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Big Blue Diving Resort - Koh Tao - Thailand

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!

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