Monday 30th January 2012-
A Lions Mane Jellyfish, the largest jellyfish in the world. First mistaken for a large whale bogey, the Lions Mane Jellyfish have been swimming in arctic waters since before the dinosaurs (over 650 million years ago) and are among some of the oldest surviving species in the world. There you go. How's that for starting your day off with a useless bit of Marine trivia!
Sunday 29th January 2012-
Good to see Big Blue Diving is still rated First in Lonely Planets list of Must do things on Koh Tao! & even better to see that we are rated 4th out of 2960 things to do in Thailand! I see that the 3 biggest reasons for rating us so highly is 3) the quality of Dive Instruction, 2) the welcoming & friendly atmosphere of everyone at Big Blue & the Number One reason for making Big Blue Diving the Number 1 place to visit in Koh Tao & the fourth place in Thailand is .... the Big Blue Pizza! Still the best Pizza on Koh Tao! & apparently the fourth best in Thailand!
Well the office is almost completed! So close to completion in fact that we asked the local monks to come over yesterday morning to bless the place! Its always a good thing to do in Thailand as the Thai people beleive in Ghosts and a monk ceremony is often performed on new building or homes before the tenants move in to rid the place of bad spirits. So last Friday we rid the place of the bad spirits. You know people like Canada & Yvonne (lol guys only kidding) & had our new office blessed with prayer, food drink & holy water. I just know 2012 is going to be our best year yet! Can you feel it? Ooh I can!
So its Instructor Crossover day tomorrow for any existing Instructors from PADI or SSI who are interested in being able to teach BSAC courses as well. We have about 2 or 3 of our own Instructors adding another string to their Bow & I beleive there will be a few more from other Dive centers coming here tomorrow aswell. The Instructors will each be taught by our very own Big Blue Diving BSAC Instructor Trainer Andy Cavell, Manager of Big Blue Tech & Big Blue BSAC & legendary BSAC Director Les Skelton. The English equivalent to Jacques Cousteau, only understandable & doesn't talk with a silly accent!
Don't forget, the first land and underwater clean-up of 2012 will be on this Saturday, the 28th. The land Clean-up will be in Mae Haad starting from the main pier at 9am, and the underwater portion will be in Chalok Ban Kao, from 2-4pm. Don't forget to bring your Project AWARE clean-up bags, we will supply baskets for the boats. Join us afterward at the Aquamaster Party taking place at the Moov Bar in Mae Haad for some great food, drinks, and prize giveaways. Thanks a lot, hope to see you there!
" “Probably one of the best on the island!”- We have over 500 logged dives and twice as many unlogged, so we know a professional diving center when we see one. Big Blue is definitely one of them, with knowledgable and experienced diving instructors, especially Steven, a nudibranch freakguru, who's been able to spot even the tiniest of the tiny one's. Thanks again, Steven, for the dives we've had together, it's been fun! We've also seen him use his verbal whip once in a while to discipline the younger DMT's, so we KNOW the site is being run well. All equipment available on spot (ABC's, BCD's, wet suits of all sizes, regs), rather standard, but well maintained and taken care of (large wash tanks and professional storage). BB has two large, comfy doubledecked boats it uses to get the divers to the sites (oxygen on board, fruits and drinks served after dives). Dives organised on time and according to schedule. The dive sites itself are pretty, but rather for the undemanding divers, most of which we dived on were easy, quite shallow (max 30 m), rock formations with medium sized coral gardens, few large pelagic species, plenty of reef fishes, practically no currents. Visibility rather annoying at 5 - 25 m. Personally would recommend the Chumpron Pinnacle with nice swim throughs and depth up to 35 m, where whale sharks are sometimes sighted (schools of barracuda almost on an everyday basis) and the Red Rock with the Japanese Gardens at 10 m, having one of the most beautifull coral formations I have ever seen." Trip Advisor
Wednesday 25th January 2012-
Monday 23rd January 2012-
Over the past few days Big Blue Tech has been involved in a reef clean-up project. Our 2 premier dive sites here on Koh Tao had fishing nets reportedly on them ranging from 35m to 18m which were causing not only a detriment to divers visiting the dive sites but also were trapping the marine life. We took this opportunity to include in the project the chance for our BSAC dive leader intern, Bryan to conduct his 1st planning and execution as dive manager. He planned and organised everything for the whole team including bottom teams and safety divers all with their own plans and objectives from the dives. This worked really well and I'm sure everyone involved would agree Bry did a brilliant job with both days. As this kind of project requires a certain knowledge level and expertise from a number of different sources we had a technical dive team (Cav & James) who were conducting the bottom/working phase of the dives, this meant that these guys could run into decompression if necessary and things would all be fine as everything was planned much deeper and longer than the actual depths. We also had a fish and marine expert (Emma), she was heavily involved in the organising of the actual trip and the person who was to brief all divers on dangerous and delicate marine life that was or may be caught in these nets. Also as with any project we couldn't have done this without the shallow support divers (Jason, Chris, Sarah & Rachel) and our fantastic surface cover guys (Nick, Stina & Sarah) who are simply there for the safety of the underwater teams, this requires great concentration and organisation to check everyone in and out of the water and make sure all limits were adhered to with respect to time and depth. The team managed to pull lots of fishing net off the pinnacles and save lots of the marine life that was entangled within them. Unfortunately there was a lot of dead fish that had been trapped for a number of days prior to us getting there which is a little upsetting. Now these nets are removed and everything is back to normal on these tropical paradise reef environments, the visibility is improving and the dive sites are ready and waiting for divers to come exploring. Congratulations to all divers involved in this project and thank you for giving your time and efforts.
