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August 31st 2013

Beach clean-up- Sunday 1st September

Beach clean up Sairee Beach

Calling all environmentally concious divers, snorkellers, sunbathers and dive professionals, we are looking for volunteers to help with a beach clean up that Jen & Lizzie of Big Blue Conservation have organised. At this time of year all sorts of rubbish gets washed ashore all the way along Sairee beach, carrier bags, everything and anything made out of plastic (really not good for marine life), wonderwoman costumes.. well not so far but it's only a matter of time! Big blue staff clean the beach every day as part of their job, but the more people we get to help out, the bigger an area we can cover. The clean up starts at 10am, and in the afternoon an underwater clean up dive will take place at a local dive site, which is FREE to anyone that participates! All you have to do is turn up at 10am for the beach clean. You can sign up for the underwater clean up in the Big Blue Shop, bin bags will be provided but bring your own marigolds!

“Fantastic instructors - great place to learn”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 27 August 2013- I first came to Big Blue to do some fun dives and do my rescue course. I had Carly as my Divemaster for my first fun dive and she was fantastic, she even took the time to take me to some of the dive shops and helped me pick out some equipment. I was really impressed by this and I appreciated her professional input and advice. I had a great experience with my rescue course and I truly feel that it made me a more competent and confident diver. Rod was my instructor and it was obvious that he cared about us learning the material and being successful in our course. He even took extra time to suit the course to the needs of the different people in our group. It really felt like he invested himself in teaching us and I always appreciate that in an instructor or teacher. After my rescue course I decided to stay on and do my dive masters. 


Whaleshark at Chumphon

So after an amazing 2 dives at sail rock on the recent full day trip, and with a fantastic atmosphere on the boat, Chumphon Pinnacle was chosed for the third dive of the day. For the first time in his bearded life, divemaster Phil must have been very popular (we love him really). His spidey sense must have been doing overtime, as it turned out to be a good choice and a whaleshark decided to join the fun divers! It kindly hung around for the entire dive, allowing plenty of time for customers to take their next facebook profile pictures. So, just to summarise, Huge shoals of big-eyed trevally, metre long pick handle barracuda, bat fish, scorpion fish, and a whaleshark. I bet you're glad you didn't get around to signing up now... !

August 28th 2013

 

Sail Rock Trip

 

 

Big Blue is off on another full day trip today, to the best dive site in the gulf of Thailand; Sail Rock. The seas are flat, the Sun is shining, and breakfast has already been wolfed down. The divemasters lucky enough to be guiding customers on this trip will be encouraging their fun divers to cross fingers, legs, toes, eyes, and anything else that can be crossed in the hope of sighting a big spotty fish we like to call a Whaleshark! Two dives at Sail Rock and one dive at Shark Island also includes lunch, chocolate cake, as much coke, water, sprite and fanta as you can manage, and THE most passionate,  knowledgeable, friendly (and just plain weird- Steven) divemasters in Koh Tao... ok Thailand..... ok Asia!. Pop into the Big Blue office on Sairee beach and sign up for the next one!

 

“Just perfect”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 26 August 2013- I was last week in koh tao with 2 friends and We just wanted to try diving once , at the end we spent one week and did the advanced (deep diving) licence , it was just amazing , The cool accommodation was included, everybody was young and the instructors were great . I spent 7 days with John Who Made us dive like real divers without any "nursing", best Time of my trip in Thaïland...

 

5 Things You Didn't Know Sharks Do For You

1. Sharks keep the food web in check- Being the top of the food chain, they weed out weak and sick animals to keep the overall population in top health. Declining shark numbers is having an effect on the entire ocean ecosystem.

2. Sharks could help us cure diseases- Sharks get sick far less than other species. Scientists are studying the anticoagulant and antibacterial properties of their tissue with the aim of finding treatments for a number of medical conditions, such as viruses, cystic fibrosis and some forms of cancer.

3. Sharks assist in keeping the carbon cycle in motion- Carbon is crucial to the cycle of life; Deep sea shark scavengers feed on dead matter at the bottom of the ocean. This helps to move carbon through the ocean.

4. Sharks inspire better design- By using biomimicry- imitating nature’s designs to solve human problems, designers have looked to sharks for improvements in the speed and efficiency of man made objects in the water. For example, Speedo has designed a range of swimsuits that imitate the grooves in shark skin to reduce friction drag, and a prototype device resembling a shark’s tail has been built to capture wave energy from the ocean and convert it into electric power!

5. Sharks boost local economies- Over the last several decades, public fascination with sharks has developed into a thriving ecotourism industry in places such as the Bahamas, South Africa and the Galápagos. According to a study recently published in the journal Oryx, shark tourism generates about US$ 314 million per year and is predicted to more than double in the next 20 years. These activities- which support businesses like boat rental and diving companies, are said to provide 10,000 jobs in 29 countries. Several studies have indicated that in these places, sharks are worth much more alive than dead.

