Friday 21st September 2012-
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.
“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!
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.
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-
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” 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-
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.
“A blinder at BB” - 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-
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!
Thursday 13th September 2012-
Wednesday 12th September 2012-
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!
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-
"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-
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!
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-
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” 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!
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!
Saturday 1st September 2012-
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!