for turning 100 on your night dive last night. & so kind of you to share your kleiner weiner with the nocturnal undersea world! Lucky you didn't bump into a Hermit crab though isn't it. They like small cockles & limpbits!
Congratulations G & his team of very clever friends who won last nights Island Pub Quiz at Dirty Nellies. G, Barry, Emily, Helen, & Kelli, marched away with the winnings after competing in a gruelling sweatsoaked blood stained bout of who knows more useless information than you do competition. It was decided that G & Barry know more crap than the chicks! But hey we all knew that already eh boys! Congratulations all of you on your 179 bt winnings!

September 2009

Wednesday 30th September 2009-

2009-09-30Back from his European tour with his lovely wife, the big boss man (Jim) has returned, and we are all blaming you for bringing the weather back with you. We woke up this morning to a windsurfer’s wet dream. We are picking up the dying tail end of the Typhoon Ketsana, resulting in a bit of wind and 2 metre waves breaking on the beach. Canada couldn’t have timed the arrival of his new tech hoodies any better, as we are all wearing our cosy new sweatshirts today.

Having said that don’t let a bit of wind put you off, we had 2 beautiful dives this morning around the sheltered east side of Koh Tao with nice flat seas.

In the news today, the Bohol Standard which is based in the Philippines reported that a Whaleshark was freed after being accidently caught in a net:

“Children swim near a 22-foot young male butanding (whale shark) accidentally netted in Ubay shore before local authorities freed the marine mammal after documentation.

Barangay Councilor Eustaquio Amolat of Juagdan in Ubay town and his accompanying fishermen had the surprise of their lives when at around 2:00 AM Thursday, they noticed a large fish snagging its tail on their gill net.

Witnesses said some children jumped in and swam with the whaleshark which showed apparent playfulness and gentle friendly behavior towards the children.

Ubay Mayor Eutiquio Bernales personally led the responding team composed of the CRM coordinator Alpios Delima and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources representative Roselle Hilot came to the whale-shark’s rescue.

Specifically trained to respond to incidents involving distressed marine mammals, the responding team immediately went to work and proceeded to gather information regarding the trapped whale shark before it could be released back to sea. “

Tuesday 29th September 2009-

2009-09-29It was good to see the return of our resident German instructor Yvonne, who has been in hospital sick for the least few days. We have kidnapped her motorbike so she can’t leave the house and try to work until she is 100% better!! Sonia also returned back to work with her bad shoulder. Keeping up with her stupidity she learnt the hard way last night that drinking even the smallest amount of alcohol whilst on very strong painkillers is not a very good idea, Muppet! And now with some very impressive news, one of our old DMT’s James Brooks has been selected to be crew with the famous Paul Watson’s conservation warriors Sea Shepherd to the Antarctic. ‘The 6th voyage to defend endangered whales in the Antarctic Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary will depart from Australia in less than 90 days – on December 7, 2009.Starting in December, the illegal whaling fleet will be targeting 935 piked (Minke) whales and another 50 fin whales, and has threatened to add humpbacks to their quota as well. We intend to once again negate their illicit profits. Because of Sea Shepherd interventions, the illegal whalers have suffered losses for three years. We are making steady progress towards our objective of sinking the entire whaling fleet – economically. Thanks to our supporters, every year we get stronger and every year we are able to escalate and improve our tactics of intervention.’ www.seashepherd.org (photo credit Adam Lau/Eric Cheng/Sea Shepherd) Nice one James, our oceans need as much help as possible to protect our marine life. Go make us proud.

Monday 28th September 2009-
 
2009-09-28Today at Big Blue our 2 new recruits arrived! Anders and Alicia are students from Sweden here for 2 weeks of work experience. Lucky them hey? We have all sorts of weird and wonderful things for them to be doing whilst there here; but most importantly we hope they learn a great deal and have an amazing unforgettable experience. Welcome to Big Blue Anders and Alicia!! Here’s what they had to say about their first day… “Today was the first day here at Big Blue for us. As Marine Biology students from Sweden we are here to gain work experience in the diving industry and its associated marine branch. We will be here for about 2 weeks and we hope to learn a lot about diving and also get a view of how the company runs. When we first came this morning we met Kayleigh who will be looking after us during our stay here. Today we have met almost everyone at Big Blue and all of them are really nice and welcoming. We were shown around and now have more understanding of how things work around here. The coolest thing so far must have been when Christos showed us all the equipment that is needed for technical diving and we learned about how to make sure you get the best air combination in the tanks depending on the depth of the dive planned. To sum up, we had a great day here at Big Blue! Everyone we met has been really friendly, happy and they are all very professional! We can hardly express how grateful we are to Big Blue for letting us come here and learn. We can’t wait for tomorrow!” Thank you ever so much guys! It’s an absolute pleasure having you here!

Sunday 27th September 2009-

2009-09-27Just another day in paradise! It looks like we’re holding off monsoon for just a little bit longer. The diving was great today, there’s been a bit of a breeze and cloud but generally it’s been a nice day! Here’s some staff news in brief… Amanda has been child minding and building not just a sand castle, but a whole settlement, with the twins. SSImon is busy getting ready for his first ITC and Deano is preparing to Staff another IDC. Heather has finished her first Open Water and Advanced course and still loves being an Instructor. Andy, Paul, Jodie, Beccy and Mickey are busy doing their last minute cramming for their Instructor courses starting tomorrow - good luck boys and girls!Unfortunately for us, Rich and his girlfriend Hayley left the rock today, they’ve gone for a quick holiday in sunny old England and are then off to another paradise island. We wish you all the luck in the world guys. Don’t forget to come back and visit! For those of you that have been following ‘Samui watch’ – Yvonne is doing really well; she managed to get out of bed and is slowly rebuilding her strength. Canada is being her Knight in Shining Armour and staying with her by her bedside the whole time. Sonia is having some physio after a check up on her shoulder. Unfortunately Helen might have to join them soon as she has been mysteriously and violently sick this morning – although this might be a false alarm as the symptoms magically disappeared as soon as she stopped looking at Paul’s face. And in random-marine-life-facts-of-the-world news, another new fish has been found scientists in Brazil – the wonderfully named ‘deep-sea jellynose fish’! The fish are bottom-feeders, sucking whatever they can off the sea floor, living at depths between 400 and 700 metres, and like many deep-sea fish, they have gelatinous, scale-free bodies consisting of very little muscle, as there isn’t enough oxygen to feed muscle tissue at those depths. I think with a name and appearance like that, I’d stay as deep in the ocean as I could!

Saturday 26th September 2009-

2009-09-26Bit of a windy day here on Sairee, but the diving’s still lovely, big schools of barracuda at Shark Island this morning, and all kinds of weird and wonderful marine life (octopus, yellow boxfish, flatworms and pipefish to name a few) were found by the divers at Nang Yuan Pinnacle this morning; and there’s a boatload of people currently exploring Japanese Gardens by torchlight to see what nightlife they can find!

Amongst all the dismal news of sharks being threatened, there’s something a bit more positive and interesting come to light – a new species of shark has been found off the coasts of California and Mexico! It’s been around for a while, apparently, but only just been named as the Eastern Pacific Black Ghostshark. It is a bit of an unusual shark, preferring to stay out of the sun and using winglike fins to ‘fly’ thousands of feet deep in the ocean. Also pretty strange about them is that they have retractable clublike sex organs sprouting from their foreheads! Odd place to keep your bits!

Back to Big Blue news…Keith’s celebrating his 44th birthday today – congratulations! You don’t look a day older than 35! He’s celebrating with a night dive; no doubt he’ll be getting the beers in once they’re back! Sonia and Yvonne are still in Samui getting some fast food and hanging out in the hospital. Get better soon girls!

Deano is still heading up Buoyancy World with his hard working team of DMTs, Deano’s missing G terribly, but we’re not sure if he’s missing him more for the late night company than the Save Koh Tao pearls of wisdom. The Khao Lak crew’s getting ready to make their way back out west, and everywhere you turn there’s DMs frantically cramming for the PADI IDC and the SSI ITC. Lara is still waiting for paint to dry, the techies are back from Khao Lak and are busy being techies, and everyone else is pretending to look busy while Jim is still away on holidays. Everything plain sailing really! Now, if only the sun would come out for a few days...

Friday 25th September 2009–

2009-09-25It was a little stormy last night, you’ve got to love a good thunder storm! The lightning looked stunning out over the sea, but thankfully it’d calmed down enough this morning for us to head out to Chumpon for a lovely dive, loads of big tuna and mackerel, schools of batfish and fusiliers and great visibility. We’ve sent the boats out for some East coast diving this afternoon, the fundivers are looking for turtles at King Kong Rock, and the courses are off to Aow Leuk to practice their scuba skills. Brand sparkly new instructor Heather is out as well, finishing her first Open Water course, and she’s being filmed by proud husband ACE Andy, that’ll be a video to keep and show the grandkids! The party last night at Vibe was a resounding success, DJ Luckman on the decks, everyone had a great night. Some people even combined the party time with a bit of education, one of our Welsh instructors decided to get all multilingual and practice his German! One of our other resident Germans is unfortunately not well - poor Yvonne is in hospital in Samui- we’re all thinking of you Yvonne, hope you’re feeling better soon! Outside of our little Koh Tao bubble, it’s fantastic news to hear that the island of Palau is going to create the world’s first sanctuary for sharks – they’ll be banning all commercial shark fishing in a 600,000sq km protected area of water around Palau. It’s estimated that as many as 100 million sharks are killed globally each year, and this has led to 21% of the world’s shark species being classified as a threatened species under the extinction assessment. Many countries have implemented catch limits, quotas and restrictions on fishing and finning, but with this shark sanctuary being set up, it’s hoped that other countries will follow suit and help to enforce the rules. Save our seas!

Thursday 24th September 2009-

2009-09-24We’re getting a bit of a sense of déjà-vu at Big Blue today – everywhere you look there’s people wearing Big Blue Tech hoodies! Canada’s batch of techie casual wear arrived this morning and everyone’s sporting this monsoon season’s new look, come and get yours while there’s still some left!

We’re all heading down to Vibe tonight as it’s a big farewell shindig for Rick, Fanette and Rich! Rick and Fannette will be leaving us to go and look after Khao Lak, here’s hoping they enjoy the mantas and the liveaboard (jealous, us?!) whilst Rich is off to pastures new with his girlie to explore dive instructing around Egypt – we’ll be sending him off with lots of good luck wishes - not that he needs them because he’s fantastic! Congratulations to Kim, our American freelance Instructor who just completed her SSI Crossover with SSImon, welcome to the SSI team! Big DM Paul and Little Video Beccy are starting their SSI training on 28th, whilst video Jodie and DM Andy are biting their fingernails and furiously completing their Candidate Workbooks as their PADI IDC date (also the 28th September) approaches, we're sure you're going to do us proud, guys! All the cool kids are becoming Instructors, so why aren't you?!

Monday 21st September 2009-

2009-09-21Apologies for the few days of absence but the muppet of a stand-in manager was in hospital for 3 days after a drinking accident, but don’t worry she is back and catching up!! So whats been happening? Big Blue Tech leave Koh Tao island for the main land for 5 days of deep technical diving in Khao Sok National Park. In Khao Sok National Park resides a sunken village and buddhist temple which has become a popular attraction for technical divers since it’s discovery by Big Blue Tech in February of 2009. One diver alone will be equiped with the following.
3 torches, 2 reels, 2 lift bags, 1 o2 at 200 bar, 1 nitrox and 1 twin set. Double bladder wing, spare mask, cutting tools, gloves and pockets. so for 6 of them that’s a lot of stuff!!! Tonight we see 2 more of our DMT’s lose their T at our infamous Dive Master Challenge, good luck to Jen and Keera, and to the one armed Sonia who is celebrating her 21st birthday again, but this time sporting a sling!!! Happy Birthday Sonwan and congrats to the new DMs.