August 25th 2013

 

 

The hunky Instructors at the Big Blue Tech shack went out yesterday for their yearly photoshoot all dressed up in their sidemounts & twin tanks. BSAC Instructor Trainer James modelled his brand new Poseidon Rebreather in a nice pair of kahki speedos while TDI Instructor Ian carried all James tanks around for him. The boys went to both the Sattakut Wreck & the Trident Wreck on the south side of Koh Tao for this awesome 2014 TEch Diving Calender photo spread. Can't wait to see the final results.

 

“A great place to learn diving” 5 of 5 stars. Reviewed on Trip Advisor -21 August 2013- Me and my friend booked an open water course with big blue and all we can say is that we've had a great time there. Instead of the free dorm they gave us a nice double room at 50 meters from the beautiful sairee beach. Our instructor Ernesto was an amazing guy and eventually we decided to do the advance course with him as well. In short I can just say that I can really recommend this place. Good diving school, nice and professional staff, and a decent restaurant/bar. The only negative thing we can say is that 6 persons in a group could be too much in some cases, but we didn't experience it in a bad way.

 

Poor old Big Blue Instructor Rick Rickety has been cooped up in his eagles nest for the last month after a nasty little incident resulting in a broken knee. Poor bloke has been watching all sorts of crap Koh Tao TV (Thanks Tosh) over recent days but luckily managed a trip to Koh Samui this weekend to the local bookshop to get himself some suitable reading material. So in addition to bringing back the latest issue of Asian Babes Rick also brought with him 'Deco for Divers, a Divers guide to Decompression Theory & physiology'! Top reading material for a Tech Instructor, BSAC Instructor, SSI Instructor, PADI Instructor & Sex Instructor! 

August 29th 2013

New Look Big Blue Website Now Live!

I warned you this would happen, and now it has, the new look and feel Big Blue website has arrived! Answering all your questions about who we are, what we do, information about our dive courses, conservation courses, tech diving courses, free diving courses, dive professional training, fun diving, live aboards, accommodation, bookings, latest news... I could go on but you get the idea! Feel free to have a look around and let us know if there are any gremlins still lurking. I have the speed dial to the IT police and i'm not afraid to use it!


swim for sharks

Swim for Sharks World Premiere

Last night the red carpet was rolled out and resident and passing barflies had the chance to relive the toil, sweat, pain, tears, and speedos in their full pink glory.. no it wasn't a divemaster challenge, it was the world premiere of the 2013 Koh Tao Swim for Sharks charity event, as filmed by Ace Marine Images. Hosted by Big Blue Conservation's very own Jen & Lizzie, it was all recorded on celluloid just how gruelling it can be to swim 3.4kms around Nang Yuan Island in pretty choppy conditions with no flippers on! The event is held every year to raise money for shark conservation projects here in Thailand, and this years event had a huge turnout of instructors, divemasters, divemasters in training, and crazy people on their holidays! Don't worry if you missed it though, DVDs can be bought for only 500 baht, half of which goes to the Sharks! When you get a copy cover your eyes whenever Simon Garrity is on screen.. that was a spoiler alert for your own benefit.

Can't recommend this company enough
“Big Blue is #1”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed 26 August 2013
After having a really bad experience with another dive school (they are in the top 10 here on trip advisor) me and my girlfriend almost decided to not bother learning to dive. How lucky we are that we found Big Blue. After a conversation with someone who was undertaking their open water, we were convinced we should try Big Blue, and we are so happy we did. We completed our open water certificate under the watchful eyes of Tosh and Martijn with 3 other students and at all times we felt we had a quality, personal experience. The dive tuution was
fantastic and following a pool session, the 4 open water dives were intresting, educational and fun and overall, we both had a great experience. So good in fact, that i went on and completed my advanced course with Big Blue and Martijn (who as an advanced instructor really stood out) and hope to one day return to Koh Tao and do more diving with them. I can't recommend this company enough, and to be honest, with so much choice on Koh Tao you would be hard pressed to find a really bad school, but their experience, attitude, proffesionalism, eco awareness, knowledge and freindliness really make Big Blue a good choice for diving. Thanks for the memories. :-)

Losing Nemo
Not the prequel to finding nemo, it's a 6 minute long animated film about industrial overfishing and was created by volunteers from all over the world. It's very thought provoking and highlights the power and political influence of the commercial fishing industry, and their frightening attempts to increase fishing quotas year on year, even at cost to the longevity of their business. The thought of a lifeless ocean is terrifying, and people need to know what's happening right now. On Koh Tao, the Thai Government works closely with Save Koh Tao- an organisation made up of all the dive schools, businesses and community groups, to educate local fishermen about conservation and sustainable fishing practises in and around the waters of Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and Koh Panghan. There's lots of work to do, but the message is getting accross. Watch the animation here 

August 24th 2013

 

Teaching the Local Kids to Scuba Dive

Teach a kid to dive, and they will love the sea for life. That is the basic principle behind the work being carried out  by New Heaven Conservation this year to get more local kids involved with the diving and marine conservation work happening on what will eventually be their island. Marine Conservation for kids, Koh Tao. In August they kicked off a 5 month program alongside the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and SSI Thailand, teaching the students first how to SCUBA dive, then how to perform underwater research through the locally designed Ecological Monitoring Program. In the final months of the program the students will also be trained in coral restoration and protection through various locally designed methods. The program is completely free to all Thai or Burmese children 10-18 years old. The goal of this program is to increase local stakeholder capacity and involve the young generation on Koh Tao in the protection and restoration of their local marine environment. An excellent idea & an awesome job carried out by Chad Scott & his team at New Heaven Conservation & Save Koh Tao.

