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 2010

 aSaturday 30th January 2010-

Yvonne, Helen, Duncan & Thomas are all starting their Tech Courses today with Canada & his protege Andy Cav. For the next 3 weeks our Tech Students will be diving deeply, through caves, on wrecks, lugging heavy equipment around, not smiling in photos, wearing black, wolf whistling at pretty girls, hoicking up their genitals, parading around on the boat in their speedo's, extending the Tech Shack while revealing their workman's bums, relentlessly working out for short periods of time & urinating on each other at night. Nothing new for Helen & Yvonne then but I do hope Duncan & Thomas will be alright!

Its our monthly beach & underwater clean up today & we have at least 30 people all coming out with us this afternoon for free to pick up some rubbish & other flotsam & jetsam from Maehaad. SO far there are only 10 schools participating which puts the majority of dive shops on Koh Tao to shame! Still we're doing our thing & that's all that counts. & our Big Blue Green Queen this year is none other than everyones favourite happy person Heather Keeler who is organising todays event. Free Diving & free Beer for everyone who participates! Now if that aint a reason to pick up trash then I don't know what is!

To ensure that whale sharks are not harmed by tourism or boating activities, please follow the guidelines below to ensure good whale shark etiquette:
♦ Do not touch, ride or chase a whale shark – a 100,000 Thai Baht fine can be imposed by the KohTao fisheries department!
♦ When diving, remain off the ocean floor to avoid disturbing reef fish spawning aggregations.
♦ Remain at least 3 meters away from the whale shark at all times.
♦ Do not block the whale shark’s path.
♦ When your DM or Instructor tells you to leave the water, please pay attention and get in the boat as
quickly as possible. Please follow all instructions of the DM
♦ Relax and let the whale shark approach you. It’s only curious!
Violating these guidelines can ruin the trip for everyone. Big Blue Diving reserves the right to deny any violator further participation in any dive or snorkel trip without compensation. You have been warned!


bFriday 29th January 2010-

Whaleshark at White Rock again & again & again! In fact its getting pretty hard to see all the small fishies with the ruddy great big Whaleshark getting in the way all the time! Still I guess when the whaleshark is here it means Trevor the Titan Triggerfish & Wally the Napoleon Wrasse get a day off. We really should start charging extra for our whale shark dives. I think a beer for the manager would be a good start!

Hi Jim, Claudine and I have now left Koh Tao, just wanted to share our Big Blue experience with you. First day I dived with Emma. She was very professional, very knowledgable and we had two great dives at Chumphon Pinnacle and White Rock. On the following morning I dived with Andy. On the first dive I had some difficulties (my camera floated off and I had some trouble equalising at ~22m) but Andy was great and we continued the dive once I had equalised. Andy's considerable diving experience was also helpful as he was able to answer a number of questions about Similan liveaboards. Overall I was very impressed with the Big Blue DMs and would gladly recommend Big Blue to other divers. Claudine did her Open Water license: I know that her Instructor Roslyn is very new to Big Blue but she was fantastic. I was a little apprehensive before starting the course but her obvious experience; her commitment to diver safety and her enthusiasm for diving made the whole process a lot of fun (and I felt I was in good hands with Roslyn and Greg - trainee). I just wanted to make sure that you (and Roslyn) knew how appreciative I am. Thanks for all your help, Claudine & James.

Long term Koh Tao Dive Medic Steve Reed makes an appearance today at Big Blue by starting a DAN O2 Provider course for 5 of our promising DMT's ready and waiting for some C.P.R and some O2 handling. This course is a must for all semi serious divers & essential for those of us who work in the Dive Industry. Its not the CPR or the first aid or even the O2 handling that is so important. Its the art of being able to put on a rubber glove in an invitingly provocative manner!

cThursday 28th January 2010-

"Hi Jim, I would just like to say thank you so much for my fantastic diving holiday with you, the island is beautiful,as is the people and of course the diving. I did my open and advanced courses with Deano who is an excellent instructor and and a credit to your diving school. i am planning to do my rescue course next which i reckon i will be coming back to you to do in about september, after that i really fancy doing the divemaster course but have to look at the time factor involved as to where i do it. It maybe in Australia cos i am going that way in september so we shall see. But once again thank you and i hope to see you all again very soon. Kev" You're welcome Kev. Glad you had a good time & look forward to seeing you here for the Rescue & DM Training.

Submarine – available for immediate sale! The G-150 is a new high-tech small two-man submarine with an operational depth of 50m, designed for one pilot and one passenger. This superbly constructed submarine has all the components you would expect & the main control options are on a joystick control, positioned so that both crew members can operate the submarine. Main pressure hull constructed from carbon steel, hot zinc sprayed and finished with an epoxy paint system. The pressure vessel is torispherical in configuration, with a volume of 1500L. Comes with Air conditioning / heater / dehumidifier unit & surround sound super woofer! Submarine weight 3.6 tons. Selling Price: US$ 496,000. Think we'll get one for our Advanced Courses!

Simo, Jodie, Paul & Nick have all gone up to Bangkok for a couple of days to stretch their legs while its quietened down just before things go ballistic next week with the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party rush. Of course they claim they have some important things to take care of in the big smoke but we all know its because they are all dying to go stuff their faces with Big Macs & Whoppers & of course to see Avatar in 3D. Clever kids our Big Blue Instructors!

dWednesday 27th January 2010-

Love is most definitely in the air again! There are relationships blossoming all over the resort! Emily B, now known as Emily PP, is back with her tech hunk, Craig from Canadia. He obviously heard about her recent exploits & wanted to come back & mark his territory again! Kate won the sweepstake with the most accurate 'they'll be back together within the month' guess, but everyone knew that anyway so she only won 5bt! & our other blossoming bosom buddies who of course nobody knows about are Ron Burgundy & Veronica Corningstone! She really does love her root vegetables!

They call me the Whaleshark whisperer! I think it was only Saturday I bet you all, my Mothers Aunt we'd be diving with a Whaleshark within the week! & lo & behold having spent the first dive swimming among the hordes of sharks we have at Chumphon Pinnacle right now we then spent the rest of the morning diving with a two meter long Whaleshark! Whisper whisper whisper whaleshark whisper whisper! He says he'll be here tomorrow too!

Its hair & make up time this afternoon with this year's 2010 Staff photo. I've asked the entire dive team to turn up sporting this years latest Big Blue Fashion accessory the 2010 Big Blue Divecrew T-Shirt. I'm not sure why. Surely these photos would be a lot more marketable if I asked the ladies to turn up in their Bikinis & the Tech team to turn up in their Speedos! The rest of us could have brought our Mankini's! Come on lads don't pretend like you haven't got your own pair! Everybody say Chesticles!


e
Sunday 24th January 2010-

Gradually turning this place into a No Smoking dive center. We have turned another! Join the No Smoking Gang, cos we're really cool! Over recent years this once untrendy group is now flourishing with members. So many in fact that the smokers are now way outnumbered by the non smokers. Rick, Sonia, Barry, Jim, Jodie, Canada, Yvonne, Simon, Soren have all given up the evil Nicotine. Dean, Emily, Pierre, Kelli, Dennis, Andy Hat, Emma & Erik never started. Leaving the malodorous Duncan, Paul, Colin, Helen & Beccy festering in their own toxic cloud. Filthy peasants! Beer Fine!

Congratulations Swapey Potter, Thomas Weasley, & Tina Granger our newest PADI Instructors. Having another 100% pass rate our brand new Instructors are off to drink the night away down the local somewhere. Luckily Traitor boy, (almost Course Director Guillaume Froisgras), & his trusty steed, (new Master Instructor Deano Valleyo) were there guiding them through it all over the last few days & will be there on hand to show them how its done tonight as well. Congratulations Swapey, Thomas & Tina. I look forward to utilising your new found skills over the next few weeks & months. : )

Nice to have Professional Photographer Martin diving with us this week. Its our annual professional Photographer week. Free diving in exchange for a multitude of photos I can use for publicity purposes. So if you are out diving with us this week & some scruffy looking Eastern European starts taking snaps of you in your swimmers don't be alarmed. It just means you might be seen in either our brochures or website or some travel & dive magazines & articles that we'll be featured in later this year. Not some gentlemans Bikini Magazine or Swedish FHM... well not unless you want to., after all we do have contacts, eh Erik! Dive with us... we'll make you famous!

f

Saturday 23rd January 2010-

Well the nails have been trimmed down to nothing & the knee trembling is increasing steadily & the nerves are shot to pieces but I'm sure they'll all pass with flying colours! Our 3 little wizards- Swapey Potter, Ron Thomas & Tina Granger have all passed their Instructor Wizard Development Course & are as we speak sitting their Instructor exams right now. I don't know why our Big Blue Divemasters get so worried during the IE. Its Easy guys! I reckon most of you can do it with your eyes closed, your hands tied behind your back, & sitting on a broomstick... hovering!

Our Big Blue reporter out in the Field Mr Barry Covill found this little snippet of interesting information. Fifty Years ago today on 23 January, 1960, the bathyscaphe Trieste propelled Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh to the bottom of Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, which at more than 10,900m (35,800ft) down is the deepest spot in the ocean. They were the first - and even now, the only - humans to have experienced these depths. With the vessel creaking and groaning under an immense 1,100 bars of pressure - the equivalent of having several dozen jumbo jets piled on top of you, the explorers stayed at the bottom for 20 minutes before their windows started cracking & they began their risky ascent back to the surface. Crazy Mother Fathers! Sounds like the sort of thing Big Blue Tech might start attempting! Happy Anniversary Jacques & Don & great fieldwork Barry!

Another very successful mornings double dive at Chumphon Pinnacle! Always a popular trip with our divers especially with Chumphon being as impressive as it is right now with 20+ meter visiibility, & the enormous amount & variety of sharks that we have there. There's Bull Sharks, Black tips Grey Reefs there's more than likely a couple of white tips though they are a little more sensitive to the divers bubbles & I bet my mothers Aunt there'll be a whaleshark spotted there within the next week. So if you want to experience our Big Blue Shark Safari & come dive the whaleshark with us then you better step in line! Next Shark Safari double dive at Chumphon Pinnacle leaves this Monday afternoon. Get your tickets here!

 
g

Thursday 21st January 2010-

Sorry for not having found the time to fill you in on all the latest shannigans that have been happening here over the last few days. I took a day off which turned into a day & a half & then the next day went down with Man flu & we all know how serious that can be! But I'm back & its time to fill you in on whats been happening for the last few days. Barry left back for Khao Lak. Dan & Kymmie left to go on a Liveaboard in Khao Lak. Soren is back from Khao Lak. Canada & co spent their time in Khao Lak in their skimpies. Sonia is in Samui. Emma is away & everyone is enormously hung over after last nights snorkel test! So all pretty much the same as normal! Anyone fancy a pint?

Haven't had the best of weather lately here in this part of Asia in whats known as the Golden Triangle. Its not exactly been pissing down, well not on this side anyway, but apparently its been really pissing down on Koh Pee Pee. In the middle of the night as well! Imagine that! Wake up in the middle of the night to find out its pissing down on you! Most unpleasant! I wouldn't be able to sleep a wink if it was showering down on me! And if it was Golden Showering down on me I'd probably have to go sleep in the bathroom! & if you woke up in the middle of the night & found the extremely inebbriated Andy Cav pissing down on you mistaking you for the toilet You'd probably leave immediately! Never a dull moment at Big Blue Tech, eh Emily!

And speaking of big penises...Barnacles have the longest penis in relation to body size of any animal: the organ is ten times its height! As adults barnacles cement themselves to rocks & are unable to move. The barnacle unfurls its long penis which roves around to find a partner, leading to jousting matches between neighbouring male barnacles! Learn something new everyday!

Saturday 16th January 2010-
h
FYI- heads up all you party people the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party is on again at the end of this month & if you are thinking of going & coming to Koh Tao after then you absolutely MUST book ahead for your accommodation. The island is already busy & its just going to get busier especially either side of Full Moon. Last month we had people sleeping in the bars restaurants & classrooms because there was no accommodation left anywhere on Koh Tao & the end of this month will be very similar so be smart & book your accommodation & diving with us now! & don't come crying to me if you get here & there's nothing available! You have been warned!

It looks like Canada & the boys & Emily have been scaring the Bejeezus out of the divers on the Pawara Liveaboard this week as they cruise the Similans & Surin Islands by parading around the place in nothing but their speedos! I don't care what country you are from. Its not a laughing matter! Speedos are a criminal offence & wearers should be prosecuted! On the other hand if Emily is wandering around in nothing but speedos we'll let her off the hook! But the rest of you boys... you should be ashamed, scaring everyone like that! Its just not cricket!

If you have seen the movie The Cove then you are aware of the Dolphin drive hunts that take place in Taiji every year with over 2000 dolphins from a number of species either being sold to the aquarium industry or slaughtered in an inhumane practice that leaves The Cove's waters red with blood. The Taiji Dolphin Action Group has been formed to help support those people who are on the very frontlines, visiting Taiji, talking with locals and documenting the slaughter. The Groups goals are amongst other things, to educate those who want to know more about what happens there especially the cruelty and the dangers of Mercury poisoning risked by consuming dolphin meat, empowering the Taiji Visit Program i.e helping anyone observe and protest in Taiji, Japan. Facilitate ideas that will lead to and end of the killings not only in Taiji but in all of Japan - Taiji is just the tip of the iceberg.

Friday 15th January 2010-i

Despite the fact he's now left us to work at another big Dive Center here in Koh Tao we just can't help bringing him up here on our blog. A bit like bile! Congratulations Guillaume whose application for Course Director has finally been accepted by PADI! Not just G but Jeff from Choppers has also been accepted. Congratulations the pair of you! & what better way to celebrate the birth of these CD twins than going down to Choppers Bar to give the boys a good old fashioned Course Director snorkel Test! Caught the boys totally off guard! & then followed by some nice French Champagne... what fun! Congratulations gents on your promotions! God save the rest of us!

"Hello Jim, This is just a short email to thank the team at Big Blue and especially Alan Swap for taking care of us and making our stay in Koh Tao very enjoyable. It was really nice being back at where we first learnt to dive in 2004. Thanks again and we hope to see you at some point in the near future. Cheers,Daren and Gemma".
You are welcome guys. Glad you had such a good time again & hope to see you back here before another 5 years is up!

Meanwhile we have 5 of our students training to be Instructors right now. Ole & Mike are ding their SSI Crossovers with SSImon right now & Swapey,Tina & Thomas are demonstrating why doing their DM course with us at Big Blue is holding them in good stead with their PADI Instructor Development Course. Soon they'll all be little baby Instructors banging on the door looking for work. Shouldn't be too much of a problem either. The island is still busy & we are still needing more Instructors. So if there's so much work going around right now, why doesn't everyone become an Instructor?

Wednesday 13th January 2010-
j
Wasn't expecting to wake up to a Twister this morning but lo & behold... a Twister! It's an awesome sight & looks all the more cooler when its out to sea as the surface of the water gets all stirred up & then gets sucked up into the vortex, while everything outside of the vortex remains calm! Thank you Mother nature. A splendid thing to witness just before you go out for your mornings diving!

So the Team descriptions have been updated on our website if you care to have a look. Not sure if everyone is going to flattered with their personality description or their photo, but its not been made to flatter its been written so that our prospective customers can check out who they might be diving with while they stay with us here. Crikey. Hope I don't put anyone off!

Got to hand it to Yvonne & Erik who have both managed to get all their students so far this year to go on from their Open Water & continue their diving experience by completing the Advanced Course as aswell! & what a great thing to do especially with all these sharks around for the deep dive & the hunting barracuda's on the night dives! With a few swim thru's to start the course off to fine tune their students buoyancy control its not really a surprise to see so many of our newbie divers continue their education its just great to see such a high amount from 1 Instructor, let alone 2! Excellent work guys! You deserve a pay rise! You won't get one but you deserve it!

Tuesday 12th January 2010-k

With it being so incredibly busy here in Koh Tao in recent days & because so many of our full timers are indisposed with other diving activities I just haven't had a moment to get on the computer & fill you in on the news here at Big Blue. Well I guess first things first! Happy Birthday Michael. The proud owner of Big Blue Diving turns 21 today! Right Michael! That would make you about 6 when you established this place then! I never was very good at Maths! Happy Birthday Michael & look forward to the round of Birthday drinks you are going to buy us all tonight!

Congratulations Canada & the team at Big Blue Tech! It appears we have won the award from TDI (Tech Diving International) & SDI (Scuba Diving International) for the most amount of certifications in 2009! Not really surprising bearing in mind the sort of adventures you get upto as a student diver with Big Blue Tech. Having just spent 4 days diving the caves & the sunken village in Khao Sok, & now the new wreck in Khao Lak & then the Big Blue Liveaboard in the Similans & Surin Islands & then the islands off Krabi & Phuket & then back here to find the caves in the Angthong Marine Park I think they deserve the award! Should have won it for most originality at least! Can you name one other dive shop that does what we do at Big Blue Tech? No I didn't think so! Guess that's why we've certified more SDI & TDI certs than anyone else! Big smile! Big pat on the back! Big Canadian!

Want to thank Mr Hans Ulrich, PADI Regional Manager, & Mr Mark Spiers, PADI's Regional Managers' Manager for taking the time to come in & meet with all our Big Blue Instructors to answer a few of questions & to give us a heads up on the way things will be changing for the better this coming year! Unfortunately the boys forgot the number 1 rule in Scuba Diving- Buy your Instructors beer- but I guess we can't hold that against them! Thanks Hans & Mark & look forward to the enormous amount of free PADI merchandise you promised us!

Thursday 7th January 2010-
l
Un-fluffing-believeable! As if killing hundreds of Whales each year for scientific reasons isn't bad enough now the Cetacious mass murders are trying to drown our friends at Sea Shepherd by ramming their boat & leaving the crew onboard to die in the freezing cold arctic waters. Why does the world not do something about it? How can we let these butchers get away with what they do. They slaughter the whales, they murder the dolphins what the flippin crikey is going on! Stop this insane slaughter & tell these people that they're selfish slaughter is just not acceptable in this day & age, & if you haven't yet then do so now! Support Sea Shepherd & stop the whale killing at http://www.seashepherd.org/support-us/ & take action & stop the insane slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan at http://www.takepart.com/thecove.

Welcome back Dan & Kymmie! On their way to the Land Down Under our sweet little lovebirds just couldn't avoid popping in to say hello & stay for a couple of weeks of fun, & sun. & judging by the size & colour of them... not a bad idea! Our poor little pie eaters have been slaving away in deepest darkest Kent collecting their shekels for their mammoth trip around Australia for 3 months before returning home again for a wedding & then finally back again to Koh Tao again to live out the rest of their days as Jims Bitches! Welcome back guys & cheers for the hangover!

Good luck Swappey, Tina & Thomas- 3 of our Big Blue DM's all studying hard to become PADI Scuba Instructors. This week they start their gruelling 3 week training with new Bans (almost) Course Director Guillaume Baguette Boy Froigras & his trusty sidekick Orangatan Taff (TM) Deano! 3 weeks of lectures, exams, presentations, demonstrations, 3 course dinners & excessive amounts of drinking. Sounds like 39000 Bt well spent if you ask me; except for the traitorous Frenchman ; ) Good luck guys! You'll breeze this!

Tuesday 5th January 2010-m

Following in the footsteps of our Neighbours & Home & Away celebrities from last year we kick start 2010 with another top celebrity this time a topless glamour model from Sweden who has graced many magazine covers including FHM & Playboy! Welcome to Big Blue Linda Djurberg! This most attractive Swedish model is right now prancing around the deck on the restaurant & the poor thing forgot to bring her bikini top with her, and to make matters worse she grazed a nail on the coral. Thankfully though DM Duncan was at hand to give her first aid so was able to get her to lie down on her back while he attended to her needs! Its all work work work for our Big Blue DM's!

Well its been crazy busy so far this year but it is finally starting to quieten down now. Our Full Mooners have partied their little speedos off & are now quite happy to be taking it easy while they learn the ins & outs of Scuba Diving. We almost ran out of Instructors, tanks, weights, regs & BCD's but luckily our DM team have managed to juggle things around & to the unsuspecting eye everything looks perfect. Especially with the well endowed Linda Djurberg sitting topless in the restaurant!

Baby whale shark! Less than 1 meter and a half long & probably not older than a month. How cute! Its made all the guys & girls go oooh! though some customers were a little confused to hear after the dive that that was the biggest species of fish in the sea & can grow upto 20 meters! One chap thought it was a large barracuda! Bless! Now... lets get back to the lady in the restaurant!

Sunday 3rd January 2010-n

Wishing you all a very happy though slightly belated New Year! Its just got so busy lately that i haven't had time to write! (sounds like an email to my mum). But due to the Full MOOn Party in Koh Phangan falling on the 31st December 2009 and with over 20000 people all in Koh Phangan you can imagine how busy Koh Tao is right now. Busier than a builder in Pakistan!

Hi Jim, Just a quick note to say thank you for another wonderful experience in Koh Tao. The whole fiasco was a headache I'm sure but you guys were so accomodating (much more than some other places would be I'm sure). Also please give kudos to the gentleman who was working the dive shop in the morning on New Years Day (didn't get his name but he had glasses). He was incredibly nice and helped to get everything sorted out correctly. Big Blue is quickly becoming my favorite place in Thailand (and perhaps my favorite place anywhere!) I'll be back soon. Cheers
J Zeiler.
-Thanks Jay Z. Lovely to meet you & look forward to seeing you back here on your next holiday!

Todays the day Canada & his team are venturing off on their Countrywide Thailand Dive Trip.Today they leave for the Khao Sok Area, to find some more caves somewhere within 5 big lakes there in the National Park. Then they are off to Khao Lak to dive the coastal wrecks there, a new one just near Taplamu pier Then they are off on our Khao Lak Liveaboard to the Similans & Surin Islands & Richeleieu Rock in search of a 10,000 dollar ring dropped there. Thenthey are off to Sra Keow Cave – 200m deep pool near Phuket in the middle of the jungle, then the Trang area in Song Hong (really in the middle of the jungle) for some more caves and even a day trip in Krabi & then back to Koh Tao & head straight off to the ANg Thong Marine PArk on our Big Blue Sailboat for a spot of cave hunting! Not a bad way to start the New Year! Have a good trip guys & we'll see you in 3 weeks!

February 2010


Sunday 28th February 2010-


a"F.A.O Inst Paul.
I know i said i would never dive again but after you got me through my open water my fear of the sea is now officially cured. After we left Koh Toa I became a prolific snorkeler and yesterday managed to do 3 dives in Borneo without any tears and I actually relaxed and managed to enjoy it. You'll never belie...ve it but I was actually wanting to go deeper and stay down longer! So cheers Paul I couldn't of done it without you and maybe I'll be back at big blue to conquer my nemesis, Chumpon pinnacle. Until then be lucky and thanks a million your a legend!
Suzanne Parker"

"Hi BB,
Just an e-mail to show my appriciation to you guys. I had a great time doing my open water and advanced open water course with you guys. Also I want to give a big compliment to our instructor, which was Andrew Evans.. it was a great experience learning diving from him and seeing how enthausiastic he becomes during the teaching of other and how much patience he has with everyone. Thank you big blue and hope to see you again :-) ! Regards,
BartVan Den Boomen"

" Hey there,
I have been meaning to get in touch for awhile to say cheers for the paradise that was our holiday to Thailand last November, koh Tao was defiantly the most amazing laid back place I have ever been too. Big thanks to Kim and Nick who some how got us through our open water, few close calls underwater. Again cheers for the great times and the everlasting memories (that tattoo of a shark isn’t fading fast) any hope to get back out there as diving in the freezing North sea off Aberdeen isn’t too inviting – plus we have to show you all how to drink!!!!!!!!!!! Missing the changovers. Cheers,
Iain McAllister"

Thanks Guys! Means alot to get your emails & glad you all enjoyed your time so much with us in Koh Tao.

 

 
bSaturday 27th February 2010-

Hats off to our team of Techies at our Big Blue Tech Diving department who this morning successfully managed to locate the missing nightboat that sank around Koh Tao about 6-8 months ago. That's quite a feat & we'll be arsed if we're giving the coordinates away to the other dive shops if they want to dive it! Sorry guys but its a dog eat dog world & we're going to be keeping this little Pedigree Chum very tight lipped!

"Hi Big Blue Divers !! I really feel the need to give my compliments to Andy (Andrew) again. I just came back from Koh Tao after finishing my courses with you. Before i started I didn't expect at all that i will get confident in the water. I dived once before, years ago, and that wasn't the best experience. So i was a bit afraid but only because of Andy i did it :-D I am soooo happy. His enthusiasm is unforgettable !! and his patience..i can learn from him, amazing. I had no doubts to do the advanced course because i could join his group again, yes. If i come back. I come you to guys, definitely. Thanks to Andy ! Cheers, Vivian Bosters,The Netherlands"

Our Green Queen, Heather & her team of Green cleaners are organising another Koh Tao reef & beach clean up with another 40 odd volunteers all ready to come & join the party in an effort to rid the island of all the crap that's been collecting here since the last time we did an organised beach & reef clean up. If everyone would just stop throwing their crap in the sea & on the beaches we could find a lot more productive things to do but ho hum... I guess we're at least a generation or 2 away from that goal! Thanks Heather & thanks volunteers! There'll be a free beer for you at the bar when you get back!

cThursday 25th February 2010-

Project AWARE Foundation honors dive operators around the world who display commitment and excellence in their efforts to protect underwater environments within business operations and their community. “The Environmental Achievement Award is about rewarding vision, excellence and pursuit of conservation. More importantly, this award ensures the enjoyment of underwater environments for future generations,” said Henrik Nimb, Project AWARE Foundation Director, Asia Pacific.

The following Asia Pacific Environmental Achievement Award 2009 winners operate in an environmentally responsible manner and demonstrate an outstanding commitment to conserving underwater environments through education, advocacy and action.
1. B&J Diving Centre – ABC, Malaysia
2. B&J Diving Centre – Salang, Malaysia
3. Big Blue Diving Resort, Thailand
4. Blue Season Bali, Indonesia
5. Crystal Dive Resort, Thailand
6. Deep Sea Divers Den, Australia
7. Dive Tropex Tokoriki, Fiji
8. Dive! Tutukaka, New Zealand
9. Eco Scuba, Korea
10. Gangga Divers, Indonesia
11. Kon-Tiki Krabi, Thailand
12. Malapascua Exotic Dive Resort, Philippines
13. Matava, Fiji Islands
14. NZ Sea Adventures, New Zealand
15. Ocean Elements, Malaysia
16. Plunge Diving, Australia
17. Scuba Cat Diving, Thailand
18. Sea Hounds, Singapore
19. Sea World Dive Center, Philippines
20. Subsurface Fiji, Fiji Islands
21. Thresher Shark Divers, Philippines
22. United Divers, Australia

The number of amazing initiatives and actions implemented by the Project AWARE Environmental Achievement Award Winners is inspiring. Congratulations! For information on planning your own environmental project or becoming more environmentally sustainable contact Project AWARE.

d

Wednesday 24th February 2010-

Still incredibly busy here in Koh Tao & it doesn't look like its calming down in any way either. The boats to Koh Tao are full & the rooms on the beach are all full. The buses & trains from Bangkok are full even the planes from Bangkok to Samui are full 3 days prior to departure. In fact the island is getting so busy right now especially here in Sairee that I wouldn't be surprised if we started to tip up!

"Thank you Big Blue for an amazing time at Koh Tao. Friendly staff, atmosphere and professionalism made my holiday and diving awesome. Special thanks to Andy and Jodie who trained us into becoming confident and safe divers. You’re simply the best!! - and I can’t wait to return to this paradise island. Cya. Kind Regards. Karstein Jenssen, Tromsø - Norway" Cheers Karstein & thank you for taking the time to write in & give us your views on your time spent with us. Even if you did have to exaggerate the truth about Andy & Jodie!

Australia has set a deadline for Japan to stop whaling in the Southern Ocean by November this year, or face international legal action. Despite a 1986 international moratorium on commercial whaling, Japan kills hundreds of whales each year, ostensibly for scientific research. Australia and New Zealand have consistently opposed Japan's killing of hundreds of whales each year via a loophole in an international moratorium which allows "lethal research". Japan's new government has maintained its support for whaling, which has deep cultural significance for the Japanese people, since coming to power in September.Anti-whaling groups have made a habit of joining the Japanese ships and trying to prevent them from catching whales. This has led to several violent confrontations, including the ramming by Sea Shepherd of the whalers butcher boats. Too right!

Monday 22nd February 2010-e

Well the island is still crazy busy so please make sure if you are coming over to do some diving or take a diving course that you please book on-line as the rooms are getting hard to find, soon we will be dusting out the tents ready for the full moon rush.

SSI is ever on the increase with two new Dive Control Specialist Trainees having their course orientation today Christian and Greg and also Jen who is our new PADI Divemaster trainee. The trainee programme is growing by the day, its creates an awesome social and working environment as they prepare to become diving professionals. Welcome to the team guys.