Friday 18th September 2009-
 
2009-09-18Once again the weather is great, seas are calm and the diving is stunning. So now’s a great time to book your diving course, upgrade your certification or come along and join us for a few fun dives… It’s still busy around the island these days so we recommend that you book your accommodations ahead of time with us. See you soon!!! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Another night on the Rock, another great party!! SSI hosted a big party and BBQ at Vibe Bar last night and it was a smashing success!! There was free food and free drinks to celebrate the graduation of three new SSI Course Directors, one of them being our Simon. Congratulations again SSImo! Our resident Instructor/Ballerina appeared to have a little too much fun last night as she injured herself in a demonstration of Ballerina Skills on Sairee Beach last night. Any witnesses are asked to speak directly to Sonia as all memories of said event have escaped her! She can generally be reached at Big Blue, but for tonight you can reach her in Samui International Hospital where she will be getting treated for a slight shoulder injury…. Get Well Soon!! Tomorrow is International Coastal Clean Up day (ICC) and as always Big Blue is getting very much involved. The ICC started in Texas since 1986 with 1,800 volunteers to clean 122 miles and collect 124 tons of garbage along the shore. Today it becomes the largest volunteer network worldwide. Last year the total of 3,090 tons of debris were collected from 390,881 people from 102 country members! Captain Koh Tao G is off to France today so he has left Deano and Jen in charge of our underwater clean up and Ashley in charge of our beach clean up. Joining in with this clean up will make a huge difference and change the behaviors that cause marine debris in the first place; So please come down to Big Blue tomorrow morning at 10am and lend a hand!!

Thursday 17th September 2009-
 
2009-09-17One of our Divemasters woke up with quiet a shock this morning after a mystery sleep walker wandered into his room and climbed into bed with him, we believe the excuse the big fella used was a few too many sambucas, tequila and other nasty shots!! He who must not be named (a fellow DM) has no recollection at all, but poor Duncan has been walking funny all day!!!Another amazing dive at Chumpon this morning, 30 meter visibility lots of fish and the 1st boat there, after all the big waves we have had recently its nice to see the sea is as flat as Yvonne’s chest and our boats are busy (sorry Yvonne).Big congratulations to Big Blues new SSI Instructor Trainer Mr Simon Garrity. He has been a book worm the last few weeks studying hard, we are very proud of you Simo from now on we will call you SSImo. We will be celebrating at Vibe tonight with a free BBQ everyone is welcome.
 
Wednesday 16th September 2009–
 
2009-09-16As everyone trooped down to the longtail boats this morning they were greeted with a bizarre sight – hundreds of centipede-like creatures washed up on the beach, burrowing their way back into the sand and towards the sea. Monsters from the deep? Aliens trying to take over Koh Tao? Not quite! After a bit of detective work, we’ve established that the poor little critters are sea worms. This weird phenomenon of the sea worm is uncommon, and is due to the dilution of freshwater into the ocean after rainfall. The worms (which are rarely seen as they spend most of their lives buried in the sand eating algae deep at the bottom of the ocean) are sometimes unable to adjust to the changes in the water conditions and so end up relocating like mini refugees to the confines of Sairee beach – thankfully they didn’t have to scramble too far, the tide came in again and took them all back to their old living quarters.What with all the whale shark sightings at Chumpon, we can get a bit carried away with raving about the biggest fish in the sea! It’s hard not to really, it doesn’t get too much better than diving with a whale shark! But fear not, we still appreciate the smaller things in life! Isn’t that right Sonia?! It would appear that the seahorses at Mango Bay are breeding like rabbits! Sonia had to search a bit harder than usual to find a spot in the sand at Mango Bay to do her skills on the Open Water course – there were baby seahorses everywhere!Another successful day for one of our hardworking DMTs – Lucy finished off her Divemaster course today, getting everything ready for a full day trip, prepping the boats, and running the whole shebang smoothly from start to finish! Now of course there’s only one way to end such a good day – with a DM Challenge of course! All down to the Big Blue Bar for a congratulatory pint…
 
Tuesday 15th September 2009-

2009-09-15It was a balmy September morning, the sun was shining, waves lapping at the shore, everyone hard at work…then we heard Captain P’Piak’s voice over the radio “whale shark at Chumpon!” ☺ Good thing both Banzai and Navakid were there again so that our divers could have 2 fantastic dives with this majestic creature!
 
Bit of a mass exodus to the dark side of the island today – well, Mae Haad at least! A handful of the instructors headed down to SSS to refresh their DAN O2 skills – the course, run in association with Divers Alert Network, provides comprehensive training in the use of oxygen equipment in a safe and effective way at the scene of a dive accident. Rarely needed, but invaluable nonetheless.Another full day trip heading out tomorrow, we just can’t get enough of Sail Rock! The divemasters played rock-paper-scissors for the chance to accompany a plethora of fundivers and Emily’s lucky Advanced Open Water divers for the day, here’s wishing them calm seas, gorgeous vis, yummy massaman and big fish!
 
Monday 14th September 2009-
 
2009-09-14Sairee was introduced to a different type of exercise class this morning when Nick our DMT from California begun Capoeira lessons on the beach. Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art formed by African slaves and Brazilian Natives combining martial arts with dance. The sparring is marked by fluid acrobatic play, and extensive use of sweeps, kicks, and headbutts. Less frequently used techniques include elbow strikes, slaps, punches, and body throws. So far Nick has recruited Helen, Kelli, Jodie, Lara and Erica. These are soon to be girls not to mess with! Or Ugly for that matter as even he had a go! Looks like it’s that time of year again, Whaleshark time!! Two sightings at Chumphon in one week plus yesterday both MV Banzai and MV Navakid brought some very happy divers back to land after two dives with the giant friendly creature; very happy is kind of an understatement though really. Congratulations must also go to the Open Water students who on dive number three were lucky enough to see one and especially their instructor Dennis as this was also his first time. A swarm of 150,000,000 crabs invaded an island in Northwestern Australia to mate. Each female crab lays around 100,000 eggs in the sand. They hatch at around the same time, so very soon there might be as many as 75 trillion crabs on that island at once! Mmmm that’s a lot of crabs!! Update on Buoyancy World; it is coming together well, G, Deano and Barry along with the DMTs are hammering, welding, sawing, bending, cement mixing, singing and sweating enough to fill a swimming pool- eurgh! If all goes well on the 22nd, all the structures will be lowered into a designated spot near Koh Nang Yuan. Anyone around wanting to help fill our swimming pool of sweat, we need you!
 
Friday 11th September 2009-
 
2009-09-11Two of our DMT’s have finished their course in record time, Harry and George got here 4 weeks ago and have sailed through the training programme. One of the last things we train our divemaster trainees to do is to be in charge of a whole trip (with the eager eye of an instructor). The boys successfully completed this task today, and tonight we celebrate again in the bar with our famous Divemaster Challenges. These challenges proving very popular with our current and not so current DMTs, who are continuing with extra-curricular activities, it seems a lot of them like exploring the wet deep, dark and dirty places!! Congratulations to ACE Marine Heather on becoming a brand new PADI instructor, time to hang up the camera for a while and pick up the white board markers. Happy Hangover! The count down is on until Big Blue Khao Lak will be re-opening its doors to the Similan and Surin Islands. Rick is busy with his head in the laptop answering emails and finalizing the last bits and bobs. This year, we'll increase the number of trips to Richelieu, Koh Bon and Koh Tachai! But theres one small problem - we can’t think of a name for this second boat. So we're asking you, our customers, to submit your best ideas to www.bigbluekhaolak.com we'll pick a winning name on October 1. If we pick yours, you win a free diving day trip to any of our destinations! Sounds like a challenge.

Thursday 10th September 2009-
 
2009-09-10The construction of Buoyancy World has started!! We are now in the process of building the structures that we are going to sink underwater in 2 weeks time to make a new artificial dive site. These will include statues with habitats for marine life, hoops and other buoyancy training aids for people to practice, a navigation course and permanent lines for simulated emergency ascents. The objective is to make sure that while in training, students don’t damage our natural reefs and learn more about preserving them. 10 dive schools on the island are involved including Big Blue, our contribution being a huge Gheko! So far Captain Koh Tao G has been bending, cutting and welding metal every day in Mae Haad, please can we have as many people to support him in this worthwhile event, come and help build a giant gheko!! Our newest DM Kirsty left yesterday and we were all sad to see her go. In true Koh Tao style (before she had even packed her bags) she was making concrete plans to return asap and become a videographer! Good luck Kirsty! Remember to bring back some crumpets! So out with the old and in with the new, our 2 newest DMT’s have arrived and already had their fair share of lectures, laughs and late night loving! Welcome to the Big Blue team Ashley and John! One of our breastest DM’s Paul is off to pastures greener, to start his ITC! Well, actually he is going to be staying here at Big Blue but we will miss him insulting and drawing on us in the shop! He is going to be Simon’s first candidate for the Instructor Training Course now offered at Big Blue. We wish you all the luck in the world Paul; we know you will be a fantastic instructor. And just for the record, your face makes me sick… Our boss has gone off on holiday this week to the land of thigh-slapping and sausages! His replacement is one of our best and longest standing instructors here at Big Blue, Sonia. All hail Spongeboss!! Have a great 3 weeks Jim and bring us all back presents! Peanut Flips for me please...

Tuesday 8th September 2009-

2009-09-08It’s a week of parties at Big Blue, we kicked off last night with a joint celebration, 4 brand new divemasters were welcomed into the pro world with buckets, shots and lots of ice cold water, congratulations to Steven, Caroline, Kirsty and Las. Yvonne celebrated her birthday by being the special guest at the challenge. Having shouted and stamped her feet about not getting wet she turned up dressed as NEMO wearing a bright orange rain coat. Needless to say she got soaked; Happy Birthday Yvonne!!Good luck to our quiet, shy and retiring videographer Heather who is about to begin her Instructor Examination today, 3 days of intense classroom, pool and open water presentations in front of PADI examiners. Heather has been filming at Big Blue for years; it will be great to see her on the big screen with her new students for a change. The IE Party will be on 10th September. All welcome!Fingers crossed for G who is also going to be in the exam room with Heather completing his exams for his PADI Course Director training. Good Luck G!!“Thank you to all for being part of this awesome experience. Starting from the first day I met Aom on the ferry, my life changed and I plan to carry on diving and loving this wonderful life in diving!” Emma recently finished her Divemaster training with us and is now turning work down left right and center! Well done Emma, it has been a pleasure! 

Monday 7th September 2009-

2009-09-07Its been a weekend of weary wevellers! The Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan was on Friday & we've been welcoming the wandering Wilbury's all weekend! Its a little unfortunate to be arriving in Koh Tao right now as the weather is rubbish on this side but don't worry all yee who threw up on the way here & are wondering how on earth you ever going to learn to dive if you get seasick all the time fear not... The other side of Koh Tao right now is mill pond flat, 20+ meter visibility & sunny!?Similar to smoke rings, bubble rings can be blown through pursed lips by letting out short air bursts. Taking a breath of air, a normal breath with a regulator, and filling your cheeks so they are puffed, you need to lie down on your back or float horizontally staying still. Tilt just your head back so you are looking up at the surface. The best depth to try this at is 2-6 meters. Any deeper than 6 meters and it becomes more difficult to do. Start with your mouth closed. You basically want to release a pulse of air about the size and shape of a golf ball, opening your mouth with rounded lips. Attempt saying “PUH” with your cheeks filled with air. Do not do anything with your tongue. Abruptly close your mouth soon after so the air really pops out. Just watch your bubble rise to the surface, as your fellow divers applaud you! :)We have been needing to rent an additional boat in recent days as unfortunately Banzai has been taken ill with a sore propellor! So this week we have mostly been using the big snorkel boat from Blacktip Diving. Its a beauty too. Nice big sturdy boat that rides the big waves well & has a lot of interior space & a nice big dive deck too. It doesn't have a compressor which makes tank pumping a little difficult & its not exactly the fastest boat around Koh Tao but hey its a boat its comfortable & we can still go diving so its A OK in my book! Get better soon Banzai!

Friday 4th September 2009-

2009-09-04It was the fund raiser for Buoyancy World last night at Vibe beach bar. It was one of the largest attendances of the year with what has been estimated at almost 1000 people there all raising cash for the Buoyancy World sculptures that we will be creating later in the month. Buoyancy World is going to be a man made divesite with lots of fun sculptures to swim thru under or over thereby relieving some of Koh Tao's busier divesites. Thanks everyone for your generosity last night especially G & DMT's Harry & Jen who organised all the games!Soups, stews and pies flavoured with chunks of sea turtle meat will soon be illegal across the 700 islands of the Bahamas! Despite opposition from many fishermen, the Bahamas has amended fisheries laws to give full protection to all sea turtles found in the Atlantic archipelago's waters by banning the harvest, possession, purchase and sale of the endangered reptiles, including their eggs. The new rules took effect yesterday. "Young people here have never tasted turtle, but it had continued to be eaten by the older population in some of the outer islands, so we're really happy our work has paid off with this ban; the turtles couldn't do it themselves."Quick word on the weather... it's shite! Big waves, restricted visibility, wet, raining, windy & miserable. Sounds like just the right sort of time to be heading off to the sunny climes of Germany for a couple of weeks. 5 days & then 3 weeks of sausages, beers, leather trousers & thigh slapping to go!