Highly recommend this place for Open Water certification

“Amazing experience, and great introduction to a new world” -5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 20, 2013 
Big Blue has a fantastic energy as soon as you get to the resort. All of the instructors have huge smiles on their faces, and signing in was painless and quick. We got a great 3-person room for free, which was clean (not so much after we trekked in sand) and comfortable. The dive sites for the SSI Open Water course were breathtaking, especially during the third and fourth dives when you're not as distracted by technique and can appreciate the coral and life around you. The best part were our instructors, Oli and Guy. Oli was new and in-training, but extremely relaxed and friendly without sacrificing professionalism. One of my friends freaked out underwater on the first dive and didn't want to continue but Guy was so good and patient that she fought through it; she was loving diving by the end! Highly recommend this place for Open Water certification. Diving can be quite frightening to a newbie and you want the best.

Koh Phangan Full Moon Party Rush

Well the weather hasn't been the best unfortunately & then all the ferries on their way to Koh Tao Fecked up resulting in one late night waiting up till 1 am for the boat to come here from the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan. Consequently this months Full Moon rush hasn't been anywhere near as dramatic as last months. In fact its been quite orderly. So orderly in fact the Techies even managed to pop out for the afternoon for a photo shoot with professional Photographer Andy Campbell and we even managed to give Wave runner a bit of well earned Rest & relaxation. Keep this up I might even be able to pop out for a massage & a manicure with WPC DM Darren Milsom who's doing his usual weekly pampering session.

August 20th 2013-

Tuesday 20th August 2013-Full Moon On Koh Tao

The Full Moon party lasts but one night; Koh Tao is eternal

Koh Tao isn’t ‘just’ an island; it is a shared experience of 7-11s, Scuba diving, late night dancing in the ocean, buckets of alcohol, fire dancers, and balloons filled with laughing gas. On paper, the island of Koh Tao is an 8 square mile speck of land in the Gulf of Thailand. It’s now a bright spot on the South East Asia backpacker scene along with Koh Phi Phi, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Samui.  The island has become a Scuba mecca, second in the world only to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia in certifying Open Water divers.  In reality, Koh Tao is something completely different.  The real Koh Tao is something like this… Hotel California.  The Bermuda Triangle.  Koh Tao.  All three of these places share a mystical property that mesmerizes people and suspends them in a state of trance similar to a snake charmer working their craft.  An article written on Travelfish by a long-term traveler neatly sums up this charm: When asked to write about life on Ko Tao from a longterm stayers point of view, all I could think about were the three biggest lies told on the island. I’ll leave you to ponder the other two but the biggest, without a doubt is, “I’m leaving tomorrow.” This phenomenon is actually so well documented that there isn’t actually anything new to say about Koh Tao, and so I am not going to try.  In fact, after three weeks on the island I’m convinced that a completely new and unique experience on the island is nearly impossible.  Anyone who comes to Koh Tao is going to experience one or more of the following phenomena and walk away with a set of experiences that be shared with anyone else who has ever spent a few nights on Koh Tao.  The Full Moon party lasts but one night; Koh Tao is eternal. Eventually you may find a way to escape Koh Tao – to get off the island and continue your backpacking through Thailand.  It will, without a doubt, be at a date later than you originally expected.  When you finally leave you’ll think of returning.  You’ll think of the Koh Tao Experience.  You close your eyes: The sky on fire.  Faces illuminated by kerosine.  Memories blurred by balloons of SangSom and buckets of laughing gas. Koh Tao.

The Divemaster's were even better than the Instructors

5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 17, 2013 - I must say that Big Blue is an absolutely great place with fantastic people. I know that Big Blue is a perfect place if you want to take your open water or advanced course or any other course for that matter, because they have some really great and professional instructors. And I know that because I took my open water and advanced with Big Blue last year. This time around I was back to do a lot of fundiving and I think that the Divemasters at Big Blue are truly fantastic and amazing. If it’s possible and I think it is the Divemasters are even better than the instructors or at least equally as good. I had the pleasure of diving with a couple of different Divemasters including Darren, Becca, Carly and Steven and they are all really good at what they do. I did most of my dives with Darren as a Divemaster and he is truly an amazing Divemaster and a great guy and I’m really happy that I got “stuck” with him for most of my dives. He definitely made me a better diver even though I was pretty good to begin with and he made everyday a new adventure. So if you want to dive with the best Divemaster in Thailand possibly in the whole world you have to go to Koh Tao now because Darren is leaving soon. If you are a crazy Nudibranch lover like me you have to dive with Steven. He is the absolutely best Nudibranch finder at Big Blue but I think Darren is pretty good as well. My two girls Becca and Carly are always smiling, laughing and so much fun to be around especially on the boat but they are also really great to dive with. I can honestly say that the Divemasters Darren, Becca, Carly and Phil made my diving and my stay at Koh Tao unforgettable, amazing and so must more fun than I ever expected. As I wrote earlier Big Blue is a great place with fantastic people. Everybody is always very friendly, helpful and willing to go an extra mile to make your stay pleasant. There is a special vibe and atmosphere around Big Blue that is really difficult to explain but it just makes you happy. The best regards from Stina Moellnitz, Denmark. 

