Sunday 31st October-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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...
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-
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.