Wednesday 31st January 2013-
Saw this & thought how true! " A Dive Center Posted On padi yesturday at 11.30 pm ish,...5 ads for padi pros in 5 differant locations...Ok good I thought 5 chances at a job in one go..... So I answered with CV straight away......Guess what I got back this morning...... Divers Club International Topic: No dive master/AI opening available. From: Human Resources Department - Hello Chris J, Thank you for your interest in our dive master/AI job opportunities! I regret to inform that all dive master/AI positions have been filled by our instructor course interns. In the hope that you might consider joining one of our PADI diving instructor courses or internships with inhouse job objective and priority as an alternative to Divemaster employment, I have sent you our GO PRO ACADEMY information. Not Good........IF YOU HAVE NO JOBS DON'T POST JOBS ON PADI.....If I wanted to pay for the AI/IE I would not waste my time answering ...JOB!!!!. Adverts. Sorry !!!!......RANT OVER....." Stop wasting time! Do your SSI Instructor Training & get a job Eezy Peezy lemon Squeezy! www.bigblueinstructortraining.com
Sharks are kinda scary. In the water they're faster than us, can appear from what seems like out of nowhere in an instant, and pack a pretty solid bite. It's easy to get nervous when you're in the dark ocean and unsure of who is swimming by with a toothy grin. But sharks aren't the animals you should be most afraid of. Here are some that are much more likely to cause your demise. Mosquitoes- 655,000 people killed each year, primarily in Africa, through the little buggers spreading malaria. Hippos- 2,900 people are killed by these moody mammals annually in Africa. That roly-poly exterior is just to lure you in. Deer- 130 people killed across the U.S. by deer, almost exclusively because drivers hit the deers with their cars. That saying "a deer in the headlights" came about for a reason. Bees- 53 people die each year in the U.S. because of an allergic reaction from being stung. Dogs- 30-35 people are killed each year in the U.S. Fido isn't always your best friend. Ants- 20-50 people are killed each year in Africa from ants. They may be small but dozens, hundreds, even thousands of stinging ants can really add up. Jellyfish- 20-40 people per year die in the Philippines alone from the anaphylaxis caused by the stings. Cows- 22 people are killed in the U.S. every year from these seemingly docile creatures. They're fun to pet, but getting kicked in the head by one ... not as fun. Horses- 20 people die each year thanks to our equine friends. Spiders- 6.5 people die in the U.S. every year from spider bites. Rattlesnakes- 5.5 people die from rattlesnake bites each year in the U.S., which isn't a whole lot considering how common they are in popular hiking and camping areas. Sharks-1 person is killed each year in the U.S. and fewer than six worldwide are killed by sharks. From 2006 to 2010, there were just three fatalities from shark attacks in the U.S. So if you find yourself harboring feelings of fear or even hatred of sharks, you might want to take a step back and gain a little perspective. They aren't nearly as deadly as you might think.
Saturday 26th January 2013-
Congratulations Emiko one of our many Japanese Instructors who can now bat for the other side having completed her SSI Crossover with flying colours. SSI (Scuba Schools International) is one of the oldest dive organizations in the world and still growing each day. The SSI Instructor Crossover program is designed to orient Instructors who were trained by other certification agencies to the teaching and business philosophy of SSI. At the end you will be allowed to teach and certify divers through SSI. Since you already have done your instructor training with another agency, you already know how to teach divers. Therefore our main goal during the course will be to make you knowledgeable and comfortable with SSI Programs, products and services, so that you may confidently teach SSI courses and attract members of the opposite sex!
Another busy Full Day Trip to Sail Rock today. The Gulf of Thailands number 1 Dive site according to Lonely Planets Diving & snorkeling Guide to Thailand & there aint many people who are going to sit there & disagree with that. Sail Rock is a 15m above and 35m below surface pinnacle that lies between Koh Tao and Koh Pha-ngan. Its famous for its natural underwater vertical swimthrough or chimney which divers can enter at 6 metres and exit at 18. It is also the visiting site of many larger pelagics including chevron barracuda, big schools of mackerel, jacks, trevally and tuna & apparently Saturdays are an excellent day to encounter a seasonal whale shark or manta ray here as well!
“big blue and koh tao” - Absolutely amazing !! The staff, especially AMI my open water instructor...she was incredibly calm, funny, knowledgable and averall fantastic.We had only small groups, just 3 in ours, I felt confortable, completely safe and at ease( and I was really nervous!!) and Ami made the whole 'learning to dive' experience completly awsome!! They even filmed us on the last dive, (the one where we all qualified as open water divers) edited so well that it will make me smile always , a treasured memory. definitely hooked now though, will be back for more.Cant rate it higher....the best dive school in Koh Tao, staff, accommadation, beaches, boats and dive sites ALL Fantastic.