Thursday 3rd September 2009-

2009-09-03Be warned the next few days in this part of the world are going to be very busy. Its the Full Moon Party tomorrow night at Koh Phangan so there will be 100's of people all over Samui, Koh Phangan & Koh Tao. Now it won't matter quite so much in Samui or Koh Phangan as they are bigger islands have more choices of accommodation but here in Koh Tao Accommodation can be tight at this time of the month. Plan ahead & book before you get here! Happy Full Mooooon!Now this might not seem very politically correct & to those I offend I apologise but I need to find someone to fill a gap I have coming soon & I need the person who fills that gap to be female, a team player,an SSI Instructor & a PADI Instructor, multilingual, Scandanavian, planning on staying here a while & extremely hot! Once Soren heads off to Khao Lak we'll need to replace him with someone who can speak Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, German & English. So if you fit the job description & are looking to start work by November send your CV's to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Send your photos to DM Paul! If you don't speak all those languages please feel free to send your photos anyway!A dead minke whale washed up on a south Wales beach is to be turned into bone meal to be used as fuel for power stations. The whale carcass is being held at a compound in Cardiff before being transported to Dorset by animal and cattle experts. Its rendering plant usually deals with animal carcasses, putting them through a cooking process to make the fuel. The 33ft (10m) whale was washed up at Cold Knap, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan. How funny is that? A whale carcass power converter, a whale in Wales, & a town called Barry!

Wednesday 2nd September 2009--

2009-09-02Top ten statements that are Misinterpreted by Non Diver:
10- Gone down lately?
9- Can I see Your Log?
8- I think I may be bent.
7- Seen any giant clams.
6- She's naturally buoyant.
5- I had to inflate orally!
4- the entry was very rough!
3- My buddy grabbed my octopus.
2- I got a lot of bottom time.
1-I blew an O-ring.Its another Full Day Trip to Sail Rock today with a boat full on Banzai all enjoying a couple of dives at the world famous Hin Bai or Sail Rock, with breakfast en route & then lunch, Big Blue's world famous Massaman Currry, after the second dive & before our 3rd dive at the lesser known, less visited but equally good Samran Pinnacle. A splendid day out & we've managed to squeeze it in just before all the crap weather that is being forecast over the next few days hits us. Well timed Divemasters!We will be having the last fundraising party for the Buoyancy World Project tomorrow, September 3rd. The party will be at Vibe Bar starting at about 7pm. 100% of all the money raised from food sales will go to purchasing the general bank of materials to be used to construct the structures for the Buoyancy World Project later this month. If you need more informatiion about the Buoyancy world project please go to our website at www.MarineConservationKohTao.com, and download the project proposal or powerpoint presentation. Or ask your neighbourly Frenchman! Thank you for your support and we hope to see you there.

Tuesday 1st September 2009-

2009-09-01Today is officially the end of Peak Season. A time when we can all look back & reminisce about the good old days of last month. That day we broke our record amount of divers out in a day. That time the compressor broke down just before the Full Day. & then a day later when the other compressor broke! & then the time when we had the boat problem & that other time we had the other boat problem! & when we slept those girls in the classroom cos there were no rooms left on Sairee Beach. Ah the good old days! Thank frogs thats all over for another year! Time to start planning on my holidays!'Hello Jim! Maybe you can still the 3 girls from Germany, which stayed at the big blue! It was so exciting and we enjoyed it very much! Thank you for giving us such a nice room! And also thanks to our diving instructor Simon, who was so patient with us and our english knowledge! Maybe we see each other on the "Oktoberfest"! Greetings from Heike (Little miss sunshine),Daniela (Little miss trouble) and Ramona (Little miss scatterbrain) By the way, one of your instructors looks a little bit like Robbie Williams!" Dankeschon Ladies! Don't you mean Duncan looks like Robin Williams not Robbie! Oh yeah & Kisses from Simon!Amanda is looking and probably feeling a little delicate today after celebrating into the early hours of the morning like only 26 year old ladies know how to celebrate their Birthdays- drunk! It was a big celebratory dinner at Farango's Pizzeria in Sairee followed by some loud music at the Big Blue Bar & finally for all those who were still looking for love, a quick cruise around at Lotus Bar! Happy Birthday Mandy!

October 2009

Saturday October 31st 2009-

2009-10-31"Dear Jim, I hope that you are the right person to write to. I recently returned from a week's diving trip to Koh Tao, during which we stayed at Big Blue and we took the Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses. We are all teachers at an international school in Bangkok and I can safely say it was one of the best holidays that we have ever had! I am mainly writing to compliment you on your excellent staff - Simon and Jodie who looked after us so well during the trip and taught us with ease, confidence and pragmatism. They really went way beyond the call of duty and we all became good divers in a short period of time. It is definitely due to their confidence and ability that we all felt sure we wanted to embark on the Advanced course the day after we finished OW. During my life I have been in receipt of many, many services and courses and workshops and teaching and whatever, and I can safely say that this is one of the best experiences I have had in a long time and certiainly in Thailand. I will recommend them highly to anyone who wants to learn to dive! Thanks again. Craig L."
You are welcome Craig- glad you had such a great time! Same again next holidays?

Officially its Open Season in Khao Lak tomorrow which means Rick & his team are going to be having their hair & make up put on tonight in readiness for the next 6 months ahead. Early mornings, late nights, busy days, no holiday, world class diving, highclass liveaboard, 2 posh speedboats, & very important Japanese customers! If anyone can handle it, Rick can! Happy Open Season Khao Lak!

Well the Whaleshark is still at Chumphon Pinnacle today. Only one of them which is only half as exciting as it was yesterday but way more exciting than 2 days ago. Having said that 2 days ago Chumphon was also pretty exciting because of all the Bullsharks swimming around. Though not as exciting as this morning because this morning we had a whaleshark & lots of Bullsharks swimming around, which makes this morning officially better than 2 days ago which was only half as good as yesterday!

Friday October 30th 2009-

2009-10-30Well despite the heavy downpour a few days ago now the weather has really brightened up & now its glorious sunny days, bright red sunsets, calm flat seas & crystal clear waters! In fact the conditions are so good right now even the whalesharks have come out to enjoy themselves! Thats right. I said Whalesharks! 2 of them a 3 meter baby & a 6 meter sibling. What a wonderful way to start the day today 2 dives 2 whalesharks Too right!

Took a while but it seems at last that the people in the position to do something about the plight of the Blue Fin Tuna are finally paying attention to the problem. The body charged with regulating catches of the southern bluefin, a closely related species, has just approved 20% quota cuts across the board. Now of course this is nowhere near good enough but it is a start & movies like 'The End of the Line' help to spread the message. 'Save the world! Save the Cheerleader!' (Oops sorry wrong movie!) Save the Tuna!

Canada is back from Khao Lak! He had to go over there to install the brand new shiney Nitrox Panel we have on our West Coast Liveaboard, the Pawara - she really is a beauty. A 35 meter long gleaming erection! This Liveaboard is so hot it makes other previosly sexy liveaboards burst pipes in inferiority! First trip leaves on the 2nd November & there's only a few spaces left. So if you want to ride the Sexiest beast in the Similans you better give me a call. Just don't tell the wife ;) 

Tuesday October 27th 2009-

2009-10-27And the the heavens opened & the gods did unleash an ocean of rain upon a small little island in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand, that we all know so well & love. Its definitely a good thing to have the wildlife & local fauna watered as heavily as they are getting right now. & for sure its a good thing for the Koh Tao water table, & the Koh Tao Reservoir, but I am not looking forward to the time the Poonama Canal bursts its banks again. Got to love monsoon rains.

The prospects of saving the world's coral reefs now appear so bleak that plans are being made to freeze samples to preserve them for the future. Researchers believe that most coral reefs will not survive even if tough regulations on greenhouse gases are put in place. So Scientists proposed storing samples of coral species in liquid nitrogen. That will allow them to be reintroduced to the seas in the future if global temperatures can be stabilised. And that could take a while so if you haven't seen a real live reef before then don't you think its about time you did, before the only chance you get will be looking through a test tube!

Well the sharks are bigger, more inquisitve & more numerous than they have been in years! They are everywhere as well so this mornings double dive at Chumphon Pinnacle went down a treat with a full boat of very happy & excited individuals all looking for a morning of fun & adventure with sharks & by the sounds of it, it was mission accomplished! A sharktastic morning!

Sunday October 25th 2009-

2009-10-25Its almost Christmas so we've started to fix & do up our boats. In fact any day now we'll have old faithful Big Blue boat back after its last month in the boat boutique over on the mainland. When she comes back with Captain Dum & Boatboy Lek proudly steering her home she will be put to work pretty much straight away as the next boat in our fleet Navakid will be taken off for a short back & sides & then a month later it'll be a brush up & a bikini wax for Banzai. All in time for Christmas! & if you are surprised to see just how much we do for our boats at Christmas, you should see what we do for our boats at Valentines!

A man was stopped by a game warden in Northern Michigan recently with two buckets of fish leaving a lake well known for its fishing. The game warden asked the man, "Do you have a license to catch those fish?"
The man replied to the game warden, "No, sir. These are my pet fish."
"Pet fish?" the warden replied.
"Yes, sir. Every night I take these here fish down to the lake and let them swim around for a while. I whistle and they jump back into their buckets, and I take em home."
"That's a bunch of hooey! Fish can't do that!"
The man looked at the game warden for a moment, and then said, "Here, I'll show you. It really works."
"O.K. I've GOT to see this!" The game warden was curious now.
The man poured the fish in to the lake and stood and waited. After several minutes, the game warden turned to the man and said: "Well?"
"Well, What?" the man responded.
"When are you going to call them back?" the game warden prompted.
"Call who back?" the man asked.
"The FISH."
"What fish?" the man asked.

There looks like there might be a change in wind direction tomorrow followed by what looks like a very heavy overnight downpour. If you are planning on coming over in the next few days might not be a bad idea to pack stuff you don't want getting wet, getting wet! But don't let a few raindrops put you off the diving. Its still 20 meters + & there's sharks all over Chumphon Pinnacle.

Friday October 23rd 2009-

2009-10-23Canada & his team of techies are off to Khao Sok again tonight for another 3 or 4 days of underwater exploration in search of Red Rackhams Treasure & the Temple of Doom! The team have been preparing themselves all week with some practise runs at our local sites getting their kit prepped, trying out the rebreathers & getting used to diving with the twin tanks on again. Pretty exhausting work if you aren't used to it so Canada is delighted to have a couple of hands Christos & Ash along to help out with some of those more demanding favours that quality customer service demands! No sense going out half cocked! You got to give your all if you work at Big Blue Tech !

Not that I've seen it yet but apparently the new in thing to be watching if you haven't already seen Shark Water, The End of the Line or The Cove, (3 of this years most memorable documentaries on the state of our oceans), is Whale Wars. A documentary charting the legendary Sea Shephard as it tries to stop a Japanese Whaling Fleet in the Antarctic Sea. Its real arousing viewing according to Sonia & Paul... if fat hairy Canadian tattooed whale warriors is what arouses you! Yvonne can't wait to watch it!

Its a big thankyou, good bye & see you again soon for Panos & Kayleigh today as they head off the Rock for a little town we all know so well, situated over on the West Cost of Thailand called Khao Lak. They are both hyper excited at the prospect of having to work for Rick & his team operating Big Blue Khao Lak with one very nice Pawara Liveabaord & 2 very nice 15 meter speedboats departing daily to the Similan & Surin Islands. What a Be-ach! Leaving one sun soaked tropical island for another. I can think of worse ways to while away the years! Good luck guys & cheers for all your help.

Thursday, October 22nd 2009-

2009-10-22Who stole the monsoon? This is the time of the year when usually beach bars and restaurants shut down for a month or two, instructors go on holiday, the winds blow harder than ever and the heavens open at least once a day, leaving all of us soaked. The bungalows are damp, our clothes never dry and our motorbikes won’t start. Well, not this year: the weather is amazing, the beach is still rocking in the evening, the sea is crystal clear (have we mentioned the sharks recently?) and the only way we get soaked is by diving, playing volleyball on the beach or attending a DM challenge. Paul’s bike wouldn’t start last night but that’s his problem!