Removing a net off Southwest Pinnacle

Thanks very much to everyone who came to help out last week when we set off for the Secret Pinnacle at Southwest to remove a large net that had become tangled in the coral. Always a sad sight but even worse when you see the immediate impact that net has when you struggle to free the trapped reef fish, & count those that didn't make it. After spending 45 minutes removing the net, only a small portion was cleared.In this day & age surely there is a better way to catch fish!

August 19th 2013

Pregnant WhalesharkPregnant Whaleshark seen at Southwest Pinnacle Whaleshark seen at Sothwest Pinnacle at the weekend. Not sure if it is the same one we saw at Sail Rock last week. Still waiting verification. But accrding to Eco jen our resident Marine Biologist she reckons this Whaelshark is actually pregnant. Now that woule be awesome. Apparently a pregnant Whaleshark was found dead in a net a little while ago & when it was brought out of the water they found inside 300 baby whaleshark embryos! So if this whaleshark we saw at the weekend carries on & delivers 300 Whaleshark pups to this area we might be in for some quite exciting diving in the near future.

I Did my Open Water, Advanced, Deep, Wreck and Nitrox “Superb Resort”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 15, 2013 - One of the best dive resorts you could possibly want to stay at. Great dive sites, professional and friendly instructors, fantastic on-site restaurant and good quality accommodation. I stayed at Big Blue for 3 weeks and in that time did my Open Water, Advanced Adventurer, Deep, Wreck and Nitrox diving certifications. Dave "Sqzy" was my instructor for all of them, and was a fantastic teacher - incredibly upbeat, entertaining and interesting whilst being professional and helpful at all times. After training I went out on a few fun dives and on a full day trip. The dive masters were always keen, helpful and easy to talk to and the dive sites are all superb. The layout of the resort is superb, with everything less than a minute's walk away; even the nearest corner shop is literally right outside the entrance. The on-site restaurant has a broad, well-priced menu with food from all over the world and opens very early to very late. Almost every diver, dive master and instructor can be found there at some point during the day so the whole place has a really relaxed, social atmosphere. On top of that, each evening DVDs from that day's final open water dives are shown which gives you something to look forward to if you're training and gives more experienced divers a look at the local dive sites. There are various different choices when it comes to accommodation. I chose to stay in a private room with a fan but there are also dormitories and private rooms with and without A/C available. The room was cleaned and made up every 2 days with clean sheets and towels. Despite absently-mindedly leaving valuables out a couple of times nothing ever went missing.

A Very God Reason to become a Scuba Diver Did you know.... 99% of all living space on the planet is in the ocean, and humans have explored less than 10% of that space. 90% of the ocean's volume constitutes the dark cold environment we call the 'deep sea', at an average depth of 3,700m (That's over 4 times greater than the average height of land). So, by learning to dive, you have gained access to 70% of our planet. And by attempting to conserve the marine ecosystem, you are helping to maintain 99% of Earth's living space!

August 12, 2013

Time Out Explorers- Asia's Top 50 Shorts Breaks

We just can't stop getting printed this month! Another article on Koh Tao this time in London Town's Time Out Magazine with a feature about Diving gadgets. Written when our own SSI Instructor Trainer Tosh was the writers Instructor, though unfortunately he was working at another shop at that time but as we all know he has seen the light since those days of immaturity & prepubescence & came & joined us at Big Blue & hasn't looked back since now spearheading Asia's largest SSI Instructor Training Center. Keep your eyes out for this issue of Time Out Explorer- Asia's Top 50 Short Breaks. 

A One-2-One Scuba Refresher at no extra Cost

“Happy to be in the water again”5 of 5 starsReviewed on Trip Advisor August 7, 2013-I had been to Koh Tao a number of times and had done my open water and advanced certification here as well, but not at Big Blue. As I had a bad experience diving elsewhere in the world I had gone back to my initial shop to see if they would be able to help me get over my fear for diving. Unfortunately they were short on dive-masters and could only offer me a refresher course with a group. We then went to Big Blue and told the same story again. In stead of the big group they offered a 1-on-1 refresher at no extra cost. I had all the time in the world to do my skills and get familiar with the diving again. The next day we did a fun dive, and since they had remembered my initial issues, they had made sure that me and my friend were the only two diving with one dive master, so in case I needed more time, that would not be a problem. I am happy to say that at the end of the 2 days I felt comfortable in the water again, thanks to the patience shown by the Big Blue staff! 