Its official Beccy and Erik are a facebook couple, Paul is officially going to be a facebook Daddy, Deano is a facebook orangutan taff! Anyone would think we have a slight addiction to facebook!

Rehearsals for the festival are going wild, after only 2 practices we have pretty much got the moves already. Heather our choreographer extraordinaire has been working us all hard. I think everyone in Koh Tao could hear her “ and booty bounce and booty bounce….” From the top of Pauls roof the other night.

 

Saturday 13th February 2010-f

The PADI big wigs are here on Koh Tao this week launching their new fashion accessory the PADI Bikini! & they managed to rustle up about 10 of their Bee-atches together to do some beachside bikini modelling & even persuaded our Emily to join the party. It all started very tame with the usual hand on hip poses but before too long the girls were showering each other down with frothy bubblebath & running around with no clothes on. It was every mans dream fantasy & the perfect advert for the new PADI bikini! Every Diveshop should recommend the all new see through PADI bikini! Comes with 10 wet near naked PADI Dive Instructors!

Our team of techies are still wandering around the best divespots in Thailand. They've now finished their Liveaboard trip on the MV Pawara as it cruised through the Similan & Surin Islands & have checked out some of the sites in & around Ao Nang in Krabi Province & are off to the Khao Sok National Park to do a few more caves & really explore the depths of some of these fresh water lakes. After all that quality diving I reckon these guys should be just about able to dive Japanese Gardens or Mango Bay on just 1 tank of air when they get back!

Japanese officials have reacted angrily to an attack on one of its whaling ships by Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists in the Antarctic. The group threw butyric acid - made from rancid butter - at the ship. Japan has six whaling vessels in the Antarctic, which is allowed under the rules of international whaling. Whalers and activists regularly clash during the whale-hunting season. The latest clash reportedly lasted for several hours and involved two Sea Shepherd vessels and four whaling ships. In a statement on its website, Sea Shepherd said it had fired warning flares when three of the whalers attempted to destroy one of its helicopters with a water cannon. The group said it then launched a small boat from its ship, the Steve Irwin, and "annoyed the harpoon vessels with rotten butter bomb attacks". It said the substance, which it has used on previous occasions, was unpleasant but harmless. Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson said the group had prevented any whaling from taking place for the past week. "Our goal now is to make it two weeks and then three weeks. We will not tolerate the death of a single whale," he said. Right on!

gThursday 11th February 2010

"Hi everyone at Big Blue! Thank you for making our stay at Koh Tao so absolutely fantastic! A special thanks to Erik and Søren for teaching us how to dive and to Andy, Steven and Aila for showing us around afterwards. Big Blue really is an amazing place with nice people, nice food, nice diving, nice everything. Apparently even the bottle coolers are nice and very popular among the monkeys in Prachuap Khiri Khan. Hope to see you all next year for our DMT's. All the best Michael and Gitte" Thanks so much for taking the time to write in. We really appreciate it & look forward to seeing you both again next year for your DM courses. PS. Bring the monkey!

After the unbelievable success of Grease last year, which was choreographed and performed by the Big Blue Crew, a few other dive shops have decided they want to give it a go. So preparations for this year’s Koh Tao Festival have begun. Our very own Green Queen Heathers’ head is about to burst with ideas for this years act. Secret meetings have been held and rehearsals are about to begin. Watch out Koh Tao this year is going to be a Thriller! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!

Absolutely disgusted to see how many people throw their cigarette butts into the sea on their way over on the ferries & catamarans to Koh Tao! In the space of a 2 hour boat journey I must have witnessed over 30 cigarettes flicked into the sea with no regard for the environment! From the uneducated locals I probably wouldn't have been so surprised but to see it from supposedly educated westerners was dispicable. Every cigarette butt thrown into the sea is enough to kill a turtle! Save our turtles put your cigarettes butts in the bins! Or even better put your cigarettes in there too!

h

Saturday 6th February 2010-

Competitive freedivers, William Winram and Pierre Frolla, deliberately set out to dispel the myths surrounding  sharks when they decided to embark on their daring underwater adventures. The pair dived without cages or any other protection devices, coming face-to-face with the sharks wearing nothing more than a wetsuit. The great white shark is known for its size, often exceeding 20ft in length. The best-selling novel Jaws and subsequent Steven Spielberg movie helped perpetrate the image of the great white as a man-eater. In reality, humans are not appropriate prey for the sharks, who feed on dolphins, porpoises, whale carcasses and seals... & pizza!

Canada fancies a Big Mac & he's taking all the tech divers with him! Our Techies are off on another trip to the Khao Sok Marine Park for some more cave diving & then following it up with another Liveaboard trip aboard the MV Pawara, probably the nicest boat operating in the Similans & Surin Islands.There is a lot of gear to take with them and because there's so many of them, Canada, Andy Cav, Helen, Yvonne, Thomas & Duncan, they are really having to streamline their equipment this time. So the boys have binned the boardies for speedos & the girls aren't packing their bikini tops. Shame they got to take a bed pan for Andy Cav tho or they could have really have reduced their weight!

URGENT: Buoyancy World will be going down on the 7th of Feb. That's right, the day we thought might never arrive finally has. This Sunday, the 7th we will be using the car ferry to place the Buoyancy World Structures down to the site just north of Twins. It doesn't leave much time for planning, but since we have already gone over this last fall it should not be too much trouble. Remember, it is not the 7th that we need lots of divers, it will be the 8th-10th that we want lots of skilled volunteers. We hope you can make it!

i

Friday 5th February 2010-

The churning rumour mill that operates with such aplomb here in Koh Tao is telling us that there were 2 Blue Whales hanging out around Koh Nang Yuan Island last month. In fact there is even Video footage of a Blue Whale out in the distance & I'm all for encouraging positive rumours so lets jump this band wagon & help spread the word! Everyone help tell everyone else! There are 2 Blue Whales at Koh Tao right now! And a whaleshark, & a school of Bullsharks... and a swordfish... and a hammerhead... a sealion...a jellied eel. These rumour mills will only go so far.

" Thank you Jim and the whole team at Big Blue for making it the best holiday ever. We couldn't have asked for anything more! Special thanks to Sonia and Andy, best instructors in the world! See you very soon!! Salome, Antoinette & Albert." Thanks guys. Glad you had such a good time & happy to hear you'll be coming back. See you all again soon!

Following the almighty success of our afternoon double dive to Chumphon Pinnacle yesterday, today we follow up with another ingenius idea right out of left field! An afternoon dive at Southwest Pinnacle followed by a little light relief at Shark Island. Should be awesome. No one will expect us, not even the fishes! Fundivers only no courses! Serious diving! Serious fun! Think I've heard that SSImewhere before!

j

Thursday 4th February 2010-

Rumour has it the BBC Wildlife Documentary team are on their way to Koh Tao to film the Bull sharks at Chumpon Pinnacle. Apparently Chumphon Pinnacle is the only known divesite in the world where divers can swim amid the sharks without getting attacked & eaten! Sounds a little scarey to be honest so in true Big Blue style we've decided to launch a sweepstake to see who will be the first one in the team to get nibbled! My money is on Big Paul! On a Bullsharks menu I'm sure the succulent looking Paul would come just below a tenderloin New Zealand Steak but above an English Dime Bar! Crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. A little bit like an armadillo!

France has added its voice to calls for a ban on the global trade in bluefin tuna, the numbers of which have dwindled through overfishing. France wants a ban after an 18-month delay to allow scientists time to study the data on tuna stocks. The bluefin tuna trade might be curbed at world conservation talks in March. France is among the Mediterranean countries that fish bluefin tuna for export to Japan, the main market. France's tiny neighbour Monaco is leading the push to get bluefin tuna added to the list compiled by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites). Italy has also backed the call. "There is still powerful international lobbying from a big country, which has allies" - a veiled reference to Japan, which takes about 80% of the bluefin tuna catch from the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Conservationists say bluefin numbers have fallen to about 15% of their pre-industrial fishing levels. Stop eating Sushi! Eat Beef!

Whaleshark at White Rock yesterday! Which is exactly why we have organised 2 dives this afternoon to Chumphon Pinnacle. The Whaleshark whisperererer has been reliably informed that the Whaleshark has moved on to pastures new & will be spending a few days at its holiday retreat to the north, Chumphon Pinnacle! For a Whaleshark the thought of a belly full of krill & a nice relaxing Pilotfish wash & Remora rub down & diver Jacuzzi is just what the Fish Doctor ordered. & we'll be the only ones there to witness it! Guaranteed whaleshark dive or your money back! ( Just don't tell anyone!) Now why would you dive with anyone else?

kTuesday 2nd February 2010

Sometimes its great to get off the island and do something different, and a trip up to Bangkok to see Avatar was the perfect excuse. Did I mention we went to see Avatar....in 3D.....on the IMAX cinema screen...in 3D?! The only possible opportunity for four full time instructors to leave Koh Tao all at the same time had to around the Full Moon lull, definitely before the Full Moon rush so we absolutely made the most of it.

Step 1 - Stay somewhere other than Khao San Road
I've nothing against Khao San, its been the ruin of many a poor man, and Lord, occasionally I've been one. This time, baby, we wanted to be bulletproof so we stayed in the 'grown-up' part of BKK instead, which is Suk 11, apparently. Top Tip: Take your passport even if you're not leaving the country - Damn you Officious Hostel Woman! Bangkok's second 'Coolest Bar' Cheap Charlie's is right on the corner, just down the road from The Pickled Liver Real British Pub. First night - got drunk, pretended to punch each other.

Step 2 - Eat no Thai food at all
Off Siam/MBK for shopping and eating. Starbucks in the morning, then MacDonalds an hour later, followed by Siam Paragon Food Court and Vietnamese Pho, followed by MacDonalds just 'cos it was there, followed by... You get the idea. Its amazing what you miss when you live most of the year on a tropical island - apparently we mostly miss junk food.

Step 3 - Watch Avatar in 3D at the IMAX
Couple of hours to kill so we went bowling (I won, easily. Nick, you suck), drank 2 Towers of Singha and watched as Big Paul walked out still wearing his bowling shoes (curious? Find out why, soon). Then, the main event. Loaded up with more beer, BBQ Doritos, sweet AND salted popcorn and whatever else we could carry we picked up our enormous 3D specs and took our seats. I'm told the movie is fantastic but by then I was fairly smashed so I really can't offer an opinion. Seemed like I had fun, though.

Step 4 - Go to a proper indoor Nightclub
After being refused entry for wearing shorts, going all the way back to the hotel to change into jeans and trainers, I finally persuaded the doormen to accept the 900 baht! cover charge and let me in to 'Bangkok's coolest club' - Q bar. (Big Paul was fine, he was wearing stolen bowling shoes!). In our defense, Hed Kandi were playing live, so how bad could it be? Well, if watching middle aged men dance like your dad at a wedding in casual jeans and business shirts is 'cool' then I need to leave Koh Tao more. They did seem to be doing rather well with the young ladies however, can't think why. I was ALMOST missing Lotus Bar. Much piss taking ensued, Jodie got drunk, again. I was the epitome of sobriety.

Step 5 - Do something completely different
Off to Siam Park City then. 900 baht gives you unlimited access to the world's second largest rollercoaster, the world's biggest wave pool, a park the size of three Koh Tao's filled with amazing rides, an entire water park and.... NO QUEUES! After a few hours of riding rollercoasters again and again (no queues!) we hired speedos and a fifties women's bathing cossie for Jodes and ran to play on the water slides - brilliant.

Step 6 - Buy an appropriate souvenir
What says 'We had a great time while you were all working' better than a laser engraved block of plastic with our four grinning mugs captured inside it in glorious 3D. Best 1000 baht we ever spent in MBK...

There was more, obviously, so much more, but as the old saying goes... What happens in BangkoK (and can possibly get you sacked, arrested or mercilessly mocked by your friends), stays in Bangkok.

March 2010

Saturday 27th March 2010-a

A 6 meter long Whale shark has been mutilated in the Philippines by having its fins cut off. The shark had been de-finned and was fighting for its life, and was found floating belly-up amidst the rough waters of Bahay Kambing. Its twin pairs of dorsal and pectoral fins had been sliced off. Knife-marks were evident all over its tail but, perhaps mercifully, it proved too thick to cut through.The shark was towed to nearby Caban cove, whose waters were more placid. Together with a fisheries patrol unit, volunteers splinted the shark by flanking it with bamboo poles and installing a net underneath to minimize further injuries. Sadly but unsurprisingly, the great sharks wounds proved too great and the shark, died the next day. & why was this creature butchered so? All because the Chinese like to drink soup!??? Its completely insane! Do everything you can to stop the sale of Shark Fin Soup! Due to the failure at CITES we can't rely on the politicians to do anything these days. We're on our own folks!

Not that I'm moaning about it or anything but what the hell happened with the weather. This morning we awoke to the heaviest downpour since the last heavy downpour which was about December 2008! It wasn't predicted on the weather forecast & it took most of us ages to find our monsoon ponchos. It absolutely bucketed down. Great for the island, the plants, the dried up wells... but catastrophic for the motorbikes, those who just hung their laundry out to dry, & those who left their bags outside on the boats over. Welcome to the tropics!

Our Dive site of the Week this week is... Southwest Pinnacle! A deep divesite reaching 30 meters at its deepest & comes up to about 6 meters below the surface. This collection of awe inspiring rock patterns is home to an abundance of scorpionfish, Koh Tao's biggest & ugliest Mallabar Grouper, a mammoth school of fusilliers, blue spotted sting rays, cleaner shrimp, white eyed moray eels, trevelly, angel fish, bannerfish & is also a popular hangout with our visiting Whale sharks. & guess where we are going tomorrow? Southwest & Koh Tao's second best Dive site of the week... Shark Island!

Friday 26th March 2010-
b
Big Blue Tech welcomes Ben Reymenants , an instructor trainer with TDI (Technical Diving International) and SSI TXR (Scuba Schools International Technical Extended Range), to the team as our in house instructor trainer for instructor level technical programs. Ben has a long history in technical diving along with holding the deepest dive at one point with a dive to 202.5m in the Blue Hole in Dahab, which at that time was a world record. Ben is also a training director with TDI and contributes to course development and has contributing author signature on most of the TDI manuals we see today. He’s best known for being the dive medic and chamber operator in Phuket, if you were in such an unfortunate situation to meet him you will find him to be professional, respectful and a great guy to have a beer with. Most recently Ben was in the media or reaching a depth of 240m inside Sra Keow Cave in Krabi, Thailand, making it one of the deepest cave dives in history. With those achievements Ben is also in the final stages of introducing technical diving to the Maldives. While Ben’s activities keep him traveling around the world he is based in Thailand and we’re happy to have a diver and instructor of his caliber join our already stellar team. Big Blue Tech will be releasing instructor level programs as of next month.

Some of the gang are off to Buoyancy World tomorrow to finish off our lizard & put his head back on properly. We've rustled up a handful of volunteers, a couple of delegators, a techie or 2, a photographer & a vidiot & between the lot of them we should be able to finally finish the job we started almost a year ago. Well we'll see. Its been such a long time since we were there we've kind of forgotten what it looks like. But once its finished we're going to have a brand new divesite to teach buoyancy skills at. That'll do Canada a world of good!

 So we are bracing ourselves for the barrage of party people who will be at the Full Moon Party at the end of this month. Coincidentally there will be 10 of our full time team away at the same time to attend the wedding of Marcel & Kathi in Khao Lak next Tuesday. Well they say they'll be at the wedding but you never know they might be joining the hoardes in Koh Phangan, with their face paint, eccentricity tablets & whistles revelling it up on the ones & twos! Only kidding Marcel. We'll all be there , licking our lips & giving hand gestures."Big fish, Little fish, Cardboard box!

Wednesday 24th March 2010-
c
Its got to be one of the saddest days in the history of mankind & ultimately seals our doom.Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES, has failed us. Not only have they sealed the extinction of the Blue Fin Tuna last week they have also now sealed the fate of the Hammerhead shark, & the oceanic white tip shark as well by not marking them as protected species. So thats it folks. Only going to be a matter of a few years at the most where our oceans will still have these creatures who have ruled the seas since prehistoric times. We're all so farked! Sniffle.

Very excited to have recently employed a fantastic edition to the team our very own Jennifer Mathews who is joining our other Green Queen Heather to rid the island of rubbish & to do everything in our power to save the world of rubbish & dicks like those at CITES! Jenny who is a Marine Biologist & keen conservationist having done what she is about to do here already in Peru. Jenny is going to be launching loads of new Eco projects, coral reef surveys, & land conservation efforts & loads of training & eco awareness for everyone who dives here. Watch this space people. This time next year we'll be called Big Green Diving! Welcome Jenny. Sooooo happy to see you.

Its the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan coming up very soon & already this island is filling up faster than a bath with a fat man in it! Which means next week its going to be filling up faster than a bath with 2 fat men! Not a pretty picture. Nor are most of the party people the morning after the Full Moon party come to that! Book your accommodation & diving now before the 2 fat men get here!

Tuesday 23rd March 2010-d

It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark, Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart, You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it, You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes...You're paralyzed, Cause this is thriller, thriller night! Yeah Baby what an awesome night. The zombies were fantastic. Everyone was in time except for one exceptionally drunk Welsh zombie & the crowd went absolutely wild! Fun-Bloody- tastic! Well done Heather. That's really gonna take some beating for next year. Better start practising now! "Heather!"

SSImon has started another SSI ITC this week with 4 eager to become an SSI Instructor Candidates including our very own DM Duncan & 2 SSIStaff Instructors as well. So this week the guys have been mostly learning how to teach & demonstrate skills in confined water & next week they will be doing most of the skills needed in the Open Water & surface skills & lectures. Its masSSIvely ecSSIting, SSImple & profeSSIonal!

We've scheduled another Full Day Trip to Sail Rock tomorrow for all those who want to dive the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand as described by the Thailand Dive Guru Mr John Williams form Siam Dive n Sail, & author of many books on diving in Thailand including the Lonely Planet Guide to snorkelling & Diving in Thailand. A Rock that sits totally isolated somewhere between Koh Tao & Koh Phangan with its maximum depth at 40 Meters & rising 15 meters above the surface. A beautiful site. A fantastic Day out. & the best Massamun Curry Chicken in Thailand!


eSunday 21st March 2010-

Ja! You betcher ass! Being a Tech Instructor isn't just a guy thing! Congratulations to Yvonne & Helen on becoming Big Blue's first all womens female ladies Tech Instructors! & not only that this makes both of them the only Women girl ladies TXR Tech Instructors in South East Asia. In addition Yvonne is officially the only German Damen madchen womanly lady bird German speaking Instructor in Thailand! & Helen the only female bird lady TXR Deco Procedures & Extended Range Tech Instructor in South East Asia! You go go girls! Now go out there & be a man!

The nerves are all frayed for tonights Big blue zombies! Last year it was Grease! This year its Thriller. Heather has rustled up 20 of our most dead looking Instructors, Divemasters & DMT's to perform live on stage at this years Koh Tao Festival. Last night 2 other shops performed their rendition of the Timewarp & a beach medley consisting of California girls, Baywatch, Under the sea & Itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini! Bikinis off to both shops for their outstanding efforts. But tonight is the main attraction. Not even the inconveniently timed Liverpool V's Man Utd clash will stop people coming to this tonight! (We hope!)

Staff wanted! Big Blue diving is looking for a wonderfully friendly charming & efficient Shop girl or boy to work alongside our existing wonderfully friendly charming & efficient Shop girl & Shop Swop. Candidate must be able to speak English, be computer literate, be wonderful, friendly, charming & efficient. Ability to speak Thai an advantage. Hooters also an advantage but not necessarily essential for this job!

Friday 19th March 2010-f

Dear people of Norway, Japan, & China. Please stop butchering, killing & slaughtering our fish, our sharks, our whales & our dolphins! Its not big & its not clever! It is destructive & it is bringing many of these creatures to the edge of extinction. This is not a personal dig at any one of you people from these nations as I know there are many of you from each country who are against what their governments are doing but please don't stand there silent. Voice your opinions! Demonstrate against the policies of your governments & stop the killing before there is nothing left. Lots of love Dan Bolton (Big Blue Diving Instructor) & Paul Watson (founder of Greenpeace & Sea Shepherd).

Can't hold it in any longer! I'm absolutely bursting at the seams! If I don't let it out I am going to explode! Its been with me for the last 3 months & I haven't been able to tell a soul so now that I can its just such a relief I can't begin to explain! People have been questioning lately as to whats been up with me & the Missus? We haven't been out, haven't been drinking, keep having to bugger off for a couple of hours every now & then & all these hospital visits! There must be something up! & there is! We're going to have a baby! :) :0) :(0)

Well its just a matter of time now till all our zombies are let out the crypt & invade the stage at this years Koh Tao Festival! Heather & the gang have done an amazing job with their Michael Jackson dance routines & the whole island is waiting in eager anticipation to see our Big Blue rendition of the classic Michael Jackson classic Thriller. We'll be live on stage tonight for the dress rehearsal & the real thing is this Sunday starting at 9pm! Be there & bring money to give to the Koh Tao Festival so we can Save Koh Tao!

Sunday 14th March 2010-g

With only 7 days till the Koh Tao Festival, the finishing touches are being made to the dance routine, costumes are being made, impromptu dancing whenever a certain song comes on in the bar like a freaky flash mob dance!! I think Heather has earned a day or 2 off, she’s been dancing her little socks off, leading rehearsals, film editing, teaching diving and organizing beach clean-ups. Thank you Heather for all your hard work, we’ll do you proud.

It looks like we will all be having Weird Beards on Wednesday again as today we welcome back Hal(lvard) who has returned from his time over the pond in France. Our multi-linguist is back with us for a few months so a few beers in the bar tonight.

Speaking of the bar! Welcome to Lou who is our not so new anymore hostess with the mostest, she used to be found at places like the Fishbowl and Vibe but now we have her here at our very own Big Blue Bar. Its great to have a character behind the bar, it makes up for all of our quiet and shy staff members!!!!

hSaturday 13th March 2010-

If you haven't seen Shark Water or the Oscar winning Documentary The Cove yet then get off your arse & go watch them & once you've done that watch the Animal Planet documentary Whale Wars & once you've seen all them keep your eyes open for the next big Documentary Blockbuster Sharkquest Arabia! Just when you thought things were getting better here comes a documentary about the illegal finning of grey reef sharks, lemon sharks, carpet sharks, scalloped hammerheads & Whalesharks! Please people stop this insane madness! www.sharkquestarabia.com this years must see & act documentary for all people who give a shit!

Just in case you were wondering... its 36 degrees today. Not even a breath of wind! The sky is a pallette of awesome blue, with odd tufts of pure white cotton wool balls. The sea is flatter than a pancake. The water temperature is a cockle warming 30 degrees & the clarity in the water is over 20 meters minimum everywhere! The marine life is as vast & multicultural as ever & the boats & the dive sites are practically empty. The sunsets are a rosey red & the beers are an icy cold... just in case you were wondering!

So the Bangkok protests between the Yellow shirts & the Red shirts has kicked off in Bangers this weekend & many countries have issued travel warnings advising travellers & tourists to avoid Bangkok & Thailand. Seems to have worked too! I actually saw tumbleweed rolling down the streets of Sairee Village last night, its that quiet here in Koh Tao. So what better time to stick 2 fingers up & go do some shopping & check out the latest 3D blockbuster at the IMAX cinema in this great country's capital city. What a bunch of overhyped codswallop!
i

Friday 12th March 2010-

12 of our Divemaster candidates completed their Deep Diver and Nitrox Diver course yesterday on our Full Day Trip to Sail Rock. The guys were exposed to 40m and the use of nitrox for the first time. This training is required for anyone wishing to join us on our wreck diving trips coming up next week. Their Instructors Andy and Thomas were in technical diving gear for safety reasons but the students, being recreational Divemaster interns, were on a single cylinder. The course was combined with several different agencies which was based on the students preference. On top of the 3 great dives it was also Martins birthday which he spent celebrating at the front of the boat from seasickness. Happy Barf-day Martin!

The Save Koh Tao Marine Conservation Branch and Sabai Jai Mini Magazine are running a photo contest on a bi-yearly basis, and all winners will be printed in “Sabaijai” upcoming edition and Koh Tao Calender 2011. Prizes will be awarded for winner of land and underwater with a selection of restaurant vouchers and bar drink voucher. Selection of winners will be done by local judging team.To enter you must pay the entry fee (100B), and supply a photo and photo information to Big Blue Diving in any readable format (jpeg, gif etc) in any resolution. Photos above 1mb will be ok. (Photography should be taken within the past 6 months in Koh Tao.) Individuals may enter as many times as they like, and the more scantily clad women the better! Good luck & Happy snapping.

"Just wanted to say a quick thanks for a brilliant time with Big Blue at Koh Tao. My Instructor was Deano & he was fantastic and if I would have had the time I would be doing my advanced open water with yourselves tomorrow. Again, thanks for a great time - already planning my next spot of diving (Red Sea probably) and if I am back in Koh Tao anytime soon I shall look you up again. Cheers, Craig Hicks."
Nice one Craig. Glad you had such a good time & look forward to seeing back on the Rock again soon.

jTuesday 9th March 2010-

If you do a google search on Diving Koh Tao, Open Water course Koh Tao, ssi shop koh tao, Advanced Course koh Tao, Divemaster Course Koh Tao, diving Thailand, best dive shop koh tao, best diveshop Thailand, fun diving koh Tao, scuba diving koh tao, diving Thailand, dive koh tao, padi dive resort koh tao, rescue diver koh tao, number 1 dive shop koh tao, tech diving koh tao, best manager koh tao, best instructors Koh Tao we come up pretty much first every time, certainly on the first page & if we didn't already then this will definitely help! ; )

‘‘The Cove,’’ a U.S. film about a controversial annual dolphin hunt at a Japanese town, won the best documentary feature at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards ceremony Sunday in Los Angeles. Directed by Louie Psihoyos, one of the world’s most prominent still photographers, the film depicts, partly through the use of hidden cameras and microphones, the capture of dolphins by local fishermen in the whaling town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture. After screenings in selected countries such as Japan, Australia and the United States, the documentary provoked criticism against the hunt, while local fishermen defended it as part of a Japanese tradition, saying the practice was not bloodthirsty as they built memorials for the dolphins. Reacting to the Academy Award, fishermen in Taiji voiced anger, saying they were misleadingly described as ‘‘Japanese mafia.’’ A senior official of the local fisheries cooperative association rejected an interview, saying, ‘‘Whatever we might say, it will just help advertise the movie.’‘ Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen said, ‘‘Dolphin hunting is not an illegal activity. It is necessary to respect each culture’s diet, based on an understanding of regional traditions.’‘

Full Day Trip to Sail Rock coming up on Thursday & we have a queue forming outside the dive shop with people waiting to sign up to dive the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. For just 3500 Bt you get to dive Sail Rock, Samran Pinnacle & Southwest Pinnacle have a cooked breakfast & the best Massaman curry Chicken on the planet all between the hours of 7 to 5! Better do some queue barging!

k

Monday 8th March 2010-

"After rocking up to Ko Tao four English sisters with four heavy backpacks wandered down the beach looking for a dive school. After a sweaty walk we stumbled upon Big Blue Diving Resort. The place had a buzz about it and we were very happy to be offered a welcome drink to quench our thirst! Jim came to meet and greet us and straight away we felt at home! There was a story behind why we wanted to learn to dive as our dad had been a diving instructor and growing up we would love to hear his diving stories. This was going to be a different experience to his stories of diving in the North Sea. Jim explained the courses and we were introduced to our PADI Open Water Dive instructor Nick. We all had the most amazing experience after completing the 3 day open water course and we had caught the diving bug so what better way to continue by completing our Advanced Open Water Course..Night dive, deep dive, sharks (well one sister saw them!) trigger fish.... Bring it on! We've been introduced to a whole new world and now our travelling will revolve around diving! We'll be back to Big Blue in the near future to do our rescue course and sure our dive master.... Thank you Big Blue and especially Nick for being a fab instructor!" Sian Maddocks, one quarter of the Maddocks clan!

So we have now revamped our 200 Bt fan rooms with a new cement walls instead of wood & have replaced each bed with a brand new metal framed bed! Its definitely about time as I think we've had these rooms since the dawn of man so we are very excited to be opening them back up for business again as of tomorrow. Just 200 Bt for an individual fan room with your own bathroom. Not bad at all. Not as good as our free accommodation we offer in our Air Con dormitories with hot water shower, but still, not bad!

