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Big Blue Diving Resort - Koh Tao - Thailand

January 2012

 
Monday 30th January 2012-a

A Lions Mane Jellyfish, the largest jellyfish in the  world. First mistaken for a large whale bogey, the Lions Mane Jellyfish have been swimming in arctic waters since before the dinosaurs (over 650 million years ago) and are among some of the oldest surviving species in the world. There you go. How's that for starting your day off with a useless bit of Marine trivia!

“Professional, Safe and Fun!” - Arriving in Koh Tao it's difficult to know who to choose for diving and accommodation as it is so competitive. Big Blue has it all, free accommodation (if you're diving), excellent and knowledgeable staff, a great atmosphere and an excellent restaurant. The equipment we had was of a very good quality, the boat was fully equipped and the Dive sites were amazing. This was my first experience of Diving and it couldn't have been better, we learned a lot and had a lot of fun along the way. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Big Blue to anyone! Trip Advisor-5 of 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars.

Afraid the weather has let us down a bit. It precipitated down on us pretty much all night & now its precipitating down again pretty much all morning! Good thing we're all going scuba diving! What else you gonna do when its prepissitating down like that! If you're gonna get wet you may as well do it diving!
 

Sunday 29th January 2012-b

Good to see Big Blue Diving is still rated First in Lonely Planets list of Must do things on Koh Tao! & even better to see that we are rated 4th out of 2960 things to do in Thailand! I see that the 3 biggest reasons for rating us so highly is 3) the quality of Dive Instruction, 2) the welcoming & friendly atmosphere of everyone at Big Blue & the Number One reason for making Big Blue Diving the Number 1 place to visit in Koh Tao & the fourth place in Thailand is .... the Big Blue Pizza! Still the best Pizza on Koh Tao! & apparently the fourth best in Thailand!

Well the office is almost completed! So close to completion in fact that we asked the local monks to come over yesterday morning to bless the place! Its always a good thing to do in Thailand as the Thai people beleive in Ghosts and a monk ceremony is often performed on new building or homes before the tenants move in to rid the place of bad spirits. So last Friday we rid the place of the bad spirits. You know people like Canada & Yvonne (lol guys only kidding) & had our new office blessed with prayer, food drink & holy water. I just know 2012 is going to be our best year yet! Can you feel it? Ooh I can!

So its Instructor Crossover day tomorrow for any existing Instructors from PADI or SSI who are interested in being able to teach BSAC courses as well. We have about 2 or 3 of our own Instructors adding another string to their Bow & I beleive there will be a few more from other Dive centers coming here tomorrow aswell. The Instructors will each be taught by our very own  Big Blue Diving BSAC Instructor Trainer Andy Cavell, Manager of Big Blue Tech & Big Blue BSAC & legendary BSAC Director Les Skelton. The English equivalent to Jacques Cousteau, only understandable & doesn't talk with a silly accent! 
 
Thursday 26th January 2012-c

Fancy another WW2 wreck trip to one of the top multi-wreck destinations in the world with Big Blue Diving's Tech Department? This October we're off to the Phillipines, to a fleet of Japanese supply ships that were found and bombed by the American Pacific fleet and in specific task force 38 from aircraft carrier USS Lexington. It is unsure how the ships were spotted, some say from a high level spotter plane, others say it was interpreted Japanese radio transmissions. But the end result was a massive loss on behalf of the Japanese and a big development for the Americans in the pacific. From this horrendous act of war in the 1940's we now have a world class diving destination with lots of 100m+ length wrecks in a very small area, all within 30mins of the expedition hotel. The depths of the wrecks range from 15m - 43m and there is the possibility for very long penetrations through these big ships. If you fancy a bit of pioneer diving with Koh Tao's leading Technical Diving experts then drop us a line to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info and bookings.

Don't forget, the first land and underwater clean-up of 2012 will be on this Saturday, the 28th. The land Clean-up will be in Mae Haad starting from the main pier at 9am, and the underwater portion will be in Chalok Ban Kao, from 2-4pm. Don't forget to bring your Project AWARE clean-up bags, we will supply baskets for the boats. Join us afterward at the Aquamaster Party taking place at the Moov Bar in Mae Haad for some great food, drinks, and prize giveaways. Thanks a lot, hope to see you there!

" “Probably one of the best on the island!”- We have over 500 logged dives and twice as many unlogged, so we know a professional diving center when we see one. Big Blue is definitely one of them, with knowledgable and experienced diving instructors, especially Steven, a nudibranch freakguru, who's been able to spot even the tiniest of the tiny one's. Thanks again, Steven, for the dives we've had together, it's been fun! We've also seen him use his verbal whip once in a while to discipline the younger DMT's, so we KNOW the site is being run well. All equipment available on spot (ABC's, BCD's, wet suits of all sizes, regs), rather standard, but well maintained and taken care of (large wash tanks and professional storage). BB has two large, comfy doubledecked boats it uses to get the divers to the sites (oxygen on board, fruits and drinks served after dives). Dives organised on time and according to schedule. The dive sites itself are pretty, but rather for the undemanding divers, most of which we dived on were easy, quite shallow (max 30 m), rock formations with medium sized coral gardens, few large pelagic species, plenty of reef fishes, practically no currents. Visibility rather annoying at 5 - 25 m. Personally would recommend the Chumpron Pinnacle with nice swim throughs and depth up to 35 m, where whale sharks are sometimes sighted (schools of barracuda almost on an everyday basis) and the Red Rock with the Japanese Gardens at 10 m,  having one of the most beautifull coral formations I have ever seen." Trip Advisor

Wednesday 25th January 2012-
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We are diving the mother wrecks of the South China Sea on the 27th of April 2012 aboard the brand new vessel MV The Ark. The HMS REPULSE & HMS Prince Of Wales are both huge WW2 battle cruisers with an amazing yet very sad history. Both of these machines of immense power and strength met the same destiny when they were attacked by Japanese torpedo planes on the 10th of December 1941 at 12:33 (Repulse) and 13:18 (Prince of Wales) both disappeared beneath the surface of the South China Sea with massive losses of life. The boats now rest on the seabed at >60m (Repulse) and >70m (Prince of Wales) and are both around the 240m in length mark meaning loads to see on these wrecks. As they are war graves we do not promote penetrations on either wreck and this is actually no officially illegal on both of these war graves. Andy Cavell, manager of Big Blue Tech will be leading this trip and this is especially sentimental for him as one member of his family died whilst serving on board HMS Repulse. We will be bringing a reef to lay in respect of all British soldiers who lost their lives whilst in the attack out of respect. The trip will be 2 days diving on HMS Repulse, 1 day diving on HMS Prince of Wales and the last day will be diving a NEW WRECK, NEVER DIVED BEFORE!!!!!!!!! The undived wreck is believed to be a tanker undived and unexplored. A perfect trip for some really good diving onboard a brand new vessel MV THE ARK. Amazing facilities onboard, fantastic food and remarkable crew services. Come and experience it... ! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. regarding your booking etc. We have 3 places remaining and these are strictly 1st come 1st served.
“Inoubliable !!” I decided to go to Big blue instead of another diving resort simply because you get free accommodation when you do your open water certification ! I wasn't expecting anything but a good time ! well, it was even better ! The Staff is brilliant ! I did my open water certification and my advance one has well with Luke White ! An amazing guy who's really passionated and professional ! He's ready to do almost anything to make you succeed, and he's a really laid back instructor :) he will make it has easy has possible :) the resort is great ! the restaurant is really good ! though i have to say, my room could have been better. It was really humid and smelly... but can you really complain when it's free ? I can't wait to go back ! Thank you BB for the amazing experience and Give LUKE WHITE a pay raise :) he really deserved it! Daphnee." Trip Advisor 5 out of 5 stars.
 
So today its extreme makeover time! The pool people are popping by to plod on with the ploughing of the place where the pool will be placed! Its all happening right now! Aow Muang will be back in the next couple of days having been painted to look like Banzai's twin. The new office in Big Blue 1 should be ready to move into tomorrow. The restaurant on the beach at Big Blue 2 is now open. 14 of the 21 rooms are ready to be moved into also at BB2 & as I say today we procrastinate no further with the pool. Pool people! Place that pool!

Monday 23rd January 2012-e

Over the past few days Big Blue Tech has been involved in a reef clean-up project. Our 2 premier dive sites here on Koh Tao had fishing nets reportedly on them ranging from 35m to 18m which were causing not only a detriment to divers visiting the dive sites but also were trapping the marine life. We took this opportunity to include in the project the chance for our BSAC dive leader intern, Bryan to conduct his 1st planning and execution as dive manager. He planned and organised everything for the whole team including bottom teams and safety divers all with their own plans and objectives from the dives. This worked really well and I'm sure everyone involved would agree Bry did a brilliant job with both days. As this kind of project requires a certain knowledge level and expertise from a number of different sources we had a technical dive team (Cav & James) who were conducting the bottom/working phase of the dives, this meant that these guys could run into decompression if necessary and things would all be fine as everything was planned much deeper and longer than the actual depths. We also had a fish and marine expert (Emma), she was heavily involved in the organising of the actual trip and the person who was to brief all divers on dangerous and delicate marine life that was or may be caught in these nets. Also as with any project we couldn't have done this without the shallow support divers (Jason, Chris, Sarah & Rachel) and our fantastic surface cover guys (Nick, Stina & Sarah) who are simply there for the safety of the underwater teams, this requires great concentration and organisation to check everyone in and out of the water and make sure all limits were adhered to with respect to time and depth. The team managed to pull lots of fishing net off the pinnacles and save lots of the marine life that was entangled within them. Unfortunately there was a lot of dead fish that had been trapped for a number of days prior to us getting there which is a little upsetting. Now these nets are removed and everything is back to normal on these tropical paradise reef environments, the visibility is improving and the dive sites are ready and waiting for divers to come exploring. Congratulations to all divers involved in this project and thank you for giving your time and efforts.

“BIG on fun, deep BLUE waters, amazing DIVING”, BIG BLUE HAS IT ALL. To start, welcoming friendly staff whos passion for diving clearly showed when they spoke to you, Great resort with resturant a must is the bbq with a cold beer, DIVING IS A MUST, your mind is put to rest from your dive instructor whos great advise, knowlege and the fact that your having fun while learning was a big help. Once you have sorted your equipment, got your final breafing its to the boat, again great staff to asist you and with the bonus of drinks and fruit on board. Then to practise all that you have learnt. With my open water and advance tickets the ocean does'nt seam like such a big place after all.............Much love and thankyou big blue" Trip Advisor 5 of 5 stars

Sail Rock is one of the best dive sites in the area. It’s a big granite pinnacle that breaks the surface half way between Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui and as there are no other rocks around it acts as a congregation point for all the fish in the surrounding area. The pinnacle drops down to 30 metres in the sand and is typically dived in a circular route around the rock, spiraling slowly shallower. If currents are strong however, divemasters will guide customers around the sheltered areas, avoiding hard finning in the currents. There are other outer rocks a little deeper that can be seen from the main pinnacle and are home to reef sharks. On a clear day, with light filtering down into the crystal blue water, the granite boulder looks stunning. Enormous schools of trevally are all over the dive site and they energetically harass the smaller fish which bunch together and move as one for protection from these darting raids. The always-friendly longfin batfish are also often present in great numbers. They may follow divers and curiously peer into your mask, seemingly as interested in you as you are in them. They make wonderful photographic subjects. Whale sharks occasionally cruise by too, especially between February and October, as do other pelagic fish. Always keep an eye on the big blue! Sail Rock is best known for its chimney, a large swim-through that is entered at around 20 metres and can be exited in 2 places, first at around 10 metres or shallower at around 5 metres deep. The chimney's cavern-like area is a haven for all sorts of fish life like schools of glassfish that appear to block your exit, only to part at the last second to reveal the holes. Hingebeak and boxer shrimps inhabit the coral wall. The latter can sometimes be seen cleaning a moray eel's teeth and, with patience, a lucky diver could get a free manicure if they leave their hand still for long enough. Scorpionfish are well camouflaged on Sail Rock's wall so care with buoyancy is required when exiting the chimney. The hole at 10 metres is quite tight so most divers carry on up to the 5 metre exit and are rewarded by a blanket of anemones on the outer side.

Sunday 22nd Janury 2012-f

Chumphon Pinnacle is proably Koh Tao's best divesite as it offers a myriad of differing marine life from the smallest Durban shrimp to the largest Whaleshark! Its where most of our students who are undergoing their Open Water Training License first see scuba diving for what it is. A fantastic peak into a totally mystical world. It's you where they first realise that this is what all the fuss is about! & for those of you who are going to be diving Chumphon Pinnacle over the next few weeks its also where you will get a chance to dive with the most legendary underwater creature of them all. The Shark! Blacktip Reef sharks, Bull Sharks, & Grey Reef Sharks, all flock to Chumphon every January & February. Do you want to dive with sharks? Better come & see us then!

“Thank you Big Blue Diving, you really did make my holiday in Koh Tao”- We decided to go with Big Blue Diving by chance really, after looking at their website we decided just to go with them. I bought the Lonely Planet book a week before I visited Thailand and was comforted by the fact that they had recommend Big Blue Diving too. A quick summary, they have a friendly highly trained group of diving instructors that you can have the utmost faith in particularly if you're new to diving (which I was!) and the organisation of the diving operation is second to none, both in the water and out of the water when doing your theory and exam etc. They are perfectly located by the all the main shops, restaurants and hotels and their own restaurant and bar is great (PS. the BBQ kebabs are to die for!!) Our instructor was Luke, who taught a diverse group from couples, singles and father/sons. Luke was friendly, funny and had a relaxed teaching style that put everyone at ease but at the same time was professional and knowledgeable at all times. The confidence that Luke gave me allowed me to do Open Water Dives in Koh Phi Phi a week later! PLEASE GIVE LUKE A PAY RISE!!! Trip Advisor 5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

Well time is ticking on & I'm still looking for staff! I need 2 shopgirls who can meet & greet guests check people in & out of their rooms, take money, answer phones & emails & deal with the endless questions we get asked everyday in a friendly & patient & informative manner. Must be able to work in Microsoft Excel, & happy to work 6 days a week in an air conditioned office on the beach. English essential, Thai a plus. Salary relative to experience. All applicants please send CV with photo to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are in Koh Tao already then hurry the flap up & pop by Big Blue Resort & see me in person. Interviews start as soon as I've finished... typing... this... sen...tence! Fullstop. Exclammation mark!
 
Saturday 21st January 2012-g

Colombia and Costa Rica have agreed to create a joint taskforce to combat illegal fishing and shark finning. The announcement was made by the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry, two days after five Costa Rican fishermen were detained for illegal fishing in the UNESCO protected Malpelo National Park, inside Colombia's water borders. Colombian officials visited the Costa Rican capital San Jose on Thursday to thrash out details of the two-pronged effort. Shark finning is the practice of cutting off sharks' fins, after which the fish are normally left to die in the water. The fins are sold to the Asian market, where they are considered a delicacy and cost up $350 per lb. Colombian Ambassador to Costa Rica Hernando Herrera said that from now on the two countries will "dramatically strengthen mechanisms which exist to prosecute those who engage in illegal acts." The move comes two months after the Colombian government denounced the killing of 2,000 sharks in Colombian waters by Costa Rican fishermen, an incident shortly followed by the detention of an Ecuadorian ship carrying over 660lbs of illegally caught sharks and other marine life.

And out of nowhere the heavens opened & pissed down upon this town! But not to worry. The sun is shining again & the topless sunbathers are back out! Always a sign that the good times are back! So its sunshine, flat seas, great visibility, blood red sunsets, pizza's on the beach, exposed breasts & Full Day trips to Sail Rock! Could there be any better reasons for choosing Big Blue as the number one Dive Resort to stay at on Koh Tao?

" Hello Jim,
here we are back in France after our 9-day stay in KT and 2 days in BKK (....!!! ???......) We had a great time on the island, and would like to thank you for sorting out our accommodation problems when we arrived. Could you also thank Emma and Jason for being so patient and reassuring with us : Catherine started the course completely terrified by the idea of scuba diving and being exposed to all the risks attached, and took a lot of persuading to carry on till the end of the course. The penultimate dive at Chumpon Pinnacle was pretty daunting because of the waves and the surface current : Emma and Jason did very well keeping everybody together before we went down. By the last dive, Catherine was completely at ease, and I'm pleased to be able to go diving with her in the future (probably Malta this summer). I won't keep you any longer, you must be a very busy man with two BBs to run now ! Our warm regards to Andrea." - Tony and Catherine Marsh.

Tuesday 17th January 2012-h

Well it is with great sadness that we announce the passing away of Meow our cashier in our restaurant for the last couple of years. She passed away at 5.20 on Monday morning having been evacuated from Koh Tao after becoming unconscious after sufferring what we beleive to have been a severe blood infection. We've all been deeply saddened by this extremely unexpected piece of news & our hearts go out to her 10 year old daughter May & her husband P' Lan. Our thoughts are with you Meow & your family. "I'll have my usual big cup of coffee with sweet milk & a tequila please Meow!"

" Hello, I did my open water course at the end of November at Big blue diving. I wanted to tell that I loved it. Felix was my instructor and he is so good at what he's doing. He helped us being confortable under water without pressuring us, transmitted me his passion and was always very calm and under control what was very reassuring as I knew he would alwyas be there if any problems would happen. If i go again to have my advance course i wouldlike him to be my instructor again. I loved the relax and casual ambiance of Big blue. It was a very good place to be in Koh tao. Emma and Dave who were doing their dive masters were also so helpfull and present. I considered myself lucky to have them in my group. Thank you so much in particular to Felix. P. Nolet. Québec, Canada"

Soft opening for Big Blue 2 Restauarnt this morning. Open up with out telling anyone, no signage etc & just have walk in customers walking along the beach looking for somewhere to have breakfast. Get the teething problems out of the way before  we get the ball rolling with our massive opening ceremony when we open up for real with a fanfare of trumpets, glitteratti & high class call girls!

Sunday 15th January 2012-
i
This week I will be ordering our new Big Blue Tech dive computers, as Thailand dealer for the market leading Liquivision X1 this will be our standard school dive computer for Big Blue Tech from January onwards. If you would like to place an order for one of these fantastic must have pieces of dive kit or would like to come and have a dive with one prior to buying please drop me an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Our stock order will be going in on Monday the 16th of January so get your order in to get your shiny new full trimix, O/C, C/C dive computer.

“BIG on fun, deep BLUE waters, amazing DIVING”
BIG BLUE HAS IT ALL. To start welcoming friendly staff whos passion for diving clearly showed when they spoke to you, Great resort with resturant a must is the bbq with a cold beer, DIVING IS A MUST, your mind is put to rest from your dive instructor whos great advise, knowlege and the fact that your having fun while learning was a big help. Once you have sorted your equipment, got your final breafing its to the boat, again great staff to asist you and with the bonus of drinks and fruit on board. Then to practise all that you have learnt. With my open water and advance tickets the ocean does'nt seam like such a big place after all.............Much love and thankyou big blue. Trip Advisor 5 of 5 stars

Well for those of you here right now it has in all honesty been a very disappointing weekend weather wise! We've had an awful lot of rain, the waves have been quite big & the vis did get somewhat reduced yesterday. However for those of you arriving here this week the good news is that the forecast is for a big improvement with heaps of sun, flat seas & that will bring about a clearing in visibility & then a plethora of travelling pelagics! Wouldn't be at all surprised if we see a Whaleshark or 2 this week!

Thursday 12th January 2012-j

Only 3 or 4 days left & we open our new restaurant on Sairee beach at our New Resort imaginatively christened Big Blue Two! Its the talk of the island & we're getting all sorts of people popping over to see if we have any jobs available for them! Its very flatterring as it seems everyone on Koh Tao wants to work for Big Blue right now. & why the hell shouldn't they. Its got to be one of the best places to enjoy Koh Tao these days. Sorry one of 2 of the best places to enjoy Koh Tao! Big Blue Diving Resort & Big Blue Two. Your number choice for diver accommodation on Koh Tao.

The Florida Sun Sentinel reports… "Rosie O’Donnell and her family caught huge hammerhead sharks in fishing trips off the South Florida coast. Now environmentalists (are) irate at the killing of ocean predators that are considered overfished around the globe. “Right now sharks are the most endangered animals around,” said Erik Brush, a Sarasota marine conservationist. “This is basically an endorsement. It sends the message that it’s an OK activity. And this is not an activity that we want celebrities endorsing.” As for O’Donnell’s reaction to the controversy: “She’s amused by it.”- Now I'm only vaguely aware of who Rosie O'Donnell is but I'm pretty sure she'd look better with a gaff through her head hanging off a hook!

Highlight of our Thai trip” -
We had a fantastic experience with Big Blue: a highlight of our trip to Thailand. We hadn't booked (or dived before) and were lucky to go straight onto open water course within a small group. Our instructor was brilliant and put us completely at ease immersing into the new underwater world of skills and fishes, genuinely helping the group to bond and to get the best out of our dives. Loved it so much we stayed for the advanced course too.
BB's resort / beach front bar and restaurant serve good food; also music, bbq and fire-shows most nights. V friendly and helpful staff all round. Reasonable accommodation is available at BB for all budgets, 'out of town' bunkhouse 5 mins up the beach recommended if you're a light sleeper. Overall, A +++++++ Trip Advisor- 5 of 5 stars
 
Wednesday 11th January 2012-
k
Who hasn’t dreamed of traveling the world and getting paid for it? Meet 1 person who has turned the dream into reality.
Name: Theresa Kaplan, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Occupation: PADI diving specialist and communications manager
Coolness factor: “My job allows me to travel often and scuba dive in some of the most serene and beautiful locations. Because I oversee the PADI Diving Society, I join in on exclusive diving trips. This year, we traveled to Curacao for a seven-day trip of diving, meeting new people and having fun. In past years, I have had the opportunity to dive in Grand Cayman, Fiji, Bonaire and more.”
Over-the-top experience: Diving or snorkeling with whale sharks, animals that are larger than a school bus.
How can I do it? “Anyone can become a [Professional Association of Diving Instructors] professional, so long as he or she completes their certification and the appropriate advanced-level courses. To start, visit www.bigbluediving.com and sign up for your PADI course. After completing the online course, one must complete a number of confined water dives followed by open water dives under the guidance of a PADI instructor.” Start your dream today!

The Big Blue Tech opening party was a complete success, thanks to all who came along and supported us, a big thank you to Phoenix and Siam for coming and taking part in a very entertaining beach olympics. We are pleased to be able to say all the very kind people who entered our raffle draws. We raised a total of 10,000thb for save Koh Tao, the island charity here on Koh Tao. We have chosen the school children project for our donation. This is teaching kids in the island school to dive from an early age, and also educating them about sustainability and the ecosystems within the reef environment around the island. The idea of this is to make future divers more aware of good practices and make them much more environmentally aware.
BBT IS BACK!!!!!! www.bigbluetech.net

Thank you Jason Thorburn, Rich, Anke & Kevin for doing a great job yesterday monitoring our coral nursery and Sairee Reef for us at Big Blue Conservation! The nursery is looking great and our resident batfish family is growing. We will go back for another check very soon, and you are all more than welcome to come along and help out! Contact Emma for a good time!
 
Saturday January 7th 2012-l

So what does 2012 have in store for Big Blue Diving this year. Well its going to be a big year in the history of Big Blue. Quite possibly our biggest year yet! First off we are launching Maya boat as the the number one vessel in Koh Tao for Fundivers! How? Well Maya will only take 1 hour to get to Sail Rock, which is twice as quick as any other boat on Koh Tao & we will also be starting Full Day trips to the as yet relatively unexplored Chumphon Marine Park ( great viz, no fishing. heaps of turtles & whalesharks). As well as Full Day Trips to the world famous Ang Thong Marine Park, where Alex Garland based his best selling book The Beach! So if you are already a certified diver & want to dive the best sites in the Gulf of Thailand then contact Big Blue Diving. Koh Tao's leading dive center for certified divers.

Second big thing for Big Blue Diving this year is growth! We realize over the last couple of years that we have actually grown from a relatively medium sized center to one of Koh Tao's largest. And of course it makes no sense for a business to be turning away customers so we have gone & rented ourselves another resort here on Sairee Beach, about 200 meters up the beach! Here we have 16 AC bungalows, 7 dorms, 7 rooms with 3 beds & 7 rooms with double beds all in a 3 storey building & with a swimming pool! We have a classroom there, an equipment room as well & a restaurant & bar right on the beach. The restaurant will be run by one of Koh Tao's most successful restaurants namely, Farango's, Porto Bello's & Coffee Corner for those of you who know Koh Tao already. We are sooo excited about this new project & can't wait till the 15th Jan when we open up the restaurant & then beginning of Feb when we'll have all the rooms ready aswell. Word of warning this place is going to be extremely popular so get in quick!

So all in all a very exciting year ahead for us. With our existing resort comprising of 5 Dorms, 5 AC private rooms, 5 beach bungalows, 16 fan rooms, a restaurant & bar, the dive shop, 2 classrooms, Big Blue Tech Diving, 3 transport boats, 4 Dive vessels, one house reef, plus our 16 room AC guesthouse at Preewa, our 3 private swimming pool villas at Baan Sawainam, & now this new resort as well Oh yeah & don't forget our PADI Dive Resort, our SSI Platinum Center, our BSAC Center of Excellence rating, & TDI & SDI ratings. Plus our pool of 20 dual certifying Instructors. I beleive Big Blue Diving could just be, probably, the best Dive Center & Resort not only on Koh Tao but Thailand wide! Shame all those Instructors who got us where we are today left last year!
 
Wednesday January 4th 2012- m

Home sweet home! Back at last after galavanting round the European Alps & the South of Germany in search of Santa! & now I'm back in the real world! So whats been happening while I've been gone? Well a compressor broke, we damaged someone's personal BCD, we fixed the compressor, we replaced the BCD, Anna left, Bye Anna, Med left, Bye Med. Med came back. welcome back Med. Santa was here for Christmas. Simon got Tea bagged! Kelly got Skuiied! Heaps of diving. 3 whalesharks. 1 dead reef shark?! 1 baby! Congratulations Tosh & Vicky! 1 destroyed accounts office. 1 still in the stages of being refurbished into a brand new accounts office. 1 disasterous attempt at channelling Sairee Villages waste water. 2 holes in 1 boat. 1 pimped up Banzai boat, the Rebirth of Cool - Big Blue Techies are back! & 1 brand new Resort! Cheers Rozza!

2011- has been one incredible year especially for Big Blue Conservation who would like to thank you all for getting involved, helping out and making sure that Koh Tao stays green and clean! So let us just say one huge thank you to all our volunteers and to all Big Blue guests for choosing to stay and dive with Big Blue, one of Koh Tao's most eco-friendly resorts. Also a big thank you to Save Koh Tao and fellow eco teams on Koh Tao. We would like to wish you all a very happy new year, see you all in 2012 when there will be even more opportunities for you all to do something good for our paradise island!

Weather report! Well it seems monsoon came a bit late this year so its still a little choppy out there at the moment but its completely flat calm here on Sairee beach so here is a great place to be. We've had quite a bit of rain over the last few days but the forecast says that that is all clearing now & that we should be tropically sunburnt this time tomorrow!

February 2012

 Tuesday 28th February 2012-a

Photographed near Oslob in the Philippines, these images show the once-in-a-lifetime behaviour of a half dozen whale sharks up to 25ft long and the 12 or so fishermen. The food-based friendship centres around the brine shrimp the fishermen are catching and the trust between man and the world's largest fish is evident to see as a whale shark approaches a local fisherman to be hand-fed brine shrimp in shallow waters approaches a local fisherman to be hand-fed brine shrimp in shallow waters. The local fisherman see the whale sharks as good luck charms for their catch. They are also charging £1.50 to let photographers capture the friendship to supplement their incomes. 'It was a lifetime moment, just me, the fishermen, and these gentle whale sharks. What was most touching was the relationship between the fishermen and the sharks. The fishermen clearly cared for these animals, and the whale sharks demonstrated such trust in them. Having witnessed the slaughter of whale sharks at the hands of fishermen elsewhere in the region, this interaction was a beacon of hope for me, a message that both man and whale shark could co-exist, could develop trust, and even appreciate one another.'

Well today is the closing day for Blue Season Bali's Best Dive Job in the world. After today no more entries will be accepted and starting March 1st, one name of the final cut will be released each day for 10 days. The final winner will be announced on March 15th. Finally, after 5 long months of campaigning and harrasing everyone,it's almost over. We still need to push to the finish line since it's not over until it's over. Please continue to like my Joe Zeiler's fanpage, comment on her application page and post photos, videos and general whacky, fun support. Please take a moment to leave a comment :) We're almost there everyone!! Let's keep it up!!! THE FINAL PUSH!! LET'S GO OUT WITH A SPLASH!!!

Big Blue's divers has done it again - diving with turtles, turtles and more turtles!!! The last week we have had the great pleasure to dive with hawksbill and green turtles all around the island, from Green Rock and Shark Island to Mae Haad (!) and even on our coral nursery on Sairee Reef! We have said it before and can't help but repeating ourselves: want to see a turtle? Then come diving with Big Blue!


Saturday 25th February 2012-b

Today is Bryan, our BSAC diveleader intern's final expedition planning day. Our Techies located a pinnacle earlier this month and took some GPS marks. Today Bryan has been tasked with taking a team of suitably qualified divers to do an underwater survey of the site. We know it is deep, starting at roughly 30 meters and our deepest sonar reading is 45 meters. Lots of logistical planning to all come together on the day but this is what we dive for, finding new sites and exploring areas many people will never go. Best of British Big Blue BSAC Bryan!

“Great Place to Organize Dives or Courses”4 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 22, 2012- This was one of our two favorite dive companies that we dealt with on our trip to Koh Tao. This group is very professional and likes to make you laugh. We were very happy with our dives. The only other dive company we loved was Calypso in Tanote Bay as they were a bit more personable than the rest and a bit more laid back...plus we did dives straight off the beach which was awesome. Big Blue is bigger group and therefore has heaps of courses running and so there sometimes felt like there was a bit of chaos but not in a bad way. Afterall we are all on holidays, right?! Their prices are competitive as well which helps when there are so many dive companies around the Sairee area. I would use this company again on our return trip. If you are in the Sairee area use this group and you will have a fabulous diving experience."

And finally if you are new to the world of Scuba Diving then please adhere to these basic rules:
* Don't take up diving to get a suntan.
* People who look good with a mask on are usually ugly without one.
* Inverse Law of Patches: A diver's ability is inversely proportional to the number of patches they wear
* 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

Friday 24th February 2012-
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Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the largest natural coral formation on Earth and you'll soon be able to see it in all its glory—from your desk. The Catlin Seaview Survey, a collaboration between Google, the University of Queensland, and the Caitlin Group, will perform a diagnostic on the reef system's health via a panoramic underwater photographic and video survey. The program has already taken some preliminary surveys, though the group plans to undertake the projects main component—three surveys begin at 20 points around the reef—in September. Images will be captured by a 360-degree camera (actually four conveniently positioned fish-eye lens SLR's) affixed to the front end of an Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) for shallow surveys, and robotic subs for surveys between 30 and 100 meters. The group hopes to also study how and if the migratory behavior of tiger sharks, green turtles and manta rays has been affected by global warming. Starting today Internet users should be able to access these images via Google Street View and will also be able to watch video of each study section on YouTube. [University of Queensland via New Scientist]

“Highlight of my Holiday!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 21, 2012 NEW - I just wanted to write to thank the big blue crew on Koh Tao. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I was quite nervous about diving but the team there were absolutely brilliant. Our instructor "Ludo" was nothing short of a champion! Really helpful, patient, and a lot of fun! The resort itself is really chilled out with a good vibe in the evenings, plus all the big bars and clubs are just a stones throw down the beach. I couldnt recommend this place enough for anyone hoping to do a dive course in Koh Tao, it really was the highlight of my holiday to Thailand. Thanks Guys!!!

 

Awesome conditions here in Koh Tao right now. Beautiful hot sunny tropical days. Crystal clear, great visibiltiy, warm water at 30 degrees, calm surface conditions & more fish than can you shake a stick at! There's an awesome 40 meter long wall of Barracuda, a twisting typhoon of Big Eyed Jacks & a massive school of Batfish on one of the descent lines at Chumphon Pinnacle, & we got turtles all over the place aswell as rays eels & you can almost smell them! Sharks! Keep your eyes out folks. I think we're about to be inundated with Bulls, Blacktips & Grey Reefs soon! The conditions are just perfect for the plethora of sharks we often get at this time of year! Watch this space!

Monday 20th February 2012-d

In Taiji, Japan, home to the notorious Taiji Whale Museum, captive dolphins are kept in abysmal conditions. Th
is museum is right around the corner from the killing Cove where thousands of dolphins are slaughtered brutally every year, as depicted in
The Cove documentary. Outrageously, the Taiji Whale Museum, run by the town of Taiji, helps capture dolphins for the international trade in live dolphins for dolphinariums around the world. While the Taiji dolphin hunters get around $500 or so for a dead dolphin when sold on the market for meat, the Taiji Whale Museum will get more than $150,000 on the international market for a trained live dolphin, and so the Museum actually subsidizes the bloody dolphin drive hunts. We call this international trade Blood Dolphin$. At the Taiji Whale Museum you will find the smallest dolphin tank in the world. This tank now plays host to two spotted dolphins that are listless and hang at the surface of the tank as if they were dead. It is a horrible situation in a horrible facility! These two poor dolphins have been nicknamed Sad and Lonely. They will soon be dead, if their conditions are not improved. Ironically, the Japanese label in this tank notes that these two dolphins are of a species that is rare in captivity, because they do not do well in captivity! You can help shut down the smallest dolphin tank in the world!Please spread the word to your friends and family. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of Sad and Lonely!

Well there is obviously absolutely no financial crisis or global unemployment problem cos if there was we would have filled the jobs we have been advertising for the past 2 months. Still lacking shop staff at Big Bkue Diving Khao San Rd office in Bangkok, and we still need to replace Kate in the main Dive shop here on Koh Tao, & we now need another shopgirl for our brand new resort opening in the next 2-3weeks! In addition it appears we are going to be needing another accountant to manage all these extra staff we've needed to employ to staff our new resort, & a part time admin assistant. & thats just the behind the scenes staff. I also need German, French & Spanish speaking SSI & PADI Instructors too. Unemployed? Starving? Bills to pay? Kids to feed? Want a job on the beach? on a tropical island? Better drop me a line then please! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Jim'll fix it for you! and you, and you & you!

Today is BSAC all the way with Donny starting his BSAC dive leader crossover and Dan starting his BSAC ocean diver course. Both of these guys have looked into the BSAC syllabus and realised it is far more comprehensive than the other agencies, thus giving you more as a diver in training. Dan is with us for the whole of 2012 and moving through the ranks as our newest intern. Donny is leaving Thailand in 3 weeks to head back to Australia for a music tour, he will be plucking his banjo all up the east coast of OZ throughout April so make sure you get to see him and his band if you are on the east coast of OZ. He will then be coming back to join BBT once again to concentrate on becoming a BSAC instructor and Tech Divemaster.

Friday 17th February 2012-
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Congratulations to Ex-Big Blue Student Joe Zeiler who is through from the semi's & into the finals for the Best Dive Job in the world. There are only a few people that now stand between her and a 25,000$, 7 month dive internship in beautiful Bali!!! & she needs all our help! So please spare a minute & do the following:
1) "like" my facebook fanpage "Joe Zeiler for best job in the world"
2) visit my application page and leave a comment. You can leave as many as you want so please go back regularly and remind Blue Season Bali that I'm the one .Tell them why I'm the best choice or simply give me a "good luck"
3) take a support photo for me! Print out the attached sign, put where you are in the blank and snap a picture. You can either post it on FB and tag me in it or email it to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. No printer? Make a sign!!
4) share all this with your friends. I need as much support as possible.
Please take a moment to do one or all of the above. Please keep the support coming. The next round of cuts is on the 1st and then the winner is announced on the 15th. GO JOE FOR (second) BEST DIVE JOB IN THE WORLD!

“Brilliant!”-5 of 5 stars  Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 6, 2012- I heard of big blue from friends, who had enjoyed it there. On the ferry over to ko Tao was a guy from big blue, who got us a taxi there and carried our bags. We received a really warm welcome and signed up straight away. Our instructor Neil, was absolutely brilliant!! He was experienced and professional. So we felt safe with him. Spoke to many other instructors and staff while we were there, they were all really nice and friendly. The free accommodation is basic but ok. You get what you pay for. The big blue experience is definitely worth it! Many thanx to them and inparticularly Neil. Caroline x"
 


Another day, another 4 turtles! Adult hawksbill sea turtles have been known to grow up to 1 m in length, weighing around 80kgs on average. The heaviest hawksbill ever captured was measured to be 127 kgs. The hawksbill sea turtle has several characteristics that distinguish it from other sea turtle species. Its elongated, tapered head ends in a beak-like mouth (from which its common name is derived), and its beak is more sharply pronounced and hooked than others. The hawksbill's arms have two visible claws on each flipper. Big Blue had the great pleasure to spend our night dive (!) with one juvenile hawksbill turtle last night, and then we were greated by another 2 at Hin Wong Pinnacle this morning. And as if that was not enough - there was another hawksbill turtle at our coral nursery just an hour ago! Haven't seen one yet? Then come diving with Big Blue!

Wednesday 15th February 2012-f

On a commercial street in China, little tortoises are found packaged as souvenir!!! These little tortoises are still alive and swimming inside a herbal solution. The store owner says it can live for 1-3 months. 5 RMB a piece. This is too cruel and unacceptable!!! God knows how many littles lives were slowly suffocated to silent death; their fate sealed in a bag!!! Has the commercial world no more other ideas to make money!!! Please help "Share" this. Hopefully some media or government will pick up this news and step in to stop this animal cruelty! Perhaps find the real victim and put an end to such uncivilized act. Please help these little lives. Small as they may be, they are still living Beings!!!!!!!!!!

“Got hooked on diving here” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 2, 2012- Went to Big Blue because I saw some good stories and heard it was chilled out. Anyway they pick you up from the ferry and when you get there you know its the place. Picture perfect and a warm welcome. The prices are pretty much the same all around the island(Koh tao is one of the cheapest places in the world where you can get you're open water). so there's no use comparing those. Did my SSI Open water course and my SSI advanced in 5 days with Ludo. His way of teaching was laid back but very enthousiastic about diving. He even made sure my hotel woke me up when I slept in a little bit for the first day! You can get free accomodation when you dive there, just not when you book online in advance(this is a bit odd). Anyway I got hooked on diving while I was here and i'll definitely come back. "

Ok ... not one to usually shout out about how desperate I am but unfortunately I've been brought to this point! I am in desperate need of a Shop girl! Must be able to start ( quite literally) ASAP! So preferably I'm looking for someone on the island already, but if you reckon you can get here by the 1st march ready to start work then you're hired! Well almost. You must be able to speak English. Be computer literate ie know how to use Microsoft Excel. Be friendly, reliable, professional, & it helps if you're hot but that isn't a pre-requisite, it just means customers are more likely to spend more money with you! Salary info available upon application, but the perks are free diving on your days off, awesome boss, free T-shirt, beachfront air conditioned office, get to talk to happy people all day long... and Steven! Applicants please reply to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with cv & photo & soonest date when you can start! I look forward to hearing from you within the next 5 minutes!

Tuesday 14th February 2012-g

A female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spiderweb of crab traps and line weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, tail, torso and a line tugging in her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. They worked for hours and eventually freed her.

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude. Happy Valentines Day!

Friday 1oth February 2012-
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Awesome diving at the moment. Heaps of fish, great visibility, warm water, flat seas, & despite the island being as busy as it is the dive sites just really aren't that busy at the moment. I'm sure thats gonna change with the influx of the Full Moon Party people who arrive this week, but it sure is nice right now. Whalesharks as well. Big Schools of Barracuda's big ones & little ones. a giant tornado of Big Eyed Jacks off Baracuda Rock at Chumphon Pinnacle & a whole procession of Batfish all the way down the descent line. Groupers, King Mackerel, triggers, rays & eels. Its all good diving here in Koh Tao right now! Don't beleive come see for yourself! If you aint 100% happy with your dives with us then I'll even give you them for free!

Mushroom corals make up a significant proportion of our reef community on Koh Tao, and Big Blue Diving is supporting a significant propotion of research into this dynamic species such as population dynamics and adaptation to coral bleaching. Dr Bert Hoeksema who wrote this article featured on BBC news is one of our top collaborators. If you want to help out with more science research making it to the headlines of the BBC, contact Big Blue Conservation!

“Professionalism and Hospitality”- 5 of 5 stars Here is a special thanks from myself to the whole diving crew at Big Blue Diving Resort. I had an absolutely incredible time during my 8 day stay with you guys and enjoying every minute of the diving to the food and fire shows on the beach, so I will be recommending this to all of my friends. Diving is a truly exhilerating experience because you get to feel and see things that most people never have a chance to encounter as well as the quiet you experience from the inhability to talk makes it really magical. The underwater world just seems to dance in the current and although I was prepared for something great I really didn't expect it to be as spectactular as it was. I would also like to make a special note of pointing out my instructor Curtis Lentz. He helped guide me through the Open Water course as well as the Advance Open Water course with a laid back but confident style of teaching that made it very fun and easy to learn. He took the divinging experiences he has had, along with his vast knowledge of the underworld and conveyed them with relative ease in a way that everybody could follow, acknowledge, understand and respect. To put it simply I would say that he superseded my expectations. I look forward to re-visiting the Big Blue Diving Resort, and all of those who helped in making my time there so wonderful (Nik, Chris, Reggie ...the list is just too long...) Until next time I wish you all the best;" Trip Advisor 5 out of 5 stars- Reviewed January 31, 2012

Wednesday 8th February 2012-i

Donny, Rik & Rach graduate from their TDI Advanced Nitrox-Over the past 3 days Donny, Rik & Rachel have been gaining the skills and knowledge required to move on to become Advanced Nitrox qualified. This course teaches people the risks and benefits from using rich mixes of enriched air nitrox (40%-100%) to be used as a multi-level dive gas. They have been using the latest deco software planning systems for planning their dives and have been introduced to new dive planning techniques such as, gas management, contingency planning, gas usage, equipment usage, best mix calculations for a multi-level dive plus much more. The final day was on the wreck and the guys smashed it, they hit every run time, every gas switch and all skills with great control and skill. Congratulations guys, you have truly earn your certification!!!!! Many people ask "what are the benefits of the Advanced Nitrox course"? Well in simple terms, it means you can use 2 mixes of breathing gas to conduct a dive over a multilevel dive profile, using the lean mix for the deeper 1st part of the dive then coming up to the working maximum operating depth of the rich gas and swapping onto this will push your no decompression limit right away, thus giving you massive dive times without risk of running low on gas or reaching the requirement for decompression stops.

Fancy an office on the beach? Well, we are in need of a Shop girl if anyone out there is here on Koh Tao & wants to start work more or less immediately! Its not going to be the highest paying job you've ever had but its got its perks! Your office is on the beach. You are surrounded by Happy Campers all day. You get free diving on your day off, 20% discount in the Big Blue Bar & Restaurant & you get to be told what to do by me! & wearing your bikini in the office is optional! Blimey. I've made it sound that good that maybe you should be paying me to work here! applications to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Change your life! Become a Shop girl!

“Professionalism and Hospitality”-5 of 5 stars Here is a special thanks from myself to the whole diving crew at Big Blue Diving Resort. I had an absolutely incredible time during my 8 day stay with you guys and enjoying every minute of the diving to the food and fire shows on the beach, so I will be recommending this to all of my friends. Diving is a truly exhilerating experience because you get to feel and see things that most people never have a chance to encounter as well as the quiet you experience from the inhability to talk makes it really magical. The underwater world just seems to dance in the current and although I was prepared for something great I really didn't expect it to be as spectactular as it was. I would also like to make a special note of pointing out my instructor Curtis Lentz. He helped guide me through the Open Water course as well as the Advance Open Water course with a laid back but confident style of teaching that made it very fun and easy to learn. He took the divinging experiences he has had, along with his vast knowledge of the underworld and conveyed them with relative ease in a way that everybody could follow, acknowledge, understand and respect. To put it simply I would say that he superseded my expectations. I look forward to re-visiting the Big Blue Diving Resort, and all of those who helped in making my time there so wonderful (Nik, Chris, Reggie ...the list is just too long...) Until next time I wish you all the best" Trip Advisor-5 out ot 5 Stars


Tuesday 7th February 2012-j

Many fear the moray eel, a fish with a snakelike and scaleless body, and specie of the Anguilliformes family. In effect, it is widely known to be aggressive, dangerous and above all, real ugly! All the same, the diversity of its coat is at times worth comparing with the most beautiful printed fabrics: speckled, tattooed, freckled, stripped… and complete with a large range of colours: chocolate brown, off white, black, sandy yellow and even, scarlet blue. As for its size, it varies considerably from 25 centimetres for the ribbon moray to approximately 3 metres for the giant moray! But is it scarey? Is it heck! The eel is the joker of the sea! Eels always look like they just told a joke & are waiting for a reaction! " I said 12 inch pianist! D'ya get it? Huh? Do ya?"

