Tuesday 28th February 2012-
Photographed near Oslob in the Philippines, these images show the once-in-a-lifetime behaviour of a half dozen whale sharks up to 25ft long and the 12 or so fishermen. The food-based friendship centres around the brine shrimp the fishermen are catching and the trust between man and the world's largest fish is evident to see as a whale shark approaches a local fisherman to be hand-fed brine shrimp in shallow waters approaches a local fisherman to be hand-fed brine shrimp in shallow waters. The local fisherman see the whale sharks as good luck charms for their catch. They are also charging £1.50 to let photographers capture the friendship to supplement their incomes. 'It was a lifetime moment, just me, the fishermen, and these gentle whale sharks. What was most touching was the relationship between the fishermen and the sharks. The fishermen clearly cared for these animals, and the whale sharks demonstrated such trust in them. Having witnessed the slaughter of whale sharks at the hands of fishermen elsewhere in the region, this interaction was a beacon of hope for me, a message that both man and whale shark could co-exist, could develop trust, and even appreciate one another.'
Well today is the closing day for Blue Season Bali's Best Dive Job in the world. After today no more entries will be accepted and starting March 1st, one name of the final cut will be released each day for 10 days. The final winner will be announced on March 15th. Finally, after 5 long months of campaigning and harrasing everyone,it's almost over. We still need to push to the finish line since it's not over until it's over. Please continue to like my Joe Zeiler's fanpage, comment on her application page and post photos, videos and general whacky, fun support. Please take a moment to leave a comment :) We're almost there everyone!! Let's keep it up!!! THE FINAL PUSH!! LET'S GO OUT WITH A SPLASH!!!
Big Blue's divers has done it again - diving with turtles, turtles and more turtles!!! The last week we have had the great pleasure to dive with hawksbill and green turtles all around the island, from Green Rock and Shark Island to Mae Haad (!) and even on our coral nursery on Sairee Reef! We have said it before and can't help but repeating ourselves: want to see a turtle? Then come diving with Big Blue!
Saturday 25th February 2012-
Today is Bryan, our BSAC diveleader intern's final expedition planning day. Our Techies located a pinnacle earlier this month and took some GPS marks. Today Bryan has been tasked with taking a team of suitably qualified divers to do an underwater survey of the site. We know it is deep, starting at roughly 30 meters and our deepest sonar reading is 45 meters. Lots of logistical planning to all come together on the day but this is what we dive for, finding new sites and exploring areas many people will never go. Best of British Big Blue BSAC Bryan!
“Great Place to Organize Dives or Courses” This was one of our two favorite dive companies that we dealt with on our trip to Koh Tao. This group is very professional and likes to make you laugh. We were very happy with our dives. The only other dive company we loved was Calypso in Tanote Bay as they were a bit more personable than the rest and a bit more laid back...plus we did dives straight off the beach which was awesome. Big Blue is bigger group and therefore has heaps of courses running and so there sometimes felt like there was a bit of chaos but not in a bad way. Afterall we are all on holidays, right?! Their prices are competitive as well which helps when there are so many dive companies around the Sairee area. I would use this company again on our return trip. If you are in the Sairee area use this group and you will have a fabulous diving experience."
And finally if you are new to the world of Scuba Diving then please adhere to these basic rules:
* Don't take up diving to get a suntan.
* People who look good with a mask on are usually ugly without one.
* Inverse Law of Patches: A diver's ability is inversely proportional to the number of patches they wear
* Diving unprotected with a stranger is like having unprotected sex with a stranger.
* Never clear a snorkel on a Mexican Federale'
* Anyone who says they have never been afraid while diving hasn't been diving or is a bad liar.
* Never use a sun intensifier lotion within 30 miles of the Equator.
* People say the funniest things when you shut their air off.
* Never have sex underwater above a coral reef.
* Dry Suits and Beers do not mix
* Buddies are never where you need them to be.