“BIG on fun, deep BLUE waters, amazing DIVING”, BIG BLUE HAS IT ALL. To start, welcoming friendly staff whos passion for diving clearly showed when they spoke to you, Great resort with resturant a must is the bbq with a cold beer, DIVING IS A MUST, your mind is put to rest from your dive instructor whos great advise, knowlege and the fact that your having fun while learning was a big help. Once you have sorted your equipment, got your final breafing its to the boat, again great staff to asist you and with the bonus of drinks and fruit on board. Then to practise all that you have learnt. With my open water and advance tickets the ocean does'nt seam like such a big place after all.............Much love and thankyou big blue" Trip Advisor 5 of 5 stars
Sail Rock is one of the best dive sites in the area. It’s a big granite pinnacle that breaks the surface half way between Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui and as there are no other rocks around it acts as a congregation point for all the fish in the surrounding area. The pinnacle drops down to 30 metres in the sand and is typically dived in a circular route around the rock, spiraling slowly shallower. If currents are strong however, divemasters will guide customers around the sheltered areas, avoiding hard finning in the currents. There are other outer rocks a little deeper that can be seen from the main pinnacle and are home to reef sharks. On a clear day, with light filtering down into the crystal blue water, the granite boulder looks stunning. Enormous schools of trevally are all over the dive site and they energetically harass the smaller fish which bunch together and move as one for protection from these darting raids. The always-friendly longfin batfish are also often present in great numbers. They may follow divers and curiously peer into your mask, seemingly as interested in you as you are in them. They make wonderful photographic subjects. Whale sharks occasionally cruise by too, especially between February and October, as do other pelagic fish. Always keep an eye on the big blue! Sail Rock is best known for its chimney, a large swim-through that is entered at around 20 metres and can be exited in 2 places, first at around 10 metres or shallower at around 5 metres deep. The chimney's cavern-like area is a haven for all sorts of fish life like schools of glassfish that appear to block your exit, only to part at the last second to reveal the holes. Hingebeak and boxer shrimps inhabit the coral wall. The latter can sometimes be seen cleaning a moray eel's teeth and, with patience, a lucky diver could get a free manicure if they leave their hand still for long enough. Scorpionfish are well camouflaged on Sail Rock's wall so care with buoyancy is required when exiting the chimney. The hole at 10 metres is quite tight so most divers carry on up to the 5 metre exit and are rewarded by a blanket of anemones on the outer side.
Sunday 22nd Janury 2012-
Chumphon Pinnacle is proably Koh Tao's best divesite as it offers a myriad of differing marine life from the smallest Durban shrimp to the largest Whaleshark! Its where most of our students who are undergoing their Open Water Training License first see scuba diving for what it is. A fantastic peak into a totally mystical world. It's you where they first realise that this is what all the fuss is about! & for those of you who are going to be diving Chumphon Pinnacle over the next few weeks its also where you will get a chance to dive with the most legendary underwater creature of them all. The Shark! Blacktip Reef sharks, Bull Sharks, & Grey Reef Sharks, all flock to Chumphon every January & February. Do you want to dive with sharks? Better come & see us then!