And right on cue the Whaleshark arrives on Koh Tao! Yesterday it was at Hin Wong, one of the best Dive sites on the East side of Koh Tao. Chances are its making its way north from Samui, via Sail Rock where it was seen last week then up the East side of the island here probably a little further north of Chumphon Pinnacle & then back down again to Chumphon & then presumably the west coast of Koh Tao at Dive sites like Green Rock, Nang Yuan Island, White Rock & Twins. & of course its the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party tonight so the island is going to get real busy tomorrow. Good job we've got Whalesharks here to keep everyone entertained!

“Excellent instruction and good times had by all.”- I booked in advance online, so when I arrived, I was picked up and taken strait to Big Blue. The location is perfect and everyone I met was friendly. If you're lucky enough to have Medwin as your instructor, you will learn and laugh a lot! He made everyone feel very comfortable and I'll definitely go back for the advanced course if I have time. As far as accommodations go, you can basically get whatever you want depending on your budget. I went with the free dorm and it was perfect for what I needed. Nights were pretty relaxed, but if you want something different, it's just a short walk down the beach till you find what you're looking for. Trip Advisor- 5 of 5 stars.

Friday 3rd February 2012-
k
Over the past four days Big Blue BSAC have been conducting BSAC instructor crossovers. Serena, Ludo and Rachel are already PADI and SSI instructors with lots of experience between them. Rach has done all her teaching in the UK prior to coming to Koh Tao, Serena has done all her teaching in Canada prior to coming to Koh Tao and Ludo started out in Denmark with his diving career. This year BSAC in Thailand and in particular at Big Blue will be massive, we are pushing things forward with lots of projects and project big things from this year from a BSAC point of view. The guys have had to deal with lots of things within this crossover that no other recreational training agency covers, such as, decompression diving, shot line deployment, distance lines, charts, tides and weather forecasting. All agreed the ways of teaching and the materials covered is a brilliant way of teaching. Roll on the BSAC students turning up!!!!!!

Oddly busy on Koh Tao right now. No reason I can think of especially for it either but for some reason the island appears to be rammed to the rafters! Running out of rooms on Sairee Beach as well. I had to check in customers in 4 rooms at Sairee Crossroads as there was no more bungalows left on the beach. And next week is Full Moon so its only going to get busier. So word of warning to those of you planning to pop over without havving booked anything first. Don't! There won't be any room left. Use your noggin! Make a bookin! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Swimming pool at our new resort is coming on. We've dug the hole, laid the iron bars down & the concrete comes next. Moving on quite quickly with it too. I've been taking day to day photos to assess the speed with which its being built & will show you the before and after shot nearer completion. Meanwhile suffice is to say that its way bigger than it looks on paper! 12 meters long & 8 meters wide & 3 meters deep at its max truely is a fair size. & as you can probably imagine rather a lot of soil too. But its only 3 weeks away from completion so its all good. In fact its better than that its Flicking awesome! Can't wait!


Thursday 2nd February 2012-
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The Chinese adore the meat of Whale Shark, which they call "Tofu Shark." Fins that size fetch a fortune...EACH. With no laws about shark fishing in Arabian waters, these animals are easy prey for poachers, which is why Sharkquest Arabia need to win this video contest to ensure their Whale Shark protection project. Voting ends tomorrow, so please vote to stop scenes like this. http://apps.facebook.com/contestshq/contests/143452/voteable_entries/27439877

“The best dive school i've ever been too.” - Before choosing the dive school I wanted to do my Rescue Diver and Divemaster with, I undertook all the research that you have clearly started to, by being here and reading this! It was an important decision for me, so I read every message board, magazine, website and spoke to friends that had previously worked in diving in Thailand. Not considering just Koh Tao, but also Phi Phi, Phuket and Koh Lak. The much better seasonal conditions and island atmosphere made my decision to chose Koh Tao, and from there I travelled to the island with three dive schools in the frame, and a few days to dive with each of them before making what I thought would be an extremely difficult decision…… It wasn’t. Big Blue stood out from all the others in every way. You have the rare choice of qualifying with either PADI, SSI or BSAC; its location is perfect, as are the facilities and the equipment. It is also one of the few dive schools that has a real emphasis on being eco friendly and educating all its divers on this important subject. On my first dives I went to sites I’d already dived with rival schools and Divemaster Steven completely changed the way they seemed, finding interesting routes through them and every fish/crustacean/reptile and for those of you that know him, of course mollusc that previously would have gone unnoticed. All this swayed my decision to choose Big Blue and I couldn’t have been happier with that decision. Without doubt the Big Blue Divemaster program was the experience of my life! Not only in the water, but also out of it! The family that makes up Big Blue make so many people’s experiences all the more special, in particularly mine. I can’t wait to get back there!"- Trip Advisor, 5 out of 5 stars.

SSI Instructor Trainer SSI SImon has been hard at it most of January doing what he does best- Training Instructors & SSI Dive Cons & PADI Divemasters to become true diving professionals. So far this month SSImon has taught Dave, Ashley & Thor 'God of Thunder' their SSI Instructor Training & Guy, Petra, Felix & Salvo their SSI Crossovers. Not bad. 7  brand new SSI Instructors all in 1 month! & in comparison... not even 1 PADI Instructor Course! And every single 1 of those SSI Instructors all employed the minute they were in status! Seems like there's more demand now for SSI Instructors over PADI Instructors! Better watch out my PADI Padowan. The force is SSIzeably strong in this organisation! Write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for your chance to reach the dizzying heights of SSI Instructor employment!

Wednesday 1st January 2012-m

"Hello Big Blue, Once upon a time I got my OW and AOW at Big Blue thanks to the charms of Koh Tao and the charms of everyone at Big Blue I became addicted to diving. 2 years later I'm battling to win a 25,000$ dive internship in Bali as part of "The Best Dive Job in the World" competition in Bali. I need all the support I can get to help me win! Please take a minute to like my fanpage "Joe Zeiler for best job in the world 2012" and visit my application page, scroll to the bottom and leave a comment of support. Help me change my life so that I can become an instructor and move back to K.Tao and work at Big Blue!!!

Probably not the best time to have started digging a hole measuring 12 meters long by 8 meters wide and 3 meters deep at its maximum depth, but then again I don't think anyone was expecting 48 hours of solid rain which is pretty much what we've just had here for the past few days. So the swimming pool at the new resort, although it has a lot of water in it, it isn't quite what we had in mind when we designed our new Dive Resort, but I assure you... just give us 4 weeks &  we're gonna be diving in the best pool on Koh Tao... just as long as it stops prepissitating!

The first month of 2012 is already over and what did January bring us? Well, it started off with the grand visit of a couple a whalesharks, while the turtles been around throughout the whole month, especially on our night dives at White Rock! Big Blue headed out to our coral nursery with DMT's Jason Thorburn, Anke, Rich and Kevin and DM Kelly Richards to check how our little ones were doing and they sure look great, and so does Sairee North, Big Blue's adopted reef. Together with Big Blue Tech's Andrew F Cavell, James Foleher, Rachel, Sara and Bryan Big Blue Conservation and DMT's Sara Göransson, Stina Undén, Jason, Nick, Donny and Chris Garcin headed out to Southwest and Chumpon Pinnacle and removed the nets there. Those trips were successful in many ways - nets were removed, we all learned a lot about technical dive planning but most importantly - Techie Cav can now spot a scorpion fish AND he knows the sign for baby barracudas! The month of January ended nicely with a lionfish at Hin Pee Wee and of course our monthly clean up. This time 17 divers volunteered to give us a hand cleaning up Sairee Beach and Liam Thien Bay, and DM Regina Tofte Petersen was of course there to help! Thank you January and bring on February!

March 2012

 
Friday 30th March 2012-a

There's got to be very few things in this world that quite literally take your breath away and unarguably Free diving is one of them! Next month Big Blue Freediving will be launched with International Free Diver Akim Adhari a man who can, not only hold his breath for over 7 minutes, but has also freedived to a depth exceeding 100 meters which makes him one of the best Breathhold divers in the world & we are very proud to have Akim launching our new Breath-hold Diving School with soon to be Freediving Instructors Serena & Tosh here at Big Blue Diving! So next time you want to hold your breath & go diving with Whales look us up first!

"New BSAC Instructor at Big Blue Diving! Congratulations to Emma who has just finished her BSAC Open Water Instructor crossover. At the same time as qualifying has a BSAC Instructor, Emma also qualified as a BSAC Oxygen Administration Instructor. Emma who is currently working at Big Blue Diving, crossed over to BSAC as she is involved in numerous Marine Conservation projects and she thought that BSAC was a great vehicle in achieving her goals in these projects. BSAC Thailand would like to take this opportunity to wish Emma all the best in the future and her diving career." Les Skelton - BSAC Thailand Director.

Come dive with sharks!!! in the last 5 days Ant, DM, has dived with a whale shark for over 50 mins on Sail Rock, the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand!! & 15 black tip reef sharks at a secret location! We'll be returning to Sail Rock tomorrow where the vis has been a crystal clear 25m+ and would love to have you join us. Another reef tip shark dive is planned within the next 2 days.... Better pop down to Big Blue for your piece of the action!

 
Wednesday 28th March 2012-
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BSAC Full Face Mask course is now available in Thailand: BSAC Instructors, James Foleher and Rachel Linarts tried out “Big Blue Tech” (BBT) newly purchased “Neptune 2 - Full Face Mask units. BSAC Thailand is due to launch a Full Face Mask course next month, in conjunction with BBT. Full Face Masks (FMM’s) are different than the traditional dive mask in that, the FFM encloses the mouth and nose which means that you can breathe through either. The demand valve is fitted to an oral / nasal mask instead of the traditional mouthpiece that is fitted to a normal regulator. This internal oral/nasal enables the diver to breath normally as if they were on the surface. For (FFM’s) that has a built-in communication system, will allow you to talk normally between you and your buddy or the surface supports/ dive boat. This underwater communication is extremely useful when the divers and conducting various underwater projects or tasks; such as, conducting underwater surveys, diving in low visibility, marine conservations survey’s etc. The course consists of the following elements, 1 - Theory lesson, 1- Dry practical, 1–Equipment prep and fitting, 1 – Shallow water practical skills, 1- Open water dive. For more information please contact Andy or James at Big Blue Tech.

Fantastic weather we've been having on Koh Tao lately. Absolute glorious sunshine completely flat calm surface conditions, amazing underwater clarity & from the surface looking directly down you can see at least 15 meters below almost everywhere around Koh Tao! Theres heaps of fish all over place with a 40 meter long wall of Barracuda off of Baracuda Rock at Chumphon Pinnacle & there's a twisting typhoon of Giant Trevally a little further south of the Barracuda's & because viz is soo good a the moment you can even find yourself with the Barracudas on one side of you & the Trevally on the other. As I said. Awesome conditions here right now.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Sea-Dweller is a line of divers watch manufactured by Rolex, with an underwater diving depth rating of 610 metres (2,000 ft) for the vintage models and up to 3,900 metres (12,800 ft) for the most recent Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA model. With a price ranging from over 5000 GBP to just under 10000 GBP for the more discerning shopper, this is a watch that quite honestly is as ridiculous as it sounds! Quite certain that if I ever found myself at that kind of depth the last thing on my mind is whether my watch is still working! Then again I'm not James Cameron & can neither afford that kind of timepiece nor have testicles that large that would make me want to go that deep!

Tuesday 27th March 2011-
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One more outstanding trip organised by Big Blue today for a Full Day Trip to Sail Rock with a very friendly whaleshark to boot! Well not to Boot as such but to look at photograph & admire! Booting it would be a little unfriendly. A little cruel. And quite possibly impossible! Never seen a Whaleshark booted before! 30 meter visibility at Sail Rock today. The Gulf of Thailand's Number 1 Divesite according to Lonely Planet, & Steven DeVelter, Big Blue's self proclaimed Best Divemaster in the world!

So it was this time last year when the massive storms hit Koh Tao, the island got flooded & the Navy boat had to come over & evacuate the majority of holiday makers who'd been stranded here on Koh Tao. Here at Big Blue we lost 5 bungalows, the decking around the restaurant & the outside decking of the diveshop. We also had a 3 meter deep trench running through the middle of the resort where the river reached the sea. We ended up literally closing our resort down for 3 weeks while we tidied up the damage done & then were back up and operational again as if nothing had ever happened. Oh how time flies.

Accommodation is going to be getting real tight next week guys. Its the big Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan before Songkran, the Big Thai New Year holiday, & everyone who's anyone makes their way to Koh Tao for the big celebrations on the isalnd. So bearing in mind the Full Moon Party is on the 6th April, & Songkran is the 13th April that is gonna be a very busy week. Its going to be awesome too. Great weather, awesome diving & busy busy busy especially with the rooms so like I say. If you are coming over next week then you better book ahead or share a bed!

Monday 26th March 2012-
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Jessica Leigh- Big Blue Shop girl. Discover Scuba Diver. Did a Try Dive in the Great Barrier Reef but ended up fancying the Instructor more than the diving! Since then hasn't even put on a mask & will not be persuaded for love nor money to take her Open Water Course! So having a Shop girl in a Dive Shop who would rather spend her days in the shop than on the boat or diving makes her quite literally the most invaluable shop girl, (Jeremy Clarkson voiceover)... "in the World!" Born & bred in Manchester, speaks English like she's on Coronation Street, a regular on the Jeremy Kyle show, often comes to work in one of her Lady Gaga outfits, Jess is just the type of girl you don't mind handing money over to for a good time!

So there's really only 1 more month left to go do a Liveaboard in the Similan Islands. 4 days & 4 nights of nothing but eating sleeping & diving. A couple of beach trips onto one of the islands a few Manta's a few sharks, 9 beautiful deserted islands, great weather, great diving, great staff & usually great customers, though I'm never going on another Liveaboard where the predominant nationality is Italian! Too much unnecessary bending over with nothing on but a pair of well worn figure hugging speedos! Its enough to put you off your Liveaboard as well as your breakfast! Drop us a line re our next Liveaboard departure. Prices starting at just 20000 Bt per person including equipment & Marine Park Fee!

10 General Fish Facts.
1. There are over 30000 known species of fish…
2. It is estimated that there may still be over 15,000 fish species that have not yet been identified.
3. There are more species of fish than all the species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals combined.
4. Fish have been on the earth for more than 450 million years…
5. Over 1000 fish species are threatened by extinction…..
6. The study of history of fishes is known as ichthyology
7. Fish have a specialized sense organ called thelateral line which works much like radar and helps them navigate in dark or murky water.
8. Relative to their body size, fish have small brains compared to most other animals.
9. The eyes of a fish never close even when they’re asleep..
10. Fish drown when they are taken out of water, due to an overdose of oxygen.

Wednesday 21st March 2012-e

***Emergency*** If anyone has seen or comes across a slightly squished Indian Walkman hobbling around White Rock somewhere could they please alert the authorities or at least bring the poor flattened creature to the ER. Last seen stumbling away from the rather enlarged knee cap of Big Blue Diving Eco Queen Jennifer Matthews! Really Jen, here at Big Blue Diving we'd prefer it if you didn't touch the Marine Life please. Got to be honest... I'm a little disappointed you didn't know that already! Pah. Call yourself a Marine Biologist.

“Top quality instructors put you at ease.” I just completed a PADI Open Water at Big Blue. It was an absolutely amazing experience. Having never been diving before I was naturally a bit nervous about the prospect of being 18m under water. Tosh (my instructor) and Darren (instructor in training) couldn't have been any better. They made the whole experience an absolute pleasure. From start to finish they were 100% behind each of us which gave us the confidence we needed. On my first dive I experienced problems equalising my ears. I was ready to quit and wanted to swim to the surface but both Darren and Tosh were on hand to calm me down. Soon enough, I was relaxed and able to enjoy my dive. Thanks guys! Can't wait to go diving again!' Trip Advisor- March 19, 2012

When you do a dive course, you have a choice to do that with different dive organizations. We offer PADI, SSI, BSAC, SDI & TDI. These organizations have developed their own teaching materials, standards and certifications which their instructors use to conduct the courses. There are quite a few organizations in the world and they all have different philosophies and standards. In general, the differences are not too big and no matter which organization you take a course with, you will use the same kind of equipment and see the same marine life under water! Want to find out more. Send us a mail or ask your Instructor when you get here. See you soon!

 Tuesday 20th March 2012-
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Great to see how despite the vast number of boats parked at Twin Peaks this morning the Whaleshark was absolutely fascinated by all the commotion both above the water & below with many visits to the surface as well as hanging out with divers for pretty much the whole dive this morning. So one could assess this interaction as one of interest & curiosity rather than the behaviour of feeding or being cleaned, which is generally what they are doing when we as divers encounter Whalesharks. But this morning there was definitely more to it than that. This morning was the unmistakeable sign of curiosity. The Whaleshark was as interested in us as we were in it. An awesome Whaleshark encounter. And you? How was your morning?

Be warned! The Hot Deals & huge Discounts we are currently offerring on our website for both Recreational courses & our Internship Programmes for our professional Courses are only going to be available for just one more week! Actually less! By next Monday the new Hot Deals won't be as Hot as the present Hot Deals. Infact they will be very much Luke Warm Deals still answering by the name of Hot Deals! So act now. Book your Hot Deal now before they cool down!

It was an early night for 10 of our lucky customers from Big Blue Tech who headed out 1st thing this morning for a 2 day trip to one of the beauties of Thailand, Ang Thong Marine Park. These guys are on a mission to find caves in the limestone islands. The marine park consists of 42 limestone islands spanning a whopping 250sq km. This stunning area has many secret caves and hidden beaches all to be found and hopefully our team can bring back some amazing results, as well as amazing memories for all involved!!! And we have just had our first report in that they have found the 1st of many caves that we will be exploring. We will keep you updated with progress as we receive info here at basecamp.

Monday 19th March 2012-
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Congratulations to all of our Instructors who have been singled out by SSI Thailand again for an outstanding year of Scuba training making Big Blue Diving one of the largest certifying Diving Centers in the World & we are really proud to say some of the most experienced Scuba Diving Instructors in the world as well. And really nice to be commended by the Director of SSI Thailand Mr Gary Hawkes who came over to Big Blue to hold a little awards ceremony for those who have really impressed. SO congratulations to Ros, Iain, Nick & Simon who have all certified over 200 students in 2011 & an additional award for Simon for being the largest SSI Instructor Certifier ... (put on your Jeremy Clarkson voiceover)... "in the World!" Well done to all concerned & special thanks to Gary for spreading good cheer!

Great news for everyone on Koh Tao! We're getting some proper Medical care at last! The Koh Tao Emergency Medical Services being set up this week is comprised of British, South African and Thai Diver Medical Technician’s, Emergency Medical Technician's and Paramedics with over 30 years of combined remote and pre-hospital medical experience. Their aim is to apply this wealth of knowledge to improve the quality and effectiveness of medical services available to the expatriate and tourist communities of Koh Tao. They are a non-profit organisation, which will ensure that all funds raised go back in to the improvement and advancement of their services and into our care. At last! Medical professionals that won't refer to a broken arm as a Chinese Burn!

So the New Resort seems to be going down well. 21 backpacker rooms, & about 8 medium budget bungalows & another 8 more slightly on the pricier side but still, bearing in mind some of these bungalows are directly on the beach its not too pricey. Then the pool seems to be going down well with Instructors, students & sunloungers & then the real bonus we appear to have completely stumbled on is the chef in the Retaurant. He's a new recruit for us but man he is amazing! The food is A-M-A-Zing! Absolutely fantastic! So not only do we still serve the Best Pizza on Koh Tao at Big Blue 1, we also seem to be serving the best food on Koh Tao at Big Blue 2! Hmmm Penang Curry Chicken!

Friday 16th March 2012-h

Well its just gone absolutely Manta Ray mental over in the Sea of Cortez, Voted one of the top diving spots year after year there are few places left in the world where an entire archipelago is virtually free of commercial fishing, leaving the waters left to those who want to swim and watch the action unfold in the deep, clean waters of the Sea of Cortez. The optimum months for seeing Manta Rays and Whale Sharks in La Paz islands, are May thru November, where as you can see you have a fairly high to higher chance of seeing Mantas!

According to The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and The UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, "Enriched Air Nitrox" has been added to the banned substance list, due to it's high stimulant properties in the enhancement of atheles abilities: Instantaneous muscle capacity and strength increase, reduction in breathing rate, hyperoxia of blood and tissues, increased mental function, intelligence, psychokinetic function, lower heart rate and slower metabolism. Unfortunately nitrox dosesn't show up in typical urine tests. Its use however in scuba diving is unregulated at this time.

A recent study by Big Blue Conservation has revealed that there is hope for some populations of corals that suffer bleaching events, as Koh Tao experienced in 2010. Dr. Bert Hoeksema of NCB Naturalis, Netherlands, Dr. Thamasak Yeemin of Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok, and Big Blue Conservation's Jennifer Matthews followed the recovery of mushroom corals after the 2010 mass bleaching event, and found that when temperatures had returned to normal, Koh Tao’s mushroom coral fauna appeared to have recovered and no trace of bleaching was visible anymore! Great news for our mushroom corals, and for coral reefs in the face of climate change! If you fancy reading the article, published in the Phuket Marine Biology journal, click on our publications page in the Eco Projects section on our website, www.bigblueconservation.com

Wednesday 14th March 2012-
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Hmm... right well that went well! Had a bit of a restless night after the opening day of our new Resort & we only filled 4 rooms. But slept a little easier on Day 2 when the old place the new place & the guesthouse all completely sold out! & its only just today that we've started getting a few openings at last. So its been a good week. Boats were full, rooms were full, Restaurant, Bar, Bakery & Cafe were all busy. A few teething problems with the rooms & the check ins here & there & then a bit of a late start for Instructor Chloe in confined at the swimming pool on Day 3 but other than that, yes... Not a bad start at all!

And to top it all off we end our first week open with a Whaleshark for all those that signed in on our very first Open Water Course at our new resort! How's that for customer service. Well done Instructors! A five meter Whale Shark & a real one this time too! We didn't even need to get the Divemasters to blow up the inflatable. So happy campers all round. Students, Instructors, Divers, Divemasters & Whalesharks!

On the 20th of this month Big Blue BSAC have a small cave finding expedition to Ang Thong marine park. One of the beauties of the Gulf of Thailand. With limestone comes caves and we are hoping to find some of these caves and enjoy some time in the pristine waters surrounding these stunning islands. We are taking our technical boat and sleeping out under the stars. This trip is part of our Dive leader trainee's graduation as a planned diving trip, good luck guys.

Friday 9th March 2012-j

Well... like all great publicity stories a few photos have been leaked out by the Koh Tao Papparazzi of our New Resort officially open... Today!!! Welcome to Big Blue Diving Pranee Resort, our brand new, 3 story hotel with seven 4 person dormitories, seven 3 person rooms & seven Air con luxury rooms with Cable TV & hot water shower which can sleep upto 4 people if desired. In addition we have 16 bungalows with varying budgets, fan or AC, cold or hot water, & with or without TV. All bungalows have either seaviews or pool views, & we have 2 beachfront bungalows right next to our new Spa on the beach (to be opened next month). In addition we also have a huge beachfront bar, restaurant, coffee shop & bakery, 2 classrooms, heaps of al fresco classrooms & one 12 by 8 meter swimming pool with a maximum depth of 2.5 meters.

So what better day to open than the day after the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan. So anyone looking for a nice new place to stay & do their Dive Course or come diving with us then you know where to come. Prices start from just 100 Bt per bed at our new resort & we still have some FREE beds available at our Original Big Blue Resort. So give us a ring on 077456 415, send us an email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or just go to the booking page on our website & book your room & diving now while you still can!

And meanwhile life continues as normal at our Big Blue HQ with our other original resort also on the beach with 5 budget bungalows, 18 double fan rooms, five 6 bed Air conditioned dorms, & five Airconditioned private rooms. & at our 16 bed guesthouse conveniently located right inbetween Big Blue 1 & Big Blue 2. Eight doubles, eight twins, eight with Air Con, & eight without! All new, modern, clean & comfortable with TV's, & hot water.

Monday 5th March 2012-k

" Hello everyone, I promise you that this is the LAST message I will send you begging and harrasing for support. I have been named one of the top ten finalist in the WORLD for The Best Dive Job...yes, you heard me I'm one of the final 10 on the whole planet. There are only 9 other people standing between me and my dream...not to mention 25,000$ in freebies, dive courses, equipment...oh and free 7 months living and diving in Bali!!! You have all be amazing commenting on my page and it is because of you that I have gotten this far. SO THANK YOU!!
But now that I'm at the most critical point in the battle people have disappeared! Other finalists have comments pilling up by the hour and I'm falling behind. You have all helped me come this far, please help me make it to the finish. PLEASE go here: http://www.bestdivejob.com/2012/?p=532 scroll to the bottom and leave a comment. I NEED YOUR HELP!! You can comment everyday. Get your friends to help, your family, your dog!! Please share the link on your facebook profile as well to see if we can put me back in the front of the race. Have a meeting at school and get everyone to vote for me, get your classmates to vote, take your iPad to the pub and get everyone on the support bandwagon, be creative and please help!! PLEASE!!! Now I'm begging [;)] THANK YOU!!- Joe Zeiler"

Not only 1 whaleshark seen at Chumphon today but 2! & before you ask I checked & nope, no one was drunk! Two Whalesharks! Awesome. Well awesome for most people, apart from Richard from Melbourne who was out doing only his 3rd ever Open Water Dive & got to dive with both Whalesharks at the same time. Richard feels although the experience of diving with 2 such large creatures at the same time & to be so close to them was one of the most exhillerating experiences of his life he is worried that from here on in the world of scuba diving is all down hill from here on in! Hmmm Richard. You have so much to learn! Diving with 2 Whalesharks at the same time is just the beginning! When was the last time you saw a dophin swim through an air ring?

Official opening day for the new resort is this Thursday. Should be relatively easy to pull off a staff meeting on Wednesday night as its Full Moon Party that night. So we'll have a staff meeting at the new resort on Wednesday night to talk about logistics, & meet some of the new faces, experience some of the best tasting food on Koh Tao at our new Restaurant & maybe sup down on a flask or 2 of beer! Can't wait to show you all. First photos will be out soon. I know you are as excited to see the photos as I am to show them but keep your knickers on. You'll see them soon!

Friday 2nd March 2012-
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"Heya Big Blue!! Blue Season Bali just announced the first top ten finalist in their Best Dive Job in the World Competition and guess what! IT'S ME!!! I now have 14 days to convince them that I'm the best choice out of the final, final cut of applicants. Everyone can help me out by visiting my finalist page and posting a comment of support. I'M SO CLOSE I CAN TASTE IT!!! Thanks so much for all your support guys. The last 5 months are finally paying off! BATTLE BATTLE BATTLE! WIN WIN WIN.

Stop the sale of manta ray leather! We need to protect rays, not wear them. Manta rays are threatened with extinction, but that doesn't stop businesses from selling their parts. Alibaba.com, the world's largest business-to-business commerce website, sells boots and wallets made out of manta ray leather. This is inexcusable, and they should know better. Three years ago, Oceana supporters and other ocean activists successfully petitioned Alibaba.com to stop selling shark products. Now we're calling on you again. We need your help to tell them the world is watching, and they need to stop selling products that threaten ocean species. We did it once—we can do it again. Sign today, and tell Alibaba.com founder and CEO Mr. Jack Ma to be an ocean leader and stop selling manta ray products.

Well the curtains are up, the well is full & the TV's are on order, so is the wi-fi, the Air cons work, electricity has been installed, the boys are over from Samui putting the cover over the concrete base, the decking has been built, the food is amazing, the shop girl, the kitchen staff, the housekeepers, the cashier & the handymen have all been hired & trained, the counter is built, the cupboards are locked & the safe is secretly hidden! The classroom looks awesome, the gardener is busy, & the meeting with all the Big Blue Staff has been set for next Tuesday, the signs are being constructed & painted, & the sala should be finished by close of play today. leaving just the foot bridge to the sala & the sandstone paintjob just to go & then finally after almost 10 months of behind the scenes construction we can finally open our gates to the wonderful world of Big Blue 2!

April 2012

Saturday 28th April 2012-

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Save Koh Tao Festival:

Save Koh Tao Festival Day today & tomorrow. An outdoor festival rivalling those like Woodstock, Glastonbury, or Monstors of Rock but Koh Tao style! You know there'll be food, & drinks, & live music & fashion shows & I'm sure there'll be sex, drugs & rock'n'roll tho maybe best leave that for the confines of your own home. And as ever Big Blue is leading the way with another live action song & dance compillation. You may well remember when 'Grease' was the word, & then we Zombie strutted our stuff to Thriller, & last year we jigged and jagged our way thru River Dance. Well this year we're evolving The Evolution of Dance & taking it a step further! Come watch. We're on stage tonight at 9pm!

 

What? Another Whale Shark on Koh Tao?

Yep. Another Whaleshark in the water again today. (Well where else are they going to be?)  I know. Boring! We've seen a few turtles lately too. & Cobia's. Groupers seem to be a little hard to find at the moment tho. But the Barracudas are still huge in numbers & there does appear to be a few different schools of them around at various dive sites which is a good sign. & then there's heaps of Jacks or Trevally around as well so although I'm sure most of you who aren't here with us right now in Koh Tao would rather see a whaleshark those of us who are here right now are happy to see quite literally everything else!

 

“Best part of our trip so far!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor April 21, 2012 - best dive instructor ever! (Med) had such a good time we ended up paying out to do our advanced aswell as our openwater. the staff made everything much more enjoyable. the resort is right on the beach and a seven eleven right at the top of the road with an atm. great local bars. incredible dive sites and we saw a whale shark! we got free on site accomodation because we dived with big blue. started in a fan room but because it was too hot we moved to an aircon dorm (still free) with no hassle. lockers for use just need a padlock. would definately reccomend to ANYBODY going anywhere near thailand. I'll be back!
 

 

 Thursday 26th April 2012-b

 Its like Whaleshark soup out there! In the last 24 hours we've dived 4 divesites & 3 of them had a Whaleshark! 3 different Whalesharks too! Not the same one at three places! We have customers right now who have logged more dives with a Whaleshark than without one! One guy has been diving with us for the last 2 weeks & has logged 15 dives with Whalesharks! In fact Whalesharks are becomming so common right now we're even offerring guaranteed Whaleshark dives or your money back! How's that for world class diving! Guaranteed dive with a Whaleshark! At Ningaloo Reef off Western Australia they offer guaranteed dives with Whalesharks for 3000 AUD per dive & send choppers out over the reef to spot them then relay the GPS Coordinates to the Diveboat. We charge 800 Bt & just jump in anywhere! You know- "Same same, but different!"

Save Koh Tao Festival is in 3 days! Come join in the fun, there's lots of fun day time stuff to do and night time performances including Big Blue's Dance! Buy your raffle tickets from the shop - 200B and prizes include iphones, ipods, bicycles, dive courses etc. This is the best event of the year so don't miss out! Koh Tao Underwater Festival 28th & 29th April 2012

“Awesome dives, great instructors; amazing experience” Reviewed on TripAdvisor - I went to Koh Tao only expecting to do a discover dive but ended up staying for 8 days and completing both my Open Water and Advanced Adventurer certifications with Big Blue. The accommodation at both sites is more than adequate and free when you are diving with the school and are all within 2 seconds of the beach. Everyone working at Big Blue is friendly, helpful and fun especially the instructors and DM's. The courses are well run, instructed to the highest level, safe and most importantly FUN. I would have no hesitation in recommending this school to any of my friends and I will be heading back here to complete my DMT once I have saved a little more money.

Wednesday 25th April 2012-

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With 56 Diveshops on Koh Tao ( at last count) its no wonder new arrivals on the island get a little confused as to who to choose to dive with. Common sense would of course tell you Big Blue, but some of you ( usually the Belgians) need a little clarification as to why. Well its really very simple. We have 2 beachside resorts, 1 with swimming pool, with on the front Beachside Restaurant & bars at both places aswell offerring spectacular sunset views. We offer bungalows on the beach for backpackers & upmarket travellers alike. We have 4 dive vessels offerring over 13 divesites a day. We organise special Day trips to Sail Rock, special overnight trips to Angthong Marine Park, & 3 night trips to Koh Sok National Marine Park for some Cave Diving & Tech Diving. We also offer Liveaoard diving on the West coast to the Similans & Surin Islands. We teach all PADI, SSI, BSAC & TDI Courses,  as well as any Conservation courses you might be interested as well with our in house Marine Biologist. We also have an award winning in house Instructor Trainer, & a locally employed Dive Medic Technician. All our Instructors are at least Dual certified meaning they can teach with at least 2 agencies, some can even teach 3 agencies, and are fully trained First Aid Instructors & DAN O2 Oxygen Providers! & if that aint enough to make you want to choose Big Blue Diving we also have the hottest looking chicks!

“Amazing experience”5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2012- Was here in the summer of 2011 and had an absolute ball of a time. I came to Koh Tao to do my Open Water course and planned to stay here for 5 days max with some people I met travelling. I done my Open Water and had a ball of a time with my instructor Ros and Curtis. The staff were absolutely great. I loved it so much, I went to the Full Moon Party, and came back to do my Advanced too. Again I only planned on staying for a few days but ended up staying here for 3 weeks as I didn't want to leave. I done my Advanced as well as heaps of fun dives including some to Sail Rock. By the end of my time here I felt as if I was part of Big Blue, knew loads of the staff and was gutted to leave. Reggie was my DM on my Sail Rock trip (not sure how you spell her name properly) and Ian my fellow Scotsman were a great help and always friendly. Would recommend Big Blue to anyone coming to Koh Tao. The best people I have dived with by far.
 


Pretty quiet on Koh Tao right now. We're heading into low season see. Apparently May & June in Europe is when everyone studies for their exams & whatnots then go travelling in July August, or our high season! Never really understood that either. Especially as July August isn't even anywhere as nice as May or June for the weather! & May & June is still relatively busy on the Whaleshark front where as July & August tends to be very limited whaleshark sightings. So if anyone is thinking of popping over to Koh Tao right now I would highly recommend it! Better diving, better weather, better conditions, more whalesharks & less people!

Monday 23rd April 2012-

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Hmmm. Never thought I'd be saying this but we're finding it pretty difficult to get to a divesite without a Whaleshark on it at the moment! Can you believe that! Seems to me there are 5 whalesharks around Koh Tao at the moment.  'La Toya' is hanging out at Sail Rock or Samran Pinnacle. Then we got "Billie Jean" cruising around Southwest Pinnacle, Shark Island & Aow Leuk. We got "Dirty Diana" at Hin Wong & Laem Thien area  going back & forth along the east coast of the island. Then there's "Randy" cruising around Nang Yuan Island at Twins, White Rock & the Sattakut Wreck & the 5th Whaleshark "Michael"seems to be doing a relay race between Green Rock & Chumphon Pinnacle. It's the Jackson 5- Koh Tao style!

Divers from Big Blue and New heaven joined forces to restore the giant clam population on Sairee Beach yesterday. Over the last year, we have been cultivating over 300 clams in a nursery off Aow Leuk bay, and yesterday we took 69 of them to their new home in Sairee! Clams are filter feeding invertebrates who keep our water quality nice and clean. Due to predation, pollution and people collecting them to use their shells for jewellery, ornaments and for the aquarium trade, our populations of clams on Sairee have depleted and need a little help. So, 25 divers from Big Blue and New Heaven came together to re-home some of the nursery clams. When clams reach over 15cm, they begin to put down a permanent "foot" using strong muscle fibres. We took clams from the nursery that were around 12-14 cm and relocated them to suitable areas on Sairee. Now they are settling into their new home, and we will keep a close watch on our new reef additions!

“Spectacular experience.” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor April 20, 2012 - I'll start by saying that is very rare that I write a review.... after reading through some of the comments I felt compelled to write. I'm so surprised to hear people complaining about their experience at Big Blue!! I travel a lot and can honestly say this was one of my best holidays to date!! Big blue does not advertise glamorous or luxurious accommodations, but it is comfortable, clean and safe! Why is that so horrible?! The staff are beyond friendly and helpful, and I can't imagine any concern from a customer being brushed off. Every time I went into the shop to ask a question if the first person couldn't answer, they found the answer for me! I was thoroughly impressed with the customer service.As for instructors- every one that I encountered was full of personality and willing to share a good laugh. I spent 6days at Big Blue and don't have one bad thing to say about it!The instructors were so friendly and personable, the restaurant was consistent and while the accommodations weren't ON the beach- they were a minute walk from it! There was one review that commented on the distance they had to walk to get to the dive school. Big Blue has 2 different accommodation choices. One is right next to the school, dorm style accommodations, clean and comfortable but not private rooms. They also have their new rooms about a 5minute walk down the beach. WELL worth the walk. The new rooms are bigger and can be booked privately for 2 or more people. You're a "hop skip and a jump" from the action, but can get a good nights sleep before your early dives! The only draw back of those rooms was no AC. They do have fans, and honestly you get a really nice breeze from the water so you hardly notice. I would go back to Big Blue in a heart beat!! If you are looking for an affordable, comfortable and fun vacation destination then I'd definitely recommend you visiting" Sarah M- Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

 Friday 18th April 2012-

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 The best shop girl in the world just dropped one! Congratulations Kate our Big Blue Shop girl for the last 5 years who is on maternity leave ( she thinks she's quit, but I know otherwise) has just given birth to a beautiful bouncing baby boy called Alexander. Just over 4 kilos, Kate & Alex must be truely blessed cos from where I'm sitting, Alex Junior looks just a little bit like Buddha himself! Congratulations Kate & Alex & welcome to the world Alex Junior (AJ), we're all very much looking forward to meeting you.

So not quite sure how to take the comment from one customer today who said "Would you mind if we dived somewhere where there isn't a whaleshark. I've done 6 dives with you so far & all 6 was with a Whaleshark. I would quite like to see something different!" Can you beleive that? Don't you know Whalesharks are very sensitive creatures. Jacques Cousteau would turn in his grave! Not sure whether to spit in his wetsuit or piss in his mask! Cheek of some people!

 We have 1 guy signed up for the mammoth 18 day advanced trimix liveaboard, diving all the amazing wrecks in the gulf of Thailand, South China Sea and the Malacca straits. The Giamani is the only boat in the Koh Tao area that has the range to get to these brilliant wrecks. As Big Blue Tech are an affiliate of this charter boat we will be heavily involved with the wreck diving trips available on this fantastic boat. Here is a detailed itinerary for this once in a lifetime expedition. If you are CCR trimix trained and want to see some amazing wrecks please give us a shout asap as only a few places remaining & this is truely a trip of a lifetime! You would just hate to miss out I'm sure.

Tuesday 17th April 2012-
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Today was a good day in the fight for stopping illegal fishing. Yesterday the Fisheries Department found a non-local boat using cages to fish in the protected zone around Koh Tao, and arrested all 5 on board, including the captain. On board we found hundreds of fish, including; scribbled filefish, trigger fish, bat fish, big groupers, cobia, sweetlips, and of course tons of snapper, rabbit fish, and fusilers. they had also been collecting large cowrie shells. Today they made the captain return to the locations were his cages are placed (with the Marine police, the local government, and members of Save Koh Tao) to empty the cages. Rosemary Allen of FilmCo was there and got it all on tape, so stay tuned to see the video with interviews from the people involved. The people spear fishing at shark island will be next . . .

Another special trip this morning organised by our self proclaimed 'Best in the World' Divemaster team, to Samran Pinnacle & the Wreck! Samran, a series of 3 pinnacles closer to Koh Phangan than to Koh Tao, but very rarely dived as it does seem to be a bit more of a fishermans site than a divers site. But being the isolated series of rocks that it is it also makes for a good pitstop for all the travelling pelagics we get in this part of the ocean. Common visitors to Samran are big schools of King Mackerel, Barracudas, & last time we were there we got to dive with 2 whalesharks at the same time. Should be an awesome mornings diving, apart from the getting out of bed before 6am lark!

“BigBlue in one word, FANTASTIC!!!!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012 - I love Ko Tao and BigBlue Diving, i´m had more then 70 Fundives with Big Blue, and all was amazing!!! The Divemaster´s are really good, (maybe the best of the World, Special Thanks to Steven ;) ) the landscape and the divesites are pretty good. My favorites are Chumpon Pinacle, Greenrock, Whiterock, The Wreck, ant lot more....The Accommondation are nice and cheap. I was 4 times here and i will come back, for sure. Best fishes, Kai Fischer"

Monday 16th April 2012-
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Curtis Lentz, SSI & PADI Instructor at Big Blue. American. Little bit rural. Special. Slow. Red neck. Seriously he has a red neck! Nice enough guy just not much there. Up top. Brought up on Jeremy Springer. Live. In the audience. Main guest on " Breast feeding for Teenagers- for or against?" Carries a gun. Well doesn't actually but if we all lived by the Constitiution here like they do in America he'd definitely be carrying a gun. A big one. More than enough to do some serious damage at any University campus or other public shooting range. As I say nice enough bloke. Bloody stupid haircut though.

Congratulations to Lice Christensen, Neil Draycott, James Campbell, Adam Britton and David Mead who have all recently completed the BSAC Marine Conservation course. The course was run at Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao. This 5-day course was run by Jennifer Mathews who is Big Blue Diving - Marine Conservation Chief Instructor. Jennifer is also BSAC Thailand’s Marine Conservation Advisor. The BSAC Thailand Marine Conservation course is open to BSAC Ocean Divers and above. It is also available to divers who have been trained by other agencies. The course is designed to give students with little or no prior knowledge or experience of marine conservation the chance to learn about coral reefs and the problems facing them around the world. Advanced background understanding in ocean processes and composition, coral reef ecology and pressures affecting them will help them understand the need for marine conservation. The student will gain experience in identification and practical conservation activities. It is expected that upon completion students will be able to accurately identify many aquatic organisms and processes from which they will be able to design and implement appropriate activities in order to contribute to ongoing conservation priorities. As to show their support for this course, BSAC Thailand is donating all of its Marine Conservation materials sales proceeds into a pool which can then be used to help finance Thai Marine Conservation projects. If you would like to know more about this course, please contact Jenifer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Statistically speaking you have 1 in 700,000 more chance of being killed by a dog, 1 in 1 million of dying while in the bath tub, 1 in 5 billion of being killed by space debris, 1 in 86,000 of being killed by poisoning, 1 in 3 million of being killed by freezing, 1 in 2 million of being killed by lightening, 1 in 5,000 of being killed in a car crash, 1 in 2 million of being killed in a tornado, or being killed by falling out of bed, and if you dive with Big Blue, well judging by the last 15 days only well you have 10 chances in every 15 of seeing a Whaleshark! You know... statistically speaking!

Saturday 14th April 2012-h

Who wants this tea device, the Sharky tea infuser. You put your tea in the bottom compartment, attach the dorsal fin top, and set it afloat in your (preferably glass) cup. The effect of the tea infusing into the water from the shark appears both beautiful and exciting according to the Argentinian designer Pablo Matteodo. Making tea at home just got a little more dangerous. Duhn-duhn! We're gonna need a bigger kettle.

Awesome opportunity for the right person here on Koh Tao! Looking for a Dive Shop Manager for a little dive center on the south side of Koh Tao (Chalok Baan Khao). I would love to help find someone to fill this position. Great potential at a once-busy shop which has been badly mismanaged for years. Contact me if you are an Instructor with any kind of management experience. No gluttons or alcoholics, please... This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Schönes Erlebnis!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012 NEW - Ich habe vor 2 Wochen einen Open-Water-Divers- Kurs bei Big Blue gemacht und war sehr zufrieden! Besonders der deutsche Tauchlehrer Felix Breuer bestach durch viel Wissen rumd ums Tauchen und hat unsere Gruppe in den 4 Tagen gut ausgebildet und umfangreich informiert. Das Tauchen selbst war natürlich sowieso umwerfend toll! Vielen Dank!" Funf out of Funf! :-)

Friday 6th April 2012-i

Widely considered Koh Tao's premier dive site, Chumphon Pinnacle is also one of the island's most challenging with occasionally strong currents. Ranging from depths of 12m to 40m, the site is a group of massive rocks arranged in a rough oval and running north to south. Visibility is superb in season, and the site plays host to a wide variety of pelagics as well as reef fish. Great barracuda, king mackerel, grouper, and tuna throng to Chumphon all year around, and in season whale shark sightings are common. As the site is a fair distance offshore, visitors from the open ocean are unpredictable -sailfish, oceanic white tip sharks and bull sharks have also been spotted. Map courtesy of Zain Zaini, PADI Divemaster in Training, Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao's premier PADI Divemaster Graphic Design Cartographic Design Felicity. Ah-hmm... facility! 

