Sunday 30th May 2010-
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.
Well said Rough Guide!
Saturday 29th May 2010-
"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-
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-
"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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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
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
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-
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