Friday 25th January 2013-
An awful lot of lost looking Cobias at Southwest Pinnacle right now which doesn't bode well considering there was a Whaleshark there full of these lost looking Cobias on it just the other day. Do hope that doesn't mean what I have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach tells me it means. Please let us know if you see a Whaleshark in the Southwest Pinnacle, Sail Rock, Samran Pinnacle or Shark Island divesites. Also let us know if you see a fishing boat with a Whaleshark! :-(
Thursday 24th January 2013-
Did you know that absolutely every instructor candidate we've had over the last year is working. From NZ to Caymans but mostly in Thailand. To give you an idea, we have crossed over 20 instructors on Koh Phi Phi this year. They are all working at dive shops now on Phi Phi apart from one who got sacked for being crap and breaking standards. We have taught around 20 SSI ITC's on Koh Tao and over 20 Crossovers this year & every one is working apart from 2 who now live in Bangkok working for Microsoft. Right now we have a 2 person ITC & a 1 person crossover with a polish guy today & then a japanese lady tomorrow & we'll tell you when they get their first paid jobs. I should think it will be a few days after they get there SSI number. Unless they have a negative attitude and think the world owes them a living, which is covered in the X over or ITC, so they should come out of it being realistic. ie Just because you go to UNI doesn't mean you get a 100,000 pound a year job. You still have to work your way up and work hard. Same Same in diving. Some people become instructor and think that's it. These are normally the people who can't make a living in the "real" world and think dive instructing is an easy job. Sitting on beaches, drinking cocktails and diving once a day and getting paid loads of money. You need to pick where you do your instructor course. Just saw this post from a dive center . "Congrats to all our candidates who passed the PADI IE. The first batch of 2013 is a really good one. Best of success to all in your career as diving instructors" That sounds like thanks for your money good bye and good luck. Pick one that will help you find work. www.bigblueinstructortraining.com They might even help you with the ladies!
So it looks like the the Dive prices on Koh Tao for the Open Water Course might well be changing this year! Finally Dive centers are beginning to realize that selling the PADI Open Water course at 9000 Bt is just not covering the costs. So it looks like the PADI Open Water Course might be taking on a price increase of 1000 Bt by most shops & that doesn't even include the E-manual which will cost an additional 800 Bt. But its not all doom & gloom. Luckily the SSI Open Water Course is still staying the same price. So it looks like its going to be 9000 Bt for your SSI Open Water Course or 10800 Bt for your PADI Course! Know which one I'd be recommending to our year off undergraduate backpackers!
Tuesday 22nd January 2013-
Whaleshark! Again. They just keep on coming! This one was a very friendly one too & decided to hang around during our surface interval & spent the majority of the time at the surface so we could all go snorkeling with it! Not a bad start to the week. and everyone on the trip got to see it underwater scuba diving with it & snorkelling on the surface with it aswell! Memory of a lifetime for just 1600 Bt! How's that for a bargain!
HONOLULU —An amazing video was captured last Friday of a dolphin reaching out to a human for help. It happened during a manta ray dive experience off the Big Island's Kona International Airport. The group of snorkelers and divers heard a loud squeal and a bottlenose dolphin swam right into the dive spot. As it approached, diver Keller Laros saw it had a fishing line wrapped around its pectoral fin. The amazing part of this video -- to watch as this dolphin simply rolls over and patiently lets Laros get to work. "i was trying to unwrap it, I got the line fishing hook out of the pectoral fin. There was a line coming out of his mouth. But, the line wrapped around his pectoral fin. Was so tight and he had cuts both front and aft," said Laros. "I was worried if I tugged on it, it might hurt him more. I was able to cut the fishing line and unwrap it." Laros got the fishing hook out and snipped the fishing line by the dolphin's mouth. Others tried to get more fishing line out but the dolphin swam away and the group never saw the dolphin again. "I've had bottlenose dolphins approach me a lot of times and they are really smart animals," said Laros. "They way he came right up and pushed himself into me there was no question this dolphin was there for help."
Monday 14th January 2013-
This photo was taken by Peri Paleracio, in the Philippines. The whale shark was found by a scuba diver, still alive and trying to swim. Its pectoral and ventral fins were cut off by poachers who sell shark fins at a premium for the Chinese delicacy, shark fin soup. Locals, with the help of local government, pulled the still-struggling shark to shore where it died the next day. Here a local woman mourns its miserable fate. This photo was named "most compelling image" of 2010 in honor of the UN's International Year of Biodiversity.