“Brilliant diving instructors” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Tripadvisor March 29, 2012- I recently done my open water and advanced scuba courses with the big blue diving school and thoroughly enjoyed it, all the staff were really helpful and friendly and our diving instructor Paul Tanner made both courses a lot of fun and I managed to see a whale shark. Overall I had an amazing time and would recommend big blue." Cheers AlexP. Good of you to take the time to write in & express your opinions to the world. Much appreciated Alex. & look forward to seeing you again for some more underwater fun on your next trip to Koh Tao!


Right... just so you know. I got my team all ready, refreshed, & roaring to go. I got 4 Dive boats ready for action. I got 5 six bed dormitories with AC & hot water shower, 5 basic fan bungalows, 16 fan rooms & 5 Air con rooms all cleaned & ready at Big Blue 1. I got 16 double & twin bed rooms, 8 fan & 8 AC at Big Blue Guesthouse, and I got 16 AC bungalows on the beach, 7 four bed dorms, 7 three bed rooms, & 7 AC rooms on the 3rd floor overlooking the pool & with Sea views at Big Blue 2, all ready for tomorrows post full moon rush from Koh Phangan. You know... just so you know!

Tuesday 3rd April 2012-
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Minke Whale also spotted at Chumphon Pinnacle this morning as well. Probably about 6 meters long so still relatively small. Recently we seem to be getting a few more Whales than we've had before here in Koh Tao which is obviously a good sign. They don't tend to hang around too long unlike the Whaleshark who has been known to hangout at one divesite for as long as 3 weeks. But they do tend to be seen in small pods of maybe 3-6.

In the immortal words of the 90's legendary Irish singer Sinead O'Connor "Its been 5 whalesharks in 5 days"! Sail Rock, Shark Island, Twins, Chumphon & Hin Wong! & today there were 2 whalesharks at different sites at the same time so there's definitely more than one in the water here right now. Must be whaleshark season! Better take your seats ladies & gentlemen. I have a feeling this season could be a Monster!

Last chance to book yourselves some accommodation in Koh Tao before the chaos begins with the Full Moon Party people over from Koh Phangan on the 6th  April & then its Songkran! Thai New Year! One big long silly water fight all day long! So its going to be a very busy couple of weeks coming up so get on the blower, the computer, the fax or the telgram if thats what you're used to but get booking something or there'll be nothing left!

May 2012

Aung Sang Suu Kyi in Thailand

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So the big news in Thailand at the moment which effects sooooo many of our behind the scenes staff here at Big Blue is that legendary Democracy Leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi the hope for so many millions of freedom loving Burmese people has arrived in Thailand. The Burmese people are an amazing bunch. They're so friendly, so accommodating, hard workers, reliable & live on virtually nothing & those who work here literally work over 12 hours a day 7 days a week & then send their money home to their famillies in Burma who have nothing. Soon we all hope that Burma will become a real democracy again & these boys can all be reunited with their famillies. All the best boys. In the immortal words of Hollywood superstar Mel Gibson- "Freedom!"

SSI Instructor Trainer Simon Garrity

"I did my course with the professional, highly focused, humorous, thoughtful, strong, muscular, virile, incredibly good-looking Simon Garrity! I teach almost exactly as he taught me. It works brilliant! and by the way it has been really fun! I recommend this man and Big Blue Diving anyway! THANK YOU! Tobi O. "  Good on you Tobi. Thanks so much for writing in to our Facebook Group & expressing these comments. We don't know how much Simon paid you to write this but we appreciate it anyway!

Hilarious Big Blue Diving Instructor Tosh Tanner

“Best thing I've ever done!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor- I finished my dive at big blue just over a week ago and I am still reminiscing! I can honestly say it is one of the best experiences of my life. Me and my friends were instantly made to feel welcome and our accomodation was much better than we had ever hoped. The staff are all really efficient and professional and went out of their way to ensure that our needs were met. However, a special mention needs to be given to our instructor, Tosh. There is no question that he made the experience for us. Not only was he hilarious, but he was patient, attentive and calming. Definitely a character I will remember! Despite not having any previous diving experience, we all learnt really quickly due to the excellent quality of teaching. I would recommend this dive school to anyone and am already planning my return trip. Thanks Big Blue!

Updated Thursday 31st May 2012-

 

Another beautiful day on Koh Tao

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 Well its another one of those days I'm afraid. The sun is out. The sea is calm. Water Temperature is a barmy 30 degrees, air temperature is a pleasant 29 degrees. There's a very slight fresh onshore breeze. Water clarity just off shore is approximately 8-10 meters deep, visibility is 20+ meters all over Koh Tao. There are daily reports of Whalesharks, pilot whales, heaps of turtles at almost every site. And then if that aint enough we have a bevvy of the worlds most beautiful women all laid flat out in their skimpies right here on the beach at Big Blue! Oh what a day!

Couldn't have had a better teacher

“Best time, best instructor” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor- We couldn't have had a better time learning diving, and we couldn't have had a better teacher. Above all, we absolutely recommend asking for Skui as your instructor. She's a great teacher. She makes you feel very safe - patient if you have a worry, serious when she needs to be but also a lot of fun the rest of the time. Our group shared a lot of laughter together and she was often at the centre of it. You can tell Skui's passionate about her work by the way she teaches and by her huge knowledge of the sea life at the dive sites and beyond. That passion definitely rubbed off on everyone in our group. Her helping us see a whale shark, an octopus and a sleeping sea turtle on our dives was just the icing on the cake. Thank you to Skui for everything.

Jawsome!

So it appears that it aint just Koh Tao experiencing an increase in Whale shark sightings this year. Apparently Whalesharks have been seen in their hundreds in the sea of Cortez off Cozumel, & today I'm hearing reports that htere has been over 40 Whalesharks have been sighted off Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia aswell, making this their biggest Whaleshark season on record! So thats Mexico, Australia & Thailand all reporting the most amount of Whalesharks they've ever seen. This aint just awesome news! Its Jawsome!

Updated Wednesday 30th May 2012

Eco Internship Programme

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 "Dear Eco Jen, Thank you for having me as your Eco Intern for the past three weeks. I'm incredibly grateful to everyone at Big Blue Diving for making my stay that much more interesting. I loved feeling part of the family and considered 'just one of us' even if it meant lugging a crate - or a box of biscuits - every now and then. I think the atmosphere and the people working there had a big influence and set the tone for some of the most amazing experiences (WHALE SHARK!!) of my Gap Year. I really appreciate all the time everyone took to get to know and integrate me despite only passing through for an all too short 3 weeks. Without the wonderful DM's etc.. I'm sure I wouldn't have had half as much fun! I'll see whoever is still left there in exactly one year! Big Blue Conservation's enthusiasm and passion for conservation coming through all the science was inspiring. What struck me the most about the team was seeing how driven and focused you were and yet how accessible and friendly you remained. More importantly I really enjoyed meeting people with similar strong interests in conservation and science (genetics just seems so captivating, doesn't it?). My time spent with Big Blue Conservation made me realize how easy it is with some dedication and commitment to (and I hate to be cheesy, but it fits) make a difference. I can only hope that I'll carve a niche for myself that so nicely complements my two passions; archeology and the ocean. To wind it all down, I wanted to let you know how much meeting you all gave me such a clearer picture of where I want to head and what I want to achieve. - Cami

Great Location

"Super nice all the dives I myself felt very comfortable"   At first I just wanted to take a diving course and then we'll see ... in the end I stayed a whole month and had the Open Water and Advance Course and twenty-three dives. The instructors are very nice and the dive master with whom they dipped when one makes the fundives had my concept for the right amount of fun and proffesionelles know. The location is great. If you ordered a pizza at the restaurant and eat it on the stand while the sun goes down then comes on holiday feeling for sure. 5 out of 5 stars- Reviewed on Trip Advisor May 17, 2012

Cave Diving in Khao Sok

So tonight our Techie team are off to Dive some caves in Khao Sok. We are heading off on the night boat over to the mainland and into the stunning limestone mountains of the Khao Sok national park. Here we will be diving in a fresh water lake and sleeping in floating villages, we have 2 days of diving here and are planning to hit the dark zone in the underwater forrest. The 2 days diving will be followed by a day of above water exploration as we are in one of the most naturally stunning areas of Thailand it would be rude not to explore a little. Then it is off to Khao Lak to dive an 85 meter wreck of a cargo ship that is sitting fully starboard in 42 meters of water an hour off shore. Andy Cavell, who is overseeing this trip was one of the members of a diving team who surveyed this wreck roughly a month after it's sinking. He is quoted as saying "this wreck is stunning, a great size, and it is a nice dive when the currents aren't ripping. I can't wait to get back to it!!" All the team are Extended range or higher certification and Advanced wreck, so we should have an amazing exploring week ahead of us!!!

Updated Monday 28th May 2012

Give Sharks a Fighting Chance

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In some form, sharks have been around for about 400 million years. Even before dinosaurs roamed the earth, sharks hunted through the oceans! They're such good survivors that they've had little need to evolve in the last 150 million years. These ancient predators fascinate divers and non divers alike. Many shark species are in danger of becoming extinct but you can give sharks a fighting chance by taking the AWARE Shark Conservation Distinctive Speciality course. Now available to complete at Big blue, you will learn all about the sharks 7 senses, about amour plated skin, and about the largest fish in the ocean! Whether you dive or not, you can partake in this one day course, and if you're thinking of doing your advanced it can also count as one of your adventure dives. You also get to keep a shark conservation manual that you can learn even more from. For a limited time too, we will give you a "free give sharks a fighting chance" mask strap. To book this course, drop us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pilot Whales & Whale Sharks

So I've been away for a few days & just got back to all sorts of reports of underwater occurences. First off was a report of a floating Pilot whale carcass around the north of Koh Tao & there was some serious concern the carcass might wash up on one of our beaches, which would have been a trifle whiffy. Luckily it didn't happen & the carcass ended up being caught & is being checked for cause of death. We'll get back to you when Koh Tao CSI give us a press release! It also seems this dead whale may be part of a pod of Pilot whales last seen hanging out to the north of Mango Bay where they've been seen for the last couple of days. And meanwhile its still raining Whalesharks here with sightings at Hin Wong, South West Pinnacle & Sail Rock! With all these shannigans occurring I should go away more often!

SSI Crossover Course

So SSImon South East Asia's leading SSI Instructor Trainer, who by the way seems to be enjoying the wearing ladies clothing to snorkel tests a little too much, is starting an 8 person Instructor Crossover tomorrow! Thats 8 more PADI Instructors defecting! & why? Cos there's soooooooo much competition for PADI Instructors while at the same time SSI are crying out for more Instructors cos there is now so much demand for SSI Courses! The tide has turned my PADI-wan friends! The future is SSI... & men in ladies clothing!

Updated Sunday May 27th 2012-

PADI Instructor Exam

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So they've watched the video, read the book, bought the T-shirt, waxed their bikini lines, spat in their wetsuits & pissed in their masks & are now finally ready to take on the PADI Instructor Exam! We're off with a flying start already as ACE Video Cameraman Billy just cruised through his SSI Instructor Exam yesterday, & now today we got Aussie Tessa, Instructor Intern Andreas, Big Blue DM's Ant & Jade & Green Queen Eco Jen all putting on their speedos for todays final day of the IE. Yesterday they all got 5 out of 5 so it obviously helps wearing as little as possible cos they'd never have got straight 5's otherwise! Good luck guys & bring me your CV's as soon as you've recovered from tonights celebrations!  

Technical Diving Internship

In June our current technical divemaster interns will both be finishing their internship and moving on to working in the technical diving industry. Todd is heading back to Canada to dive in the great lakes and get some cold water experience. We don't know (and I don't think he does either) where Jason is heading to next. One thing is for sure, both of these guys will have no problem getting work in the industry with the training they now have!!! What this means to us, is that we now have 2 spaces for our next technical interns. If you want or know someone that wants to get into technical diving, wants to get into wreck diving, cave diving, trimix diving or become a technical diving instructor/divemaster. Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and one of our technical training team will reply promptly. These places fill fast and we can only take limited numbers due to the internship program. Get your name down ASAP, don't miss out!!!!

Coral Bleaching

In light of the increasing occurrence of global coral bleaching events, scientists from Thailand came together to produce a compilation of papers (listed here) covering the major bleaching event in Thai waters in 2010. The papers include those considering the physical factors leading to bleaching; the ecological impacts of the bleaching event and previous bleaching events dating back to 1991; the incidence of disease following bleaching; survival of coral recruits post-bleaching and management strategies employed by the Thai government to mitigate damage to the reefs during the bleaching period. Big Blue Conservation's Jen, along with Dr Thamasak Yeemin (Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok) and Dr Bert Hoeksema (NCB Naturalis, Netherlands) contributed to this compilation with an article describing the 2010 coral bleaching event and its impact on the mushroom coral fauna of Koh Tao. This kind of science research is something we pride ourselves in at Big Blue, as it will help us learn more about our environment and why bleaching occurs to help prevent or protect our reefs from future episodes, as well as increasing public awareness. Great job guys! If you fancy a read during your surface interval, you can download a copy of the article here or see our publications page for more details.

Updated Wednesday 23rd May 2012

Best job in the World

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Thanks to all our Dive Team all our Instructors & Divemasters here at Big Blue for all doing their hair nicely, shaving, brushing their teeth & putting on their make up for our once a year Team Photo! Unfortunately there were a few members of staff still away when we took the photos so I'm sorry Roz, Curtis, Serena, Greg, Skui & Laura that you weren't all here for the picci but am sure that cruising the streets of Kuta or Komodo more than makes up for it! So for everyone else - Smile! You lucky bastards have one of the best jobs in the world!

Shout out for Sharks

A round of applause to Big Blue for your support for sharks! We submitted 486 signatures to Project AWARE's Shout out for Sharks petition to persuade international organsations that control the shark fishing trade that we want these beautiful apex predators protected from destructive fishing practices driving them to extinction. Project AWARE have now hit the 100k mark which is a incredible achievement and a clear message to policy makers. AWARE has been very successful in unifying our diving voice and representing the dive community at this high level. We’re so pleased to have you with us. They recently just returned from a meeting with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore to discuss shark protection through CITES. The meeting was very constructive and paves the way for future discussions. And we’re gearing up for more of these meetings over the coming months. It’s a critical time for shark conservation and we’re really making waves at this level. If you would like to sign the petition, please email or post your signatures to us asap so we can record them. And if you love sharks as much as us, don't forget you can do an Shark Conservation speciality with us and join our annual Swim4Sharks event in August.

Highly recommended

“Awesome experience!!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor- In March I arrived at Koh Tao with my sister to go diving. We didn't know much about Koh Tao nor diving and initially ended up at Chrystal Divers at the beach near the pier. Although people were nice there and seemed very qualified, it looked a bit dull. So we decided to check out Big Blue at Sairee Beach first, just a guess after reading the lonely planet really. But when we got there we immediately knew that this was the better place for us, very nice vibe! After Nick (instructor) did a little pitch about BB we decided to sign up for our Open Water. And what a good decision!! We had the best time! Our diving group was devided into two with instructors Nick and Petra. Although I didn't really dive with her directly, Petra seemed like a very good diver and was very organised while teaching. Also just a really nice girl. My instructor Nick was a little bit more of the chaotic type haha but you could tell he is quite an experienced instructor. Very patient and clear and puts you at ease while diving. He is the nicest guy too. So recommended! Up front I thought I might find diving scary but didn't for a sec, probably because of the relaxed vibe and good instructor skills too! Oh yeah, Daisy the DMT dove with us during our whole course too, such a nice girl, be sure to ask for her if ur fundiving! We ended up liking the diving so much that we signed up for the Advanced Course too, so did most of our group. It was the best experience! Loved every second of it. I was so sad to leave after that because I'm totally hooked on diving now. Will definitely come back for my divemaster course some day when I find the time and money, can't wait! So big thumbs up for BB! Restaurant at the beach is also a great place to hang out.

Updated Monday May 21st 2012-

Diving Angthong Marine Park

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Our big brave boys at Big Blue Tech are off on another jolly this morning with their BSAC trip to Ang Thong with BSAC Dive Leaders Dan and Nat beavering around the resort preparing for the 06:00 departure time. The wind is blowing slightly so we are waiting for a final assessment of the conditions from the captain. Fingers crossed that the conditions will allow us to make the 3 hour journey to the Marine Park & do some exciting unexplored diving & hey who knows might even find that Beach place that plonker Leonardo Di Capprio kept harping on about all those years ago! Have a great trip!

Big Blue Team Photo

Its our yearly staff photo today! A time when we can all compare how much we've aged since this time last year. How much fatter, thinner, older younger, more haggard, more frumpy, hairier, balder, bigger, smaller, saggier, baggier, less teeth, more scars, rounder bellies, we've all got now! So the gals are doing their best to cover their blemishes, wash their hair, shave their legs & firm up their busts the men among us are shooting each other our best Zoolander faces. Blue Steel, Wet Neoprene, & Compressed Air! Strike a pose. 12 o'clock Big Blue 1! See you there!

Save the Sharks

Quick shout out for some help for Ex Big Blue Instructor Jodie who is working today at the BBC on a 'sharks in crisis' proposal and needs to find some specific examples of what the loss of sharks would/will mean for the planet, we all know the ecosystem will be buggered but she needs something that will make the audience go holy crap thats really bad! and start to care about the fate of our finny friends. so obviously she thought of us and Eco jen in particular, the font of fishy knowledge that she is. Unfortunatley Jen is joining the Dark side & is taking her IDC right now but maybe there is someone else out there who can help Jodie & her friends the sharks? contact info@bigbluediving if you can help! Remember Save the sharks & they'll save you!

Updated 15th May 2012

Sharks on Mothers Day

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A thought on Mothers' Day! Sharks aren't known for their parenting skills. Their young are born or hatch fully formed and perfectly able to fend for themselves, so don't need "mothering." So what do you make of this pair of Silvertips? Is the 'human' within us seeing parent & child, or is this just a photo of 2 sharks, of quite different sizes, who just happen to be swimming together....as they do?? Not!

Scared of Fish

Its not everyones cup of tea! Look at Kate Moss. She pulled out of a scuba diving course - because she's too scared of fish. The supermodel was holidaying in the South of France last year with her husband and a group of pals and was keen to get her formal qualification in diving while she was there but her fear of sea-dwelling creatures put an end to that. A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Kate has been snorkelling before and dived a bit. She was keen to get a formal qualification, did some of the classroom-based stuff and was really getting in to it. But then she got convinced she was going to bump into a giant, scary fish - possibly a shark - and began to get nervous. "When a school of tropical fish swam past, Kate got a bit terrified by one of the bigger, grey ones. So instead of going under water, Kate spent the rest of her holiday concentrating on how to spell her name!

Modelling Auditions for new Big Blue Brochure

We're in the throes of compiling artwork & modelling for photos which will be put into our new brochures & agent propaganda that our new shopgirl, professional Graphic Designer, Caz, is busy producing. So we've got auditions lined up all week for suitable models. Divemaster Steven will be cleanly shaven with his middle parting nicely defined. Shopgirl Jess is putting on her sliced Salmon Lady Gaga suit. If you're looking for your big break in the modelling industry then better come visit Big Blue. We'll make you famous!

Updated Monday 13th May 2012-

SSI Scuba Instructors Needed

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Big shout of awareness out there to all you thinking of becomming Scuba Diving Instructors. There are many different Diving organisations out there & I can really only talk for Koh Tao but.... if you are hoping to get work in Koh Tao then for heavens sake become an SSI Instructor. Absolutely nothing wrong with PADI of course but the thing is the PADI Instructors on Koh Tao grow on trees. They're everywhere. But the SSI Instructors are really hard to find. Make yoursleves employable! Become an SSI Instructor. & if you want my advice then you best drop me a line. I might know just the guy who can help you!

Low Season on Koh Tao

Well we timed that badly! Usually May & June is what we call low season so most of our Instructors bugger off for a month or so to rest relax see family & friends & then pop back to Koh Tao just in time for high season which kicks off early July. So this May we got Roz & Curtis getting jiggy with it in Komodo! We got Laura & Skui rocking round the clock in Bali. kNickers just got back from a romantic month long back packing jaunt with his Missus round the Killing fields of Cambodia (hmm romantic), Hangover James has disappeared! Bet he's in Vegas! & Olaf flew back to the lowlands! Then Chloe is off this afternoon to Baguette it up in France & Andreas & Jen are doing their PADI Crossovers. Leaving the skeleton crew diving twice in the morning & twice in the afternoon & some of them have even had to go diving at night aswell... with 20 meter viz...in flat seas..., in warm water... with whalesharks... and getting paid for it!? Lucky Bastards!

The Liquivision X1 Dive Computer

The Liquivision X1 is an expedition grade open circuit and closed circuit trimix computer. With a CE rating to 180m and tested way beyond that, this computer is more than capable of going with you on any dives you will plan. It has an ultra bright OLED (organic LED) screen that is visible even at an angle of up to 180' and in complete darkness due to the high resolution yellow digits on black background. The display is large and with the resolution it makes following the info very easy even for people who have bad eyesight. You choose your own software package to use with the computer, there are a few different ones and this is a matter of personal choice, we decided on Multi-deco as it covers all bases. You can program 10 different gases and also adjust gases whilst on the dive. There is also a lost gas option in the deco software which allows you to re-adjust your decompression to utilise the gasses you have available, there are so many little things that make this small dive computer the top of the dive computer food chain. We have units in stock here at Big Blue Tech that can be purchased and taken away the same day. Yours for only 55,000thb, with this price tag this is certainly not the cheapest computer on the market, it is however the best. Call in to the Big Blue Tech Shack to have a look, hold, play and lust over this amazing shiny piece of essential diving equipment or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

Updated 11th May 2012-

Best Whaleshark Season

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 Another Whaleshark! This is officially the best Whaleshark season we have had here this century! At least 1 per day for about 6 weeks now. It hink it was 2008 when we had a bumper crop of Whaleshark sightings numbering 52, or 1 per week. but the rate we're going this year looks like we might make it another 20 or so more! I wonder if the increase in Whaleshark sightings has anything to do with the decrease in the sales of Sharkfin soup in Asia? Hmmm. Thats food for thought!

Addicted to Diving

“Koh Tao - Big Blue Diving” Reviewed on Trip Advisor May 9, 2012 - Great Instructors, Awesome location! We completed our Open Water Course with 'Mama G', our instructor, and could not resist the temptation to get into the water for the SSI Advanced Adventurer Course completing 5 further dives, including a wreck, deep sea and night dive. We leave Koh Tao very satisfied and addicted to diving!

Exploration Diving

Todd and Jason are doing further exploration of Chumphon secret pinnacle this morning with a nice long 45 minute at 40m dive plan. The last time the boys explored and mapped some of this dive site they found 2 diving masks and a SCUBA regulator that must have been dropped from the boats that moor up on the buoy lines off the main site. This Afternoon it is final assessment on skills for our BSAC dive leader interns following their great efforts at the review dive yesterday, few minor issues but easy to iron out and we are expecting all 5's today. All this & the sun is out, & its free topless sunbathing day on the beach outside Big Blue! Happy Days!

Updated 10th May 2012-

Dive with Basking Sharks in the UK

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Unfortunately not everyone was lucky enough to be in Koh Tao last month or this month & therefore haven't experienced diving with Whalesharks & for that I do sympathise, but don't fret cos if you live in England I have some absolutely amazing news for you! At this time of year you can get to dive with the second biggest fish in the sea & the biggest fish to roam British waters. The Basking Shark. Looks like something that just stepped out of the prehistoric age but then again I guess you would look a bit weather beaten, old & depressed if you lived in British waters all year long too! Anyway if you're interested in checking it out then head down to Penzance Cornwall & book yourselves a Basking Shark Adventure Course with any good BSAC Dive center! Tell them Big Blue Diving sent you & that the boss at Big Blue would really like a nice big discount when he comes over next year!

More Whalesharks

 And another Whaleshark! This time it was Shark Island. Yesterday afternoon. About 4 meters long! Seems to have just hung around in one spot & unfortunatley the viz wasn't great which makes an encounter with a Whalesahrk that much more special cos you have to get up close to see it! So that's thirty something Whalesharks we've seen in April & twelvety so far in May. To be honest I've actually lost count we've seen so many! But twelvety sounds about right so far for May!

My favourite diving place in Thailand

“Excellent diving experience” Reviewed on Trip Advisor May 7, 2012- I went from an absolute diving beginner to completing by ISS open water at Big Blue. The whole experience was perfect: excellent location, ultra-enthusiastic staff (I recommend Heather), very professional setup, simple accommodation, bar/hotel has a great atmosphere. Was my favourite diving place in Thailand. 
 
Updated 9th May 2012-

Scuba Trip to Angthong Marine Park

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 Big Blue Tech would like to congratulate PADI Divemaster in Training Ben Prentice on winning the free place on the next Ang Thong trip which departs from Koh Tao on the 14th of May........... LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY!!!!! This is an absolutely stunning place and here on Koh Tao we are blessed to have it right on our doorstep. The whole area, both above and below the water is beautiful. One of those once in a lifetime experiences!!!! There are 3 places remaining for this 2 day 1 night trip. The cost is an extremely cheap 3000 Thai Baht, this includes all your diving and the actual trip with an evening BBQ and breakfast plus fresh fruit, tea & coffee and water for refreshments. Big Blue professional interns get special rates for this trip, this means all BSAC dive leaders, PADI dive masters and SSI dive control specialists can get all this with the added bonus of the great word DISCOUNT!!!! Just another benefit of becoming a PADI DIVE PRO here with Big Blue. 

PADI IDC & SSI IT Courses running at the same time

Well we appear to be running 2 seperate Instructor Training Courses all at the same time! SSImon is training ACE Marine cameraman Billy his SSI Instructor Course & on this months PADI Instructor Development Course we have 5 candidates all representing Big Blue.  We got Tessa from Down Under. Big Blue SSI Instructor Intern Andreas from Sveden, ex Big Blue Divemasters Jade from Blightey & Ant from Wales as well as Big Blue Green Queen Eco Jen representing Hobiton who has decided to add being a PADI Instructor to her existing ratings of SSI & BSAC Instructor. & they're all being trained by ex Big Blue Instructors Deano & Nacho & Course Director Guillaume Fargues from Gay Paris! Good luck everyone. I'm sure you are all gonna make awesome Instructors!

The Best operator I have dived with

“A great balance of fun and professional.”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor May 5, 2012 - I've been diving all over the world for a number of years and i have to say that Big Blue are possibly the best operator i have dived with. Their staff are excellent in terms of maturity, professionalism and a sense of fun. Too many dive centers have a lot of very young instuctors and DMs running around enjoying themselves that you worry about taking care of customers. Big Blue's team is by no means old but they do give off an air of professionalism and maturity that is very important for inexperienced divers. They do smile and laugh, but in a reassuringly honest way at the right moments.I went to see their new resort which has excellent facilities and is right on the beach. Their new swimming pool is brilliantly designed for the purpose of diving instruction having a shallow side and a deep side as opposed to end to end. The boats are nice and well organised and their equipment looks well maintained. I live on the mainland and visit the island regularly. There are 50 ish dive shops on the island, many of which i am sure are also grea,t but Big Blue is where i choose to go every time i want to get in the water"
 

Updated Tuesday 8th May 2012-

More Whalesharks

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So we are now 5 months into 2012  or approximately 150 days. In those 150 days we've sent out approximately 450 Dive trips on vaious boats. Of those 450 trips 48 of them have been with a Whaleshark!  Not including today where we've seen another 2 whalesharks 1 at Chumphon & the other at Sail Rock which brings the Whaleshark count this year to 50! Or 1 every 3 days! Not a bad statistic! I don't reckon there's going to be too many businesses around the world who can say they see a Whaleshark on average once every 3 days! Stick that in your pipe & smoke it Rupert Murdoch!

Second to none

“By far the highlight of my travels so far!”- 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor. We arrived at Big Blue in March 2012 and after several days travelling we didn't want to start diving immediatly. Big Blue were more than accomodating and gave us 2 nights to relax and enjoy the island for a very resonable price. The rooms were basic but clean and well maintained. The social vibe around Big Blue was second to non. It's a friendly laid back place and we both felt at home after our first day at the diving resort. Instructors were friendly, helpful and informative and there was no pressure when it came to settling our bill. All they asked is that we pay the course before we set foot in the water. After 2 days of relaxation and thoroughly enjoying the nightlife that Koh Toa has to offer, we were excited to start our diving. Our instructor was Medwin Culmer. From the get go, he was friendly, patient, knowledgable and most of all professional in his delivery of the open water course. He was always on hand for questions, and a plaesure to dive with. The course was incredible, we both enjoyed it so much that we decided to take our advanced course. If it hadn't have been for a lack of time and money we would have definately enrolled on our dive masters course. The entire experience was parallel to non and we can not recommend this resort and it's staff enough. If you want fun, friendly, sociable, reasonably priced diving look no further, Big Blue is for you. Ivan and Tyson.

BSAC Extended Range Course

Final day of BSAC Extended Range diver course for out techie interns at Big Blue Tech today. Donny, Rik, Jason and Todd have hit their 50m dive and have just 1 more dive this afternoon to graduate as Extended Range divers. These guys will be then certified to make extended bottom time dives to 50m using any mix of breathing gas from 21% to 100% for accelerating their decompression schedule. The guys have worked extremely hard to get to this level, doing up to 80 technical dives throughout their internships to gain the elite skill level required to make dives this deep. This is what technical diving is all about - depth time & enormous testicles!

Updated 4th May 2012-

Night Diving on Koh Tao

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It's different down there at night. The first time you descend into the darkness you'll realize that it's almost a completely different world at night. Sound a little scary? The reef comes alive with a whole different cast of characters at night. Most of the fish you see during the day hide away to sleep at night and many that can't be found during the day can be seen all over the reef. Night-time is the best time to see the creepy crawlies, the crabs, lobsters, and shrimp all going about their business. Octopi come out and swim freely alongside hunting sharks and barracuda create an amazing show. "The Night Dive" See it soon at a Divecenter near you. Preferably this one!

"to say that Big Blue is fantastic is an understatement!"

“Fanfreakintastic!”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor April 30, 2012 - I originally went to Koh Tao towards the end of January to start off my Southeast Asia trip, and spent a week on the island not diving(shocking!) In that short week I met tons of fantastic people at various dive shops, but none made impressions on me like the people I met from Big Blue. Further along, somewhere in Laos, met a fantastic group of Americans who had just finished doing their Divemaster training at Big Blue. Still unsure of if I wanted to go back and dive, they showed me their diving pictures and told me ridiculous stories of amazing fish, people and life. I decided to end my trip by going back to Koh Tao and Big Blue to dive. My original intention was to stay just to do my Open Water and perhaps my Advanced course.... fast forward 3 weeks and 25 dives later, my friends had to drag me kicking and screaming to the ferry so I could make it to my flight to New Zealand. To say that Big Blue is fantastic is an understatement. For my two courses I had several instructors (result of getting a head cold halfway through a course), and Chloe, Med, Tosh and Thor were all amazing. Doing almost 20 fun dives allowed me to experience a wide range of Divemasters from Big Blue. I finally got over my fear of trigger fish after my last dive with Steven, saw my first octopus night diving with DMT Neil (although now DM), and was able to go all around Shark Island diving with Thor. I'm in New Zealand at the moment, and trying to find as much work as possible so I can return as soon as possible to Big Blue to do my DMT. Big Blue has my heart and I cannot wait to return :)
 
 

Whaleshark

Crikey. Feeling a little disorientated! Its like splitting up with your Missus. You grow to depend on them. Every day you wake up looking forward to seeing them, spending time with them, enjoying each others company. Hanging out together. Taking photos. & then suddenly nothing. Gone! Left. Departed. Vanished. Not a word. Not a letter. Not even a reason. In your world one day. Out of it the next. Where are you Whaleshark. We missed you today!

Updated- Thursday 3rd May 2012-

Cave Diving in Khao Sok

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 On the 28th of May 2012 Big Blue Tech have a planned diving expedition for both ...recreational and technical divers to Khao Sok national park, for 4 days and 3 nights. Khao Sok National Park in Southern Thailand is an amazing place. It is covered by the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, huge limestone mountains shooting straight up in the air, deep valleys, breath taking lakes, exciting caves, wild animals and much more. We will enjoy diving in the pristine waters surrounding these stunning mountains, Dine in the evening under the stars and spend the night sleeping in one of the unique floating huts. We have 3 places remaining on this trips so if you’re interested in snapping up a place on this amazing expedition please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will be offering up to 2 technical and 3 recreational dives per day in the cost

"these guys are far & away the best"

“Can't recommend more highly” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor April 29, 2012- I'm an experienced diver and am pretty hard to impress, but did a bunch of fun dives with Big Blue and I can't recommend them more highly. They manage to combine fun, professionalism and a genuine love of diving. Their divemasters are competent, safety conscious, fun and genuinely nice - unlike many other dive operators, where DMs are nice to the clients because they have to be, rather than because they're actually nice people. I've dived all over the world in the last five years, and these guys are far and away the best I've dived with (and Steven De Velters is the best DM I've dived with!). I've also dived with two other operators on Koh Tao and can say that there's a massive difference - I wouldn't bother going anywhere else. Big Blue is the bomb!

Save Koh Tao Festival

Big Blue participated in the 4th annual Save Koh Tao Festival again this year - and we were awesome! If you've seen the previous years shows when we rocked to Grease, then zombie strutted to Thriller, and last year we bounced along to Riverdance! Well, we couldn't let down our fans this year, and we showed the 10,000 people watching how we aren't just amazing divers, but we can dance pretty well too! We stole the show with our Evolution of Dance performance - which included some pretty great Elvis moves, the chicken dance, a bit of break-dancing, and even a spot of line-dancing. Such a talented bunch we are. Stay tuned for the video - it's a given you'll start to dance along to it.

updated- Wednesday 2nd May 2012.

New Koh Tao Seafood Restaurant on Sairee Beach

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Introducing Koh Tao's newest Seafood Restaurant on the Beach! Big Blue Seafood at our new Resort. Serving fresh fish barbecued to your liking right infront of you. Tables set up on the sand at low tide everynight from sunset on so come check out the amazing sunsets or the star filled sky above you & the cracking thunderbolts of lightening spread over the mainland many miles away from Koh Tao. Free glass of wine with every Seafood BarBQ order!

It's still Whaleshark Season

Its most definitely Whaleshark Season! We've seen more Whalesharks in the month of April than we did all of 2011! In fact we saw more whalesharks last month than there were days! In fact if you count the amount of Whalsharks that we saw all month & divide them by the amount of Open Water Divers  we had, subtracted by certified Divers you'll see that we actually supplied each Advanced Diver with 1 whaleshark each! Now if that aint customer service or at least a bloody good reason to do your Advanced Course then I don't know what is! 

Another Happy Customer

“GROßARTIGE Tauchschule” Reviewed on Trip Advisor -April 28, 2012NEW- Hey guys, I can only recommend to go to Big Blue, if he should be on Koh Tao. The diving school is very professional, even if we at first feared, that will prevail because of the size too much chaos. But when we arrived we were told that we will be a maximum of 6 people in the group and it was then or we were actually only 2 We had our own dive instructor, so to speak, although March and thus quite a lot was going on. Our dive instructor was Susi from Germany and she has made great good job. I think I would have with any other instructor felt so good under water and even in theory you could tell that she was the cause of a clue what one can of course be safer. After the dives she has often sat for hours with us in the bar and tells of her experiences. Really a very symphatisches, funny girl, with whom one has a lot of fun and brings the necessary professionalism. Big Blue has several boats, and compared to a few diving schools see these boats out really good! For accommodation, I can not say as much as we had booked in advance to another hotel, but we were told that we can stay 4 nights for free at Big Blue, if we do a course and the bungalows were also built from scratch were . So they looked too. Even if we had not rented, but we had our pool session at the new bungalows. I can recommend each and the Big Blue Restaurant. Super good food at good prices right on the beach and in the evening with Feuerschow! Try the BBQ and pizza, because that is better than many I've eaten in Italy. Right next to the restaurant and the bar in the evenings often stay all instructors. There is really a great atmosphere. Unfortunately, we did not have time to do the advanced course, since the flights were already booked, but at least we have a good reason to come back. All in all we can say Big Blue Rocks, the staff also, and especially Lady ;)
 
updated-Tuesday 1st May 2012-
 

June 2012

Save Our Sharks!

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Today is a huge day for marine conservation in Australia, with the federal government expected to announce plans for marine parks to cover 3.1 million square kilometres of Australia's oceans. Will this finally mean an end to the annual slaughter of 78000 sharks on the Great Barrier Reef? Let's hope so. You can't ignore the growing international pressure to ban this abhorrent industry any longer Aussies! And when you do it you'll find a lot more countries following suit especially in the Pacific! Do the right thing. Save Our Sharks! 

A Very Professional Setup

“The best place to learn to dive!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 28, 2012 - I arrived on Koh Tao intending to do my Open Water and move on but ended up staying almost 2 weeks. I can only say good things about Big Blue, i had such an awesome time. It's a very professional set up. I'm not the most confident diver but with guidance from my instructor i felt completely safe. After the OW I went on a few fun dives and my confidence grew. The dive masters were very enthusiastic and pointed out lots of marine life. I stayed in the dorm room which was clean, tidy, quiet and with aircon. The food in the restaurant is also really good. Well done Big Blue. Thanks for making my stay on Koh Tao so amazing! x

SSI Crossover on 4th July

SSI Crossover with SSI Instructor Training leg end Simon Garrity & his trusty steed Paul 'Tosh' Tanner starting on Wednesday 4th July for any exisitng Scuba Instructors out there who realise they've made a serious but honest mistake & become an Instructor with the wrong agency! All PADI, BSAC, CMAS & NAUI Instructors welcome. & get this! Jobs for everyone who attends! Unfortunatley not with us as we are fully staffed already but we have jobs all over the world so just let us know where you want to go & we'll get you there! Become a real Diving Professional! Join the Revolution! It pays better! For more infodrop us a line This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check out our new super cool Instructor Training Website www.bigblueinstructortraining.com

Updated 30th June 2012

 

Say "No" to Dolphins in Aquariums!

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"No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. And no dolphin who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

PADI I.E.

Its PADI Instructor Exam Day One for Big Blue Candidates Rick, Donny & Anke. Three weeks of skill development sessions, private physics lectures, Biology, Equipment, Dive Theory! Then there's the presentations, the demonstrations, the examinations. The problem prevention, the problem solving the problems! The sleepless nights, the restless mornings, the long afternoons all in preparation for today & tomorrow & then! Instructordom! The Pinnacle! Earning a living while living like a beach bum! This my friends is your legal license to be a Professional Beach Bum. Congratulations. Get your CV's off to me as soon as your done guys. Its high season next week & I could do with 3 moe awesome Instructors!

This experience with Big Blue was unreal!

“Everything was amazing!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 8, 2012- My boyfriend and I came to Koh Tao as part of our trip to Thailand, and were unsure as to whether we would do our open water course. We visited a couple of other companies on the island where people weren't really bothered about selling the course to us, and didn't seem like reputable companies. We then went to Big Blue. The minute we got there we were greeted and welcomed into the resort by friendly and attentive staff, offered a free drink and had a discussion about the course, the costs and our accommodation options. Our instructor for the course was a Swedish lady Petra, she was super friendly, really easy to get along with, caring, informative, good fun and an excellent instructor. She was organised and had our lessons planned and explained things properly. One member of our team was a little apprehensive at first and had a few worries, but Petra was patient with her and took time and was very thorough with her. What we loved about Big Blue was how social the staff were with their dive groups before and after the dives. Petra took the time in the evenings after the dives to get to know the group and have a couple of drinks with us, which was really nice and personal and made everyone feel comfortable. We stayed at Big Blue 2 which is the newest accommodation for Big Blue on this island, our room was an excellent standard, had air con, satellite tv, spacious and with a large balcony and this was for a great reduced rate. All the Big Blue staff at this resort were also really friendly and helpful. We had a mix up with our room mid way through our stay, but they sorted it out instantly and to apologise gave us free Big Blue tshirts. Our diving experience was amazing, we have both agreed that this was the best thing that we have done in Thailand, and this is down to the staff and experience we had at Big Blue. My boyfriend went on to do the advanced course with Petra and had a great time and said it was even better than the open water. I would definitely say to anyone that they have to do their open water course in Koh Tao, and they should definitely go with Big Blue the experience was unreal. Next time we come to Thailand and Koh Tao, we will stay with Big Blue and dive with them again for sure!! 

Updated Tuesday 26th June 2012

Two Whalesharks at Sail Rock

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And that my friends is why you ended up diving with Big Blue! Two resorts, 1 with a pool, both with beach side restaurant & bars. More trips, more boats, far greater variety in choice of divesites & Full Day Trips to Sail Rock in the Ang Thong Marine Park which includes 3 dives, Full English cooked breakfast, Thai buffet lunch & yesterdays trip also included 2 Whalesharks on 2 dives & we didn't even charge extra for it! Better sign up now for our next full Day trip if you want Full English & a couple of Whalesharks! Next Full Day Trip is on Monday.

Unforgettable!

"Incredible introduction to diving with Big Blue" Traveler rating: 5/5 Reviewed on TripAdvisor  Jun 8, 2012 - We spent four days in Big Blue doing the diving course "Open Water". The experience was very positive. Although one of the largest dive schools Koh Tao, the deal was very personalized. So I have to thank our instructor Ben, who was not only very patient and professional with us explaining everything in three languages ​​(French-speaking group were two, two Spanish and two German) but we did spend quite some time and expected when it came time to enter the underwater world had confidence in ourselves and required it to take advantage of this incredible experience. Unforgettable! Thank you Ben and the rest of the team of Big Blue!

Become a Dive Instructor

Double your chances- with low season here, and high season less than a month away, some of our Dive Cons/Dive Masters have taken the plunge and become Dive Instructors. Over the next month will be the best time to begin your career as a Dive Instructor or Dive master/Dive con. As the un-washed start to make their return to the Full moon party, Koh Tao gets busier by the day. Very soon all the dive shops on the island will be on the lookout for Dive Instructors and Dive Cons/ Dive Masters that have been trained to the highest standard. (Big Blue Diving) If you do your Instructor Training Course (SSI) with Big Blue Instructor Training we can guarantee your work as a Dive Instructor. With more and more dive schools opting to be dual cert centres (PADI & SSI), the best thing you can do is double your chances by becoming dual cert Instructor. No matter wether you're an PADI instructor looking to be a SSI instructor, or vice versa, we can help. We are running our crossover to the dark side at the end of this month (PADI to SSI). The cost is only 17,500 Baht. The next dark to light crossover is the middle of next month (SSI to PADI). The price starts from 39,000 Baht. Better get in touch!
 
 Updated Saturday 23rd June 2012-

Award Winning Dive Center

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Seperated at Birth - Sarah Jessica Parker from award winning TV Show Sex in the City, & Paul "Tosh" Tanner from award winning Dive Center Big Blue Diving- Koh Tao. Tosh is best known for his supporting role at Big Blue Diving where he makes coffee for SSI Instructor Trainer Simon Garrity. He played the same role in his previous job based around the bar & restaurant of an Aussie Oik. Tosh has ginger hair & is sooo thin that if you look at him side on & in the wrong light he actually becomes invisible! Much like his sister!

Loved every minute at Big Blue

“Live and let DIVE!!!!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor, June 20th 2012 - Loved every minute at Big Blue! Intended to just do my Open Water course and ended up staying for 2 weeks! Enjoyed the OW so much I continued onto the Advanced course as well (which included diving to 30m, a wreck dive, and a night dive - all awesome) and then went on to do my Deep Spec too! Needless to say I'm well and truly hooked on diving and it's all thanks to Big Blue! Med, Ros and Rich were fantastic instructors! They are all very knowledgable, have a wicked sense if humour and always up for socialising after the dives! Class sizes are small, and we were lucky to have the support of two DMT's as well during our OW! The instructors/dive masters put in loads of effort so that we could see as much marine life as possible including barracudas, rays, turtles, octopus, eels, trigger fish attacks, bat fish, angel fish, scorpion fish, etc (the list goes on). Unfortunately I never saw a whale shark (out of season) but all the more reason to come back! On the days I didn't dive Big Blue was still v welcoming and was easy to make my home for two weeks! Can't wait to come back!"

Underwater Nightclub

Single? Looking for love? Well why don't you try the underwater nightclub in NYC. Built in just 14 feet (4 m) underwater this club offers breathing helmets from Sea Trek, which is great if you're worried about bad breath & the other massive advantage is you get to see what she looks like in a swim suit way earlier than you normally would in a relationship! Think a snog at the end of the date might be a little awkward though!

