Updated Thursday 30th August 2012-
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-
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
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 -
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-
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-
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-
"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).
Bull Sharks at Sail Rock
Experienced, really nice, patient and friendly
Swim For Sharks around Koh Nang Yuan
To SSI or to PADI, that is the question?
Lonely Planet Recommendation
Coming to Thailand Emirates Airlines?
Introducing Big Blue Liveaboard M.V. Hallelujah
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-