2013 Swim For Sharks raises 5000USD for shark conservation around Koh Tao

This years Swim for sharks was an even bigger success than we had even anticipated with an incredible 135000 Bt raised by our Eco arm Big Blue Conservation & most notably our very own Green Queen & in House Marine Biologist Jennifer Matthews. Jen started off the day with a very informative lecture on Sharks & their reproductive cycles & then almost 70 people came along for the extremely challenging 3.4 km swim (in bloody big waves ) around Nang Yuan Island. The winner this year was a stranger to us! A weary traveller who just happened to be here at the right time & whipped the favourites (Nick Bufton) ass by 3 minutes. After the exhausting & gruelling swim around Nang Yuan it was free Barbie & music from our very own DJ's Mix Masters DJ DM Dazza Milsom & legendary Las Vegas Inked celebrity Mr John Huntington. AN awesome night, & a lot of money raised. Thanks again to all those who contributed & especially Eco Jen. Those sharks owe you a debt of gratitude!

August 9, 2013

Swim for Sharks- Charity swim around Koh Nang Yuan

 So its the biggest day of the year for our Green Queens Eco Jen & her trusty Steed Lizzie May. Its our annual Swim for Sharks a 3.4 Kilometer swim around Nang Yuan Island all in the name of charity- to raise money for shark conservation projects here in Thailand & hopefully & especially here in Koh Tao. Last year we raised over 100000 Bt. This year we hope to double that as the main party will be held at Koh Tao's Number One Party Venue - Maya Bar. So bring your cheque books & heaps of cash & lets raise some money to help increase the awareness of shark conservation here in Koh Tao & increase the numbers of Black Tips, White Tips, Bull Sharks, Grey Reefs, Leopard Sharks & Whale Sharks that are all native to our Koh Tao waters.

Still the Best Dive Shop on Koh Tao

“Best Dive Centre on Koh Tao”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 6, 2013 - It's my second diving holiday with Big Blue and it equalled the first. What makes this diving company different from the rest is the staff. The are knowledgeable, friendly and their enthusiasm for diving is contagious. I completed 26 fun dives over the 10 days and the following staff need particular mention. 1. Steven- His direct observational commentary during briefings is spot on. He says what others wouldn't dare try to get away with but some how he does. He was very welcoming and his enthusiasm for tiny marine life is unequalled. He is also a moral mentor towards DMTs guiding them in their diving journey such as 2. Laura. Laura led me on the majority of dives and is a credit to her mentor and a fab dive master in the making. Give her a job.3. James-His in depth knowledge of wreck diving led to a lively and thought provoking discussion. The tech shack is definately worth checking out! 4. Nick- made me feel welcome from day 1 both in the shop and on the boats. Always free to offer advice and help. A credit to Big Blue. THANKS BB for another fab holiday! 

Man falls overboard on Nightboat to Koh Tao

"German Expat Rescued From 9-Hour Sea Drift"- (7 August) A German expat has been rescued after he was forced to spend 9 hours drifting in the sea off Koh Tao Island. The 47 year old German, identified simply by officials as ′Sasha′, is believed to have fallen off the ferry boat on his way to the island, which situated near the coast of Chumpon province in southern Thailand. The ferry crew told our correspondent they saw the German smoking on the side of the boat around 02.00 on the previous night. They could not locate him once the boat reached the island, they said, so they realised that he must have fallen overboard and immediately alerted the rescue teams. Mr. Sasha was eventually found 10 kilometres away from the shore, close to Koh Mattra and Koh Kalok islands. He said he had been swimming for around 9 hours as he waited for the help to arrive. Officials said Mr. Sasha was very exhausted but had sustained no injury. According to his friends, Mr. Sasha is originally from Berlin and has settled in Surat Thani province for 10 years now, where he has been running his hotel business. Mr. Sasha′s friends also told our correspondent that, fortunately, he has been a very talented swimmer. By Khaosod Online- Moral of this story- Stop Smoking!

August 8, 2013

Ex Big Blue Photographer Lia Barrett, hits the Big Time on CNN

Just awesome to see Lia Barrett being featured on CNN over some awesome photos shes taken over the years but specifically this very unique photo shoot of professional Free divers going about every day type of roles underwater, like sitting supping on a coffee or taking a stroll through the park with a background of reef sharks swimming round. Lia first came to us at Big Blue as a very talented photographer looking to make a name for herself by collating a portfolio of underwater shots & in exchange for some photos we could use ourselves we offerred her as much diving as she wanted. Since then she's done numerous liveaboards with our friends in Komodo, Indonesia Wicked Diving & has become quite a big Underwater Photographey celebrity. Congrats Lia. So happy to see you hit the big time. All the best from your friends at Big Blue.