Norway has dramatically increased the quota of mike whale that its whalers are allowed to catch this year. They announced their quota for 2010 would be 1286 whales- 45% more than 2009! Last year they killed 484 whales, the lowest taken in the commercial whale hunt in a decade. Conservationists say this was due to a lack of demand for whale meat & that they were surprised the quota has been increased. Such a huge quota defies logic & any pretence of claims of sound management. This is nothing more than the empty rattling of harpoons & it is clear these quotas are being set more for political show than anything else! If you are Norwegian, do something!! Stop the slaughter of whales in your country & boycott whale meat... & greedy self centred politicians!

lSaturday 6th March 2010-

The brave among us this morning all got up before the crack of dawn to do a bit of sunrise diving at Chumphon Pinnacle. Nothing like being up before the fishies! I had no idea we had so many nutters staying with us who could manage to get up that early on their holiday, but obviously we do as more than 30 people signed up to be the first people to dive Koh Tao's best divesite today. Crazy cats!

Soup is off! An advert showing real footage of a dying finned shark has been shown on Chinese TV. The ad was made by Wild Aid & Shark Savers as part of a campaign to halt the demand for shark fin soup. It shows Chinese basketball star Yao Ming in a restaurant pushing away a bowl of soup after seeing the shark die. Well played China! Now if only other countries would follow suit the world would be a far better place!

"Oh My God i had so much fun doing my Open water with you in Feb 2010 - so much so i am planning my next adventure back over your way to do my advanced :) Thank you for making my holiday so awesome - especially Deano & Sonia :) Miss you guys x- Emma Lovejoy" Thanks Emma. Look forward to having you back here for your Advanced...and Rescue... & Divemaster!?

m

Friday 5th March 2010-

Eagle Ray in Confined Water!? Imagine that! Most dive shops on this Island offer the first day of the Open Water Course in a swimming pool! Lots of phlegm, pubes, chewed off fingernails, discarded plasters & some pools on the island you even see dollops of man milk! But if you are wise & really want to get the most out of your dive course then I highly recommend doing your confined water training in the sea! Like we do! & if you keep fingers crossed you might see an Eagle Ray too. Or a Turtle. Or a Seahorse!

"Hi Jim, Thanks for all your help. I've just arrived back in England (sadly) after a fantastic holiday in Thailand and wanted to thank Big Blue for a great diving experience! My instructor, Nick, was brilliant and we had some great dives. Please pass on my thanks. Sorry not to have met you. I hope to come back some day soon!Kind regards, Belinda" Cheers for that Belinda & thanks for the email! Next time I hope to meet you too, if I can tear myself away from my computer!

Young love! Simo & his lady friend Jodie, & Erik & his lady friend Beccy, have all gone off for a busman's holiday together to the Philippines! You'd think that when you work 365 days a year diving in the ocean you might be more inclined to do something a little different. But so into their scuba diving this lot that they have all gone east for a scuba orgy! Lucky lucky bar stewards!

April 2010


Saturday 1st May 2010-
a
So some of our DMT's & past Divemasters, even some of our present DM's & a couple of our Instructors all went off for a jolly last week to Khao Lak for another trip to the Similan Islands onboard old Big Blue DMT's DM's & Instructors new Wicked Liveaboard. Poor guys had to spend so much of their time underwater with Manta Rays tho that they hardly got to see anything else. My sympathy knows no bounds you lucky lucky lucky lucky DMT's DM's & Instructors! I saw an ickle jellyfish!

Looks like it's all go for the boys at Big Blue Tech this week. Cav and Helen are taking the DMT's through their SDI Deep, Wreck and Nitrox courses, Canada is taking James and Chris through their TDI Extended Range Course, Ash having just taught the BSAC Compressor Operator Course and TDI Gas Blender course is now teaching TDI Nitrox and Ben is on his way for TDI Advanced Wreck in 2 days! No rest for the wicked!

How exciting! Over the next few days eensy weensy teeny weeny tiny little Jenny, Big Blue's very own Marine Biologist will be launching our brand new website aimed at conserving & preserving everything we can here in Koh Tao with www.bigblueconservation.com She will be offering anything & everything to do with eco studies, Marine management issues, bio waste, marine life, artificial reefs, waste management, recycling, water retention & ecological awareness. She's going to be huge! Well lets face it she couldn't be much smaller! Go eco! www.bigblueconservation.com

 

Friday 30th April 2010-b

Canada & his team at Big Blue Tech recently returned from a technical diving expedition in Singapore on the HMS Repulse which was sank during a Japanese air attack during World War2 making it a war grave and a protected site meaning penetration was not appropriate. Although penetration has happened in the past we felt being former British military members it would be best to respect the war grave. During the trip Andrew Cav noticed on the list of casualties another “Cavell” after some research he found out that his great cousin died during the fall of the Repulse making the wreck an extremely humbling dive for him personally. The wreck itself is in 55m of salt water lying almost inverted on its port side with visible torpedo damage midships and stern. The large guns can be seen lying in the sand along with ammunition thrown around the exterior. Visibility was stunning with the wreck visible from the surface of the water. Big Blue Tech... Seriously!

The end of another month & another Full Moon Party exodus from Koh Phangan. Every month Koh Tao sinks a little deeper into the sea after being inundated with 1000's of hungover fluorescent painted party people, & this month despite the commotions in Bangkok is no different. Its like a Bank holiday weekend in the real world! Public transport increases from 8 boats a day to 12 boats for the next few days, all the resorts are all booked up, especially on the beach, the bar shelves are fully stocked, & all the boys are running around wearing their pulling pants.

Most of our DMT's are being treated to the joys of Nitrogen Narcosis at 40 meters today with the Deep Diver Specialty & Nitrox Specialties combined. So this afternoon its another beautiful day at Chumphon Pinnacle for 2 dives. The boat is pretty much full, & then the Beginners boat is choc a block at Japanese Gardens & tomorrows Full Day Trip to Sail Rock was closed within half an hour of promoting it cos it filled up that quickly! & I just know its going to be in the next couple of days we're going to see a Whaleshark! There's just so much plankton in the water right now its as good as guaranteed! Spectacular memories for those who see it! Red shirt for those who don't!

Tuesday 27th April 2010-c

If three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land, then it is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time diving as taking care of the garden! Its Live & let dive not Live & let lawn!

Don't worry we'll be fine! After all this isn't the first time the shit has hit the fan. In 2001 tourism in Thailand was impacted by 9/11. In 2002 the war in Afghanistan put tourists off flying anywhere near the Middle East so our European tourist numbers declined. In 2003 it was SARS. 2004 the Bird Flu epidemic & of course 2005 was a dreadful year just after the Tsunami. 2006 we had the military coup with the ousting of the former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, followed in 2007 by all the problems with bombings in "the South". 2008 was the Yellow shirts taking over the airport & in 2009 we all felt the impact of the global financial crisis. & now 2010 a volcano in Iceland & a bunch of Red shirts in Bangkok seem to be happily destroying our chances of having a good year! But like I said...don't worry about us, we'll be fine! This isn't the first time the proverbial shit has hit the industrialized size fan!

Recent discoveries by groups who practice both yoga and scuba diving have reported similar meditational qualities between the two activities, since breathing underwater creates a weightless state and the ability to achieve inner quietude. According to LeisurePro, one of the largest sellers of scuba equipment in the world, there are six reasons why ’scuba as the new yoga’ is becoming the latest travel trend:
* The body becomes relaxed underwater in a gravity-free environment where divers become naturally buoyant, like being in outer space.
* Many athletes use underwater meditation, such as Olympic swimmers.
* Certain types of dives called "drift dives" allow divers to gently move with the current, with minimal body movement.
* As with meditation, slow breathing works best with scuba. Focusing on breathing relieves stress and promotes relaxation.
* The only noise you generally hear underwater is the sound of your breath.
* Observing the beautiful colors of fish, coral and other sea life is stimulating.
Scuba Diving! Namaste.

Sunday 25th April 2010-

If you are into sex then now is the time to come diving! Its coral spawning time here in Koh Tao & recently Eco Queen Jenny dived our house reef to witness a spot of underwater hanky panky. Corals reproduce sexually, but are at a disadvantage as they are fixed to the sea bed. So they use the rising water temperatures and the phases of the moon as a cue to synchronise their reproductive activity to maximise the chance of success. Species that have separate sexes must release eggs and sperm at similar times for them to be fertilised. Some species of coral are both male and female, and they release eggs already prepackaged in sperm. Bundles of eggs and sperm float to the surface to mix with others along the reef. Each kind of coral times its release to a certain hour on a certain night, maximising the chance of cross-fertilisation. The fertilised eggs drift away from the reef. Leaving a very excited Jenny caked in spermatozoa polyps! How sexy is that?

Don't tell anyone but... the rumour going round is that Kelli & Ash are looking to tie the knot! Today Kelli was seen searching the net for info on marriages in Thailand! & as for honeymoon destinations we all know Ash has been spreading himself all over Europe in recent days, (sorry dreadful joke), so there's obviously something on the cards! Love is in the air! First it was Jim & Andrea, shortly followed by Scobby & Jolene, then it was Marcel & Katti, soon it will be Dan & Kymmie & who knows maybe Kelli & Ash will beat Emily & Craig & Canada & Yvonne down the aisle! Watch this space! The race is on.

A foreign national walking his dogs stumbled on a decidedly strange looking body that appeared to have been washed ashore in Pattaya. It is estimated to have been out of the water for approximately 8 hours. The creature is described as being approximately 2.3 metres long with the lower half resembling that of a large marine mammal and the top taking the form of some sort of land creature with arms and webbed fingers. The whole of the creature is covered in scales, which have started to flake off due to the length of time out of the sea. The strange creature has been taken under naval escort to the marine laboratory for forensic examination. Maybe its that bloke who fell asleep in the Poonama Canal the other day!

Wednesday 21st April 2010-
e
So recently we had a rather intoxicated member of the public, nothing to do with Big Blue I might add, who woke up one morning lounging around the very picturesque part of town we like to call the Poonama Canal. Unfortunatley for him he was still there at 7 in the morning when we all go off for our morning dives, & we managed to take a snap of him with his feet dipped into the river. What a lovely place for a sleep. So picturesque. The grassy bank, a lovely starry night, a rose tinted morning dawn & emulsified toes!

Ooh my word! So yesterday I mentioned that some old has been topless model from the UK has been told she can't dive cos she has surgically enhanced breasts & this morning I come to work and my emails are all about whether it really is dangerous to dive with breast implants cos some of our prospective want to be divers have recently had their breasts boosted! Ladies relax! Please. Don't worry. We have had many surgically enhanced hooters descend with us to depths reaching 30 meters & have even employed a couple of Instructors over recent years, one who is with us now, who haven't gone pop underwater yet! Its just codswallop! So for all those ladies who wrote to me this morning please don't worry. Come diving & bring your bosums along too!

2 more whales seen at Southwest Pinnacle yesterday morning. Probably the same 2 we saw the other day but not as exciting of course cos we weren't there, but none the less quite noteworthy. So we've set out today on another Full Day Trip to the amazing Sail Rock in the anticipation that the whales are moving south from Chumphon where we saw them last week to South west where they were yesterday to Sail Rock where they will be today! I am the Whale whisperer!

Tuesday 20th April 2010-f

Well the place feels a little empty but I guess it would do seeing as we've all had to say goodbye to one of the largest figures in the team- Big Paul! Unfortunately for us Paul isn't a jaffa & when he went home last CHristmas he got his good lady in the family way & now they are expecting their first baby together. So our resident Whaleshark went home (honorable thing to do) is now counting down the days till his son pops out! Congratulations Paulie. Thank for all your hard work, hope you had a fun last night & managed to enjoy every 1 of those 44 hours on the way home.

Breasts of Britain Glamour girl, Katie Price has been warned that her surgically-enhanced breasts could explode or drown her if she goes ahead with a diving course, according to a report. The glamour girl is currently enjoying a holiday in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Earlier this week, insiders claimed that Price wanted to go diving in the Red Sea as part of the break. However, a source told the Daily Star: "There have been scare stories about implants exploding underwater. "Research has shown this is unlikely but they do fill with air bubbles as the pressure increases and can change size underwater. Implants also affect buoyancy so she'd have to make extra efforts to stay afloat. "Given the risks, and how long she has spent perfecting her boobs, it is unlikely Kate will go ahead." What a load of tits!

Canada & his dream team of sweaty, hairy, plump, tight speedo wearing techies all went out this afternoon for a jolly on our very own Koh Tao wreck which no one knows about other than us! A little under a year ago one of the Koh Tao cargo boats sank less than 40 minutes away from Koh Tao in exactly 40 meters depth which means we officially have the very best deep dive, wreck dive & tech dive all within a hop skip & a jump away from Koh Tao. Now if that aint a reason to learn how to Deep, Wreck & Tech dive then what is! Apart from a pair of sweaty, plump, tight testetechies!

Sunday 18th April 2010-
g
Isn't it amazing how one thing leads to another thing & next thing you know just when every thing was beginning to look ominously quiet the island has exploded again! & why? Well its this volcano in Iceland innit! Because no one can get home everyone is heading back to their favourite spot in Thailand- Koh Tao- chillin & diving & hanging out till the ash settles! Wasn't anticipating that this time last week when I saw that tumble weed roll through the resort! Welcome back!

Change your lifestyle, live in paradise, get paid to do something you love, become an SSI Scuba Diving Instructor and never look back! Already a DiveCon or DiveMaster? Become an SSI Instructor in 11 days for just 60500 baht, includes ALL materials, processing fees, dues and IE. Currently, demand for SSI Instructors outs...trips supply - there are jobs waiting for you! Training conducted at Big Blue Diving Resort on sunny Koh Tao, unlimited FREE fun diving once you sign up, the chance to assist our instructors on REAL courses, DISCOUNT in the resort bar and restaurant, & ... wait for it ... FREE T-Shirt!! Freelance work available at Big Blue for graduates of our Instructor Training Program, unlimited opportunities to team teach with our full-time Instructors to gain experience and certs. Instructor Training at Big Blue with SSI Instructor Trainer SSImon Garrity.

Just so you know... weather at the moment is hotter than balls! Its a sweltering 38 degrees today. Diving is hotter than balls too! Its 20-30 meter visibility at most sites. There isn't even a whisper of wind or a surface ripple. Right now conditions here are exactly the same as they are in the bounty advert... hotter than balls!

Thursday 15th April 2010-h

In the interests of keeping our customers happy & seeing as we have been so let down by our whale sharks this season, and to make sure we honour our promises to our customers who came over here especially for whale sharks this season we had to make do with a couple of passing Brydes whales a few days ago! Not just any old couple but a big 12 meter female & a smaller 6 meter baby! And we know it was at least 12 meters & no exaggeration as Erik was down at 10 meters when it breeched the surface & duck dived straight back down to Erik with its tail still out of the water when it came eye to eye with him. Not a bad dive for someone who's logged 100's of dives under his belt! Not bad for Heather's group of divers who were logging their 3rd dive either!

Only now recovering from a very sodden New Year on Tuesday. And in addition to all the new range of military style water cannons this year Songkran was made all the more special when Instructor Beccy walked in wearing her white T-shirt & bikini bottoms claiming she'd "forgotten" to put on her bikini top underneath. It took no time at all to to get Beccy soaked from tits to toe! Merry Christmas & a Happy Songkran.

So the goings on in Bangkok don't seem to be getting any where. Well they've stopped killing each other at least which is a start but unfortunately there's still a lot of hoo ha going on & consequently our arrivals have dropped dramatically. So much so that its freed up heaps of time for me & I think I'm going to go for a dive tomorrow morning at Chumphon! Now if that doesn't get the crowds coming nothing will!

Monday 12th April 2010-i

"Hi Jim, So I am now sitting back in reality at my desk at work and I just can’t stop thinking of Koh Tao and Big Blue!! So I thought I would send you some feedback!! I spent 5 nights down in Koh Tao from the 4th April to 9th April. I did my open water course and also 2 adventure dives. I wanted to let you know that this was by far the best holiday I have ever been on!! It was a tossup between 3 dives schools on Koh Tao and I feel I made the best choice. The moment I arrived at the resort Beccy sat me down and went through everything with me. I started the course that night and Beccy was my instructor. My biggest concern when going diving was getting sea sick... luckily is was nice and calm so that was not an issue!! From the moment I entered the water I felt at ease because Beccy had explained everything in detail so I knew it would all be ok.
Pros- Amazing instructors Beccy and Erik, staff can make a holiday what it is and Beccy in particular was fantastic, I cannot speak highly enough of her and her efforts with our group! I know that was a thought from all the girls as well. The relaxed and professional attitude of all the staff!! They all had just the right mix!! The amazing dive spots we visited. The list goes on and on.....
Cons- Someone not been at the pier to pick me up – good thing I used my intelligence and saw one of your cars and waited by it!! Kate at reception – don’t think customer service is her strong point? Not been able to finish my Advance open water due to the fact I had to leave which was another con. I will be back!!! And I will tell all my friends to visit you if they want to go diving!!!
Cheers Georgie Lucas"

Millions of marine turtles have been killed over the past two decades through entrapment in fishing gear, according to a global survey. Six of the seven sea turtle types are on the Red List of Threatened Species. Researchers advocate much greater use of gear safe for turtles. These include circular hooks rather than the conventional J-shaped hooks on long fishing lines, and hatches that allow the reptiles to escape from trawls. Turtles must come to the surface to breathe. When they are caught in a net or on a fishing hook, they cannot surface, and drown. Sniff.

There's a few old faces crawling out the wood work over the last few days & weeks. Of course we know octo-lingual Hal is back & working already, & then newly engaged Dan & Kymmie are back, Dan is teaching already & Kymmie is our new shop bitch. Then yesterday Teetotal Fat Alain came back & who should walk in the door this morning but the Milky Bar kid himself...Peter Couldn't give a Buckmaster! Welcome back everyone. Just in time for Songkran!

Sunday 11th April 2010-j

Oh dear. Well I guess no one is too surprised that its all ended in fisty cuffs up there in the City of Angels, Bangkok, between the Red Shirts & the Government security forces but at the same time I don't think anyone was anticipating the dead & injured. Very sad. Of course all the foreign embassies are issuing travel warnings to Bangkok which is fair enough & we certainly don't recommend hanging around in the confrontation zones but please don't fret. Bangkok is a huge city & the press does have a habit of blowing things out of proportion. Its obviously not good news whats going up in the capital but this is Thailand & the Thais are wonderful peace loving people so this will all blow over soon. Blimmin well better or we're all in for a very low high season. Great for you... not so great for us... terrible for the Thais! :(

Another extremely successful Full Day Trip to Sail Rock yesterday made all the more successful by the fact we all (well almost 'all') saw a Whaleshark! About time too! After all it is whaleshark season & we haven't seen any yet so its definitely about time! High fives to all those who broke their whaleshark virginity yesterday. Low blows to all those who didn't!

Coming up to the most ridiculous day of the year this week! Songkran! The Thai New Year when everyone runs around with water pistols spraying & squirting each other with the most oversized water pistols you can think of! What fun. Sounds extremely immature & juvenile & is! But like I said extremely good fun & a great way to celebrate the New Year... in April!

8th April 2010

kAnd it’s Happy birthday to the Codfather of a great British Institution….Fish and Chips!! This year, Britain is claiming its 150th birthday for the fish and chips industry – great news for all those cheeky chippies! However being such a tasty dish is not such good news for the fish and in 2000 cod was put on the WWFs protection list. As a result there was increased pressure on other fish species such as haddock and plaice, and many restaurant fish are now considered vulnerable to overfishing or fished using methods that are damaging to the environment and causing bycatch of non-target fish. There is hope though, with big fish supply company Compass banning 69 endangered fish species from its restaurants last year including Atlantic Cod, Bluefin Tuna and Swordfish, many restaurants now provide sustainable fish on their menus. Seafood Selector charts can help us as consumers to identify fish good for you and the ocean, and if you have a web-enabled device you can download the Seafood Selector To-Go application that allows you to make good choices about what seafood to buy.  So if you want to be in an environmentaly batter plaice [cant help it sorry] just point your web enabled mobile device at m.edf.org/seafood and start buying seafood that’s good for you and the ocean.

 

 

"Hi everyone at Big Blue, I just wanted to thank you all for making me feel like part of the family when I was doing my open water and advanced courses about a week ago. Learning to dive on Koh Tao was one of the most amazing experiences and I cannot wait to come back and dive some more. It has been less than a week since I left and I'm already missing it. Special thanks to Dennis for teaching one group in two languages and being an excellent instructor.Hope to see you all soon, Kate". You betcha Kate! We look forward to seeing you back here again soon for more fun in more than 1 language! Ja!
 
"Hey there! I just wanted to thank you and most of all Paul for a great Open Water Course! It was just amazing and we definitly had the best days of our trip with you underwater at Koh Tao! Take care! Kerstin from Germany." Thanks Kerstin & glad you had such a great time with us & with Big Paul. Unfortunatley Big Paul is leaving us now to go & be a Big Daddy in Canadia! Selfish Moose!

Thursday 1st April 2010l

 Our newly expectant Dad and Glorious leader, Jim, along with Mrs Jim will be indulging themselves on fine food and some fantastic diving from one of Big Blue's liveaboards on the west coast for the next few days...just like to say congratulations on your news and have a great time both of you.  Make the most of the next six months of your life being your own as it's all going to come to a swift but happy end...though some bits wont be that different, instead of soggy pee filled wetsuits it'll be soggy poo filled nappies...enjoy!

Anyway, back to whalesharks in trouble...Sammy, the female whaleshark held in a hotel aquariam in Dubai for the last 18months has been released after a huge campaign by the residents of Dubai to have her returned to the ocean.  The whale shark was tagged and quietly released after it had been placed in a Dubai hotel aquarium having been rescued by the hotel's fish husbandry team in 2008.   For some strange reason, no photos or invitations were sent to the media or the Dubai marine community to witness the much-anticipated release of the ocean's biggest fish.  Sammy had caught the attention of thousands of people when Atlantis, placed her in their aquarium, the Ambassador Lagoon.  Before being released she was tagged with a tracking device that will store information like movement, depths reached and water temperature for the next 3 months after which the device will detach and come to the surface for the information to be transmitted by satelitte. There's some speculation over her release as it was so hush hush and some speculators are saying she's dead, while Steve Kaiser, vice-president of Marine Sciences in charge of the operation said that it was done under great secrecy to avoid having the media circus that would have ensued.  Let's just hope she adjusts back to her natural habitat and doesnt end up in the Phillippines. 

Here's the best news I've had all week...Scuba Diving makes you lose weight!  Fact.  So my dream of looking good in a wetsuit and doing something I love is about to come true...finally.  The Guardian Newspaper says it's actually better for you than regular swimming.  All those fin kicks which seem so effortless to do underwater are actually re-shaping your legs.  Your doing water based weight training, firming the front of the thighs as you kick down and the back as you kick up.  So, my Elle McPherson shaped legs must seriously be taking shape at some point soon....like really soon please!  But there's more, Scuba Diving is extremely good for burning energy or calories which means weight loss!   Someone weighing approx 70kg [11st] will burn 13 calories a minute while scuba diving, so a 45 minute dive would use up a whopping 585 calories! Yay!  That's like a big Massaman curry with fat chips followed by chocolate ice-cream right?  I love diving!!

So has monsoon arrived...5 months late?  Hopefully it's just another day when it rains for about half an hour of biblical proportions, replaces dusty roads with huge puddles that come up to your knees but more importantly breathes life back into our thirsty island.  It was quite hilarious to watch the heavens open this morning and see the Big Blue restaurant rampacked within 15 seconds!  It was like a game of musical chairs with people hurling themselves at anything to sit down on! Thankfully sunny skies are predicted for tomorrow so all is well in paradise!

May 2010

Sunday 30th May 2010-
a
I just couldn't let this slide!

"Located on the west facing side of the island of Koh Tao Big Blue Diving is the ideal spot to base yourself for one of the most enjoyable & relaxing dive holidays you can have anywhere in the world and at an extremely affordable price. With 3 dive boats at their disposal & operating a choice of up to 13 divesites daily this is one of the best run operations in Thailand & in 2009 deservedly won the prestigious SSI Award for Most Successful Dive Center in Asia. Pretty easy to see why as well. They have a beach side bar & Restaurant advertising the greatest sunsets on the island while eating the greatest pizza on the island! They have over 40 rooms offering Free air conditioned dormitory style accommodation to students doing their Open Water Courses, or private fan rooms with ensuite for just 200 bt per night. Or they can offer you bungalows on the beach starting at just 400 Bt per night increasing to prices over 4000 Bt per night!
Environmentally aware, Big Blue organise frequent beach & divesite clean ups as well Whale shark & Turtle data collaboration & local land conservation projects & in 2008 & 2009 won PADI’s Project Aware Award for Environmental Achievement as well as the SSI Award in 2009 for Most Environmentally Active Dive Center in Asia.
Big Blue Diving is one of Thailand’s largest & well respected Diver Education center’s & in 2009 was awarded with 2 of the most sought after awards issued by SSI Thailand with Instuctor Trainer Simon Garrity being awarded with the Highest Instructor Certifications in 2009 & Yvonne Fries was awarded the Highest Student Certifications in Thailand.
Recently Big Blue has also become a well recognised Technical Diving Center & was awarded the Highest Technical Diving certifications in Thailand by TDI. They offer all forms of Technical Diving, Rebreather diving & also organise monthly Cave Diving trips to Khao Sok National Park & in the past year found a wreck lying in 40 meters depth just off Koh Tao, making it the most accessible wreck dive from Koh Tao.
Offerring all PADI, SSI , BSAC, SDI & TDI courses from beginner to Instructor it is easy to see why Big Blue Diving Koh Tao has become one of the most recognised & well respected Dive centers in the Asia Pacific Region.
For more information please feel free to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or see for yourself on www.bigbluediving.com"

Well said Rough Guide! 

 

Saturday 29th May 2010-b

"Hello! I stayed at your resort and went on a couple diving excursions a few weeks ago. While there, I had the french toast with honey & peanuts and now that I have returned to the United States, I'm craving it! Is there anyway I could get the recipe or at least a list of ingredients? I don't cook much so hard for me to figure out on my own and that was good stuff. Also, Sonia was extremely helpful and great to work with while I was there so I wanted to pass along that feedback! Thanks again, Sonia! Kristi Miller" mmm. I think it was bread fried in 2 eggs served then pour on honey & sprinkle on some chopped peanuts! & Bobs your uncle, Fanny's your aunt!

You may have read about an intrepid couple from Sweden who are on their way to stay with us here in Koh Tao having skated their way here all the way from Chiang Mai to Singapore & back! Jim is skating on a longboard (skateboard) and Maria on rollerblades. They started in the middle of January and reached Singapore on the 16th of May. Right now they are on Koh Samui but are coming to Koh Tao for a well deserved holiday before flying back home from Bangkok. They have around 8000 people on their Facebook Group from all over the world who are following their trip. They have also been in a lot of newspapers, radio and tv back home in Sweden. Two newspapers here in Thailand, one in Bangkok (http://www.scandasia.com/viewNews.php?coun_code=se&news_id=5945) and one in Phuket (http://www.phuketgazette.net/news/detail.asp?id=8350&Search=longboard)
(http://www.phuketgazette.net (news/detail.asp?id=8625) and two in Malaysia
(http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2010/2/6/lifeliving/5483428&sec=lifeliving) and a chinese newspaper in Penang so maybe you have read about them already. So alot of people knows about them & one of Swedens biggest newspaper has promised to do an article when they get back home so a lot of Swedes will read about them. They are doing this in benefit for childhood cancer foundation and their goal is to raise 50 000:- SEK and have raised around 22 500:- so far. Cool guys! Welcome to Koh Tao!

Still running our very popular Full Day trips to Sail Rock right now, & why wouldn't we? After all we have nearly 20 people all desperately keen to pay a visit to the legendary dive site reported to be the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand so of course we want to take our divers there. After all we are officially the the Best Dive Center in Thailand so we want to offer the best Dive site to the best customers with the best Dive staff & not forgetting the best Massaman Curry in Thailand! Dive with the best! Blow raspberries at the rest!

Friday 28th May 2010-c

The phrase "Deader than a dodo" springs to mind! So quiet you can hear a mouse fart! It's quieter than Bjork saying it's oh so quiet, quiet! & that's not just here either. Unfortunately it appears to be all over Thailand. Tourist arrivals are down 30%, Bangkok Hotels occupancy rate is at an all time low of just 10%. Never has there been a better time to come to Thailand & get that absolute bargain. Things are at such bargain prices right now cos people are desperate to make some money & because its so quiet with such a lack of tourists they're even cheaper than a bargain! So if you are looking for a cheap holiday destination then you know exactly where to come! Right here right now!.... please.