This is not just something caused by Chinese fishermen, it is a global problem. Shark Fin soup is sold all over the world, even in the UK. Please support the fight against shark finning.
* Spread the word.
* Share photos and stories such as this.
* Sign petitions. This one is petitioning the UN for a worldwide ban on shark finning: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/532/581/725/?cid=FB_TAF
* Write to local restaurants serving the dish: Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation have a celebrity-signed template letter and map listing restaurants in the UK selling shark fin soup. Find them here: http://www.bite-back.com/shark-sightings-map/
Most of these things can be done with such minimal effort, just a few seconds, or few minutes, of your time. Collectively our voices DO make a difference. Countries and cities have successfully implemented bans on the sale of shark fin products as a result of individuals coming together to make a stink about it.
First Full day trip to Sail Rock has gone off without a hitch, as is always the case. The boat is full. everyone on it is an experienced diver so not a single course on it which is rare so its going to be an awesome day out. Cooked breakfast on the way out then first dive at Sail Rock. Morning tea & crumpets during the surface interval followed by a second dive at Sail Rock. Then its a Thai buffet banquet for lunch while we head back to Koh Tao to do one of our lesser known dive sites but a very popular spot for the fishermen Samran Pinnacle then its chocolate cake & back to Big Blue by 5pm for a couple of refreshing beers at the bar just in time for sunset! What a day!
Saturday 12th January 2013-
Friday 11th January 2013-
Without question I think one of the best things about Big Blue Diving is the fact that it has 2 resorts within a couple of hundred meters of each other! Big Blue 1 is unquestionably the whole heartbeat & pulse of the operation. Its been there since the year dot & offers rooms- AC dorms, fan rooms, beach bungalows & AC rooms on site. It has an awesome Bar & Restaurant with a great atmosphere especially at sunset & at night & is the center of operations when it comes to the diving. You arrive here & you leave from here. Big Blue 2 is now 1 year old. Has a 3 storey building with 21 rooms offerring AC dorms fan rooms & AC rooms as well as bungalows Fan & AC, & a purpose built Divers swimming pool. The restaurant & Bar are also located on the beach & it also has a spa. With this kind of set up the place has a lot of appeal but its the staff that make it the legendary place that it is & when you put all 3 together the Staff, Big Blue 1 & Big Blue 2 you've got one of the best places in the world. Certainly the best place on Koh Tao. Lots of love, Jim Donaldson. General Manager, Partner, Scuba Instructor & one of the luckiest people in the world!
Wednesday 9th January 2013-
Enjoying just the most tremendous sunsets here in Koh Tao right now. The beach is completely full of people with their cameras snapping away under a blood red sky! And while the weather is this good there's a big demand for Night Dives right now too, so we're pretty much night diving every night right now. And who wouldn't want to go out on a boat with this sunset to enjoy just before you arrive at your divesite for your night dive. Awesome sunsets, calm seas, warm tropical waters, great company & an hours dive checking out the teeming marine life Koh Tao has to offer at night.
Role up role up! PADI Open Water Course on Koh Tao is about to be increased by 1000 Bt making the price 10800 Bt for your PADI Open Water Course where as the SSI Open Water Course is still just 9000 Bt! Prices are going to be changing over the coming weeks so if you are insistent on taking your PADI license and want to save a few pennies then you're best off getting in here quick smart. However if you have any common sense you'll take your SSI Open Water Course which is cheaper than PADI anyway, you get your certification immediately as opposed to having to wait 3 months for your card and most importantly you don't have to sit through the most boring embarrassing educational vdo I've ever had the misfortune to watch. NB... all dive cards are interchangeable & recognised at 100% of all diving destinations in the world! Why would you spend an extra 1800 Bt when you can get the better more enjoyable version for less!
Tuesday 8th January 2013-
Starting another SSI Instructor Training Course on the 15th January with world renowned SSI Instructor Trainers Simon Garrity, South East Asia's leading Instructor Trainer & Paul 'Tosh' Tanner South East Asia's second leading Instructor trainer! Course price will set you back just over 60000 Bt and includes 2-3 weeks of Instructor theory, skills, exams & lectures. Employment opportunities at the end are very high too. In fact of the 12 SSI Instructors on our last 2 ITC's 11 of them are gainfully employed and living a new life on the beach teaching people to scuba dive & showiing them Whalesharks! Fancy a change in lifestyle yourself? Well maybe 2013 might just be the perfect time to do it! Live the dream, sign up for your Scuba Diving Course www.bigblueinstructortraining.com SS Aiiiiii!
