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!
Friday 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!
Thursday 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!
Wednesday 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!
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!
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!
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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
-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!