"When a Blue Whale tagged with a web-cam as part of a television nature program broadcasts a brutal murder at sea, an FBI agent with a fear of water finds herself in a deadly race to reach the animal before an unknown killer can destroy the digital evidence it carries. For Special Agent Tara Shores, the many possible suspects each present obstacles as unique and perilous as the sea itself. Is the murderer one of the web viewers vying for the controversial reality show’s million-dollar prizes? The extremist environmental group threatening violence unless the whale is liberated from its high-tech tracking device? The wealthy Hollywood power-couple who own the show? Or the troubled, young inventor of the whale-cam? And just who was the beautiful woman slaughtered live on the web? Navigating an ocean of manipulation and deceit, the detective’s best hope for a solid piece of evidence is the original murder video, still attached to the back of the 100-ton creature which roams the Pacific tethered to its electronic leash. But when the tag’s GPS locator mysteriously fails, it seems that finding the beast will prove impossible. As the Special Agent dives deeper into the case, what she initially dismisses as a publicity stunt for the glitzy reality series soon sweeps her out to sea in a riptide of greed, sex, and high-tech crime." Sounds like a book worth reading! Wired Kingdom by Rick Chesler out now!

The wind has picked up quite a bit. Quite a lot actually! & with the rising winds comes the rising waves so if you are one of the few coming over in the next few days then I would highly recommend a seasickness pill to quell that rising breakfast! Also consider taking one of the ferries as opposed to the catamarans. My top tip is the Seatran or the Songserm. They are a little easier on the waves than the Catamaran & if you do have to hurl they offer you non see through bags in which to hurl up in! Isn't that thoughtful!

 Monday 24th May 2010-d

"Hi Jim! The saddest scene is unveiling on my own balcony in the center of Phnom Pehn :) My diving equipment is painfully sweating the last drops of water I logged back from Koh Tao! :)) This means that...well, this wonderful week at Big Blue is behind..and yes, will remain in my mind as a very agreeable one. Nice place you have there. And super nice staff. Please, give my best regards to Steven, Tom, Yvonne and Rachel whom I have been diving with the most. Nice humour, relaxed enough, yet with no compromise on security. There...Big Blue has just made my mind up in considering going professional...and "dive" into the dive master program. Let's see... Here is one pic for Steven... Would you forward it to him? Merci! It was great. And until soon! I am working on the few friends I have that have not yet joined the divers club. If I succeed, I'll bring them to you guys! Catherine."

This years Save Koh Tao project is going to be a wreck! About time too! We are going to raise enough money to build a big underwater ship that we can swim through over & around. & today is the first of our raising money for the project days so Jenny is organising another beach & underwater clean up & Kymmie has organised a sports day with tug of war competitions, egg & spoon & 3 legged race & Dave at Vibe is dishing out another legendary Barbie on the beach. Should be fun so come one come all & bring some cash. All donations will be put towards the new Koh Tao wreck 2010!

Still bright sunny hot & sweaty. That's enough about me! How are you? Ha! No the weather I'm talking about. The sea aint bad either. Great visibility, fish everywhere, warm tropical temperatures, & reasonably calm surface conditions, absolutely ideal if you were thinking of coming on a tropical island holiday! Its pretty quiet too so it really is the perfect time to see Koh Tao without the usual swarms of revellers! So... See you next weekend then?

Sunday 23rd May 2010-e

Our very own Green Queen Jennifer "massive" Matthews took Jim, SSImon & Duncan & a whole bunch of very enthusiastic DMT eco warriors for a lecture & a dive at Bio Rock yesterday! We all went armed with bits of wire & broken fragments of live coral which we then proceeded to tie together on to the 4 or 5 electrically charged Bio Domes. With the 12 volts of charge these domes have surging through them it is understood that the coral will now grow upto 5 times faster than it would under normal circumstances. Just like Viagra!

There's SSImply no stopping our SSImon these days. Having already recieved the maSSIvely prestigious "Most Instructor Certifications Award" in 2009 SSImon is now being honoured with one of the highest ranks on the SSI ladder- which is that of Instructor Certifier, making him one of a very select number of people who can actually fail you on your Instructor exam. Thats like an SSI Knighthood! So not only does SSImon teach you how to become an SSI Instructor he might also be the one that examines you. So better pull your trousers up gents & your tops down ladies. SSImon's getting SSIrius now! Congratulations SSImon.

Seems to be that time of the year when all our members of staff desert us for their annual trip home to see Mum & Dad & get the laundry done... properly! Emily went home a couple of weeks ago already. She is now in Brummyville. Then Erik left to go to Sverge for the best part of 2 months to be joined later by Beccy no doubt. Then Rick & Fanette & came & went & now holidaying in Gaye Paris with Takeshi & Naomi no less. Then Deano flew home to be with his one true love Lara, & Barry went off last week to watch the World Cup in England. & then this week Dan & Kymmie are off to a wedding or 2 back in Europe & SSImon & Jodie are heading back for Blightey for a month aswell. Then Jim & his Missus are supposedly off to Germany for a last sojourn before their baby is born. Meanwhile Canada is cruising around Thailand diving the many wrecks & Caves we have here, Roz is off to Bangers with her Red shirt & Kelly is stuck in Malaysia on a visa run. Good job its not busy in May & June isn't it!

Thursday 20th May 2010-f

My word! This whole Bangkok thing... what a nightmare. I have sooooo much to say about what I feel about the current situation but out of respect for the people of Thailand I will keep my opinions as an outsider to myself. But wow, who could have imagined that such nice friendly happy heart warming people had so much rage in them. I'm really quite shocked! No idea how things will develop from here on in but I will say that so far all these problems are a geographical issue & are only affecting the areas north of Bangkok so south of Bangkok is completely unaffected. So with that in mind if you are on your way or thinking of coming over then jump on the next plane to Koh Samui with www.bangkokair.com & we'll see you in Koh Tao. Its lovely, sunny & not a red shirt or a burning tyre to be seen anywhere!

Congratulations to Dan who has successfully managed to pass his Tech Diver Course without even wearing a pair of speedos! Rumour has it speedo wearing is part of the Tech diver uniform. We've all seen Canada, Cav & Duncan in their beige yellow numbers, & our female TXR Instructors wear their speedos in the bar so its nice to finally have a proper Tech Diver sporting a serious Tech Diver look. Congrats Dan & congrats Helen & Yvonne who have now conducted their first Tech Diver Course.

"Hi Jim, First I would like to inform you that I am now a SSI Diver Stress and Rescue certified diver. Hal and DMT Fabian are great instructors in preparing my mind and body for the worst possible scenarios, including my mask being ripped from my face in an underwater panic scenario. The fun part of that was we were trying to find my mask for what seemed like minutes which was behind me wrapped around the first stage the entire time :) Good observation Fabian \m/(^__^)\m/ On the final day of my rescue course Hal was able to convince my mate Gemma to take a Discovery Scuba session the next day. Gemma's instructor was Becky. At first there was some anxiousness/nervousness on Gemma's part right when we got on the boat to the Japanese Gardens. Becky made her feel at ease and gave Gemma positive feedback during the entire session. I've been trying my hardest to convince Gemma to try scuba diving since we started out southeast Asia trip. I can honestly say that she is 'hooked', no pun intended, and she intends to take her open water course at the end of the year. Hopefully with Becky and also when it's the cooler months. Gemma's quote, "Becky is fantastic. Her instruction made me feel at ease, it was fun and easy!!! I can see why people like to dive." Unfortunately my schedule did not allow me to do some fun dives but that's ok. I'll be making my way back down to Singapore and make it a point to go back to Big Blue for some fun diving in between. Again big thanks to you, Hal, Fabian, Becky and the rest of the staff at Big Blue. I'll be back soon. Safe travels and fun dives, Jose."

Wednesday 19th May 2010-
g
The number 1 question coming in on the emails right now is if its safe to travel to Thailand? And the answer is... Fark yeah! Bangkok is an enormous city. & the area where all the Red Shirts are is tiny. It's the equivalent of having the Reds hold up Oxford Street in London, or Times Square in New York or George street in Sydney. Its obviously going to have a lot of impact but its not like the rest of the city would be underseige! Everything is fine! This time next week it will all be over & Bkk will be back to normal. & if you want some seriously accurate reporting on the situation rather than the diplomatically flowery reporting of the BBC or CNN then check out www.bangkokpost.com They give it to you straight! The Reds are a bunch of...

How cool is this? Designer Adam Wendel has come up with a futuristic device named the “Immersed Senses” that changes the way the diver sees, hears, and breathes underwater, allowing them to become a part of their surrounding environment. Immersed Senses is the future of underwater diving and exploration. Featuring a LED flashlight to let the diver to observe the dark depths of the ocean, the mask also includes a large OLED glass display to offer a panoramic view of the surroundings, and GPS maps, therefore allowing the diver to navigate efficiently throughout the ocean’s landscapes. The OLED enclosed helmet also allows the extracted oxygen to flow freely throughout the helmet, as if you are breathing on land without any breathing apparatus. The OLED also offers software that can identify all species of fish, coral and other ocean dwelling creatures that diver is currently viewing. In addition, the OLED screen depicts important info such as oxygen toxicity, nitrogen levels and even body heat to keep the diver well informed and safe. Water leakage is eliminated with the use of a silicone lining that seals the helmet to the skin. The silicone’s flexibility affords the diver to explore with comfortable movements. The orange side panels assist in internal circulation of the extracted oxygen. The rear of the helmet contains an electrolysis reactor that extracts oxygen from saltwater. The breathable oxygen is circulated throughout the helmet, creating a revolutionary underwater breathing experience. Immersed Senses operates by a battery that utilizes a centrifuge mechanism to pull oxygen from seawater that begins the electrolysis reaction. Saltwater is extracted into the bottom reservoir that reacts with hydrogen gas. The saltwater is then charged by a positive and negative anode/cathode that generates breathable oxygen. Two internal devices help to circulate the oxygen to the diver’s mouth and nose. The diver then breathes in the oxygen and out carbon dioxide, which exits the helmet. The battery and stored hydrogen can keep a diver submersed for up to 8 hours. The Immersed Senses revolutionizes how a human can breathe underwater, as well as interact with the OLED display offering a panoramic view of the deep sea.
Its soooo cool, I think I just wet my pants!

Monday 17th May 2010-
h
Well it might be chaos in Bangkok but we're actually doing quite nicely thank you very much! Our rooms are pretty much full. At least 2 out of our 3 boats are running out every morning & afternoon. All our Instructors are working. We've got all the DM team working their fingers to the bone! The Techies seem to be permanantly busy. We've got oodles of DM's in Training. The Full Day Trip to Sail Rock is full. We've needed to rent equipment because we ran out the other day. We're practically out of T-shirts & Big Blue water Coolers. The kayaks are out all day every day. The restaurant is chocker! The stools at the bar are permanently occupied & the deck chairs on the beach have always got people sitting on them. We should be on the brink of civil war more often!

After 4 attempts it appears that Nick has finally managed to leave Koh Tao & go on his visa run, though I am still kind of half expecting him to walk back in and make up some other lame excuse as to why he has either managed to miss his boat, sleep in, got lucky, feign illness, motorbike wouldn't start or dog ate his homework. And as he still hasn't walked in since I began writing this paragraph I guess we can all gather that yes Nick has finally managed to get himself on his visa run! Who's a clever boy!

Sir Richard Branson is at it again!—whether it’s luxurious trips to outer space or stylish underwater adventuring, the Virgin tycoon wants to be the first to market it. Virgin Limited Edition announced today it will be going underwater with its new Necker Nymph aero submarine. The Virgin Nymph (sounds like a contradiction in terms) a Deep Flight three-person underwater aircraft. Virgin’s new Nymph sub will fit nicely into the company’s other luxuriously designed Necker-named properties and transports like the Necker Belle—a 105 foot catamaran—and Necker Island. Sir Richard plans to lend the Nymph out to visitors of his high-class hideaway, Necker Island. The Necker Nymph can glide through the ocean doing full 360 degree turns while carrying its pilot and two visitors on a two-hour trip. The Nymph is available to hire for $25,000 a week, or 1000 Bt if you do it as part of your Advanced Course!

Sunday 16th May 2010-
i
The mystery of why thresher sharks have such huge tails has been solved.For years, biologists have been unsure why thresher sharks uniquely sport tails that can grow as long as the shark's body. Now video footage has confirmed their true function: thresher sharks use their huge tails to swat and stun much smaller prey fish. The discovery explains why thresher sharks are often caught by their tails by baited long-line fishing gear. There has been no documentary evidence proving what the sharks use their tails for until marine biologists decided to film thresher sharks feeding in the wild. Researchers towed a submersible video camera behind a research boat. In front of the camera, they towed two baited lines, hoping to lure in common thresher sharks, which commonly feed on dense schools of anchovy and sardine. They filmed 33 common thresher sharks swimming near or approaching the bait. The sharks struck with their tails in two distinct ways: either they waggled their body and surged forward, creating a wave down their body that ended in a tail flick, or they positioned their body alongside the bait fish, before making a sideways strike with their tail. These observations confirm that common thresher sharks use their long caudal fins to pursue and stun their prey, which are then easy to catch.

For the first time in what has felt like months, if not years, we had a spot of rain yesterday! Thanks god. The island has been out of water for at least a month already. The island is brown as opposed to green, the trees & plants are all withered & dying & the wells are so low that the shower water turned brown about a week ago. But not anymore! THanks to the good lord & the heavenly father it absolutely pissed down last night & everything looks all lively & healthy again! Long live the Rain!

Our Divemaster Mentor team consisting of SSImon, SSSonia, Danny Boy, Hells Bells, & kNickers are all treating the DM Team & the DM's in Training to a night at the Koh Tao Bowling Alley & Minigolf Course & Driving Range. There'll be a free Bar B Cue for everyone & as many lagers as your money can handle! Of course with 3 sets of groups playing to win the bowling the golf & the French Boules competition should be rife! We want a clean fight people. No poking, prodding, eye gouging, or molotov cocktails! Flowery shirt & a weekend away in Hawaii for the winners. Red shirt & a weekend in Bangkok for the losers!

Saturday 15th May 2010-j

And apart from diving what else is there to do in Koh Tao? Well what has really become popular in recent years is kayaking over to Nang Yuan Island for a spot of bikini watching, or snorkelling. If you are feeling really virile then a trip all around Koh Tao can be quite fun too. Take your sun cream, camera's, your snorkels & your bikini's. & a bit of cash so you can stop somewhere park up on one of Koh Tao's many beachside restaurants & grab a bite to eat as well. All good clean fun & cheap too! This advert has been brought to you by Big Blue Kayaks! Probably the best place to rent your Kayaks on Koh Tao! ;)

Well it looks like I might have spoken a little too soon when I said the other day that an agreement between the Red Shirts & the Government had been reached. Whoops sorry about that! But don't worry as bad as it actually looks it really isn't. I mean don't get me wrong. Its not good either but its not a war zone & you can still fly in & out of Bangkok. So please don't put off your holiday. Arrive & catch the first flight out of Bangers for Samui. Have a look at www.bangkokair.com & then catch a ferry or catamaran to Koh Tao. We'll pick you up at the pier & bring you directly to our Resort for a nice refreshing Mango juice & a seat by the beach! War zone my red shirt!

So I had over 100 logged dives before I saw mine. Jacques Cousteau dived for 20 years before he saw his. Many people dive for a living & have never ever seen one. And those that have seen them reckon it was the most amazing experience of their lives. To dive with a Whaleshark! & Yvonne & Heather's Open Water Students were lucky enough to see their first one on their first Open Water Dives! How lucky were they? Well they were with South East Asia's Number 1 Instructor so I guess we shouldn't be too surprised! Congratulations divers on losing your cherry at such an early time in your diving careers!

Thursday 13th May 2010-
k
My apologies must go out to yesterdays Open Water Course who were unable to meet their Instructor because he was at the hair dressers! Our Scandanavian God of Thunder & lego, Soren, owner of Koh Tao's best pair of mens breasts, was unaware he would be required to start a Danish course yesterday afternoon so had already booked himself into the hair salon for a wash & colour! Unfortunatley half way thru he got the call to work so wasn't able to get a perm, but don't worry darling, you look absolutely fabulous!

Marine scientists have been closely watching massive coral bleaching in the Andaman Sea, believed to be the worst case in Thai waters for 20 years. Coral reefs in the Andaman Sea off Phangnga, Krabi and Phuket, including popular diving sites such as the Similan, Phi Phi and Surin islands, have been damaged by the phenomenon. Five percent of the coral reefs affected by the phenomenon have already died. More coral will be damaged if the sea temperature remains high. The phenomenon is also occurring in the Gulf of Thailand, where Scientists believe the main cause of coral bleaching is the warming of the oceans, which forces zooxantaellae, an algae which co-exists with the coral and gives it colour, to detach from the corals' shell. Strong sunlight can also kill the coral. The bleached coral reefs will take a long time to recover, Coral reefs in shallow waters at depths up to 10m will take three to four years to recover. Coral in deeper seas will take more time to recuperate.

Many thanks to DM Emma, who will be leaving us this week for pastures new. Well home I guess would be more appropriate. She has been a major cog in the Big Blue Engine & a big reason for the logistical success with which we operate 6-7 boats a day! Employed initiallly to open up Big Blue Yoga as well as run the boats & speak 5 languages she never had the time to get the Yoga thang off the ground- too busy with the dive thang! So with one less DM in our 4 person DM pool I wonder who's going to fill the gap? OOh exciting. Watch this space to see who becomes BB's newest member of the DM Team. Cheers Emma & good luck!

Wednesday 12th May 2010-
l
Just in case you were wondering... its a balmy 38 degrees. Its golden brown sunny, not a cloud in the sky, not a breath of wind! The smell of seawater fills the nostrils. The sea is mirror flat, & the visibility is 20 + meters from the surface looking down on the sea bed or 30+ meters looking horizontal. There's a banquet of fish at every divesite & the turtles have been making a steady comeback in recent months too. Occasionally we get to dive with passing Brydes Whales & whalesharks & even in confined we've seen eagle rays, as well as a plethora of pretty ladies in skimpy bikinis. After an amazing day in the office its time to top it all off with a nice ice cold stubby & a view of the setting sun behind the ocean. Majestic yellows, reds, pinks & oranges fade to purples, browns, ochres & greens before the sky is filled with a starry starry night & we all head off for a slap up Thai dinner for the same price of a pint of lager before bed time! Just in case you were wondering. ; )

Welcome back to Koh Tao our Big Blue Khao Lak Posse! This last week has seen the return of the Bazza, Takeshi & Naomi, Dan & Mayu, & today we were blessed with the arrival of Rick & Fanette. All coming back to a red carpet, confetti, cheerleaders & a resounding applause for all their hard work & the phenomenal success of our 2 daily speedboats & Liveaboard to the Similans & Surin Islands this last season. They have by far exceeded expectations & are well deserved of a rest after a gruelling 6 months before they head off for their month long vacations & then battling head first to re- enter the rush that is the Koh Tao high season starting in July. Gimme a W-E-L-C-O-M-E-B-A-C-K-K-L-A-K!

Today's global whale population is vulnerable like never before - gravely threatened by climate change, sea level and temperature variations, pollution, ship strikes, entanglement and food scarcity. The public agrees: commercial whaling should be stopped TODAY. Yet, White House officials have met behind closed doors with foreign representatives to lift the whaling ban. Why is President Obama entertaining actions that could lead to the slaughter of thousands of currently protected whales? In 2008, President Obama pledged to strengthen the international moratorium on whaling. Given recent developments, it's time for us to send him a reminder. We've joined forces with Greenpeace to ensure Obama won't forget that campaign promise, but we need your help to make a difference. Help us save 25 years of whale conservation - tell President Obama to maintain the whaling ban. Since championing passage of the international ban on commercial whaling in 1986, every American President has made a commitment to lead in the worldwide fight to protect the global whale population. Even George W. Bush managed to uphold the whaling ban. We can't let President Obama be the first president to fail his duty to protect whales from senseless slaughter. Write to the White House today and tell Obama: we won't endorse commercial whaling on our watch!

Tuesday 11th May 2010-m

Canada & his team of Merry men are off tonight for a months trip around South East Asia checking out some of the best diving this region has to offer. First off its Khao Sok where they will be diving caves & the Sunken Village. Then its over to Khao Lak to dive the new wreck finds halfway between Tap Lamu & Thai Muang. Then pop into Phuket & dive the legendary Hin Daeng & Hin Muang. Then its Singapore bound to dive the 2 legendary Second World War wrecks- the Battleship HMS Repulse & the Dutch submarine K17. Then its more caves in Krabi & Trang in the Sra Keow Cave & the Song Hong Cave then a little exploratory dive near Songkla before finishing off with a few of the wrecks around Pattaya. What a happy ending! I wonder if they are all as jealous of me as I am of them? I have to go to the dentist's in Samui at some point this month!

We all had a very memorable night last night to celebrate Dan & Kymmies engagement to be married next year. The theme was going to be come in red the colour of passion but bearing in mind events in Bangkok it was decided to change the theme to come as the person you love. So the boys dressed as the girls & the girls dressed as Jim, and we all had a very fun & silly night! Congratulations Dan & Kymmie. We wish you both many happy years together.

Hairdressers, pet groomers and farmers worldwide are collecting hair and fur to help mop up the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The hair, stuffed into nylon tights, helps booms soak up thick oil spewing from the blown-out well off Louisiana.Some 204,000kg of hair and fur is said to being arriving each day. Hair is an extremely efficient material for taking in all kinds of oils including petroleum, each follicle has an enormous surface area, which the oil "sticks" to. Volunteers have been stuffing the nylons with hair at 15 warehouses close to the disaster zone, making huge "hairy sausages" or booms. The booms will be laid on beaches rather than out at sea, soaking up any oil that washes ashore. About 370,000 salons are taking part organising the massive "hair lift". ; )

Sunday 9th May 2010
n
Hot Dawg! Congratulations Big Blue on a number of fronts! First off I'd like everyone to put their hands together to congratulate SSImon for being officially recognized by SSI as the highest certifying Instructor Trainer in Asia, having certified more SSI Instructors this year than the whole of Asia put together last year! Secondly I think celebration is in order for Yvonne who was last night crowned the best SSI Instructor in Asia with the highest amount of certifications & the most amount of students who continued & took their Advanced Course with her! Wow. That's quite an award! Then Canada received a recognition award for his services towards Tech Diving. Top stuff! & Big Blue itself won 2 awards for the most environmentally active Dive Shop in Asia & ... drum roll please... the most successful Dive shop in Asia! & come November we compete with other nominated Dive centers from around the world for the Most Successful Dive Shop in the World! How about them apples! :)

Latest news regarding the political situation in Bangers! The Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has offered to dissolve parliament in September which is kind of what the Red shirts are asking for & so everything is looking peaceful & lovely again & finally foreign governments have lifted their visiting Thailand warning & are telling their citizens that its alright to travel to Thailand again! You bet your ass! I could have told you that weeks ago!

Big Blue Tech celebrates the graduation of our very own Inst Helen, Simone Reymenants and James Foleher from their TDI Advanced Wreck Diver course and Andy Cav from his TDI Advanced Wreck Instructor Course conducted over 3 days on 2 different wrecks off the coast of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand by TDI Instructor Trainer Ben Reymenants. The TDI Advanced Wreck course is the next step for any diver that has taken a wreck diver course. During the course, the students were taught the proper techniques for locating and planning a penetration dive. The advanced wreck course is commonly taught with other popular TDI course such as advanced nitrox, decompression procedures, extended range, closed circuit rebreather, and trimix. The TDI Advanced Wreck course is unique in that it trains divers to conduct extensive multi level penetration or entry of shipwrecks without the linear depth or light restriction. & looks really cool on your CV!

7th May 2010- Friday
o
Another great day in paradise! This morning our divers headed out to Chumphon Pinnacle, to find not just one Whale Shark, but two chilling out on the pinnacle. Such a great way to start the day that we thought it would be a great way to finish the day too, so our boats headed straight back out to Chumphon Pinnacle this afternoon. There have also been many recent turtle sightings. Emma was surprised on a night dive a couple of days ago by the biggest turtle she had ever seen! Good news for all as we see the return of the turtles to turtle Island (Koh Tao).

It’s been an interesting week and busy week for us all here at Big Blue, we had another of our famous Divemaster Challenges to celebrate Jade and Greg on becoming Dive Control Specialists, and Jen and Nina on becoming Dive Masters. In true Big Blue style we put them all through their paces with a cross dressing bind date themed Challenge and what a good looking ladyboy Greg was! Instead of “our Cilla and Graham ” we had new mentor Dan and birthday boy SSI Simon in the spot light. Before the final curtain SSI Simon graced us with a little sexy dance and impromptu strip-tease to celebrate his birthday, unfortunately for Simon it was laundry day, and lets just say he was not wearing his sexiest undies.

Yesterday saw rain clouds gather over Koh Tao for the first time in many months, the Island has been so low on water we have been getting shipments in from the main land. Its about time, even for those of us who left our home countries to get away from the bad weather. So yesterday we were all dancing in the rain, much to the bewilderment of our new guests. It didn’t last long though and today we’re back to clear blue skies and hot, hot, hot. Lovely.

To close, love is in the air tonight with a fancy dress ‘Come as the One You Love’ party to celebrate Dan and Kimmie’s engagement. So lots of love………..

Saturday 1st May 2010-
p
So some of our DMT's & past Divemasters, even some of our present DM's & a couple of our Instructors all went off for a jolly last week to Khao Lak for another trip to the Similan Islands onboard old Big Blue DMT's DM's & Instructors new Wicked Liveaboard. Poor guys had to spend so much of their time underwater with Manta Rays tho that they hardly got to see anything else. My sympathy knows no bounds you lucky lucky lucky lucky DMT's DM's & Instructors! I saw an ickle jellyfish!

Looks like it's all go for the boys at Big Blue Tech this week. Cav and Helen are taking the DMT's through their SDI Deep, Wreck and Nitrox courses, Canada is taking James and Chris through their TDI Extended Range Course, Ash having just taught the BSAC Compressor Operator Course and TDI Gas Blender course is now teaching TDI Nitrox and Ben is on his way for TDI Advanced Wreck in 2 days! No rest for the wicked!

How exciting! Over the next few days eensy weensy teeny weeny tiny little Jenny, Big Blue's very own Marine Biologist will be launching our brand new website aimed at conserving & preserving everything we can here in Koh Tao with www.bigblueconservation.com She will be offering anything & everything to do with eco studies, Marine management issues, bio waste, marine life, artificial reefs, waste management, recycling, water retention & ecological awareness. She's going to be huge! Well lets face it she couldn't be much smaller! Go eco! www.bigblueconservation.com

June 2010

Sunday 20th June 2010-a

Environmental activists from the Sea Shepherd group say they have "liberated" some 800 bluefin tuna. They say the fish had been caught by what they described as poachers and were being towed by two fishing vessels off the coast of Libya. Five scuba divers on Thursday cut open a circular holding net filled with fish below legal weight and caught after the fishing season closed, Sea Shepherd said in a media release on Friday. The operation was carried out 68 kilometres off the coast of north Africa in waters claimed by Libya. The net was being towed by two boats, the Italian vessel Cesare Rustico and the Libyan vessel Tagreft, it said. "Sea Shepherd is convinced that this catch was caught after June 14 and they hold the position that this operation by these two vessels was illegal," the statement said. Activists on the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin rejected claims by the captain of the Libyan vessel that the fish had been caught three days earlier. Bluefin tuna have become a major source of controversy. Highly prized in Japan for consumption in sushi, their numbers have fallen dangerously low in the Mediterranean and east Atlantic, say green groups... & anyone with even an ounce of common sense!

As we draw ever closer to the end of low season & the beginning of what is the Koh Tao peak season from July till the end of September, I think its about time we used the recall system & summon up all our fellow friends & work colleagues who are all off in countries far & wide to return to work. Its like sending out the bat signal. Come on Simon, Jodie, Barry, Deano, Erik, Beccy, Heather, Dan, Kymmie, & Duncan. Come to Daddy! We got work to do!

Its another exciting night of soccer! Tonight the Mighty All Whites from New Zealand take on the minnows of the northern hemisphere & the reigning World Cup Holders Italy. After so many calamitous matches from the European countries its about time a country like New Zealand stepped forward & really showed the world how to play soccer properly! Pick it up & run with it boys!

Friday 18th June 2010-
b
Governments ignored scientific evidence and advice in favor of short-term economic interests at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), March 2010. They failed to give eight threatened shark species the trade protections they deserve. Each year, tens of millions of sharks are killed by Earth’s most dangerous predators – humans. Too many of them fall victim to the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning – the act of removing shark fins and discarding the often still alive shark overboard. Despite set-backs, sharks have received recent, historical national protections in Europe, Maldives and Palau. Together, we will make a difference for these critical species. Sign the petition, express your outrage at the recent CITES failures. Your signature, together with thousands of divers and advocates worldwide, will demand government parties to CITES heed science and protect fragile ocean ecosystems. Thanks to your support, together we’re giving sharks a fighting chance.