* You WILL run out of film before the Whale Shark Swims By
* 60 minute camcorder batteries aren't
Friday 24th February 2012-
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the largest natural coral formation on Earth and you'll soon be able to see it in all its glory—from your desk. The Catlin Seaview Survey, a collaboration between Google, the University of Queensland, and the Caitlin Group, will perform a diagnostic on the reef system's health via a panoramic underwater photographic and video survey. The program has already taken some preliminary surveys, though the group plans to undertake the projects main component—three surveys begin at 20 points around the reef—in September. Images will be captured by a 360-degree camera (actually four conveniently positioned fish-eye lens SLR's) affixed to the front end of an Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) for shallow surveys, and robotic subs for surveys between 30 and 100 meters. The group hopes to also study how and if the migratory behavior of tiger sharks, green turtles and manta rays has been affected by global warming. Starting today Internet users should be able to access these images via Google Street View and will also be able to watch video of each study section on YouTube. [University of Queensland via New Scientist]
“Highlight of my Holiday!” I just wanted to write to thank the big blue crew on Koh Tao. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I was quite nervous about diving but the team there were absolutely brilliant. Our instructor "Ludo" was nothing short of a champion! Really helpful, patient, and a lot of fun! The resort itself is really chilled out with a good vibe in the evenings, plus all the big bars and clubs are just a stones throw down the beach. I couldnt recommend this place enough for anyone hoping to do a dive course in Koh Tao, it really was the highlight of my holiday to Thailand. Thanks Guys!!!
Awesome conditions here in Koh Tao right now. Beautiful hot sunny tropical days. Crystal clear, great visibiltiy, warm water at 30 degrees, calm surface conditions & more fish than can you shake a stick at! There's an awesome 40 meter long wall of Barracuda, a twisting typhoon of Big Eyed Jacks & a massive school of Batfish on one of the descent lines at Chumphon Pinnacle, & we got turtles all over the place aswell as rays eels & you can almost smell them! Sharks! Keep your eyes out folks. I think we're about to be inundated with Bulls, Blacktips & Grey Reefs soon! The conditions are just perfect for the plethora of sharks we often get at this time of year! Watch this space!
Monday 20th February 2012-
In Taiji, Japan, home to the notorious Taiji Whale Museum, captive dolphins are kept in abysmal conditions. This museum is right around the corner from the killing Cove where thousands of dolphins are slaughtered brutally every year, as depicted in The Cove documentary. Outrageously, the Taiji Whale Museum, run by the town of Taiji, helps capture dolphins for the international trade in live dolphins for dolphinariums around the world. While the Taiji dolphin hunters get around $500 or so for a dead dolphin when sold on the market for meat, the Taiji Whale Museum will get more than $150,000 on the international market for a trained live dolphin, and so the Museum actually subsidizes the bloody dolphin drive hunts. We call this international trade Blood Dolphin$. At the Taiji Whale Museum you will find the smallest dolphin tank in the world. This tank now plays host to two spotted dolphins that are listless and hang at the surface of the tank as if they were dead. It is a horrible situation in a horrible facility! These two poor dolphins have been nicknamed Sad and Lonely. They will soon be dead, if their conditions are not improved. Ironically, the Japanese label in this tank notes that these two dolphins are of a species that is rare in captivity, because they do not do well in captivity! You can help shut down the smallest dolphin tank in the world!Please spread the word to your friends and family. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of Sad and Lonely!
Today is BSAC all the way with Donny starting his BSAC dive leader crossover and Dan starting his BSAC ocean diver course. Both of these guys have looked into the BSAC syllabus and realised it is far more comprehensive than the other agencies, thus giving you more as a diver in training. Dan is with us for the whole of 2012 and moving through the ranks as our newest intern. Donny is leaving Thailand in 3 weeks to head back to Australia for a music tour, he will be plucking his banjo all up the east coast of OZ throughout April so make sure you get to see him and his band if you are on the east coast of OZ. He will then be coming back to join BBT once again to concentrate on becoming a BSAC instructor and Tech Divemaster.
Friday 17th February 2012-
Congratulations to Ex-Big Blue Student Joe Zeiler who is through from the semi's & into the finals for the Best Dive Job in the world. There are only a few people that now stand between her and a 25,000$, 7 month dive internship in beautiful Bali!!! & she needs all our help! So please spare a minute & do the following:
1) "like" my facebook fanpage "Joe Zeiler for best job in the world"
2) visit my application page and leave a comment. You can leave as many as you want so please go back regularly and remind Blue Season Bali that I'm the one .Tell them why I'm the best choice or simply give me a "good luck"
4) share all this with your friends. I need as much support as possible.