“Thank you Big Blue Diving, you really did make my holiday in Koh Tao”- We decided to go with Big Blue Diving by chance really, after looking at their website we decided just to go with them. I bought the Lonely Planet book a week before I visited Thailand and was comforted by the fact that they had recommend Big Blue Diving too. A quick summary, they have a friendly highly trained group of diving instructors that you can have the utmost faith in particularly if you're new to diving (which I was!) and the organisation of the diving operation is second to none, both in the water and out of the water when doing your theory and exam etc. They are perfectly located by the all the main shops, restaurants and hotels and their own restaurant and bar is great (PS. the BBQ kebabs are to die for!!) Our instructor was Luke, who taught a diverse group from couples, singles and father/sons. Luke was friendly, funny and had a relaxed teaching style that put everyone at ease but at the same time was professional and knowledgeable at all times. The confidence that Luke gave me allowed me to do Open Water Dives in Koh Phi Phi a week later! PLEASE GIVE LUKE A PAY RISE!!! Trip Advisor 5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012
Colombia and Costa Rica have agreed to create a joint taskforce to combat illegal fishing and shark finning. The announcement was made by the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry, two days after five Costa Rican fishermen were detained for illegal fishing in the UNESCO protected Malpelo National Park, inside Colombia's water borders. Colombian officials visited the Costa Rican capital San Jose on Thursday to thrash out details of the two-pronged effort. Shark finning is the practice of cutting off sharks' fins, after which the fish are normally left to die in the water. The fins are sold to the Asian market, where they are considered a delicacy and cost up $350 per lb. Colombian Ambassador to Costa Rica Hernando Herrera said that from now on the two countries will "dramatically strengthen mechanisms which exist to prosecute those who engage in illegal acts." The move comes two months after the Colombian government denounced the killing of 2,000 sharks in Colombian waters by Costa Rican fishermen, an incident shortly followed by the detention of an Ecuadorian ship carrying over 660lbs of illegally caught sharks and other marine life.
And out of nowhere the heavens opened & pissed down upon this town! But not to worry. The sun is shining again & the topless sunbathers are back out! Always a sign that the good times are back! So its sunshine, flat seas, great visibility, blood red sunsets, pizza's on the beach, exposed breasts & Full Day trips to Sail Rock! Could there be any better reasons for choosing Big Blue as the number one Dive Resort to stay at on Koh Tao?
" Hello Jim, here we are back in France after our 9-day stay in KT and 2 days in BKK (....!!! ???......) We had a great time on the island, and would like to thank you for sorting out our accommodation problems when we arrived. Could you also thank Emma and Jason for being so patient and reassuring with us : Catherine started the course completely terrified by the idea of scuba diving and being exposed to all the risks attached, and took a lot of persuading to carry on till the end of the course. The penultimate dive at Chumpon Pinnacle was pretty daunting because of the waves and the surface current : Emma and Jason did very well keeping everybody together before we went down. By the last dive, Catherine was completely at ease, and I'm pleased to be able to go diving with her in the future (probably Malta this summer). I won't keep you any longer, you must be a very busy man with two BBs to run now ! Our warm regards to Andrea." - Tony and Catherine Marsh.
Tuesday 17th January 2012-
Well it is with great sadness that we announce the passing away of Meow our cashier in our restaurant for the last couple of years. She passed away at 5.20 on Monday morning having been evacuated from Koh Tao after becoming unconscious after sufferring what we beleive to have been a severe blood infection. We've all been deeply saddened by this extremely unexpected piece of news & our hearts go out to her 10 year old daughter May & her husband P' Lan. Our thoughts are with you Meow & your family. "I'll have my usual big cup of coffee with sweet milk & a tequila please Meow!"
" Hello, I did my open water course at the end of November at Big blue diving. I wanted to tell that I loved it. Felix was my instructor and he is so good at what he's doing. He helped us being confortable under water without pressuring us, transmitted me his passion and was always very calm and under control what was very reassuring as I knew he would alwyas be there if any problems would happen. If i go again to have my advance course i wouldlike him to be my instructor again. I loved the relax and casual ambiance of Big blue. It was a very good place to be in Koh tao. Emma and Dave who were doing their dive masters were also so helpfull and present. I considered myself lucky to have them in my group. Thank you so much in particular to Felix. P. Nolet. Québec, Canada"
Soft opening for Big Blue 2 Restauarnt this morning. Open up with out telling anyone, no signage etc & just have walk in customers walking along the beach looking for somewhere to have breakfast. Get the teething problems out of the way before we get the ball rolling with our massive opening ceremony when we open up for real with a fanfare of trumpets, glitteratti & high class call girls!