Happy Birthday Helen! Helen turns 45 today! & is celebrating by having a day at the Koh Tao Spa & then we're all meeting her for leisurely drinks at Choppers to watch the Germany game followed by dinner at Whitening & then back to Choppers to watch the England game at silly o'clock in the morning! Should be a great night. Most of us have got her the usual consortium of goodies for her Birthday but this year Dan really went to town & in his absence has organised a massive showing of his movie which you can see here on You Tube 28 Slices Later at the Big Screen Cinema. What a guy. Good on you Dan. Cheers for that. Great acting by the way. You make Vinnie Jones look like a right amateur! Happy Birthday Hells!

Missing! 1 Frenchman. Looks a little like he just stepped out of a Harry Potter Movie wearing a French Football shirt, a beret, a basket of baguettes, a red crevatte and a squeaky black bicycle. Answers to the name of Dobby! Last seen crying at the bar watching the telly at 4am this morning. If found please return to Big Blue Diving. We're all dieing to take the pissoir out of him!

Thursday 17th June 2010-c

Picture a harpoon ship cutting through the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Suddenly, the harpooner spots a mother whale and her calf. The ocean quiet is shattered by the blasts of exploding-tip harpoons hitting the whales. The whale pair struggles to free themselves from the harpoon lines, but a gunman fires down from the deck, finally ending their suffering. It can take as “little” as 20 minutes to a couple of hours of agony for these magnificent creatures to die. If countries like Japan, Norway and Iceland -- now supported by the USA -- get their way at the next International Whaling Commission meeting, this horrific scene will see itself played out over and over again. For 35 years, Greenpeace has been the whales' greatest defender. They will not allow this newest threat to their existence to come to pass. The international ban on commercial whaling must not be overturned but they cannot ensure this without your support. Greenpeace is gearing up for one of the biggest battles the war against whaling has ever seen. Please make your most generous donation today to help Greenpeace in our fight for the whales. This is an "all hands on deck" moment!

Fancy an Introduction to Technical Diving? Many divers find all the adventure they need in recreational dives to 40 meters or less. Or maybe you linger at the top of the wall, looking down into the inky abyss? Does the idea of penetrating a wreck, with only your lights and a guideline to lead you give you goose bumps? Do you think you’ll never be happy unless you’re flying past a pinnacle at 10 knots on a scooter? Technical diving is about having fun, just like any other pastime. But, like anything worth doing, it requires perseverance and hard work. The Intro to Technical diving is designed for the diver eager to learn some basic technical diving skills which can help improve their recreational diving ability. Intro to Tech isn’t about flexing your muscles or pulling the birds! Its showcasing your latest equipment, & working to develop skills that will improve your dive, and thus propel you into a world of exploration. If this sounds like your cup of tea & you fancy spending some seriously close time with a rotund Canadian then please feel free to contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Well its a dramatic change in the weather today. I guess its about time really. Up untill now the weather has been fantastic. We have still been having the same kind of weather we expect to get in April. But as of this morning its an about face & today we are embracing the rain we have been expecting since May! Not a moment too soon. There's an awful lot of dried up plants around Koh Tao right now who could do with a good drink. And after last nights shocking performance there's a few Spaniards looking like they could do with a drink or two too!

Wednesday 16th June 2010-

Not that we are living in a fascist state or anything like that but the staff were all summoned to Choppers bar last night to watch New Zealand's first game in the World Cup football for the first time in 28 years under threat of instant dismissal! The threat of instant termination obviously worked as 30 Instructors, Divemasters & DMT's all turned up to watch the Mighty whites surprise the world by scoring a draw in the dying seconds of the game! How cool was that? How unexpected? & how excited did Jim get? Find out this Sunday when the kiwis do even better against the existing World Cup holders!

Canada is organising another jolly! This time he's rustled up just over a dozen people for a couple of nights of fun & games camping & diving over at the Angthong Marine Park. The actual aim of the mission is to seek out new holes & crevasses to explore & penetrate & to go boldly go where no man has gone before. Canada & Dive Medic Matt will be leading the troops & then Helen & Ash will be in charge of cooking & Captain Dam is in charge of entertainments! Sound like a blast? You bet your ass! We're off on Sunday! Sign up in the shop now or drop me a line on email if you want to be a part of the Big Blue Expeditionary Force to the world famous Angthong Marine Park!

Despite the fact its low season, & despite the trouble the Red Shirts caused, & the fact there's been an economic crisis the world over, & that the Thai Baht is now pretty strong compared to the Euro & the US Dollar, & that there is a World Cup on & most people are staying where they are untill their teams have been knocked out, & at least one of our boats seems to be on the blink at any one time, & that we only have a handful of Instructors here as most are away on holiday its really been a very pleasant & relatively busy low season! What a delightful surprise. Bit like NZ football!

Saturday 12th June 2010-
e
Legendary underwater explorer and filmmaker Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born 100 years ago, on June 11, 1910. To mark the centenary of his birth, National Geographic Books is publishing a memoir by his eldest son, Jean-Michel, the noted French environmentalist, educator and film producer, who has spent most of his adult life nurturing the work of his famous father. In My Father, The Captain, Jean-Michel Cousteau takes an open and intimate look at the life he shared with his father, and the legend he has taken it upon himself to carry. In so doing, he hopes to shed new and meaningful light on the life and work of a man who inspired millions to reconsider our relationship with the sea and its creatures-and, in the process, to understand a little more about himself and his family as well. "Captain Cousteau was a complicated man," the younger Cousteau writes. "He was a man of many different personalities, many different moods. But this is how it is with all great men, yes? We know the public mask, but it is the private face that reveals a man's true character. It is the man we know when the cameras are not filming." My Father, The Captain is shot-through with new material and fresh insights into the life and mind of a man who helped to jump-start a global conservation effort that continues to flourish. Jean-Michel Cousteau and his collaborator, New York Times best-selling author Daniel Paisner, offer an intimate reappraisal of the many touchstone moments Jean-Michel shared with his father, as well as the seminal moments from his father's life that
have become part of the Cousteau family lore and legend.

"Hi there, I never got chance to say thankyou to everyone at big blue for a great week, and a special thank you to the lady with the pink hair she was great - visiting me, getting some things and helping me pack etc also please can you apologise to Greg for me as I did not turn up to meet him on Thursday morning." Not surprising Sarah. We heard you got really sick. I think Greg will find it in his heart to forgive you! And Joy the pink haired lady sends her love. Do hope you are feeling better & will come back & see us again soon.

Just a few comments from our very successful Sunset Dive at Chumphon followed by chocolate cake then a night dive at Green Rock followed by a Singha beer-
" Doesn't get much better than this! Sign me up for the next one" Lisa S. " Great sunset & night dive. First one & certainly not the last. Awesome time. Thanks fellas" Jeff. "Awesome you should do that at least every second day." Lukas. "What a great bunch of blokes you are for organising cake & beer & making diving perfect at last!. I loved it!" Shannon. & heaps more comments Cheers guys. Glad you liked it. When should we do the next one?

Saturday 11th June 2010-
f
How about this for a publicity stunt! Skinny dippers left passers-by goggle-eyed after stripping off for the world record attempt - at nude snorkelling. Swimmers bared their beach bums on Australia's Nelly Bay, on Magnetic Island, near the Great Barrier Reef. Designed to celebrate World Oceans Day organisers had expected 100 people to take part but the attempt only attracted 23 people. Sounds like a pretty easy record to break next year people! Better start working those butt muscles ladies! Big Blue is going butt naked snorkelling next year & you are all invited to join us! Save the seas! Snorkel naked!

Well after a blustery few days of strong winds a bit of rain & some rather unpleasant surface conditions, the weather has turned again. Today is a beautiful day. Bright & sunny, flat & calm, blue & clear! In fact looks like a wonderful day to learn how to dive! Just wish everyone else thought so too. Tis very quiet on ol' Koh Tao!

In case you hadn't realised the World Cup kicks off today & all the staff from all their different countries are sporting their national colours of pride! Well Pierre is at least, & Dennis has laid his towel out in front of the telly (guess which country he's from!). Its going to be a very exciting month & if this World Cup is going to be anything like the last world Cup then its probably going to be a fairly quiet month as well on the work front. Still no need to get our knickers in a twist its going to be lots of fun & late night drinking & we're all really looking forward to seeing how well New Zealand will do this time after an absence of 28 years! Go the Blacks! Pick up the ball & drive!

Tuesday 8th June 2010-g

WHALE sharks are being slaughtered and sold in a back-street Hong Kong shark fin market. The fins of the gentle giants are sold for $300 each and used as window displays in shark fin shops in Hong Kong's Sheung Wan market district. Hong Kong's Sharkfin and Marine Products Association secretary Charlie Lim said Australians sent Aboriginal people's heads to museums and therefore the Chinese should be allowed to have whale shark fins on display in shops. Hunting the animals is legal in much of Asia. Whale shark expert Brad Norman said he was "shocked" by the number of fins on display. The founder of marine research charity Ecocean said his investigations had also revealed that up to 1000 whale sharks were killed each year in China. To think these gentle beings are mutilated and left in agony to drown in their own blood, just to end up in a window display in Hong Kong, tears out my heart." On Hong Kong Island's Des Voeux Rd - known to locals as "dried seafood street" - tens of thousands of dried shark fins, used in shark fin soup that is sold for up to $40 a bowl. Dozens of giant whale shark fins, some more than 1m in length and distinguishable by their pattern of dots, were also mounted in windows or packaged for sale. A spokesman for the Hong Kong Government's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said selling whale shark fins was not illegal and fin shops were doing nothing wrong! What the FARK!

Not massively busy here in Koh Tao right now which means its the perfect time to organise a little something special for all our existing divers. So tomorrow our DM's have organised a sunset & night dive interspersed with lashings of chocolate cake! Dusk dive will be at Chumphon Pinnacle. Our night dive will be at Green Rock. & our chocolate cake will be served in the surface interval followed by a lovely warm cup of tea served by our very own Tea's maid Mr Foxy in a pinaforte! Now if that doesn't sell the trip nothing will!

Big Blue Tech intern James Foleher successfully completed his BSAC Open Water Instructor Crossover Course yesterday after a completing a 4 day work shop with academic and water presentations and additional skills not included in other instructor courses. The BSAC instructor cross-over course includes oxygen administration (which is standard at the Dive Leader level) and decompression diving theory. Since James is already a technical diver and an oxygen provider instructor he didn’t need to attend those workshops. James started the crossover as an experienced PADI IDC Staff Instructor who’s majority of teaching and experience comes from working in England. The course concluded with a skill circuit in the swimming pool which was used to test James’s skills and give him the chance to demonstrate his teaching quality. In addition to his graduation, BSAC National Instructor Les Skelton awarded James with Merit which means performance above the passing grade! Good job James!

Friday 4th June 2010-h

Oh...My...God - 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. The growing demand for the manta ray is turning ray fishing into an export operation. Mantas and mobulas are being used as shark fin soup filler, The cartilage was being mixed with low-grade shark fins in cheap versions of the soup. With a life span thought to be well over 50 years, the fish reach sexual maturity only in their teens, at which time they produce one pup every one to three years. While the rays, which are distantly related to sharks, are ending up in Hong Kong’s restaurants, their gills are also being used in traditional Chinese medicines. They are dried, ground to a powder and used in traditional Asian medicines. Reaching sizes of up to 7m from wing tip to wing tip, the manta’s branchial gill plates, which filter plankton from seawater, constitute a tiny portion of a body that can weigh up to 2½ tonnes. The plates can fetch up to £200 on the street in China. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine claim that gill rakers — called peng yu sai — reduce toxins in the body by purifying the blood. A world without Manta's! What is the world coming to?

Big Blue Tech have released new designs to our existing online shop of technical diving clothing. One popular addition has been the “Team Chick” shirt which has been designed specifically for female technical divers. Designed by Helen Artal and Yvonne Fries who are not only female, we think, they are also female SSI Technical Diving Instructors. The new shirt features our famous twin set design with a pink theme, flowers and the slogan “We Go Down”, which of course conjures up a very beautiful image! I just can't look at Helen & Yvonne in the same light again! Or from the same angle!

Another Full Moon party has been & gone meaning we got really busy really quickly & then got really quiet straight after! & of course with the impeccable timing that you come to expect from years of living in Thailand Banzai broke down & we had to take it to the mainland for a few days to get the propeller fixed. Everything should be alright & back to normal again in a few days just when our busy rush is over! You see, its all about.... timing!

July 2010

 
Saturday 31st July 2010-
a
How exciting! We are proud to announce 3 more choices of accommodation to go alongside our other multitudinous choices of accommodation already listed on our website in the form of 2 brand spanking new luxurious 1 bedroom Air conditioned units with hot water shower, TV, tea & coffee making facilities & a balcony overlooking Sairee Jungle on 1 side a semi private swimmng pool on the other. And an extremely beautiful Thai style luxurious self contained villa with outdoor lounge, outdoor Bar B Q, own private kitchen, AC & hot water throughout, TV & indoor dining table overlooking the very same semi private swimming pool, hence the term " semi private". An excellent addition to our portfolio of rooms an absolute bargain at less than 2000 Bt per night for the AC units & less than 3000 Bt per night for the villa. Great timing too, bearing in mind there's bugger all accommodation elsewhere at this time of year so if you haven't booked anything yet & are coming soon then I can highly recommend these places. Say hello to the owners from me. I hear they are an absolutely lovely couple!

Cheers to Jenny & her team of underwater cleaners & fish huggers who are out again this morning ridding the ocean of plastic debris & other discarded what nots that us humans are destroying our planet with. Unbelievable amount of trash we find every time we organise these beach & underwater clean ups. Thanks to all who turned up today. Free Big Blue Eco Bag & beer for you all!

Big Blue Tech celebrates the graduation of SSI Instructor Duncan Tyler from his TDI Semi Closed Rebreather course conducted over 2 days with 4 dives. The TDI Drager Dolphin SCR course certifies the student with the ability to purchase this rebreather and dive on it independently. Enjoy the silent world that Cousteau talked about, dive without the noise of your exhaust bubbles in your ears. Get closer to the fish. Breathe warm moist air - no more dry mouth! No matter how deep you go you consume the same amount of gas - no more lugging 15 litre tanks around for longer dives! This course is designed to give you an insight into rebreather diving. During the course you will learn about the history of rebreathers, how they work and most importantly, as your life depends on it, the maintenance and care of the unit before and after dives. Once you’ve tried this you won’t want to go back to open circuit scuba! A useful stepping stone for tec divers looking at closed circuit rebreathers. This was also a great opportunity to test out the new closed circuit rebreather which needed some trim and buoyancy adjustment along with bubble checks. & who makes a better guinea pig than our own Duncan!


Thursday 29th July 2010-b

The Samui ring road, July 31st, 10am-12pm, Koh Samui. Please spread the word to protest the lack of control on oil drilling in the Gulf of Thailand! This month there will be a protest on Samui in light of the problems happening around the world associated with oil drilling and gas exploration. In the last 40 years, over 5,000 wells have been drilled in the Gulf of Thailand. The companies involved have been Chevron, Pearl Oil, Salamander Energy, and NuCoastal. Many long-term residents of the three islands have been complaining for years about decreased visibility and water quality, which is a factor of both activities on land and those in the sea. After the broken well heads in Australia, and more recently in the Gulf of Mexico, it is obvious that wide spread destruction of coastal ecosystems and collapse of tourism industries are a very real threat of oil drilling operations. Recently, the Government of Thailand has conceded a new area for exploration that is only 42km SE of Koh Samui (and not much further to Ang Tong), the closest active drills to Koh Tao are only 65km to the NE. Drilling is coming closer and closer, what does this mean for our overall water quality and visibility when tons of silt and sediment are released from the 5,000 drills? What will happen to our reefs and beaches if there is an oil leak? Will tourists continue to come after hearing about a spill? Who is going to help when things go bad? We only need to look at what is happening in the US to get the answers for these questions, and they are not optimistic answers. Earlier this month, representatives from our island and Samui met with the office of the Prime Minister to voice our opposition to the drilling concessions that are occurring closer and closer to our islands. On July 31st many will join together, all along the ring road on Samui, to show their unity in opposition to what’s currently happening. If you can’t make it to Samui, join us on Koh Tao for the Land and Underwater clean-up, which will be in done on the same day and in support of the protests. The Underwater clean-up will be in Hin Wong and Lighthouse (the area facing the closest drill), and the land clean-up will be along the beach/road starting from Sairee and ending in Mae Haad. If you can’t make it to the islands, share this information, post it on your websites, or write a letter to the Thai Government or the Tourism Authority of Thailand letting them know how you feel as a foreigner/tourist about this issue. Thanks for your support!

Saturday 24th July 2010-
c
At last our Big Blue Conservation bags have arrived! In our attempt to rid the island of plastic bags we are proud to introduce you to the wonderful world of the bag! Turtles and other marine life eat the plastic bags which they mistake for jellyfish which leads to them starving to death. Made from recycled materials the bags are perfect for going to the beach with or shopping, making it ideal for your travels and presents for people back home. At only 100 Bt per bag of which 50bt goes back into Koh Tao conservation projects don't it make you want to put your hand in pocket & buy one! Its made eco Jenny feel so environmentally friendly & generous she's even taken to stripping down & wearing nothing but her bag! 100 Bt! Makes you feel good to be Green... and naked!

The last call of duty for 25 Chinese-made tanks will not be as killing machines but to provide a breeding ground for marine life here in the Gulf of Thailand.The T69-2 tanks have been handed over to the Department of Fisheries and will form artificial reefs. They will be dropped into the Gulf of Thailand off Narathiwat and Pattani south of Koh Tao. The tanks will serve as artificial reefs to provide breeding grounds for marine life.The delivery of the tanks was in response to Her Majesty the Queen's artificial coral project initiated to improve marine ecosystems and increase fish stocks in the sea off Thailand, particularly in the southern provinces of Narathiwat and Pattani . The tanks were placed in service for the 16th Tank Battalion in 1987 and decommissioned in 2004. The army purchased them from China in 1987 bought at a 50% discount. But problems arose when the Chinese army stopped manufacturing the tanks and parts became scarce. The Thai army could not afford to repair the tanks.Maintenance works for the tanks stopped six years ago because there were no more parts available, the source said. "What a shame" said Canada with a grin across his face!

SO the weather has gone a bit crap but don't worry it won't last. Its just a little wind & a spot of rain. It will all blow over in a wee while! It better. We've gone from jam packed to dead as door nails! Mind you I'm not entirely surprised. If I'd been sitting on a ferry over to Koh Tao hurling last nights dinner up in a see through plastic bag I might not sign up for diving right away either. Weird that eh! Fingers crossed it won't last. I'll give it 2 days tops! Maybe 4. It'll all be over by Full Moon. 5 days! No more!

Friday 23rd July 2010-
d
Check out the new underwater sea scooter called BladeFish - one of the smallest and lightest sea scooters in the world: The top of the range in Diver propulsion vehicles. Able to withstand deep dive durations of a maximum 120 minutes at variable cruising speeds to a maximum depth of 40 metres you too can look like James Bond. Available for rent as part of a fundive or if you fancy you can really get to know how to use these toys by renting them as part of your Advanced Course. Lighter, longer lasting, more durable, easier to recharge & looks cool! If this doesn't impress the ladies then you must be wearing speedos!

It looks like finally the message is getting across & the people of China are actively reducing their consumption of Shark Fin Soup! The soup is considered a delicacy and, because of its priciness, a status symbol in many parts of Asia. But environmentalists have criticized consumption, saying that soaring demand for the fins, mainly from China, has caused a sharp decline in shark populations over the last two decades. Environmental advocates in Hong Kong say that opposition has gathered steam this year amid rising awareness of how many sharks are being killed — 100 million a year — and of how their prized fins are harvested. Usually the fins are cut off a living fish that is then thrown back into the water to die. Citibank’s Hong Kong branch recently learned about this growing sensitivity. This month it ran a special promotion offering Citibank credit card holders 15 percent off a ‘‘shark’s fin and garoupa’’ dinner at Maxim’s Chinese Cuisine outlets. ‘‘An ample quantity of shark’s fin is given,’’ a July 11 newspaper ad assured readers. The promotion drew swift condemnation, with a lively discussion group created on Facebook and an e-mail campaign aimed at Citibank’s marketing manager. And last week, Citibank Hong Kong withdrew the promotion, which was to have run until the end of the month, in response to feedback. Good! Cos as we all know only softcocks eat shark fin soup!

So its peak season coming up in Koh Tao this week. The July Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan is usually the marker for our low season to sudden peak season shifts & with the Full Moon Party coming up on the 28th we're sure we are about to get rammed & we can kind of tell this already by the fact we're pretty much full to bursting already! So if you are on your way over in the next few days & weeks we seriously recommend booking before you get here. Contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a damn good time! Speak to you soon.

Thursday 22nd July 2010-
e
A breaching whale has crash-landed on a sailboat in Table Bay, narrowly missing the vessel's occupants and leaving in its wake bits of blubber and thick skin. This picture shows the southern right whale seconds before its massive body landed on the coach roof of the boat, flattening the steel mast and bringing down the rigging before sliding back into the water and disappearing into the distance. "It was quite scary," said Paloma Werner, who had been out sailing with her boyfriend and business partner, Ralph Mothes, of the Cape Town Sailing Academy. "We thought the whale was going to go under the boat and come up on the other side. We thought it would see us." But the boat had its engine turned off. Meredith Thornton, scientist and manager of the Cape Town Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria, said: "Whales don't see much by way of their eyes but by sound in the water." Between the whale's poor eyesight and low visibility in the water, Thornton said the whale, which she believed to be young, probably did not know the boat was in its way. The couple first saw the whale when it was about 100m away. It breached once and, before they knew it, the whale was a mere 10m from their yacht. "There was hardly any wind, so we couldn't get out of the way," said Werner. "We didn't have time to take any evasive action." The yacht, a 10m training boat called Intrepid, is made of steel and did not suffer any structural damage. The whale made of blubber & bone suffered from a belly flop & extreme embarrassment!

Ever thought of becoming an Underwater Paleontologist? Well you should do. There appears there might just be an opening for you if it grabs your fancy! Scientists have examined fossilised remains of a tiny, extinct monkey that were retrieved from an underwater cave in the Dominican Republic. The researchers believe the fossil to be around 3,000 years old, but say the species itself could be very ancient. They also suggests that many ecologically valuable treasures could be discovered by the unusual field of "underwater palaeontology". Dr Alfred Rosenberger from Brooklyn College in New York, US, who led the examination of the creature's bones, explained that the bones, which included a skull that was almost complete, were found by a team of scuba divers who were exploring an underwater cave in the area. "It's miraculous that they even saw it, when they discovered it, they were fearful the bones were exposed, so they moved the material to a little nook to protect it." Having sought official permission to remove the fossil from the cave, Dr Rosenberger returned to with the scuba divers to retrieve it in October of last year. The divers packed the skeleton into tupperware boxes in order to bring it safely to the surface. Underwater archeaology in snack sized box!

Rob Stewart the man behind Shark Water has his girlfriend diving with us at the moment & she was amazed to learn that we actually show Shark Water the Movie to pretty much every Open Water Course after they have completed their course so they know all about how threatened our oceans are. In fact so impressed was she that we are so eco conscious here at Big Blue she has promised to tell Rob how cool & groovy we are & see if he can't come out & say hi. & if he times it right he can be here for Dan & Kymmies wedding which Paul Watson from Sea Shephard said he'd be over for. A celebrity wedding plus Dan & Kymmie!

Wednesday 21st July 2010-f

Chelsea one of our Big Blue Instructors of yesteryear has now started her own fashion label & I reckon she's going to be huge! Swish Suits is an aquatic wetsuit company that produces eco-chic wetsuits for women whose lifestyle demands more than what mainstream wetsuits can provide. Very much of who we are in life went into the designs of our suits. We have based the design of our suits on the F3 theorem: Functionality, Fashion, and Environmentally Friendly. This theorem does not just apply to the suits but also to how we live our lives. Love to Live. Live to Love. Play to Live and Live to Play. As such, we invite you to become a Swish member and to start living the Swish Life! Swish Suits is the brainchild of the three lovely Berg ladies who live their life in the water and were tired of not having functional and fashionable gear. With Swish Suits, we hope to reach all of the ladies in the aquatic world and outfit them in accordance to their lifestyle! Our suits have been developed for a new vision of women in the male-centric field of water sports. Women can be sexy and powerful in the water. Our choice in water apparel is not "or" it is "and" -- functional AND fashionable. Now stop reading this, go don your suit, and Swish about in the water! Check out www.swishsuits.com

"Hi Jim, While it's still fresh in my mind I just wanted to send you a brief email to thank you and your team for a great weekend on Koh Tao. Unfortunately the visibility wasn't so good (no fault of Big Blue!) but never the less I had six fun and exiting dives. The accommodation, while basic, was clean and excellent value for money and your team of instructors and DM's are a credit to the company. A big thank you to Pete, Stephen, Chris and especially Jade. I'll definitely be back down next month and will email you with the dates etc. nearer the time. All the best,Russell Smith."

Despite being our most treasured & gentlest giant on Koh Tao the Whaleshark is classed as vulnerable to extinction & although protected in Thai waters, they are still commonly killed for their fins & meat in several countries surrounding Thailand. It is therefore important that we learn as much about this species now so that we can work to protect it in the future! Did you know that a whaleshark can be identified by their unique spot patterning, much like a human fingerprint, a photograph taken of the specific spot patterning behind the gills above the fin can be used to identify & subsequently monitor these behemoths of the deep! So if you were out at Twins this morning & photographed the Whaleshark that was there this morning send us your photo & we'll upload it on the www.whaleshark.org database & if your shark gets resighted you will get an email letting you know. Thats got to be the biggest pen pal ever!

Monday 19th July 2010-

Big Blue Diving instructors Yvonne Fries and Hele Artal recently completed a BSAC Ocean Diver course conducted over 3 days on Kok Tao Island off the coast of Thailand. This was the first BSAC Ocean Diver Course conducted by the diving school which followed a successful BSAC cross-over program a few days earlier.

The Instructors were thrilled with the differences in theory and commented that they were allowed to teach what really matters in diving and not so much “fluff and sales”. This was also combined with skills that were based on repitition ensuring that the essential foundation skills were mastered before progression of depth could be achieved.

Looking back on the course the Instructors, who are also technical diving instructors, described the course as a challenge that unless the instructor is passionate about teaching divers then it wouldn’t be the course for everyone.

As for the 7 students, they loved their course but without anything to compare it to who knows. Several decided to continue their education and progress on to the BSAC Sports diver course as they found the course work to be challenging and gave them a sense of working for their certification.

The BSAC diving programs reflects diving in realistic conditions ensuring that once the student has completed the course, that they can dive these conditions with safety and enjoyment.

Learning to scuba dive with the BSAC is easy. BSAC adopts a progressive teaching method; breaking down the dive skills into small manageable steps making it very easy for the student to reach the required standard of competence. The theory knowledge is also very easy to understand by using effective teaching aids and issuing you with a comprehensive support materials and student pack.

Theory knowledge lessons are conducted by your Instructor who will use simple small manageable steps. Using simple and understandable terminology makes the theory lessons easy to grasp. On the open water dives; again we use progressive training building-up your open experience and depth experience dives, gradually.

Our BSAC Instructors have been trained to high standards and are highly experience people, Yvonne Fries is a triple certification instructor and won the SSI Most Certifications Issued Award, Helen Artal is also a triple certification instructor and is also one of the first female SSI Technical Diving Instructors in the world.

Big Blue Diving will continue to offer BSAC programs along side their PADI and SSI ones giving our customers more options and choices to chart their diving hobby. But be forwarned it’s not a certification gained easily but when you get your card it’s well worth the effort!

Thursday 15th July 2010-
g
"Hi Jim, The Dutch magazine mentioned 'BioNieuws" is intended for professional biologists. The article features Dutch biologists doing fieldwork at exotic destinations. I was one of them and was interviewed by e-mail about my experience at Koh Tao. Hence the article. Do not worry about its contents since it refers to Big Blue Conservation in a positive way. I had a very good time at Big Blue, thanks to Jennifer, who is very dedicated to her job and very professional. There is one negative point that I should mention: I am missing the diving at Koh Tao and the crowds on the boats. I am not used to so many buddies around me. Best wishes, Bert' Cheers Bert glad you had such a good time & well done Jen for doing such a great job.

A FEARLESS singer performed his latest number under the sea — to a SHARK. Environmentalist Andy Brandy Casagrande wrote the ditty to raise awareness of great white shark conservation. He decided the best way to promote it would be to sing it directly to one of the fearsome underwater beasts — without using a cage. Now a video of Andy serenading the shark has been screened at film festivals around the world and gained a cult following. Brave Andy donned his scuba gear and grabbed his acoustic guitar before diving into shark-infested waters to play his tune, aptly named The Great White Shark Song. The quirky lyrics begin with the line: "If I was a great white I wouldn't bite you, but I'd swim right next to you." It adds: "It's my ocean too so please keep it clean, 'cause I can be f****** mean." The footage was recorded off Guadeloupe Island, Mexico, an area infested by great white sharks. Andy said he produced the song to show sharks aren't as fearsome as people think. He said: "It's a very, very exhilarating wait. "When you first see that first white shark approach the boat, it's a feeling you'll never forget. You'll never forget that image for the rest of your life: this big, giant smile coming straight at you. And you realise you're not afraid of that animal at all. It's just beautiful, majestic, come swimming, gliding by. People's perceptions of sharks is based on what you see at movies and on television. And it's really not the case. They're majestic. They're beautiful, they're quiet.People think I was mad to jump in the water holding only my guitar, but I proved my point. I am still here." Personally I think you are still mad Andy, but its for another reason than diving with a shark!