Tomorrow, the Save Koh Tao group will be transplanting out 50 of the largest giant clams from the nursery area in Ao Leuk. Giant clams are one of the most ecologically important organisms in a coral reef, known as a keystone species. Like hard corals, Giant clams produce a shell that adds to the reef structure. In addition to this, they clean nutrients from the water that could otherwise smother and kill corals. A single Giant clam can filter 100s of liters of water in a single day, and the presence of Giant clams on a dive site is the usually the sign of high coral abundance and biodiversity. In the evening there will be a buffet dinner at Dirty Nellie’s starting at 7:30pm to celebrate the end of another productive year of community run marine conservation. The dinner is only 100 baht per person, and 100% of that goes to Save Koh Tao Marine Branch.

Kayleigh is on her way to becoming a Rescue Diver under the guidance of Instructor Paul, just before she and Panos head off to the other side for a season in the Similans tomorrow. It’s been great having them both back here and we will miss them for sure. See you next year!

Wednesday, 21st October 2009-

2009-10-21Sharks, sharks and more sharks! By now, everybody knows that we’re diving with our long lost bullshark friends again at Chumphon Pinnacle every single day. So today, we thought we’d try out Southwest in the morning for a change. Guess what? There was a whaleshark there. It’s always a special moment for people when they see their first whaleshark and if you missed it, you still have a few minutes to sign up for the afternoon dives because we are going back there! Actually, it’s always a special moment diving with the biggest fish in the ocean, even if you’ve already seen more than 30. Ask some of our divemasters. Video tonight at 6!

Last night, we had a multilingual DM challenge for Daisuke and Erika, hosted by G and Mayuko. The challengees were both thoroughly congratulated with a lot of iced water, talc powder, shots, beers, buckets and a nice Vaseline shampoo. What more could you ask for? Daisuke performed a “Japanese Dance” with all the other DMTs and then tried to stop time by blinking. Yatta!!! Didn’t work so well, maybe he should try the dancing the “Time Warp” next time. It was also Christie’s birthday and she got to join in the “fun”. Happy 19th birthday Christie! Yuta also “volunteered” to help Daisuke and was the victim of what some might call collateral damage…

Staff gossip: Barry’s gone to India for a well-deserved holiday and Helen has gone home to do nothing for a few weeks, that lazy girl! And G got back yesterday and is already at work but who really cares?

Monday 19th October 2009-

2009-10-19Our divers were treated to 2 dives at Chumphon Pinnacle this morning and it was a sharktastic! 2 metre bull sharks, grey reef sharks, masses of barracuda and crystal clear water and it was just us on the second dive. Lovely!

A brightly-coloured fish which bounces along the seabed has been hailed as a new species by scientists - who have dubbed it "psychedelica". Research published in the US scientific journal Copeia says the fish was spotted by scuba divers off the island of Ambon in eastern Indonesia.

The new psychedelica frogfish is completely covered in swirling concentric stripes - white and blue on a peach background - radiating out from its aqua-coloured eyes. It has a broad flat face, thick fleshy cheeks and chin, and eyes that look forward like a human's.

The divers described it moving away from them in a series of short hops, its pelvic fins pushing it off the sea bed with each bounce. "The overall impression" says the Copeia research paper, was of "an inflated rubber ball bouncing along the bottom".

New instructors are getting their water wings out and notebooks at the ready, PADI instructor Jodie is teaching Open Water along side Simon today. SSI instructor Becky is off tomorrow resort diving with some beginners. Apples for the teachers or bottles of beer, mmm you decide!

 Thursday 15th October 2009-

2009-10-15More congratulations are in order to some brand new PADI Instructors today. Koh Tao’s dog whispering DM Andy, along with Mickey and Jodie passed the last of their instructor exams and presentations today. By the time the morning boats came back this morning they were already sinking some well deserved beers and glasses of wine. After celebrating some more in the bar here, they have their I.E Party tonight down at Dirty Nelly’s, well done to all the candidates who passed today. See you in the pub later!!!

Something wasn’t quite right this morning when I drove in to work! The smell was normal, the sleepy eyed DMTs was normal. Hmmm, could it have been that there was a big red truck with only 3 of its wheels left on the bridge over our Poo-nama Canal? The 4th wheel was kind of hanging over the side of our walkway! Woops, some silly-billy misjudged the turn resulting in one of its wheels slipping off. Anyone know any driving schools on Koh Tao?…. How 'bout Master Drivers ?! ;-)

Sharks, sharks and more sharks, we're surrounded by our pelagic friends! Bull sharks at Chumpon in the mornings, and this afternoon a whale shark at White Rock! Always good to see the longtails coming back to shore with a load of excited people after seeing their first whale shark, the excitement's contagious! Chumpon and White Rock seems like a good combination of dive sites for some big spotted fish spotting!

Wednesday 14th October 2009-

2009-10-14Shark Safari! At last, sharks were seen all over Chumphon Pinnacle this morning! The other day DM Duncan reckons he saw 2 Bull sharks. Today Commander Bond reckons she saw at least 5! Now all we need to do is make sure the fisherman leave them alive catwalking the pinnacles for all our divers to see. They are worth way more alive than dead & just the excitement from this mornings fun divers has generated a surge in divers for tomorrow mornings little outing! Shark- Safari... So goody!

Meanwhile in the deeply technical world of Deep Tech diving, Canada & his tattooed team of black hooded twin tank techie boys have been taking Navakid off for a jolly with a fish finder & a depth reader to see if they can find somewhere deep & dark to go diving. Ideally chancing upon a wreck would be a fine thing, but we'll suffice with a ridge or a wall or a series of pinnacles. As long as its deep & its dark & its technical & it involves carrying around lots of tanks & a gimps hat it doesn't really matter!

Amazing weather today & the diving is fantastic. It's got to be 30+ meters at most sites & here on Sairee Reef you can practically see the mainland through the water it is so clear. There isn't even a waft of wind & its really quiet on the dive front as well with very few people arriving on the island at the moment. Mark this month down in your diary for next year if you want a good dive holiday!

Tuesday 13th October 2009-

2009-10-13Scuba Professional Internship programmes. That seemed to get a lot of people talking, well emailing at least. I posted it up on our website only yesterday & already have 1 booking & another 2 additional enquiries into the Open Water to Instructor Programme, including the training to become a professional videographer, with 7 months accommodation, & a guaranteed job placement. I better ring around some old work colleagues & start calling in a few favours! Only joking! Study to become a Dive professional. Live life at the beach!

Going to give a big shout out to DM Andy, CGD Mickey, & Vidiot Jodie who all start their PADI Instructor exams today. Over the next 2 & half days they will be made to lecture on the importance of mask clearing, demonstrate phenomenal Buoyancy control, prevent possible accidents from occurring & multiple guess their way through 8 exams. Then its trousers down & beers till dawn. Pretty much the same as every other night! Good luck guys!

In the high end world of Fashion a new bikini has been unleashed upon the unsuspecting public. Its being labelled as the womens equivalent to Borat's lime green Mankini. In fact it is very hard to imagine anything worse than Borats Mankini but lo & behold it has been achieved. Ladies & gentlemen it is with complete horror I present to you the Nimbus 2000 Bikini.

Monday 12th October 2009-

2009-10-12For those of you who are interested in coming out here to do your Divemaster or Instructor Courses it is definitely worth checking out a new page on our website called Internship programmes where we are offering all sorts of great course offers to become a Diving professional. We have some great packages from Open Water all the way thru to Instructor including your own brand new set of kit & 6 months accommodation a guaranteed job at the end of your training. Not a bad offer in this world of high unemployment. Not bad at all. A guaranteed job offer as either a Divemaster, an Instructor or a Professional Underwater Videographer in one of many exotic locations around the world. Tempted? Then drop us a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. & change your life!

Seems to be some rather exciting news coming from Chumphon Pinnacle over the last few days. Bull Sharks! They're back. Well we hope so at least. They've been spotted over the last couple of days so it looks fairly promising. Chumphon Pinnacle used to be wall to wall with sharks so it will be very exciting if they are back. Fingers crossed & watch this space.

Ex DM/ brand new SSI Instructor Big Paul has his first course today! Paul will be taking out a very sweet but totally unsuspecting Israeli couple for their first experience of breathing underwater. Paul is obviously very excited & has been jumping up & down in eager anticipation which could account for the recent earth tremors the world has been experiencing in this region over the last few days. Good luck Paul! Mazel Toff Israeli couple!

Friday 9th October 2009-

2009-10-09Congratulations to our very own Dive master Paul and videographer Becky who passed their SSI Instructor Exam this afternoon, these guys have been studying for weeks and impressing the examiners with high scores on the their exams and presentations.Well done both of you-HIGH 5.

Even bigger congratulations and well done to SSImon Garrity Big Blue’s first SSI Instructor Trainer, as this was his first instructor training course. The evil little pair didn’t even tell him they’d passed until they’d drunk at least 2 or 3 beers while sitting giggling waiting with there phones! Simon is bursting with pride right now and will be bursting with beer and shots later on after celebrating tonight with his two new SSI instructors. Venues for tonights festivities are starting at Vibe and then heading down to the Airport Party!! Well Done to all of you.

Technical Divemaster Andy Holdaway is off back to the UK again probably to beat people up or blow them up or maybe just walk around wearing two tanks and shouting at people for pointing at his handlebar moustache. Canada’s marine bum chum came to do his technical divemaster trainee internship a few months ago and is now a certified technical diver and dive master. see you in a few months...

Thursday 8th October 2009-

2009-10-08The place is like a ghost town at the moment. What with the mass exodus over to Khao Lak, we are saying “see you in 6 months” to Rick, Ricky, Anna, and Keith; Simon is teaching the SSI ITC with DM Paul and Becky; Deano is staffing the PADI IDC with DM Andy, Mickey and Jodie and then there is G who is off having a wine and cheese party up the Eiffel Tower!

Good news though, Yvonne is finally back teaching again after getting the all clear from the Doctors, and about time too - a bored Yvonne is a very annoying Yvonne. I’m sure Canada can vouch for that!

Like in many places of the world, marine litter on the Kenyan coast has become part of the landscape. Last summer as part of their Ocean Project, Camp International, volunteer organisations running trips to Africa and Asia, coordinated 7 beach clean-ups involving gap year students from the UK to clean-up the Kenyan coastline. Over 200 bags of litter were collected which included over 7000 flip-flops. The Camp Kenya School Team Expedition then worked with local artists to create a life size whale shark made entirely from the recycled flip-flops picked up from the beach.

The flip-flop Whale Shark project not only raises awareness about the importance of gaining protection for Whale Sharks but also reminds us that humans have created the marine litter problem and that it is our responsibility to take action to tackle it.

Monday 5th October 2009-

2009-10-05So many career recreational divers & technical divers & now welcome back to Big Jan from the Nethernetherlands who trained with us over a year ago & is now working as a commercial diver in the exotic part of Australia- that's New Zealand isn't it? So welcome back Massive Jan. & now I'm hearing rumours that James Brooks another ex DM in training of ours has got himself a job on board the legendary & controversial Sea Shephard ship on their next mission to Antarctica. That's wicked news James. Congratulations!

In an attempt to improve the view, Spaz has set up our beach volleyball court right outside the Big Blue bar here on Sairee beach! Its about time too! After all what view could be better while sitting at the bar with a free beer at the end of a busy day than watching a bevvy of bouncing beauties banging their balls down before a setting sun? Did someone say free beer?

Some confusion today as to whether the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan was last night or tonight! Its a very important religious holiday for Buddhists today so there is no alcohol served till noon today so obviously that could cause a wee bit of a problem for the FMP organisers! Any how judging by the amount of revellers who haven't shown up today I think its a safe enough bet to assume the party is now on tonight! Best Fishes & a Happy Full Moon to you all.

Friday 2nd October 2009-
 
2009-10-02Boss man Jim, who after pulling a sickie yesterday claiming to be ‘jet lagged’ is now back in the driving seat once again. While he was away it was kept warm by Sonia when she wasn’t in the hospital, Kayleigh when she wasn’t emailing, running around organising rooms and our PR guys on the ferries, and Bazza when he wasn’t teaching or mixing cement. Welcome back boss, and thank you for the litre of Oktober Fest beer in its huge 1litre Masse-Krug (glass).
Tonight we will be celebrating the birthday our Geordie DMT Ash, so hay way man, lets gaan doon toon for a canny drink alreet!! Er ok, a night down at the bowling alley is planned followed by a few /many cheeky drinks somewhere I’m sure. Happy Birthday Ash!
A rare sight was captured last week by tourists on a cruise along the coast near the Island of Mull in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. Witnesses watched in awe a three-metre Basking shark leapt out of the water and breached three times. The basking shark is a harmless, toothless species and feeds only on microscopic plankton.