Recommended by Practically Everyone

“CRACKING TIME”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 4, 2013 - Just left koh tao weeping, I would have loved to stay on and do an advanced but alas no time. Big blue was recommended by practically everyone and it lived up to expectations. My friend and i stayed in separate dorms due to it being so busy but what can ya do if you dont plan in advance. the fan rooms were actually fine temperature wise as there was a nice bit if sea breeze that would come rrrrolling through. Can I please fully endorse one special man by the name of GUY BANNISTER he is a top fella and was a great instructor. Our group had such a good time so thank you Guy and thank you big blue. I'll definitely be back. Terrraaaaah

Shark Survey Around Koh Tao

 

Volunteers joined forces with Big Blue Conservation to do a shark survey around Koh Tao this morning. The survey was conducted around Shark Bay. Volunteers from Big Blue and ACE Marine Images counted, photographed, and documented their findings with Jen and Lizzie of Big Blue Conservation. The information collected will be included with other surveys conducted around Koh Tao. Surveys and other shark programs have been made possible by donations from the annual Swim for Sharks with Big Blue Conservation and the kind efforts of volunteers. We hope our recordings and documentation will be helpful in the future efforts of shark conservation. Contact Big Blue Conservation for more information.

August 7, 2013

Big Blue BSAC & Big Blue Tech Feature

 

Another bit of shameless self promotion but hey when you're this good its hard not to blow your own trumpet! More editorial on Big Blue this time featuring our very own Big Blue Tech Manager James Foleherherereh. Big Blue Tech offers everything you can think of when it comes to Tech diving from the run of the mill Tech Courses with TDI, SDI, BSAC, PADI & SSI and Sidemount courses, Cave Diving, Wreck Diving & Tech Liveaboards as far afield as Singapore to dive some of the legendary World War 2 Sunken treasures in that area. In addition James is also our BSAC chap about to be BSAC Instructor Trainer & consequently one of the highest trained Diving Professionals in the world with an unpronounceable surname. James Forleherereh. James Folererereh. James Fohelererer. Oh Feck it! Tech James!

Fantastic Days on Koh Tao

“Big Blue Diving Open Water”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor August 1, 2013 - Came to Koh Tao back in April and couldn't have been more happy with my choice in Big Blue. It came with numerous recommendations from friends met along the way and I wasn't disappointed. The instructors were incredibly knowledgeable and a lot of fun, always there to help you and they help to create a fun and infectious atmosphere when on the course and dives. Our instructor was Iain who is a top bloke, pushed us through the skills and learning quickly efficiently - definitely ask for Iain if you can! look out for the Scottish accent - was great to hear about how he became an instructor and why he chooses to live & work on Koh Tao. was always up for a beer after the diving. Big Blue threw in free accommodation for my 4 day open water SSI course which was a great bonus and I was very happy with the dorm, 1 minute walk from the sea and the bar/restaurant. Thoroughly enjoyed the course and was very very close to staying on for the advanced course along with my group, however couldn't stretch the budget! Until next time. A definite highlight of my trip to south east asia and was made even better by the video that you have the chance to watch and buy after your 3rd and 4th dives on the final day. Will always be able to watch and remember those fantastic days on Koh Tao. 

Swim for Sharks Charity Event

The lead up to our big hosted event of the year the Round Nang Yuan Island Swim for Sharks is going like clock work, or should I say "Its going swimmingly!" Lots of people signing up with sponsorship forms to raise money to help save the sharks from the horrendous butchery of shark finning.Last year we raised over 100000 Bt this year we hope to double that! Its going to be an awesome day with a Shark Awareness lecture in the morning then its the 3.4 km swim around Nang Yuan then in the evening we're hosting a party at Koh Tao's liveliest Beach Venue Maya Bar, with a Free Bar-B-Q, International DJ's, & a sponsored Shave for Sharks. Its going to be an awesome night & we hope to see you there.

August 6, 2013

Editorial Feature in SCUBA- UK's Leading Dive Mag

Another day another magazine article on Big Blue Diving Koh Tao in another one of the worlds leading Dive Magazines. This time its the UK's largest circulating Scuba Diver Magazine with a nice article on Asia's largest BSAC Center Big Blue Diving, & a lot of talk about our Eco activities with our very own in house Marine Biologist Green Queen Dr. Jennifer Matthews PhD. One Eco activity she's very proud of organising is Koh Tao's extremely popular swim for sharks a 3.4 Km swim around the Island of Nang Yuan which coincidentally happens to be taking place this coming Saturday the 10th August. Want to get involved & raise money for Shark Awareness & protection then look no further. Come join in the Swim & help us save some sharks & then you can read all about it in our next big Magazine featured editorial.

The Best Dive School on Koh Tao

“Faceplanting Fantastic - Thanks Rich!!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor July 31, 2013 - No words to express our love for Big Blue! We came to Koh Tao undecided on whether to dive or not and we couldn't be more glad that we did, if you're looking for an unforgettable experience then choose BIG BLUE.. the best dive school on the island. The whole place and courses is absolutely faultless. We came to Ko Tao at the end of our travels and did both the Open Water Course and squeezed in the Advance with 2 days to spare to get home, we never wanted to leave!! Our instructor was Rich who was an absolutely amazing instructor... professional, patient, knows his stuff and at the same time such a laugh and made the whole experience unforgettable for us! Even after attempting a triple front off the top of the boat with a painful face plant he made me laugh!! - proudly its making the Christmas video haha!! We strongly suggest you request Rich if you want an unforgettable diving experience! It was definitely the highlight of our trip. THANKYOUUUU RICH AND BIG BLUE FOR AN AWESOME 6 DAYS!! WE WILL BE BACK! Mia & Craig x 

