Ros booked the day off for Thanksgiving so she could cook Curtis, her All American Boy a turkey. So Ros, here's what you do: First, buy the turkey and a bottle of whiskey. Pour yourself a glass of whiskey and put the turkey in the oven. Take another 2 drinks of whiskey, and set the degree at 375 ovens. Have 3 more whiskeys of drink and turn the oven on. Take 4 whisks of drinky and turk the bastey. Stick a turkey in the thermometer, and glass yourself a pour of whiskey. Bake the whiskey for 4 hours, take the oven out of the turkey, and floor the turkey up off the pick. Pour yourself another glass of turkey. Now just tet the sable, and turk the carvey! Happy America Day!
Jim is off tomorrow for another month long holiday with his family. This time he's off to Munich! From the sweaty pant wearing 30 degree temperature of Koh Tao to the testicle shrinking minus 13 degrees of Munich this should be quite an experience for him. So Jim's off for Christmas but back for New Year so Ros is back in charge, despite her piss poor performance last time Jim went on holiday when Ros set fire to the kitchen & then flooded the whole Resort. So lets be honest she can't exactly faff it up anymore than she did last time! Watch this space.
And another Whaleshark! That makes six thousand nine hundred and twenty twelvety whale shark sitings this year! Which makes your chances of seeing a Whaleshark in Thailand as about as high as seeing a monk in Thailand! & I guess this amount of Whaleshark visits here this year would also rank Koh Tao as being one of the most common places to go on holiday & dive with a Whaleshark! Mexico, Australia, Philipines & Thailand! Nice holiday destinations! At least they have good taste in holidays! Wouldn't really be the same if you had to go to Belgium!
Thursday 24th November 2011-
Whale sharks are harmless filter-feeders that can grow to be the size of a school bus and live for more than 70 years. Although exceedingly rare, encounters with these spectacular animals have dazzled divers and underwater photographers around the world. Unfortunately, some tuna companies are slaughtering these majestic giants... but not until after they turn them into live fishing gear. Tuna fisherman use whale sharks as fish-aggregating devices (FADs), attaching radio locators to their bodies, allowing them to gather schools of tuna and other fish around them, and then scooping everything up in a net. The whale shark is often caught and released numerous times before it finally dies from the brutal treatment. The truth is disturbing, but Chicken of the Sea can do something about it. Take action and ask them to make a commitment to not use whale sharks as bait for tuna fishing.
And they're back! Welcome back Andy Cav & James Foehler our new Mr & Mrs of Big Blue Tech. Our Tech Diving department has been in a bit of a limbo since Canada left to fight Pirates off Somalia (seriously) but now we have the next best thing- Andy Cav. & his trusty steed James. Both very experienced Recreational & Technical Instructors themselves the lads are to get Big Blue Tech back to its former dizzying heights of Tech Diving fame. In addition Andy will soon be a BSAC Instructor Trainer & is as we speak sporting a moustache that wouldn't look out of place in a 3 musketeers movie. Welcome home guys. Really really really looking forward to you guys kicking some ass again in the Tech Wreck & Caving world!
Another SSI Instructor Crossover today with the islands best SSI Instructor Trainer Mr SSImon Garrity. Today newbie PADI Instructors Eva from Holland & James from the US of A & our new recently employed German speaking Instructor Felix from Berlin are all enjoying 2 days of non stop mirth merriment & SSImons saucy scuba stories! Then they will all be Dual Certified Scuba Instructors looking for a career in the Scuba biz! & guess who's going to be good enough to give them their first foot in the Diving door. SSImon! No wonder everyone thinks he's the best. SSImon gets jobs for everyone who does their SSI Instructor courses with him. Isn't it time you did your SSI Instructor Course?
Monday 21st November 2011-
Went to dive the wreck this morning cos beleive it or not we actually have divers right now who want to see something else other than a whaleshark. So, like I said we took them to dive the newly sunken Wreck that we have here, parked just outside Big Blue Diving Resort in over 30 meters depth & guess what everyone saw swimming round the top of the wreck? Another Whaleshark! Hey,what can I say! When you're hot, you're hot!