Basking sharks can grow up to several metres long and is one of the only sharks to visit the shores of Britain. It eats by swimming with its mouth wide open and sucks in as much of its tiny prey as it can get.

Now that’s something you don’t see everyday!

Thursday 1st October 2009-
 
2009-10-01More leaving parties and farewell drinks, this time we say goodbye and safe travels to our arty farty Lara, thanks to this little missy we have beautifully painted artwork scattered around the resort including signs, white board displays and even the Grease car which has pride of place in the restaurant. Have a great time back home and we’ll see you again soon.

After searching for some weird and wonderful news articles we came across this little gem.

On September 5th over 60 members of the Stowe Sub Aqua Club in Buckingham UK, had the ingenious idea of a 24hr underwater Twister competition. They raised over 2,000 GBP for CANCERactive, a charity which helps people increase their odds of beating cancer by laying out all the very latest research information from around the world whether this is regarding orthodox, complimentary or alternative therapies. Well done you guys over the pond, all for a good cause and what a great idea!

With the Buoyancy World soon to be deployed near Twins, how quick do you think it would take to knock up a Big Blue Twister game? Or a new underwater challenge for the Koh Tao Festival next year?! Oh the mind is boggling now!!

November 2009

 
Saturday 28th November 2009-

2009-11-28The Maserati of Instructors, the Bazzarati aka Barry 'The Shed' Coville is off to Khao Lak tomorrow to join Rick & his team over in the Similans & Surin Islands operating the gorgeous Pawara Liveaboard & the 2 daytrip speedboats! So everyone is off to Vibe tonight to toast the high flying 'Shed' & his daring do's a bon voyage & a see you in 6 months! Cheers Bazza & have a great season.

Here's something new I learnt today! Why do hammerhead sharks have such a famously strange-shaped head? One hypothesis is that having eyes on either side of such a wide 'hammer' allows the sharks to see better. But even this idea divides scientific opinion, as researchers argue over whether the hammerhead design makes it more or less difficult to see. The mystery may now be solved by a study showing that a hammerhead gives sharks outstanding binocular vision and an ability to see through 360 degrees. Binocular vision occurs when the fields of two eyes overlap, allowing the accurate perception of depth and distance. It is especially important for predators which need to judge the distance to their prey. Which explains why you'll see so many drunk boys ogling the ladies at Lotus bar with what appears to be eyes at the side of their heads!

Weather report is absolutely glorious. The sea is flat, there's no wind, no rain, but there is some fantastic visibility & there's mountains of fish... nope sorry oceans of fish... buckets of fish... nope schools of fish. Fish everywhere. So many fish you can shake a stick at them. Not that you'd want to. That'd kind of defeat the purpose of what you're trying to see! Anyway. Flat seas as far as the eye can see. & heaps of fish as far as the visibility will allow!

Wednesday 23rd November 2009-

2009-11-23Call me paranoid but I can't help feeling like I've been deserted! Seems like forever since Canada & Yvonne left for their romp around Thailand. & now Paul left for Canada, Beccy is on her way to the Uk, Jodie is in Chiang Mai, Heather & Andy left for Florida, Duncan is in England, Amanda is in Dubai, Emily went to the Similans, Barry is in Samui, G is in Samui, Pierre is in Samui! Then soon Simo is planning on heading north to see the Missus in Chiang Mai, & Dennis is off to Germany & Spaz is off to Sweden. Then there's our 'newlyweds' Deano & Sonia who are both injured & can't dive, & Erik who has an ear infection, so they're all holidaying too. That leaves me, Andy Hat, Irish Colin, Helen, Kelli & Christos. Perfect. Small round at beer o'clock!

ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) has FAILED once again to implement a zero quote for bluefin tuna. They had a golden opportunity to save the fish they are supposed to be protecting and they failed to take advatnage of it. Instead of doing the job they are supposed to do (protect Atlantic bluefin tuna), ICCAT have acted as a roadblock to a protection. They appear to be more interested in supporting the fishing industry (which is very powerful in Spain - coincidentally ICCAT are based in Madrid). Write to them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and tell them to DO THEIR JOB or GET OUT OF THE WAY!

Monsoon is over! Despite the look of fear & gloom on our exciteable Frenchmans face when he saw the weather forecast on Windguru yesterday, the 4 meter waves have dropped to just 1 meter, there is no 40 knot winds but a mere draft, as if someone left the back door open. There is no torrential downpour. Au contraire Monsieur Guillaume. Today is a beautiful Koh Tao day & the forecast for the next week is for even more sunshine, even flatter seas, even less wind & even drier days! Il fait belle jour n'est pas!

Sunday 22nd November 2009-

2009-11-22Dear Big Blue, My wife and I started our open water with you on 23rd october and completed on the 26th, and would like to say how impressed we were at the way in which the course was organized and conducted. This wouldn't have been easy for us unless we hadn't had the support and hard work of our dive instructor 'Deano'. He made it fun and enjoyable yet ensured safety at all times. Since we completed our course we have done other dives and they haven't been a scratch on 'Deano's' professionalism. We would like to thank big blue and especially deano for helping us seenjoy the experience so much, we will be recommending you to everyone we meet. Yours with thanks, Mike and Carley.
Cheers guys. Sure you meant Deano? ; )

So despite President Obama's mission to Asia to rid the world of muppets the Japanese still sent out 5 boats from their whaling fleet to Antarctica yesterday. As we’re all aware, Japan’s research claims are a giant joke. With well over 9,000 minke whales killed in 22 years and no useful data produced, Japan’s so-called research in the Antarctic is an international embarrassment. But don't worry cos this year we have our own ex DMT James out on the Sea Shepherd working to disrupt the murderous plans of the Japanese. Keep your eyes out for him on Animal Planets Whale Wars! Compulsory viewing & probably the best programme on the telly! Whales Good. Japanese whaling Fleet Bad!

SSImon started his second Instructor Training Course for 2 new soon to be SSI Instructors yesterday. Its going to be a couple of weeks of early mornings, late nights, plenty of diving, demonstrating, & doing it all again till it becomes second nature. It takes about 2 weeks to do. Costs half the price of the PADI Instructor Course & there's so much worldwide demand for SSI Instructors now that the qualification now comes with a job offer somewhere in the world. Not a bad thing to train up & become especially in this time of global recession. Beat the economic downturn! Become an SSI Instructor & make the beach your office!

Saturday 21st November 2009-

2009-11-21All hail our new Emergency First Response Instructor Trainers G & Deano. The boys had to spend an afternoon learning how to use, demonstrate & evaluate each other & other members on the course til they were blue in the face! So needless to say our boys with so much experience and training breezed the whole thing. So now we are proud to say that if you want to become an Instructor in First Aid training then come see our boys. Dr. Deano & EFRIT G!

Emily has obviously been working herself too hard. After all, that little break she had lying by the side of the pool in Bangkok at the beginning of the month must have worn her out. So it was a very good job that 2 of her Open Water students insisted they have her as their Advanced Instructor on our Liveaboard in the Similans! So the poor exhausted Emily had to traipse all the way over to Khao Lak to depart last night on the very luxurious MV Pawara for 4 days & nights of diving, eating, reading, sleeping & topless tanning on the sundeck! Poor thing. Hope she doesn't have to work too hard! Licky butch!

Weather report for this weekend ... big waves, strong winds, bugger all rain. Its even sunny! Its just a horrible journey over made all the worse by the seethrough vomit bags that get manually distributed to each passenger as they board the boat. So word of warning to all travellers - take seasickness pills & come by Seatran Discovery rather than the Catamaran. Its still a bouncy trip over but at least you won't feel like you've just come out of a spin cycle in the tumble dryer! Bon voyage!

Wednesday 18th November 2009-

2009-11-18"Hi Jim!!! Missed you when we came over to visit, you were on 3 weeks holidays!!! We had a great time, ended up having Emily as a instructor for our SSI Open Water course and two of us loved it so much (the other one gave up on the early mornings) we did half our Advanced Course as we had to fly out the next day so we couldn't complete it. Emily was great, even though she FAILED to find us the yellow box fish as she had promised haha. We managed to catch up with a Whale Shark at Chumpon on the 3rd dive which was awesome and then took Emily and Deano out to Hippos for a dinner and some boozing afterwards. The rooms were probably the best we had in Thailand, nice and basic but clean, tidy and functioning which is exactly what we needed and wanted. Overall we got great service, great accommodation and you have some great staff! I would recommend anyone to come see you and I never have anything nice to say about anything so take it as a really big compliment. Anyway, enough ass kissing... The reason for the email is that I loved it so much I'M COMING BACK!!!" Cheers Simon, & this time I'll be here! See you soon!

Congratulations Donna on getting that dream job. Donna is off to sun herself & dive & rock climb & just generally lead a dream lifestyle on the idyllic Kadidiri Island, part of the Togean Islands in Indonesia. If you dreamt of an Indonesia with a riot of blue, gold and green, blissful beaches, plentiful coral and a place to live the life of a lotus eater then this archipelago of beautiful coral and volcanic isles in the middle of Teluk Tomini, could be just what the Doctor ordered! The undisturbed jungle shelters a variety of wildlife. The islands’ reefs support a rich diversity of marine life, and the people of the seven or so ethnic groups sharing this place are hospitable. Although the islands are difficult to reach, and the facilities are basic, many travellers fall in love with the Togeans and their lifestyle – and often end up staying a lot longer than they anticipated. Donna, it sounds amazing. Good luck have a great time & hippy daving!

Quick weather report! We were forecast heaps of rain & some strong winds today but its been a little slow coming. We have had a couple of solid downpours which lasted less than an hour each but its certainly not windy or wavey so its still all good for the diving. Don't mind the downpours either. Its actually quite refreshing!

Tuesday 17th November 2009-

2009-11-17Due to an unfortunate event with one of our charters on our Liveaboard MV Pawara departing from Khao Lak, the November 20th trip is open for bookings and is undersold. So we are going to offer a last-minute price of 20% off. The Pawara is adequately booked throughout the season, so we expect this to be a rare opportunity for customers to enjoy the Pawara at a discounted rate.
Master Cabin - Normally 33800, now 27040,
Deluxe Cabin - Normally 31800, now 25440
Standard Cabin - Normally 29800, now 23840
Please call 077 456 772 for bookings, or check our website www.bigbluediving.com for up to date availability. Be quick there's only 3 days left!

A super-fast, space-age powerboat which scythes through waves and smashed the round-the-world record is set to be unleashed on Japanese whalers next month, activists said on Friday. The tri-hulled, kevlar-and-carbon vessel, which can manage speeds up to 50 knots (57 miles/93 kilometres per hour), will chase the controversial boats during their annual hunt in seas south of Australia. The futuristic "Ady Gil", formerly known as "Earthrace", jetted round the world in just under 61 days last year, two weeks faster than the previous record circumnavigation. Campaign spokesman Paul Watson said the boat will pursue the Japanese harpoon boats and stop them spearing whales killed in their hundreds in waters off Antarctica each year. The Ady Gil will be our interceptor. It will be able to latch on to a harpoon boat and prevent it killing any whales. It should be able to run rings around them." Watson said the boat, bankrolled to the tune of one million dollars by Hollywood businessman Ady Gil, will accompany the "Steve Irwin" ship during the three-month campaign from early December. Excellent. Sounds like compulsory viewing of the next season of Whale Wars!

4 very big Bull Sharks at Chumphon again this morning. All our divers got very excited! Well you would do I guess. After all you are less than 20 meters away from 4 of the biggest Bull sharks you will ever see in your life! And you survive to tell the story. I'd be pretty excited too. Just after I'd wet myself. Chumphon Pinnacle! Diving it every morning still!

Monday 16th November 2009-

2009-11-16What a pleasant surprise! Rick is back! He's managed to tear himself away from his office in Khao Lak to come over here & take care of a little business but he's only here for about 24 hours! Sounds like the little sleepy village just north of Phuket, known as has completely exploded this year. Its become so famous people only refer to it as KL now! The Liveaboard is proving a massive success with lots of bookings coming in regularly & the trips are filling up very fast. The speedboat too is becoming extremely popular for our daytrippers to the Similans, so busy that we are getting another one to reduce the amount of divers per boat! Busy busy busy! I don't think Rick has come over to do some business at all! I reckon he's escaped!

