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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.

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