Updated Thursday 21st June 2012-

The Big Blue Bucket List

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Launching the Big Blue Bucket list! Things to do before we die! Not that any of us are planning on kicking it any day soon, but there is certainly very many things we'd love to see do & dive before we croak! The sardine run that occurs off South Africa. Ice Diving in the north pole. Scuba Diving with a Whale! A school of Hammerheads. A pod of Dolphins! Diving through a sunken village. The Cenote caves. A gathering of whalesharks. A crocodile. Cage Diving with a Great White! Dive the First World War wrecks at Scapa Flow, or the Second World War planes in Micronesia! So many awesome and amazing adventures, sights & sounds! Better get in touch with my travel agent!

On the Cusp of Celebrity Stardom!

Reason # 438 for diving with Big Blue- " Dear Jim, I’m contacting you from a TV production company in England. We’re developing a TV series for National Geographic that will follow a group of international and British dive teachers (and their students) at one exceptional dive school in Thailand. I love the write ups about your staff on Big Blue’s website and wondered if we could talk about working together on our proposed documentary series? We are aiming to have projects into Nat Geo by the end of this week, so it would be great to talk before then if possible please? Best wishes, Craig Smith. Development Assistant Producer. Bullseye Productions."

We didn't want to leave!

“THE place to go in Koh Tao!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 19, 2012 -If your heading to Thailand - Koh Tao is not to be missed! We planned to stay 2 days.. 9 days later we were still there! And it was all down to where we stayed! We were interested in doing some diving and Big Blue made it so easy! We got free accommodation with our open water course and loved it so much we stayed to do the advanced course! Everyone was so nice and friendly - absolutely amazing experience! We had Medwin as our instructor, the small groups made everything very personal and he is such an awesome guy made everyone feel so comfortable even when some were nervous. We didnt want to leave! We will be back for sure.. Love Big Blue, love Med, love diving! Rhian & Glen - Team Wales!
 

Updated Wednesday June 20th 2012-

Why you should learn to dive!

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This is why I dive! 'We were exploring the abundance of marine life off Cebu in the Phillipines - frog fish, moray eels, octopi, sea snakes when suddenly the sky grew dark as if overcast with unexpected clouds. I looked up and there were thousands, no millions of sardines moving as one organism. Their moving mass was blocking the sun turning day into night. It was so mesmerising that everyone froze to watch the monster in action.' She said: 'We would swim into the shoal and lose track of reality not being able to tell which way was the sky or the seabed. The shoal was so powerful it kept pulling us down and further off course. I was trying hard not to lose sense of direction. It also kept changing shapes, one minute it would open wide and the next shrink into a tight ball.' The sardine run happens when the fish migrate to a better breeding ground with more food such as plankton. They travel together for protection, but their size of the run mean predators often enjoy a feeding frenzy. Its one of the most awesome encounters one can ever experience underwater & its one of very many very good reasons why you should learn to dive!

Really fun friendly atmosphere!

“The best team!” 4 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 16, 2012 - We have spent 5 days in Ko Tao and have decided to lurn how to dive at big blue. We first did the "discover scubadiving" and then "Open water diving". Our instructors were first Niel and Billy and then Anna and Serena for the Open water.They  have been perfect with us: patient, conforting, supportive and fun. I was panicking on the first dives (especially because of my mask that was too big) but they took the time to talk to me or comforting me under the water. The atmosphere was really fun, friendly atmosphere. I could do a small critism on a part of the equipment that wasa little bit old or not adpated to me (we had some difficulties to find a small mask for me). Everything is well planned between the classes and the dives. Each of the instructor was peculiar for us and it was really difficult to leave them. Especially Anna and Serena who are adorable, fun and really professional at the same time. We hope to come back someday! (miss you guys). Hadrien and Dorothée.

Dive Ninja

This email came through to our Tech department recently from one of our students and we are very proud to shout out about it. "I did some fun dives between phuket and phi phi. Was guided by an instructor of 12 years, with thousands of dives, who was acting as a dive leader due to slow season. Diving with 3 other advanced open water divers with between 20-60 dives. After the 3 dives, the instructor said to me "I've never seen a diver with your buoyancy control, position, trim, blah blah blah.", before I could say 'thanks', he starts the next sentence with, "so you saw how I dive, can you give me some tips on being a better diver?" I ninja flipped the hell out of those dives. Haha.I said "sure, tip #1, go see Andy at Big Blue Tech on Koh Tao. Tip #2, refer to tip #1" What a compliment Andy Cav!

Updated Tuesday 19th June 2012

What a Plonker!

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Brilliant! Worlds dumbest criminal came to Koh Tao today. He went to the Siam Commercial Bank in Maehaad & dressed in a Balaclava & armed with a toy gun proceeded to rob the bank of 2 million Baht! He ran outside with the loot, got on his bike & spun off falling off the bike in the process & landing flat on his face, whereby he then got jumped on by the locals who proceeded to beat him up then truss him up like a chicken with rope from the hard ware store while they waited for the police to arrive! Poor chap now faces upto 30 years in prison for armed robbery in Thailand! What a plonker!

BSAC Marine Conservation Course

p>Congratulation to, Abbie Sherwood, Mark Crowder, Ami Bigness, Emily-Jane Robinson, Sainbou Secka, Rohan Allen Carly Marsh and Scott Lillico who have all just completed their BSAC Marine Conservation Course. Well done to all! If you are interested in taking this course or would like to know more about course contents please contact Jennifer Mathews at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the BSAC Thailand website at this link: http://www.bsacthailand.com/bsac-dive-training/marine-conservation.htm

We had a Brilliant Time

“Big Blue Brilliance”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor - June 15, 2012 - My boyfriend did his Dive Master at Big Blue in December 2010 and January 2011 - I visited him for a week with some of my girlfriends and we had a brilliant time! 2 of the girls took their open water course and loved it and myself and another girlfriend (already qualified) went on a couple of boat dives. The food in the restaurant is lovely and very reasonably priced and its in a great location to walk to other places. We stayed in a Dorm room with 6 beds and met some great people (one fruit cake but that's to be expected and not Big Blue's fault!) My Bf was staying in a house with other DM's and all the DM's and DI's were really friendly. I spent a couple of hours doing my refresher and it was great. I remembered everything straight away and had fun at the same time. The DI's and DM's really add to the experience and the bar is a lot of fun in the evenings....often moving on to other bars and club's with people you have just met. It's right on the beach, offers great food, good accommodation for budget travellers and more expensive rooms for those who can afford it. Big blue also raise awareness of marine conservation which I think is brilliant - they offer free diving for those willing to go and help clean up underwater and really try to educate on the dangers of pollution and buying sea/beach related products. My only negative was purely the amount of divers you see and maybe bump into underwater as Koh Tao is a very popular place to dive with tons of dive schools....again not really anything Big Blue can do about this. We are planning to go back and I would recommend Big blue to anyone looking to dive whilst having a great time.


Updated Saturday 16th June 2012-

Free the Disney Dolphins in captivity!

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 Four male dolphins are currently being held at Disney World’s Epcot Park. They live in a dark and murky pool surrounded by observation windows lined with people, screaming children, loud music, amplified voices and other stressful sounds. They are literally treated as a ‘side-show’, and there is little to no information released publicly about them. Disney claims that these dolphins are involved in ‘research programs’ at their park, but by simply visiting Epcot, it quickly becomes clear that there seems to be no educational or conservation outcome from these ‘programs’. These dolphins do NOT belong at a noisy, crowed theme park- living in an artificial indoor facility with little to no exposure to natural sunlight- they belong in their natural habitat- THE OCEAN. Tell Disney to do the right thing- PLEASE RELEASE THESE DOLPHINS TO SEAPENS FOR REHABILITATION. If Disney truly wishes to contribute to environmental research and help educate the public about these animals, they will make the humane choice and release these animals to sea-pens- allowing them to live in their natural habitat- the ocean -and receive rehabilitation. We’re flooding Disney with letters, pressuring them to release their dolphins- join us! By signing the petition, you are helping these dolphins get closer and closer to real freedom! Visit www.freethedisneydolphins.org & help free these dolphins!

I loved the experience

 “Big Blue Diving rocks!!! And Tosh rules!!!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 13, 2012 -
My wife and I came to Koh Tao as the first part of our honeymoon and we're recommended to go to Big Blue by our travel agent. Fantastic recommendation, we were made welcome and everyone treated us like family. I enrolled on an SSI open water course and so did my wife. Unfortunately my wife found it too challenging. However at no point she felt pressured or looked down upon both the instructor and DM took 1 to 1 time with her, this they didn't have to do. And we appreciated it!
Loads of time was spent answering all our questions. And I never felt out of depth (boom boom) at any point as the structure of course was very clear and we progressed easily. I was in a group of 6 (which is a maximum amount of students they would take on at one time) and our group were lucky enough to have the extra support from a DM. I loved the experience so much that I have signed up for an Advanced Open water course straight after (which involved deep dive, wreck dive - that was awesome, navigation, bouyancy and naturalist - not what you think :-), photography as well).
Fully recommend, thanks Tosh and rest of Big Blue Koh Tao!!!

Tech Diving on the HTMS Phangan

Big Blue Tech are heading out to the HTMS Phangan on the 21st of June. We have 3 places remaining on this 3 day liveaboard diving on this wreck that sits in 55-60m of clear water, she is 60m in length and has a beam of 10m. She was sunk transporting ammunition in 1961 by a freak storm, there was no loss of life. There are large areas for penetration (including the engine room). This wreck was found by legendary Tech Diver extrordinaire Jamie Mcleod whilst onboard the MV Trident. This trip is on the MV Giamani, a new wreck diving liveaboard with full access to helium, deco station and comfy cabins which are all musts for any technical diving liveaboard. The cost of this trip is only 20,000thb and this includes everything including gasses (except helium) and equipment rental.contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info.

Updated Thursday 14th June 2012-

Honeymoon of a lifetime

 
“Honeymoon of a lifetime!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 8, 2012- As BSAC Ocean Water divers we decided to spend a week of our 3 week Honeymoon in Thailand at Big Blue resort, Koh Tao, and wish we could have stayed much longer. The accommodation was second to none and run by one of the nicest families you could ever meet, we had our own pool and peace and quiet but still only less than 5 minutes from Sairee Beach. We did 10 fun dives at a variety of sites with 4 FANTASTIC dive masters. We saw turtles, sea kraits, Porcupinefish and endless beautiful sea life and coral. We dived Laem Thian caves with our amazing dive master Steven and did various swim through's and explored some beautiful caverns, the dive masters' knowledge and love of the sites meant that every dive was as good as the next. The staff obviously love what they do which is clearly portrayed in their enthusiasm and knowledge. The vibe at the bar and restaurant at night is addictive and we spent almost every night drinking beer and indulging in some of the delicious food about 1 meter from the sea! As a diver who has only ever dived in UK waters - I am hooked; So much so we have decided to return next April/May to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and progress in our diving even further. Thank you so much Big Blue for enabling us to have a Honeymoon of a lifetime and we can't wait to see you again next year!!! Lowri and Oliver James, Cardiff, UK

Three more PADI IDC Candidates

 So we got another PADI Instructor Development Course starting this week with 2 of our Techies Ric & Donnie jumping on board aswell as our Bar bird Anke also enjoying 3 weeks of skill demonstrations, academic presentations, problem solving, exams on Physiology, Physics, Dive Theory & the Recreational Dive Planner, swim tests, snorkel swims, rescue Diver tows, & rescue assessments. Three weeks of relatively intense training, huge lunches, late nights & early mornings all for the sole purpose of becomming a Professional Beach Bum! Got to Lurve Scuba Diving Instructor lark!

High season is coming

Its just the last few days of low season so the staff are getting ready to put away their X boxes & selection of latest pirated movies on DVD in preparation for the massive summer onslaught that usually starts with the July Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan. So if you are an experienced traveller & know whats good for you you'll be one step ahead of the crowd & will have booked all your accommodation here in Koh Tao already. If you are a novice at this travelling lark then take it from me. If you are going to be arriving in Koh Tao in the months of July or August, then please please please... book ahead! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Updated 11th June 2012-

Free Discover Tech Dive

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Just a reminder for all those people out there that are curious about Technical diving. We have Tech Try Dives at Big Blue 2 swimming pool today. Twin sets, Sidemount and Full Face masks with underwater communications all on offer to try out absolutely free. Come down early to avoid missing out. All the action starts at 3pm. Wear black & look hard! See you there.

Peeing in your wetsuit kills fish!

So apparently divers who urinate while diving are introducing a lot of phosphate into the sea. They're calculating half a liter [0.15 of a gallon] of urine per diver per day. In a lake in northern Germany they estimate divers urine have killed over 500 fish in a lake, with their urine causing algae that poisons marine life. So there you go. Not only is peeing in your wetsuit a rather anti social act especially during the surface interval but it also kills fishies! Death by urine! Thats got to be a pretty nasty way to go! 

Customer complaint!

In 2008 I wrote on our blog a little story about Whalesharks & how we had 2 of them at Chumphon Pinnacle right then; 4 years ago! Then I did a google images search for a photo of 2 whalesharks & found a photo taken in some aquarium in Japan. Now bearing in mind this was written almost 4 years ago, yesterday we got the following review on Trip Advisor-"“fake Shark Photos used on Website” 1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012 - We booked a dive trip using Big Blue based on their website touting shark dives including this text and photo: http://www.bigbluediving.com/latest-news/older-news/2008.html Wednesday, September 17th 2008 ".... Book a dive pack & dive with us to check out the 2 whalesharks that are at Chumphon Pinnacle right now! " The photo was taken from Wikipedia and includes the line from the aquarium tank. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Okinawa_Churaumi_Aquarium.jpg We did not see any whale sharks during our five days of diving with Big Blue of Thailand." Seriously??? I mean come on... really. You graded us a 1 out of 5 cos you didn't see a whaleshark 4 years after I wrote that post. If you want to see Whalesharks at least come in season & you stand a better chance, but to come in June, not whaleshark season & then give us a 1 cos you didn't see a whaleshark??? Not really fair is it. 

Updated Thursday 11th June 2012-

TDI Award goes to Big Blue Tech


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And the award goes to ... Big Blue Diving, again! This time to our Techies. Big Blue Tech has once again for the 3rd year on the trot won the award from TDI for the highest amount of certifications in 2011. So thanks go to all those who contributed. James Thornton Allen, Ash Dunne, Ian Jordan who have all moved on to new & exciting pastures & our present team of Technical Diving Reprobates Andy Cavell & James Foehler. Awesome jobs guys thansk for all your hard work & look forward to copying & pasting this drivvel again next year when we win the award again for 2012! 

Big Blue Diving is employing!

Fancy a change in scenery? Well I might have just the thing for you! Big Blue Diving Koh Tao is employing! Twice actually! And neither job has anything to do with actually diving! First off ... we are looking for a Social Networker! If you find yourself spending way too much time on facebook Twitter & online reading Forums & hanging out in Chatrooms then you could be just we are looking for! The second job we have available is that of a Restaurant Manager! We are desperately looking for someone who is going to take care of our new Restaurant & coffee shop at Big Blue 2. Salaries are atrocious but lifestyle is amazing! Think you might fit the bill? Then please send CV's with a photo to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Thank you Big Blue

"Big Blue! Thankyou: Oh- For your smiles and all your help at reception. Steven- for hooking us up with nicer rooms. Wibeke- for replying to emails so quickly. Natalie- for creating that awesome video. Guy- for teaching us upto the point you got zapped. You were very thorough with your explanations. Thanks. Luke- for showing us all these cool finds under the ocean & taking us out to night dive even when the weather wasn't 100%. Love your smile... when you do smile :-). Nick- for your goofiness, amazingness, the effing A's, the patience & the making fun of the beer goggles. All the unmentioned peeps: Thank you Big Blue. See you again real soon! Wendy Wu, June 2012" left on a postcard in reception! Thanks Wendy Wu so happy you enjoyed your time with us.

Updated Saturday 9th June 2012-

Big Blue is awarded the PADI Green Star Award

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There’s more to going green than simply jumping on the eco bandwagon, especially as more and more of our visitors are looking to stay in eco-friendly resorts that constantly act on conservation and are dedicated to preserving their paradise. It's easy enough to say you're eco-friendly, but can you actually prove it? We can! Big Blue has been awarded with... drum roll please... The PADI Green Star Award!! The Green Star award is a prestigious recognition of active involvement in reducing environmental impact and increasing education and awareness of conservation issues. To be awarded, we had to prove that we used rain-caught water to supplement our water supply, that we are fuel and energy clean and efficient, that we recycled EVERYTHING, that we train conservationists and contribute significantly to research, and that we continue to set conservation goals to become even more responsible as a dive resort. We are proud to be Eco, and to be awarded the Green Star is a great achievement, so thank you PADI! This award helps identify the eco-friendly resorts, so have a look for the Green Star award when you select your dive operator. To find out more about specific actions you can take part in here at Big Blue to preserve and protect the environment, and the challenges we face to continue reducing your environmental footprint, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

An Amazing Experience

“Great dive operation, Serena rocked!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor- June 7, 2012 - I just finished my open water certification and had an amazing experience! My instructor Serena (and co-instructor Anne) were terrific and made me feel welcome and comfortable with scuba diving, every step of the way. Serena really took the time to go over everything with us in detail and never once got impatient, which are both indispensable qualities for dive instructors in my opinion. She can relate every kind of person and really has a knack for reading people (also she speaks fluent French, which helped out a couple in our group). Serena and Anne were excited that we asked many questions - they are super excited about diving and teaching new divers, it was infectious! I highly recommend Big Blue over ANY OTHER dive operation on the island. They're a great group and make you a part of the community from the get go.

The Benefits of Technical Diving

Following the Big Blue Techies diving presentation on the evening of the 4th of June which, apart from some technical issues with the projector was a success. We would like to thank the people who attended this and we hope it was beneficial and hopefully has given you an idea of the benefits of technical diving. Big thanks to Stuart for his input regarding closed circuit rebreathers and wreck diving in Thailand. With many people asking about the try dives on the technical equipment we will be hosting a FREE tech try dive in our swimming pool on the 11th at Big Blue Pranee resort from 15:00 onwards. All you need to do to secure your time slot on the day is sign up on the notice board at Big Blue Diving resort before noon on the 11th. This will include twinset, sidemount & full face mask. There will also be a skill demo from our training team on some of the necessary skills for technical diving. Get your name down ASAP as we have only limited speedos available.

 

Updated Friday 8th June 2012-

No.1 SSI Instructor Training Facility in Asia

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We're moving along quite nicely at present with the new invigorated SSI Instructor Training Team comprising of World Renowned, award winning SSI Instructor Trainer supremo Simon Garrity & his trusty steed Tosh! The boys are going through the tedious rigmoral of updating their site www.bigblueinstructortraining.com & have constructed their Facebook Twitter & You Tube accounts & will be striving to become the worlds Number One SSI Instructor Training Facility in Asia. Even got our next ITC planned & have our first candidate signed up on it already. Could do with another 7 more so if you are interested please drop us a line! We'll have you in your speedos talking to big groups of people showing no embarrassment what so ever in no time!

Koh Tao Weather Report

Well its that time of year again I'm afraid folks. The wind is blowing in from the west making the usually calm side of Koh Tao look like the English Channel in January! We're having to load up n the taxis rather than the longtails now & take everyone down to the pier where we head off from & will continue to head off from for at least another 6 weeks. Then its a quick 10 minute bumpy journey round to Nang Yuan Island where we hit the shelter & calm seas again & continue round to the other side of the island to dive Koh Tao's lesser known but equally exciting divesites like Hin Wong Pinnacle, & Laem Thian Caves. Trenches & swim thrus, reef sharks & turtles. Rays & lobsters! Its still great diving & happily its still over 20 meter viz on the other side too. Well worth a dive or 10!

Awesome chilled out backpacker vibe

“Best on the Island” Reviewed on Trip Advisor on June 5, 2012 - Just left koh tao for the full moon and already missing the place. As an island, it is by far the best we have visited (and weve been to most of them now). After spending literally weeks scouring for the best value (while taking into account safety and service) we had a list of 4 places (crystal, scuba junction, big blue and simple life). We decided to base our choice on visiting as you never know what your going to get from a web page, we did this and by a country mile there was only one obvious choice, big blue. A free pickup from the pier, you arrive and are immediately met with a beautiful beach front, friendly instructors and local staff and an awesome chilled out backpacker vibe with everyone buzzing about their diving experiences they've just had. A great place to chill, make friends and most importantly dive! Me and my girlfriend did the Open Water Course and absolutely loved it from start to finish, the theory content is both interesting and very well taught meaning learning is easy and you feel safe and comfortable in what your doing, and the time in the water beats pretty much any feeling you can think of, were hooked and planning on an advanced course in the future. The whole team are great, Med in particular (our instructor) was amazing, a really cool guy full of energy and most importantly obviously loves what he's doing. He was very knowledgeable and good fun whilst never making himself sound egotistical like many other dive instructors i have come across. Even had a back injury and he took extra time out to help get us through the course, couldn't recommend him and his team highly enough. Highlight of our travels.

A Rebreather for Recreational Divers

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The Poseidon MKVI is the world’s first rebreather for recreational divers, the first true technological breakthrough in diving decades, it’s a game changer. “Imagine being a part of the underwater world. Where the marine life sees you as a guest and not a strange and noisy intruder. Without bubbles and with the ability to stay as long as it’s worthwhile. That is what modern rebreather diving is all about. Say goodbye to long and tedious procedures. Say goodbye to hour long, complex preparations. Let the modern marvels do all that for you. Now you can have all benefits of rebreather diving without the old hassles that come with it. Participate, enjoy and observe, don´t disturb.  We're doing some Try Dives here on Koh Tao on the 10th/11th June at the Regal Hotel Pool Mae Haad – prior bookings required so get in touch immediatement!

Become an SSI Dive Instructor

Change your lifestyle, live in paradise, get paid to do something you love, become an SSI Scuba Diving Instructor and never look back! Already a DiveCon or DiveMaster? Become an SSI Instructor in 11 days for just 60500 baht, includes ALL materials, processing fees, dues and IE. Currently, demand for SSI Instructors outstrips supply - there are jobs waiting for you! Training conducted at Big Blue Diving Resort on sunny Koh Tao, unlimited FREE fun diving once you sign up, the chance to assist our instructors on REAL courses, DISCOUNT in the resort bar and restaurant, FREE T-Shirt!! Freelance work available at Big Blue for graduates of our Instructor Training Program, unlimited opportunities to team teach with our full-time Instructors to gain experience and certs. Next SSI Instructor Training Course starts 14th July. Get enrolled & become an SSI Instructor just in time for high season & Get living the Dream!

I was impressed enough to move in with them!

“Not just for beginners and dive courses” Reviewed on Trip Advisor May 30, 2012 -I enjoyed my stay and dives with Big Blue and would come back. I'm an experienced diver and wanted a cheap place to stay with access to great dive sites, competent divemasters, and good equipment. My first week in Ko Tao was at a competing dive resort just up the beach and I was really disappointed in the competency of the DM's there. Big Blue Divers offer regular trips to sail rock (a great dive site), so after I spent a day diving with them, I was impressed enough to leave my original resort and move down the beach to Big Blue. I stayed in a private bungalow for only 200 baht per night (as long as you dive with them). I stayed several more days and continued diving every day. They definitely have a large number of beginner divers, but they were able to separate the few experienced divers with our own divemaster. I particularly enjoyed my dives with Steven as DM and my last two dives there because of the sheer quantity and quality of things we saw -- whaleshark on two dives!, giant moray (biggest Ive seen), great schools of scad and barracuda, etc etc....The bungalow was clean and comfortable, although a little loud due to the proximity to the bar. The BCD's and wetsuits I used from Big Blue were new. Not sure if links show up here, but this is a video I took of one of the whaleshark sightings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggDX83flDzs 

Updated Tuesday 5th June 2012-

Tech Diving Khao Sok Marine Park

 

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 The Techies are back! They've been away in the beautiful National Park of Khao Sok half between the west coast of Thailand & the east coast. A mountainous national Park with an amazing man made lake which has over recent years become a bit of a hit for cave divers & the techies because of  the depth of the lake being over 70 meters! In fact its at 70 meters where you can actually come across a man made temple which was built over a century ago but when they built the Dam some 60 years ago ended up flooding a whole entire village including its temple! Awesome stuff! More photos to follow but here's a shot of the team just before they dived the sunken village temple & some of the nearby caves! Next trip to Khao Sok will be in about 6 weeks. Interested???

Koh Tao was the best place I visited

“Brilliant” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 2, 2012 - Koh Tao wasn't initially on my travel itinerary at the beginning of my trip. But after hearing a bunch of reviews from friends of mine, I simply had to visit. And I made the right decision.Koh Tao was one of the best places I visited on my trip and Big Blue amplified my experience. Having only done a couple of dives on the Great Barrier Reef prior to arriving at Big Blue, I wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into when I signed up to get my Open Water certification. My two instructors, Billy and Tosh were absolutely brilliant. A perfect mix of knowledge, experience and witty banter made my course an absolute breeze. Everybody in our small group was extremely confident diving with them and we flew through the course without the slightest hiccup. 4 nights accommodation was included with the course which made everything even easier. I'm definitely coming back to do more courses and dive again with these fantastic instructors at this great resort! Thanks for the awesome memories"

The Weather on Koh Tao

Hate to break it to you but the weathers gone a bit crappy. Blowing a howling gale out there. Little bit wet too! The rain never lasts long but the seas are pretty rough so I would recommend taking a seasickness pill if you are on your way here over the next few weeks. Good news if you're a diver or snorkellor the east side of Koh Tao (the sheltered side), is awesome, crystal clear & flat as a millpond. Good news if you're wind surfer or Kite boarder- its kicking off on Sairee today. Good new if you forget to take your seasickness pills & start throwing up everywhere on the Lomprayah Catamaran, they've finally replaced the seethru plastic pukey bag!


Updated Monday 3rd June 2012-

July 2012

Bullsharks are Back!

 

Chumphon Bull Sharks

The Boys are back! Remember the days when you'd head out to the Divesite first, get in the water first, head out away from the Pinnacles, out into the wide blue yonder until you start seeing the hulking shadow of one  followed quickly by another & then another untill you realise they are all around you! 20 sometimes 30 of them. Bull sharks. Surrounded in Bull sharks. One of lifes most exhillerating experiences imagineable. Diving with Bull Sharks. Well I have good news! 3 Bull sharks spotted at Sail Rock yesterday! AND.... 1 Tigershark! Let the good times roll! The Boys are back in Town!

The Dive School is by far the best on the island!

“Big Blue, the best on the island by far!!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor July 29, 2012- I first came to Big Blue back in 2008 when I did my Advanced Open Water. I had such a great time I returned in 2011 to do my Rescue course, and in 2012 to do my Dive Master Training (DMT)! The dive school is by far the best on the island because as soon as you walk in, you can feel the amazing vibe the place has. The instructors are brilliant, very professional and all have such great characters. I was very lucky to meet Jennifer Matthews, an instructor but also the resident Marine Biologist who is more than happy to tell you all about the underwater world. I was also very impressed by Rich Todd, who can make diving an awesome experience for anyone. The restaurant and bar are excellent! The service and the food is great and the place is always buzzing with energy. The bar has DJ nights, epic beer pong nights and sometimes DMT challenge nights, a treat not to be missed! They offer all sorts of accommodation to fit every budget and have very helpful staff and instructors who will go out of their way to make sure you get what you are looking for. I went on to be a videographer on Koh Tao and have dived with many different dive operations on the island and in all honesty I can say Big Blue is where you will have the most fun!
 

SSI Instructors pay for their Training within the first month!


Up date on this months cross overs and ITCs. Rick, Anke and Donny who crossed over with internship have made they money back for their internship within the first month. All have been snapped up for freelance work at Big Blue Diving. After finishing their internships at BBIT they ALL got work straight away. Wonder Woman Anke's long running ear infection has made her the EFR Queen at BB. Boy Wonder Rick and Aussie Boy Donny have been teaching Resort dives, Advance Adventures, Stress/Rescue and selling Deep/Wreck and Nitrox! Team Spain not only won the Euros this month but also became SSI instructors. They are now free lancing at an Spanish speak diving school in the Costa Deal Chalok Ban Kao at thesouth end of the island and are very busy. Dont be one of many walking around trying to find work, Do your ITC and internship with BBIT and we will help (guarantee) you get the opportunities to prove you are a great instructor.
 
Updated Tuesday 31st July 2012-

 

The Gal who replies to all your Email Enquiries

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And who is this legendary lady whom everyone has heard of, no one meet, everyone knows, but no one see's? As a business we simply couldn't do without her if it wasn't for the fact she's never here anyway, but always working here but only from somewhere else! She's a Divemaster by trade though works as a Bar Tender at Vibe, a receptionist at the Koh Tao Fitness Gym, she's a full time Sun lounger, & is the gal who replies to all your email enquiries within seconds of you having written them! She is none other than our very own literary genius from Sweden Wibeke Dahlin and if you wondered what she looks like well here you go! Blue Steel! Zoolander.

Four more SSI Instructors

So its Mexican Waves all round for 4 of our newest SSI Instructors! Mark Brooker, Kevin McLoughlin, Marty Pinkstone and Tangui Le Clech. All PADI Instructors these chaps realise the benefit of not only being a Dual Certifying Scuba Diving Instructor but also see how much more work there is available for SSI Instructors these days than there are for PADI Instructors. So congratulations again boys. Now get your Speedos on, walk up & down the beach and ask the people out there "Are you for Scuba?" in an outrageous French accent! Want to be a ProfeSSIonal Beach Bum? www.bigblueinstructortraining.com We can make you look good in Speedos!
 

Big Blue Diving handled everything very professionally

“Professional yet personal diving experience”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor. We had prebooked our PADI Open Water and advanced open water courses from home and Big Blue Diving handled everything very professionally, and was there to greet us with a smile from when we arrived at the dock, till we were left with the ferry. We were very happy that we got to do the PADI Open Water Course, despite that we were only my girlfriend and I on the team, since other new divers preferred SSI. We were followed by the same Instructor, Andreas, on both of our courses which was really great. Andreas was very helpful and kind, yet very professional in his teaching above as well as below the water surface. His enthuasism and keen mindset was very inspiring and he is now the reason that we joined a dive club the minute we got back to Denmark - and already had our first few dives here! :D 
 
Updated Monday 30th July 2012-

Save our Sharks!

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On the 11th of Aug Big Blue are organising to help save our sharks and support an anti shark finning campaign. This will take place at Big Blue Diving in a couple of weeks time. The goal is to get sponsored for a 3.4km swim around Koh Nang Yan. What actually happens is our Divemaster in training, DM team, Instructors, Instructors in training, BB Tech and the Big Blue beach bums (which there are many this time of year) talk themselves up for weeks then try their best not to be last or need rescuing. As normal instructor certifier SSimo and Divemaster mentor Nick will be putting pride on the line as they go head head. Who will win? They where both shown up last year by a girl..... To be fare she did swim for Canada in the world championship and is this years favorite. SSimo swan for his life once when he fell in between shopping trolleys in the River Mersey and Nick must of come frist once to be with us today. Once all have been rescued and pats on the backs are complete we all had down to the Big Blue bar to have a sponsor shave. The team shave funny shapes into there hair cuts to raise there profile on the island and to get a new facebook pic. Oh and its sponsored, they have to keep the crazy cut for a month. So if you are coming next month to take one of are scuba diving course please dont be shocked. Last year, Koh Tao's dive community raise over 17,000 baht and over 400 signatures for anti-shark finning campaign support - lets see if we can beat that this year!! Come join us on August 12th for the big swim!
10 - 11 Meet at Big Blue Dive Resort for registration and welcome drinks
11 - 12 Shark conservation talk and petition signing
1 - 4 Swim time!! Swim 3.4 km around Koh Nang Yuan
7 - late Evening festivities including sponsored Shave for Sharks, live music, and drink deals (Big Blue 2 - Pranee resort)

Big Blue is like a nice little community.

“Im coming back again for sure.” 4 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor July 25, 2012 - Before going to Koh Tao I googled it a lot, and at the end I wanted to go to either Big Blue or Crystal Dive Center. Since Crystal replied fastest and in a most personal way I decided to do my advanced open water there. But I found their resort to be completly dead after dinner time. By walking around I found my way to Big Blue and was positivly surprised about how cosy atmosphere they have. You really feel like youre a part of a big family when being there.I therefore moved over to Big Blue and did my Nitrox and wreck spec there at the end of my trip. My instructor Rich was super cool and we really had a good chemistry. All of the instructors seemed very enthusiastic and professional, but try to book Rich if he's available, because then you'll know for sure that youre in safe hands ;-) I see that some others have complained about that the dorms are dirty and that its a bit loud around the bungalows. Its exactly the same over at Crystal. I even upgraded to a rather nice hotel (Regal Resort) to try to get some good sleep. But even there it was pretty noisy with drunk people coming home at night and roosters that make a lot of sound from 4:AM. I moved around 3 times because I was frustrated about how loud it was everywhere. But you get what you pay for, so the only way to be sure to have silence and 100% working shower and toilet, is to book an expensive 3 - 5 thousand Baht a night bungalow that lays away from the main areas. Dont expect too much from the places that include "free" accomodation or if it costs under 1.000 Baht a night. You get pretty much what you pay for. I know that when Im coming back I'll go to Big Blue again. Their resort lays in the middle of the biggest main beach and lots of diving students and instructors hang out in their outdoor bar/restaurant by the beach in the evenings. I got to know new people there from other groups and really felt Big Blue is like a nice little community. Thanks for some great days Rich! Hopefully I'll see you there again, when I come back next year :-D

The Koh Tao Dive Guide App is here!

Introducing Koh Tao's very own Iphone app.!! The Koh Tao Dive Guide app contains all information needed to dive around Koh Tao, as well as some great information about the marine life you find here, conservation on Koh Tao, general diving etiquette and even how to blow bubble rings! It is an essetial guide for anyone interested in diving as you can see all the fish life you will encounter, corals, detailed dive site maps, reef conservation, hand signals, and lots more. Features:
✓ Dive sites with the detailed Swim for Sharks 2012
✓Descriptions and underwater dive maps!
✓ Corals and Fish list
✓ Hand signals
✓ Fish signs
✓ Buddy checks, diving tips and hits
✓ Safety information and Emergency assistance
✓ Become a Bubble Rings Master!
Visit the famous Koh Tao Dive Guide at http://www.dive-guide.org/ Stay tuned for more updates: Similans, Sharm El Sheikh and more locations coming in the next updates!
 
Updated Friday 27th July 2012-

 

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This years Swim for Sharks Fundraiser has truley taken off with Sponsorship coming from all directions & the number of entrants is already almost double what we had last year. In addition this year we got a German TV Crew who we hope are gonna be here with 3 German Swimsuit models who'll be sporting Mermaid tails as they swim the 2ish kilometers around Nang Yuan Island. The sweepstake is up & hot favourites to win the Swim are Big Blue Instructor Serena McGibbon, represented Canada at the World Games! Nickerless Bufton, an entrant & winner at the Engand National Championships in Breaststroke. Rich 'Underdog' Todd County Champion could also be a contender with the size of those hands but all will depend on how facially stramlined he is on the day! Either way there's prizes to win, islands to be swum, surprises to be had & money to be raised all in the name of Saving Sharks! If you want to give to a worthy cause then please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fantastic, friendly, patient, helpful and made you feel relaxed, safe and excited about diving

 
“Must Do!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor July 24, 2012 After reading TripAdvisor, we decided to do our open water dive course with Big Blue. It has exceeded expectations. We stayed in the newer resort in one of the 900bht rooms and it was great - 2 double beds, air con, and a great view. We started the course with a briefing from Petra and ended up having her as our instructor for the whole course. She was fantastic, friendly, patient, helpful and made you feel relaxed, safe and excited about diving. We would highly recommend her as your instructor. We made heaps of friends at Big Blue and don't want to leave! Do yourself a favour and book with Big Blue! 
 

Scuba Diving in Koh Tao Thailand

Keep  a look out for this months South East Asia Backpacker Magazine with a great article in there on Scuba Diving in Koh Tao Thailand & with us no less! Hero of the article is of course our blonde haired Scandie Ludo who will also be featured on the South East Asia Backpacker Blog aswell! Our Ludo's becoming quite the celebrity!
 
Updated Thursday 26th July 2012

Become the Best Instructor you can

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 Jara Corbi and Manuel Pelaez from Spain came into Big Blue Diving and handed in their CVs in the hope of finding work. After a chat about the best way to find scuba diving jobs on Koh Tao, Jara and Manuel came back the next day to double their chances of finding instructor work, and both enrolled in a Scuba Schools International cross-over. Big Blue Instructor Training is the only SSI professional training center in South East Asia to have two Instructor Trainers on staff. Come to think of it, it’s also the only one to have an Instructor Certifier and Instructor Trainer, and the only one to have a Platinum Pro 5000 Instructor Trainer and Instructor Certifier. Because we have these two IT’s on full time staff, we can start crossovers, divemaster upgrades and instructor upgrades everyday. This really helped out Jara and Manual as they were in a rush to get their SSI instructor rating so they could start work during high season on Koh Tao. Ricky and Anke, who did their crossovers at the beginning of the month, have now finished their internships and work at Big Blue, the world’s largest SSI dealer. Anke just finished a Stress and Rescue Course and started an open water course today. Rick, who finished his internship with a massive 24 specialty certifications, started his first solo course today with three Advanced Adventure divers. Well done guys, you are all becoming great instructors. To change your life and become the best instructor you can, e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Princess of Thailand in Koh Tao

We would like to welcome her Royal Highness the Princess of Thailand for 3 days of fun & underwater frolicks here at Big Blue Diving but unfortunately she isn't staying with us! However her presence is being felt! There's been beach, land & road cleanups galore. We got road checks every 15 meters especially in the vicinity of her hotel. There's helicopters flying overhead. Some dive sites are closed just in case she dives them & all the island Big wigs prancing around in their best Sunday best! But unfortunately there's no Royal Parade so the pomp & ceremony is here for 3 days only & then as quick as they came they'll be o....

If you want to go diving on Koh Tao, make sure you go to Big Blue Dive Resort!

“Advanced open water with Big Blue”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor July 22, 2012 - One of our last stops of our six months travel was Koh Tao with the idea to get our padi. The day we arrived there was a small briefing about getting your padi open water or ssi open water. In the end there is no difference between the two but we chose for padi. You had to do four extra quizes but they are easy, just like the exam. Im really glad that we chose for padi because we ended up with a dive instructor called Richard. This guy has the abillity to be really professional and make you feel safe, home and comfortable at the same time. Always joking around but when the time is there he is serious too. After a three day course we had our padi and were now certified open water divers. Because of the amazing world down there and the fun we had those three days, we decided to get our advanced open water (10% dis ount if you do your open water at big blue), which allows you down to 30 meters. I can really advise doing the advanced course because you are already certified wich allows the instructor to give you more freedom. You get the chance to look for sealife under rocks and between cracks by yourself, knowing somebody professional is watching you. If you want to go diving on Koh Tao, make sure you go to Big Blue Dive Resort! The staff and atmosphere are truelly amazing and want you to go back. Getting our advanced open water at Big Blue was one of the best things of our trip. WARNING: go there at the end of your trip, otherwise you gonna stick around there way to long! Richy, once again, we want to thank you for the last five days, they were legend! Koen and Joris from the Netherlands.

 Updated Tuesday 24th July 2012-

DMT Specialty Courses

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Feels a little like University Challenge round here at the moment with all our Divemasters in Training prepping themselves for their Specialty Courses with SSI Instructor Trainer Tosh. They've done their 40 meter Deep dive, they've blended & breathed in their 32% Nitrox mixes & this morning they dived the Sattakut Wreck. That's 6 DM's fully trained in the most popular of diving activities & all signing up to take on the challenge of their SSI Instructor Training next month. And why the hell not. Do you have any idea how many jobs there are out there for SSI Instructors? Well lets put it this way.. the Director of SSI Thailand is guaranteeing jobs to our candidates cause there is that much demand for them! Enroll here for your SSI Instructor Course. or contact your Instructor Trainer directly for any queries you might have regarding becoming an Instructor on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I think Big Blue has the best professionals the dive industry has to offer

 
 
“Came to Big Blue to do open water, ended up as an instructor!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor July 14, 2012 - Did my open water at big blue last year and had just enough time to do the advanced. Didn't take a lot of persuading to decide that I wanted to dive as a career, so I came back to Big Blue this January to learn all I could. They trained me up as a rescue diver, divemaster, technical diver, and now instructor! Says a lot about how good an experience it's been. I think Big Blue has the best professionals the dive industry has to offer, whether you want to learn to dive from scratch, or work in the industry. I cannot recommend it highly enough. The bar is pretty good as well.. 
 

Swim for Sharks 2012

 We all know that SHARKS need our help. Shark numbers are rapidly decreasing in Thailand and many divers have commented on the lack of shark sightings, even in our protected National Marine Parks. Over the last few years tourism and overfishing have all had a negative impact on our oceans around Thailand. On Koh Tao we have seen half the number of Whalesharks than last year. What we do see though, is a great many sharks in Thailand in the restaurants and pet shops. Tanks of Black Tip Reef Sharks an be seen for sale in Pattaya & Bangkok for the pet trade and large amounts of Bamboo & Zebra Sharks for sale at restaurants. The Swim for Sharks 2011 is a statement by our small diving community to help protect sharks. We will be ditching our fins in favour of the more traditional sport of swimming! Participants will swim around Koh Nang Yuan unaided, but if you want to wear fins, that's OK too! As a diver, what can you do to help? This year, we are joining Dive Tribes mission and the money raised from this years Swim For Sharks is going towards the purchase of these sharks to release into back into the waters around Koh Tao and Pattaya, and to buy Radio tags in order to monitor their health and movements. We don't expect the sharks to stay here, but there will be a higher chance of sightings if they are in the water in general, and are able to roam free, reproduce and visit our small island. So come along, even if you don't want to swim, learn more about sharks and conservation and help us raise the money needed to replenish our shark population. Last year, Koh Tao's dive community raise over 17,000 baht and over 400 signatures for anti-shark finning campaign support - lets see if we can beat that this year!! Come join us on August 12th for the big swim! 
10 - 11 Meet at Big Blue Dive Resort for registration and welcome drinks
11 - 12 Shark conservation talk and petition signing
1 - 4 Swim time!! Swim 3.4 km around Koh Nang Yuan
7 - late Evening festivities including sponsored Shave for Sharks, live music, and drink deals (Big Blue 2 - Pranee resort)
Save our sharks, save our seas!
 
 Updated Friday 20th July 2012-

Blog Posts

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 Sorry for the lack of posts on our blog here but our resident Blogger was whizzed off to Bangkok for "the op". And a nip, a tuck, a shave & a fold later Jim is a new man & hobbling along like a steam engine! Thanks for the complete lack of support, sympathy, messages, get well cards, fruits, chocolates, cake, phonecalls, hospital visits & wishes. Your complete lack of care or interest expressed in my hour of need was truely lacking interest! Thank you all. ;-)

Whaleshark

 
And meanwhile back at the Ranch while I haven't been missed at all it seems that things at Big Blue just go from strength to strength & that really it may be a  better business decision to keep Jim away from Koh Tao! We've got our full quota for this summers Divemasters in Training already, we got flat seas, warm water, water clarity & an enormous variety of amazing marine creatures including the sharks that have been recently spotted around Shark Island, the Eagle Ray thats hanging out at Bio Rock & this morning the Whaleshark that's cruising around Chumphon Pinnacle!
 

Honeymoon on Koh Tao

 “Experience of a life time.” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor July 12, 2012 - We spent our honey moon island hopping in Thailand and decided on Koh Tao's Big Blue Diving school to do our open water certification. The island, experience, dive school, and staff (Rich Todd) were absolutely amazing and ended up extended our stay from 3 days to 8, and taking the advanced course. Rich,our instructor made us feel like we were part of the staff and the island. He invited us to daily drinks on the beach, and fine dining restaurants at the islands peak views. I would recommend the advanced course, which in our case included diving at night and also a WWII ship wreck. There are plenty of dive schools on Koh Tao, but if you are looking for memorable experience then Big Blue Diving is the way to go. They do provide an array of lodging options ranging from free dorms to private air-conditioned options. All the equipments was in great condition and regularly tested. Thank you for the amazing memories and a great honey moon. Kapiti Kap to Big Blue and Rich!!!! 
 
Updated Thursday 19th July 2012-

Road of Borrocks!

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Loopholes if not closed in time become massive gaping wounds! & the loophole that allowed Japan to slaughter & butcher whales in the Southern Ocean has now become a gaping wound as Denmark try to increase their Whale kill around Greenland & Iceland continue their Whale slaughter in the Arctic circle. & now the Bloody Koreans are wanting in on the slaughter all in the name of Scientific Research!. What an absolute Road of Borrocks Korea! Stick to making cars, stereos, Asian boy bands & firing rockets & guns over North Korea, BUT leave the Whales alone! or you can go stick your Air Conditioner up your Daewoo!