A Diving Vacation- The Holiday of a Lifetime

Have you met anyone lately who has said: “I just have so much time on my hands, and I get to relax whenever I want!” Not likely. It seems like everyone has a jam-packed schedule, a never-ending list of obligations and not much time to devote to themselves. It can feel nearly impossible to step away – but you should. And when you do, diving provides one of the best ways to not only escape the everyday grind, but to shake off the stresses of life. Psychologists and health care professionals frequently point out the possible benefits of simply taking time off. Studies have shown that a restful, relaxing break from daily stresses may enhance the body’s ability to heal, enhance creativity and may even increase motivation and productivity. Enjoying some of that free time in nature only enriches the effects – and what better way to enjoy nature than by diving? With every descent beneath the waves, you reap multiple benefits: Physical exercise, Natural light, Calming sounds, Close contact with nature. Diving provides an exceptional opportunity to really interact with and be immersed in the natural world. While there’s plenty to think about during a dive, it’s all directed toward the cause of an experience you love. A diving vacation could be just the thing you need to recharge your batteries. So if you fancy a holiday of a lifetime why don't you get in touch?

August 5, 2013

Book Your Accommodation before you get to Koh Tao

 

Happy to be picking up the phone & answering the question "Should I book before I get to Koh Tao?' The answer is of course yes! If August is anything like July then thats a 100% yes! Unless of course you want to spend your first night sleeping on the beach or on the cushions in some f the restaurants or classrooms of some of the Dive shops. Not a great way to spend the night unless of course you fancy being ravaged by mosquitoes all night! Use your head & Book a bed! Call us on 077456415 or better email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

No Place Better on Koh Tao than Big Blue

“Counting down the days until I return!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor July 30, 2013 - No words can express my love for this place. I recently completed my dive master training after having done my open water, advanced, EFR and rescue courses all at big blue. I was fortunate enough to have Tim as my instructor earlier in the year for OW and AAOW…upon my return to the island, in May, I was so pleased to see he was my instructor for both EFR and rescue! Every instructor there is truly amazing at what they do and Tim instructed in the perfect way that worked for me. He introduced me to the other instructors and really helped to make me feel at home and welcome. During my DMT I had 6 brilliant mentors, all of whom would help in any way they could. The full time dive masters were also fantastic role models and really helped to show myself and all the other DMTs the ins and outs of being a good dive master. The tech boys are one in a million, and were good enough to put up with me sitting in the tech shack for many hours on many occasions, boring them with meaningless stories and terrible jokes. The genuine highlights of my time there were the assists! Seeing the DM’s and instructors deals with all manner of situations in relaxed, confident and professional manners is really inspirational. The DMT challenge really put me through my (drinking) paces and I have Simmo to thank for making it such a fun night! (from what I remember that is). Dive at this school and you will not regret it for a second. All the instructors and DMs take the time to get to know their students and customers personally and won’t give up ANYONE. Upon completion of open water, I can guarantee the thought of continuing onto advanced will be playing on your mind. DO IT. Everything is better below 18meters! Once you do the advanced, you will be hooked. And it is safe to say, there are far worse things to be obsessed with. Obviously diving is the main attraction of this beautiful place, but in the evenings the bar is always buzzing, great food in the restaurant and once a week beer pong is held. Get involved! it is a great way to meet other people- especially if you are backpackers! Living on this island for 3months simply wasn’t long enough, so I will be back next year for the entire summer. Sorry guys, not got rid of me that quickly. Just read all of the other reviews and it speaks for its self…there is no place better than Big Blue. Happy diving!! Missing you all like mad. Alice

Koh Tao Weather Forecast

 

Think you'll be happy to know that the weather has become beautiful & sunny again! All those English people wandering around the place in their jumpers & overcoats last week moaning about how cold wet & windy it was are now wandering round in the singlets & sunburnt sleeves moaning about how hot it is!. God Bless 'em! Forecast is good too so it looks like the bad weather is over now for a while & we'll be hearing heaps more posh people whinging about the heat! Pip Pip!