Newly certified DM Curt is off to France today to teach skiing. Not bad! DMing in the Summer in Thailand, skiing in the winter in the French Alps. Obviously its not all bikinis & steam showers. There's a lot of suntanned bodies & apres skiing to take care of too. Then there's all that nature. The marine life, & all those European birds! Poor Curt. Remember when it all gets on top of you, just lie back & think of England! Congratulations Curt & see you next summer!

Its been amazing how many bookings we have been getting in the last few days for accommodation around Christmas & New Year. Its now becoming so full up that I know for sure that there will be people sleeping on the beaches, in the bar, or in the classrooms. If you want to avoid being one of those sleeping under a starry starry night, a bar stool or a classroom chair then I suggest you book your accommodation before you get here & if I was you I'd do it pretty damn quick! Koh Tao is going to be a very lively place this Festivus!

Sunday 15th November 2009-

2009-11-15Absolutely nothing to do with diving, Koh Tao or the marine world but...New Zealand have reached the World Cup finals for the second time in their history with victory over Bahrain in their qualifying play-off second leg. The All Whites have booked their place in next year's football extravaganza in South Africa & the country is pumped with pride & emotion! & a little bit of fear! Roll on South Africa 2010! New Zealand win the World Cup!

Congratulations to Rick & his team at Big Blue Khao Lak who saw off their first full Liveaboard boat of the season. 20 very lucky divers all off for a jolly around the Similan & Surin Islands in pursuit of Manta Rays, Whalesharks, turtles, ghostpipefish, seahorses, & maybe the odd guitar shark or two! Such a fantastic holiday we are all sitting here in Koh Tao being extremely jealous & envious of Rick, Fanette, Panos, Kayleigh & next week when Barry gets back from India he will be going to work over there too. Lacky Bustards!

The weather here in Koh Tao is still gorgeous! No monsoon conditions for ages, (though I immediately regret saying that!). Still no wind, no rain. The viz is still quite good & its still pretty busy here. We are having to put our monsoon movie collection & the board games back in the box & guess we'll get them all back out again when the weather does kick in! But for now its diving diving, diving. And a couple of beers to wash it all down with! Why don't you come & join us!

Saturday 14th November 2009-

2009-11-14So slowly & surely & very very steadily my wandering troops are returning. Last week Sonia & Emily came back though their ailments have prevented them from going diving so they've been a fat lot of good! But now both Helen is back from a month in the UK & Kelli has come all the way back from Taiwan. Both look pasty white, quite ill, & a little podgy! Must have a good holiday ladies & thanks for bringing me back my crumpets Helen even if they were beaten & battered bits of bread by the time you delivered them to me. Very thoughtful! Welcome home!

Our friend Claire at Responsible Travel has asked us if we can help ARKive (www.arkive.org) who are calling on divers and underwater photographers for their help in gathering images of all the world’s threatened marine animals and plants. ARKive promotes conservation and builds environmental awareness through wildlife photographs, films and sound clips. The aim is to produce a global, centralized record of all 16,928 species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This will provide an invaluable conservation tool - a quick, easy and free online source of information for anyone keen to learn more or to help with conservation efforts. Threatened marine species make up just ten percent of the current material held in ARKive, reflecting just how hard these films and photographs are to collect, so the divers underwater images are urgently needed to help fill the watery gaps in the rapidly growing library. (There you go Claire, how was that?)

DMT challenge last night for Christy & Curt who participated in a Battle of the Sexs. Christy won by beating Curt in the best chat up line category. With the "Im not wearing any panties. Can I get into your line!" Always a winner a line like that coming from a pretty girl! So sorry Curt. You didn't stand a chance! Congratulations guys on successfully completing your Divemaster Training, we hope you dived heaps, you loved every minute of it & then you learnt alot. Now go out there Divemaster!

Thursday 12th November 2009-

2009-11-12Well the weather outside is completely unbelievable. Especially for this time of the year when it is supposed to be howling winds & buckets of rain! Right now the sea is mirror still. You can see the reflection of the clouds on the surface of the water. Visibility especially here on Sairee Reef is 10-15 meters, & there's fish everywhere. & word is spreading that the weather is good here & the island is getting busier & busier everyday. Must suck for all those who thought they were leaving us for the monsoon. The weather hasn't been this good since the summer!

A very big congratulations to the team at ACE Marine Videos, the same team that produce our daily videos. We are delighted to announce that on Saturday night, 7 November 2009, the documentary, "Lost and Found", about the submarine USS Lagarto was awarded three Emmys. It picked up up 5 nominations, including one for outstanding cinematography, and went home with 3 awards. "We are proud to have been involved in such a spectacular and significant film and could not even have imagined that our underwater footage could have helped to bring about such acclaim." says a very proud Chris Clarke the owner of ACE Marine Images. Well done guys. First the Emmy's & next it will be the Oscars!

"Its an Amazing boat!" "I've only done 4 Liveaboards but this was by far the best trip I've ever had." " The food was amazing. Both the Thai & the western. It was as good as any restaurant & there was so much of it." "The dive deck is huge! Easily enough space for 25 divers & there was only 14 on this trip so it really felt like spacious & so comfortable to kit up." "Rick the trip leader, as opposed to Rick the Manager, has been working on Liveaboards a long time & knows exactly what sites to dive & when to avoid the crowds so we had most of our dives to ourselves."- Just a few of the comments Christos had to say when he got back this morning from his trip on our Liveaboard boat the MV Pawara. 4 days & 4 nights of gratuitous Dive porn! Send your enquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the trip of your life!

Wednesday 11th November 2009-

2009-11-11So with the opening of the Surat Thani airport on the mainland the Seatran Ferry company with boats to Koh Tao daily is moving from their present departure point at Chumphon to a departure point nearer to the airport so that they can now take customers from Chumphon & from Surat Thani, which is great news! So now the Seatran Discovery will be departing from pretty much half way between Surat & Chumphon and at the closest point to Koh Tao. So ferry times to Koh Tao will only take an hour now which cuts down the journey time in half! Great for all those who get a little queezy on the journey over!

Time to mention & help out 2 old Big Blue staff who went their own way & created for themselves their perfect dream by opening up their own diveshop called Liquid Motion in Samoa. Vanessa Machadinho-Cooper & her husband Ian Cooper both old Big Blue Staff recently had their dreams shattered when the tsunami came through Samoa last month. Their whole dive shop has been completely destroyed. So if anyone remembers Vanessa or Ian or feels like giving to help 2 people going through some hard times out then please log into http://www.facebook.com/l/15995;www.liquidmotion.ws & give a small donation. Every little helps! Good luck guys!

A pregnant shark at a New Zealand aquarium was bitten by another shark, unexpectedly releasing four baby sharks. Stunned visitors saw the injured shark and alerted staff that they had also seen things float from the gaping wound. The babies were removed from the tank to prevent stingrays and other sharks from eating them. When staff also moved the mother they found a further four sharks inside her. The mother's wound was stitched by a vet at Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World in Auckland. All eight baby sharks survived.It is common for sharks to take chunks out of each other, even in the wild, but noone has ever heard of anything like this. The unusual delivery had probably saved the baby sharks' lives. If the mother had given birth naturally, most likely at night, the babies would have been eaten by adult sharks and stingrays before staff could rescue them!

Tuesday 10th November 2009-

2009-11-10Since DM Andy Hat, as the Thais affectionately call him, has re structured our retail section in our dive shop he has sold heaps of equipment! I don't know how he does it! But if you buy a mask you need a snorkel & if you are going to spend a couple thousand Baht on a mask & snorkel you should seriously consider a defogger so your mask doesn't steam up underwater & if you've gone to that much trouble you should really purchase a decent pair of fins & booties so you can go snorkelling when you want & hey if we've got the right colour Big Blue mask strap then buy that too! Aah so thats how he does it! Just talk a lot of bollocks!

Well last weeks atrocious weather has obviously put off the majority of people coming to Koh Tao. The Ferries & catamarans are now so empty that most companies are actually only running one boat a day from Chumphon. So if any of you are planning on coming over in the next few days you might just want to check with your ferry companies to see when they are running their boats. Or even better tell everyone how very quiet & completely beautiful Koh Tao is & bring them over & ask them to tell their mates so we can start filling the ferries back up again & running back on normal schedules!

Khao Sok National Park is slowly becoming a popular diving destination for those who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of popular destinations and would like to experience something completely unique with fresh water diving in caves and caverns. Additionally, Khao Sok is the opposite of Koh Tao with respect to weather. When it’s terrible on Koh Tao it’s perfect in Khao Sok. This means we have more options now for training and completing courses with the added benefit of giving our customers more of what they want; diving options! The recent launch of Big Blue Khao Sok and future developments for a permanent facility, blending station boat and accommodation shows this recent push and interest in the region. Although Big Blue is not the only dive operator traveling to the region, we’re pretty sure we’ll be the only one setting up shop!

Monday 9th November 2009-

2009-11-09Unbeleivable! Its like a complete about face. After the last few days you wouldn't beleive what the weather is like now! Its absolutely gorgeous! Its completely flat seas. There's over 10 meter clarity on Sairee Reef & at Chumphon Pinnacle this morning the viz has also increased which means we can see the sharks again! & the best part about diving at Chumpon Pinnacle right now is that it is completley deserted! Apart form us & the sharks there aint no one there! Just another reason to choose to dive with Big Blue- definitely the best dive shop on Koh Tao!

Nice to see after I'd put the Instructor SOS call out that they've started to come back in their dribs & drabs! Well Sonia & Emily did at least which is a start though ladies it would be more helpful if you could do some diving. Unfortunately both ladies are out of action having injured themselves sunbathing by the swimming pool in Bangkok. Its a hard life. So today we've had Jodie doing her first German Course & brilliantly I might add, & it looks like Beccy is going to get herself a course today as well. Good. Well deserved! Nice to see our reserve staff coming off the bench & playing a bit for the first team!

Learning something new about our staff every day! Heather Keeler, longtime movie maker, holder of the longest running DM course, & now fresh faced PADI Instructor & soon to be SSI Instructor, is also a highly qualified Swimming Instructor & has taught adults to swim in just 1 day before, & is fluent in Sign language which means she can teach her Open Water courses in Sign Language. How cool is that! I once took a couple of deaf people diving a few years ago. Absolute nightmare. Typical females! They just wouldn't shut up Even underwater! Find out more about our Open Water courses for the deaf by writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday 8th November 2009-

2009-11-08A Russian armoured-car builder is boasting that its latest vehicle has seats covered with “whale-penis leather”. The $1 million Dartz Prombron Monaco Red Diamond Edition armoured car has been developed by the same company that built armoured vehicles for Tsar Nicholas, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky.The company says the whale-penis leather is the same as that used by Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis on the yacht Christina O which was rumoured to have had some of the barstools on the yacht, the world’s most expensive at the time, covered in the controversial leather. The leather is not the only tacky accessory on the world’s most expensive SUV. The bulletproof windows are gold-plated, the exhaust is made of tungsten, the gauges are encrusted with diamonds and rubies and the exterior has a Kevlar coating, which makes it “rocket grenade-proof”. And for those wondering just how may whales may need to be harvested to outfit this ridiculous contraption, the answer is not many. The penis of the Blue Whale, for example, can grow up to 2.4 metres! Lucky bugger!

Where the hell is everyone? Not guests but staff! There hardly seems to be anyone around. Well I guess Bazza is excused after all he's in India! Helen has gone to the Uk so she won't be here in time to start todays course! Kelli is in Taiwan on a Visa run. Canada & Yvonne are galavanting around Chiang Mai. Sonia & Emily are sunbathing topless by some hotel pool, G is off staffing another IDC, Simo is doing an SSI Instructor crossover & Deano is off injured after another motorbike stunt went wrong! So Paul, Heather. I guess its just the 3 of us! & the 17 freelance Instructors we are using right now!

Well the wind has died down completely today but unfortunately has been replaced with buckets of rain! Still the rain sinks the sediments in the water that have been stirred up by the wind & the huge waves we've had recently, which means the visibility should open up again. Though its pretty dark with all this rain & cloud cover so we might need torches to see if the viz is better! Oh the joys of diving in a Thai monsoon!

Friday 6th November 2009-

2009-11-06Time to welcome a couple new staff or 3! After all DM Andy has left us for what could be quite a while to go back to Britains sunny climes, Amanda is over in Khao Lak till Christmas probably & DM Paul is now pretty much a full time Instructor! So to fill the gaps we are very happy to welcome DJ Andy Luckman to the team & Irish man DM Colin Farrell pinched from another Koh Tao Diveshop rather than a famous Hollywood studio! Nice to have you both on board Andy & Colin & congratulations Paul on the Instructortoriall promotion!