Big Blue Press Releases

Keep your eyes & ears out for news on Big Blue coming up in all sorts of magazines & articles in the very near furure. Recently we've had a freelance photographer who works with all the big Dive mags staying with us (actually ended up doing their DM with us) & she has a bunch of different mags going to be running  a few stories & pictures on us in England. Then we had a couple over from Australia who have their article coming ut in print in Straylia this week. We've also got a great article written on us in South East Asia Back Packer magazine Tho they aint allowed to mention us specifically  you'll realise its us cos we got an ad in the middle of the story & the Blonde Instructor from Sweden is called Ludo! Then Emirates Airlines are running a story on us in an issue of their inflight magazine & of course Nat Geo are still looking at making a TV show here aswell. What with all this celebrity stardom I'm not sure how we're going to be able to fit any diving in!

I really enjoyed it!

“Open Water Course + Accommodation” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 29, 2012 - I did my open water course here and I really enjoyed it! FIRST: It is a four day course. Day one starts in the evening and all you have to do is look at some videos and fill in some paperwork. Day two is all about getting to know your equipment, which takes place in the pool. By day three we were in the sea. Which was great! depending on the weather (Hot or Super Hot) there are different sites to go to. I lucked out a bit because the visibility was way above normal. Day four is mainly the same except you get up very early. That hurts a bit, but is worth it. The only thing I didn't like was that they shove a camera in your face (at 6 a.m.), which they edit and hope you buy (at an insane price). SECOND: Why Big Blue? What I really like is the quality of the equipment. Everything feels taken care of and there seems to be a high standard in maintaining it in that way. Also they explain (in great detail) how this is a safe dive and how you can make it even safer. And, although a bit personal, we really got lucky with our instructor. He was one of those teacher, who could multitask insanely and gave everyone in the group personal attention. This enabled the group to learn how to dive, while still being able to stare at the numerous fish around. ACCOMMODATION: You have TWO Big Blue places. One of them is newer, in better condition and a bit more expensive. What is great about it is that you can get a discount for any room, when doing your course. Certain rooms half price and some even free. (Depending on season and availability). When we were in ONE (older) We got to stay for free. The room is very basic with a fan and private bathroom, with flush! And is close to the beach. Number TWO (newer) is by the pool. There aren't any free rooms here, but the quality of the basic room has skyrocketed. Also this is the bar on the island that has the best coffee around. Fresh cups of coffee. Which isn't that easy to find anywhere in the south of Thailand.

Updated Thursday 5th July 2012-

Denmark, No! You're better than that!

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 Oi Denmark! "No!" I appreciate the work you've done to further our childrens education with the use of colorful interlocking plastic bricks and an accompanying array of gears, minifigures and various other parts which can be assembled and connected in many ways, to construct such objects as vehicles, buildings, and even working robots BUT you really need to understand by submitting a request to increase the number of whales your Inuit people in Greenland & the Faroe Islands already hunt & butcher you are killing one of the most amazing creatures in the sea. I'm concerned already by a recent report that found whalemeat on sale to tourists, raising questions over whether your Greenlanders really need quotas as large as those they currently have & have been disgusted by the photos of your Faroe Islanders gathering whales into a bay & slaughtering them in cold blood in depth deep enough to stand! Denmark. Please. Stop this madness now. You're way better than that!

A Great Place to Start Diving

 “A sure success!” - 4 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 28, 2012 - I did my Open Water Course here in May and I have to say that this diving center is a great place to start diving. Even it is quite a big school the courses are very personalized. We were six people in the group and the instructor (Benjamin Meerhaeghe) did a great job and put a lot of effort in explaining everything. He did it in three languages (English, French and Spanish) simultaneously. If you do your diving course here you can also get good deals in accommodation (standard rooms). 

Ready for High Season

 So it looks like we're ready! We got the classrooms painted, furnished & with a new LCD TV & Media Player in each classroom. We done our Dorm rooms up so they look nice & spanky. Our regs have been serviced. Our tanks have been Hydro'd. We've rented an additional boat so we don't have to pack divers in like srdines like some schools on Koh Tao are known to do & we got almost 30 Instructors all sitting around waiting for the onslaught to begin. On your Marks... get ready staff... Here comes High Season!

Updated Tuesday 3rd July 2012-

Whaleshark & Sailfish at Chumphon Pinnacle

 
 
 
 
 
 
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 And just when you least expect suddenly a Whaleshark turns up! Chumphon Pinnacle. Big as you like! & that follows what we saw yesterday morning aswell which was a 3 meter long Marlin or Sailfish & with its Sail up. & check out the viz! At least 30 meters in every direction! Awesome diving right now as we enter the last week of low season. Smooth flat water. Crystal clear visibility. Large pelagics. Hunting Sailfish & a Whaleshark! The calm before the storm. Must be Full Moon!

Friendly & patient Dive Instructors

“My diving vacation”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012 - Never really been out of Europe, I looked sceptical at going to Thailand for diving. Down there everything seems about tourism and making money. Not so with Big Blue! Fun and safety seems really to be the motto of this (not to small and not to big) dive resort. After you have decided if you want to learn new skills with the very friendly and patient dive instructors or just go fun-diving, nice and easy, everything seems to run problem-free. I did my open-water course directly in the first days and contiued with an advanced course, just because I was brought into diving with such good guidence! Not to mention that I did the rest of my vacation lots of fun-diving at all the nice sides around Koh Tao, and with the genius dive-master who seem to know every stone and every fish on a first-name basis ;) All in all, if you want to learn diving or just go for fun-diving Big Blue makes your life easy - the diving is modern, save and organized, while the people are fun, caring, cool and not trying to sell you all the time stuff which you dont need... and btw. I saw a whaleshark :)

Monthly Clean Up Operation

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Beach and Underwater Clean up yesterday! 36 people joined in Big Blue's monthly clean up operation - which just keeps getting bigger! With being made a Green Star resort, we are greener than ever, and now cleaner too. Here's 10 things you can do to help keep the oceans clean-
1. Avoid purchasing souvenirs made from coral or any threatened or endangered marine species.
2. Support the establishment of coral reef protected areas and encourage better protection and management for those that exist.
3. While travelling, choose resorts and tour operators that properly treat all sewage and wastewater.
4. Never throw rubbish, cigarette ends over-board and never support tourist aimed fish-feeding entertainment
5. As a diver or snorkeler, choose tour operators that use mooring buoys or drift diving techniques whenever possible rather than anchors that can cause reef damage.
6. Make wise choices in selecting seafood by avoiding menu items that are caught or farmed using destructive or unsustainable practices including reef-killing poisons, explosives, and illegal equipment. All fish served at the Big Blue restaurant is supplied by local fishermen using sustainable fishing methods.
7. Avoid purchasing tropical wood furniture or products obtained from clear-cut tropical forests causing siltation damage to coral reefs.
8. As a diver, practice buoyancy control skills in a pool or sandy area before diving near a coral reef. Make sure your gauges and equipment are secured to avoid accidental contact with the reef, and never touch, stand on, or collect coral.
9. Report all damage of coral reefs to dive operators and scientific or conservation groups that monitor coral reef health.
10. Enroll in Eco-specialty courses to increase your knowledge about coral reefs and other aquatic environments. (Underwater Naturalist, Marine ID, Peak Performance Buoyancy, CoralWatch, PADI Project AWARE Specialty, SSI ECOlogical monitoring programme, Reef Check EcoDiver.)
 
Updated Monday 2nd July 2012.

New Big Blue Instructor Trainer

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So its french kisses from the ladies & manly bear hugs from the fellas for man of the hour former Big Blue Diving Instructor, now Big Blue Diving Instructor Trainer Mr Paul Tosh Tanner who yesterday passed his SSI Instructor Training Course. So that makes 2 Instructor Trainers at Big Blue now. SSI Supreme Instructor Leader SSImon Garrity & Sarah JeSSIca Parker Lookalike Paul "Tosh" Tanner who will be starting his first SSI Crossover this Wednesday 4th July if there's anyone out there interested in being taught by a Hot Hollywood Celebrity... dressed as a man... with an Essex accent!

TV Interviews

 It's been all fun & games here over recent days as we took a video out & started filming the staff for a few one to one interviews as requested by the TV Production Company that wants to make this Reality/Docudrama or whatever you call it, on the life of  a Diving Instructor. So the boys all put on their make up & did their hair while the gals ran up & down the beach a number of times in their skimpy red high thigh one pieces! Should be a great show if they ever do get round to  making one!

Really cool & funny Instructor

 “Awesome place for divers! I will go there again!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 28, 2012 - Usually I am not writing on platforms like tripadvisor, but this place has deserved an exception: after a warm welcome of the diving team at Big Blues restaurant (which is also very good and fairly priced) an unstructure screened my diving skills. As I was only a Padi Open Water Diver yet, I decided to go for the Advanced course. Starting next morning was pretty relaxed: only 5 people per course is quite relaxing! Together we decided on the AOW specialities and everybody got what he wanted to do. By the way, you can do both there: Padi and SSI, just what you prefer. My class was led by Ludo - really a cool and funny instructor - try to get in a class with him once you are there. Although I was not out diving for 9 month, Big Blue team took care for me do I always felt save and secure. And after the first dive everything is OK anyway. So doing the AOW was done in 2 days - really great fun! And even if I joined the course alone, people over there are all nice and funny so I ended up with 4 new friends from all over the world! Coming to fun dives: special thanks to Reggie for making 4 dives with you an unforgettable experience! Reggie is really trying to provide you great dives and shows everything to you as she knows the spots by heart. I really have got the feeling that she is simply passions about showing Koh Tao dive spots to the people diving there! So coming close to the end: the waleshark! Yes, we spotted one during a dive while doing a full day trip with Big Blue! An unforgettable moment for me and the other divers on the boat! Finally Big Blue offers simple but clean and cheap accommodation - starting with dorms with fan only up to AC sea view bungalows. Anyway great place to spend time for diving and relaxing in Thailand - I will go there again, for sure! Keep on breathing Big Blue Diving Koh Tao and thanks again for the outstanding time we could stay with you!

Updated Sunday 1st July 2012

August 2012

Updated Thursday 30th August 2012-

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Must have done something right over recent years! Seems to me that our turtle releasing projects organised here in Koh Tao through our friends at the Save Koh Tao Group could actually be somewhat responsible for the massive increase in turtle sightings we've been getting round Koh Tao. There were 3 of the little fellas at Hin Wong Pinnacle today. Nice. With all these wreck sinkings, sharks, whales. whalesharks & turtle sightings we've been getting round here lately can only help cement Koh Tao as a major international Dive destination! 

You'd be forgiven for walking into the shop today thinking that either Tosh was in a very deep important stressful mobile phone conversation or that he was expecting a baby the way he was pacing back & forward & to & fro, chewing his fingernails off, the nervous laughter & the weird facial tick. But actually no its far worse than that. He has to spend the next 2 1/2 days waiting to find out if his first 6 Instructor Candidates have passed their SSI Instructor Exam! Nervous times! That'll probably account for the wet patch round your crotch Tosh! Good luck guys. 

“Life-changing!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor- The people working at Big Blue are the most wonderful mix of personalities I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They are all so unique, but they share a common passion... and that is an unquestionable love for diving. Their enthusiasm and dedication is inspiring... and their blatent 'love of life' is infectious. I could not have chosen a more wonderful environment to do my Divemaster course in. Big Blue's lively atmosphere, superb location, diverse selection of dive sites and wondeful staff made my training there one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. The people at Big Blue became more than just friends.. they became my family. 

Updated Tuesday 28th August 2012-

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There does seem to be rather a lot going on at Big Blue these days. I guess that stands to reason when you have 2 Beach front resorts on Sairee Beach both with seafront bars & restaurants one with an on the beach Spa! We do have a brand new 21 room hotel overlooking our brand new purpose built Scuba Diving swimming pool. We do have 4 Dive boats in full operation. We do have Big Blue Tech department is enjoying a massive boom for the first time since the days of Canada with all their Cave Tech & wreck activities. We do have a Conservation arm which is busy going through applications for next years internship programmes we offer & is currently working out how to spend their hard earned 120,000 bt that they raised for Shark Conservation. We do have an Instructor Training team who have been busy teaching 6 PADI Divemasters & SSI Dive Cons how to become SSI Instructors over the last 3 weeks. And Our Big Blue Khao Lak team are busy taking bookings for our brand new Liveaboard MV Halleluja which will be heading out for 4 days & nights of cruising the best Dive sites Thailand has to offer among the Similan & Surin Islands. What with all this food, drink, accommodation, diving, Liveaboards, tech, wreck, cave, rebreather, PADI, BSAC & SSI Courses, Scuba Diver Instructor Training, freediving, eco programmes & Swimming pools its no wonder there seems to be a lot going on at Big Blue these days!

Hi, Just completed my OWD a few days ago and was sent an email to fill out a questionnaire. I added the following to the comments box at the bottom, which I thought you might be interested to read, in case it's not passed on by the PADI organisation:
"I can say with every confidence that Ant Silwood is an excellent instructor,
patient beyond words and supremely knowledegable in all things related to
conducting an OWD course. When a student in our class was unable to "catch
on" as quickly as the rest of us, he never once lost patience or showed
signs of exasperation but proceeded to explain the procedures over and over
again and to make her feel at ease at all times.
Speaking for myself, I'm profoundly deaf and rely on lipreading, body
language and asking a lot of questions to ensure I understood him, which
meant repeating himself many times. Again his patience and professionalism
was above and beyond many other instructors in other things I have been
(skydiving, truck driving, boating licence, etc).
I would heartily recommend him and his school (as many of the other
instructors I've met there during the duration of the course struck me as
equally professional and above all, patient and courteous) to anyone
thinking of learning to dive in Thailand.
I am going back in a few days to take my AOW, as well as deep, Nitrox and
wreck diving courses.
Please feel free to pass on this message to the Big Blue Diving School of
Koh Tao.
Many thanks,
Carey"
Again, thanks to Ant (and sorry for forgetting your name on numerous occasions!) for your patience. Looking forward to being back in a few days (currently on Samui with a new 30-day visa), Cheers, Carey

“Life-changing!”- 5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012 - The people working at Big Blue are the most wonderful mix of personalities I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They are all so unique, but they share a common passion... and that is an unquestionable love for diving. Their enthusiasm and dedication is inspiring... and their blatent 'love of life' is infectious. I could not have chosen a more wonderful environment to do my Divemaster course in. Big Blue's lively atmosphere, superb location, diverse selection of dive sites and wondeful staff made my training there one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. The people at Big Blue became more than just friends... they became my family.

Updated on Monday 26th August 22, 2012 -

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Another Big Blue Legendary Full Day Trip to Sail Rock yesterday. The Gulf of Thailands number 1 divesite & why? Well how about this! 25 Bullsharks seen yesterday! How's that! We gone from 4 to 25 in just about a week! This is fantastic news & Sail rock is part of the Ang Thong Marine Park which makes it strictly an illegal fishing zone which will hopefully mean these guys are going to be hear for a while! So we've laid on another trip to Sail Rock in just a couple of days time & its already almost full. Well of course it is. Sharks at Sail Rock, Whale sharks at South West. It must be shark week!

Great news, the new Director for the DMCR, Department of Marine & Coastal Resorces, is so impressed with the work that we have been doing the last 4 years that he has promised up tons of new artificial reef structures and other assistance. Next year he plans to add artificial reefs in every Adopt-A-Reef site to be used in conjunction with the coral nursery tables, which we will also be getting more of. Another bonus, the 6 dive schools involved in the Adopt-A-Reef program will be getting certifications and recognition from the DMCR and Thai Government for their work, get the DMCR logo on their schools, get special certification cards with the DMCR logo, and get promoted in DMCR and related (TOT, etc) publications and signage! Congrats and thank you to Ban's, Big Blue, Crystal, Koh Exist, New Heaven, and Sunshine for all your hard work and dedication over the years! many good things are coming your way. . . .

“Really Fun, Amazing Experience” 4 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 22, 2012-Diving: We really enjoyed being underwater. Our instructor, Guy, was brilliant! He was really knowledgeable and friendly. It really was the best experience we had in this part of Thailand. We were so tempted to continue with our advanced course after doing the PADi open water, but became very ill. Someone told us this was to do with the water... so make sure you clean your teeth with bottled water!!! Accommodation: We loved our little hut, with the hammock outside. Spent nearly every evening after dinner sitting on our porch. The room was free with the diving, which is always a bonus, but the bathroom was sometimes temperamental. The toilets aren’t flushing on the island, so you can imagine what it was like when we were ill! Food: Really nice food, always had a BBQ on the beach and also had nice breakfast and restaurant food too! I loved the pancakes! Overall: Koh Tao is a beautiful island, but the sewers are open and can smell a bit. It didn’t bother us because we were so busy haha! I would go back, though! :)

Updated Saturday 25th August 2012-

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Eensy Weensy Whaleshark spottted at Chumphon Pinnacle yesterday morning. Just an ickle little thing measuring less than 2 meters long. Could be a contender for one of the smallest Whalesharks we've had round Koh Tao. Whalesharks are the largest fish in the sea with the largest ever photographed estimated to measure almost 20 meters long. So that makes pretty much our 100th Whaleshark sighting this year alone and maybe one of the most memorable. See fellas. Size doesn't always matter!

“lucky” 4 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 24, 2012 - I was kinda lucky when I came to Koh Tao because most people were going to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party. So Tao was a little calmer and a good place to relax. The decision to make my diving licenses was kinda spontaneous and based on the idea that that way i would save the money for a room since big blue offers free (basic) dorm rooms with their courses or any day you dive with them. That said the room was clean and nothing to complain about. I stayed at the place a little up the beach where the pool is. The people i met at the dorm where nice and we hung out when we were not diving so thats cool. The instructor of our 3 person group, Ben the Belgian ;) and not to forget Naboo (?) his intern, was competent and friendly and really went out of their ways to make every dive as enjoyable as possible. Really all the guys from Big Blue where friendly and I didn't have any complains since i really feel like i got what i expected for the money.

Unfortunately litter and improper disposal of rubbish is a major problem throughout Asia, and one that we have been trying to tackle from many fronts on our island over the last few years. We already have great efforts in place to help keep our island clean, such as our monthly clean-ups. But to improve our islands preservation and keep our paradise clean, Save Koh Tao and members of the community are proposing to start a collection of programs that will together attack the issue from all sides in the form of a master plan. It is our goal that this will not only greatly decrease the amount of litter and marine debris around our island and be positive for the local community, but will also make our island an example for other places in the region to manage their waste more effectively and holistically. The four programs involved in this master plan are: (1) Beach and Road Bin Installation (2) Daily/weekly island clean-up crew (3) Anti-plastic and foam box Campaign (4) Signage on beaches and roads. the project will involve many members of the community, including dive schools, local business and the Thai community.Project AWARE have started a competition that would award the winners a chance to start up a community conservation effort such as this - help us win and vote for us online now! Please click the link to vote!! Your votes count! We have submitted a proposal for Waste and debris management here on Koh Tao and if we get the most votes Project AWARE Ocean Action Project will help this proposal be put forward and undertaken. Please tell your colleagues and friends to vote as this really will help make a difference. Thankyou for your support! http://www.facebook.com/ProjectAWAREFoundation

Updated Wednesday 22nd August 2012-

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Please click the link to vote!! Your votes count! We have submitted a proposal for Waste and debris management here on Koh Tao and if we get the most votes Project AWARE Ocean Action Project will help this proposal be put forward and undertaken. Please tell your colleagues and friends to vote as this really will help make a difference. Thankyou for your support!  http://www.facebook.com/ProjectAWAREFoundation

I'm flattered. Its just awesome that soo many Diving Professionals want to work a Big Blue. Just wish I had work for everyone. Unfortunately I have my team of experience with over 40 years experience of working in the Dive Industry in just Simo, Tosh, Steve & G alone! So I'm very happy with my experienced professionals but want to add to the team with an ingestation of fresh meat! We like to employ from within! Wouldn't you agree Donny, Rick, Anke, Mark, Jo, just 5 of our latest SSI Big Blue Trained Instructors all working at Big Blue teaching courses. Good on you guys. Told you we get you your first steps into the Diving Industry. Lets see if we can't do the same for the 6 candidates taking their Instructor Training Course with Tosh right now

“Amazing Diving, Awesome Instructor”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 17, 2012 - We headed out to Koh Tao to relax for a bit and do some scuba diving and get our open water certificate this July. We went to Big Blue because it has a great reputation, and it's deserved. Our dive instructor, Olaf Jongbloets, was the best. He was hilarious, patient, and very competent in the water. He knows the dive sites like the back of his hand, since he's been there for over 10 years, and shows you all the best sites. I was pretty nervous getting into the water, but Olaf's confidence and reassurances really helped me relax and enjoy the diving. He's also a sweet trigger-fish fighter. We ended up taking our advanced course with him too, and had an even better time doing the night and wreck diving. I can't recommend him enough. Big props to our Dive Master in Training, Krista DeCoste, too. She was freaking amazing!

Updated Monday 20th August 2012-

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Seriously? Why on earth wouldn't you? If as a young 20-30 something year old worried about your future & what the hell you are going to do to earn a living during a time of high unemployment, high taxes, high interest rates, loan repayments & low income why would you not consider it? Become a Scuba Diving Instructor. Live in exotic locations, office on the beach, diving with turtles, rays, eels, sharks, whales! Earning an income comparative with what you earn in the real world once the tax man has taken their chunk. Its really very easy. Follow these 3 simple steps- 1. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 2. Book a flight 3. Say bye bye to your family & friends & let them know you might be a while! See you Monday!

 

"Hi Jim, We made it safely back to Samui! Just wanted to let you know that Donny was my instructor for my advanced, and he was ace! Made me feel so comfortable, great way about his instruction (in water and out) and new to it, so I really wanted to send some positive feedback. I really couldn't of wished for better. Big Blue only hires the best, so this was no surprise, but it really tops your entire experience when you connect so well with you instructor, like I did with Donny. He's a keeper! Definitely will recommend him, as well as Nick, as instructors. I had the privilege of diving with Nick, and the Maddocks sisters on my last day of advanced cert. (yesterday) when we dived Chumphon and the wreck...awesome guys! Really impressed, can't say it enough, but will stop for now and let you be ;))))) Thanks again, still buzzin' after seeing that whale shark!!!! Chrissy "

 

“Best Idea Ever.” Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 17- Originally the idea of scuba diving was a bit of a wishy-washy bucket-list item, but the past 3 weeks, Big Blue's made that item legit. Ko Tao wasn't even my first choice (wanted to go to Bali...ditched that fast when I saw the ticket there from Vietnam was over 6-bills) but I am so happy being broke forced a re-route to Big Blue. I started off with Bill Cloud for my Open Water Course; I couldn't have asked for a better instructor. Looking back, he was the one who developed a solid diving foundation which enabled me to enjoy all my dives. Most times we went diving, Billy made the 'classroom' feel more like a playground. We always had a ton of fun while incorporating our lessons into the mix. In fact, I felt confident enough to do my Advanced (with Richard Todd- also a fab instructor) and am now currently doing my Rescue (with Rick, so far so good. everyone's alive and smiling). No regrets except maybe hitting the bar one too many nights in between courses (which the instructors told us not to do...but hey, YOLO).

 
Updated Saturday 18th August 2012-
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Whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle this morning! Bullsharks yesterday at Chumphon & Sail Rock too. According to Divemaster Steven, our very own self proclaimed best Divemaster in the World, he reckons we can pretty much guarantee Bull sharks at Sail Rock right now he says he saw so many of them! So done deal then! We'll offer Guaranteed Bullshark or Whaleshark Dives at Sail Rock or your money back! Top lad that Steven. I can see why he calls himself the best DM in the world, he'll either guarantee you a shark or he'll pay for your dives! 
 
 
“Good value” Reviewed on Trip[ Advisor August 13, - Went there July 2012. Unmissable experience, the open water diving course is about £180 (compared to the £500 I heard it costs in Eng). If you do the course you get free accomodation in a pretty rank dorm room so opt to pay a bit extra for your own room. Amazing location in ko Tao, it's near everything but relaxing at the same time, the bar is good and so is the restraunt food. If you're travelling alone or with friends I'd definitely advise coming for a few days of underwater fun. Can't fault the place.

 

Well the day is upon is. Tosh has bitten his fingernails down to the cuticle, he's brushed his pants & put his hair on backwards and he's made it.Today is the day he loses his ITC, his Instructor Training Cherry! With 6 candidates being trained by one of the worlds most experienced Diving Instructors it looks like the Big Blue Instructor Training launch that Simo & Tosh worked so hard at has actually paid off! So good luck to Ant & Amy from the UK, Jay & Rae from Canadia, Bobby from the US & Mr May from Burma. 3 weeks of lectures, skills assessments, demonstrations, presentations, swimming, snorkelling, diving, exams, eating & drinking. Oh the life of a Diving Instructor. Good luck everyone. Make us proud!
 
Updated Thursday16th August 201216
So it seems that there are now 3 divesites on Koh Tao where sharks have been sighted. We've had 4 Bullsharks at Sail Rock for about the last 10 days or so, & then yesterday another shark was seen at Southwest Pinnacle, make & model unconfirmed, & then this morning more Bullsharks were seen at Chumphon Pinnacle. In addition a Blacktip has been seen on several occasions off the South side of Twins & Laem Thien has also been host to several Blacktip sightings. I wonder if the increase in Shark sightings has anything to do with the decrease in demand for Shark Fin soup?
A shark more commonly found in waters off Asia and North America left wildlife experts astonished when it jumped out of the water in front of their boat off West Wales. Only days after New Quay beach in Ceredigion was closed following a sighting of a blue shark, researchers spotted this thresher shark on the same stretch of coastline. Sightings of thresher sharks have been increasing in recent years in UK waters. Thresher sharks are normally found in deep waters but can follow their prey closer to the shore so maybe that’s what this one was doing. Perhaps either it or its prey were attracted by increasing sea temperatures. And who says there isn't very good marine life in UK waters! Baskin sharks & now Threshers too! You guys are just spoilt!
 
“Highly recommended” Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 13-  Came to Koh Tao looking forward to the diving. A bit nervous about what to expect, especially as I was alone, but no regrets. Many different diving companies to choose from on the island, but Big Blue is the biggest and best. I joined a group of four other people and stayed with that group for the full three days. Made many friends and have absolutely no regrets. If you get Guy as your instructor you're very lucky (they're all good but Guy's mad fun). He's an absolutely awesome chap, and I'll be asking for him next time I come back to do my advanced diving. I know your reading this Guy, keep up the mad work.

 

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Don't think its rained here in Koh Tao since the end of March 2011! That was when we had the floods here in Koh Tao & Big Blue Resort practically got washed away. Well its over 15 months later & not a drop of rain since! Think we're having a drought! So it is with head held low that I bring to your attention fresh water rationing here at Big Blue. As of tomorrow I'm afraid water will only be on between the hours of 6 am & 9am then 12pm till 1pm & then again from 6pm to 9pm. We realise this is going to cause a few inconveniences & for that we are sorry but remember in times of crisis we recommend all getting stuck in together. So remember everyone, save water shower with your girlfriend...s!
 
“Funtastic” Reviewed on Trip Advisor -August 11, 2012 - This July me and my friend went from divers to advanced adventurers, huh! First we were appointed Steve to lead our open water course, which lead up to fun and intense diving days. He was a real dive pro and we felt safe at all times. Next we completely fell in love with the diving and big blue which lead us to request Richard Todd to lead our advanced course, as we heard good reviews on this guy. Very amazing days. We had so much fun under and above water and had a super duper group. Big Blue has so much social besides the diving, which really adds to the great atmosphere. Richard, our instructor, was extremely enthusiastic and very good at his job, which made the diving a lot more interesting. All in all, everyone did everything they could to give us a once in a lifetime experience and make us wanna come back for more more more! :)
 
 
Dear Jim, My friend Jarrett and I recently spent a few days in Koh Tao and ended up diving with you guys for a couple fun dives, I just wanted to say that Darren was awesome to dive with. We used the underwater camera for the day and just wanted to personally say thanks to him for the great pictures he took for us and am amazed how well they turned out! Thanks again Darren, We will be telling everyone to dive with you guys when in Koh Tao. Jarrett and Rochelle
 
Updated Wednesday 15th August 2012-

 

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Its been one of the best turn outs for a Charity event I think I have ever seen here on Koh Tao with almost 80 people all joining in for the 3.4 km Swim around Nang Yuan Island last Saturday. It was also an awesome show from Big Blue with the the top 5 swimmers all going to Big Blue staff. Nick broke the existing record by a full 5 minutes with a time of just 54 minutes! Instructors Serena & Ben came in 3rd! It was s truly phenomenal showing which raised over 120000 Bt to go towards satellite tracking tags which will be attached to a number of baby sharks the Thai Navy found alive in the floating carcass of their mother. Its an awesome project. It was an awesome day & I think an enormous congratulations to the organizer our very own Master of Marine Biology Jennifer Matthews.
 
 
“WOW!!!” Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 8, 2012 - My wife and I recently made our way down to Thailand, and decided that we should definitely do our open water certificates when we get to Koh Tao! After some research we decided to go for Big Blue, and let me tell you we were NOT dissapointed!!! We had an awesome instructor - Billy Cloud! He made us feel competent, and at ease at all times! He had patience, and was really energetic, even when we weren't! The staff overall were great - everyone's friendly and helpful! If you're looking into doing your open water certificate I would most definitely recommend diving with big blue!!! Thanks for the great time guys - can't wait to come back and do our advanced!!!
 
Similar to Birthdays, Christmas & the sexual cycle of a penguin, Jim goes diving once a year! Dons his speedos, checks to see how much of his equipment hasn't been nicked out of his equipment box, takes what is still there & gives it to the Technicians to repair & then uses the shop kit & off he goes for a morning jolly at Koh Tao's 2 best Divesites, Chumphon Pinnacle & the Wreck! Happy Anniversary.
 
Updated Tuesday 14th August 2012-

 

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Foheler. James Foheler... ex military boy current Manager of Big Blue Tech has been a busy boy this month what with all this managing of his 4 or so interns, organising logistics, pumping tanks, replying to emails, repairing the damage his predecessor incurred, marketing & teaching Tech Courses but still manages to squeeze in a jolly with the boys & head out to Sail Rock for the day yesterday to see if they could spend a little more time with theses bullsharks everyone keeps talking about. Think they were somewhat surprised when they actually found them & managed to get probably the best shot to date of one of them there just to prove they actually are Bull Sharks! Admittedly we had to photoshop this file quite heavily to extract the true content but as you can see, BULLSHARK!!!!!!!! 
 
 
“So good I'm planning my return!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 6, 2012 - Spent a little under 2 weeks with Big Blue and totted up a fair few dives (and my first night dives). Had a phenomenal experience with some of my best dives to date seeing all things great and small from sharks and great barracuda (savaging reef fish!!) to a sleeping puffer fish and the smallest shrimp I've ever seen. The staff were friendly, approachable, knowledgeable and very professional. I stayed at 'Big Blue 2' accommodation, preferable for me as it was away from the nightlife, my apartment was clean and mostly quiet with great views of the training pool and even had visits from the resident geckos :) Can't wait to return in a couple of weeks :) Thanks Big Blue :) 
 
The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats classifies the long-finned pilot whale as “strictly protected” under Appendix II. While the Faeroe Islands are not a member of the European Union, they remain a Danish Protectorate. In other words, even though the Faeroes are self-governing, Denmark controls the police, defense, foreign policy, and the currency. All trade with EU countries is handled through the Danish foreign ministry. The primary reason for the Faeroes abstaining from joining the EU was in an effort to prevent the EU from meddling in their fishing policies. The slaughter of cetaceans is illegal within the European Union. Denmark fails to abide by their obligations as a co-signer of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (also known as the Bern Convention). The plundering of the oceans is our common issue, we all have the right to say STOP! http://www.unleashed.org.au/take_action/petitions/stop-the-faroe-islands-whale-slaughter/

Bull Sharks at Sail Rock

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With all the talk of Whalesharks & Bull sharks at Sail Rock this week it took us literally 25 minutes to fill up todays Full Day Trip to Sail Rock & reports are just coming in that everyone has been diving with Bullsharks & there's a baby there today too! Wow this is awesome! Have the Bull Sharks found themselves a new site for breeding? Ooh  do hope so! It used to Chumphon Pinnacle which became synonomous with Bullsharks. Looks like its going to be Sail Rock now! Just another attraction which is why Sail Rock is often referred to as the Number Dive site in the Gulf of Thailand!

Experienced, really nice, patient and friendly

“Thank you Billy Cloud!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 5, 2012 - At the beginning, my girlfriend and I haven't planned on diving. Then we went to Koh Tao. We came to Big Blue Diving in order to find accommodation and activities like snorkeling or a short scuba initiation. We were welcomed by Gee who offered us a welcome drink, and influenced by the good atmosphere, the fact that Koh Tao is probably the best and cheapest place in the world where you can learn diving properly, we decided to take the Open Water Diver Course. And consequently Big Blue offered us four free nights in their resort (Oh yeah!).Big Blue has also two bars/restaurants along the beach, one swimming pool, and air-con classrooms. All we had to do was chill out waiting for the first lessons which began with video-watching and working with a book to have notions on the basics. Then we met our instructor: Billy Cloud. Experienced, really nice, patient and friendly, he taught us how to use the equipment, and all his academics were quick and clear, so that we learnt very easily. Billy never let questions unanswered, even personal questions! :D The skills were practiced in the swimming pool. Even though the group of three we were successfully passed the exam and mastered the skills required, my girlfriend freaked out at the last moment, panicking about her first "real" dive in the sea. Billy immediately found the words to reassure her, making her his buddy for the following four dives. It was not an easy task to make her confident again, and we really want to thank him for the kindness and patience that allowed my girlfriend to do the "giant stride". After five minutes underwater, we were all having loads of fun! Without Billy, my girlfriend would have given up, missed the fun, so again thank you Billy! More generally, concerning Big Blue, the rooms are fine, the food in the restaurants is nice, there's a good atmosphere, music, fire shows at night on the beach. The equipment is safe and all the instructors seemed competent. Regarding the numerous people diving, everything is quite well organized. The groups are small or medium-sized (from 3 to 6). On the last evening, we watched a video of our dives of the day filmed and mixed by Mickey, all sharing a good beer with him and Billy, remembering how great this experience was! We are totally charmed by diving, and will definitely come back next year, to take the Advanced! Marion and Romain, Billy's "Scuba Soldiers" :D 

Swim For Sharks around Koh Nang Yuan

 Well at this rate it looks like the Big Blue Village Idiot, Nick Bufton of course, is going to be the favourite to win the Swim for Sharks Fundraiser around Nang Yuan Island this Saturday. The contenders seem to be dropping by the wayside as those who were bragging of swimming in the competitive lane are now spending more time at the bar than in training, all of us that is except for Nick 'the Torpedo' Bufton!  Nick has been in training every day for at least the last month & is now doing times Olympians would be proud of. Over 10000 Bt worth of prizes for the winners donated by Sea Shephard Conservation Society & Sharkskin Rashvests. Its going to be an awesome day & all donations go to saving sharks! Get involved www.bigblueconservation.com

Updated Tuesday 7th August 2012

To SSI or to PADI, that is the question?

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 As if choosing a dive centre on Ko Tao wasn't a big enough task in itself, you are then likely to be asked if you would prefer an SSI or PADI course. Here's what you need to know. PADI and SSI and BSAC, CMAS, NAUI, ANDI, TDI, SDI are all internationally recognised Diving Organisations and you can dive anywhere in the world with any of these certifications. You can switch and change too -- you don’t have to stay with the agency that you pick for your first course. The science, skills and techniques don’t change with whatever agency you choose but the methodology can be a little different. For example, with a PADI course the student must complete skill A before moving to skill B, whereas an SSI course skills can be demonstrated in any order to suit the student. SSI is cheaper than PADI by 800 Bt! SSI allows students to borrow books during their course whereas with a PADI course it’s compulsory to buy one. Both PADI and SSI now offer online learning to save you some time on your holiday. SSI's online learning is free, whereas with PADI you will pay US$130. The final thing that should be explained to you is about your certification card. SSI has an office on Koh Tao, so you will get your hard-earned card straight away. Centres have to either send off certification details or process them online to submit them to PADI. You can still dive straight away though and you do get a temporary card that is valid for 90 days. Your real card will be sent to the address you choose. Ultimately, it’s more important that you have chosen the right dive centre than the "right" course. If you have, then whether you choose PADI or SSI, you will be taught well -- so don’t agonise, just dive in there and blow some bubbles!

Lonely Planet Recommendation

“Best dive resort in Koh Tao for All levels” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 2, 2012 - We were new to diving and knew we wanted to do our certification in Koh Tao. We went to big blue dive resort because of a lonely planet reccomendation.We were greeted warmly and efficiently. The prices across the island are standard but the service at big blue was above all expectations. G was our instructor and she is even better than finding a g spot! We had such a good time we decided to stay for our advanced open water. The friendliest and most competent staff. Make you feel safe when nervous and well taken care of. The facilities were clean well kept and on a beautiful beach. The diving was beyond perfect. (we went in late July). Book ahead I time of you can! We didn't but we were the last couple to get in that day. Thanks to big blue for a fantastic and memorable trip! 

Coming to Thailand Emirates Airlines?

Anyone travelling on Emirates Airlines this month keep an eye out for their inflight magazine, Open Skies, which has a very interesting interview with yours truely! The it's  article is on Big Blue & Koh Tao & the origins of diving in this area but I was the one answering the questions so I should rightfully be claiming celebrity rights. However I'm misquoted several times in the article, the writer keeps referring to me by my surname & they haven't printed the picture I gave her of me some twenty something years ago looking all super buff & with a full head of golden locks! These media people always distorting the truth!

Updated Friday 3rd Augsut 2012-

Introducing Big Blue Liveaboard M.V. Hallelujah

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Time to announce Big Blue Diving Khao Lak's Brand New Liveabaord for our 2012-2013 Season in the Similans & Surin Islands! The MV Hallelujah is like a first class boat in a business class price range. She runs a tried and tested four night schedule which includes the best of the Similan Islands dive sites, and also Koh Bon for the Manta Rays, Koh Tachai, and the famous Richelieu Rock. She takes a maximum of 24 guests, but the boat is so expansive, that even when it is full you'll never feel crowded. The sun-deck upstairs is large enough to have a knock about with a football! All cabins are air-conditioned, have sea views, and have en-suite bathrooms. She offers both inside and outside dining areas, and oodles of space where guests can find a quiet place to relax with a book or sunbathe. One Of Thailands very best Liveaboards & its all ours!

Big Blue is one of the best dive school among many schools out there

“Dive in Blue Sea with Big Blue” 4 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor July 28, 2012 - This is a larger than life experience to me. I heard, I went,I learned,I dive to the underwater world....and experienced a different world altogether. Kodos to my instructors Felix and of course Ben for completing Open water dive course in Big Blue. The whole atmosphere were charged up all the time. Each and every one are so enthusiast and I felt like a part of big blue family. Big Blue resorts have one old wing and a new wing. Cottages and banglows in old wing are not really bad but as this are the older ones, these require some maintainance. Otherwise, these are really cool to stay in and recommended if you are going alone or with friends. You will find all activities around you. Of course, the new wing has new set up and recommened if you are there with family. Big Blue is one of the best dive school among many schools out there and the instructors are very professional and highly skilled. I had some cold and congestion while I was there. I had suffered a lot and had problem with equalisation. I had to discontinue with the team lead by instructor Felix and then I completed my course under another great and cool instructor Ben. Take my suggestion, don't dive while you have cold or congestion. I have to go again and dive .......of course with the team BIG BLUE.'

Koh Phangan Full Moon Party

Coming up to the biggest Koh Phangan Full Moon Party of the year. The August Full Moon Party where anywhere near as many as 30000 party goers all rock up on one little beach to do some kind of weird alcohol induced moon dance. 70% of those revellers will then continue their island hopping experience by stopping off here on Koh Tao for an Open Water Course or 2. Which consequently makes Koh Tao about twenty two and a half times more popular than it is right now! I don't know whether to cheer or cry! Happy Full Moon. Waaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

 Updated Thursday 2nd August 2012-

September 2012

  Friday 21st September 2012-

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According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration less than five percent of the world’s oceans have been explored, meaning that 95% of what lies deep underwater on Earth has yet to be seen by human eyes. One person who has dedicated his life to uncovering the mysteries of the deep is Japanese photographer Yoji Ookata who obtained his scuba license at the age of 21 and has since spent the last 50 years exploring and documenting his discoveries off the coast of Japan. Recently while on a dive near Amami Oshima at the southern tip of the country, Ookata spotted something he had never encountered before: rippling geometric sand patterns nearly six feet in diameter almost 80 feet below sea level. He soon returned with colleagues and a television crew from the nature program NHK to document the origins what he dubbed the “mystery circle.” Here is what they found: Using underwater cameras the team discovered the artist is a small puffer fish only a few inches in length that swims tirelessly through the day and night to create these vast organic sculptures using the gesture of a single fin. Through careful observation the team found the circles serve a variety of crucial ecological functions, the most important of which is to attract mates. Apparently the female fish are attracted to the hills and valleys within the sand and traverse them carefully to discover the male fish where the pair eventually lay eggs at the circle’s center, the grooves later acting as a natural buffer to ocean currents that protect the delicate offspring. Scientists also learned that the more ridges contained within the sculpture resulted in a much greater likelihood of the fish pairing.

Fancy learning all about the underwater realm, learning to dive, and carry out life-changing conservation work in a tropical paradise? Whether you are looking for a life experience you won’t forget, a career break, gap year, improving you CV, starting a career in conservation, voluntary work abroad or just simply looking to broaden your horizons and try something new and exciting, we have the opportunity of a lifetime for you. Our Conservation expedition and Skill Development programme is 4 weeks, including diver training (normally the Open water and Advanced course, but if you already have these we can offer other training such as Rescue or Nitrox), Marine Biology lectures and underwater science training, BSAC Marine Conservation Training, Emergency First Response First aid training, accommodation in one of our air conditioned dorms, and dive equipment rental included. Then, if that's not enough of a life experience or for the CV, you will have the opportunity to complete a project of your own during the last week, whether it's a fundraiser, education tool, or marine research project. And did I mention the huge celebration we will have at the end?? Now here's the best bit - normally 28,500 baht, if you book with us before October 30th, all this is only 25,000 baht! Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more and for dates of our expeditions in 2013, or have a look at our Conservation Expedition page . As a leading diver training centre, you will be taught how to dive by experienced qualified instructors. During your first week, volunteers take part in SCUBA training they will be qualified as divers at both open water and advanced open water level. If you are already qualified, no worries! For volunteers that are looking to improve their diving qualifications beyond the advanced open water level this too can be achieved whilst volunteering, such as Nitrox, Deep, Wreck qualifications, or further your diver training and become a Rescue Diver. Any volunteers that do not require dive training can join the expedition as part of the main group a week later, and fin dive in the first week instead with our excellent Divemaster team. So why Big Blue? Big Blue Conservation offers a unique experience in the world of Marine Conservation and Diver training. Not only do we have trained scientific staff on board with academic verification and years of experience, we have gifted and experienced instructors to offer an incredible range of extra diver training.

“Incredible Staff, Atmosphere and Facilities”- 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor September 19, 2012
I did my Open Water course here and loved it so much I went straight on to do my advanced course. The Staff at big blue are really friendly, they bought us drinks out of their own pocket and really took the time to get to know us outside of the course as well as on. This made they whole experience so much better and any worries I had before were completely dispelled when it came to the diving as I already had so much trust in the instructors. A special mention to Dive instructors Petra and James as well as Sarah who was completing her internship, they were all really great throughout the course. I can see Big Blue are investing in their staff and in the future so I won't hesitate to come back and continue this new passion!

Thursday 20th September 2012- 20

The Paedocypris progenetica is officially the world's smallest fish at only 7.9mm long, that is less than 1/3 of an inch! Not only is in the smallest fish in the world, but it is also that smallest vertebrate or backboned animal in the entire world! It was discovered in the swamps on the Indonesian island of Sumatra in water that has a PH level of 3. This is about 100 times more acidic than regular rainwater. The Paedocypris progenetica is actually partially see-through, they have a reduced head skeleton, which leaves the brain completely unprotected by bone. The previous record for smallest vertebrate was held by an 8mm species of Indo Pacific Goby. This discovery was made in 2006, wonder if this really will hold up as the world's smallest fish.