If you're thinking of diving with Big Blue next year, have a think about participating in one of our fantastic Eco initiatives! Big Blue is unique on Koh Tao for having a team dedicated to marine biology and conservation education. We have our own on-going projects, such as our constructed wetland, coral nurseries, bleaching recovery and resilience studies, diver impact surveys, Whale shark and turtle survey and data submission, fundraisers such as the Swim4Sharks and the Big Bite festival in aid of shark conservation in September, and ghost net removal and surveys, as well as making sure our resort, visitors and divers are all ecologically sustainable. We also participate in island wide initiatives such as monthly Beach and Underwater Clean ups (which you can be deeply involved in the organisation of if you want). We also help with local Artificial Reef maintenance and observation; BioRock and Buoyancy world are island projects, but we also have our own house reef on Sairee which Big Blue made and continues to add to, called The Shire. For more indepth information about our projects at Big Blue, have a look at www.bigblueconservation.com, or join our facebook group!
Saturday 19th November 2011-
Don't wish to alarm any of you who are thinking of popping over this Christmas or New Year, but it does appear the island has very nearly run out of accommodation already! We are completely sold out of 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2500, 3500, & 4000 Bt accommodation! The only thing we do still have is our 2000 Bt & 3000 Bt Villa suites, & the 7000 Bt family apartment! & even there we've only got 1 left of each room. So people get busy & get booking! Only 46 sleeps till Christmas!
“Best Fun Diving ever!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor November 3, 2011- I signed up for 2 Fun Dives with Big Blue and ended up doing 14! All the staff, especially Dive Masters Steven, Greg and Regi, were just so friendly, professional and really made you feel at ease. Their enthusiasm and knowledge of the dive sites and ability to find the smallest and coolest things was amazing. I will definitely be back, and recommend Big Blue to anyone! Thanks again guys & see you soon! Stacey from Sydney , Visited October 2011"
Here is the video Sealord and the global tuna industry doesn't want you to see- www.greenpeace.org.nz. Gruesome images of what is caught along with your tuna. Click here to see it and take part in the solution to end destructive fishing. Warning: graphicTake one random floating object, attach a radio beacon so you can find it again, drop it in the ocean and return later with a giant net and scoop up everything in sight. That's how much of the world's tuna is caught - inlcuding the tuna sold by Sealord in NZ - using fish aggregating devices (FADs) with purse seine nets and it's a recipe for disaster. This footage was given to Greenpeace by someone inside the tuna fishing industry who'd had enough of the destruction.
Wednesday 16th November 2011-
Hats off to our Green Queen Jennifer Matthews who is now the star focus on BSAC Thailands website- "Divers are ambassadors to the underwater world, and without the data collected by divers trained in underwater conservation techniques, policies are unlikely to be made, let alone be accurate. It’s very easy to get involved in conservation work and it starts with being a responsible tourist, so find the 'eco-minded' centers and ask them how you can get involved. You may even end up with a free dive!"- Jennifer Matthews, BSAC Thailand Marine Conservation Advisor
“The place to be in Koh Tao!”- 5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011. Charles Bernier! thanks for being our diveinstructor, advanced divers? who would have thought that! the nightdive was very exciting, a big jump into the darkness! cause of you I believed in myself hahaha. Big Blue Diving is the place to chill out & dive on Koh Tao, very nice location and friendly staff.
We also had 2 nice dives with Moskito on Koh Phi Phi, was recommended by Charles! Big Blue thanks for everything, till next time! Charles & Ferdy from Holland"
Latest on the flood situation in Bangkok. Well there is still a large volume of flood water from the north passing through Bangkok, and to the east and west of the city, to reach the Gulf of Thailand. This flood water is being contained by a series of barriers, dykes and canals and has flooded outlying districts to the north (including Chatuchak weekend market ), east and west of central Bangkok. Yesterady the 15th November was the last day of high tide so we expect the water to drain dramatically in the next week. Thanks French Connection UK for that.
Tuesday 15th November 2011-
Another day... another 5 meter long Whaleshark! & who says you shouldn't go to Koh Tao during monsoon! Don't think we've had a run like this since 2007 when we saw 52 Whalesharks in 52 weeks! Don't think we've had a monsoon like this since 2006 either. In 2006 Monsoon quite literally forgot about us! We had crystal clear waters & skies, flat seas, heaps of divers & amazing sunsets. This monsoon we've got awesome viz, relatively flat seas, cloudy skies but very little rain & big fish. Must write to Lonely Planet & the like & tell them to adjust their info on Monsoon & Whaleshark season on Koh Tao!
Good luck to our 2 PADI Instructor candidates today. Thats James & Eva who are as I write starting their 3 day Instructor Exam today. After 3 weeks of hard core diver training, Physics, Physiology, & the Science of Diving its time for them both to put on their bikinis & show the PADI examiners exactly what they're made of! & then it'll be 2 more Instructors looking for gainful employment in the wonderful world of Scuba Diving. Come see me when your done guys. We'll get you doing the SSI Crossover with SSI Instructor Trainer Simon Garrity & then have you certifying your first students before you can say Big Blue's big blue & black boat's bloody broke!