Sunday 15th January 2012-
“BIG on fun, deep BLUE waters, amazing DIVING”
BIG BLUE HAS IT ALL. To start welcoming friendly staff whos passion for diving clearly showed when they spoke to you, Great resort with resturant a must is the bbq with a cold beer, DIVING IS A MUST, your mind is put to rest from your dive instructor whos great advise, knowlege and the fact that your having fun while learning was a big help. Once you have sorted your equipment, got your final breafing its to the boat, again great staff to asist you and with the bonus of drinks and fruit on board. Then to practise all that you have learnt. With my open water and advance tickets the ocean does'nt seam like such a big place after all.............Much love and thankyou big blue. Trip Advisor 5 of 5 stars
Well for those of you here right now it has in all honesty been a very disappointing weekend weather wise! We've had an awful lot of rain, the waves have been quite big & the vis did get somewhat reduced yesterday. However for those of you arriving here this week the good news is that the forecast is for a big improvement with heaps of sun, flat seas & that will bring about a clearing in visibility & then a plethora of travelling pelagics! Wouldn't be at all surprised if we see a Whaleshark or 2 this week!
Thursday 12th January 2012-
Only 3 or 4 days left & we open our new restaurant on Sairee beach at our New Resort imaginatively christened Big Blue Two! Its the talk of the island & we're getting all sorts of people popping over to see if we have any jobs available for them! Its very flatterring as it seems everyone on Koh Tao wants to work for Big Blue right now. & why the hell shouldn't they. Its got to be one of the best places to enjoy Koh Tao these days. Sorry one of 2 of the best places to enjoy Koh Tao! Big Blue Diving Resort & Big Blue Two. Your number choice for diver accommodation on Koh Tao.
The Florida Sun Sentinel reports… "Rosie O’Donnell and her family caught huge hammerhead sharks in fishing trips off the South Florida coast. Now environmentalists (are) irate at the killing of ocean predators that are considered overfished around the globe. “Right now sharks are the most endangered animals around,” said Erik Brush, a Sarasota marine conservationist. “This is basically an endorsement. It sends the message that it’s an OK activity. And this is not an activity that we want celebrities endorsing.” As for O’Donnell’s reaction to the controversy: “She’s amused by it.”- Now I'm only vaguely aware of who Rosie O'Donnell is but I'm pretty sure she'd look better with a gaff through her head hanging off a hook!
Highlight of our Thai trip” -
We had a fantastic experience with Big Blue: a highlight of our trip to Thailand. We hadn't booked (or dived before) and were lucky to go straight onto open water course within a small group. Our instructor was brilliant and put us completely at ease immersing into the new underwater world of skills and fishes, genuinely helping the group to bond and to get the best out of our dives. Loved it so much we stayed for the advanced course too.
BB's resort / beach front bar and restaurant serve good food; also music, bbq and fire-shows most nights. V friendly and helpful staff all round. Reasonable accommodation is available at BB for all budgets, 'out of town' bunkhouse 5 mins up the beach recommended if you're a light sleeper. Overall, A +++++++ Trip Advisor- 5 of 5 stars
Who hasn’t dreamed of traveling the world and getting paid for it? Meet 1 person who has turned the dream into reality.
Name: Theresa Kaplan, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Occupation: PADI diving specialist and communications manager
Coolness factor: “My job allows me to travel often and scuba dive in some of the most serene and beautiful locations. Because I oversee the PADI Diving Society, I join in on exclusive diving trips. This year, we traveled to Curacao for a seven-day trip of diving, meeting new people and having fun. In past years, I have had the opportunity to dive in Grand Cayman, Fiji, Bonaire and more.”
Over-the-top experience: Diving or snorkeling with whale sharks, animals that are larger than a school bus.
How can I do it? “Anyone can become a [Professional Association of Diving Instructors] professional, so long as he or she completes their certification and the appropriate advanced-level courses. To start, visit www.bigbluediving.com and sign up for your PADI course. After completing the online course, one must complete a number of confined water dives followed by open water dives under the guidance of a PADI instructor.” Start your dream today!
The Big Blue Tech opening party was a complete success, thanks to all who came along and supported us, a big thank you to Phoenix and Siam for coming and taking part in a very entertaining beach olympics. We are pleased to be able to say all the very kind people who entered our raffle draws. We raised a total of 10,000thb for save Koh Tao, the island charity here on Koh Tao. We have chosen the school children project for our donation. This is teaching kids in the island school to dive from an early age, and also educating them about sustainability and the ecosystems within the reef environment around the island. The idea of this is to make future divers more aware of good practices and make them much more environmentally aware.