As of Oct. 25th, low-cost airline Nokair has been flying between Bangkok and Suratthani. For the first three months, the fare is only Bt555 one-way or Bt1,000 roundtrip. The new air route, aimed at increasing tourist traffic to Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, will have two roundtrip flights daily. The flight from Bangkok will come from the Don Muang airport. The new air route will provide tourists bound for Samui or Koh Phangan a chance to make a side trip to some of the province’s many other attractions & instead of a long ten-hour bus ride from Bangkok, budget travelers can get to Samui or Phangan in just a few hours.

Its all getting very exciting as we await the grand opening of the Big Blue bar which has been under renovation for the last few weeks. Spaz is off on a European vacation shortly which leaves an opening for a new bar staff & I believe I know just the person to run the place! It might surprise many of you but I think you will all agree the new person who is going to run that bar is going to be just what the doctor ordered! & their name is... oops sorry I better wait till Ari tells you all. You'll never guess but you all know them! Watch this space!

Thursday 5th November 2009-

2009-11-05Its just a few days before the maiden voyage of our brand new Liveaboard the MV Prawara, which heads out on the 7th November for 4 days & 4 nights, 14 dives, 17 meals & heaps of memories! Rick & his team at Big Blue Diving in Khao Lak are organising a launch party tomorrow night on board the newest & best managed boat in the Similans. All the VIP's from the world of Scuba diving in Thailand will be there. All the Big Blue Khao Lak staff will be there & there will be a press & people there! In fact you'll find it pretty hard to find anyone who won't be there! After all its a Big Blue party & we all know how Rick likes to party!

With the Alpha UWCP, talk with someone 15,000 miles away while diving a tropical reef or in your pool! This complete and sophisticated communication diving system can do it. This new underwater communication unit is integrated with a speaker and microphone and comes installed on the Neptune Space full face mask. This unit is wired with a 40 meter cable and can be modified to most any request. A quick release waterproof rubber connection allows the diver to separate from the cable at any given moment. The cable ends with a quick water resistance bayonet connection, plugged into an impact and water resistant compact box. This compact box is placed in a special custom made buoy with a unique top pocket to provide a firm attachment to the box. The water resistant surface box contains an electronic interface which can be connected by Bluetooth to a cellular phone. The device works with a 9v alkaline battery, & at 1790USD is a complete waste of money!

Weather forecast for the next few days is muuuch better than it has been for the past few days. Two days ago it was 3 meter waves & everyone was seasick, yesterday it was 2 meter waves & only half the people were seasick & today we are predicted for only 1 meter waves so our Chucker Charlies should be down to a minimum & then by Sunday the forecast tells us the wave height is only going to be a half meter maximum! Just in time for the ferries & catamarans to stock up on there see through vomit bags.

December 2009

Thursday 31st December 2009-

2009-12-31Happy New Year everyone or we say in Thailand- Sawadee Pi Mai! Its the last day of the year & the last day any of us have to be anywhere near that filthy smelling Frenchman! Today is Guillaume's last day at work. After slugging away for 5 years as an Instructor here G has finally decided to drop trousers & run!

He is leaving us to further his career in diving by becoming a PADI Course Director. & because we are a Triple certifying Centre meaning we teach PADI Courses, SSI Courses & BSAC Courses, G is not allowed to work for us anymore if he wants to be a Course Director. So after much deliberation, a few baguettes, a gob full of couscous, & a good nights sleep in a bed full of onions, G bit the bullet & resigned! Traitorous Mother Father! Only kidding! IF there's a good reason to leave us & work somewhere else I think this is about as good as it gets!

So G, mon ami, its been emotional. From all of us here I'd like to thank you for all the work you have done for the Save Koh Tao Group, for the work you did on the Bio Rock & the Buoyancy World. For your contribution into the Divemaster Training. For your efforts & expense spent on all the fancy dress parties & for all those G ism's & for the fabulous memories I have of your jiggling moobies as you run from the Diveshop to the Equipment room. & in the immortal final episode of Seinfeld- Good Riddance & thanks for the memories! Merci G! & Bon Chance!

Wednesday 30th December 2009-

2009-12-30So in many parts of the world right now its colder than a Penguins bollocks, so in the interests of servicing those of you that are feeling a little chilly in the swim wear region I thought you'd be pleased to know that it is hot hot hot, here in Koh Tao! Hotter than balls! Its bright & sunny, even the water temperature is warmer than most places in Europe. Well its a good job we're not in Europe right now cos that must really really suck! Oh good its almost 5pm. I'm off for a sunset beer down the beach! Happy New Year Europe!

Just another 24 hours working at Big Blue & the crazy frenchman has organised a beach clean up on his last day of work! Its so unfrenchmanly! Our last clean up of the year is to be held on Sairee Beach & as ever is being organised by G as he shows what needs to be done to his imminent successor Heather "The Green Queen" Keeler who will take over the Mantle G has been shouldering for so long. Cheers G for all the hard work you have put in to our eco efforts & good luck to our new Hero the Green Queen! Save the world & save the cheerleader!

Please don't feed the fish! In Hawaii several of the largest commercial merchandisers, including Walmart, have agreed to discontinue the sale of recreational snorkelling fish food, joining the Fish-Friendly Business Alliance through the "Take a Bite out of Fish Feeding" campaign, which discourages the practice of using food to attract fish for tourists to view. The use of fish food by tourists and tour operators can have negative consequences for both reefs and the tourism industry. By feeding the fish, we are affecting natural ecological relationships on the reef. More people are being bitten by aggressive fish. Algae is increasing in these area's too. Herbivorous grazing fish eat algae, helping to clean up the reefs. However, when they are fed food from other sources, they stop eating the algae and other things that they should be eating. The algae is left to flourish, and can potentially smother the reefs. The majority of people do not want to do harm to our oceans but are unaware that their behaviours have potentially dangerous impacts. Now that you are aware however... Please stop feeding the fish!

Monday 28th December 2009-

2009-12-28The last Full Day trip of the year & the first full day trip of the season are being organised for this Wednesday the 30th December to go to Sail Rock for 2 dives & then 1 more dive at Samran Pinnacle. Breakfast, lunch, 3 dives at rarely dived sites, but still top quality ones & the last time we'll have the garlic smelling, onion necklace, blue & white striped shirt, red crevate & beret wearing Frenchman on our boat! : )

Just in case you weren't aware... next years colors are... Navy blue shirt & light blue logo with writing. Our 2010 staff T-shirts were dolled out yesterday to all the dive staff to much rigmarole & fanfare. So our Navy Blue & gold Big Blue Dive Crew shirts are now just a distant memory. A collectors item no less! & a very much sought after piece of Big Blue paraphernalia. In years to come it might be worth something! But for now its the Navy Blue & light blue that is the talk of the town, & don't we look chic!

Once the team had picked themselves up off the floor after being told Jim was going to go diving again this afternoon, making that twice in a week, & 5 times in the year, they were able to sort out this afternoons double dive at Chumphon Pinnacle! And what is it that makes Chumphon so diveable right now & makes Jim don his neoprene yet again is the sharks. Absolutely 10's of them! Guaranteed at the moment if you dive below 20 meters there are at least 20-30 sharks cruising around. Just another reason to do your Advanced Course! & to dive with Big Blue. No one else going to Chumphon Pinnacle this afternoon!
 

Sunday 27th December 2009-

2009-12-27Ho Ho ho! Can't remember the last time I woke up on Christmas Day without a hangover. And didn't manage to do it again this year either! A lovely Christmas Dinner at Big Blue, then Secret Santa at the bar, then up the beach for Vibe, then down the beach for Fizz, & round off the evening with a couple down at Maya Bar. Nothing like celebrating Christmas on Koh Tao!

And as we celebrate this festive season let us not forget all the poor dolphins that are slaughtered in Taiji this winter. Every year a small community of Japanese fishermen slaughter in cold blood upto 29,000 dolphins. And sell off the dolphin meat under some other fish name like swordfish or whale meat. If you don't believe me you have to watch a movie which we mentioned here before & now this Christmas I finally got to see it. " The Cove" It is UNBELIEVABLE! A must see movie! Though not necessarily a Christmas Movie.You can watch the trailer for it right here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KRD8e20fBo Wow!

So hard to work out who is going to have to work over Christmas & New Year. Last year it was easy with Alain around who being the tee totaler always seemed quite chipper first thing in the morning after the night before so he was easy to schedule but this year... Well Heather, Soren, Pierre, Kelli & Paul all pulled the short straws over Christmas, who's going to be selling their short straws over New Year? I know one things for sure... it aint me ;) Sawadee Pi Mai!

Thursday 24th December 2009-

2009-12-24Another year another Staff Party & another very sore head! Congratulations to everyone who works at Big Blue, the Instructors, DM's, the shop girls, the boat boys, the Captains, the house keepers, the taxi drivers & the accountants for what has been another very successful & happy year for all of us at Big Blue. & what better way to celebrate than by getting everyone to do a shot of tequila & do a silly dance! Many thanks too to the team at ACE Marine Images who put together this years Christmas VDO. Lots of memories, lots of fun! & none of it would have been possible with out you, our divers! Thank you one & all for choosing to come & dive & stay with us. We hope you've enjoyed it here as much as we've enjoyed having you here! Merry Christmas & a very happy New Year!

Its the time of year when the beach literally disappears under the sea. At the highest tide the sea level has risen as far as the dive shop steps so you have to wade through the water to get to the restaurant. I guess its a phenomenon that is occurring throughout the world but for some reason you can really see the rise in the oceans sealevel is as high as I've ever seen in the last 10 years on Koh Tao. I blame that Global Norman!

Big Blue Tech and BSAC Thailand completed Skill Development Courses for Ash Dunn and Mark Slinn during a workshop in Koh Tao on the 23rd of December to enhace their abilities as scuba diving instructors. BSAC Thailand took Mark and Ash through the BSAC Oxygen Administrator Instructor and BSAC Compressor Operator Instructor SDC during the day long workshop. During this time the students had to demonstrate their overall knowledge and ability in both disciplines to the instructor examiner. After a written and practical exam they were issued their certification cards and received authority to begin teaching the courses. Andy Cavell, our other intern, missed this event because he was teaching a PADI Deep and Nitrox Specialty Course. He will complete this workshop on the 29th of December. For more information or to attend our next cross-over, sdc workshop or instructor course please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday 21st December 2009-

2009-12-21"Well as I was waiting for my taxi to take me and my travel mate Eric to the dock I ran into one of your instructors Jodie Roberts and we spoke for a few minutes about diving and just the look on how excited she was to be teaching and what was to be had by taking up diving. I have wanted to for awhile but kept putting it off for some odd reason. Well to make it short we ended up staying and taking our open water with Jodie and Big Blue. All I have to say is 5 stars to Jodie and the staff at Big Blue. Jodie made it all fun and I just wanted more! This is a world class diving resort and a first rate teacher! I will be back asap and having Jodie work for your company is a huge asset! Well done! Anthony and team America!" Good on you for writing that email & nice one Jodie! Job's a good 'un! Cheers Team America! Phark Yeah!

Great to see how quickly the numbers are mounting up on our new Facebook group "I will or am doing or have done my DMT at Big Blue Diving". Its a bit of a mouthful I know but its fairly descriptive & its proving to be quite successful. In just 24 hours we've racked up almost 100 Past present & future DMT's, which as ex DMT/ present BBKLDM (Big Blue Khao Lak Divemaster) Amanda has pointed out would be a much better name for the group but well you know I think we'll keep the name the same. It sounds kind of silly but it grows on you after a while. Just like herpes!

Breaking all kinds of records this month, Jim is off for another dive tomorrow morning at Chumphon Pinnacle! That'll make 6 dives this year alone, 4 of which have been done in the last week! But hey when the diving is this good its worth it! There are soooo many sharks cruising around the Pinnacles at the moment & the visibility is opening right up now as well. And with such a dramatic reduction in sharks all around the world these days who knows how much longer these sort of sights will be witnessed. & remember- Only softcocks eat shark fin soup! Hard cocks dive with them... at least 6 times a year!