Well the last few days knocked us for 6! We were expecting a few revellers pulling up at the resort for a dive or 2 but were caught completely off guard by just how many actually turned up. We've got all the Instructors out, all the DM's out. We're using 4 or 5 Freelance Staff & all our boats are rammed to the rafters. Its soo busy half our Instructors are actually finishing their Open Water courses this morning & going straight back out again for more of the same this afternoon! But no one got quite as lucky as Tosh today who finished his group this morning with a Whaleshark then started an Advanced Course this afternoon & is night diving tonight! Who's a lucky boy!
Saturday 12th November 2011-
So guys don't forget about our other dive center on the west coast of Thailand -Big Blue Diving Khao Lak. We make daily dive trips to Richelieu Rock, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and the Similan islands aboard our fast and quiet speedboat. Everything is included on our full- service trip. We’ll even pick you up right at your hotel. Liveaboards If you have the time, a liveaboard is the best way to see the Similans. 4 dives per day, frequent stops at deserted beaches, and more time to relax aboard our luxurious MV Pawara, where every cabin has a private ensuite. Courses We offer SSI and PADI courses from Beginner to Professional. Come diving in the Similans with us for a day, even if you’ve never tried it before. Our highly trained staff all have years of experience looking after our customers and giving them the experience of a lifetime.
"I came to the island and had no preparation about where to go. So spent the first 4 days diving with different dive schools and talked to the people. As the people or more specifically the other Divemastertrainees (DMTs) were very helpful and nice I decided to stay .. and I cant say it was a bad decision. Definitely better than the other smaller diveschools. I personally wouldn't recommend #### (the big shop up the road) as they have about 40 DMT and it was (my feeling) unpersonal. Big Blue more felt like a family... But this also comes and goes with the people. I suggest a come and find out strategy. Check age of equipment, people, price is mostly the same (500€ + books (about 100€)) and most important how u feel welcome. But as I said with a diveschool wich is too small u may not able to assist on as many courses and stuff like that. U also might have to do some stupid equipment- and bottle-shifting ....Diveschools I would try would be: @ Sairee beach: coral grand, crystal, big blue (in this area are definately more party than on the others) @ north/east beach (forgot the name): budda view ENJOY oh in between as u enter an island where it is more than normal to speak in english ...u should get used to it. As people tend to hang out with people from their own nationality ...try not to. Your english is going to improve loads..." Jan Jenssen- another happy Big Blue customer.
Friday 11th November 2011-
Another day – another whale shark! Actually 2 whalesharks! Here on Koh Tao we are lucky having the chance to dive with whale sharks every other day. Only about 1% of the Earth’s population has ever seen a whale shark, let alone been diving with one! Whale sharks are known to be solitary creatures but in 2009 of the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico over 420 whale sharks were sighted at the same time. Sadly, whale sharks are still kept in aquariums all over the world. What scientists do know is that these animals like their space. Still, four whale sharks are being kept in one tank that is 10 meters deep, 35 meters wide and 27 meters long and holds the equivalent of 3 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water which makes it a big tank but no way near big enough… Luckily most of us prefer them in the wild, where they belong! If you haven’t seen one yet – well, sign up to go diving with the best dive master & instructor team on Koh Tao, & we'll show you two!
It was the Koh Phangan Full Moon party last night. Pretty much the smallest, quietest Full Moon Party of the year. Usually cos of the weather. But not this year! Weather is amazing. & with the floods in Bangkok revellers from all over Thailand have been honing their radars on last nights party. Rumour has it there was over 10000 party people dancing like Madonna last night. Chances are they're all going to be looking a little bit Lady Gaga today! It doesn't bother me. Might be quite interesting having 10000 Lady Gaga's sign up for their Open Water Course!
Wednesday 9th November 2011-
Whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle this morning! & every single diver on our boat not only saw it but dived with it for 2 dives & an estimated 65 minutes total! & not only that but we were the only boat there so had the best divesite on Koh Tao & the biggest fish in the sea, all to ourselves! And all for the extra special bargain price of just 700 Bt per dive & a free beer to all those who dived with it just to celebrate! How's that for customer service, Big Blue Diving. Your number one dive center on Koh Tao!