Please take a moment to do one or all of the above. Please keep the support coming. The next round of cuts is on the 1st and then the winner is announced on the 15th. GO JOE FOR (second) BEST DIVE JOB IN THE WORLD!
Another day, another 4 turtles! Adult hawksbill sea turtles have been known to grow up to 1 m in length, weighing around 80kgs on average. The heaviest hawksbill ever captured was measured to be 127 kgs. The hawksbill sea turtle has several characteristics that distinguish it from other sea turtle species. Its elongated, tapered head ends in a beak-like mouth (from which its common name is derived), and its beak is more sharply pronounced and hooked than others. The hawksbill's arms have two visible claws on each flipper. Big Blue had the great pleasure to spend our night dive (!) with one juvenile hawksbill turtle last night, and then we were greated by another 2 at Hin Wong Pinnacle this morning. And as if that was not enough - there was another hawksbill turtle at our coral nursery just an hour ago! Haven't seen one yet? Then come diving with Big Blue!
“Got hooked on diving here” Went to Big Blue because I saw some good stories and heard it was chilled out. Anyway they pick you up from the ferry and when you get there you know its the place. Picture perfect and a warm welcome. The prices are pretty much the same all around the island(Koh tao is one of the cheapest places in the world where you can get you're open water). so there's no use comparing those. Did my SSI Open water course and my SSI advanced in 5 days with Ludo. His way of teaching was laid back but very enthousiastic about diving. He even made sure my hotel woke me up when I slept in a little bit for the first day! You can get free accomodation when you dive there, just not when you book online in advance(this is a bit odd). Anyway I got hooked on diving while I was here and i'll definitely come back. "
Friday 1oth February 2012-
Awesome diving at the moment. Heaps of fish, great visibility, warm water, flat seas, & despite the island being as busy as it is the dive sites just really aren't that busy at the moment. I'm sure thats gonna change with the influx of the Full Moon Party people who arrive this week, but it sure is nice right now. Whalesharks as well. Big Schools of Barracuda's big ones & little ones. a giant tornado of Big Eyed Jacks off Baracuda Rock at Chumphon Pinnacle & a whole procession of Batfish all the way down the descent line. Groupers, King Mackerel, triggers, rays & eels. Its all good diving here in Koh Tao right now! Don't beleive come see for yourself! If you aint 100% happy with your dives with us then I'll even give you them for free!
Mushroom corals make up a significant proportion of our reef community on Koh Tao, and Big Blue Diving is supporting a significant propotion of research into this dynamic species such as population dynamics and adaptation to coral bleaching. Dr Bert Hoeksema who wrote this article featured on BBC news is one of our top collaborators. If you want to help out with more science research making it to the headlines of the BBC, contact Big Blue Conservation!
“Professionalism and Hospitality”- Here is a special thanks from myself to the whole diving crew at Big Blue Diving Resort. I had an absolutely incredible time during my 8 day stay with you guys and enjoying every minute of the diving to the food and fire shows on the beach, so I will be recommending this to all of my friends. Diving is a truly exhilerating experience because you get to feel and see things that most people never have a chance to encounter as well as the quiet you experience from the inhability to talk makes it really magical. The underwater world just seems to dance in the current and although I was prepared for something great I really didn't expect it to be as spectactular as it was. I would also like to make a special note of pointing out my instructor Curtis Lentz. He helped guide me through the Open Water course as well as the Advance Open Water course with a laid back but confident style of teaching that made it very fun and easy to learn. He took the divinging experiences he has had, along with his vast knowledge of the underworld and conveyed them with relative ease in a way that everybody could follow, acknowledge, understand and respect. To put it simply I would say that he superseded my expectations. I look forward to re-visiting the Big Blue Diving Resort, and all of those who helped in making my time there so wonderful (Nik, Chris, Reggie ...the list is just too long...) Until next time I wish you all the best;" Trip Advisor 5 out of 5 stars- Re
Wednesday 8th February 2012-
Donny, Rik & Rach graduate from their TDI Advanced Nitrox-Over the past 3 days Donny, Rik & Rachel have been gaining the skills and knowledge required to move on to become Advanced Nitrox qualified. This course teaches people the risks and benefits from using rich mixes of enriched air nitrox (40%-100%) to be used as a multi-level dive gas. They have been using the latest deco software planning systems for planning their dives and have been introduced to new dive planning techniques such as, gas management, contingency planning, gas usage, equipment usage, best mix calculations for a multi-level dive plus much more. The final day was on the wreck and the guys smashed it, they hit every run time, every gas switch and all skills with great control and skill. Congratulations guys, you have truly earn your certification!!!!! Many people ask "what are the benefits of the Advanced Nitrox course"? Well in simple terms, it means you can use 2 mixes of breathing gas to conduct a dive over a multilevel dive profile, using the lean mix for the deeper 1st part of the dive then coming up to the working maximum operating depth of the rich gas and swapping onto this will push your no decompression limit right away, thus giving you massive dive times without risk of running low on gas or reaching the requirement for decompression stops.