Whalesharks still being spotted with quite some regularity! Had one seen at Chumphon Pinnacle two days ago followed in the afternoon by another seen at Twins "in the sand' amazingly enough! Never seen one that shallow & then yesterday afternoon... get this... we actually had a Whaleshark in Japanese Gardens! Now that would have been a sight! So lots of Whalesharks still around Koh Tao right now. Are you?
Monday 7th January 2013-
Employment Opportunity in Paradise! Big Blue Diving is looking for a Full Time receptionist at Big Blue 2 to start ASAP! Duties include check ins & check outs, cashier, & can talk diving. Perks office on the beach, free diving on your days off 20% food & drinks discounts at the Restaurant. Thai or Westerner. Must speak English! Great place to work. Great location. Awesome team & really handsome Boss!
Sunday 6th January 2013-
Been a heck of a start to the New Year! Every single member of staff is diving back to back courses meaning they're finishing their PADI Open Water Course in the morning & going straight out in the afternoon to start the new PADI Advanced Course then completing 2 dives of the Advanced the following morning then jumping into the pool to start Confined water with their new SSI Open Water Course & then completing the Advanced Cousrse after with a Night Dive. My injured Instructors who have cuts & scrapes & ear issues are all doing the Academics & the Meeting & Greeting of new customers & we've just employed Becky for this busy period to be here to make sure all our accommodation issues are managed efficiently. Busy busy busy! And on top of that we still got Whalesharks at 3 Divesites around Koh Tao at the moment so the DM's are flat out & because we don't want to have the boatys rammed to the rafters I've rented another boat to see us through this busy spell. Loving it! Flat out but heaps of space! Could that be why we are Koh Tao's most popular Dive Center! or might it have something to do with the hoardes of topless sunbathers lieing out the front of the resort right now!
Japan bluefin tuna fetches record $1.7m. A single bluefin tuna has sold in Japan for 155m yen ($1.7m; £1.05m), almost triple the record price set last year. High bids traditionally mark the year's first auction at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market. Even the buyer, sushi chain owner Kiyoshi Kimura, who also paid out the record price last year, said the cost was "a bit high". The sale came amid continued warnings from environmentalists that tuna stocks are dwindling and overfished. This year's record-breaking fish was caught off north-eastern Japan and weighed in at 222kg (489lbs), some 47kg lighter than last year's prize-winner, which fetched 56m yen. The auction at the market - which trades millions of dollars of products daily and is a popular tourist destination - began at 05:00 local time. Mr Kimura immediately carted his purchase off to a nearby branch of his Sushi Zanmai chain. He said he wanted to "encourage Japan" with his bid. The price works out at about $7,600 per kg ($3,500/lb). Japan consumes more than half of the world's bluefin catch.... and clearly has the worlds stupidest man living there!
Friday 4th January 2013-
We decided as its a new year why not start this year off with our very own TECHTASTIC JANUARY SALE. For January only anyone who books an INTRO TO TECH Course we will give you a massive 30% Discount taking the price from 10,000 Baht down to 7,000 Baht. This will still be a 3 day course and will teach you all the foundation skills needed to progress in Tech whilst still looking cool as a cucumber. All you need is to be Advanced Open Water Diver. So grab a bargain whilst its hot off the press. The Tech Shack x www.bigbluetech.net
Well you'll be pleased to know especially if you are on your way to Koh Tao this week that things have calmed down a little & that more beds & rooms are becomming available. We ourselves even have 6 Dorm beds available today which came out of nowhere. I also have a couple of beach bungalows as well. So drop in if you are planning on doing some diving here. You won't be disappointed!
Thursday 3rd January 2013-
Ok ... welll... blimey crikey... Its been a little busy. Not just us but the whole of Koh Tao! In fact there's been so many arrivals here in Koh Tao over the last few days especially from Koh Phangan that I do believe this island has been slightly submerged underwater a little more than usual! There was still people walking around looking for rooms at 10 o'clock last night which must have been slightly unnerving for them. Tis a little less stressful today I'm pleased to inform you & there are a few more rooms coming available even as we speak but I do highly recommend booking yourselves in before you arrive on Koh Tao in future. I'd also recommend booking your boats too! A lot of our bookings weren't able to get to Koh Tao cos the ferries here were full. Book online www.lomprayah.com or www.seatrandiscovery.com once you've made your booking with us & then let us know which boat you are on & I'll organise a free taxi to pick you up at the pier when you get here! That should clear a few headaches for you.
Three days into the New Year & I'm afraid we've only seen 1 Whaleshark so far! Just a little disappointing considering we saw over 20 last month but you know... mustn't grumble. Plenty more fish in the sea! & still not an entirely bad batting average all things considered. 33.3% to be exact. If we can keep up these averages then we will end up with over 100 Whalesharks throughout the whole year! Almost as many as we dived with in 2012!