BBT IS BACK!!!!!! www.bigbluetech.net
Thank you Jason Thorburn, Rich, Anke & Kevin for doing a great job yesterday monitoring our coral nursery and Sairee Reef for us at Big Blue Conservation! The nursery is looking great and our resident batfish family is growing. We will go back for another check very soon, and you are all more than welcome to come along and help out! Contact Emma for a good time!
So what does 2012 have in store for Big Blue Diving this year. Well its going to be a big year in the history of Big Blue. Quite possibly our biggest year yet! First off we are launching Maya boat as the the number one vessel in Koh Tao for Fundivers! How? Well Maya will only take 1 hour to get to Sail Rock, which is twice as quick as any other boat on Koh Tao & we will also be starting Full Day trips to the as yet relatively unexplored Chumphon Marine Park ( great viz, no fishing. heaps of turtles & whalesharks). As well as Full Day Trips to the world famous Ang Thong Marine Park, where Alex Garland based his best selling book The Beach! So if you are already a certified diver & want to dive the best sites in the Gulf of Thailand then contact Big Blue Diving. Koh Tao's leading dive center for certified divers.
Second big thing for Big Blue Diving this year is growth! We realize over the last couple of years that we have actually grown from a relatively medium sized center to one of Koh Tao's largest. And of course it makes no sense for a business to be turning away customers so we have gone & rented ourselves another resort here on Sairee Beach, about 200 meters up the beach! Here we have 16 AC bungalows, 7 dorms, 7 rooms with 3 beds & 7 rooms with double beds all in a 3 storey building & with a swimming pool! We have a classroom there, an equipment room as well & a restaurant & bar right on the beach. The restaurant will be run by one of Koh Tao's most successful restaurants namely, Farango's, Porto Bello's & Coffee Corner for those of you who know Koh Tao already. We are sooo excited about this new project & can't wait till the 15th Jan when we open up the restaurant & then beginning of Feb when we'll have all the rooms ready aswell. Word of warning this place is going to be extremely popular so get in quick!
So all in all a very exciting year ahead for us. With our existing resort comprising of 5 Dorms, 5 AC private rooms, 5 beach bungalows, 16 fan rooms, a restaurant & bar, the dive shop, 2 classrooms, Big Blue Tech Diving, 3 transport boats, 4 Dive vessels, one house reef, plus our 16 room AC guesthouse at Preewa, our 3 private swimming pool villas at Baan Sawainam, & now this new resort as well Oh yeah & don't forget our PADI Dive Resort, our SSI Platinum Center, our BSAC Center of Excellence rating, & TDI & SDI ratings. Plus our pool of 20 dual certifying Instructors. I beleive Big Blue Diving could just be, probably, the best Dive Center & Resort not only on Koh Tao but Thailand wide! Shame all those Instructors who got us where we are today left last year!
Home sweet home! Back at last after galavanting round the European Alps & the South of Germany in search of Santa! & now I'm back in the real world! So whats been happening while I've been gone? Well a compressor broke, we damaged someone's personal BCD, we fixed the compressor, we replaced the BCD, Anna left, Bye Anna, Med left, Bye Med. Med came back. welcome back Med. Santa was here for Christmas. Simon got Tea bagged! Kelly got Skuiied! Heaps of diving. 3 whalesharks. 1 dead reef shark?! 1 baby! Congratulations Tosh & Vicky! 1 destroyed accounts office. 1 still in the stages of being refurbished into a brand new accounts office. 1 disasterous attempt at channelling Sairee Villages waste water. 2 holes in 1 boat. 1 pimped up Banzai boat, the Rebirth of Cool - Big Blue Techies are back! & 1 brand new Resort! Cheers Rozza!
2011- has been one incredible year especially for Big Blue Conservation who would like to thank you all for getting involved, helping out and making sure that Koh Tao stays green and clean! So let us just say one huge thank you to all our volunteers and to all Big Blue guests for choosing to stay and dive with Big Blue, one of Koh Tao's most eco-friendly resorts. Also a big thank you to Save Koh Tao and fellow eco teams on Koh Tao. We would like to wish you all a very happy new year, see you all in 2012 when there will be even more opportunities for you all to do something good for our paradise island!
Weather report! Well it seems monsoon came a bit late this year so its still a little choppy out there at the moment but its completely flat calm here on Sairee beach so here is a great place to be. We've had quite a bit of rain over the last few days but the forecast says that that is all clearing now & that we should be tropically sunburnt this time tomorrow!