“Professionalism and Hospitality”- Here is a special thanks from myself to the whole diving crew at Big Blue Diving Resort. I had an absolutely incredible time during my 8 day stay with you guys and enjoying every minute of the diving to the food and fire shows on the beach, so I will be recommending this to all of my friends. Diving is a truly exhilerating experience because you get to feel and see things that most people never have a chance to encounter as well as the quiet you experience from the inhability to talk makes it really magical. The underwater world just seems to dance in the current and although I was prepared for something great I really didn't expect it to be as spectactular as it was. I would also like to make a special note of pointing out my instructor Curtis Lentz. He helped guide me through the Open Water course as well as the Advance Open Water course with a laid back but confident style of teaching that made it very fun and easy to learn. He took the divinging experiences he has had, along with his vast knowledge of the underworld and conveyed them with relative ease in a way that everybody could follow, acknowledge, understand and respect. To put it simply I would say that he superseded my expectations. I look forward to re-visiting the Big Blue Diving Resort, and all of those who helped in making my time there so wonderful (Nik, Chris, Reggie ...the list is just too long...) Until next time I wish you all the best" Trip Advisor-
Tuesday 7th February 2012-
Many fear the moray eel, a fish with a snakelike and scaleless body, and specie of the Anguilliformes family. In effect, it is widely known to be aggressive, dangerous and above all, real ugly! All the same, the diversity of its coat is at times worth comparing with the most beautiful printed fabrics: speckled, tattooed, freckled, stripped… and complete with a large range of colours: chocolate brown, off white, black, sandy yellow and even, scarlet blue. As for its size, it varies considerably from 25 centimetres for the ribbon moray to approximately 3 metres for the giant moray! But is it scarey? Is it heck! The eel is the joker of the sea! Eels always look like they just told a joke & are waiting for a reaction! " I said 12 inch pianist! D'ya get it? Huh? Do ya?"
And right on cue the Whaleshark arrives on Koh Tao! Yesterday it was at Hin Wong, one of the best Dive sites on the East side of Koh Tao. Chances are its making its way north from Samui, via Sail Rock where it was seen last week then up the East side of the island here probably a little further north of Chumphon Pinnacle & then back down again to Chumphon & then presumably the west coast of Koh Tao at Dive sites like Green Rock, Nang Yuan Island, White Rock & Twins. & of course its the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party tonight so the island is going to get real busy tomorrow. Good job we've got Whalesharks here to keep everyone entertained!
“Excellent instruction and good times had by all.”- I booked in advance online, so when I arrived, I was picked up and taken strait to Big Blue. The location is perfect and everyone I met was friendly. If you're lucky enough to have Medwin as your instructor, you will learn and laugh a lot! He made everyone feel very comfortable and I'll definitely go back for the advanced course if I have time. As far as accommodations go, you can basically get whatever you want depending on your budget. I went with the free dorm and it was perfect for what I needed. Nights were pretty relaxed, but if you want something different, it's just a short walk down the beach till you find what you're looking for. Trip Advisor- 5 of 5 stars.
Friday 3rd February 2012-
Over the past four days Big Blue BSAC have been conducting BSAC instructor crossovers. Serena, Ludo and Rachel are already PADI and SSI instructors with lots of experience between them. Rach has done all her teaching in the UK prior to coming to Koh Tao, Serena has done all her teaching in Canada prior to coming to Koh Tao and Ludo started out in Denmark with his diving career. This year BSAC in Thailand and in particular at Big Blue will be massive, we are pushing things forward with lots of projects and project big things from this year from a BSAC point of view. The guys have had to deal with lots of things within this crossover that no other recreational training agency covers, such as, decompression diving, shot line deployment, distance lines, charts, tides and weather forecasting. All agreed the ways of teaching and the materials covered is a brilliant way of teaching. Roll on the BSAC students turning up!!!!!!