Tonight is the night when the boys from one of the largest dive retail stores in Koh Tao is coming over to little old Big Blue to teach our staff how to give useful & practical advice to our customers when selling equipment. & there I was thinking phrases like "buy this pair of fins it matches your eyes", & "don't buy that mask it makes your bum look big" where all part & parcel of the retail sales pitch! Guess we're all going to learn something new tonight! We better! We're missing out on Happy hour at the bar! Two for the price of 1! How's that for a sales pitch! But 1 fin get the other one for free!

 

Monday 12th July 2010-h

Well after a whole month of watching a bunch of grown men kick around a ball in the hope of getting it in the back of the net its all finally over & now we all know who are the undefeated champions of World Football - New Zealand! The only team to not lose a single match in the whole tournament! Congratulations boys! & to celebrate we're offerring a free dive to the whole of the New Zealand football team! What the hell! I'll offer the Spanish, Dutch & German players free diving too! England, French & Italian players will have to pay double!

So Big Blue Tech have now bought themselves a rather large flatscreen TV that they can play guitar hero on all day! What happened to Canada & Ash & their vigorous daily exercise routines? What happened to break of dawn runs up & down the beach, the mid morning swims, the pumping iron down the gym. The chin ups, squat thrusts & burpees? All gone! to be replaced by a computer game! What has happened to the youth of today? I think we need Andy Cav back! Andy where the devil are you?

There's just no stopping our Big Blue Gals Helen & Yvonne who have now crossed over to become BSAC instructors as well as PADI, SSI, TDI & Tech Instructors! They have now got to be two of the most qualified members of the diving community in South East Asia! No wonder they both won an award at the beginning of the year! Congratulations ladies. Now go out there & kick some PADISSIBSACTDI butty!

Saturday 10th July 2010-
i
Paul the octopus, a psychic cephalopod at an aquarium in Germany, has become a World Cup phenomenon after correctly predicting the winners in all six of the German national team's matches. Now staff at Sea Life in Oberhausen, western Germany are preparing for Paul's prediction for Sunday's final between The Netherlands and Spain -- Germany's conquerors. British high street bookmaker William Hill was so impressed by Paul's predictive powers that it has offered even odds that he will pick the winner of the final between Spain and The Netherlands. "Punters are keen to keep on the right side of Paul's tips, so we are giving them the chance to bet that he'll pick the winner before they even know which side he has opted for," William Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe told CNN. At least one punter was kicking himself for not paying attention to Paul. A man who staked a record €500,000 ($629,430) on Germany winning lost his wager -- the largest World Cup bet ever, according to William Hill.

In our first week of operation fish hugger Jenny has managed to get ourselves published in some Dutch magazine. No idea what it says but I'm sure its extremely flattering & very complimentary. If its not would someone mind emailing us so we can remove from the front page of our website! It says... ‘Ik was keynote speaker op het tweede Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium in Thailand. Toen besloot ik hier veldwerk aan te koppelen, wat goed past in mijn onderzoeksplanning’, e-mailt Hoeksema. ‘Thaise duikresorts investeren tegenwoordig in onderzoek naar duurzaam gebruik van de riffen. Dat mag ook wel, want de duikdruk is erg hoog. Daar komt nu de coral bleaching bij. Het laatste lijkt erg, maar de sterfte valt nog wel mee’, schrijft Hoeksema. Hij wil met het veldwerk vooral een indicatie van de soortenrijkdom verkrijgen, daarvoor doethij metingen aan paddenstoelkoralen. Dit om de grenzen van de koraaldriehoek – het centrum an mariene soortenrijkdom – vast te stellen. In november gaat Hoeksema op expeditie naar Oost-Sabah. ‘Voor zover ik weet is er daar nog geen bleaching. We gaan kijken of de duikdrukte gespreid kan worden door te zoeken naar alternatieve duikstekken. Voor onszelf een mogelijkheidom Oost-Sabah te vergelijken met nabijgelegen gebieden in de koraaldriehoek. Ontberingen: Niet echt. Ik verbleef in een niet al te luxe duikresort. Onmisbaar: Onderwatercamera met groothoeklens. www.bigblueconservation.com ’

Big Blue Tech celebrates the graduation of Dean Jenkins from his TDI Intro to Tech course conducted over 3 days by TDI Instructor Ash Dunn off the coast of Thailand on Koh Tao Island. The TDI Intro to Tech course is the perfect course for divers who have heard about technical diving and want to find out more about this exciting branch of advanced recreational diving. This course walks students through the special techniques, planning procedures and skills that set technical diving apart from traditional sport diving. It will show them how to improve their dive planning methods, in-water skills and streamline their existing gear configuration, in a non-threatening and fun learning environment. TDI’s Intro to Tech course is a useful stand-alone course for the diver who wants to become a more skilled, more proficient diver regardless of if he intends to move on to technical diving. The course may also be used as an introduction to the TDI Advanced Nitrox course and the TDI Decompression Procedures course. And finally, it is also a good refresher for certified technical divers who may want to refresh their skills or have them re-evaluated by a TDI technical instructor.

Thursday 8th July 2010-j

Such a beautiful creature but such a sad way to die! The sea was wild, the sky still dark and the fishermen on their small boat were too scared to free the 16-feet-long whale shark caught in their nets 15 kilometres from the shore in Pakistan. "We were afraid our launch would have overturned and we would have drowned," they said. By the time they did manage to wrest it out of the net it was already too late. But the fishermen tied a rope around it and slowly dragged it to the shore, even though they do not think the whale shark is important in terms of profit. “The only use of the fish is its liver,” Nazar, another fishermen,said. “So we took out its liver and will use its oil to rub on our boats.” I am glad to hear the whale sharks are released due to their lack in value (in the Pakistan area at least). Yet, too many sharks are close to extinction due to shark finning brought on by the high demand by Asians for their coveted shark fin soup. It’s a senseless and selfish act, really! Unfortunately most people do not understand how intertwined we are and how much our survival depends on other life forms. Without these predatory animals our marine ecosystem will be thrown out of balance and the oceans will die. It’s already happening now! We must protect these creatures and thus ourselves, through education, advocacy and law. It’s never too late to say no to shark fin soup!

In this day of eco mindedness our very own tree hugger Eco mentalist Jenny & her trusty steed Lynn have created http://bigblueconservation.com/ to keep you updated with news about Big Blue Conservation and our ongoing projects. Join in and support sustaining our wonderful divesites! The main objective of Big Blue Conservation is to do as much as we can to ensure that the island remains undisturbed by the growing tourism and that the marine life is here in Koh Tao for future generations to enjoy. As well as working closely with the Save Koh Tao Group on larger projects such as Buoyancy World and Bio Rock, we are implementing a range of smaller projects such as coral nurseries and a constructed wetland to help clean the islands grey water. Big Blue is focused on conserving the astonishing abundance of life Koh Tao's reefs have to offer, as well as contributing to global research studying the impact of climate change on this beautiful environment. There is hope for the oceans but we must act now. The hope lies in the dedication of people like us at Big Blue to make a difference and give something back to the world we know and love. So come and join in! www.bigblueconservation.com

It's been one month since Project AWARE launched the "Give Sharks a Fighting Chance" petition to demand international protection for critical shark species on the brink. In just a few short weeks nearly 25,000 divers and shark advocates like you have voiced their concern.
Are you in? If you've not yet taken action - your help is needed today. Sign the petition to give threatened sharks species like hammerheads, oceanic whitetip and spiny dogfish a chance to survive.

Tuesday 6th July 2010-
k
Well now, as predicted the busy season has well and truly kicked off!! Well, it has for Norwegian customers at least with 2 families comprising of twelve divers all signing up with Multioctolingual Hal for their open water course together!! So it’s all blond hair, blue eyes... looting & pillaging!

The Big Blue Technical diving team are again endeavoring to offer our customers even more in the world of tech!! A greater choice of specialty courses, more cavern trips to Khao Sok { which is awesome and well worth a look see} and lately having procured top secret coordinates for possible shipwreck sites there will be a search mission under way to discover them! If that’s not terribly exciting then I don’t know what is! For those of you who don’t already know, if successful it won’t be the first Big Blue discovered wreck and certainly won’t be the last, it’s always nice to be able to offer something to our customers that other dive schools cannot!

Speaking of Tech…. James “Canada” Thornton Allan is our resident tech guru and as such likes to keep fully trained and on top of his game, so when it was recently discovered that his girlfriend {long term big blue instructor Yvonne Fries} could do more pull ups than him he did what any self respecting man would do…..he signed up for yoga classes! Also solely keeping Speedo sales through the roof in Thailand he really is showing the world that Technical Diving and metrosexuality do walk hand in hand!

At last the temperature of the water is finally beginning to fall! Hooray! This means better conditions for coral restoration and growth and worse conditions for algae which leads to the one thing that we as divers all love….Great visibility! So yes ladies, you may be a little nippier on your dives, and gentleman you may not feel as impressive in the water but hey, what can you do? Bring on the good vis!!

Monday 5th July 2010-
l
Well its just a couple of days now before the Peak Season gets truely underway. July & August are the 2 busiest months of the year in Koh Tao succeeding May & June which are the 2 quietest times of the year so we're all anxiously awaiting the oncoming surge of happy holiday makers all looking to take part in some underwater antics. Good job most of rested Instructors are either back now or on their way back. It could start getting a little busy in the next few days. Hope you are ready for it Team! Hope you've booked your accommodation guests!

There's still hope for Ugly & Sausage! Meet Boniface - A brand new recruit with a Russian diving team. The maritime mutt took the plunge with his owner in a specially built wetsuit and breathing mask. Boniface the dachshund was fitted with the suit by his professional diver owner Sergei Gorbunov. He claims whenever he used to go diving without Boniface, the dog would become very upset so he decided to solve the problem by taking him too. A South Korean company agreed to make a purpose-built suit perfect for doggy paddle and now the intrepid divers spend hours under the waves near Vladivostok, Russia. Complete with air tank and plexi-glass mask Boniface has so far worn the suit in a series of trials in deep water pools — with a little encouragement in the form of sausages. "We think the experiment has been a great success, Boniface felt comfortable under the water but maybe or maybe not because we fed him sausages before and after." Boniface will soon be ready to dive in open water with the team at depths of up to 45m! There's hope for Ugly dog yet!

Big Blue Tech celebrates the graduation of Ash Dunn, Rachel Linnart and Jasmin Kollinger from their BSAC Aqualung Equipment Technician Course conducted by BSAC Instructor James Foleher during a 2 day hands on workshop on Koh Tao Island off the east coast of Thailand. The BSAC Equipment Technician Course covers the repair, maintenance and service of all aqualung brand regulators from balanced, un-balanced and environmentally sealed to BCD’s and accessories like high pressure gauges and inflation hoses. The 2 day course gives the students hands on practice and experience using the tools and equipment necessary for servicing these regulators. This certification gives the students the ability to conduct warranty repair, service and authorized access to Aqualung service kits, tools and schematics.

Saturday 3rd July 2010-m

Well its been a hell of a week which is partly why there hasn't been much activity on the Blog these past few days but its all over now & things are returning to normal. Thanks to all for the gazillions of text messages, phone calls, emails, support, thoughts, tears & well wishes. Its been an incredibly emotional week & one which neither myself, my wife nor our unborn baby girl care to ever have to go through again. Special thanks to Roz for stoically holding the fort. To Sonia & Yvonne, Gary & Donna for being best mates. To Canada for sorting the crap out & To Michael for his know how & his ability to speak fluent Thai & most of all to the boys at Fizz. I had no idea New Zealands departure from the World Cup would have this much affect on us all! Shocking!

Last week, scientists cheered the discovery of one of the largest groups of whale sharks ever sighted in the northern Gulf of Mexico -- about 100 animals feeding on the surface over a deepwater feature off Louisiana called the Ewing Bank. This week: Three whale sharks have been seen swimming in heavy oil four miles from the gushing Deepwater Horizon wellhead. "Our worst fears are realized. They are not avoiding the spill area," said Eric Hoffmayer, the University of Southern Mississippi scientist who found the large aggregation last week. "Those animals are going to succumb. Taking mouthfuls of oil is not good. It is not the toxicity that will kill them. It's that oil is going to be sticking to their gills and everything else. Based on all the information I'm getting, they are doing the normal things regardless of the oil. The idea that sharks have these evolved senses that will protect them, well, they haven't evolved to detect oil. Last year we had two sighted off Florida and Alabama that were from Honduras and Belize, that means these oil impacts are not only for the Gulf population, but for the Caribbean and maybe even further. Conditions this year are similar to those that drew the sharks to the area last summer. That's a serious concern. These guys are surface feeders. They swim at the surface with their mouths open. Will they be ingesting oil? Like all sharks, whale sharks do not float to the surface when they die. They are dense animals, they don't have a swim bladder. They have this liver. When they succumb, they are going to sink to the bottom. These animals are in peril.

Big Blue Tech celebrates the graduation of Chris Shaw from his BSAC Dive Leader course conducted over 3 weeks by BSAC Instructor Ash Dunn on Koh Tao Island off the coast of Thailand. The BSAC Dive Leader provides a professional diving certification and ability to work in the diving industry to experienced divers who are looking to improve their personal diving skills and learn more in-depth training and methods. We offer several professional internship courses including the PADI Divemaster Course, SSI DiveCon Course, TDI Technical Divemaster Course and SDI Divemaster Course. The BSAC one is unlike any other professional diving level in many ways, which is what made it an attractive option for Chris. The course focused on Chris’s diving skills and ability with one on one guidance from his instructor. This was essential since the BSAC Dive Leader course includes decompression diving, certification to 50m and oxygen administration. In addition Chris had to perform in limited visibility, at night, on a drift, from a boat and marshaling in combination with mock helicopter rescue drills. The BSAC Dive Leader course is catered to train British divers to supervise diving activities in England but the training and confidence taught through the program in less demanding conditions meant Chris could complete the course in 3 weeks1 month and not 6 months. During the BSAC Dive Leader Course Koh Tao had a few days of rough weather, high seas and wind giving Chris a taste of British diving conditions as he performed the last of his training dives at our deeper dive sites on a twin set. Congratulations Chris. Big Blue's first ever BSAC Dive Leader!

August 2010

Friday 27th August 2010-f

Beccy & Emily recently stripped down to their drawers to represent Big Blue at the Koh Tao Bikini fashion show. All the boys turned up to check out the local curves & all the girls came to see whats hot & whats not for this coming seasons aqua apparel. Happy to say both of our Big Blue Instructors looked ravishing in their skimpies & we had a bumper pack of new sign ups the next day when the girls were on ' Meet & Greet'. Great for business! I wonder if we'll have the same effect at next weeks Y-Fronts fashion show with Hal & Swapey?

A NEW way to study dolphins and whales without dart guns undercuts Japan's argument for what it calls scientific whaling, scientists say. The "blow-sampling" method, developed by Australian scientists, allows scientists to gather crucial DNA information without potentially harming the animal, discrediting Japanese arguments that a whale needs to be killed. Celine Frere, from the University of Queensland, headed the study. "Maybe this will make them realise they don't have to kill the whale to get the information," Dr Frere said. Marine animal researchers have relied on gathering the animal's DNA by shooting a dart into the skin of the mammal to gather tissue samples. Blow-sampling captures the air and the equivalent of spit expelled from the animal when they come up for air. Hmmm. Now lets see what arguments they can come up with for continuously murdering whales shall we.

After the tremendous succes of yesterdays trip with the Navy boys to our secret wreck this morning we're off to dive the Unicorn wreck. The Unicorn sank around 1989. Local Koh Tao inhabitants said that the ship just pulled up off shore, around a mile North of Koh Tao 'Mango Bay' and over the next couple of hours slowly sank. No-one was hurt in the sinking. An Insurance Fraud was immediately suspected. A commercial Diving company mermaid-maritime.com was hired by the vessels insurance investigators to investigate the cause of the sinking and to confirm the cargo. which was listed as expensive Tuna Fish. Under armed guard, Divers descended to examine the wreck, and discovered that the holds contained nothing but low-grade animal Feed (Dog-Food) un-fit for human consumption, NOT expensive Tuna fish as listed on the manifest! The Unicorn is a large modern 1960-70's, 60meter long steel freighter lying stern down on the bottom at a depth of 50m. The vessel leans slightly on its port side an angle of 60degrees(Not shown correctly on the sketch) with the top of the bow at 38meters, and the keel of the bow area several meters above the seabed, allowing divers to swim under this area of the hull. Lots of penetration available for technical divers highly experienced in diving in conditions where a total silt-out may occur. Good job we're diving with the Navy boys!

Thursday 26th August 2010-g

Apologies for the tardiness of updating the Big Blue Blog but its been a very hectic week for me this week as I've now taken the Missus up to Bangers for the imminent arrival of our little one. The good Mrs Donaldson is sitting in a nice hotel in Bangkok ready to drop though hopefully not for at least another week as Jim is back on the Rock bracing himself & the staff for the busiest week of the year! The August Full Moon Party rush! If you haven't booked yourselves a room already then there aint no point in coming to Tao unless you fancy a night under the stars! Having said that because we are that organised we have booked up heaps of rooms already just to make sure we have somewhere for you to stay & do your dive course with us. But book now these rooms might just be the last rooms available on Sairee Beach this week! Look forward to hearing from you soon! & darling... hold it in! I'll be there shortly!

Oh dear! Well & truly rumbled! Roz, Roz, Roz, Roz, Roz! Last seen leaving the island with a neckerchief to hide all the hickies around her neck & on her way to Blightey for a short holiday! What are her parents going to think when Roz unveils the sordid marks of her last night of passion on the Rock. Jason you animal! Roz you tease! What a pair! Aren't we all sooooo glad we got a snap to remind us of what a lovely couple they make. Looks like Jason was a little hungry there Roz! Practically swallowed your face off!

Phenomenal diving right now! Beautiful sunny skies & at least 20 meter viz at most sites. Sail Rock is as good as its ever been. Chumphon had a Whaleshark there a couple of days ago. Our first one in ages. & the Thai Navy are diving with us today to check out our Big Blue wreck of which we are the only shop to know the co ordinates of. Clear water, sunny skies, Whalesharks, Navy boys, hidden wrecks & a Roz romance. Sounds like the perfect back drop for a great holiday!

Wednesday 18th August 2010-
h
Hats off to Erik & Beccy who today saved the life of an abandoned dog! Stupid 19 year old Swedish bird came took a puppy & left 3 months later leaving this dog without an owner & with no one to look after it, it got very skinny, very tick ridden & extremely scared of people. It wouldn't have survived another week & after the last 4 nights of continuous howling & with neighbours threatening to kill it Erik & Beccy have stepped in & taken the poor thing home with them to love & look after & give a new home & a new life to! Well Done to you Erik & Beccy. Cystitis & frothy sputum to you dumb 19 year old Swedish bird!

The Seabreacher X is the ultimate millionaire's boy-toy: a James Bond-style craft that can dive under water, roll from side to side and jump 12ft into the air. It looks like a great white shark, complete with dorsal fin, gaping jaws and rows of dagger-sharp teeth. At 16.5ft in length, it is even the same size as one. Unlike the real thing, it also has a 260hp engine, which powers it to 50mph above water, and 20mph below it. Toys they may be, but each one costs about £60,000. The seabreacher is really for people with a large disposable income who want to have fun. It's pretty popular in the Middle East, Korea and the Caribbean. The seabreacher is unlike anything I've seen on the water before. The shaft craft is 16ft long and has a dorsal fin and gaping jaws. This isn't a submarine - you're not going to visit the Titanic in it. It's more of a cross between a plane and a boat, I wouldn't recommend it to those with sea sickness, but it is exhilarating. Sounds a little like the Lomprayah!

Just in case you haven't seen it yet Videographer extraordinnaire Marek from one of the better Film Studio companies on Koh Tao has made a great promo video which we will be showing every time you get on the Seatran Ferry now. Take a peek. Very professional. Great video. Great Dive center.Great Resort. Great people. All wrapped up in a 1 minute promo video. We should have more of these made eh Andy wink wink nudge nudge, say no more, say no more!

Monday 16th August 2010-i

"Hi folks, I'm back in gloomy, wet, cold Northumberland - and yearning to be back with you on Koh Tao! Wanted to say thank you for the MOST BRILLIANT few days - excellent course, superb instructor (Heather), fabulous diving - a truly memorable experience. Now all I have to do is save up to come back! Thanks to you all. Mary" Many thanks Mary for letting us know how much fun you had with us here in Koh Tao & how appealing Northumberland sounds at this time of year. Can't wait to visit! See you back here again soon!

According to workers, young and old male visitors to the Chessington Sea Life Centre were spending 'a lot' of time staring at the ample charms of an underwater mermaid statue.Bosses at the centre have attempted to prevent any further distraction by dispatching a team of divers to cover underwater temptress with a red and white bikini. Manager Justine Locker said: 'We hadn't noticed quite how buxom Sally was until we clocked young boys, and not so young boys, spending a lot of time ogling her in the walkthrough ocean tunnel. Since then, none of us can avoid what is starring us straight in the face, so it's time for a cover-up. Chestintigton Prudes!

The Koh Tao Community is clubbing together to raise some cash in order to buy & then sink the legendary MV Trident liveaboard to use as Koh Tao's first official wreck dive! In case you didn't know the MV Trident has been cruising the Gulf of Thailand for a few years now discovering many previously undiscovered wrecks & is the boat that discovered the last US Submarine to be sunk at the end of World War 2 the US Lagarto which sank with all crew members aboard. An awesome boat with a legendary history & we're all clubbing in so we can buy it & make it even more legendary. So send us your donations & we'll offer you a free dive on it when next you make it here.

Sunday 15th August 2010-j

This rare photograph of an American alligator in salt water was taken a mile offshore of a reef in Palm Beach, Florida. Regularly found in fresh water lakes and rivers, alligators can tolerate salt water, but only for short span of time. The salt glands on the American alligator are nonfunctional, unlike that of its close cousin, the American crocodile. Crocodiles eat anything stupid enough to come close to them including gazelles, chickens, & Australians! Scuba Divers on the other hand eat crocs & alligators for breakfast! I'll have a crocodile sandwich & make it snappy!

"Hi Jim, My name is Celine and my sister and I stayed at the big blue and did a diving course ( beginners). We would have gone on to the advanced however the weather was bad so was not possible. Firstly I would like to thank everyone at big blue for the dive experience and supportive staff who work with you, was a real pleasure. In particular, our dive instructor Greek. He was a true professional in the water and I knew that we were his priority. At one stage the visibility was so bad that I could not see a thing however he managed to keep it and us together and gave us the confidence to continue on the dive. Off water he is a blast, hence a true professional. I would not hesitate in recommending Big Blue and Greek. Again many thanks and I look forward to staying with Big Blue the next time we are in Koh Tao. Many thanks and best wishes, Celine" Thanks for taking the time to write in Celine. Glad you had such a good time despite the weather & look forward to seeing you here again next time!

Its another picture perfect beautiful tropical day in paradise! Great if you are out on the boat all day! Pants if you are stuck in the orifice all day! Fancy a change in lifestyle! THen speak with SSImon about becomming a SSI Instructor, or BSACanada about becoming a BSAC Instructor & work on the beach all day or contact Jim and see just what skills you need to waste time on the internet! email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. It'll change your life!

Thursday 12th August 2010-
k
At least 700 people have been stung by small, transparent jellyfish on Spanish beaches this week, leading officials to post warning signs. The creatures have created "a swimmer's nightmare." The jellyfish have been particularly prolific in their attacks near the city of Elche in eastern Spain, in the area known as Costa Blanca for its white sand beaches. On Tuesday alone, 380 people were stung, says Juan Carlos Castellanos of the Elche city tourism department. "In the five or six years I have been in this job, I have never seen anything like this," Castellanos said. In addition to putting up warning signs, Elche officials are watching for the jellyfish from lookout boats so they can warn beach-going crowds when a mass approaches. Meanwhile, off Spain's northern coast, in Cantabria and the Basque region, more menacing, jellyfish-like Portuguese man-of-wars have also stung more than 300 people over the past three weeks. Biologists are blaming climate change and overfishing of sharks & bluefin tuna & tourist development on beaches where previously turtles would lay their eggs for the jellyfish increase. Oooh dear. Its all doom & gloom... & purple people eaters!

A HUGE dolphin’s dead body was found stuck in a net and washed ashore on Nathon Beach in Koh Samui. It was assumed it had died two to three days before. It was the third dolphin found dead in Nathon this month, and the 10th this year. On July 24, Khun Prasit Prayoonsak, an officer at the rescue unit of Kusol Songkroh Association, said the dead black, female Irawaddi dolphin was found at Nathon Beach. The dolphin weighed around 200 kilograms and measured two meters long. It had numerous minor wounds on the fin and a big wound on its ear. It was assumed that it was caught by a fish net and the fisherman had to cut the net to let the injured dolphin die in the sea and washed ashore at Nathon Beach. Dolphins thrive in an area in the Gulf of Thailand that covers Koh Samui. A rescue officer informed the Koh Samui Fishery Office and the Sea life Research Center so they could document the dead dolphin before burying it. The officer expressed fears that with the increasing number of Irawaddi dolphins being separated from the flock and caught by fish net, this variety of dolphin may be extinct soon if no defensive measures are set in place.

Despite the predictions for terrible weather & a week of storms, ferocious winds & buckets of rain its actually turned out nice again! Another lovely sunny day, blue skies, calm seas & great visibility. Even managed another Full Day Trip to Sail Rock today. Oh the joys of unreliable weather forecasts! So next time we're due for a solid downpour we'll let you know so you can get your beachtowels at the ready.

Thursday 6th August 2010-l

To Erik- Thank you so much for an amazing 5 days of diving. It has been absolutely awesome.. I hope you have a great time for the rest of the diving adventure out here & the turtles name is Erik the Swede! From James.

Hey Hey Erik with a 'K'. Thanks very much for the course & the dives. Your love for the sport has spread like wild fire in our group. GOt to go but will add you on our FB & if you are ever in Ireland give us a call & we can check out our coasts. Thanks again JT

Hey ERik, Finally got the spelling correct this time! THank you so much for a wonderful 5 days of diving. Really enjoyed it & I think we all hope to keep diving so hopefully you'll see us back here again! Enjoy the rest of your working year & I hope you make it to Ireland on your future travels. Let us know. Thanks again Jayne.

Well Erik, Our time together was short but sweet. Cheers for your patience with me diving. Joachim

Dear Erik, Stop writing letters to yourself pretending that they are from your students! Yours Jim!

Wednesday 4th August 2010-
m
The Full Moon torrent has settled down into a nice ebb & flow of morning & afternoon arrivals all looking for a fantastic spot to learn to dive with Koh Tao's best Instructors, dive Koh Tao's best dive sites with Koh Tao's best Divemasters, & bed their heads at Koh Tao's most popular Resort. So we're sending them down the road! Only kidding! Welcome to Big Blue Diving. "Koh Tao's best Divecenter"! Just do a Google search if you don't believe me!

The Recreational Diver Medical Technician course has arisen out of a need for qualified professionals in the recreational diving scene that are able to provide advanced first aid care, administer drugs, and be skilled in such techniques as suturing wounds, setting up I.V. lines and advanced airway management. You may be a dive master on a live aboard yacht or providing paramedical support to an expedition. You may be a diving instructor working on a remote island or simply interested in extending your skills and ability to cope with injured clients or friends . The RDMT is an intensive 10 day course that has theory sessions - but the emphasis is on hands-on training. You will be faced with casualties with realistic wounds in scenarios that are designed to build your confidence in difficult situations. You will spend time at a hospital emergency room where you will see real casualties as they arrive and are treated. You will be taught how to perform emergency procedures by an experienced diving doctor and discuss case histories of decompression illness with certified hyperbaric professionals. The RDMT course specifically covers diving emergencies and includes the management of a casualty inside a recompression chamber. You will learn how to conduct a full neurological examination and how to decide which treatment table to use for decompression illness. Other important subjects include the legality of giving first aid, risk assessment, emergency planning and casualty evacuation. You will also learn how to specify a medical kit and where to source equipment and supplies. The Recreational Diver Medical Technician qualification is accredited by DASPAA - the Diving and Adventure Sports Paramedical Accreditation Agency. Training conforms to ILCOR guidelines and good practice as recognised by St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s Ambulance and the British Red Cross. Course venue: SSS Recompression Chamber on Koh Samui Course dates: 8th to 19th November 2010 Course price: 54,000 Thai Baht For details Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Diver Down in Style! You are the romantic at heart, the thrill-seeking adventurer, waiting to explore the vast wilderness, calling the shots and accustomed to being in the driver seat! Introducing the DiverBike! The DiverBike is the first underwater propulsion device of its type. Take charge and effortlessly soar through the reefs, explore more and increase the thrill of your dive experience. The DiverBike enhances your unforgettable weightless flight through the underwater world. And the best thing is if you fall off you won't have to spend the next few weeks out of the water. Eh Instructors!