August 3, 2013

Swim For Sharks Round Nang Yuan Island

 Don't miss out on the event of the year!!Only one week left until the Swim for Sharks!! The whole Swim for Sharks event is centred on involving the local community in active shark conservation and awareness. We came up with the event 4 years ago, and we donated our proceeds to Project AWARE, whose shark conservation action included driving interest in the recent CITES meeting. Due to the success of our event, we have been able in subsequent years to fund local projects, including a release program in Pattaya by Dive Tribe last year. As part of this project, Dive Tribe visit local restaurants and hotels and buy any captive sharks, which they then tagged and released in March this year. And as for us on Koh Tao, we set out to investigate the shark trade in local areas, including Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Chumphon. In general, we found no real trade in shark products and although a small number of sharks were turning up in markets and in restaurants, these where thought to have been caught on the Andaman coast, instead of in Koh Tao's waters as we feared. That said, we actually have very little information about the health of our shark populations and so we began the which using volunteer snorkelers we survey our reef shark populations. After hearing about what we were doing, the local fishermen wanted to get involved, and now we have a program started with them where if they accidentally catch sharks or rays, they bring to us where we have a tank to record and photograph them safely, then release back to the reef they were taken from. The information gathering is where we hope to expand on next, using Rototags to tag individual sharks, collect DNA samples for a global DNA database coordinated by Johanne Mourier of French Polynesia University. As well we want to teach the tagging techniques to the fishermen, so that they can perform the tagging themselves, putting less stress on the sharks during transportation. We want to also help increase awareness and education on shark conservation among divers and tourists in general, in a hope that people will not buy shark products, especially whilst visiting Thailand. Our event entails a sponsored swim, which last year had 73 participants. The swim is approximately 3.4 km long, around the island of Koh Nang Yuan. As well as this, we have an evening festival with local bands and international DJs, where the fundraising continues and the head shaving starts (it seems we have begun a tradition in shaving for sharks - many people raise money to shave a fin-like Mohawk into their heads!). Last year we raised a fantastic 127,000 baht, and this year we hope to raise more. We have decided to contribute the money raised to various charities: 

15% to SSI Mission Deep Blue anti-finning campaign in Costa Rica
15% to ECOOCEAN Whaleshark Monitoring Programme
20% to Fin Free Thailand (www.finfree.org)
50% to the Koh Tao Shark Project.
If you would like to help us raise money for these very worthy charities, and support the shark conservation work they do then come along and help. If you would like to do the swim, you can get sponsored by your friends and family. You don’t have to be Michael Phelps to participate, you can even wear fins and a mask if you would like! But if you want to really go for the win, you can and we have a serious competitor race starting 5 minutes before the fun swim.
There are 4 prizes donated by Shark Skin as well this year, and these will go to:
• 1st back from the competitive race
• 1st back with fins
• Person who raises the most sponsorship
• Swimmer with the best fancy dress
If you just want to come and support then that’s fine too, come along to our evening event at Maya Beach Club from 6pm, wehere there is a free BBQ and International DJs playing until the early hours. The fundraising continues here too with the head shaving and drink promotions!
If you're reading this from somewhere other than Koh Tao, then don't fear, you can still get involved! Organis your own Swim for Sharks and get in contact with us how to transfer any money you raise. Or ifg you want to donate then fantastic!! Just go to our booking website here and enter how much you would like to donate, then in the comments section specify that it is for the Swim for Sharks.
Thanks and hopefully see you on August 10th!

August 1, 2013

7 Newly certified SSI Scuba Instructors

Congratulations to our in House Instructor Trainers Simon Garrity & Paul 'Tosh' Tanner for maintaining their 100% record when it comes to new Scuba Diving Instructors! 7 SSI Instructor candidates & 7 brand new fully certified SSI Instructors today! And apparently every single Instructor they have ever certified is actually still working in the Dive business which means that not only are these candidates happy with their career choices but that all of them have been able to get work in Diving! Says alot about SSI. The fastest growing Scuba organisation in the world with jobs available in almost every country you can imagine. Sun, sea, scuba, Best job in the World? You bet your ass!

One of the Best Experiences of my Life

“Best Diving Experience”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor July 29, 2013 - A friend and I didn't have a diving course booked when we arrived in Koh Tao but we saw great reviews so we thought we'd give Big Blue a go. Arrived at 4pm and were signed up for the 5pm Open Water certification that day. I can say that this was one of the best experiences of my life. Our instructor Guy was FANTASTIC! After the four dives we had time to spare and were excited to take on the Advance certification over the next two days (5 specialised dives to be certified in). The Open Water was great but it was just a taste of what you can see & explore on the Advance course. I would recommend it to anyone if you have the time. Overall an awesome experience at Big Blue diving and very professional. 

Thailands Most Popular Tourist Island

A picture postcard beach on one of Thailand's most popular tourist islands is now the focus of frantic efforts to staunch a tide of oil sweeping ashore. Where pleasure seekers would normally relax on pristine white sand, sandwiched between two lush green headlands, now white-coated cleanup crew smeared with crude  oil from the shallow waters. Goblets of oil lie along the beach, a thin sheen covers much of the wet sand and oil-drenched booms lie like giant black snakes along the shoreline. The sea is a rust red color and the odor of fuel hangs heavy in the air. Not even a brisk onshore wind can keep the smell away. For the past four days crude has been washing up here and cleanup crews have been dealing with it the best way they can - pumping it into holding tanks, containing it with booms, even mopping it up with absorbent pads. Ao Prao beach on the island of Koh Samet is the main impact zone of the 50,000 liters of oil spilled during a faulty transfer operation between a tanker and a seabed pipeline on Saturday. About 600 soldiers, volunteers and workers from PTT Global Chemical, the partially state-owned oil giant that has claimed responsibility for the spill, are involved in the cleanup. A PTT spokesman says that 70% of the oil has been dealt with. The remaining crude will be "90% clear by Friday or Sunday at the latest.

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