Swimming pool at our new resort is coming on. We've dug the hole, laid the iron bars down & the concrete comes next. Moving on quite quickly with it too. I've been taking day to day photos to assess the speed with which its being built & will show you the before and after shot nearer completion. Meanwhile suffice is to say that its way bigger than it looks on paper! 12 meters long & 8 meters wide & 3 meters deep at its max truely is a fair size. & as you can probably imagine rather a lot of soil too. But its only 3 weeks away from completion so its all good. In fact its better than that its Flicking awesome! Can't wait!
“The best dive school i've ever been too.” - Before choosing the dive school I wanted to do my Rescue Diver and Divemaster with, I undertook all the research that you have clearly started to, by being here and reading this! It was an important decision for me, so I read every message board, magazine, website and spoke to friends that had previously worked in diving in Thailand. Not considering just Koh Tao, but also Phi Phi, Phuket and Koh Lak. The much better seasonal conditions and island atmosphere made my decision to chose Koh Tao, and from there I travelled to the island with three dive schools in the frame, and a few days to dive with each of them before making what I thought would be an extremely difficult decision…… It wasn’t. Big Blue stood out from all the others in every way. You have the rare choice of qualifying with either PADI, SSI or BSAC; its location is perfect, as are the facilities and the equipment. It is also one of the few dive schools that has a real emphasis on being eco friendly and educating all its divers on this important subject. On my first dives I went to sites I’d already dived with rival schools and Divemaster Steven completely changed the way they seemed, finding interesting routes through them and every fish/crustacean/reptile and for those of you that know him, of course mollusc that previously would have gone unnoticed. All this swayed my decision to choose Big Blue and I couldn’t have been happier with that decision. Without doubt the Big Blue Divemaster program was the experience of my life! Not only in the water, but also out of it! The family that makes up Big Blue make so many people’s experiences all the more special, in particularly mine. I can’t wait to get back there!"- Trip Advisor, 5 out of 5 stars.
Wednesday 1st January 2012-
"Hello Big Blue, Once upon a time I got my OW and AOW at Big Blue thanks to the charms of Koh Tao and the charms of everyone at Big Blue I became addicted to diving. 2 years later I'm battling to win a 25,000$ dive internship in Bali as part of "The Best Dive Job in the World" competition in Bali. I need all the support I can get to help me win! Please take a minute to like my fanpage "Joe Zeiler for best job in the world 2012" and visit my application page, scroll to the bottom and leave a comment of support. Help me change my life so that I can become an instructor and move back to K.Tao and work at Big Blue!!!
Probably not the best time to have started digging a hole measuring 12 meters long by 8 meters wide and 3 meters deep at its maximum depth, but then again I don't think anyone was expecting 48 hours of solid rain which is pretty much what we've just had here for the past few days. So the swimming pool at the new resort, although it has a lot of water in it, it isn't quite what we had in mind when we designed our new Dive Resort, but I assure you... just give us 4 weeks & we're gonna be diving in the best pool on Koh Tao... just as long as it stops prepissitating!
The first month of 2012 is already over and what did January bring us? Well, it started off with the grand visit of a couple a whalesharks, while the turtles been around throughout the whole month, especially on our night dives at White Rock! Big Blue headed out to our coral nursery with DMT's Jason Thorburn, Anke, Rich and Kevin and DM Kelly Richards to check how our little ones were doing and they sure look great, and so does Sairee North, Big Blue's adopted reef. Together with Big Blue Tech's Andrew F Cavell, James Foleher, Rachel, Sara and Bryan Big Blue Conservation and DMT's Sara Göransson, Stina Undén, Jason, Nick, Donny and Chris Garcin headed out to Southwest and Chumpon Pinnacle and removed the nets there. Those trips were successful in many ways - nets were removed, we all learned a lot about technical dive planning but most importantly - Techie Cav can now spot a scorpion fish AND he knows the sign for baby barracudas! The month of January ended nicely with a lionfish at Hin Pee Wee and of course our monthly clean up. This time 17 divers volunteered to give us a hand cleaning up Sairee Beach and Liam Thien Bay, and DM Regina Tofte Petersen was of course there to help! Thank you January and bring on February!