Tuesday 3rd August 2010-
n
Hats off to the 52 kilometers of people who turned up in Koh Samui at the weekend in protest at the announcement of 4 off shore drilling platforms all within spitting distance of Koh Tao, Koh Phangan & Koh Samui! Thats 52 kilometers worth of people all linking hands all the way around the island to show support against the vile infidels who plan on destroying these 3 beautiful islands and the Angthong Marine Park & Nang Yuan Island. After whats just happened in the Gulf of Mexico have we learnt nothing? Filthy money grabbing Bangkokian heathen political infidels! Ruin these islands & we'll stick a free flowing reg up your jacksie! 52 kilometers of free flowing reg!

Lara & Dan are planning a Swim for Sharks day! The plan is to get as many volunteers as we can, all paying 100 Bt to swim all the way around Nang Yuan Island to raise money to help save the sharks! 200 Bt if you need to use flippers. Many species of sharks, from the great white to the iconic hammerhead, are in danger of being fished to commercial extinction. A major culprit is soup. At one time, shark fin soup was considered a delicacy for the elite. But as Asia grows in population and wealth, the demand for shark fins has gone through the roof. According to the United Nations, shark fin imports to Hong Kong and Taiwan alone rose 214 percent from 1985 to 1998. This has had a disastrous impact on shark populations globally. The wasteful practice of "finning"-- slicing off a shark's fins and discarding the animal to die at sea -- is one of the biggest threats to populations. Indeed, up to 73 million sharks are killed annually across the globe to support the shark fin trade. So come one come all. Bring your 200 Bt & swim your fins off!

Love the editorial on Big Blue Tech Cave Diving written by Phillip Moore who came to learn his Cave diving with us. Read the full version on www.bigbluetech.net Its extremely well written, makes you want to sign up for the next course immediately & is going to be a great plug for Canada & his team of highly trained Techies Wreckies & Cavers, I just wish I knew who this James character was Phillip keeps mentioning in his piece!

September 2010

Tuesday 28th September 2010-a
Big Blue Tech celebrates the successful graduation of Ash Dunn, James Thornton-Allan, Nick Amidy, Tony Alba and Thomas Hallstrom from their TDI Mod 1 CCR course conducted over 5 days on Koh Tao Island in the Gulf of Thailand. This course was also attended by Ben Reymenants, Simone Reymentants and Kris Harrison.

The CCR Mod 1 course is the first certification level for divers wishing to learn the safe assembly, use and diving of a closed circuit rebreather issued through technical diving certification agency TDI (technical diving international). Nice one guys, you have new dive porn to look at!

Military, photographic, and recreational divers use a CCR (closed circuit rebreather) because they allow long dives and produce no bubbles. Closed circuit rebreathers generally supply two breathing gases to the loop: one is pure oxygen and the other is a diluent or diluting gas such as air or trimix.

WHALESHARK!! the lucky divers on the full day trip to Sail Rock yesterday were joined by a 4metre long whaleshark. The toothless filter feeder hung around for them all to see. Lets see if she hangs around for a few days more.  

Saturday 18th September 2010-b

It’s not every day we are reminded just why we do this for a living. But when Big Blue Tech organized a professional’s only Wreck Exploration trip, it all came back to us. Relaxing on a boat gently swaying in the middle of the gulf of Thailand with mates, playing DJ with a selection of ipod’s and tiny speakers trying to outdo each other’s cheesiest tunes, girls talk and man talk, and then doing 2 dives on a piece of history that only a hand full of people will ever get the chance to see with their own eyes.

Divers, never forget just how lucky we are to do and see what we do.

Our Big Blue Conservation Queen is at it again. After a night in the bar thinking what could we do to raise the awareness to the ever falling number of sharks in the world Dan and Lala came up with the idea that we could ‘Swim for Sharks’. Sharks are approximately 500 million years old. They have survived 5 mass extinction events. Yet due to shark finning and other human causes such as habitat destruction, many shark species are now endangered. To help raise awareness and support, dedicated (and some say crazy) Koh Tao residents are going to swim around Koh Nang Yuan on September 23rd 2010!

This has now become a huge hit with many of the other dive shops on the island asking if they can join in to swim for them too. If you thought that was good PADI’s Project AWARE has heard over the ripples and they also want in it as well.

Come sign the Shark petition against shark fin soup and other factors causing the decline of sharks. We will also have limited edition shark t-shirts! So come join the fun, sign the petition and watch us struggle! September 23rd 2010. For more information please visit our conservation page www.bigblueconservation.com

and to sign the petition go to www.projectaware.org/givesharksachance

Tuesday 14th September 2010-c

False Killer Whales and Sail Fish come to Koh Tao!! Big Blue Diving was lucky enough to have both Banzai and Navakid stumble across a school of 20 false killer whales yesterday between green rock and twins. and then spend nearly an hour watching them play infront of the bows. The school, which can stretch miles in length, appeared to be hunting a sail fish! False Killer Whales (Psuedorca crassidens) is the largest member of the dolphin family, and like orcas, kill other large marine mammals. They are widespread in the tropics and temperate waters, have 44 teeth and can grow to 6m! However the killer whales also feed on tuna and yellowfin, and so fishermen, such as the Japanese fishermen from Iki Island, actively hunt them, resulting in only 10 groups left worlwide. They are near the brink of extinction, with 900 individuals being slaughtered in 35 years. Also, they only reach sexual maturity at 12 years, with a gestation period of 14-16 months, and then cannot reproduce again for another 7 years. Both of these issues mean that we were very lucky to see such an interesting and rare marine mammal. Lucky us!

News from Bangkok is that Andrea and Jim are allowed to leave the hospital and Lulu Belle is gaining went quickly so she should be out soon. All three are doing amazing and I swear when Jim comes back he will have the most toned face ever. I dont think he has stopped smiling once, you can tell on the phone that his face is about to crack. Good on you Daddy.

Thursday 12 September 2010-
d
Apologies for the hiatus - Jim and Andrea had a baby! Sonia and Dan have been left in charge while Jim is in Bangkok getting to know the new arrival, that is when he's not being mesmerised by the sight of his beautiful wife expressing breast milk into feeding bottles - one for the bank there mate, eh? Er.... Congrats go out to our very own Big Paul back in Canadia, Paul's missus has just produced a baby of their own with the simply awesome moniker of .... Maverick 'King of the World' Herygers!

Anyhow, while the boss is away, the mentors will play and last night we hosted Big Blue's first (and probably only) S&M Challenge! The challengers were led on their hands and knees, pulled by a variety of leashes attached to a selection of porn collars. Spanking featured heavily, as did role play, teabagging, alaskan pipelining, spidermanning and more spanking. In the end, Adam was declared the most perverted DMT ever after deep throating a footlong 7 eleven hot dog till he could lick the fingers holding it....

NB The DMT/DiveCon Challenge is an OPTIONAL extra for trainees at the end of the course, please don't let this prospect affect your decision to come and join us for Serious Diving and Serious Fun (optional).

Saturday 4th September 2010-e

Big Blue is very proud to announce that our wonderful, best boss in the world (ahem!!) Jim and is even lovelier wife Andrea gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday, and they are all doing very well. At the moment she is still called ‘Girl’ Donaldson as they are both still competing at paper, rock scissors over names!! Quite a few of the staff (most of us) joined in wetting the baby’s head at Choppers yesterday afternoon and now we quietly suffering the after affects today.

Nick, Sonia, Kelli and Ash have now all returned from going home for a month or so of recharging the batteries, picking up new visas and eating British food and drink that you just can’t get over!! Double Deckers, crumpets, Boosts, Wispas, more crumpets, Newcastle Brown Ale, proper fish and chips with curry sauce and mushy peas, and washed down by more crumpets; ah my mouth is watering mmmmm.

Eco Jen has done it again; we have yet another amazing article in a top Dutch diving magazine Onderwater Sport. It is a 4 page article with lots of wonderful pictures of the resort, boats and the affects of climate change on the coral reefs on the island. Unfortunately we have no idea what it says as its in er dutch. Thank you to Dr Bert Hoeksema who dived with Big Blue Conservation earlier this year and is continually supporting us with his written pieces back in the Netherlands.

 

October 2010


Sunday 31st October-a

Congratulations Lara! Our brand new SSI Instructor. SSI Instructor Trainer Simon, "the highest certifying SSI Instructor Trainer in South East Asia in 2009" Garrity, we call him SSIm'09 for short, has been moulding our Lara into shape. All it takes is an ex boyfriend, a 6 month DM course, a good nights sleep at the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party, her bike stuck up a tree, a couple of weeks of Instructor preparation, some late nights, some early mornings, a few arvos in the pool, a few mornings in the sea, a few exams, a Scouser & what.... couple of thousand baht to pay off the examiner & you too could be an Instructor! Only kidding. Congratulations La-la. Can't wait to see you teach your first course.

Its Halloween & the scariest thing happening today is the weather! Forecasts are not good for the next few days I'm afraid. Rumour has it we are in for some 40 knot gusts & some 4 meter waves! The boat companies have taken the forecasts so seriously that they have actually gone & canceled all the boats to & from the island tomorrow! That's gonna leave some people a little scuppered I should imagine! Still if you are going to get stuck here you may as well make the most of it. Advanced Course anyone?

When it comes to Scuba Diving here are a few things to remember-
* Don't take up diving to get a suntan.
* People who look good with a mask on are usually ugly without one.
* Diving unprotected with a stranger is like having unprotected sex with a stranger.
* Never clear a snorkel on a Mexican Federale'
* Anyone who says they have never been afraid while diving hasn't been diving or is a bad liar.
* Never use a sun intensifier lotion within 30 miles of the Equator.
* People say the funniest things when you shut their air off.
* Never have sex underwater above a coral reef.
* Dry Suits and Beers do not mix
* Buddies are never where you need them to be.
* You WILL run out of film before the Whale Shark Swims By
* 60 minute camcorder batteries aren't 

Wednesday 28th October 2010-b

If you haven't booked your accommodation over Christmas & New Year yet then I would highly recommend you shift your butty & get your plans into action! The island is filling up extremely fast for the Festive season already & if last years Christmas Season was anything to go by there could well be a few disappointments this year. So schnell schnell, vite vite underlay underlay. Get booking good looking!

Things are very exciting in the world of Eco Conservation right now. Our very own Mad Max of the Eco World, Little Jenny, is going to be designing, building, raising funds, & locating specimens for our very own coral conservatorium right in the middle of our Resort. Right in front of the office & next to the sign post so that everyone who walks in or through our resort can see what we are doing to save the world! Good effort Jen. The Green Gods are singing your praises Green Queen. So are the polyp people!

So after the furore last year for the Best job in the World, as a grounds keeper on Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands in The Great Barrier Reef, there is now a new competition being organised for the best Dive job in the World. Now the competition is actually for a job in Bali, which is of course a great place to be & an awesome place to go diving, but come on. We all know there's a little bit of an exaggeration here don't we. After all the Best Dive job in the world is here! Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao! See Jim for details!

Monday 25th October 2010-
c
Getting at least half a dozen emails a day at the moment asking me how the weather is. So I've taken a photo this morning from our Restaurant at the beachfront of Sairee Beach looking north towards Nang Yuan Island just in case you don't believe me! Its beautiful! The water is many shades of blue, there's no wind, its bright & sunny, & we are completely unaffected by the severe flooding that is apparently affecting the majority of northern Thailand. There that should reduce our email enquiries by about a half tomorrow!

A scuba diver abandoned at sea for hours by a boat crew six years ago was awarded $1.68 million in damages in Los Angeles. The jury heard testimony that Dan Carlock suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and developed skin cancer from exposure after floating in the ocean 12 miles off Long Beach. Carlock said he prayed to God not to let him die & was eventually rescued after being spotted by Boy Scouts passing by on a boat. He filed suit for negligence, infliction of emotional distress and fraud after the crew of the dive boat left him in the water when he got separated from his diving buddy. Despite his absence, a dive master for Ocean Adventures marked him on the dive roster as present on the boat. Then, to escape strong currents, the vessel moved to a second dive site 7 miles away. Once the boat was there, Carlock was again marked on the roster as having taken a second dive, even though he was floating alone several miles away. Tsk Tsk! Naughty naughty! Obviously not a Big Blue trained Divemaster! It'll cost that particular DM an awful lot of night dives to pay $1.68 million dollars back!

Full Moon Party in Koh Phanang a couple of nights ago already & the island feels like rush hour on a Friday night in the real world! People rushing around trying to find themselves the bargain accommodation that all got snatched up yesterday. Still looking like death warmed up. Why do people do it to themselves? Oh yes! I remember. Cos they're young! Lucky young whipper snappers. Oh to be 21 again.

Saturday 23rd October 2010-

Thank you Tosh & Chopper from Choppers for laying on a free Buffet Banquet for Big Blue last night to celebrate Deano's departure to Khao Lak as the new Manager of Big Blue Khao Lak. The end of an era is Deano leaving Big Blue Koh Tao. He's been here almost 5 years as one of our main Instructors teaching all PADI & SSI Courses & certifying the majority of our Divemasters over recent years. & now he's off to Khao Lak to spear head our very lucky team over there managing our 30 meter speedboat doing day trips to the Similan Islands & then Richeleieu Rock every other week as well. And he'll also be managing our beloved Liveaboard boat the MV Pawara. 4 days & 4 nights of diving eating sleeping eating & diving around the 9 islands of the the Similans & the 3 best dive sites in Thailand Richeleieu Rock, Koh Tachai & Koh Bon. Lets hope our Orangutan Taff can handle all that excitement. Good Luck Deano. Hope you have an awesome season. & if anyone is interested in visiting Deano & his 30 meter long vessel then contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the ride of your life!

And as we say Ciao, Arriverderci, Saionara & Bai! to one member of staff its time to welcome a new face to Big Blue! Welcome to Big Blue, Jess, our very own, very pretty, very new Shop Bitch! Jess will now be the first face you see when you arrive at Big Blue. Stolen from a rival Koh Tao Diveshop as have a number of other members of staff, tee hee, snigger snigger, guffaw guffaw, chortle chortle, Jess will join our existing team of Shop Bitches Kate & Lee. Could you have a prettier shop front? Welcome Jess. Hope you make plenty of friends on your first day at your new job!

I have been getting a lot of emails over recent days asking how the weather is. Apparently its been atrocious weather here in Thailand & the majority of the north of Thailand aswell as a vast area of Bangkok is actually flooded! Well you'll be please to know our dive sites are still underwater & our island is still above water. No floods here. In fact its been beautiful weather here for a few days already. Sunshine, flat seas, great visibility & just the gentlest of sea breezes. Can't think of a better place to be right now... in the whole of Thailand... make that the whole of Asia!

Wednesday 20th October 2010-e

The biggest sea turtle in the world has been cruising these waters in recent days. Not exactly sure its the biggest one in the world but the message I'm trying to relay is that it was certainly pretty bloody massive! Last night's night divers were over the moon to encounter this very friendly enormous Sea turtle once they'd got over the initial shock of quite how big it was. Other interesting creatures seen on a typical Koh Tao night dive include great big hunting Barracuda, Jenkins whip rays, a plethora of blue spotted stingrays & moray eels & the dangly bits of a naked scuba Diver marking their 100th dive. Usually not as impressive as the biggest sea turtle in the world but hey it was cold!

Good Luck Eco Jenny who will be starting her BSAC Instructor Exams today. Jenny has been hard at work for the last week learning how to become a true diving professional by becomming a BSAC Instructor. Big Blue Diving offer all Diving Instructor courses. As we all know we are an SSI Platinum Center which means we can teach SSI Instructor Courses which we do with much aplomb with our resident Instructor Trainer SSImon Garrity. Then our BSAC Instructor Training is taught by our resident BSAC Instructor Trainer James Thornton-Allen, aka Canada, & our PADI Instructor Development Courses are taught by our off site ex residential, favourite French man Guillamue Fargues, or more affectionatley know as 'G'. With that kind of training, support & backing how can Jenny possibly go wrong? Good luck Jen. Pressure's on!

Impact Fitness! It's the talk of the town! There is going to be a new Fitness Studio opening up in a couple of weeks & its going to be huge! Can't tell you too much right now other than there's going to be the most successful non diving non restauranteurial business opening up on the island & its going to be huge! Keep your eyes & ears out & mark down in your calender the 5th of November. Guy Fawkes night! There's going to be an explosion!

Thursday 14th October 2010-
f
Think I've found our new Eco project for next year. An underwater installation has been created in Mexico which uses real people to create 'life casts' made from materials which encourage coral to grow. It is hoped the sculptures will produce a coral reef system and attract a variety of aquatic creatures.The project is aiming to ease pressure on nearby natural reefs which are struggling to deal with the half a million water-going tourists who flock to the area every year. The original plan was to use 200 statues but later it was decided to install a total of 400 on the seabed, of which 350 have so far been anchored. The statues are meant to represent a 'cross-section of society' with the casts made from local Mexican people. The sculptures have been made from a special type of cement which is 10 times harder than the normal kind and has a neutral PH, which is favourable to corals. The statues are reinforced by rigid fibreglass with similar properties to rock so they remain in place. Anchored to the rocky sea bed 10 metres below the surface using a special drill, fused together and weighing over 120 tons in total, it is hoped the new reef can even weather out hurricanes and storms that regularly hit the area. "Eco Jen! Where are you? I've got a job for you!"

Hats off to ex DMT James who stood up in front of a gathering of hundreds at Choppers last night to give a presentation on his time spent working as an Eco warrior onboard the Sea Shephard last season on their trip to Antarctica to stop the Japanese harpooning the worlds beautiful Whales! A fascinating lecture & some really good accompanying photos of his time spent there at the South Pole. Seems like its been another good year for the Whales thanks to James & his flock of Sea Shepherds & another crap year for the Whale butchers!

Well I've finally got round to updating the Meet the Team section on or webpage! Usually I only have to update this section of our website once a year only but this year we seem to have alot more of our regular staff those who've been here a while leave! So just in case you weren't aware of who is still here & who isn't still here, who's hot & who's not, then please have a gander at our Meet the Team section. If you want Steven dial 0898-Sexty Sex- Sexy Six- Twelvety- Chat back. If you want Roz...

Monday 11th October 2010-g

Just in case you hadn't heard... Koh Tao now has a brand new ship wreck to dive off! The legendary MV Trident started her career as a Liveaboard on the West coast with 4 night excursions to the Similan & Surin Islands before being promoted to Koh Tao as a Liveaboard Technical diving boat & venturing out all around Thailand in search of wrecks & where, among many other wrecks it discovered, also located the US Lagarto Submarine, which was one of the last boats sunk during the Second World War with all the crew still onboard. So having been stripped cleaned & sunk & now lying at a depth between 26 & 34 meters just south of Shark Island the MV Trident is now set to start her new career as Koh Tao's newest most exciting dive site.

Must be coming up for that time of year when you should be considering your next dive holiday & what better vacation can be had than swooning around the Similans or Surin Islands off Thailands West coast for 4 days & nights of nothing but sunshine, underwater discoveries, well earned sleep & quality cuisine! This year Big Blue Diving is offerring a plethora of Liveaboard boats to choose from & at the top of our list is the very sexy MV Pawara. 24 meters of shiney surfaces, luxury interiors, & quality ambience. Don't delay. Book now for your sexy time!

Its all about boats today! Christmas has come early this year for Mr. Canada. Upon meeting with Big Blue's Grande Fromage Michael & Jim have decided that next year we will be upgrading Navakid to a bigger & better size to rival the biggest & bestest boats Koh Tao has to offer & will be sacrificing our little Baby Big Blue boat to Canada & his team at Big Blue Tech to do with as they must! RIP Big Blue boat. Long Live Big Black boat!

Saturday 9th October 2010-
h
While the majority of sensible people around the world wait till Monday to go back to work, Jim has decided to come back on a Saturday! After nearly 6 weeks living it up with wife & new born child in the bright lights & lactating titties of Bangkok its time to stick on the Big Blue uniform again comprising of T-shirt, Boardies & Jandals & do that dive thang! Thank you Dan, Sonia & Ros for holding the fort, thank you Instructors for your continued excellence in diver education. Thank you Divemasters for organising all the fun & adventures. Thank you everyone for all your well wishes & presents. But most of all thanks to my very beautiful wife for delivering my little bundle of joy, my little baby girl! Everyone say 'Hi' to Lulu Belle Donaldson our new addition to the Big Blue family. Lulu say 'Ga Ga goo goo to everyone!'

So what's been cooking in the last month or so? What's the diving like? How's the viz? Have the sharks & whalesharks been back? Who's still here? Who's left? Who's back? Who's injured?Who's off to work in the Similans next season? Who's doing what? Who's doing what with who? And most importantly who's doing who? In a nutshell it seems that the diving is great. There's not been any whale sharks or sharks but there have been Marlin's & Orca's. Most of us are still here but some of us have gone! Some of us haven't done anything with anyone for ages. Some of us can't stop doing it. & some can't wait to start doing it... to anyone. So pretty much the same old story, just a different time of year!

The weather at the moment despite the rumours is that it's absolutely divine! Bright sunshine, cloudless skies, & just a delicate sea breeze. I had heard that it has been terrible here with endless amount of rain, but I'm happy to report that that's just nonsense. Blue skies & suntanned bodies. Sounds like just the sort of place you'd want to come on a holiday doesn't it? I mean Doesn't... it.

November 2010

 
Saturday 28th November 2010-a

Word is out that its nigh on impossible at the moment to go diving in the Similans right now without seeing a Manta Ray! Apparently every Liveaboard trip & every speedboat and at every divesite there are Mantas to be seen! Its a Manta Ray frenzy! Thats awesome news & you have the opportunity right now to go diving with these guys too! Next trip to the Similans on board our very own luxury cruiser the MV Pawara is off on Monday night the 29th November for 4 days & 4 nights of Manta action. & we're practically giving cabins away. 10% discount if you go alone! 20% discount if you are 2 or more people! & FREE equipment rental! Sign up! Sign up! Not too many spaces still available!

In the past few decades alone, 20% of the oceans' coral reefs have been destroyed, with a further 20% badly degraded or under serious threat of collapse, while tropical forests equivalent in size to the UK are cut down every two years. These statistics, and the many more just like them, impact on everyone, for the very simple reason that we will all end up footing the bill. Just ask a Chinese fruit farmer who now has to pay people to pollinate apple trees because there are no longer enough bees to do the job for free. What has the world come to. Doesn't it make you fear for your childrens future.

So as the weather in Europe sinks into a cold depression the Gap Year students come hiking over to Asia to get themselves a qualification that will enable them to gain employment & life experience over their contemporary's upon their return. & what a bloody good idea too! Wouldn't you like to gain a qualification that enables you to get employment while travelling the world. Here at Big Blue we are offerring the whole Open Water to Divemaster package including Underwater videography training & Marine & coastal Resources management recognised by Universities in the UK as the first rung in the ladder on your Marine Biology degree. How's that for kick starting the rest of your life! Beats the heck out of protesting on the streets of London wouldn't you say!

Tuesday 23rd November 2010-
b
Running out of Christmas present ideas for your better half? This year there are heaps of innovative though rather useless scuba toys out there. The pick of the bunch being this all in one high heel stiletto fin! Never in my entire life have I seen anything quite so pointless! Available at all good Scuba retail fashion dealers! At least you know what to buy your Missus for Christmas now eh boys!

So Manta Ray season has kicked off early this year over on the West Coast with everyone on recent Liveaboard trips having spent at least one of their 14 dives  over their 4 day 4 night stint with these underwater gliders! A dream come true for any diver & an experience very few people can ever say they've had. Memories to last a lifetime & all for the very special price of just over 20000 Bt! Have you Manta Rayed?

Need to get fit? Just think of the amount of calories you lose while scuba diving. Swimming with fins is like water-based weight-training – firming the front of the thighs as you kick down and the back of the thighs as you kick up. Surprisingly good for burning energy. Someone weighing approximately 70kg (11st) burns 13 calories a minute while scuba diving, so a 45-minute dive would use 585 calories. What about your cardiorespiratory fitness: According to the British Thoracic Society, scuba divers tend to have larger-than-average lungs and an increased vital capacity (the maximum volume of air exhaled after inhalation). How's your upper-body strength: The back, shoulders and arms all get a certain amount of work lugging around equipment, and clambering in & out of boats. Want to look sexy? Go diving!

Monday 22nd November 2010-

Very dismayed to hear from our friends on the West coast of Thailand servicing the Liveaboard & daytrip market to the Similans & Surin Islands that having returned from their 4 day trip in search of Mantas & sharks returned to the main pier only to find a fishing boat offloading their boat consisting of 2 Guitar sharks, 3 Leopard sharks a Manta ray and a beautiful Eagle ray. How unbelievably sad that is. But as another colleague pointed out there isn't much point in dwelling on it if you are only going to go out & eat a seafood dinner. The rays and sharks are by -catch from more expensive better eating spieces. That's it from me. No more meat & no more Fish! From here on in I'm going to be a Vaginatarian!

Situation vacant! Now that low season is over, now that the rains have stopped the winds have died the viz has cleared & the customers are coming back its high time we brought our 4 person Divemaster team back to 4 persons! Since Tom Foxy left us at the beginning of the month we've been operating our not very busy Dive center with just Steven, Jade & Greg and now its time to put the feelers out & employ Number 4! Think you've got what it takes? Fancy living in Paradise & getting paid for it? Like hanging out all day with scantily clad bikini babes or muscle toned boardie boys, (whatever grabs your fancy)? Then send us your CV's. No jokers please! We got heaps of them already!

Congratulations Becca who has just passed her PADI Instructor Development Course with Course Directors G, & Tim the PADI Man. By all acoounts Becca went through with flying colours & breezed every part of the training programme & the 3 day exam at the end of it. Of course she should have done too having done her Divemaster Course with us here at Big Blue. & this week Becca will be signing on with our very own SSI Instructor Trainer Simon to do her SSI Crossover course so she'll then be a very qualified, highly employable dual certifying Instructor who speaks fluent German! Sounds like a bit of a catch! I think we could do with one of them around here this season! Fingers crossed Becca!

Sunday 21st November 2010-d

Good old Eco Green Queen Jenny is hard at it again organising yet another beach clean up today. & she is also organising a Reef assessment dive in a few days time to check out the state of our house reef here at Sairee Beach after all the fishing boats came in to shelter from all the crap weather we had a few weeks ago. Unfortunately 70% of the fishing boats docked in Sairee Bay didn't use a mooring line so just flung their anchors overboard & drifted till they hit something solid & tied on. Very disappointing practise but its ok cos Jenny is coming with her plasters & band aids & is going to make the whole place better again! Nothing a bit of savlon & a bit of tlc can't fix eh Jenny!

Its that time of the year again when our Mother ship takes her leave for her yearly physical & hops it off to the mainland to be given a good once over! Banzai shouldn't be away more than 3 weeks as she really only needs a short back & sides, a little off the top & a colour rinse & she'll be looking as right as rain in no time. Well 3 weeks to be exact! Meanwhile, Navakid & Big Blue will be working their wellies off to cope with the crowds from this weekends Full Moon Party. Then it won't be too long & we'll have ourselves another boat to go with our existing fleet since we've donated Big Blue to Canada & his posse of Mary men who've renamed it Big Black! So it'll be Banzai, Navakid, Big Blue & ... well I've always wanted to call my boat Steve! Scuba Steve!

Getting a serious amount of bookings coming in already over the Christmas & New Year period. We've filled up our luxury private villas. We got no more beachside bungalows left. All our 200 Bt & 400 Bt rooms are gone as are our 800 Bt & 1200 Bt rooms. Its getting harder to book bungalows at other resorts as well as it seems everyone is getting bookings. Its going to be a very busy Chrimbo! Have you booked your Diving & Accommodation package yet?

Friday 19th November 2010-
e
Fishermen in the southern province of Kien Giang, Vietnam, on November 12 caught a big fish in a net. As the fish was much bigger than usual, fishermen were very confused. They pulled it to a wharf in Ha Tien town. The case was reported to relevant agencies. Experts examined the fish and confirmed that it was a whale shark, which is 4.7m long, 2m belly diameter and nearly two tons in weight. The fish died before it was brought to the shore. Kien Giang’s fishermen caught a whale shark in 2006 but it was only a ton in weight. Kien Giang authorities met to seek solutions to deal with the fish in the way that doesn’t harm the environment. In August 2010, a fishing boat in the central province of Binh Dinh caught a whale shark weighing over a ton. In September 2010, a fishing boat in Bac Lieu province caught a 4-ton whale shark in a net. The whale shark is a slow-moving filter feeding shark, the largest living fish species. The Vietnamese Fishermen are a bunch of morons!