Saturday 19th December 2009-

2009-12-19Not being the fastest kid off the blocks I have finally opened our Big Blue Diving Fanpage which according to those who are speedier out the blocks than yours truely will place us higher up in the page rankings on Google & Yahoo etc therefore generating more enquiries, more sales & a bigger & better name. Not quite sure how it works exactly but I've been told I need as many people as we can get to join us on our fanpage in order to bump us up. So to all 1529 of you who are members of this group please can you join our fanpage by copying & pasting this link  http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Big-Blue-Diving/203260648110 . I'll be your best friend! : )

In our unique way of keeping at the forefront of Scuba Diving in Koh Tao please allow me to introduce you to our new feather in our cap... Big Blue Sailing! As of last week Big Blue now has a beautiful 20 meter long Sail boat all kitted out with space for 10 divers, 2 sails & 10 beds! So after Christmas & New Year we will now be running Full Day Sailing & Diving trips around Koh Tao & overnight trips to the beautiful limestone cliffs in the Angthong Marine Park. Canada is over the moon as it now means he has a boat he can use to sail around the Marine Park in search of underwater caves. & when we're not using it for diving & sailing, we'll be combining with our friends from Fizz & use it for those ubiquitous Booze Cruises! Sailing, Diving, tanning, snorkelling, trekking, caving, boozing & sleeping. In that order! Sound like fun? You bet your ass!

Just in case you weren't aware there are Sharks all over Chumphon Pinnacle right now but please for heavens sake don't tell the Fisherman. Its an absolutely awesome sight. Diving off the north point of the Pinnacle at Chumphon you can quite literally find yourself completely ensconced with sharks. In an area no further than 20 meters circumference with yourself being at the centrepoint it's no exaggeration to say you can see 20 sharks, Bull sharks & Blacktips & grey reefs all within your field of vision. It has got to be one of the best divesites in Thailand right now! So what the bloody hell are you waiting for? Trips leave for Chumphon every morning at 7am. Sign up in the shop immediately for the dive of your life!

Thursday 17th December 2009-

2009-12-17Turtles on Turtle Island, whoever heard such a thing?! Despite the sad fact that we've had several turtles wash ashore Sairee Beach this year after choking to death on plastic bags, our Helen has now seen 2 (live!) turtles in 2 days! Happy days, indeed.

Luke and Sophie our 2 new SSI Instructors are off to a flying start, Luke has been one-on-one teaching open students who needed a little extra time and attention to complete their Open Water Course with 100% success rate. So successful in fact that his latest student has signed up for her Advanced Adventurer Course just 4 days after nervously taking her first breaths underwater, she's off to 30m to play with the Bull Sharks! Sophie is also teaching small groups of advanced students, as well as conducting Scuba Skills Updates with our fun divers. Candidates who complete their SSI Instructor Training Courses at Big Blue have ample opportunities to teach and earn back some of the course fees - so what are you waiting for?

Next SSI ITC will be held 3rd of January 2010 here at Big Blue on sunny Koh Tao, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or enquire through our website www.bigbluediving.com

Sunday 13th December 2009-

2009-12-13What a week its been! Its supposed to be quiet at this time of year but its been soo busy that we've hardly had time to even come up for air! The cheap bungalows are full all over Sairee beach & the more expensive ones are now fully booked from about the 23rd on so it seems accommodation could be a little tricky to sort out this festive Season. But if you are diving & if you book with me I'll bust my balls to find you a room & if I can't I'll give you your money back! Room booking guarantee or your money back! Got to be better than sleeping on the beach over Christmas wouldn't you say?

And despite all the billions of people rocking up on Koh Tao in recent days we still managed to squeeze in a couple of dives with a Whaleshark! There was one last week at South West & there's another one yesterday morning at Chumphon Pinnacle. How's that for an early Christmas present. We are of course hoping they'll stick around but if they don't I'll have Swapey inflate the one we have sitting in the store room just in case.

Got to hand it to one of our new members of staff Erik from Sweden, who speaks Norwegian & Danish, & Swedish & English as well of course, for his recent track record of students. He had a group of 7 Swedish ladies of which 5 went on to do their Advanced Course demanding they have the same Instructor & his recent 4 pack of Swedish beauties, (one of whom once modelled for Playboy!) on their Open Water Course all 4 of them demanded they do their Advanced Course with Erik as well. Erik, my friend. There are very many men who would kill to be in your shoes!

Tuesday 8th December 2009-

2009-12-08Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, the vis is great, the sun is out, the whalesharks come and play! At Southwest Pinnacle this morning, a load of happy fundivers were lucky to spend some time underwater with the king of the oceans. Always an amazing experience, especially when it’s the first time. Our DMts Karin and Mick could not agree more. To top that, they swam with a one meter large turtle at Shark Island on the second dive. Not bad, hey? Our other boat was at Chumphon Pinnacle this morning and the divers on board had a lovely experience with our famous group of bullsharks. Can’t really get any better than this. Christmas is coming early this year for us underwater explorers!

Our West Coast Dutchman Marcel was here for a couple of days with his lovely fiancée Kathy, to soak up the Koh Tao atmosphere, forget about the boring lifestyle in Khao Lak and of course hand out some wedding invitations. They were happy to see that we had much less Speedo bearers than what they were used to (although there seems to have been a convention of them a few days ago on the island) and did not look like they were missing McDonald’s at all. Greasy Spoon, Morava, Zanzibar… what more can you ask for?

If you haven’t booked your accommodation for the holidays, now’s the time. As we get closer to Christmas, the island is getting crowded and restaurants (Hippo!!!) and bars that were closed are reopening. More importantly, it’s that time of the year when the Scandis leave their cold and snowy lands for warmer climates where they can wear nothing but a bikini. Watch out Emily, you're going to have some serious competition in the sunbathing game!

Saturday 4th December 2009-

2009-12-04Dear Jim and the rest of the Big Blue Staff,
I would like to say that big blue was the highlight of my trip but that would, quite simply, be an enormous understatement!!! I was in Bangkok, getting ready to head to Phuket when I met a group of guys that insisted I head to Koh Toa with them instead (I didn't even know the name of the island they were taking me to until after I was on the bus). They had done some research and really wanted to do their Open Water Diving course and I thought I'd tag along. After e-mailing a few diving schools on Koh Toa, they were overly impressed with Big Blue, so that's where we headed. Upon arriving, after the taxi (which was a HUGE relief by the way), we were pleasantly greeted by Swappy. He was super helpful in getting us organized, and settled in a room AND with all the information that we needed for diving! Not only was the paperwork and finding a place to stay painless, but actually quite pleasant. I started with a DSD with Pierre, who was fantastic. Always smiling, he was patient, really nice... and saw that I LOVED diving and suggested I continue to do the OWD course, which I did. I signed up for the PADI Open Water Diving course and started, literally, an hour after my first dive! My instructor for my OWD course was Nick. I could not have asked for a better instructor! Nick truly was AMAZING! He was super friendly, knowledgeable, professional, and a lot of fun (even if I did end up owing him a beer fine!) He honestly helped make, not only my diving experience, but my entire trip. I was actually in a group with another couple from Canada but it was definitely more the husband's desire to dive, and not the wife's. As a good sport she came along and did the course and the dives but at one point (I believe after a couple dives) she worked herself up. She had got herself riled up and burst into tears and didn't want to dive anymore. Even her husband couldn't convince her not to quit. Nick, aside from being professional about it, you could tell he actually genuinely cared about this woman and her being happy and comfortable. He spoke to her for no more than two minutes, and whatever was said, worked. She came down, not only not wanting to quit, but ready to take on the world. She was no longer scared in the slightest, and so excited we had to practically hold her back from getting back in the water right then and there! I know Nick helped make this couple's trip but I was so impressed and it gave me just that much more confidence in him! While on the boat I met another instructor who was awesome (even if he is welsh) named Deano. I never ended up diving with him, but he was so friendly and helpful both on the boat and at the shop that I felt the need to mention him and send my thanks to him as well! He was always there to make me smile and have a beer with. It's partially because of him, I enjoyed Big Blue as much as I did. The staff and people are just SO friendly and welcoming! The group of people I was with, after doing our OWD course and some island hopping, left back home. I was supposed to go to Cambodia or Vietnam, but I couldn't... I HAD to get back to Koh Toa, actually Big Blue! I walked up to the shop almost 2 weeks later and was greeted with warm welcomes and smiles (and a couple hugs). The staff remembered me and made me feel more at home than ever. I did some fun diving with Andy and Swappy and they were great as well! I love how Andy is always smiling, happy to see me or not! I could go on forever (as if I haven't already) about the people from the DMT's (Karin, my buddy! You ROCK!) to the rest of the staff (even Jim) and special thanks to Nick (and Deano) and how great my experience was, but instead... I'll simply say that I will be back! Not only soon, but I actually am working towards moving there to do my DMT...soon! Big Blue has made a friend and customer for life. I will be telling everyone and anyone who'll listen to go visit you! Thank you guys soooooo much for everything! Nick you did so much for me by helping me realize my passion, desire, and potential for diving! I could not have done it without you!!! I will see you all very soon! Sorry for such a long email but it had to be said! Everyone deserves a raise, or at least a chang! Sincerely, Emily C,Vancouver, Canada.

Thursday 3rd December 2009-

2009-12-03This is sickening. Denmark is a big shame. The sea is stained in red and it’s not because of the climate effects of nature. It's because of the cruelty that the human beings (civilized humans) kill hundreds of the famous and intelligent Calderon dolphins. This happens every year in the Feroe island in Denmark . In this slaughter the main participants are young teens. WHY? To show that they are adults and mature.... BULLLLsh... In this big celebration, nothing is missing for the fun. Everyone is participating in one way or the other, killing or looking at the cruelty “supporting like a spectator” Is it necessary to mention that the dolphin calderon, like all the other species of dolphins, it’s near extinction and they get near men to play and interact, seeking PURE friendship. They don’t die instantly; they are cut 1, 2 or 3 times with thick hooks. And at that time the dolphins produce a grim extremely compatible with the cry of a new born child. But he suffers and there’s no compassion till this sweet being slowly dies in its own blood. Its enough! Defend the animals, & put a stop to this needless slaughter. Take care of the world, it is your home!

Welcome back, all but briefly DM Amanda who is back from her 2 week holiday in Dubai. Well I say 2 week holiday but its really been more like 4 or 5 weeks with a bit of time frolicking in Khao Lak. Or should I say flirting in Khao Lak! Now that the Japanese team are all over in Khao Lak for the season & not many of the team here in Koh Tao Amanda wants to go over to the west side now! I wonder why? Anything to do with the Ryo Carnival or the Yuta Saints? I think so! Genky deska!

The last Full Moon Party of the year was held last night in Koh Phangan. 10000 loud drunk dancing party goers all getting down to the jive dancing & the techno beats . & all 10000 of them on their way to Koh Tao over the next couple of days. Normally the thought of a busy spell excites me. But knowing that with the Full Moon crowd comes the demands for the world on a stick without having to pay anything for it, the quibbling about price, the requests for more of this & that, & the give me this for free or I'll go somewhere else, gives me the willies!

Tuesday 1st December 2009-

2009-12-01Well the troops are slowly returning from their adventures away. Canada and Yvonne have returned from a break up in the north of Thailand, elephant trekking, cooking courses and yoga courses, yes our tattooed ex-marine in now a non smoking, non (excessive) drinking, yogatastic super chef and Yvonne is still just German. Nice and refreshed to start in 3 new techie interns, Geordie Ash has now finished his DMT and has decided 2 tanks are better than 1. Our own Cav has returned now as a staff instructor to complete his full tech courses with the yoga guru and Mike also form the UK will be joining us for a while, welcome boys.

We ware also saying goodbye to Christos, who came to us back in April to do some diving with the tech crew and ended up working with us, sounds all to familiar of Koh Tao!! He is back of to the UK and then on to Greece for some olives and rehearse for a part in 300 part deux. SPARTA!!

Christmas is coming, Ugly has got the party started and has his antlers on, Panda and Momo are strapped the the sleigh (well it’s more like the trolley) and we are dusting off the decorations. Ho ho ho perfect time to go diving!!! Look with a smile like that who can refuse!!!

TripAdvisor-2015 - Big Blue Diving

Book Now

Big Blue Blog

Full Day Trips

Big Blue Resorts

Dive Sites

Become an AOW Diver

Nitrox Diving

Cave Diving

Latest News

Dive Courses

Liveaboards

Meet the Team

Learn to Dive

Accommodation

Contact Us

Fun Dive

Big Blue Khao Lak

Diving Internships

Koh Tao

Big Blue Freediving - Koh Tao

Go Eco

Tech Diving

Liveaboards

Instructor Training

Follow Us