“I wanna go back so bad”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor September 19, 2012- Hello everyone, I never considered scuba diving until I spent a day on Koh Tao and realized that there was nothing much else to do. So in the evening I showed up at Big Blue, just because it was close to my current bungalow and rounded up some information about the Open Water Course. The instructor who was on meet 'n greet was Darren who was very friendly and helpful. After a brief chat I decided to start the next day. The next morning I signed up and was told that there is no accomodation left which usually is included in the price of the course. The next couple of hours were a bit annoying, because I was told there are checkouts all the time and I have to check back at the office every hour/half hour to see if there were any openings, so I stuck around for an hour around and checkout time and got a bit fed up, because that is not how I planned to spent my time. On return to the office I gave them my thai phone number and asked if they could call me if there would be any openings. I did not hear anything from them till 3pm and they offered me a basic fan room. In summary, they made up great for the somewhat rough start. Diving itself was a great experience and the instruction was excellent. Nobody from my group quit and felt safe at all time. After the Open Water course I even stuck around longer to take the Advanced course were you learn to navigate, dive at night and go down to 30m. All in all a great experience and if the manager of Big Blue should read this I would like him to know that this bloody limey Rich is a keeper!
 


Well with High season pretty much over, despite the great weather, awesome conditions & bountiful marine life, it looks like we need to start preparing for repairing the things that need it! So we've started closing off our Dorms one room at a time & will be making them all spic & span. the private rooms will all follow suit shortly. Then we got to send our boats off to the yard one at a time for their annual "short back & sides". Then the longtails are going to need re-fibreglassing. Our taxis need a good spit & polish and our tanks will all need a hydrostatic test this Christmas too! Awesome. Just Keep Living the dream Jim :-(

Wednesday 19th September 2012-

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It is September again, time of the year when the cruel dolphin slaughter begins again in TAIJI - JAPAN. We feel sorry to upload such a horrifying picture as our Cover Pic today, but do this to remind all of you on these terrible event that needs to be stopped! For the ones who never knew about this, sorry about the news, but this is true. Check out what Sea Shepperd has to say about the annual Taiji dolphin slaughter:
The slaughter of 20,000 dolphins, porpoises, and small whales occurs in Japan each year. Starting on September 1st and usually continuing through March of the next year, fishermen herd whole families of small cetaceans into a shallow bays and mercilessly stab and drown them to death. This annual slaughter of dolphins was virtually unknown until 2003 when Sea Shepherd globally released covertly-obtained film and photographs of the now infamous bloody “Cove” in a village called Taiji. Starting in 2010 and continuing to this day, Sea Shepherd has a ongoing presence of volunteers standing watch on site at the Cove. They are The Cove Guardians. With your help, we will continue to pressure Japan to end this cruel and destructive slaughter of dolphins. Because we are passionate, dedicated, and committed it may take time, but determination will win the day eventually for the dolphins at Taiji. We invite you to explore this site and support our efforts! http://www.seashepherd.org/cove-guardians/ — at Taiji, Japan.

At home after an amazing summer? Did you learn to dive or go diving over the summer? Looking forward to freezing cool winter? Want to dive again but cant wait until next summer? Its easy... you can fill up your bath, put the equipment on you invested in over the summer and just jump in. Or you can move to Thailand and become an awesome diving instructor and never need to wait for a summer again. CHOOSE LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We get asked all the time when is the best time to become a dive instructor? or what do i need to do? Here at Big Blue Instructor Training we can offer you ever thing you need to get you started and even help you get a job after your training. You need to have 75-100 logged dives. If you dont have them you can do them here, for free! Be a Dive Master for SSI or PADI, Dive Master course's start from 30,000Baht and take no more than a month. Be a SSI Dive Con or a PADI Assisted instructor, Which you can do here for free! Then a two week Instructor Training Course, We start a "ITC" every month. email us for more info. So when the best time???????? NOW. If you do the Oct or Nov ITC and Internship you will be ready to work just as high season kicks off before Christmas. 

“I sooo did not want to leave”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor September 17, 2012 - I arrived at Koh Tao and was met by a Big Blue taxi and this instantly told me that i had made the right choice as far as my selection of diving school. After getting checked in at Big Blue 1 the free taxi gave me a lift to my accomodation, a relatively large room with a fan, optional a/c and a balcony. The bed was large enough and there was a couple of complimentary bottles of water in the fridge. Considering the relatively low price i paid for my room, this was an absolute bargain. Also, you get a 50% discount on your room for each day you dive so this makes it even more of a bargain. The diving course itself was nothing short of excellent. You have to watch some dvds and have some homework to complete but this is all part of the package. You learn how to check and put on your equipment before learning all of the safety drills in the pool and then you're all prepared and ready for the diving. You complete a total of four dives over two days with the Open Water course and it is an amazing experience. I have to mention that Rich, our instructor, was a complete professional that clearly loves his job and works incredibly hard to make sure you have the best experience possible while being completely safe. Rich was always on hand to answer questions and calm down any fears you may have and was one of the main reasons the course was so fun. On the second day of diving you have the opportunity to have the dives filmed and this is also highly recommended. The DVD produced was of a high quality and makes a great tool for making your friends and family jealous. To sum up, I had a fantastic time and will definitely be back next year.

Monday 17th September 2012-

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Congratulations to another 3 Big Blue Boys who have all completed their BSAC Course & are now fully trained & qualifed BSAC Instructors. And hats off to James Folehairyhair, our Big Blue Tech Manager, who is one step closer to becoming our Big Blue BSAC Instructor Trainer himself, having completed his BSAC Staff Instructor Training. Job done fellas! Congratulations to you all. Another outstanding performance by the crew at Big Blue Tech & Big Blue BSAC. For more info on taking your BSAC Ocean Diver Course or even becomming a BSAC Instructor then contact Thailands leading BSAC Platinum Instructor Training Center! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Take me back!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on trip Advisor September 15, 2012 NEW - Big blue diving is a great place to stay and learn to dive. Their accommodation although basic is clean and comfortable, and if you're doing a diving course with them is free for the duration. All the instructors and staff we came across were helpful and relaxed and we always felt safe when diving. Had so much fun here, it's in a great location too. Couldn't recommend it enough! 
 
So the crap weather is over we hope. It was actually nowhere near the chaos we thought we were going to have last week & I've definitely seen worse! And meanwhile there seems to be very little side effects from the big waves rain & wind that we endured for 5 or so days last week with conditions today being crystal clear teeming with fish & to coin an old pals phrase... "flat as a witches tit!'

Saturday 15th September 2012- 15

The Rebreather Revolution- The Poseidon MKVI is the world’s first Rebreather for recreational divers the first true technological breakthrough in diving decades, it’s a game changer. “Imagine being a part of the underwater world. Where the marine life sees you as a guest and not a strange and noisy intruder. Without bubbles and with the ability to stay as long as it’s worthwhile." That is what modern Rebreather diving is all about. Say goodbye to long and tedious procedures. Say goodbye to hour long, complex preparations. Let the modern marvels do all that for you. Now you can have all benefits of Rebreather diving without the old hassles that come with it. Participate, enjoy and observe, don´t disturb Poseidon Seminar & Try Dives- Koh Tao, Thailand - Monday 24th September 2012 - Poseidon Seminar – 20.30 (8.30pm) -at  Vibe Bar (Mae Haad)- “EVERYONE WELCOME” Free Buffet - Seminar to be hosted by Mr. Kevin Black. Try Dives to take place over the 25th/26th June at the Regal Hotel Pool Mae Haad (back of the police Station) – prior bookings required. If you need any further information please don’t hesitate to contact Big Blue Tech.

Blimey Crikey... we got more job employment opportunities coming through our door than you can shake a shark at right now! All our contacts from areas all over the world are contacting us trying to see if we can help find the right people to fill the jobs they have available! I got jobs for Free Divers, Dive Leaders, Instructors, Operations Managers, Dive Technicians even cooks needed! We got Free Divers needed in Dubai right now. I got jobs in Auckland, Brisbane, Mozambique, The Maldives, Phuket, India & the Andaman Islands! I need all sorts of Languages if you got them even german needed here on Koh Tao. I got management jobs needed in Australia, Fiji & New Zealand. I need crew for Liveaboards departing from the Similans in Thailand & Indo, & the Andaman & Nicobar Islands & I need a Dive technician in Hong Kong! Please note all applicants must be SSI Trained! For more info contact us or send us your CV's to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The leaders in Dive Professionalism!

“A blinder at BB”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor September 14, 2012 - Had a barnstorming time completing the PADI Open Water at The Big Blue. They offer an extremely professional diving experience and look after their new brothers and sisters in the evening! Very much a family atmosphere. My instructer was Mikey Roper, and made the whole thing easy and fun, which diving should be. Saw amazing things, learnt amazing skills, had an amazing time. The pizzas are on me next time, Mikey! :) 

Friday 14th September 2012-

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Absolutely awesome to have a shark attack victim from Adelaide Australia come here to learn to dive & face the Bullsharks we got here at Chumphon at the moment! Dean Brougham was attacked by a Shark in a River in South Australia on a fishing trip. Having been attacked in the water Dean repeatedly punched the shark in the face till it let him go! With bite marks on his leg & a scratch or 2 on his knuckles Dean survived what must have been a terrifying encounter... for the shark! So word is out, here in the Koh Tao shark world that that chap who punched that Pointer in South Australia a little while ago is here & that the shark population better watch out for this crazy Aussie fishermen with titanium plated knuckles!

I think its fair to say that over the next 3 or 4 days we can be expecting some pretty crappy weather! We got 20+knot winds, 19mm of rain & 1.5 meter waves! But not to worry, this is Koh Tao! Whenever the weather is kicking in on the West side of the island is when we head out for the shelter of the divesites on the west of the island. SO its Laem Thien Caves for Sharks & Hin Wong for turtles! Last one ins a wet blanket!

“Great place to learn how to dive!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor September 12, 2012 - Amazing place to learn how to dive. Have just completed my SSI open water training (BB does PADI as well) and had amazing time. Really nice and relaxed atmosphere. Big blue has a great set up right on sairee beach and excellent facilities for teaching. Would really recommend tracking down Luke White our instructor as he was so good! Likes to teach in a relaxed style so you relax and learn fast while making sure you are competent to leave being able to dive well and safely but get the most out of the diving while you're down there. Very sad to leave - would love to have stayed for the advanced. Ps we got a decent room free for the full four nights of our course.

Thursday 13th September 2012-

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 So then people!! The chaps at Big Blue Tech are thinking of putting together an Angthong Marine Park trip around the 19th of September. I know its short notice but quite a lot of people have been asking for this. With accommodation and 5-6 dives weather depending its looking around 5500 baht. The finer details are still being ironed out just need to know the level of interest really. Maximum we can take is around 15 people but if the interest is higher then maybe we can look at a bigger boat. Lets hear your thoughts people!!!!!!!!!!!! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Can you hear it? No? Neither can I, but I assure you it is happening. Tragically and silently, human carelessness results in precious marine life being killed by man-made waste in the ocean…every day. So on behalf of the ocean we ask for your help: because together we can stop this silent killer before it is too late. We need people like you, people who care about the ocean, to take a stand with us! In today’s “throw-away” society, it is all too easy to forget that we are drowning the ocean planet in our trash like plastic bottles and bags: plastics that never biodegrade in the ocean and instead break down into even smaller pieces that remain a danger to marine animals that mistake them for food. The impact is both massive and horrific, and we urgently need your help to stop this. Please offer your support for our weekly Beach & Land clean up meeting every Saturday from 10am at our Big Blue Conservation Eco Shack. Or for more details please write to Eco Jen on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Think Globally, Act Locally!

“Quality!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on trip Advisor September 12, 2012 - My first taste of diving and it was great! 2 Dutch lads and myself did the padi open water with rich as our instructor. Literally couldnt have asked for more! Top instructor for teaching and for post-dive banter! The 3 of us loved it so much we went on to do the advanced course with Rich and we even got a couple others to join aswell. Even though we had black tip reef sharks on one of our dives, the turtle swimming up past me on the night dive was definitely the highlight. Can honestly say this was the best experience of my life and when the cash comes in I'll be back to koh tao and to big blue for more unreal diving!

Wednesday 12th September 2012-

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Talk of the town is still all these Bull Sharks at Chumphon & Sail Rock. Sail Rock especially seems to be heaving in Bulls right now. Very few places in the world where you actually get to dive with Bull sharks in a  safe environment. If you go diving in Florida where the water temperature is a lot cooler then you wouldn't be quite as eager as you are here to jump in the water. But here the water temperature is a good 8-10 degrees warmer which apparently makes the shark more docile! Well so far at least. But you know there's always a first time. First person to get bitten by a Bull Shark? My money is on Bufton! After all you can hardly blame a shark for mistaking a sloth for a seal!

“Amazing - highlight of our trip!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor September 11, 2012 - We planned to come to Koh Tao to do a fun dive and move on after a few days. Ended up staying with Big Blue for 9 days and did both our open water and advance diving course! The room was great value for money (especially as you get a discount rate for every day that you dive with Big Blue) clean and had a lovely view over Sairee beach. Big blue 2 (where we stayed) had a more family friendly feel about it where as Big blue 1 was more lively and had a great bar and restaurant. However, the restaurant staff were pretty useless and you do have to order your food a few times before you actually get it (but this seems to be customary all over Thailand and was just funny by the end of the week!). The beach BBQ was fantastic. Our dive group had 5 learners and one instuctor, who by the way deserves a special mention. Ludo was absolutely fantastic and really made the trip for us! After completing our advanced course we stayed and did a fun dive with a DMT and it wasn't half as good as diving with Ludo! Can't wait to come back, I would really recommend this dive school and location for anyone thinking about heading to Koh Tao!
 

There comes a time in every mans life when they must make that choice & take that step from girly Shack Bitch to manly BSAC Dive Instructor & today is that day for Big Blue Tech Shopgirl Bryan Maclean. Today Bryan starts his training for the BSAC Instructor with BSAC Instructor Trainer Les Skelton & his beautiful assistant BSAC Instructor Trainer in Training training Big Blue Tech Manager James Foleherelehereher! Good luck Bryan. Lets hope those long hours making James coffees & scones, scrote shots, back rubs, ironing his shirts, running his baths, & tucking him into bed at night counts for something eh!

Tuesday 11th September 2012-

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"So it's been a week since I last dived at Big Blue and I most definitely am still sulking and frankly am planning my return. Had the most fantastic 56 dives with you and would like to say a HUGE thank you to Darren, Steven, Regi, Jamcam, Greg and everyone else involved. Would highly recommend the eco diving with Jamcam, gave diving a whole new purpose and dimension mixing immense amounts of fun with learning about the fish, reefs and eco projects which Big Blue run, extremely valuable in helping maintain and enhance the future of the marine life around Koh Tao. Thanks once again Big Blue, and hope to see you again very soon :)  Laura x

With sighting after sighting of Bull Sharks at Chumphon Pinnacle and Sail Rock. There has been a lot of bull going around about them. We wer lucky enough to have these wonderful sharks for many years back in the early 2000s & it was only after a few years of seeing them everyday that someone said they were not Grey Reef Sharks but Bull Sharks. Are they back or does the Gulf of Thailand have what it takes to attract not just Whale Sharks but the Bulls to. Koh Tao is famous for great Instructor Training and the perfect condition that make it one of the best place in the world to learn to dive. But now with regular sighting of Whale Sharks and the Bulls back will it become the new Stuart Cove, Bahamas??

Well the word is out. I got to be honest it took a while, almost 9 months actually but finally we know we've succeeded in making our Restaurant at Big Blue 2 a royal gastronomic experience. I mean that quite literally as we were graced with the presence of about 20 policemen, 20 Body guards & about a further 20 or so groupies who all chose to feast at Big Blue 2 restaurant last night with the Cousin of the King of Thailand! All held in complete secrecy, so secret in fact that the Royal Party completely forgot to tell us! So at 5 o'clock last night I think its fair to say we experienced a rather controlled fit of complete panic & terror when the Cheif of Police in Koh Tao came by to break the news that he was closing our restaurant off to the public & that we had less than 2 hours to prepare dinner for a member of the Thai Royal Family & 50 or so of their entourage! All things considered I think we did pretty well & that her Highness had a ball! Couldn't be talked into her Open Water but we might still get a DSD out of her!

Monday 10th September 2012-

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Just another Monday Morning Koh Tao style! Get up. Roll off the bed kick open the bungalow door stretch & enjoy the million Dollar view from the balcony. Then its commute to work. Shouldn't take more than 5 mins to walk down the beach to Big Blue & then its get your kit ready, order a quick brekki & its off on the boat for 2 dives. First Dive six meter Whaleshark! The Worlds biggest fish! Second Dive 25m visibility over the Sattakut Wreck. Koh Tao's newest shipwreck! Fish & Ships! Just another Monday morning!

“Excellent diving school in Koh Tao”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor September 4, 2012 - Passed my open water with big blue on mid August, thanks to Anke and Donny- who were great fun, relaxed, very helpful and reassuring. It was a fun course and got taken to some great dive spots. The whole feeling of the place was really nice and communal - the bar was a great place for a beer at the end of a days diving. And you get offered a film made of you and your fellow divers doing your last 2 dices, which initially sounds quite naff, but is well edited and actually really good- well worth having. Thanks big blue can't wait to do my advanced!

In the interests of being the Worlds leading Diver Training Scuba Center our Big Blue Instructor Training Team comprising of Asia's Leading SSI Instructor Trainer Certifier SSImon Garrity, & Sarah JeSSIca Parker Lookalike Paul 'Tosh' Tanner have organised a very special Big Blue Divemasters & Instructors in Training Liveaboard Expedition to the wonderful Similan & Surin Islands. Four days & nights of eating sleeping diving & island hopping. Encounters with creatures as large as Whale sharks & Mantas, to little toenail size Durban Shrimp & ornate Ghost Pipefish. 5 Star Service, 4 nights of heaven, 3 days in which to reserve your spot, 2 good an opportunity to miss out on & 1 hell of an idiot if you do! Big Blue Liveaboards. Just another reason to dive Thailand with Big Blue Diving!

 Friday 7th September 2012-

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Still to be 100% confirmed as we have as yet still not got a photo but the rumours are coming from fairly reliable sources that we have a new visitor to the island! A new breed of shark to Koh Tao! Some of our DM's Instructors & our Japanese staff all came across a Lemon Shark yesterday at Shark Island. If its true then this will be awesome news for our launching of our SSI Shark Specialty Courses. Whalesharks, Bull Sharks, Black Tip Reef Sharks, Grey Nurse Sharks & now Lemon sharks! Any correlation do you reckon between the increase in Shark sightings & the decrease in the demand for Shark Fin soup? Me thinks maybe. Me hopes so!

“open water/advace diving courses”  Reviewed n Trip Advisor- I have to thank Richard Todd from Big Blue for helping me get through what for me was one of my biggest fears.I stayed on Koh Tao for 6 weeks and took an open water course and failed. A month later I gave it another try with Rich. He has so much energy and is full of enthusiasm which gave me the confidence and courage to see it through till the end.Then I even took the advance course as we all had such a good time. He made a great change in my life and I wish him a great future. Thank you so much. Sophia x

 

Well its been a busy week with Birthdays, Snorkel tests, Leaving do's, welcome back parties & the Full Moon Party Rush. And of course it would all come just as the weather takes a turn for the worse! Terrible conditions on the west side of Koh Tao with 2-3 meter waves & some real strong gusts of wind. No fun whatsoever, but having said that the more adventurous among us were able to get to Sail Rock yesterday & dive in 20+ meters of viz surrounded by Bullsharks so close you could kiss them... if you were a little bit dumb in the head! But good news is that the crap weather is over & the nice weather is back! Jumpers off people! Swimmers on! Last one in's a Sucker Fish!

Updated Tuesday 4th September 2012- 4

World Class Diving conditions here in Koh Tao at the moment especially at Sail Rock, the Gulf of Thailand's Number 1 Divesite. Two whalesharks seen here yesterday as well as about 25+ Bullsharks & 1 mother shark with 4 of her pups swimming alongside her! Water clarity is more than 20 meters & there's also an enormous school of little yellow tails there as well. So for 3800 Bt you get 1 trip, 2 whalesharks, 3 meals, 4 Bullshark pups, at least 5 bullsharks & a Partridge in a pear tree!

“Big Blue-Best experience of my life!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor September 2, 2012- My boyfriend and I just got our open water qualification from Big Blue (30th August) and we absolutely loved it, I didn't want to leave! The place is amazing, right on the beach, and the dive sights are wicked. Everyone is really friendly and it's a really fun place to be. Our instructor, Luke White, is what really made the experience great, cannot say enough good things about him to be honest! He is really funny, kind and calm, explaining everything clearly, making sure everyone is comfortable and always looking out for the group. At one point I panicked a bit (inhaled water up my nose,oops!) but Luke helped get my breathing back under control and never criticised or commented if we did anything wrong. Another time I couldn't get my ears to pop and had to start the dive again which really frustrated me, but Luke reassured me and told me to take it slowly and concentrate on myself, and eventually I managed to get them under control and had a great dive. Love Luke, he's the boss!! Will hopefully go back soon to do the advance (can we have Luke please :-)?!) Advise everyone to dive here, I miss it already!! 
 
 And its hats off to our three Employees of the month who walk away with 10000 Bt between them to go spend on Drugs Alcohol & Women! Our Best Employee of the month & a cash prize of 5000 Bt goes to Eco Jen for organising a Charity event which raised over 120000 Bt which will be used in a Shark tagging initiative she has organised with the Pattaya Aquarium. Second most valued member of staff for the month of August 2012 goes to Tosh who put together South East Asia's biggest SSI Instructor Training Course when he taught 6 of our candidates how to prepare themselves for the fun that is being a Scuba Diving Instructor. And 3rd place with 2000 Bt goes to our Boat boys who've been slogging away day & night prepping boats & pumping tanks till late in the night to make sure that things go smoothly for everyone on tomorrows dives. So thank you all of you for your hard work & hope that this little way of showing our appreciation for the way you work means you'll all vote for me next month! ;-)

Saturday 1st September 2012-

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 Congratulations to Jay, Rae, Amy, Ant, Ne Tun, & Bobby for passing your SSI Instructor Exams. You are now all legally certified Scuba Instructors! Congratulations all for becoming fully qualified beach bums! From this day forward may you always earn a living in your boardies & bikinis & feel the pleasure of sand beneath your toes, the visual surprises of the underwater world & the empowering sense of satisfaction & fulfillment at introducing others to the joy that is ... Scuba Diving! Anyone else fancy whiling away your hours earning a living on a tropical island? Change your life! Dive into something different This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What a successful trip that was! Always a winner these Full Day Trips to Sail Rock! & yesterday was no exception with reports of 20+ Bullsharks being seen at Sail Rock & a Grey Reef Shark being seen by all at Shark Island. Exciting stuff & due to popular demand we'll be running another one in just 2 days. 3 dives breakfast, lunch, softdrinks & Chocolate Cake! What a way to spend the day! Bikini wearing weather Chocolate cake & sharks, and a cold tinnie or 2 on the trip home! Could life be any better?

So as of last month we are introducing the Big Blue Employee of the month award & are giving 5000 Bt to the person Big Bossman Jim, Instructor Iain & Shopgirl Jess feel contributed to another extremely successful month. And seeing as its an Olympic Year we thought we'd give a Second & Third place prize too of 3000 Bt 2000 Bt respectively. The nominees are in the winners will be announced over the next couple of days... or as soon as Jim Iain & Jess get off their lazy arses & sort it out!

October 2012

Wednesday 31st October 2012- 

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In the spirit of Halloween I plan on writing a book full of unbelievable scuba diving yarns, jaw dropping stories, unconventional wisdom, stupid diver stunts, mystery, murder, intrigue, weird tales, insightful articles, and stories no other publication would dare touch. A Giant moray bites off a PADI Divemaster's finger . . . the stupidest thing anyone has ever done while feeling the effects of Nitrogen Narcosis... A woman wakes up to find one of the boat boys on her Liveaboad lying naked on top of her... Face to face encounters underwater with Polar Bears, Salt water Crocodiles, Anaconda's. What happened when a Florida Liveaboard found  bundles of cocaine floating on the surface. An Instructor takes his Deep Dive student down a further 30 meters deeper than planned! A diver commits suicide underwater rather than run out of air. A cockroach in your reg & a centipede in your Wetsuit. I reckon I'm onto a winner! Its not exactly the sort of thing you'd tell your Open Water Course or put on the front page of your Scuba Dive Resort website but I reckon I might get a few beers out of it! Not so many new divers maybe, but a few beers! Happy Halloween.

“Hooked in for the ITC!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Avisor October 28, 2012 - Instructor Training Course is what it is and one hell of a way to taking the next step for my career choice! in 2011 i was traveling through Thailand as a backpacker and found this little island called Tao(koh tao) and boy it hooked me in! combining beautiful beaches great food and people like the staff i have come to love at big blue this is a magical bubble and i love every minute of it. and so after going home for over a year i woke to the realization that i want to be a professional diver so off i went back to koh tao and to learn to become a Dive control specialist which turned out to be 3mths of blissful diving, learning and having fun with new people, well i decided i wanted more and so after a few mths back home i saved some money packed my bags and told my teachers to watch out im coming back to pester them for a few more mths and become a Instructor.The ITC was my biggest challenge yet in my life and with Tosh And Simo Teaching me i had the best help i could imagine ever having, these two Instructor Trainers have the Experiences, the skill and the patience of what i believe truly makes a great teacher they are a great part of the big blue team and i hope they keep up all the good work they do for every new student that comes through -Reece Jones.
 
 
Just a little disappointed to not find any paparazzi outside my house this morning! To not be mobbed as I walked down the street by autograph hunters. To not see any topless photos of myself spread across the local papers. To not get any offers in the mail for their exclusive rights to next months OK Magazine or FHM! To not have to drive my Honda Dream through the streets of Koh Tao at 90 miles an hour with police escort! To not have to run through the hordes of  screaming teenage girls as they try to tear off my Y-fronts & grab tufts of chest hair! I just can't help feeling that my new found celebrity stardom isn't quite what I thought it was going to be! Come on SSI. A Platinum Pro 5000 Card is one thing. But where are all my hordes of  back stage groupies? Other than Tosh & Simon who have only just managed to lift their chins off the floor!

Tuesday 30th October 2012-

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The SSI Platinum Pro5000 Diver card is the calling card of the world’s most elite water explorers. What makes the SSI Platinum Pro5000 Diver award so special is that it’s all about diving. The unsung dive master on any island and Jacques Cousteau earned their cards the same way—by diving 5,000 times. It documents the dedication and commitment of diving’s pioneers and industry-makers. Scuba Schools International is proud that the sport’s most elite people carry the SSI Platinum Pro5000 Diver card. Many Pros have confided that it’s the first diving credential they ever received…and their favorite! The list of cardholders is a “who’s who” of diving, containing the world’s most prominent dive leaders, scientists, photographers, manufacturers, retailers, and now... Big Blue Diving's own Jim Donaldson!

“Open Water @ Big Blue with Jo - AMAZING!!!”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor October 26, 2012-We had booked Big Blue before arriving on Koh Tao based on great reviews and recommendations! Unfortunately there was a mix up with the driver and no one had come to receive us at the pier, Big Blue upgraded our room to compensate which was absolutely wonderful of them! The resort itself is beachfront and picturesque, stunning sunsets and sunrises! We REALLY wanted to complete our Open Water SSI course, but were on a tight schedule and didn't have the full 3 1/2 days to spend on the island, Big Blue went out of their way to accommodate our schedule, they gave us a private instructor and designed a fast track course for us!! The course itself was wonderful, couldn't have imagined a better experience! Big Blue is a large diving school with all the of the big school resources, yet each student gets personalized instruction as the teacher-to-student ratio is very small. The instructors are all very experienced, we were lucky to be paired with Jo Prickett! Her love and enthusiasm for diving was obvious, she was always upbeat, optimistic and excited about each dive we went on. This was our first time diving and she was a WONDERFUL instructor!! Very knowledgeable, informative, supportive, patient and FUN! She helped us choreograph our Open Water video, which turned out absolutely awesome!! (p.s. Jo- JUMP ON ITTTT). Overall we couldn't have asked for a better Open Water experience or instructor. Jo we can't thank you enough for making our first dives and trip to KohTao an unforgettable experience!! Hope to return as dive master one day :)- Smiti & Sonal
 
 
Did you know that on Koh Tao alone this year the SSI Ecological program (soon to be replaced by Mission Deep Blue) has raised 137 thousand bht or 4500 dollars in just 10 months! Now that is a sustainable program SSI are proud to be part of and includes funding for: Buoyancy world, Bio Rock, Coral nursery School based Programs, EMP Programs. That is without the separate donations we have made to initially get these programs of the ground.Or the international sharkproject. Thanks to you all for your efforts, wait till 2013 we are going to rock the environment gangman style!
 

Monday 29th October 2012-

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Organizing another awesome underwater adventure around the best divesites in the South East Asia area. This is going to be a road trip like no other! Its going to include a liveaboard around the Similans & Surin Islands, a few long tail dives off the coast an hour or so north of Phuket checking out a few wrecks there. Its going to include the American Submarine the Legarto, discovered just recently but beleived to be one of the last downed Subs of the Second World War. It's going to include one of the most infamous Second World War wrecks ever the HMS Repulse which along with her consort HMS Prince of Wales was sunk by Japanese aircraft on 10 December 1941 just 3 days after Pearl Harbour, when they attempted to intercept landings in Malaysia. This is truely a trip of a lifetime! Times & dates & costs are all to be worked out so this is just a heads up but if you are interested in more news on it then do please get in touch with the boys in the Tech shack who'll keep you posted. The more the merrier & cheaper! contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“ITC at Big Blue”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor October 26, 2012 - I came to Big Blue to do my open water with SSI and I fell so in love with diving and the feel of it that I never left - I just finished doing my instructor training course with Simo and Tosh. It was an amazing experience, I felt extremely prepared for my Instructor Exam, and we all passed with flying colours thanks to our two IT's. I have never enjoyed anything remotely like school until I did the ITC - to be able to learn so much about diving, and to learn how to get other people involved was incredible. Everything they teach you resonates even after you finish the course and start instructing for real. It was hard work, no doubt about it, but it really pays off and you feel so much more confident in yourself as a diver afterwards. Simo and Tosh offer constructive advice to achieve the results that you want, and they really know what they are talking about, having worked alongside SSI while on the island. As for Big Blue, so many months there have given me some of the best times of my life - I am so appreciative of everyone who works there, because they work so hard to produce confident, self-reliant divers, but also because they really embrace everyone into the family that is Big Blue. The staff are amazingly friendly, and I am lucky enough to call them my friends. I would, and do, recommend Big Blue to anyone coming to Koh Tao to dive as you will not find another experience like it, whether you're starting from the beginning or ready to take the leap into instructing. Thank you for everything Big Blue!! xxxxx Becky 
 
So as the monsoon draws ever nearer... apparently... you should be aware that the conditions here in Koh Tao do go a little crappy. So its in November & December we recommend you consider a Liveaboard holiday & who better to choose your Liveaboard through than us! After all we operate one of the countries finest boats MV Halleluja, previously known as the Viking of the Orient. This is one of our more upmarket Liveaboards we offer but we do have Backpacker boats as well in the form of  the Manta Queens 1 & 2. So if you are looking for a nice 4 day 4 night scoff your face full dive your heart out cruise through the 9 beautiful Similan Islands & Surin Islands including the countries very best 3 dive sites Richelieu Rock, Koh Tachai & Koh Bon then send us an email & we'll make sure you get the holiday of a life time. Just let me know when you want to go between the months of November & April! Look forward to hearing back from you again soon!

Saturday 27th October 2012- 

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Despite monsoon season looming ever closer, the diving has never been more glorious. We are still enjoying crystal clear calm waters and sunny weather, but on top of that, how about adding 3 whalesharks spotted at Chumphon recently? Yes please! To have so many whalesharks in close proximity to our reefs means only one thing - that our reefs are producing alot of food for these massive creatures. Usually preferring the solitary life, whalesharks are known to school only when there is high productivity in an area, such as Ningaloo reef in Australia and our very own Chumphon Pinnacle! Whalesharks feed primarily on plankton, with over 8,000 bristle-like teeth filtering the waters for these tiny tasty treats. Whalesharks are thought to detect areas with high productivity (high amounts of plankton) through chemical sensing. Sharks have 2 extra senses than us - the jelly-like filled channels in their nose known as the Ampullae of Lorenzini detect electircal pulses in the water and are used to locate food, mates and danger. They also have sensitised lateral lines - two lines that run either side of the whalesharks body which help detect movement in the water. Although we know this, we still don't fully understand these huge beauties, such as where they reproduce. There is a lot of research still being conducted on whalesharks, some of which we contribute to here with our Eco arm Big Blue Conservation. Pretty cool huh? And you can see these Whalesharks in all their glory at Chumphon right now!

“Best Dive School You Can Imagine!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor October 26, 2012- A personable, professional, and fun staff make this one of the best experiences I have had in my life - all while technically being in school! Yes, there is homework to be Scuba certified, yes there are very early mornings, but the instructors, the fellow students, the location, and the diving all make it more than worthwhile. I couldn't recommend anywhere more highly. Chloe was my instructor and if you have the opportunity to be in her class, be prepared for an even more amazing experience! Thanks Big Blue, I hope to come back soon! 
 
Koh Tao weather forecast. Bright & Sunny. No clouds. No wind. No waves. No rain! Just nothing but pure, shiney, unadulterated sun! Its gonna be hot hot hot too! Good if you're with a woman! Not if you're in the jungle! & if you are in the jungle & you are a nice-looking woman I would ask that you wear only a thin shirt and that the shirt get all torn up on brambles and things as you go. That would be great. Likewise Divers! Hot sticky good looking divers! Wear that thin torn up shirt you wore in the jungle! It helps save on laundry during the dry spells & the other divers in your group will appreciate it more! & thats your weather forecast for Koh Tao! Have a great weekend!

Friday 26th October 2012-

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Wrapping up another very successful week at Big Blue we ended up whipping the gang at Scuba Junction at the Koh Tao trapeze! Our staff whizzed through the air like the legendary flying Wallenda's family! Well we flew gracefully till Big Blue Tech Donny twatted the back of his head on the standing platform & then DM Darren & Instructor Iain gave their best impressions of flying elephants, & wrapped up nicely by Inst Rich's Superman impression! An excellent night had by all & special thanks to Nat & the team at  Scuba Junction for letting us whip you nicely & Gemma for organising the event. http://flyingtrapezeadventures.com well worth a visit on your next visit to Koh Tao.

5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor- I first travelled to koh tao a little over 2 years ago and completed my PADI open water course @ another Dive Resort on Koh Tao while i had fun and enjoyed my stay it was the staff that make the difference. One certain character that i now have a life long friendship with was Richard Todd, and because of this i returned to koh tao to do my advanced open water with one condition that Richy was my instructor, as well recommending him to many of my friends who have completed courses under his guidance. The advanced was alot of fun and well worth doing as an add on to your open water ! Fast forward a year and i knew i would be back, only to find that Richy had moved dive schools down to BIG BLUE (upper upper case) and it didn't take long to see why !!! The atmosphere and location of the place is simply brilliant and couldn't be positioned anywhere better. The staff were great and the food is delicious not to mention the various options of accommodation. On orientation my friends whom i was travelling with were offered an option of doing their course either under padi or SSI, they were given an option after being equally represented and after considering the extra cost for a PADI book that i no longer know where mine is and the flexibility of the SSI course they decided to go with SSI, which turned out to be exactly what they were after. We were lucky enough to have two instructors on our course the first being the amazing Rich and his instructor intern Becky. Both of them were extremely fun and professional and I will continue to recommend that people dive with BIG BLUE and ask for Rich and Becky, and dive under the organisation of SSI. After doing my training under padi and accompanying my friends on every dive of their SSI open/advanced course I much preferred the SSI way of doing things, it is more flexible and appropiate for learning how to dive on a truly magificent island. 10 out of 10 !!!!! Big thanks to BIG BLUE (upper upper case :)) and Rich and Bec's, see you when i return!!!!!!!! 
 
Free Nitrox Course!!! for the best photo sent in between now & the end of the year of you in your Big Blue Diving T-shirt taken somewhere exciting & original. Doesn't matter where you are or what else you're wearing just make sure we can tell its one of Big Blue shits whether its Big Blue Diving, Big Blue Tech or Big Blue Conservation. Once you got your photo please put it up on our Facebook page & the winner will be decided by the most amount of likes you get. Looking forward to seeing you all in your Big Blue Clobber shortly!

Wednesday 24th October 2012-

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Despite the rain its still amazing, (world class in fact) Scuba Diving with 3 Whalesharks being spotted at the same time in the same location! Man that Chumphon Pinnacle truely is an awesome Dive site! & one of  the sharks appears to be an unidentified Whaleshark according to www.whaleshark.org so we have decided to name it & adopt it for ourselves! "Lulu" the Whaleshark. 4 meters long, with a distinct black spot on her tailfin. Weren't able to identify its gender but having got our in House Marine Biologists Jen & Jam-cam to check the photos it appears we have ourselves a girl! Hence the female name! Named after my daughter no less. :-) Want to name or adopt your own Whaleshark? Have a look at www.whaleshark.org a visual database of whale shark (Rhincodon typus) encounters and of individually catalogued whale sharks.

“Big blue is for you”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on trip Advisor October 20, 2012 - Week long diving trip to get my advanced water ticket, stoked the whole time, big blue crew are awesome and made my stay on the wonderful island of Koh Tao one to remember. Advanced to beginner should check in with Big Blue, good times can't wait to get back, say G,day to Pong at Big Blue 2 Bar!!!!
 
There's rumours circulating of a White tip reef shark being spotted at Green Rock yesterday! In fact there's photographic proof. So lets recap shall we. Bull sharks at Sail Rock & Chumphon. Whalesharks at Southwest, Sail Rock & Chumphon. Blacktips at Laem Thien & Buddha Point & now a White tip at Green Rock. All we need now is the return of the Grey Reefs at Chumphon & the Leopard Sharks at Aow Leuk & Shark Island & we'll have got the whole band back together!  Congratulations everyone. Saying no to Shark fin soup is definitely having an effect! Now lets see if we can't save a few more dolphins & Whales eh!

Tuesday 23rd October 2012-

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Ok... now hypothetically speaking... lets say you ran a bar. & in that bar you are selling 9 Pepsi's to 1 Coke. Would you expect Coke to throw their toys out the pram & demand their Cokes back & ban you from selling any more Cokes? Or would you reckon Coke would pop round furnish you with promotional glasses, mirrors, stickers, labels, posters, t-shirts etc & sit down & ask you "What is it we can do to help you sell more Cokes?" I mean really. Wouldn't you reckon that would be the better more professional way to run the  business? You know PADI, hypothetically speaking!

“Excellent Dive School, Talented Instructors”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor - I just spent the last 4 days doing the refresher and advanced dive courses at Big Blue on Koh Tao. My experience has been superb. I did a refresher course with Jade because it had been over a year since I last dove. I am really glad I did this because it helped me feel very comfortable with the basics before doing my advanced. Jade was amazing. She was so good at explaining things and helping me feel at ease in the water after a long absence from diving. I've dove with instructors in America, Austrailia, and Belize and the instructors at Big Blue are by far the best I've ever encountered. Jade helped me perfect my buoyancy and was extremely attentive to me underwater, making sure I was comfortable the whole time. She also was very good at identifying fish and other interesting things underwater.I did my Advaced Adventure Diver Certification with Billy Cloud. It was incredible. I highly recommend doing not just and Open Water, but also an Advanced course. We did 5 dives together and with each dive, Billy introduced new skills and challenges to help me learn more about navigation, sea life, safety, buoyancy control, breathing techniques and Oxygen conservation, using dive computers, diving in difficult conditions such as low/no visability, wrecks, and at night. Even though I was diving in novel situations, I never felt uncomfortable because Billy was very attentive and did an excellent job preparing me for what to expect. Big Blue offers free/cheap accommodation while you are getting certified/diving. It's not the most luxurious in Koh Tao, but not worth complaining about (ahem past reviewers). They also have some newer and nicer bungalows at their second location up the beach that are more on the high end if that's your thing. We stayed in the fan/no hot water private room and it was comfortable and clean. The atmosphere at the school/bar/restaurant is so much fun. I loved meeting people from all over the globe, eating the excellent food (with HUGE portions) and watching fire-dancing shows every evening. Enthusiastic recommendation to choosing Big Blue for your diving/certification needs on Koh Tao. And also a big thanks to Jade and Billy for bringing my diving to the next level. You two rock! 
 
 So yesterday there was a total of 5 Whalesharks swimming around Koh Tao that we know about! There was 2 Whale sharks seen at Sail Rock, 1 Whaleshark at Southwest Pinnacle & another 2 at Chumphon Pinnacle! In fact once we realised in the morning that there were 2 Whalesharks at Chumphon we sent an afternoon trip out there as well & everyone got to see 2 more! Hows that for customer service. I really reckon we should employ those Whalesharks. They made us a fortune yesterday! Way more than if we'd chopped them up & made soup out of them!

Sunday 21st October 2012-

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Bullsharks still cruising around the rocks & pinnacles at Sail Rock & yesterday there were 2 Whalesharks  hanging out there as well, & this morning we've just been radioed again to be told that there is another Whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle as well! Its only 4 meters long but thats ok! An encounter with any animal that is 4 meters large is still going to be an experience you'll treasure for a lifetime! And not forgetting the meter long Cobia hanging on to the Whalesharks & the big typhoon of Big Eyed Jacks, the Wall of Barracuda & the massive school of inquisitive Batfish, the 30 degree water temperature & the 20 meter visibility! It's a hard job this but you know, someone's got to do it & if you aint going to pull your finger out & have a go then it may as well be me!

“Excellent First Diving Experience” -5 of 5 stars Reviewed on trip Advisor - I Went to Big Blue to complete my SSI Open Water course in early October based on a friend’s recommendation. Big Blue far exceeded my expectations. On arrival, the staff was very friendly and provided us with accommodation in a beachside bungalow, free of charge, while we attended the course. While everyone at Big Blue was very helpful, our dive instructor Chloe went above and beyond to make sure that we were totally comfortable with our experience. I was quite apprehensive about diving but after a day of training in the pool with Chloe, all of my fears were gone. Her instructions were clear, concise, and presented in a way that was fun and easy to understand. The diving was incredible. We were briefed before every dive so that everyone was comfortable and knew what was going on at all times. The dive prep was very thorough and at no time did I feel unsafe. We had such a great time in the open water course that we decided to continue on with Chloe and get our Advanced Open Water certification as well.Thanks to Big Blue and Chloe for making my first experience diving one I’ll never forget!
 

I've never seen so many Job opportunities in Scuba Diving for SSI Dive Professionals in all my days of diving! Seems like the opportunities in diving lie very much now with the SSI Instructor. Ooh how the tide has turned! Fantastic if you are already SSI, not so great if you are only a PADI Instructor but don't despair as it only takes 3 days to Crossover & become an SSI Instructor if you are only PADI already. So for those interested we have Instructor jobs in Greece, Brazil, in Sydney Australia we're looking for an SSI Instructor to lead Shark Diving Specialty courses & Intros at the Manly Sea Life Center. We need Dive Leaders for various Liveaboards best one being in Cost Rica, cruising the Cocos Islands, A videographer in the Philipines & here in Thailand we got SSI Instructor jobs for anyone interested in working in Phi Phi Islands, Khao Lak & even here in Koh Tao! I even have 2 manager positions available one being in Bolton, UK, & the other one is for our very own Sister branch at Big Blue Diving Khao Lak! Please note for all the listed jobs above you must be SSI Instructor certified! Look here for more info or please feel free to contact us directly This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Saturday 20th October 2012-

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Between 1580 and 2011 there were 2,463 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks around the world, of which 471 were fatal. While sharks kill less than 20 people a year, they suffer greatly at human hands. Between 20 & 100 million sharks die each year due to fishing activity, according to data from the International Shark Attack File. THAT'S ABOUT 11,000 AN HOUR!!! 100 million sharks are killed each year
-by longlines, by "sport" fishermen, or by a barbaric practice known as shark finning:- Hooked sharks are hauled onto boats, their fins are sliced off while they are still alive. These helpless animals are then tossed back into the ocean where, unable to swim without their fins, they sink to the bottom & die an agonizing death... FOR SOUP!!! Obesity kills 30,000 people a year, lightning - 10,000, TEXTING - 6,000!, hippos - 2,900, airplanes - 1,200, volcanoes - 845, autoerotic asphyxiation - 600, falling out of bed - 450 just in America, bathtubs - 340, icicles - 100 just in Russia, hot dogs - 70 kids, jellyfish - 40, dogs & ants - 30+, vending machines - 13, roller-coasters - 6, SHARKS - 5!! More people die eating shark (food poisoning / choking etc) than being eaten by one! NOT end of rant, but that'll do for now.

