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.
Its 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!
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-
... & 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 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-
Apologies 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…