Ocean Conservancy, a Washington-based nonprofit organization, has organized and documented annual cleanups in the United States since 1986, and internationally since 1989. September is the International Cleanup Month and in 2008 nearly 400.000 volunteers, among these 10,600 divers, in 104 countries gathered 3 million kilograms (6.8 million pounds) of trash, mostly from the edge of the ocean, but along some inland waters as well. 43 categories of debris were tracked and documented and the “top ten”, accounting for 83% of the total were:
1. Cigarette Butts 2. Plastic Bags 3. Food Containers 4. Caps & Lids 5. Plastic Bottles 6. Paper Bags 7. Straws & Stirrers 8. Cups, Plates & Eating Utensils 9. Glass Bottles 10. Beverage Cans
This does say a lot about the human nature... Here at Big Blue we organize at least one Beach & Reef Cleanup every month, as the Eco-Friendly Resort Big Blue is! The next Cleanup will be in early December and you are all welcome to tag along and give us a helping hand.
Monday 7th November 2011-
Coming to Thailand? Worried about the floods? Should you cancel your trip? The situation is certainly fluid (no pun intended) but as of late Sunday, central Bangkok remained open for business. Tourists are still here. Central Bangkok is not in prime shape for visitors, but it is livable for residents. If you are worried, you can still transit through the capital by plane, bus or train to get elsewhere. The south of Thailand including Phuket, Samui, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi, Koh Phangan, Khao Lak & Koh Tao have been completely uneffected as has the northern Mountain city of Chang Mai. In all these areas the weather has been very sunny, with no rain for several weeks & there is no flooding of any kind. Better head South then!
In just 25 years, our consumption rate of plastic bags has grown from almost zero to our use of over 500 billion plastic bags annually … almost 1 million per minute. According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags. At Big Blue, you can bring in your plastic bags and we will reuse them - just look for the plastic bag recycle bin out side the Eco Lab. Each high quality reusable bag you use has the potential to eliminate an average of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime, which is why we also sell 'bag for life' canvas bags for only 100 baht - 50% of which goes to conservation research at Big Blue! So you can look eco-cool and feel good bout it too! Remember every piece of plastic ever produced and not recycled still exists!
So... channel hopping last night and came across a re-run of Underwater Universe on History Channel, starring legendary Koh Tao cinematographer Andy Keeler and featuring muchos footage filmed by ACE Marine Images..."watching yourself and seeing our names in the credits on the telly feels pretty awesome...again" said Andy. Look out for more re-runs through the week. Forget the rest, if you want to learn to make films ACE is the place.
It does appear that if you dive with Big Blue we will go just that little bit further to make our customers feel that much better about their time spent diving in Koh Tao. Just ask our Open Water students who did 2 dives with a Whale shark this morning! The only thing is, now you are always gonna think that scuba diving means diving with creatures as monolithic as a Whaleshark! I'm afraid that just aint the case. Jacques Cousteau dived for 20 years before he saw his first Whaleshark! Mind you I dare say he saw a few more spectacular things other than Rabbitfish by that time! Congratulations guys. Welcome to the 1% of the world's population who have ever dived with a Whaleshark!
Colombian environmental authorities have reported a huge shark massacre in the Malpelo wildlife sanctuary in Colombia's Pacific waters, where as many as 2,000 hammerhead, Galápagos and silky sharks may have been slaughtered for their fins. A team of divers who were studying sharks in the region reported the mass killing in the waters surrounding the rock-island known as Malpelo, some 500 kilometres from the mainland. Divers say they saw a large number of fishing trawlers entering the zone illegally" The divers counted a total of 10 fishing boats, which all were flying the Costa Rican flag. When the divers dove, they started finding a large number of animals without their fins. They didn't see any alive. One of the divers provided a video that shows the finless bodies of dead sharks on the ocean floor. Calculating an average of 200 sharks per boat, "our estimates are that as many as 2,000 sharks may have been killed." Divers have reported sightings of schools of more than 200 hammerhead sharks and as many as 1,000 silky sharks in the protected waters, one of the few areas in the world where sightings of short-nosed ragged-toothed shark, known locally as the "Malpelo monster," have been confirmed. In 2006 Unesco included the park on its list of World Heritage sites.But the high concentration of sharks in Malpelo and the remoteness of the marine sanctuary draws illegal fishing boats from nearby nations which trap the sharks, strip them of their fins, and throw them back into the water. Shark fin soup, considered a delicacy of Chinese cuisine, can fetch £63 per bowl in a Hong Kong restaurant. Colombia's navy sporadically patrols the waters and maintains a small outpost on the 1.2 square kilometre island, which is 36 hours from the nearest port. At the time of the reported shark finnings, however, no navy ships were nearby. Once the report of the finnings were made public, the navy dispatched a ship to the area and on Sunday reported the seizure of an Ecuadorian fishing boat, caught with an illegal catch of 300kg, including sharks and other species. At the same time, Colombia's foreign ministry took up the issue with the Costa Rican government, which vowed to co-operate to help stop the practice by ships registered under its flag. In a communiqué, the Costa Rican foreign ministry said it "energetically condemns" the reported finning and said it would prosecute if the participation of Costa Rican flagged ships were involved. At least three of the ships were identified by their names: the Marco Antonio, the Jefferson and the Papante.