Answering to the call of the man who pays their salaries its nice to see the eventual return from the Similans of the majority of our Big Blue Instructors. Erik, Beccy, Simon, Jody & Jenny & about half a dozen of our Divemasters in Training have all returned just in time for the onslaught of our festive high season! Its the Full Moon Party next week in Koh Phangan this weekend & its going to be a big one so its good to get all our staff back just in time from their strenuous diving holiday to do some serious scuba teaching.

Big Blue Conservation is now and official member of the Shark Alliance! As a result of the fantastic work Big Blue did to raise money and awareness through the Swim for Sharks 2010 event, the Shark Alliance has awarded us with member status. The Shark Alliance is a global, not-for-profit coalition of non-governmental organizations dedicated to restoring and conserving shark populations by improving shark conservation policies. We, as members, are now part of a high caliber group of NGOs, professionals and volunteers who are working together to achieve a common objective. We have access to specialists of a number of functions (science, policy, communications, public relations, campaign strategy and coordination) dedicated to shark conservation and management, and access to additional capacity to strengthen our own organisation’s profile and influence. Go the BBC at www.bigblueconservation.com

Thursday 18th November 2010-f

The Shark Fin Crisis. Sharks kill fewer than 5 humans on average each year while humans kill 100 million sharks annually. You are more likely to be killed by a lightening strike, Bee sting or falling coconut. Over 100 Million sharks will be killed primarily for Shark Fin soup. That's over 11400 an hour. Shark finning is the practice of catching a shark, slicing off its fins & dumping the still living shark back into the ocean. Shark Fins are tasteless & contain high levels of toxic Methyl-Mercury. The Oceans are the most important eco system on the planet containing life that absorbs most of the carbon dioxide converting it to 70% of the oxygen we breathe. Destroying shark populations is destroying our oceans & our life support system. So make your decision. Save our sharks!

We're just getting news in from our Dive center over in the Similans that they've just spotted their first Manta Ray of the season! French SSI & PADI Dive Instructor Pierre Peepee formerly an Instructor from Big Blue Diving Koh Tao & Dobby from the Harry Potter movies, Pierre has been able to relay the message live from North Point dive site that he was able to spend at least 5 minutes at the end of his dive on the safety stop diving with this 3 meter long angel of the oceans. Nice! Christmas has come early for you Pierre, n'est pas?

Still getting lots of concerned punters ringing, writing & texting to check the weather here after all the crap we had last week. Well folks I can assure you that the weather right now rocks Big Time! Sunny, windless, flat seas & no rain! Not even a cloud in the sky. Absolutely perfect. So nice in fact we even made it out to Koh Tao's number 1 divesite this morning at Chumphon Pinnacle. Didn't see an awful lot but we made it, & there wasn't even a drop of rain.Not even a speckle!

Tuesday 16th November 2010-g

Whatever you hear don't believe what you are being told by the booking agents in Bangkok! Don't believe them if they tell you there are no more boats to Koh Tao. Don't believe them if they tell you the weather is awful & the waves are too big that boats aren't crossing from the mainland to Koh Tao. & most of all don't believe them when they tell you that Koh Tao is closed for monsoon! Its absolute balderdash! We are very much open, enjoying fabulous sunshine flat seas clearing visibility! Book your bus & boat with Lomprayah www.lomprayah.com . And Bangkok, stop spreading your bollocks about!

Meanwhile it seems at least half the staff are still on their Monsoon holidays over in Khao Lak cruising the 9 Similan Islands & the Top 3 dive sites in Thailand over at the Surin Islands. They are Richelieu Rock, for the Whalesharks & Guitar Sharks, Koh Tachai for the Leopard Sharks & Koh Bon for the Manta Rays. 4 days, 4 nights, 4 daily meals, & 4 dives a day. With prices atarting at less than 20000 Bt per person that aint a bad deal, even on a Dive Instructor's salary. No wonder I've got no bloody staff left!

Canada practically wet his pants yesterday at the sight of Big Black Boat , formally known as Big Blue Boat, returning to Koh Tao having just had its new overhaul for Canada & his team at Big Blue Tech. With the overwhelming success of the Tech Diving Industry here at Big Blue we have decided to give the boys their own boat so they can go out & do their Advanced Tech Diving expeditions with a lot more freedom now. Her ongoing mission: To go out & explore new wrecks. to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before! Altogether now... da da dana-na-na na...

Sunday 14th November 2010-
h
The Grounds team here at Big Blue have been busy over the last couple of days repairing all the water damage we incurred throughout the Resort. All the rain pouring down in the hills through the Poonama Canal, sorry, Big Blue Wetlands quickly became a raging River & consequently over flowing into the carpark up the entrance of our Resort upto the top of the path flowing over & down through the path towards the dive shop & eventually out to sea. The end result are these unsightly gulley's revealing all the buried electrictiy cables & water pipes all the way through the resort. Looks like a bombs gone off here! So the boys are filling the World War 1 trenches with sand today, just in case you were wondering what the hell happened here!

Big Blue Tech celebrates the successful graduation of Ash Dunn from his PADI "I got stabbed by my instructor" specialty conducted by instructor James Thornton-Allan on Koh Tao Island off the coast of Thailand. Ash excelled at this course by completing with 12 stitches which is 11 more than the PADI standard. According to standards Ash ...only needs a stabbing and a stubbed toe before he can apply for his instructor Rating! Well done Ash, This course is conducted every monsoon when we're bored, to sign up for the next one get your tetanus shot and email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

And its been a busy week for everyone's favourite personal fitness Trainer Kymmie. This week Kymmie opened her much talked about new business called Impact Fitness, an Air conditioned mirrored studio. 'Circuit style training' to allow chaps & "The Ladies" of different abilitites to train together. Challenge yourself & increase your fitness at a pace you are comfortable with. Circuit training is the most time effective way to improve fitness & weight loss. & Kymmie is the most effective qualified Instructor to be trained by. See you at 11.30am tomorrow Kymmie for half an hour of 'Lunchtime abs!'

Saturday 13th November 2010-i

Well thank God that's over! We've just been splattered! It quite literally has not stopped raining here for the best part of the whole of last week but now its nothing but blue seas & sunny skies. Shame there isn't anyone here to witness it! After all the fuss about how much rain there's been down the southern past of Thailand the holidaymakers, backpackers & travellers have all cancelled or postponed their trip to 'The Rock", wise choice, & now we're all sitting on our hands playing 'Stranger'!

Jims come back from Samui to see he's had a bit of a staffing exodus! It seems Beccy, Eric, Tom, Lara, Jenny, Simo & Jodie are all off diving on various Liveaboards cruising the Similans & Surin Islands looking for leopard Sharks & Manta Rays. Emily is staffing a PADI IDC with the world renowned Frenchman PADI Course Director Guillaume Fargues & Sonia's hopped it to Bali for a spot of diving & yoga. Aint nothing like a busman's holiday!

Forecast for the following week. Its going to be an Asian chilly/ European sweaty week with an all time high of 29 degrees & a low of 28 degrees. There'a a mild wind reaching a max speed of 14 knots on Monday & barely a whisper throughout the rest of the week tho wave height doesn't even break a meter in height. We are expecting rain again but the good news is its only forecast for night time & its not even a quarter of what we've just had this last week reaching an all time high tomorrow night of just 8 mm of rain. But during the days its all clear for the earlier part of the week & then by Wednesday we have 50% cloud cover & it goes upto 90% but with no rain. windguru.com Awesome. Monsoons over. Lets go diving!

Sunday 7th November 2010-j

Now being a Dad (still feels great to say that!), I'm used to getting up at all sorts of crazy times of the night to answer to the wailing needs of my little one, & as Manager of Big Blue Diving ( feels nice to say that too) I'm used to answering the phone at all sorts of strange hours from all the far corners of the world, so this morning at 8am when my phone rose me from my slumber I really shouldn't have been too surprised! What did surprise me however was to have the PADI Area Manager of Australia ringing me to congratulate me on the amazing job Big Blue Conservation has been doing to raise money for Charities like the Save the Shark Foundation & Project Aware, & also raising volunteers to help Save Koh Tao with the implementation of the Sairee Wetland, formerly known as the Poonama Canal. Completely stumped speechless & still wiping drool from my mouth & sleep from my eyes I thanked PADI for their recognition rolled over & went back to sleep with a big smile across my face & warm feeling in my belly! Cheers Eco Jen. You really are doing an awesome job! www.bigblueconservation.com

Its Christmas Time & there's no need to be afraid... well there might be if you haven't booked your accommodation already! I can feel it in my bones its going to be a crazy busy Christmas & as per usual there aint going to be any more rooms available on Sairee Beach. So if you plan n being here this Christmas & New Year then I highly recommend pulling your finger out & booking something real soon. Here's a nice place www.baansawainam.com

As you may have heard we've had some pretty crappy weather recently with all the wind & rain but fear not it looks like it's all turning for the better. Weather forecast is for flat seas & a dramatic drop in winds & though there is rain forecast it aint the mental movie monsoon madness we had last week. Phew! Monsoons over folks! Everyone back to work!

Saturday 6th November 2010-
k
Big Blue's very own Green Queen has been doing an awesome job raising money to Save the World & last year won an award from SSI for Big Blue for being the most environmentally active Dive Center in South East Asia & this week we are getting a plug with PADI on their website. " Swim and Shave for Sharks, October 2010 - Fins attached to tanks and shark swimming caps were seen around the island of Koh Tao, Thailand when Big Blue Diving hosted a shark swim to raise awareness for sharks. Staff from five dive schools swam the 3 km distance around the island. After the swim the fun and games began as divers shaved their heads into 'fins" to raise over 5000 Baht for Project AWARE. They also collected 200 more signatures for Project AWARE's Help Give Sharks A Fighting Chance Petition. Jennifer Matthews, event organiser and conservation manager at Big Blue said,”We hope that this event will encourage others to support shark campaigns and  to show how big an impact a small diving community  can have for worldwide conservation.” Great team effort guys and we love the hairdo's!" Nice one Jen! Cheers PADI! Save our sharks... save the world!

So while the weather here hasn't really been anything to write home about, our Big Blue Dive Center in Khao Lak is going great guns. Our 4 day 4 night Liveaboard to the Similan & Surin Islands is practically full for the next trip. Our Christmas trips have very few places left as well so if you were thinking of coming on board then book ahead as these are very busy & popular boats! Of course why wouldn't they be? It's basically a floating hotel cruising Thailands most beautiful islands. Starting from just 19300 Bt per person for all 4 nights including equipment & Marine Park fees & 14 dives this has got to be the best value for money diving holiday there is! No wonder the boats are full! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for your holiday of a lifetime!

"Hi guys - I guess this goes to Jim? Thanks for the great time Eric Voss and I had last week with you! Please say hello to Angel, I have some photos on my site from our trip and a few good ones of Angel. I added a link to your site and high recommendations - here at : http://www.fink.jp Cheers, see you next year!   Mike" Cheers Mike. Glad you had such a good time with us & look forward to your imminent return.

Friday 5th November 2010-l

Its true. Whatever you heard it was absolutely true! The weather was unbelievably horrible! There was wind gusts up to 40 knots! Palm trees were blown over, coconuts were falling left right & center! More than 50 Milliliters of rain fell in less than 24 hours! The waves reached 4 meters in height! For the first time this year most shops cancelled their scheduled dive trips. The boats from the mainland didn't run for 3 days! The island started running out of supplies! Fresh greens weren't quite so fresh. Dairy products were at an all time low & heaven forbid the island almost ran out of cigarettes & alcohol. Its over now though! Everything back to normal. Sunshine, flat seas & no wind! It truely was monsoon madness though! I absolutely loved it! Closed the shop went home & snuggled with my wife & daughter while watching a Tom Cruise movie! Got to lur-ve Monsoon!

Dear Jim,
Thanks once again for the opportunity to dive with Big Blue again, it was a dream come true for me. The shop has diversified and grown a lot since I did DMT in 2008. Well done on the eco project and all the changes and improvements; Tech,SSI, BSAC etc. As always there is a genuine atmosphere and a feeling that Big Blue has a whole lot of heart... Cheers, James Brook, Sea Shepherd Conservationist aboard the Steve Irwin patrolling the Antartic.
Your welcome James, thanks for coming, for saving the whales & for giving us a very intelligent, inspirational & thought provoking lecture into the workings of Sea Shepherd. A very eye opening experience I'm sure. Come again!

I learnt something new today. Something extremely sad. It appears while the sea turtles come in their hundreds to the desolate beaches in Costa Rica to lay their eggs in the sand the local people are collecting these shells in their 1000's & taking them off to sell leaving the beaches completely devoid of any eggs for the future. & if that isn't enough every night the shrimp boats are out in their hundreds. Their nets ensnarl and drown hundreds, thousands?, of turtles every night, they wash up on the beach and in order to eliminate the smell they have people who go out on the beaches every morning and bury the dead turtles. This is the world we live in. :(

December 2010


Monday 27th December 2010-
a
Twas a couple of days after Christmas & all over Koh Tao's it was chaos & mayhem, all over the house! Everyone & their dog & their dogs dog are making their way over from the Christmas chaos on Koh Phangan to the calm tranquil mayhem of Koh Tao for the New Year. & why the bloody hell not. Its another beautiful day here in the tropics with 30 degree crystal clear water, warm sunshine, cold affordable beers & a whole weeks worth of beach parties to look forward to. Sun sea sand scuba & singha! Is there any better way to bring in the New Year?

Dear Big Blue, We had to leave in a hurry and had no time to fill out the course evaluation forms, so we're sending you this e-mail instead. We completed our Open Water Diver course with Heather on Dec. 21 and our Advanced Adventurer course with Becky yesterday. First, your marketing technique of sending Om or others on the ferries to describe your courses before passengers disembark is quite effective. We were amazed that within half an hour of arriving on Koh Tao, we had enrolled in a course, gotten a room, and started learning about diving. Heather is a truly outstanding teacher. Her warmth, patience, and enthusiasm made the course wonderful and inspired us to move on to the advanced course. Not only did we acquire the information and skills we needed, we also had so much fun while doing so. We can't say enough good things about her! We also were very appreciative of Becky and her willingness to work with our tight travel schedule to cram in an advanced course beginning the same night we completed the beginning course and taking us on a dive the day after the Big Blue staff party. She was also extremely helpful with putting away all our gear after our last dive so we could meet the taxi to the ferry. Our diving with Big Blue was a marvelous experience, and we will recommend your courses to others. Our time on Koh Tao will rank among the highlights of our lives. All the best, Natalie Mack and Katherine (Kacy).

Its been a busy week & its only getting busier so just want to take this opportunity to thank me for organising the Staff Party, Ari for organising all the food, Ian for being Santa, Greek for being a great Barman/ host, the Instructors for paying for Christmas Dinner, Becca & Ian & Ant for working on Christmas Day, all our Thai staff for being so warm friendly & helpfull all year, all our Burmese for all their hard work, our captains, our boat boys, the sharks for coming back, the Whale sharks for looking so cool, all our DMT's this year, Eco Jenny for all her environmental efforts & achievements, & all her Eco Interns, the Tech team for being so hard & for establishing such a great name & reputation, SSI Simon for being the Number 1 Instructor Trainer in Asia, (next year the world), Yvonne for being the Number 1 Instructor in Asia, all our Blog contributors, our awesome shopgirls, our cooks, & waiters, our Housekeepers, Ugly our Big Blue Mascot, Team Japan, & every single on of you who came, spent money, enjoyed yourselves, spread the word & are coming back! Despite all the problems of 2010 its still been an awesome year & our best yet! Merry Christmas everyone a Happy New Year from us all at Big Blue Diving! 

Sunday 20th December 2010-
b
Last night was another legendary night at the Big Blue Bar to celebrate the graduation of 3 more of our DMT's making it to the upper echelons of PADI Divemaster or in some cases SSI Dive Con. And although their sexy Santa costumes went down a treat with the crowds it was Instructors Dan & Greek who stole the show at Koh Tao's 1 & only Flying Trapeze School! They put on their Tutu's & swung from swing to swing in a demonstration the Flying Burrito Brothers would have been proud of! Very cool boys. Merry Christmas you two-two.

While Canada, the boss at Big Blue Tech, is away on holiday with his boss, Yvonne, poor old Ash is slaving away on our new boat trying to get everything ready in time for the 12 days of Christmas rush. He has to switch a couple of compressors around, install the electrics, gut Navakid Boat of its tank racks & air banks, install onto Big Blanc boat the tank racks & air banks, measure & cut the steel pipe, afix the whips, check everything works, finish off Manuela's tech course, orientate the 3 new tech diving interns, answer the Emails, print the bookings, furnish the new Tech classroom, dress up as Secret Santa & service the Missus all by Christmas o'clock! I think I can hear Canada plucking the strings of the small violin from here!

Don't fret! There's nothing to worry about. Just because all our advertised rooms are now booked up over Christmas I'm got an Ace up my sleeve in the form of the lovely Jess who for the next few days sole responsibility will be to go out & find, book & buy rooms every morning just so we can still offer you - our most valued customers somewhere to rest your weary head while you learn how to dive with us. The only catch is there are no guarantees I have rooms & I have no idea what priced rooms I can get for you but trust me. We'll have somewhere for you to stay even if we have to stick a Thai cushion in the broom cupboard! Jump in our Free Taxi when you arrive at the pier & we'll take care of you from there! Aren't we full of the festive cheer! ; )

Thursday 16th December 2010-c

Its like Christmas has come early & has given us the best prezzie anyone can ask for! A brand new shiney spanky boat big enough to swing half a dozen sharks & a small cat! Everyone I'd like to introduce you to Big Blue's brand new swanky Dive Boat MV Big Blanc! She's French, she's big & she's white, actually I lied about the french bit, but we felt Big Blanc was better sounding than Big Cow which is the Thai word! Today & tomorrow we'll be fitting on the compressors & the air bank & then this baby is good to go! Last one on is a ponce!

Just got an email this morning from PADI - " Dear Jim, The demand for PADI Divemasters – already among the most sought after dive professionals around the globe – is about to increase with the recent introduction of the new PADI Divemaster course. Completely revised with expanded inwater training and updated dive theory requirements, the course now better prepares divemasters for their real-world duties following certification. To better prepare divemaster candidates for the real life scenarios they will encounter after completing training, practical application has been increased by 50 percent." Thats got to be a good thing! More water work & less classroom! I think thats going to make some of our Instructors very happy! Not to mention our Trainees!

A Big Blue round of applause for our latest graduates of the Conservation Specialist course! Ruth and James from Nottingham, UK, are now Shark Diving, Perfectly Buoyant, Underwater Naturalist Extraordinaries! They managed to see a turtle, dive in the presence of Bull Sharks, and face plant a few times in the buoyancy obstacle course. Also, they collected drupella snails that are damaging reefs around Koh Tao. Fantastic course guys, well done!

Tuesday 14th December 2010-d

Aren't we just proud as punch to have one of our very own Instructors who has written her own course outline for diving with twin sets which has now been officially recognised by Scuba Schools International, more commonly known by you & I as SSI! Congratulations Helen! What that means is that if you choose to become a certified diver on twin tanks, the first step to tech diving I guess, then the course you have to pass will be the course that Our Helen wrote!That's so cool! Ab fab! Very fonzie! You are going to be a celebrity within the Dive Community. The Sharon Stone of Scuba Schools! the Pamela Anderson of Twin tanks! The Brigitte Bardot of Big Blue! Congratulations Hells Bells! We are all really proud of you! Now go out there & get your twins out!

"Hi Guys, My partner and I want to say thanks for the rad time we had learning to diving with you guys. We enjoyed it so much we stayed and did our advanced course. A big thanks to Nick who was our instructor for both courses ( You made the experience awesome dude and your teaching skills made us feel very comfortable in the water!!), also Thanks to Floor?? Not sure how you spell it (sorry) for her assistance on the advance course. Koh Tao will always be a special place to us as we got engage under the water while diving with you guys. Yiiieeeeeeew!!!!!!Big thanks again,Adam & Sonia"

Bull Sh.... arks! Everyone on this mornings trip to Chumphon Pinnacle survived their encounter with Bull Sharks today which just goes to show that divers in Koh Tao are much cooler, harder & braver than divers in Sharm El Sheikh who are a bunch of Shark Jessies! No one got eaten, chewed or bitten. In fact no one even did a number two's in their wetsuits either. Which just goes to show... the beers in Thailand are obviously much stronger than they are in Egypt!

Sunday 12th December 2010-
e
"There's something fishy about this photograph. No, it's not a strange creature of the deep, but a man snorkelling among a shoal of fish. The amusing photograph was captured by backpacker Nick Kelly with an underwater camera in tropical seas. Nick, from Los Angeles, said: 'I was travelling around south east Asia and was staying on the island of Ko Tao in Thailand to study Muay Thai. 'I went snorkelling with a friend and took lots of pictures of the amazing sea life, but this was the best one. I didn't really notice until back on the beach but the fish had completely stolen the shot.' The tropical warm waters off Thai islands such as Ko Tao are home to a host of incredible fish. They include the barramundi, queen fish and parrot fish. Larger visitors include the whale shark and Hawksbill and Green turtles." Taken from The Daily Mail in the UK.

It appears we have a murderer in our midst! Dan found a handful of baby hermit crabs in the pockets of his BCD yesterday, all withered dry & very very dead after being out of the water for over 24 hours. Poor things. Someone planted them there! For the hermit crab a death so inhumane would be the equivalent of trekking across the Sahara desert with only a bottle of seawater. Poor little creatures. Who could have done such an horrific thing. Poor innocent harmless defenceless little sea creatures. & we won't take the 'I thought they were Drupella Snails excuse as acceptable either! Don't worry hermits. We'll catch the crab killer & by Jove we'll make them pay! Eh Jenny 'Dexter' Matthews!

Another Whale shark was seen yesterday at Koh Tao's number 1 dive site Chumphon Pinnacle. Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the world, growing up to a staggering 15 metres in length. yet they are completely harmless to humans and one of the most amazing underwater sights for scuba divers in Thailand. Whale sharks are by no means only found in Thailand - Donsol in the Philippines and West Australia's Ningaloo Reef are two other big whale shark havens - but for many divers, Thailand is where they see their first whale shark. It's hard to express the sense of awe seeing one of these creatures for the first time - it's like watching a spaceship come out of the blue, serenely gliding towards you with a squadron of cleaner fish flanking it on all sides. It's only as it gets nearer, unphased by your presence, that you start to realise the speed it's moving at and the sheer power within its immense body. It's one of those moments when you realise that you are very much a privileged guest in another realm when you're scuba diving. Well worth the 1000 bt to dive with it!

Wednesday 8th December 2010-
f
As you read this, there is a whaling fleet steaming towards the Southern Ocean to begin their annual whale slaughter. Their planned death "quota" this season: nearly 1,000 minke whales, 50 humpback whales, and 50 endangered fin whales. We must stop this massacre now. During the 2008 campaign, then-Senator Obama said, "As president, I will ensure that the U.S. provides leadership in enforcing international wildlife protection agreements, including the international moratorium on commercial whaling." Three more whaling seasons have come and gone since Obama spoke those words, and no change has been made. Please rush your most generous contribution as we put pressure on President Obama to fulfill his campaign promise! "Allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable," as President Obama himself has stated, and Greenpeace is rallying support to put a stop to the slaughter, once and for all. Commercial whaling is not only unacceptable—it's a violation of international law.

Picture a Japanese harpoon ship speeding through the Southern Ocean. Suddenly, the harpooner spots a mother whale and her calf. The sounds of the ocean are drowned out by the blasts of exploding-tip harpoons being fired at the whales. The pair struggles to free themselves from the harpoon lines for nearly an hour, desperately thrashing their tails in the water, before a gunman finally steps onto the deck and shoots them dead. The mother whale and her baby are dragged up the ship’s slipway, leaving a long trail of blood behind them.

Much to our frustration, in a few days time this tragic scene will play out in the Southern Ocean over and over again. Greenpeace needs your help, and the help of President Obama, to put an end to the slaughter of our oceans’ most unique, intelligent, and emotional creatures. Please help us stop this terrible massacre and save the lives of these whales with your most generous donation NOW. Together, we can let Japan know that commercial whaling has no place in the 21st Century.

Monday 6th December 2010-
g

"Hi Simon! I'm sure you get this all the time and as I didn't see you this morning before taking off to Samui, I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for all your help, encouragement, good laughs and professionalism during my OW course at Koh Tao. It was fun, laid back and overall, just a great couple of days. I shall continue my world tour to Koh Lanta/Phuket where I will complete my AOW as my colleagues had bought me a gift voucher with Raya Divers. Still four months of traveling before heading home, bliss. Again, thank you and all the best for you and for everyone at Big Blue. Mia"- Don't you mean Dominatrix Simone, Mia?

Woke up this morning to the wettest day on record! It has, (pardon my french), absolutely pissoir-ed down all night & all morning & apparently its only going to get worse this afternoon! Fark a duck, (whoops, my Australian)... which of course absolutely sucks, (Kiwi slang)! But zee (German), good news is that zees should be the end of it & then its a return to normalcy with flat seas, sunny skies, clear water, & bronzed bikini babes sprawled up & down the beaches. Firkin well better be, (forgive my Scottish), or I'll be writing to my Union representative expressing my disdain to these shitey, (sorry... my Irish), tropical rainstorms! Pip pip... (English).

Happy 84th to the King Of Thailand. The world's longest reigning monarch, left the hospital yesterday where he has been staying for over a year to join celebrations for his birthday. Thousands of well-wishers lined the streets of Bangkok to wish King Bhumibol Adulyadej a happy birthday. Many Happy Returns of the day your majesty & for the sake of your country & your people may you have many more!

Thursday 3rd December 2010-

Better hurry up the closer we get to Christmas the busier the trips are getting & I do believe I am the only one left with Liveaboard availability in the Similans with 2 spaces left over Christmas & 5 spaces still available over New Year! The Christmas trip is 5 days & nights departing on the 23rd December for the Similans & Surin Islands & the New Year Trip departs for another 5 days & nights from the 29th & returning on the 3rd Jan. Roll up roll up! Prices start from under 30000 Bt per person including equipment & Marine Park Fee. First come first served!

Christmas came early for a lot of our divers completing their first 2 dives in the open water yesterday while diving at White Rock when they quite literally bumped into a Whaleshark! Jacques Cousteau dived for 20 years before he saw his first Whaleshark. Students diving with Instructors Dan, Becca, Ian & Charles had only been diving 20 minutes! How's that for a nice Christmas present from your Instructor!

And as if one shark wasn't enough this morning while diving at Chumpon Pinnacle we saw our first Bull Shark of the season! Don't worry. Despite the rumours Bull Sharks here in Koh Tao are actually very friendly & not aggressive at all. Apparently its to do with the water temperature. Bull sharks in warm water are docile & friendly. Bull sharks in cold water are angry & aggressive. Bit like the Russians!

Wednesday 1st December 2010-i

In the infamous words of the great Steve Irwin... "Crikey!" 1st of December & we are practically fully booked for the whole of the 12 days of Christmas & some! I've just had to update our accommodation page on our website with the rooms we still have available & I was shocked to see how little we have left! Well it won't take too long to sell all them! So then I thought I'd send our disappointed customers who can't get rooms in Koh Tao to our other Dive center in Khao Lak but they are full too! Even the Liveaboard is choc a block! Better start getting the tents & hammocks out! Tis going to be a very busy end to 2010!

Congratulations & welcome to the Big Blue Crew Mr.Ant Silwood, the successful applicant for the Divemaster job we advertised last week. Ant has a background in sales & IT & has for the last 3 months proved hiself a worthy candidate for the DM job during his Divemaster Training that he undertook with us. Ant joins Geordie Steven, Souf Afrikaan Greg, & Posh Jade in our DM pool. What a team! Bit like the Untouchables, only without Kevin Costner, Sean Connery & Andy Garcia! Congratulations again Ant & welcome to the party!

Big Blue Conservation is now and official member of the Shark Alliance! As a result of the fantastic work Koh Tao did to raise money and awareness through the Swim for Sharks 2010 event, the Shark Alliance has awarded us with member status. The Shark Alliance is a global, not-for-profit coalition of non-governmental organizations dedicated to restoring and conserving shark populations by improving shark conservation policies. We, as members, are now part of a high caliber group of NGOs, professionals and volunteers who are working together to achieve a common objective. We have access to specialists of a number of functions (science, policy, communications, public relations, campaign strategy and coordination) dedicated to shark conservation and management, and access to additional capacity to strengthen our own organisation’s profile and influence. Go team Eco!!!

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