“Awesome dives, and great atmosphere”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor - We stayed at Big blue for 7 nights, in a bungalow on the beach for 600 bath when diving and 800 when not. We had 13 dives so the price pr dive was 700 bath. The bungalow was simple and no hot water, but when you are staying about 5 meters from crystal clear water, that was fine for us. The diving at big blue was amazing, we had 8 dives with divemaster Darren, he was very enthusiastic, right from the briefing to end of dive. He also had a magic phone to call whalesharks, he was awesome :) If you have the chance, take the fullday trip to dive site sailrock, DO IT. We did it, saw a lot of bullsharks, and our divemaster Daisy took some amazing pictures of us and the bullsharks. Another great thing is that, to 1 divemaster there’s maximum 4 divers. The restaurant is cheap and serves thai food, but also great pizza and pasta. 
 
Big day for Koh Tao today! The Prime Minister is here today aswell as her entourage of over 150 policemen & 3 helicopters! Her reason for being here apart from "Meeting people, going places & doing things" is to check out the viability of opening a proper Government run hospital here! We are of course all in favour as the medical profession that exists in Koh Tao right now are slightly on the wrong side of competent. Hopefully she will approve the idea & then the rest of us will save a fortune on boat tickets to Samui to see the hospitals there. Our fingers. toes, legs & arms are crossed! Come on Khun Yingluck! Please give us Koh Tao first hospital!

Friday 19th October 2012-

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An Aesop Fable- "Once upon a time... lived a little fishy who was looking for somewhere to hang out but unfortunately there was only one club he could hang out with that made any sense & that belonged to Big Fishy. So little fishy paid his membership and became a club member at Big Fishys. But over time a couple of other clubs started opening so one day little fishy decided to have a look at the other clubs & see what they could offer. After meeting the other Club owners little fishy decided to hang out at Medium Fishy's Club as well but only on weekends. They offered the same thing as Big Fishy but for half the fish food! On weekdays little fishy hung out with Big fishy. One weekend the other little fishies who had seen how well & happy & how much fish food little fishy had been saving by not being at Big Fishy's Club came with little fishy to meet medium sized fishy & every weekend more little fishies joined medium sized fishy till one day they all started seeing medium sized fishy during the week & Big Fishy only at weekends! Big Fishy got so jealous at seeing all the little fishies having a better time with medium sized fishy & benefiting financially from the fish food they saved with medium sized fishy that Big Fishy turned around & kicked little fishy out of his club! Big fishy explained that if you went to hang out in Medium Fishy's club more than you hang out at Big Fishy's club then that was the punishment you faced! No worries thought little fishy. I like it better at the other club anyway! Gradually over time more little fishies started drawing away from Big Fishy's Club & hung out at Medium Fishy's Club! Soon Medium Fishy got so popular they had to get a bigger club & because Big fishy had become so empty & unpopular he was looking for a smaller club. Big Fishy became a sad lonely has-been who was an embarrassment to all the other Big Fishy Clubs in the sea while Medium Sized Fishy & all his little fishy friends became more & more popular, & had much more fun & earnt way more fish food than ever before... & they all lived happily ever after!" & the moral of this story is... Dive SSI!

“Awesome stay at Big Blue”  Reviewed on Trip Advisor - I want to recommend Big Blue Divers to people going to Koh Tao for diving, due to the fact that you have to dive to be accomodated at this resort. I had been looking at a lot of dive resorts befor going to thailand and Big Blue was one of them. On the boat over from Chumpon there was a guy that offered free taxi drive from the pier to Big Blue so I took that offer. The crew was really nice and helpful. I was traveling alone so I wanted to stay in the dorms with other divers. The rooms in Big Blue 2 was simple, clean and nice but no hot water(that was not a problem for me because the water was not actually cold but more like room tempered). The really good part is that the days you dive or do your divecourse you dont need to pay for the room! My dive instructors Ludo and Fin were simply amazing, they made diving easy and fun! The boats and equipment was really good standard. I loved the atmosphere at Big Blue, it was a lot of nice people, backpackers, instructors, divemasters etc. that you could hang out with at the Big Blue restaurant after a day of diving. It was a lot of pubs, restaurants and night clubs close by but at Big Blue 2 you didnt hear any noise from the music so that was good when you had to go up early and dive :) Actually I was supposed to stay only 1 week at Koh Tao but I feel in love with the island and the life at Big Blue so I stayed 3 weeks until I had to leave thailand.. Im planning to go back to do my divemaster at Big Blue next year.

Congrats to SSI Instructor Trainer Paul Tosh Tanner who has just certified another 7 SSI Instructors over in Koh Phi Phi. Phi Phi Scuba, Princess Divers, Sea Frog and Viking Divers all now have SSI Instructors so when over in Khao Lak make sure you choose one of the better shops to take your Open Water Course with! Don't forget as well that from Koh Phi Phi you can dive 2 of Thailands best Dive Sites, imaginatively named Red Rock & Purple Rock, or as they are better known Hin Daeng & Hin Muang! Manta's & Whalesharks, but no Bulls! You need to come to Koh Tao to see Bull Sharks!

Thursday 18th October 2012-

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 When choosing your dive course, you can do it with many different dive organizations who all develop their own materials, standards and certifications which their instructors use to conduct the courses but who all essentially teach the same thing! You will use the same kind of equipment and see the same marine life under water. The quality of the courses strongly depends on your dive instructor and the dive school you train with. Here at Big Blue Diving, our Instructors are able to offer you courses with the three biggest Dive Organizations in the world; SSI (a German/ Australian organisation) and PADI (American) & BSAC (British). They all follow the diving standards set by the Governing body - RSTC (Recreational Scuba Training Council) meaning that knowledge and skill requirements are almost the same. In layman's terms, its like having an Australian Driving license or an English driving license. We might have taken a different test but driving the car is still the same! Certifications are interchangeable & recognised 100% throughout the world. We tend to favour SSI by about 90%. Why? Well SSI recognizes that every person has a different learning method, and they allow their instructors to plan the course with a lot of flexibility when it comes to theory, swimming pool exercises or open water exercises. PADI is too inflexible in that they have a set order in which to do the course & if you come across a skill you struggle with you can't go further until demonstrating mastery of that skill which for some can be a massive problem! Sometimes when struggling with one thing, the more one struggles the harder it gets! Given the opportunity to leave it & then come back to it later, it then becomes a breeze! In addition PADI costs more as you are forced to buy the manual which becomes an additional thing to squeeze in to your already bulging backpack & isn't terribly eco friendly. With both SSI & BSAC we lend you the manual & at the end of the course you give it back thereby saving you 800 Bt & a few more trees! Consequently over recent years the SSI certification has become increasingly more popular & therefore creating a demand for SSI Instructors! With the dramatic decline in PADI requests & the difficulty in finding work for PADI Instructors & Divemasters we believe it makes sense to do your SSI for both beginners & professionals alike. Don't you?

“Good, but don't be pressured into doing more qualifications”-4 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor - Great staff, boats and instruction although I did feel that there were a lot of people being rushed through their qualifications. If you go and do your open water, do it and then do fun dives to get experience. I met so many people who had done their open water and then advanced open water straight away but still couldn't even control their buoyancy. If they turn up at another dive center with advanced open water, it will be expected that they can look after themselves. This is more of an issue with the Padi system than Big Blue. 
 
Still heaps of Bull Sharks out & about at Sail Rock & the school of batfish is the same size that we had 10 years ago at Chumphon Pinnacle. Also large mature barracuda, as well as huge schools of yellow tails & another typhoon formation of Big Eyed Jacks, meter long Groupers, cobis and much much more. Its such an awesome Dive site & deservedly earns the reputation of being the Gulf of Thailands best Dive. Especially when there's a Whaleshark there as well! Not going to be many trips left this year as we await the mosoon conditions that should be with us in the next month or so. Better come in the shop & demand a trip there before its too late!

Wednesday 17th October 2012-

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And we're off to another flying start with another choc a bloc Instructor Training Course with SSI Instructor Trainer Simon Garrity, & staffed this time by Big Blue Tech Instructors Donny & Rick. Our other SSI Instructor Trainer Paul Tosh Tanner is away at the moment in Koh Phi Phi doing an SSI Crossover for 3 different Diveshops there. What is going on? How come SSI seem to be taking over the world at the moment? Whats happened to PADI??? They seem to have completely disappeared from the mighty force they once were? Anything to do with the fact that SSI has more job opportunities? That SSI tho offerring exactly the same internationally recognised certification as PADI are considerably cheaper? Could it be that the Instructors prefer to teach SSI as it gives their students a far more 'real' definition of what Scuba Diving is all about? That Dive shops prefer to sell SSI over PADI as the profit margin is much greater? That there is more care, direct contact & interaction between SSI & their members than with PADI? That more students are walking in the door asking for their SSI Course? Or that once certified you are issued your certification card straight away as opposed to having to wait 3 months for it to be sent out to you... sometimes! Its a no brainer. SSI are far more superior to PADI in every way, which is why we're teaching another full SSI Instructor Training Course & why we now have 2 SSI Instructor Trainers! and why 91% of our students choose to take their SSI Open Water Course, a statistic quoted to us by PADI, funnily enough! Wow! Looks like even PADI are recommending  SSI!

“Amazing diving with Big Blue”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor - I stumbled across Big Blue when I was in Koh Tao looking for a volunteering position on the island and was immediately attracted to the dive school due to the marine conservation side it had to it. A couple of days later I decided to do an eco internship with them for 6 weeks – which was absolutely phenomenal. The internship was a completely flexible course, and could be tailored to anyone’s time frame - making it a very enjoyable course to do. Not only was I diving every day, but was doing so with one of the divemasters – Jamcam - who was a Marine Biologist himself and so I was inundated with marine facts after every dive. Jen, who runs Big Blue Conservation was incredibly welcoming and she too was a fountain of knowledge! Anything you came across under water, either herself or Jamcam would be able to explain what it was and its function in the sea. It was an incredible experience to be able to go from the classroom, where we learning things like topography and different niches in the sea – to actually being able to see it in front of you under water. I cannot recommend Big Blue highly enough to anyone. Not only is it the only school on the island with a conservation side to it, but the divemasters that run the place are truly amazing and really help make everyone feel as comfortable as possible. If you’re looking for a divemaster for a fun dive, I would definitely recommend Jamcam to lead you as he will point things out that you’d never necessarily see otherwise, and will be able to put it into a marine context back on board. If you’re looking for an instructor – then Jen is the one! Her relaxed demeanour and lovely sense of humor would put anyone at ease. So without a doubt, if you get the chance, dive at Big Blue!
 
Just sent Aow Muong Boat off for her yearly touch up. A lick of paint here, a bit of spit & polish there. Some elbow grease, wax on, wax off & we should have her back in about 4 weeks time! Then we'll be sending our Mother ship, Banzai, off  for her yearly spit & polish & then just before Christmas it'll be time to send off Big Blue Tech Boat off to get Captain Dams annual laundry run taken care of! Oh the joys of monsoon!

Monday 15th October 2012- 15

Went out for another very successful Full Day Trip to Sail Rock on Saturday & saw enough Bull Sharks to warrant taking another Full Day trip to Sail Rock again this morning! Absolutely fabulous conditions. Mill pond flat, crystal clear waters & more sharks than you can shake a stick at! Only blemish on an otherwise amazing trip is that there is a big fishing net draped over the south east side of the site which  although has now been removed has caused a lot of damage including a few fish fatalities, thankfully though, no sharks!

“Super Fun: Fun Dive with Big Blue”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor - Great days in Koh Tao during Oct 3~8! We were 2 rookie divers. We just walked in, and immediately we decided to dive with Big Blue. We were not so confident about our diving experience, so we did refresher, and then fun dives. During the next 4 days, huge thanks to our DMs, Steven, Ant and Reece, also our DMT Mark, who made our trip extraordinarily fun and safe at same time. We loved Steven. We met Steven on the first day and he introduced to us about dive plans. Then we had Steven as our DM for refresher and 2 fun dives. Highly professional and interesting, Steven showed his expertise each and every time in briefing, detailing, signaling, logging, etc etc. We were always impressed by his passion for diving. All in all, awesome days with Big Blue! 
 
For your Information... the Deepest Open Circuit Scuba Die is set at 330 meters , & the deepest woman dived down to 221 meters. The deepest dive on a Rebreather or Closed circuit is 270 meters. The deepest Cave Dive is 283 meters. The longest dive in salt water is 83 hours. THe deepest Free Dive is 214 meters. The deepest wreck dive by a man is 205 meters while a womans is 160 meters & embarrassingly enough Koh Tao holds the world record for the most amount of divers in the water at the same dive at 750 people!... you know for your Information!

Saturday 13th October 2012-

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Sail Rock! A solitary rock/ pinnacle that ascends from a depth of 40 meters up to about 15 meters above the surface. Standing alone Sail Rock lies about 30 kilometers south of Koh Tao & about 15 kms' north of Koh Phangan and acts as a cleaning station, a food court & a pit stop for many travelling pelagics such as the Whaleshark, barracudas, mackerel & trevally & over recent months has become a magnet for divers as there appears to be a small group of sharks hanging out there. Bull sharks. Better go out there today & check them out!

“Great Experience thanks to awesome instructors!”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor October 9, 2012- I just returned from an amazing trip to Koh Tao. With my fellow Bangkok exchange students we made a 5 day trip to Koh Tao to get our SSI open water diving certification and a friend of us recommended us Big Blue Diving. This was for a reason. The accommodation was great, the price was good and the experience was unforgettable, because we we're with a big group (9), we're split up in two small groups to get the personal attention you deserve. But because we're friends of each other it worked out as a big group with two instructors during the activities this was possible. And gladly for us the two instructors were awesome, so twice as much fun! I can recommend Billy and Serena to everyone. They're profesional, easy going and extremely fun. It is just a matter of time before I will go back for mine Advanced course and I hope I will be in their group again!
 
 
Coral specialist & Ex Big Blue Conservationist Dr. Bert W. Hoeksema of Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, The Netherlands, recently published the description of a new coral species that lives on the ceilings of caves in Indo-Pacific coral reefs. It differs from its closest relatives by its small polyp size and by the absence of symbiotic algae, so-called zooxanthellae. Its distribution range overlaps with the Coral Triangle, an area that is famous for its high marine species richness. Marine zoologists of Naturalis visit this area frequently to explore its marine biodiversity. Reef corals in shallow tropical seas normally need the symbiotic algae for their survival and growth. Without these algae, many coral reefs would not exist. During periods of elevated seawater temperature, most reef corals lose their algae, which is visible as a dramatic whitening of the reefs, a coral disease known as bleaching. Most reef corals generally do not occur over 40 m depth, a twilight zone where sunlight is not bright anymore, but some species of the genus Leptoseris are exceptional and may even occur much deeper. At greater depths, seawater is generally colder and corals here may be less susceptible to bleaching than those at shallower depths. Despite the lack of zooxanthellae and its small size, the skeleton structures of the new species indicate that it is closely related to these Leptoseris corals, although it has not been found deeper than 35 m so far. The species is named Leptoseris troglodyta. The word troglodyta is derived from ancient Greek and means "one who dwells in holes," a cave dweller. The discovery sheds new light on the relation of reef corals with symbiotic algae. The new species has adapted to a life without them. Consequently, it may not grow fast, which would be convenient because space is limited on cave ceilings. The species description is published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Friday 12th October 2012-

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Congratulations to 5 of our brand new Open Water Divers from Burma! & all employees of Big Blue! & special thanks to Nick who just took 4 days unpaid leave to teach them! Absolutely awesome & on their last dive today they were joined by our one legged Captain of Banzai P'Piak who by the way is a certified PADI Divemaster in case you weren't aware! It appears all the boys are absolute fish & cruised through the diving side of things as well as the academics scoring a minimum score of 48 out of 50! Not bad at all! Congratulations boys! & our friends at ACE Marine are also giving them a free video of their dive today which will be aired tonight at 7.30 in the bar if anyone reckons they can make it here in time! Thanks again Nick! Awesome job!

“Experience of a life time!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor October 8, 2012 - I had planned to stay for 3 nights to try diving for the first time and finally tore myself away with both Open Water and Advanced diving certificates. I was travelling alone but soon made friends with my group and we carried on getting our advanced cert together. Everyone was friendly and our instructor was the best! Keep your deadlines open for leaving this island as exciting oppurtunities arise each day to lure you to stay (eg. Bull Shark Diving). Accomadation is basic but free while diving. If you are considering diving take my advice and try Big Blue and make sure to request Rich as your instructor, he'll take care of you above and below water and makes you feel invincible! You won't regret it, actually there's a strong possibility you won't leave the island, ever! 
 
Word of warning! Graffiti artists, sorry Graffiti arses, you are not welcome here! Last month you descrated one of our million year old Beach Rocks outside Bans & this morning I caught you red handed graffitiing  the water canal inbetween Mama & Papa O'Chai's here on Sairee Beach. You are so lucky I didn't have a camera. If I had I'd have taken your photo to the police who would have arrested you fined you over 200000 Bt in cash, made you scrub every grafitti on Koh Tao clean & then had you deported for the next 99 years! But I know who you are & what you look like & yes you orrible lil jerk I will find you & I will make you clean up your filthy mess. Vile imbecile! Have a nice day!

Thursday 11th October 2012-

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So  yesterday we saw a 2- meter whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle & today I'm handed this image from a fishing market in Vietnam! So obviously not yesterdays whaleshark but it certainly hits home when you see it live one day & then dead the next! This photo was taken form a catch of Tuna boats. Tuna. The ubiquitous, cheap, plentiful, healthy protein source that's liked by nearly everyone? No! It's an overexploited wild animal and catching them is killing the ocean!

 

“Was a great experience” -5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor October 7, 2012 - I was there in September 2012. After asking around for a day Big Blue seemed to be highly recommended. There were a few places offering cheaper courses (under 9000 baht) but I had heard not so good things about them. When I arrived i was offered free accommodation in either an a/c dorm or a fan room with a cold shower. Also had the option of other rooms at a discount. I opted for the fan room. Hot shower would have been nice as it was cloudy and rainy while I was there, but I knew what I signed up for. Rooms were cleaned regularly. Gave us the option of doing SSI or PADI, no pressure either way. Instructors were great. Did my open water with Ami and Tosh. Had a class of 5, so we got plenty of attention. Decided to stick around and do my advanced course with them as well. Had Ami and Nick as instructors with a class size of 6. All the instructors were very helpful and easy to approach. Had great senses of humour and created a very laid back, but still professional environment. Snacks and drinks were provided on the boat. Aside from some funky tacos that made me feel sick the food at the resort was good and reasonably priced. Have since done some dives in other places with other organizations and none have exceeded the experience I had with Big Blue. Highly recommended in my opinion. 
 
Flat seas, no wind, crystal clear visibility, blood red sunsets, golden sands, Bull sharks, Whalesharks, walls of Barracuda, turtles, weightlessness, stunning visuals,  29 degree water temperature, 30 degree air temperature, deserted beaches, topless sunbathers, bronzed bodies, great atmosphere, like minded people, fun courses, fantastic views, different culture, watersports galore, amazing food, cheap beers, parties, free accommodation & big bikinis everywhere! Welcome to Koh Tao!

Wednesday 10th October 2012-

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 Tis the season to be jolly tra la la la la la la la la! Whalesharks at Chumphon Pinnacle & Bull sharks at Sail Rock. This mornings big fish was just a baby too measuring only 2-3 meters depending on who you ask! Not sure quite how many more whaleshark sightings we're going to be able to squeeze in before the end of the year with Monsoon just round the corner but conditions right now are amazing so we should have at least another couple of weeks worth! That'll make 14 more whalesharks & if we see as many Bulls as we saw yesterday, another 210 Bullsahrks!

“A Safe, Fun Dive with Rich and Rae – Guaranteed!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor October 6, 2012 - For one week in September/October of 2012, we stayed and dived at Big Blue Diving. Our instructor Rich and instructor-in-training Rae both deserve FIVE GOLD STARS. We were a group of four beginners and all of us aimed for getting certified in the SSI Open Water Course, but two of us went all out and ended up getting specialty certifications (a Wreck/Nitro combo); we had to seize the opportunity. Our whole group had an amazing dive experience. We were in constant awe of the endless beauty that lives in the ocean, and were itching to get back in the water when we were on land. It’s impossible to say what the best part of the experience was, but highlights include swimming with bull sharks and seeing a huge hawksbill turtle on a night dive. Rich is incredibly fun, exceptionally responsible, remarkably patient, and extremely accommodating. Our schedule was tight and at one point, we were indecisive about what we wanted to do, but in the end, Rich made it work for us. Safety is a number one concern for any first diver, and we always felt 100 percent safe and comfortable in the water with Rich. He has a knack for spotting sea creatures (he never misses a thing), navigating the dive, and keeping a cautious eye on the group – all at the same time. It is no wonder he was last month’s employee-of-the-month (Kudos, Rich!). He has the utmost appreciation for marine life (he picked up litter a few times underwater) and a real passion for the sport – and it rubs off! Before you know it, he’ll have you diving (and laughing) in the big blue sea. Rae is also fantastic! Both instructors took great care of us: keeping us calm, thoroughly answering all of our questions, and consistently checking on us underwater (and above water). There are about 50 dive schools on the island, but you won’t find better instructors than the ones at Big Blue; they all love working at this particular school, which says something about the way this place operates. I would highly recommend Big Blue to friends, and without a doubt, you MUST ask for Rich or Rae – just not when I’m planning my next trip there!!!
 
Update on the Shark Fin Soup scandal at the Intercontinental Hotel in Bangkok. Our friends at Dive Tribe have just spoken with the Intercontinental Group and would like to inform all Shark Conservation Activists that they themselves are not directly linked to the Restaurant "Summer Palace" although it is in their building in Bangkok the restaurant in question is owned and operated outside their control. That being said Intercontinental Hotels Group will work with Dive Tribe and talk with the owners of the restaurant in a bid to stop the serving of Shark Fin Soup at their establishment. An official statement from Intercontinental Group will be available in the next 24-48 hours. Please refrain from sending any more e mails as our work is done. Thanks to all of you for your support and we will keep you posted as to the final outcome.

Tuesday 9th October 2012-

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PADI, the worlds largest & most reknowned diving organisation have focused this months Diver magazine on Thailand Dive sites & recently posted a question on Facebook asking people where their favourite divesites in Thailand were. Of course the big names popped up as they deservedly should which are the Similans, & Richeleieu Rock, Hin Daeng & Hin Muang but what has come as a very enjoyable surprise is to see that more than half those who commented are mentioning our very own Divesites like Chumphon Pinnacle & Sail Rock. With special mentions to the frequency of Whale shark visits & the close proximity you can get to Bull Sharks! Brilliant! Thanks very much everyone for finally giving us the recognition we deserve for being some of Thailands very best Divesites!

“Great Diving Resort”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on trip Advisor October 5, 2012 - My friend and I researched this place while in Bangkok, found the price of doing the Open-water SSI course to be 9000baht (cheapest around as far as we could find). The low price however, does not mean a lowered quality is to be expected. We arrived with free accommodation for the duration of our visit. Went and participated in 4 days of diving with our insanely cool,calm and collected instructor (Donnny McFadden). He took us through everything with expert precision and ensuring we were comfortable with everything at all times. He especially paid great attention to calming myself down as I was rather reluctant to put my head under water with implicit trust in just a mask and regulator. But, he endured, played a game of rock, paper, scissors to take my mind off it and wham bham, we were diving (only in the pool at first). But even if we had not had Donny, from the feel feel of the place, I gathered I'd have been more than content with having any instructor take us through our paces. The whole feeling of the place is uplifting as everyone there trades back and forth in their previous dives or give valuable experience/knowledge for your own upcoming dives.
 
 
Dear Intercontinental Hotel Bangkok,  It has been brought to our attention and upon closer inspection verified that you have been openly involved in the trade of Shark Fins in Thailand / Asia. Currently sharks are facing immense pressure from over fishing, finning and by catch. So much so that some species have declined by as much as 90%. As top predators, sharks help to manage healthy ocean ecosystems and as the number of sharks declines, the oceans will suffer unpredictable and devastating consequences. Sharks help maintain the health of ocean ecosystems, including seagrass beds and coral reefs. Their decline in our ocean has already set of whole chains of negative events that have lead to environmental destruction within our oceans. Due to sharks maturing slowly and taking several years to reach breeding age their species simply cannot survive this rate of fishing. We must remove the demand for them to have any chance of their survival. As INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS & RESORTS are responsible for fuelling this trade we would ask you to kindly reconsider your policy in trading in this unsustainable commodity and work with us to stop the extinction of these very important creatures. Countries and States that have banned either Shark Fins or Shark Trade in general include,Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington State, Republic of Palau. Stores and Hotels that have already agreed to stop trading in Shark Products include: Fairprice Supermarkets, Carrefour Super Markets, Shangri La Hotel Chain, Hilton Hotel Chain, Peninsular Hotel Chain & many more. We respectively ask you to reconsider and to stop trading in Shark Products and remove Sharkfin from your menus. Thank You for your kind consideration. Big Blue Conservation, Koh Tao. www.bigblueconservation.com
 

Monday 8th October 2012-

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There must be a better way to catch fish other than using nets! So sad to see at Shark Island over rhte weekend a net draped over the majority of the dive site & just so many sad dead & dying fishies including unfortunately a little reef shark that we were there just a little too late to save. Depressing to say the least but a great job done by Koh Tao's finest in freeing many fish while doing minimal damage to the corals. But yeah fishing without nets, hooks, dynamite or cyanide? Anyone got any idea's? I reckon the bears catching the salmon as they swim upstream in Alaska might want to start patenting their technique!

“Always dive big blue!!!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor October 3, 2012 - I'm an divemaster and ive done a few courses and fun dives with big blue over the years and have found them to be one of the best dive operations ive dived with!! The instructors I had were Irish G, Laura and skui all of which have been very professional and very sociable and seem to be constantly available for questions and advice. They have plenty of dives to offer normally 2 dives early to make the most of empty sites and 2 afternoon dives if you dont want to get up!! they also run night dives and full day trips. The full day trips offer great value with breakfast, lunch and drinks included!! The rooms are basic with fans and cold showers but they always have done me a good deal and if you are doing a course then the rooms included in the price. The food in the restaurant is always good and at a reasonable price. 
 
Congratulations to our Employees of the month who walk away with a 10,000 Bt split between them. Best Employee is actually shared between our DM team who have been working their little bums raw dealing with all the behind the scenes problems we've been having last month with broken compressors & boats & juggling tank numbers & dive sites & running boats to & fro in order to make everything seem on the outside as normal as could be when inwardly we profanosaured our bollocks off! Second place was for Instructor Guy who had such a high rate of his Open Water Students go on to do their Advanced they loved him sooo much & third place went to Instructor Rich who won his award for going the extra yard with his students this month & utilising their happiness towards good marketing! Congratulations all of you, here's your 10k. Now go out & spend the lot on booze & hookers! ;-)

Friday 5th October 2012-

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Only 30 days left & then its Liveaboard season! & of course your favourite Thailand Diving Center has gone up in the world & have a brand new sexy Liveaboard to promote! First commissioned in 2002 as the Viking of the Orient the MV Hallelujah has been refitted and is under new and experienced ownership. This year we will be operating the MV Hallelujah!  35 meters of pure sexiness! Large dive deck, plenty of storage space, air con saloon/ dining area with entertainment & sound system, indoor or open-air dining areas. A huge sun deck which spans the length of the boat and is equipped with chairs and loungers. All air-conditioned guest cabins are spacious and have private en-suite bathrooms and sea views & doors that open on to the outside of the boat for a cooling breeze. So luxury boat, 4 days  4 nights, Similans & Surin Islands, 14 dives & food & drinks covered!  Trips start from the 1st November. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for your holiday of a lifetime!

“Professional and fun”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor September 30, 2012- We stayed at Big Blue in July of 2012. We originally came to get our open water certificate but liked it so much we stayed and took the advanced course. With so many dive schools on the island its hard to choose, but we have no doubts that we made the right choice and don't wonder about other schools maybe being better. Big Blue is a very friendly and fun place, so we usually ended up at the bar with everyone from the dive in the evening. The classes were very professional and by the time we finished we both felt competent, comfortable and safe in the water. Our instructor was a skilled teacher and took lots of extra time to answer questions and make sure everyone was enjoying themselves. The equipment was fine and if we ever had trouble with anything our instructor fixed it immediately. We stayed for over a week, went on a bunch of great dives and were sorry we had to go. Looking forward to returning sometime soon. Also wanted to give a special shout to Curtis, our instructor. The whole group seems really great but we felt lucky to have him.
 

Congratulations to Becky, Reece & Andre for completing their SSI Instructor Training Course & congratulations again for passing your SSI Instrctor Exam! Thats another 100% pass rate for our Big Blue Instructor Trainers Simon Garrity & Paul Tanner aswell! That makes approximately 3 more feathers to put in our Big Blue Instructor Training Cap!And all 3 are taking the Internship programme as well so looks like these guys are really going to be getting value for money! & jobs after aswell no doubt. The SSI Instructor Course- Probably the best way to get yourself a job in the Scuba Diving Industry!

 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012-
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Another day another Whaleshark... well 2 actually. That was yesterday! Today we've just got the one! Well one that we know of but there might be two.. we just don't know that! So 1 Whaleshark at Chumphon Pinnacle & another one (maybe) at Southwest Pinnacle! Pretty much the last chance you're going to get to see a Whaleshark for the rest of the year aswell as we expect this time next month to be in the full throes of monsoon! So if you want to dive with a Whaleshark.. or 2... then come along & sign up in the shop now! Last one in is a ponce!
 
“I sooo did not want to leave” -  Reviewed on Trip Advisor September 17, 2012- I arrived at Koh Tao and was met by a Big Blue taxi and this instantly told me that i had made the right choice as far as my selection of diving school. After getting checked in at Big Blue 1 the free taxi gave me a lift to my accomodation, a relatively large room with a fan, optional a/c and a balcony. The bed was large enough and there was a couple of complimentary bottles of water in the fridge. Considering the relatively low price i paid for my room, this was an absolute bargain. Also, you get a 50% discount on your room for each day you dive so this makes it even more of a bargain. The diving course itself was nothing short of excellent. You have to watch some dvds and have some homework to complete but this is all part of the package. You learn how to check and put on your equipment before learning all of the safety drills in the pool and then you're all prepared and ready for the diving. You complete a total of four dives over two days with the Open Water course and it is an amazing experience. I have to mention that Rich, our instructor, was a complete professional that clearly loves his job and works incredibly hard to make sure you have the best experience possible while being completely safe. Rich was always on hand to answer questions and calm down any fears you may have and was one of the main reasons the course was so fun. On the second day of diving you have the opportunity to have the dives filmed and this is also highly recommended. The DVD produced was of a high quality and makes a great tool for making your friends and family jealous. To sum up, I had a fantastic time and will definitely be back next year. 
 
Still being inundated with jobs around the world for any SSI Instructors out there. We got Instructor jobs, management jobs, operations, retail, liveaboards even shop admin jobs but they all require an SSI Instructor license and they are all over the world, from Ontario in Canadia, to the Brazillian beaches, to Australia & even the coast of Africa! So if you are interested we are now offerring 3 day crossovers with SSI Supreme Instructor Trainers Simon Garrity & Paul Tanner. If you already have your Instructor licenses with PADI, NAUI or BSAC but are struggling for work, don't you think its time you joined the elite! Become an SSI Instructor in as little as 3 days! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Don't you think its time you experienced the good life!

November 2012

Wednesday- 7th November 2012- 

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 Like the sands through an hourglass ... sunshine, suntan, sunburn, sun shades, sunglasses, 30 degree water temperature, 30 degree air temperature, deserted beaches, golden sands, swimming pools, flat seas, ocean clarity, bountiful marine life, Whalesharks, Bull Sharks, turtles, schools of Barracudas, twisting typhoons of trevally, eels, sting rays, bikinis, topless sunbathing, apres dive, sunsets, sunset beers, Scuba diving, Open Water Courses, Advanced Courses, Rescue Courses, Divemaster Courses, Instructor Training, Fun divers, certified Divers, Scuba Instructors, Tech Diving, Deep Diving, Wreck Diving, Nitrox Diving, beach side parties, Full Moon Parties, beach side bars, beach side restaurants, cheap beer, great food... these are the days of our lives!

“Can't wait to go back!”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor November 5, 2012- I did my open water certificate at Blue Big, and couldn't be happier!!! My instructor Skui was amazing! She made sure we are well prepared, and also made sure we had fun! Our last dive was with a whale shark!!!!! Can't beat that!!! Everyone in the resort was nice and friendly, location was beautiful!!! We upgraded our accommodation to a private room with hot shower and AC for only 800 baht a night, which was worth it! We wanted to be away from all the noise and get some well needed rest after each day. Already planning our return trip to Big Blue!!! 
 
28, 29, 30... & I'm outta here! My time is done! In the immortal words of Led Zeppelin "Leaves are falling all around, It's time I was on my way. Thanks to you I'm much obliged For such a pleasant stay. But now it's time for me to go" ... to Bali ... from one hot sweltering beach paradise to another! (Oh when will this misery end?) I shall be back around the beginning of December. In the meantime I'm sorry to say I shall be leaving the reigns in the hands of our very experienced triumvirate of Mr Paul "Tosh" Tanner, Mr "SSI"mon Garrity & Mr Guy "looks just like Jim anyway" Bannister! You're in good hands people. Have a great monsoon. Hugs & kisses & see you in a month!

 

Tuesday 6th November 2012-

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As always we do what we can to lay on the best treats for our customers & this morning was no exception! We brought in a Whaleshark, 100th one of the year I've just been told- really? wow- & then polished off our morning shannanigans with a Water spout! "an intense columnar vortex (usually appearing as a funnel-shaped cloud) that occurs over a body of water, connected to a cumuliform cloud" - thanks Wikipedia! Two amazing sites in just 1 morning! Both completely natural phenomenon but we'll take the credit anyway!

“Completely Hooked!”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor November 5, 2012- After the half moon party on the 22nd of September, I headed to Koh Tao for some diving with a buddy. I had never been diving before but I had been recommended Big Blue from a bunch of friends who had traveled to Koh Tao before. On the ferry over from Phangan me and my friend were approached by a friendly Big Blue rep who explained to me how the diving courses, prices and accommodation worked. I had already decided to come to Big Blue but the positive interaction with the rep just reaffirmed my decision. Got picked up at the ferry terminal and was dropped off at the dive centre and we were given the briefing and details on how everything works. Accommodation is included when you do a course or you are diving with them - We were hoping for dorms but I guess if there's two of you they give you a bungalow or a room with two beds. I ended up staying at the dorm at Big Blue 1 (they have two sites about 200-300 m apart on Sairee beach), which was fine but I did hear that Big Blue 2 dorms are much much nicer and brand new. So onto the diving - after we signed up for the Open Water course and was shown to our room, we had a quick break and we headed over to Big Blue 2 for the start of the course. We opted for SSI over PADI although we had only heard of PADI but in the end it doesn't matter other than that you pay less for SSI since you don't have to buy the course manual. The following day we were split up into two groups - Skui's and Neil's. Our group ended up getting into the pool first before we did the theory bits, which I think was better, at least for me - it was much easier to just get going rather than first sitting down and talking about a bunch of stuff I had no idea about. Neil was professional and personable and I decided that I wanted to stay longer and do my advanced course with him. He was very straight forward, clear with his instructions and had a good sense of humour, which is key when you have to see his ugly mug for a week straight! (kidding, Neil). As for the actual diving, BB has boats heading out to the usual dive spots 2-3 times a day (was there a 4th? pretty sure not) - apart from the night diving the morning and afternoon trips have 2 dives per trip. Now having been diving a bunch since then in Indonesia I can easily see that the dive sites in Koh Tao are a bit crowded and not the most exciting spots in the world to say the least. But Chumphon pinnacles was a treat and although I had not personally been to Sail Rock I hear it's a good spot for whalesharks and bull sharks. Despite what I mentioned previously I really enjoyed diving there and I can easily say that the majority of the dive sites here are perfectly suited for learning. I will probably return for another course next time I swing through Thailand. The location is great, the restaurant serves reasonably priced food (pizzas here are quite excellent) and they employ some great staff. Highly recommended! 
 
Just a reminder in case you weren't aware... Christmas & New Year are quite literally the busiest times of the year for Koh Tao and already we are getting heaps of bookings by the day for courses & accommodation. So please book in now guys if you fancy spending Christmas & or New Year with us. We still have rooms available for now but do expect them all to be all taken within the next month or so, so drop us a line on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. & we'll get straight back to you. We've also got a video production being filmed the week before Christmas so if you want to get talent spotted on the telly then you better book now! We'll make you famous!

Monday 5th November 2012-

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Ever had one of those relationships you've been trying to get out of for ages but couldn't find a way to do it nicely when suddenly she turns round & dumps you first? Wham! Bam! Boof! Kapow! Feel like I have been slapped in the face by Batman! I mean the only reason we actually continued our relationship this year had absolutely nothing to do what so ever with quality, service or love. The only reason we continued our relationship in 2012 was because the newly appointed Regional Manager is a personal friend of ours & has been a big part of our PADI Instructor Development Course over the years. So being given the news that we are no longer to quote "in the best interests of PADI" & therefore have been ditched comes as a rather large slap in the face! I mean we are the largest SSI center in the world! & our PADI numbers in 2012 are higher than they have been in the last 6 years but because we aren't selling purely PADI courses but are selling SSI, BSAC, TDI, & SDI courses as well, thereby giving our customers the choice they want & not by enforcing only 1 organisation we've been chucked! Doesn't mean we can't still as individual Instructors teach PADI courses because we can. It just means PADI probably got wind that we weren't going to renew our relationship with them next year & so chucked us first before we could chuck them! No phone call. No text. No flowers. No photos of all the good times we had together. Not even a valid reason. Just an unheaded attachement in an email! "You're not in the best interests of PADI!" the equivalent of saying "its not you its me!" Damn. Why didn't I think of that!

“Great place to learn how to dive”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor November 3, 2012 - I just completed my open water and advanced at Big Blue. I had two instructors - Felix and Jen. Both were amazing, professional knowledgeable, patient and supportive. The video of the final 2 open dives was hilarious and worth the price in my opinion. The instructor/divemaster to diver ratio was 1 to 4 or 1 to 3. The staff took safety very seriously. The dive spots can get crowded, but the lack of current and warm waters make it a great place to learn how to dive. I didn't stay at the resort, so I can't comment on the accommodation. The pizza and coconut shake from the restaurant is highly recommended. All in all, spent a fun 2 weeks here!
 
 

"Please forward to whom it may concern, I am writing to to thank you for making my recent visit to Koh Tao an amazing experience.. I had a wonderful time and did a total of 19 dives with Big Blue (including your last trip to Sail Rock of the season) saw bull sharks and topped it off with a whale shark at the end.  I was impressed with the professionalism of your dive operation and the helpfulness of your staff and as a fun diver dived with a number of you divemasters.  I was particlarly impressed by Chris Cherry who was most helpful, very knowledgeable and added a lot to my diving experience by finding and pointing ot a number of very interesting marine spieces.  Whilst it was amazing seeing bull and whale sharks, they are not hard to find (if they are around) Chris found more smaller intesting stuff on our dives than any other dive master I dived with, including a croc fish, dancing shrimps, scorpion fish, pipefish, indian walkman, blue spotted and jenkins rays to name but a few. I will certainly recommend Big Blue to my friends and intend to return in the future. Again thanks for everything, Please also pass on my thanks to Chris,  Arnold (Will) Williams."

Saturday 3rd November 2012-

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Part of Big Blue Diving's success this year has been due very much to the quality & calibre of our Instructor Team. Some of our guys have been working in diving for over 10 years now. Some have only just started. Some are widely travelled. While some know where Maehaad Pier is. Some teach in many languages. Others also teach in many languages though many have trouble understanding what they are saying! And all have the character, the patience & the passion to be what I refer to as... a bunch of monkeys! Welcome to the Big Blue Instructor Team. Welcome to... The Planet of the Apes!

And the job offers just keep flying through the door here! Again they're for SSI Instructors only I'm afraid but the good news is that if you are only a lowly PADI Instructor we can step you up a notch to become the high quality SSI Instructor by doing a 3 day Crossover. Once you are an SSI instructor then we can let you know more details of the jobs we have on offer for Instructors in Indonesia on Gili Air & Kalimantan. In Thailand here in Koh Tao as well as in Khao Lak. In the Caribbean there's a job offer on one of the Cayman Islands. There are instructors needed in Greece & we got awesome opportunities for Instrucotrs or Managers in Fiji! In a time of global recession isn't it refreshing to see so many opportunities for SSI Dive Professionals. Just another reason to choose SSI rather than PADI or any other Diving organisation.

“Location, Staff, Facilities, Diving”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor October 29, 2012- Big Blue Diving was a fabulous place to come for my open water certificate. You get free accommodation in their dorms with any dives or diving courses that you do. They are located in Sairee Beach, which you have to take a taxi to get there from the pier. Big Blue has two free taxi services every day, to and from the pier. Unfortunately, I missed the one when I arrived, so you have to make sure to keep an eye out for the Big Blue pick-up truck to avoid having to pay for a taxi. The staff is very professional, and I felt totally comfortable doing my open water dive here. Most of the dive schools have the open water course priced between 8 and 9 thousand baht (Big Blue was 9,000), but I had a coupon for 10% off with the purchase of a Pub Crawl ticket. Another tip for coming here is to make sure you do NOT stay at Big Blue 1. Ask for a room at Big Blue 2. Big Blue 2 was built three months ago and are really nice and clean, have better wifi access, air-conditioned and the swimming pool. Both are located right on the beach. Dives depart from Big Blue 1, but it is an easy 5 minute walk along the beach from Big Blue 2. They will book ferries and buses for you, and they also provide lockers (but you need your own lock) for valuables. The restaurant/bar at Big Blue 1 is more lively and often has a fire thrower entertaining on the beach. Both have decent food, but are a bit more expensive than the more local restaurants. I am looking forward to hopefully coming back here for my advanced certificate. For more reviews, tips and stories: http://thesearemysheehanigans.com
 

Thursday 1st November 2012-

Another day another 100% pass on the Instructor Exams! Congratulations to all 6 of our brand new Scuba Diving Instructors. 6 more professional Beach bums! Can you imagine a better way to earn a living?  Living on a tropical island Paradise, surrounded by friends, teaching something you love, enjoying close up encounters with creatures you never thought you'd ever really get to see on a daily basis. And all the while actually getting paid for it! Apart from being perhaps a Rock star, Movie star, Sports star or Porno star can there be a better job? Congratulations guys! Now if you'd all like to pass me your CV's I'd like to get you all work ASAP!

The negatives to Scuba Diving- i) If you are vain you might as well forget it. Diving is like childbirth, you’re not going to look good doing this, it’s actually impossible. Between the rivers of snot you produce, the hair that tangles into an uncombable ball and the deeply unattractive pressure marks your mask will leave on your face this is not a sport for those who have to look good. ii) You will become poorer, quickly; this sport has more accessories than Ann Summers. Actually it’s a lot like Ann Summers, between stuff you wear and stuff that bleeps, restrains, informs and adorns, all of which come in a variety of day glo colours, scuba diving is fetish heaven with a higher price tag. iii) You will become very boring, because you are a convert and converts tend to bang on a lot about stuff with tedious zeal.  New Scuba divers only talk about diving. iv) all travel of any type will revolve around diving opportunities, it will become impossible to pop down town for some milk without fitting in a quick reef dive. & v) levering yourself into a tight wetsuit on a public beach whilst tourists gaze on at the way you bend the laws of physics by forcing so much flesh into neoprene. It’s a bit like the TARDIS. We’re all bigger inside our wetsuits!

“Open Water and Advanced Courses at Big Blue”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on trip Advisor October 28, 2012 - I showed up at Big Blue unsure as to whether I'd be able to overcome my claustrophobia and dive at all but wanted to give it a shot. Upon arrival, everyone was friendly and helpful so I immediately felt at ease. I did my open water course with G who was a wonderful instructor -- she was really supportive, fun, and knowledgeable. I learned a ton from her in just a few days. I ended up loving diving so much that I signed up for the advanced course, which was taught by Jo. Jo was also a phenomenal instructor. She was super chill with a great sense of humor so I had a blast while diving and also really improved my skills. After the two courses, I feel totally comfortable in the water and confident with my abilities. The only problem now is that I don't want to leave! Thanks so much G, Jo, and Big Blue!