Wednesday 2nd November 2011-
Diving in Thailand is still going strong despite the much publicised floods, all diving facilities are still open.As you can see from the map of Thailand all the white areas are completely unaffected. This includes the diving paradises in Phuket – Krabi- Phang Nha -Pattaya and koh Chang all entering high season with flat seas and good viz ahead. The islands in the Gulf of Thailand Koh Samui -Koh Phanghan and Koh Tao are still enjoying good diving with whalesharks appearing regularly. Transit through Bangkok’s main International airport is as normal. Hope to see you here soon.
The Thermalution® Power Heated Undersuit is the world’s first of its kind electrically powered undersuit designed to keep you warm underwater for around 1.5 to 3 hours ( according to different battery model ). Completely waterproof, the Thermalution® will work under your wetsuit or drysuit while you pull off stunts and perform other activities underwater. Unlike your usual bulky thermal undersuits, the Thermalution® is slim and durable as it weighs a mere 700 grams allowing you to have maximum flexibility and agility underwater while being lightweight at the same time. With three level temperature control settings, you can adjust the temperature of the thermal layer within your wetsuit even
underwater. This innovative new product, which can go as deep as 70 meters underwater, would be able to spare you from cold dives while making you look amazingly fashionable.
Tuesday 1st November 2011-
Whaleshark! ... at the new wreck! So how cool is that. Its like that classic Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams. An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago Black Sox come."If you build it they will come!" Well we didn't exactly build the wreck but we did sink it! & what could be better than a bunch of old has been Baseball players than a 5 meter long fish! Awesome if you're a scuba diver. Fairly Disappointing if you're a Chicago Black Sox fan! Whaleshark at the wreck. Tell your friends. They will come!
A bulletin from PADI HQ- "PADI Dive Centres in Thailand are open for business. Over the past several weeks, seasonal rains that are heavier than usual have resulted in widespread flooding in Thailand. While the flooding is having some impact, most key tourist destinations and attractions throughout Thailand have not been affected by the floods and almost all remain open. The floods are mainly affecting the provinces in central Thailand and a few provinces in the north and northeast. Provinces in the south of Thailand have not been affected by the floods. Major tourist destinations such as central Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Sukhothai, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Pattaya, Ko Chang, Rayong, Phuket, Ko Phi Phi, Krabi, Trang, and Ko Samui, Ko Tao, and all provinces in southern Thailand, are not affected by the floods. They remain fully accessible and are experiencing normal weather conditions for this time of year. All airports in Thailand, including Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, have not been affected by the floods and are operating as per usual. Suvarnabhumi Airport has considerable flood protection measures in place and officials are monitoring the situation closely. Tourist destinations in southern and eastern Thailand remain fully accessible by road and train. Tourists planning to travel to the provinces affected by the floods are advised to check the latest weather forecasts for their destination and confirm arrangements with the transportation providers with which they will be travelling. Tourists can visit the Thailand Meteorological Department web site at http://www.tmd.go.th/en for updated weather forecasts. For information on the amazing diving opportunities in Thailand visit www.padi.com/scuba/scuba-diving-trips/scuba-diving-resort-vacations/Thailand-diving"
Fatal road crashes in Australia, 2000-2010: 17,578. Public Response: "Ooh Dear."
Murders in Australia, 2000-2010: 3057. Public Response: "Oops!"
Fatal Shark attacks in Australian waters, 2000-2010: 13. Public Response: "Panic! Panic! Kill all the Sharks!"
Brethren. Fellow Antipodeans. Don't you feel you may be over reacting just a smidgeon? After all we do already kill more 73 million sharks per year. Don't you think we are screwing up our environment enough already? Come on Aussies. We all know you can do better than that! Save our Sharks! Don't cull them!