December 2012

 Monday 31st December 2012-

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 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! From all of us at Big Blue Diving. I hope you have been enjoying your festive season so far, including eating silly amounts and celebrating in the most festive way - whilst being as eco friendly as possible of course! At Big Blue, we never fail to be Eco friendly - even our Christmas tree is recyclable!  Understandably, we have to drink bottled water in Thailand - so what happens to the thousands of used plastic bottles every day? We recycle all our plastic bottles at Big Blue, and not just to make Christmas trees! In fact, the Thai Government pay 12 baht a kilo for recycling them, and so some Thai's make a living recycling. So when you've finished, find the nearest recycling bin, or re-fill them. What about our straw and plastic bag tinsel? A trip to 7 Eleven for a can of coke and a water and you get separate bags and 2 straws. But do we really need all that plastic? Unfortunately, plastic bags and straws contribute significantly to the plastic content in the sea, to the point were plastic plankton now exceeds normal plant plankton. So if you can, please say no to straws and plastic bags! Do you like our battery ball-balls?? I think they look great on the tree, but in the sea they leak sulphuric acid and can affect the water as much as a kilometre away. Not too nice for the fish. We recycle our batteries, as do most places around the world, including supermarkets, so find your local battery recycle depot when you have a chance. And finally our ring-pull star! Ring pulls are collected by a Thai charity which melts them down to make the hinges of prosthetic limbs! so help us donate to them and deposit your ring-pulls in the box next to our counter in the restaurant. Cheers! So have a very merry-eco-friendly-recycling-crazy-Christmas everybody!

Hi, I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks for the dive instruction.  We recently took the basic, and advanced course with Neil and couldn't have been happier with the instruction.  He always made sure we understood the sequence of events clearly before going down and made sure to debrief us and answer any questions on top.  I know I speak for the 5 of us, that did the open water course with him, that we truly believe we had the best instructor you guys had to offer. Thanks again, Wes. P.s. tell that short little blonde instructor she has a killer smile ;)

Never one to say but Bryan has gone green with jealousy knowing what James is up to right now! No James isn't huffing through trimix penetrating the unicorn or teaching Advanced wreck in total silt out! For some reason what James IS doing is shrouded in mystery and shall remain that way until a later date...What's happening that we can talk about are re-breather check dives and tech fun dives! Stuey is playing at twins giving his recreational trimix student a good shake down whilst our new arrivals are just settling in doing some twin set fun dives. For anyone that's interested we start an extended range course on the 3rd of January 2013 (not a bad start is that) Any folks that want to jump on it better be quick as the places are filling up fast, sign up with James at the tech shack by the 2nd of Jan please. Bryan is currently picking fragments of sand from his private parts sat at home, come on mate there can't be that much in there, your missing out on all the fun!!!

Sunday 30th December 2012-

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So with the New Year so close & with Full Moon just behind us its possibly one of the busiest days of the year so might be needing to end our years blogs here today with a very big thank you to all our staff & all our customers who've made this our 21st year the most successful year ever! We've never done so many certifications, we've never led so many divers, we've never seen so many Whalesharks & we've never had so much fun! Thanks again everyone for making 2012 one of the best years ever! Here's looking forward to an even more exciting 2013.

Finally gone & joined the world of Twitter! We're already on Facebook which I thought was the be all & end all but apparently I'm incorrect. I need to be a Twittererer too! Still yet to understand it fully but have been told on numerous occasions that we need to be on Twitter! So we did! We Twittered! We wrote our first Tweet & Tweeted it to the world. Then 2 seconds later I was told we needed to be on Instagram! So we Linked in! We Tweeted & we Instagramered & while we were on such a roll we Flickered, Bebo'd & checked out our Video stuff too & now have a Channel on Youtube & Vimeo! We've never been so completely & fully exposed to the world out there! I feel so violated!

“Best experience of my holiday so far!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed n Trip Advisor December 24, 2012 - I came to do the open water course as a new thing to do for a few days, and ended up staying for the advanced diving course too. I was really surprised at how much I loved the diving, and the whole experience has definitely made me want to keep diving in the future. The staff we're all really lovely, and our instructor Ben made me feel really safe in the water and took everything slowly with us if we needed it. I felt safe and comfortable the whole time with him. We had a small group of 4 which meant we had heaps of time to go over skills as well as explore the beautiful dive sites. Accommodation was included, it's got all you really need! Awesome location right on the beach and loads of good restaurants near by. Awesome experience the whole way through!!

Friday 28th December 2012-

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We're being harrassed! As the worlds largest SSI training facility we are being absolutely inundated with prospective employers around the world looking for staff! If only it was this easy to get work when I first started out in diving! Anyone interested please contact our Instructor Trainers Tosh & Simon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We're looking for a lot of languages like French, German, Russian in addition to English but we also need English speakers. We need SSI Instructors in Cambodia, Lambeh Straits, Gilli Air, Gilli T, South America, Vietnam, Phillipines & Fiji & ... I think I need another Swedish & French speaking Instructors as well! Make 2013 the beginning of the best part of your life & get in  touch! 

“Big Blue Rocks!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on trip Advisor December 24, 2012 - Im struggling to find enough complimentary words for big blue at the moment. I was there for 2 months, doing my open water to DMT,,, I loved every second! From the moment i went under the water i knew id made a good decision, its heaven down there! So many fish, such comfortable diving conditions, and such awesome instructors taking you through every step, i never felt anything but 100% safe, and 100% Stoked when the Whale shark showed up! Once the dives are over, you dont have to sit in the bar for very long to see what an awesome group of people are gathered there. The staff make Big blue what it is, the instructors, Dive masters, the Thais, the burmese boys, everyones awesome!Cant thank everyone at big blue enough for the time i had, i will be back!! 
 

Another month over & the last Full Moon Party of the year is about to kick off in Koh Phangan. Its a busy one too! Possibly the busiest one of 2012 if the reports are anything to go by. Which of course brings me to the inevitable...  hope you've booked rooms! In Phangan & Koh Tao. Be warned rooms are hard to come by here at the moment anyway it being Peak Season, & the week between Christmas & New Year & now with the Full Moon Party too its going to be complete chaos! Still... the party should be a blast! Merry Full Moon Party & a Happy New Year!

Thursday 27th December 2012-

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 Well in a way i think we're all glad that's over! Not saying we've not have the best christmas ever with endless food and booze but I'm sure we can all agree that you can only have so much of a good thing! Today the team is back to playing scuba divers, James is in the classroom working on two amazingly interesting presentations for his TDI extended range instructor rating, once those are completed he will be heading out to the unicorn for his practical test with Ben Reymenants. Best of luck with that Jim! With the new year approaching fast we need a little project to organize. We've had a couple ideas but the one in the front of our minds is a trip to Koh Chang to dive the new wreck they have there. Any fish lovers will be sad to hear that there will be very little marine life on her at the moment, but that's not we're here for. From the feedback we've had this is an excellent full penetration wreck so any advanced wreck techies out there want to come and join us please get in touch. (penciled date is beginning of feb, people traveling from Koh Tao would need 4 days, two traveling days, 2 days diving) Apart from that kids we hope you've all had an excellent Christmas and aren't suffering too much today. If you are suffering then we offer no sympathy... www.bigbluetech.net

 “Best experience I had whilst traveling”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 21, 2012 - Me and 3 friends decided to do our open water diving course whilst we were traveling through Thailand. We chose to do it in Koh Tao as it is one of the cheapest places in the world to do it. Our accommodation was also included in the price aswell. We started the course as soon as we got there, our instructor was Petra who was fantastic all the way through. First day we were in the pool diving and the following 2 days at different dive points in the sea. We done 4 dives in total, at some amazing coral reef sites. the fourth dive is filmed and watched in the big blue 1 bar on a big screen the final evening, also the food is great on the BBQ here. The whole course Was loads of fun and the best thing I've done. I will definitely be returning to do the advanced diving course at some point. Cheers Petra 

 

 And in another unbelievable 'digging their own grave' kind of way we're now finding it next to impossible to supply our PADI students with the materials they are supposed to have as part of their course because for some crazy reason or other PADI have had a run in with the distributor here on Koh Tao who are now no longer supplying PADI manuals on a regular basis. So all of our PADI Advanced students today are not going to get the book they've paid for because we can't get it! We have to order it & then send it on to these students. It just beggars belief. This sinking ship is going down faster than the Titanic! It's absolutely astounding. No wonder Scuba Schools International or SSI to you & me is taking the lead on Scuba certifications in Thailand! Deservedly so too! Learn to dive properly and avoid the disappointment. Dive SSI!

Wednesday 26th December 2012-

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 A little late I know but I've just had the very worst hang over of my life for the last couple of days & then had a wonderful Christmas day off with the family. So have only just got back to work today just too late to say to you our Big Blue friends, family, staff, SSI, PADI, BSAC, TDI colleagues & friends, to our old staff in the Caymans, Australia, Continental Europe & Britain.... we wish you a Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

“What a 'Rich' experience at Big Blue!!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 21, 2012 - Wow. Wow. Wow. Big Blue Diving went above and beyond any expectations I had regarding diving in Thailand. The price is already so cheap to become a certified open water diver, but the accommodations, staff, beach and restaurant atmosphere made it a pleasure to be around. However, for me the main selling feature was our instructor Richard Tod (AKA 'Rich', or 'Richy Boy'). The guy was so well informed, helpful, accommodating and worked at the pace of the group (of 6 people). My girlfriend and I did the open water cert. then actually STAYED to do our advanced. In fact, everyone from my group stayed and the 6 of us and Rich had an awesome time. WE EVEN SAW A WHALE SHARK. The experience only got better every day we were there. It was hard to leave... If you want a guaranteed good experience and get the most out of your course, I strongly suggest requesting Rich as your instructor. 

Congratulations to all our winners at the Staff Awards last Saturday. All highly deserved of the honour of being Big Blue's best! Not going to name eery boday involved but happy to spread the word for our big name winners. Congratulations Steven Best Divemaster, Best Resort Staff went to our Shop girl Jess. Biggest Contribution went to Tosh for all his efforts to promote our ITCs this year, & our top 3 Instructors were Guy in 3rd place, Neil in 2nd place & in first place was Rich with an extremely impressive 56% of his open Water students going on to do their Advanced Course with him. Congratulations to all & thanks to the Director of SSI Thailand for showing up & getting everyone absolutely battered! Oh what a night.

Saturday 22nd December 2012-

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 Staff Party tonight! The menu is set, the food is being prepared, the tequila is on the way, the boxes of beer & wine will be arriving shortly, the invites are being dished out, the tables are being set, the video's being edited, the music has been chosen, the decorations are up, the christmas tree is up & nicely decorated, the staff awards nominations are in & the Big Blue Diving Staff Awards Statuettes are polished and standing proud & ready to be given out to this years worthy winners. 2012 has been one hell of a year here at Big Blue. Thank you soooo much for being a part of it.

“Dive Big Blue Koh Toa!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 21, 2012 - 10 years ago I did my open water in the Bahamas with padi. Now I am married and wanted to get my wife into diving. We have been traveling Thailand for all of December and landed on Koh Toa, went to a couple dive shops and didn't really like what we saw. Then we got to Big Blue and met Rich, my wife and i liked him right away and signed up to do the SSI open water dive course together instead of PADI. I must say our experience with Big Blue was amazing! Highly recommend going with Rich, he is an awesome Brit with a great attitude and all around outstanding teacher and awesome guy! We completed our open water and advanced courses today, 9 dives all together, and on the 8th dive we saw a whale shark which was amazing! I would recommend diving with Big Blue for anyone who is just starting our if you have experience, you will have a great time! 
 

Bullying is the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others. The behavior can be habitual and involve an imbalance of social or physical power. It can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a "target". Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse – emotional, verbal, and physical. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation. Bullying can occur in any context in which human beings interact with each other. This includes school, church, family, the workplace, home, neighborhoods & world renowned Scuba Diving agencies! Come on guys move on. Aren't you supposed to be teaching the World to Dive or something!

Friday 21st December 2012- (the end of the world!)

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 Dashing through the sea, In Big Blue's biggest boat, Over the waves we go, Laughing all the way, Bells on Banzai ring, Making spirits gay, What fun it is to laugh and sing, A Whale Shark song today. Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells, Whalesharks all the way, Oh, what fun it is to see, Two Whalesharks in the Sea, Jingle bells, jingle bells, Two Whalesharks here today, Oh, what fun it is to see, Two Whalesharks at Chumphon Pin- a- Clee! Thanks to Paul Cowell for this awesome shot. Check out more at http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulcowell

“Highly recommended!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 19, 2012 - I'm really really happy with the trip to Koh Tao. I think one of the best choices we made during our vacation was to choose Big Blue Diving to certify us. With their friendly personnel, fun and relaxed atmosphere and very competent instructors I can't imagine a better place to start diving. The diving experience itself was amazing for a newbie like me. I want to give extra credits to our wonderful instructor Daisy, and also to Nick for finding our lost engagement ring on the bottom of the sea, that's just crazy! 
 

Staff Party tomorrow! The menu is set, the food is being prepared, the tequila is on the way, the boxes of beer & wine will be arriving shortly, the invites are being dished out, the tables are being set, the video's being edited, the music has been chosen, the decorations are up, the christmas tree is up & nicely decorated, the staff awards nominations are in & the Big Blue Diving Staff Awards Statuettes are polished and standing proud & ready to be given out to this years worthy winners. 2012 has been one hell of a year here at Big Blue. Thank you soooo much for being a part of it.

Thursday 20th December 2012- 

20 Bitterly dissappointed to find out yesterday that 4 of our favourite Scuba equipment manufacturers Mares, Cressi sub, Sherwood Scuba and Scubapro are all sponsors of IMATA- The International Marine Animal Trainers Association. Imata are actually the guys who send their dolphin trainers to Taiji where they select their dolphins for theme parks such as Sea World, Ocean Park Hong Kong & Manila & other dolphinariums & theme parks around the world. & just in case you've never heard of Taiji, well watch The Cove- an award winning documentary on the inhumane slaughter of dolphins in a little fishing town of Japan. We will of course be immediatley halting all purchases with all these companies untill they stop sponsoring the masochistic murder of dolphins in Taiji! From here on in we're going Aqualung all the way. The Cove. Watch it before its too late.

“BSAC Conservation Course with Big Blue”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 19, 2012 - I came back to Koh Tao having done my Open Water and Advanced class in August with Big Blue and went straight back to Big Blue to do some fun dives. While I was there, I saw advertised a BSAC marine conservation Course on one of the information boards. I spoke with Darren and Reece in the shop with a friend of mine and they gave us answers to all the questions we asked, and gave further information about the course. It sounded great and they told us the dates of the course and we booked up straight away. We started the course in the classroom and there were 8 people in our class, some of which were DMT (dive master training) which made me think this was going to be a really good course. And I was completely right. Our instructor, Jen, was very friendly and explained everything very clearly (especially the complicated science parts). We spent the first day in the classroom learning all about various different things. For example; the different types of coral and what coral is and how important it is to the reefs, where you can find each coral and why. Having only done my OW and Advanced this was so informative to me as I did not know how important coral is. We learnt about the biology of all kinds of fish and the the reasons the have evolved to adapt to where they live and how to survive. We also learnt about the state of the ocean, which was a sad subject but Jen explained it in such a great way that didn't bad-mouth anyone or bully anyone into becoming an Eco-maniac but just very informative and what we can do as individuals to help save the reefs. And much much more. We went on 5 dives through this course. First was to find the different types of coral we had learnt about and study them close up. I really enjoyed this course as you normally can overlook coral, but after having learnt about coral, you understand how important and amazing it really is. Our second dive was to pick a type of fish and follow it around, studying where it lives, the coloring of the fish and the way it had evolved. We then had to analyse why and tell the group when we was back on board what we thought. Jen was always very happy with our explanations and when I noticed something but was unsure why about the fish, she happily explained it to me. We then went on a night five to see the coral and the nocturnal fish, which again was amazing. On the second day we carried out a survey on the variety of species we found at Sairee beach. This was very hard for your buoyancy but very rewarding afterwards. You spend so much time getting close to the coral (not too close though) and seeing all the species that depend on the coral, which normally you would completely miss on a fun dive. After that we went to the coral nursery that Big Blue have built on Sairee beach. We went out and found broken off bits off coral, that were still alive, and attached them with rope to the nursery so that it can regrow and in time be put back to where it belongs. This felt very rewarding knowing that you had done something to help the reefs in Koh Tao. Afterwards Jen suggested we all go out to dinner as a group and bring friends along if we wanted too. Everyone came along and we all had a great night. I have since been recommending the BSAC Conservation Course to everyone I meet, as it completely changes your view on what is REALLY going on in the ocean, and changes what you look for when diving. Whilst especially recommending doing the course with Jen at Big Blue. It has been one of the best things I have done while I have been away. Jen and her team, Jam Cam and Cass were great and at any point during and after the course were approachable about other conservation things we can do on the island. Amazing course with amazing instructors at an amazing diving resort... Not much else to say really... 
 

Countdown to Christmas has truely begun & it kind of feels like the island is about to be as busy as its ever been! Word of warning to those thinking of coming to Koh Tao for Christmas & New Year- DON"T! Its just too busy here!  My top tip to you would be to go to Khao Lak! A little seaside town on the west coast of Thailand about an hour north of Phuket airport. You can get Liveaboards here to go to the Similan & Surin Islands if you fancy! 4 nights 12 dives, 4 meals per day! Beautiful islands great company, mantas & whalesharks. Drop in & see our sister center there www.bigbluedivingkhaolak.com Then after New Year when its all quietened down a bit here on Koh Tao then come & see us! You'll like it more here then I promise! See you next year!

Wednesday 19th December 2012-

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With Christmas just round the corner its just struck me that if anyone was looking to make a bit of extra cash then setting yourself up with a shop with totally original Scuba clobber could be just the thing! There are many different types of original gift ideas I've seen over the years. The Scuba tank sawn in half lengthways & converted into a Barbecue has to be one of the most imaginative. The Shark sleeping bag was also a classic. You lie in your bag, your feet where the tail of the shark is & then the mouth of the shark is what closes around you at the top as you snuggle in. But my favourite is the Shark socks! Not the most comfortable maybe but definitely one of the most original!

“Big Blue Diving and ANKE are AMAZING!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 18, 2012 - ANKE was the most patient, fun professional instructor we could have ever asked for! Thank you so much for a great open water course experience! We even signed up with her for our advanced course! The whole organisation and flow of everything from accommodation to training to the actual diving was fantastic. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and it all comes together so well, in a great environment. Thanks again Anke. Big Blue Diving rocks! Xxxxxx

"Massive fishing net found at Koh Tao, Thailand. Last week on December 14th this large derelict fishing net is discovered at the Chumphon Pinnacle dive site in Koh Tao, Thailand. The net just caught hundreds of fish just before it was found by divers. It is again terrible to see a protected reef  is being used as fishing ground. The ghost net was removed by team Big Blue Diving located in Koh Tao, Thailand. Chumphon Pinnacle may be considered to be Koh Tao’s premier dive site. Underneath the southern most buoy line lies a large hole and fairly short swim-through exiting at approximately 24m, the perfect depth for this site. Head SSW is the southern pinnacle ‘Barracuda Rock’ where you will find a few large groupers and various schools of fish. Bull sharks, whale sharks and bryde’s whales are frequently spotted in this area also." - www.ghostfishing.org

Tuesday 18th December 2012-

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 Word of warning for those looking to rent motorbikes on Koh Tao. We absolutely DO NOT recommend renting motorbikes or ATV's from anywhere on Koh Tao with the sole exception of BIG BLUE BIKES at the entrance to our resort. I spent almost an entire day yesterday trying to get one of our guests off being ripped off by one of the island Motorbike renters. & she isn't the only one. Too many visitors have been robbed by various motorbike rental companies of their deposits, passports or Driving licenses through no fault of their own. If you do rent from anyone on Koh Tao other than BIG BLUE BIKES there is nothing we can do to help so please avoid this situation by listening to our advice... WE DO NOT RECOMMEND RENTING MOTORBIKES OR ATV's ON KOH TAO!!!

“Best diveschool for everybody”  Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 17, 2012- I found my stay at Big Blue very nice. I did the Open Water Course and the Advanced Course. Ben Prentice was my instructor, he explained everything well, step by step, so i didnt have to worrie about anything during my first dive experiences. Before the dives, during the dives and even after the dives we learnt a lot, and he told us a lot about everything. Also we had a lot of fun, so it wasnt only serious, but everyonehad a good time. Weird how much i have learnt in one week diving!! Me and my group coudnt wish us a better dive instructor!! 
 

Koh Tao is a beautiful paradise, full of amazing white sand beaches, incredible and variable cuisine, fantastic divers, adorable wildlife and breathtaking reefs. But right now it's EVEN BETTER!! Why? Well the geek inside me express how cool this is.. The Chagos archipelago is an array of 55 tiny islands, which contains the largest coral atoll on earth and over 60,000 square km of the shallow limestone reef and associated habitats, and about 300 seamounts and abyssal habitats. Chagos contains some of the world’s healthiest coral reefs and the cleanest sea water, sediments and marine life tested so far in the world.  It is by far Britain’s greatest area of marine biodiversity and a reservoir of biodiversity for an over exploited ocean. On 1st April 2010, the British Government announced the creation of the Chagos Marine Reserve. This designation of a fully no-take marine protected area (MPA) out to the 200 mile limit created the largest marine reserve in the world, a conservation legacy almost unrivalled in scale and significance. It will contribute greatly to a number of globally agreed targets, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity target to protect 10% of the oceans by 2020. No other action taken by the United Kingdom makes anything like such a considerable contribution to these agreed global targets. This decision undoubtedly establishes the UK as a world leader in marine conservation for the benefit of all nations. Prof Charles Sheppard was and still is a leading scientist in the diversity and ecology of the Chagos Marine Reserve, and his wife, Dr Anne Sheppard, is the editor of the Chagos news. These two amazing contributors to marine conservation are actually here on Koh Tao right now! We are very lucky to have them here, and they plan to do a few takls, presentations and marine dives with some of us on koh Tao to impart their vast wisdom. Watch this space for dates and times of their talks - I'll be in the front row! Visit and donate to The Chagos Conservation Trust at Chagos-Trust.org

Monday 17th December 2012-

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Day 17 in the month of December & we've got a 100% record! 17 Whalesharks in 17 days! Don't think I've ever scored 100% in anything ever before! Certainly hope this record continues for the next 2 weeks and we might have to write in to the Guinness Book of Records. They've been cropping up all over Koh Tao. Even had one the other afternoon at Twins, in about 18 meters depth & less than 200 meters off the beach at Nang Yuan Island. Fingers crossed for another succesful day of diving with Whalesharks tomorrow!

“Best dive school on the island”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 14, 2012 - If you're thinking of diving in koh Tao you have to come to big blue. It's got great accommodation great food and amazing staff. Our dive instructor was rich Todd and if you get a choice he is the best person you could wish for to teach you how to dive. But all the instructors are very friendly and easy to get on with. I can't say a bad word about big blue or it's staff.
 

Well I'm afraid we are now pretty much all sold up on rooms over Christmas & New Year. First time I've ever had to write it on the website which is disappointing as we don't want to put people off coming to dive with us. We do still take divers we just can't offer you any accommodation I'm afraid. What I do still have up my sleeve though is 8 beds in a single dormitory room but each bed is 250 bt per night! To be honest its about the only thing at a budget price still available tho I can get some more upmarket rooms for about 4000 Bt per night if so desired. Its going to be a pretty tough Chrimbo if you are expecting to come to Koh Tao & find something on the spot! Send us an email quick smart if you are still looking & we'll tell you what else we can do for you but please hurry. This time tomorrow I imagine those 8 bed dorms will have been completely sold out!

Saturday 15th December 2012-

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Each year 73 million sharks are killed for their fins. 64 species of sharks were named as Endangered by the IUCN last year. Many restaurants in Thailand sell shark steaks or shark fin soup. So one island and one city in Thailand decided to do something about it! Last year in September, Koh Tao hosted the Swim for Sharks 2013. 76 people swam 3.4 km around an island, 31 people shaved fins into their heads, and they raised over 120,000 baht for shark conservation. Unfortunately, a huge number of businesses from restaurants to hotels and conference centres display sharks in tanks or serve shark fin soup all around the world. So Dive Tribe and The Swim for Sharks decided to use the money raised to purchase sharks on display in tanks in Thailands restaurants and hotels, and sharks from markets being sold for their meat, and educate the owners as to why they should not keep sharks in tanks or fish them. These sharks are special too - over 70 sharks will be tagged with RF and simple identification tags so that when we do release them, we can monitor their movements, where we see them and if any turn up in the markets again, we can get an idea of where they are mainly being fished. All data will be monitored in the Koh Tao Shark Survey, a public data entry forum where you too can participate, if you ever spot a shark on Koh Tao. This information will help us understand the populations around our island and help us protect and conserve these valuable apex predators. Together with Dive Tribe in Pattaya, Big Blue Conservation is housing the Koh Tao Shark release. So if you're looking for a good time of year to visit us, make sure its around the 7th - 8th of February. There will be a chance to adopt your own shark and name the tag, and even release the shark yourself! Don't miss this!
 
“Great experience @ BigBlue!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Addvisor December 14, 2012- On the 27th of November we did de SSI Open Water Course at BigBlue. At first the lessons were planned as we preferred, even got a day off because of the full moon party :). Our instructor Daisy was very professional and passionate. We just couldn't wish for a better teacher! On our 3th and 4th dive we spotted Whalesharks, and got to swim with them the whole morning!! Thanks for this amazing week!

Good job all those who have managed to cut & remove the largest fishing net I've yet seen draped all over Chumphon Pinnacle yesterday. By first light this morning there was already 4 Diveshops down there cutting up the last of the net so by the time the majority of Koh tao's divers were underwater no one had any idea! Massive amount of fish casualties thankfully. Mostly just jacks which although sad is a hell of a lot better than catching a Whaleshark in there which I'm pleased to say decided to then make an appearance this morning as well & its the same one thats been there for the last few days so luckily no harm there. But still.. for a no fishing zone its a real shame to see the local fishermen not paying a blind bit of notice & an equal shame the local marine fisheries aren't seen to be enforcing the law. Good news is that there are stories of the fishing boat in question recorded on camera so that will be handed to the authorities & fingers crossed the guilty parties will be made soup out of! Thanks again to everyone who helped!

Friday 14th December 2012-

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We just gone potty for Rebreathers at the mo! If you were to walk into the Big Blue Tech Shack right now you'd be hard pressed to find any space that isn't completely taken up with Rebreather equipment! Diving on a Rebreather for those that don't know is the pinnacle of diving! What happens with a Rebreather is that when you exhale the Carbon Dioxide gets 'scrubbed' clean to leave you with oxygen that then goes back through the system allowing you therefore literally unlimited air supply & the very best thing about a Rebreather is that because you are 'rebreathing' your exhaled air there are no bubbles meaning you are completely silent underwater- like a fish! Allowing you to explore the underwater world as if you are as natural there as a dolphin. Slightly hairier and maybe not as nimble as a dolphin but you get the idea! Find out more with www.bigbluetech.net

“Best experience of my life!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on trip Advisor December 13, 2012 - In the spring of 2012 I was lucky enough to be lured by a diving instructor on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand into a discover scuba diving experience. As unconfortable as I was underwater (being the first time I've dived), I loved every minute of it. So I told myself that I have to do the courses on my next trip. Before the next trip, I've checked out a few websites, including WikiTravel, and found out that Koh Tao is the place to go to, if you're into diving. Then I did as much internet searching as possible to find out who to dive with on Koh Tao, since there's so many good places to choose from. In almost all reviews I've came across, one name came up all the time as ''one of the best", and that's Big Blue Diving. It was actually compared most of the times with another diving center on the island (supposedly fancier but less cool), and almost always came up as a winner in everybody's opinion. So I decided to give it a go. As soon as u see the pier on Koh Tao, you also see dozens of diving centers, all squeezed on a narrow beach. I remember thinking..."God! I hope Big Blue Diving is in a totally different place, 'cause I'd hate it to come back to this beach every morning". And, much to my delight...Big Blue has two main bars and attached facilities on Sairee beach, the largest and best beach on the island. I absolutely loved the location and atmosphere around the dive center, so I found myself coming there every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not just for starting the dive day. The next best thing about Big Blue Diving were Rich and Cassie, two very special people who seem to have found the secret to happiness. They didn't just make everybody feel comfortable both in the pool and 30m deep on the bottom of the ocean, but made me enjoy every second of every dive, in spite of me being probably the most demanding out of the entire bunch and the only one in the group who got lost during a dive :) If you're uncomfortable with something, they'll explain and show you as many times as possible how to get over it and everybody did. Both Rich and Cassie offered me their masks when I was complaining of my mask getting too foggy underwater. Seriously, how many instructors do that?! My buddy (who liked the O2 as much as his beers) even got a bigger tank of air to be able to stay down as long as us. And the cherry on top of the cake was the fact that we had a Whale Shark on 3 of those 9 dives, which is for some, a once in a lifetime experience. By the time the advanced course finished, my short trip to Thailand was also coming to an end, but even before leaving the island I had already decided to come back for more! So I'm going back to Koh Tao to these amazing guys at Big Blue, and will kindly ask them to teach me how to become a divemaster. And, to no surprise, I'm gonna ask Rich as an instructor, if he'll have me as a student again. :) (unfortunately Cassie is leaving the island). Thank you Rich and Cassie for a life changing experience! It has been, by far, the best trip I ever had! Last, but not the least, I wanna thank Laura, the DMT who was constantly watching over us on every dive. Thank you Laura for all the times u had to come up with the first one to finish the O2 or the first one to have any another problem underwater, allowing his or her buddy to remain underwater longer, and also for buddying with me on the Navigation dive and not give out to me when I was dragging you everywhere except in the right direction :D I can't wait to see you all again! I'll rub my nipples all the way to Thailand :D 
 

Well Mumma's & Pappa's and the people of Koh Tao, I've got some very exciting news for all those of you who haven't already heard. P Dusit (from Koh Tao Info) has very kindly agreed to let us use the land behind his shop to build a park/playground. I must just stress, this is not in any way a business venture, it is purely and simply a much needed space for the children of Koh Tao, so anyone interested in stepping up and getting involved in the project, please let me know. It's going to take a fair bit of planning and we are going to need lots of fund raising ideas and events along with any possible sponsorships of either cash donations or playground equipment donations (which of course will be honored with a plaque in prime position so that everyone knows whose it's been donated by). The more minds we can get together for this the better and anyone ready and willing to offer the skills required to create this mini wonderland will be cherished forever!!

Thursday 13th December 2012-

13So there's a rather hot photo doing the rounds of one of our previous members of staff Ao, our shop girl at Big Blue 2. I mean we were all aware that she was a looker but since she's left our employment she's become a model & blimey crikey! Why did we let her go? Thailands first Super model in the making maybe. Makes me want to start organising the calender we've been talking about for years of staff in their Birthday suits with strategically placed scuba tanks, snorkels or weightbelts. Then again all I got to do is take one look around the place & I realize its probably best we all kept our clothes on! Except you of course, Ao! You feel free to dress in whatever clobber makes you look this good! & if you want your old job back & want to sit around the shop looking like this all day then just give me a bell!

“Great times with great memories!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 11, 2012 - Big Blue has an excellent reputation and rightly so. Our instructor Ben struck a perfect balance between being proper jokes and very professional as the situation dictates. As one of the larger diving schools on the Island it had a wider variety of accommodation and courses to suit all needs. Would definitely recommend and return to Big Blue again.
 
To any budding marine biologists out there... Anne and Charles Sheppard, 2 top marine biologists from the UK will be doing marine biology led fun dives with in depth discussions on topics such as coral interactions and conservation. This will be throughout December and January. Get in touch if you are interested! There will also be a couple of lectures open for anyone to attend. Details to follow...

Wednesday 12th December 2012- 12

After months of speculation, anticipation and the announcement that Los Angeles-based philanthropist and co-creator of TV’s “The Simpsons,” Sam Simon, had donated funds for the purchase of a ship, Sea Shepherd's new Antarctic patrol ship, the SSS Sam Simon, was unveiled yesterday in Australia. Her 56-meter hull painted bright white with a classic Sea Shepherd Conservation Society logo on her sides, and displaying a large “S” on her tall black smokestack, the Sam Simon has clearly received several months of careful preparation prior to Sea Shepherd's most ambitious Antarctic campaign yet. The Sam Simon carries a crew of 24 international volunteers, including ex PADI Divemaster James Brooks pictured here (4th from left) in his Big Blue Tech T-shirt! James & his colleagues aim to find the Japanese whaling fleet and chase it out of the Antarctic Treaty Zone without a single whale killed.  It is Sea Shepherd's most ambitious campaign to date. Good luck James!

“'Don't go here if you want a PADI certification' – FALSE!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor -December 11, 2012 - Having been on Koh Tao for about five months and diving with Big Blue during the entire time, I've finally decided to write a review after reading a (horse s**t) review by a fellow called Peter W. I can't say what happened with this guy but I find it hard to believe his information is accurate or even truthful, let alone fair and justifiable. The staff, from the front office to the divemasters and instructors, and even the restaurant and bar, have all been nothing short of amazingly courteous and professional. I came here originally with the intent to do my Open Water certificate, which I completed under Ant's tutelage. I should point out here that I am completely deaf and despite this Ant has been unerringly easy-going and humorous and yet obviously knows what he's doing (having done more than a few thousand dives, he would). After I completed my OW, I decided I needed more and so went on to do my Advanced Open Water, also under Ant's guidance. Even then, it wasn't enough and I went on to complete my specialties in Deep Diving, Nitrox, and Wreck. You'd think by this point I had had enough, but no – I undertook the Rescue Diver course, this time under another consummate professional named Guy, who clearly knew what he was doing and answered every question, no matter how mundane, with the same professionalism, courtesy and humour that Ant has shown. And guess what? All these courses were done under PADI. So I don't know what Peter was on, but PADI courses are definitely offered at all levels (except instructor's, I think, but you'll need to clarify this with one of the extremely friendly staff at the office). Yes there are small differences in prices and the way training is conducted when it comes to PADI and SSI, but in the end the already very high quality of training remains the same and the licences are equally valid worldwide. Have a chat with the staff there, talk to an instructor (one of them will always have time for you) and see for yourself. I'm still diving with Big Blue as I am now a divemaster in training (in SSI, but not because of quality differences!), and have also started an internship with Big Blue Tech (a subsidiary of Big Blue specialising in technical diving) and I enjoy each and every single dive, reacreational or technical, without exception. I can't speak for other dive schools but Big Blue is obviously at the top of their game, still in their prime and in no way failing to meet expectations. Again, as I said, have a chat with them and make your own mind up. I do not work for Big Blue or get a discount for writing this; I'm doing this of my own volition as a paying customer as I was just astounded by the recent negative review, which in my view is completely unjustifiable and unrealistic. Dive with Big Blue – you won't (and can't) regret it!


Saved!!...By a shark?!? Mr Teitoi and his brother in law were lost at sea after drifting off course and running out of fuel. Unfortunately Mr Teitoi's brother in law passed away due to severe dehydration. On the cusp of following his brother in law, Mr Teitoi was awoken one day by a scratching on the side of his boat. When he looked over he saw a 6 foot shark circling and bumping the hull! Once the shark had his attention, he swam away towards a fishing boat off in the distance - the shark had guided Mr Teitoi to safety! "He was guiding me to a fishing boat. I looked up and there was the stern of a ship and I could see crew with binoculars looking at me." Said Mr Teitoi. I mean, I've always loved sharks, but that is pretty JAWesome don't you think?? The shark helped Mr Teitoi find a bigger boat! Ok enough shark puns, I promise. The End. (FIN.) 

Tuesday 11th December 2012-

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Nothing like starting the day going to 2 different Divesites & diving with 2 different Whalesharks! It's almost as if Whalesharks grow on trees. In all my days on Koh Tao, & there's been a few, I've never known Koh Tao to be this rife with Whalesharks. I think the previous annual record for Whaleshark sightings was 52, one per week which aint a bad average, but this year we've more than doubled that. Think we're near 120 whalesharks spotted over the whole year! If things keep going at this rate come the end of 2013, we might need to be finding ourselves more divesites!

'Hello! We just wanted to send a quick note thanking Big Blue for giving us such an amazing first diving experience. We came to Koh Tao not even sure that we wanted to dive at all and we ended up extending our stay to take our advanced course and were extremely sad that we had to leave the island to catch a flight. We've already decided that we'll be back to continue our training. HUGE thanks to Billy who definitely made our experience... Could not have asked for a better instructor. Thanks again and we'll be seeing Big Blue in 2013! Anna Frackowiak and Lauren Black.'

Limbering up for the Christmas Staff Party which will be held here at Big Blue Restaurant on the 22nd December from 7pm till late. Everybody welcome but its 150 Bt per head (except for staff) for an all you can eat Buffet. We will be holding our annual Staff awards but this year with a slight difference as we're going to be serious for a change. So nominations please for your favourite member of staff, the best Instructor, the best Divemaster, & the member of staff you feel has contributed the most to Big Blue this year. There will be other awards given out aswell & I'm still open to Award nominations so if you have anything special you want to say please jot me a line & I'll consider it! Looking forward to hearing your opinions!

Friday 7th December 2012- 

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A beautiful story yesterday of how Divers rescued a whale shark caught in thick rope off the coast of Mexico.The pregnant whale shark had got wrapped in a thick rope which had to be cut off by the divers who were accompanying tourists when they spotted the distressed creature. It took two trips, to 30m below the surface, to check the condition of the 10m-long shark and then to remove the rope. A large, deep scar could be seen on the whale shark's back once the rope was removed, leading the divers to believe that the animal had been trapped for some time.Whats also soo cool about this story is that quite obviously the Whaleshark knew the divers were trying to help because it hardly did any swimming but just floated there so the divers could free it. Wicked video. Good job guys!

 
“Amazzzing and unforgettable!!!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor November 30, 2012 - Fun dive Oct 2012, with the world's most incredible dive instructor... Skuey! Thank you Skuey, I can't say enough about what an AMAZZZING experience this truly was!!!! I was as green (and nervous) as beginner divers come, but Skuey made me feel incredibly safe and confident. Thanks to her expertise, I somehow summoned the superhero powers needed to scuba successfully! "Ship"loads of thanks (to Skuey and Big Blue) for a truly AMAZZZING and unforgettable experience!!! Michelle (truly Canadian, eh?) 
 
Koh Tao Weather update! Feckin Hot! No wind no rain no swell no clouds even. Just a massive big bright ball of blinding light giving off enormous energy of good times great vibrations & burning sensations. Forecast is for more of the same! Diving conditions are pretty freaking good for this time of year too. Blue! Blue Water. As far as the eye can see. Interspersed with some large sea creatures & some small ones too! And that pretty much sums up your Koh Tao weather forecast. How's the weather with you?

Thursday 6h December 2012-

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So its easy to talk about Whalesharks all week especially as we're on day 6 now without a Whaleshark but it does get a little tedious if thats all we talk about so here's something completely different! The Big Eyed Trevelly. We get them here all over Koh Tao but at Chumphon Pinnacle they often form a typhoon shaped school of thousands. If you're lucky enough to be diving on a rebreather you can even get into the middle of this typhoon & have them whirling around all round you! its one of the underwater worlds most awesome encounters so if you're in to it just swing by the shop and ask to Chumphon Pinnacle so you can check out these schools of Trevally, if the whalesharks don't get in your way!

“Amazing experience + amazing staff”  Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 4, 2012- Did a diving refresher course and my Advanced Open Water cert here last month -- what an awesome experience! My instructors over both courses -- Regi, Petra, and Natalie -- were fantastic. Incredibly professional and knowledgable, not to mention super friendly and just plain fantastic to spend time with. I couldn't ask for more from divemasters/instructors. Big Blue's dive-related facilities were great, and the bar and waterfront restaurant were a fun place to relax at after the beautiful dives (their pad thai with prawns was one of my favorites on this quick trip to Thailand -- and at a dive resort, who knew?). But it's people that make for great times, and the staff at Big Blue helped make our vacation amazing.
 

Well another month gone, another successful conservation action done! Congratulations to our super Marine Conservationists who just completed the BSAC Marine Conservation skill development programme as part of their Marine Conservation Internship. Now Harrie, Cait, Nick, Laura, Sophia, Emily, Ashley and Naomi can fly the eco flag high and contribute to conservation all around the world. From here, Harrie is off to work in Australia in Ninglaoo Reserve, Cait is going to save the mantas, Emily is completing a degree in marine science, Sophia is going to start filming all the beautiful aquatic life, Laura and Nick will be snapped up for Divemaster work as all the dive schools want the most Eco friendly divemasters around, Naomi  enforces the law on being green, and Ashley is saving the lives of fish and bananas all round. So pretty much green kings and queens! Cheers guys, congratulations on your jobs in conservation, don't forget us at Big Blue Conservation for all your training when you're rich and famous living in your carbon neutral green-houses eating sustainably sourced goodness!

Wednesday 5th December 2012-

5

Wow! I have just been going through the figures for November & am completely blown away by how busy we have been! Its actually been our busiest month of the year! Not bad for Monsoon! 6 new Instructors, 6 newly crossed over Instructors, 6 DCSI Upgrades and a shedload of new SSI DM's, Open Water Students & those Open Water students who went on to do their Advanced Course! Absolutely phenomenal! Thanks again to Guy, Simo & Tosh for holding the reigns, to the Whalesharks for being around, for all our customers who have just been awesome, PADI for saving us a fortune in lost revenue & for our Manager for going away just when we got super busy! 

“SUCH A NICE PLACE !!”  Reviewed on Trip Advisor November 28, 2012 - One of the best dive shop on tao.... no bigblue diving is the BEST DIVING SHOP IN KOH TAO, i have past 7 days at the bigblue at my first trip in thailand, and it was just perfect !! the food,the dive crew, the accomodation, the spot on the island !! so sweet! iam in love whit this place its why i going back at the big blue for 2 months in junuary !! add this place in your list if you past in thailand !

 

So we got some great news to share with you! We got a new boat! Its big its fast its very sleek & its going to be here just after Christmas! To be honest it isn't actually new! Its our old Maya boat but we've done an enormous amount of work to it to make her a more appropriate vessel for our Fun Divers. We've removed the wooden hull & have replaced it with steel so its going to sit alot better in the water & we've made the dive deck a little friendlier & more space on the top deck so it'll be easier for our buffet Lunches & breakfasts when we have our Full Day Trips. We'll be running Full Day Trips 7 days a week! 3 days a week to Sail Rock, 1 day to the 3 best Dive sites around Koh Tao , 1 day a week to the Angthong Marine Park & 1 day a week to the very unexplored but amazingly beautiful Chumphon Marine Park! Certified Divers only! Trips are going to be starting from 2nd January so drop us a line to find out more about dates & schedules.

Tuesday 4th December 2012

4

Has to have been the best year in recent memory for Whaleshark sightings in Koh Tao. I beleive the count for this year so far is over 100 different Whalesharks. & Weirdly enough it seems November, totally not whaleshark season, was as good a month as any for seeing them! & December hasn't been bad either with Whalesharks spotted every day so far this month! But speak to the locals here on Koh Tao especially those who used to be fishermen they tell us that in the old days they'd pop out on their boats & there'd be days when quite literally they would see 30- 40 whalesharks & thats just at the surface! Well maybe those days are coming back! Fingers, toes, knees & elbows crossed!

"To whom it may concern, I was recently in Koh Tao at Big Blue for the SSI open water diving course. I am so happy with the experience. Both classroom and open water learning was great. I did have my first ever panic attack on the first dive and thus was unable to complete it. The staff at big blue was incredibly kind and helpful, encouraging and helping me calm down. On the second dive, my instructor, Mikey, got John Huntington to dive with me so he could go down with the class and I could go down for a dive as well. Diving with John was one of the most positive experiences I've had. He was incredibly reassuring and calming. Before we went down, he told me there was no under water experience he wouldn't be able to help me with. Not only did his words have a calming experience, but so did his actions. He took of his mask and regulator to show me how easy it would be to get it under control in a real life situation, kept giving me the okay signal, and smiled throughout the dive. He also held my hand a few times when he could see me getting tense and pointed at different things under water which got me really excited to be there too, forgetting whatever hesitation and anxiety I initially had on the first dive. After we came up, John gave me a big high five and told me that over 70% of the world was now open to me. This was really amazing and made my second and third dive such positive and reassuring experiences. Though I was unable to go on my fourth dive due to ear pressure problems, I will certainly look into continuing my SSI course home. I think this was in great part because of the experience at big blue but also my one on one session with John. The skills, reassurance and excitement he reinforced and reassured me with made my days in Koh Tao not only unforgettable, but sparked a deeper appreciation and respect for sea and diving. I really want to commend the open water course and John. Thank you! Camila Merlano"

'There's no place like home.' Tap my heels together 3 times & low & behold I'm back on the Rock!  Thanks to Instructor Guy who seems to have managed to hold the place together better than I usually do! Thanks for SSI Simo who saved his holiday till the day I returned back from mine. & thanks to Part timer Tosh who seems to have taken his holiday about the same time I did! Nice to see the place is still intact while I've been away. No gas explosions in the kitchen & no flooded resort unlike this time last year. I've never seen the place looking so busy! I really should go on holiday more often! Tap my heels together 3 times 'There's no place like a holiday' and... Bugger... Still here!

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