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Big Blue Diving Resort - Koh Tao - Thailand

Big Blue Selfie

 

Big Blue Selfie
big-blue-selfieSwim for Sharks 2014 is almost underway, and I don't want to bombard you with posts about it, but it is for charity, and there seems to be more and more amazing prizes being given away every day. Big Blue Conservation has just launched #bigblueselfie, which is open to any previous Big Blue customer. All you have to do is have a photo taken of yourself wearing a Big Blue t-shirt in front of a famous landmark, or some kind of jaw-dropping backdrop somewhere on the planet. Then you simply have to share it to the Big Blue Diving facebook page... easy! We've had some interesting ones already, including the ASDA car park in Lancaster, UK... classy I know.
But why bother? Well i'm glad you asked. The winner will receive a FREE Deep, Wreck, and Nitrox course, worth around 15,000 baht! This will increase your maximum diving depth for 40 metres, allow you to stay at depth for longer through the benefits of nitrox, and teach you how to navigate safely around a wreck. What more could you ask for from simply having your mugshot taken in a certain t-shirt? It's also an incentive to get yourself back over to Koh Tao!
The competition has already begun, and closes on the 31st August 2014. The prize voucher is valid until 31st August 2015. To get you started, to the right is one of our instructors Phil on a recent holiday in Germany at Neuschwanstein Castle.. lovely stuff!

Sharkfin imports
This time last year, it seemed like an unwinnable battle, trying to prevent sharkfinning from happening, or stopping the fins themselves from being imported into the Countries where they are consumed. But then a campaign was begun that gained momentum fast, which led to 15 intercontinental airlines deciding that they would ban shark's fins from being carried on their flights! Now Thai Airways has also made the decision to embargo shark fins... hurrah!! It's only a matter of time before other airlines follow suit, and the illegal industry will find it way harder to get their product to market. Let's keep the pressure up!

 

Swim for Sharks 2014

Swim for Sharks 2014

swim-for-sharks-2014One of the biggest days on Koh Tao is almost upon us- Swim for Sharks, which is a charity event held every year. It's a huge day for residents of the Island, and is open to anyone and everyone to get involved and raise some money for shark conservation.
The event itself involves a competitive swim around the Islands of Koh Nang Yuan, which, lets face it is pretty hardcore as the competitors are onlyt allowed to wear goggles and swimwear! But, as with other events like the London marathon, there is a fun swim, whereby people take a far more leisurely pace and are allowed to wear a mask, snorkel and fins. This year there is also a team swim.
The prize for the craziest person that wins each of the catagories is a sharkskin rashvest; the most sought out of all aquatic clothing. There isn't an official 2nd, 3rd or 4th prize, as organisers clearly thought that participants being thankful that they made it around in one piece should suffice.
Once the event is over, there will be a presentation and a raffle at Big Blue bar, followed by a disco, conveniently at the same venue. The last few years saw men and women organise a "shave for sharks" event at the bar, which was great fun, and thankfully only involved hair being shaved, styled and cropped from the cranial region. It'd entirely up tp you if you're happy to look ridiculous for the following few weeks.
So if you're around on the 2nd August, get yourself signed up for the event at Big Blue Diving at 9:30. Bring your trunks and a packed lunch.. it's going to be amazing!

How it all began
Like with most great ideas, Swim for Sharks was formed via a conversation in the Big Blue Bar. They must have thought it was a great idea to swim around Nang Yuan, but I bet they didn't give it a test run the next day.. Once the event was finalised, 19 people took part and raised 19,000 Baht for shark conservation. Last years event had 61 swimmers, who raised 120,000 baht! The event on the 2nd is expected to be the biggest by far. 

 

 

3-Day Dive Trip

Angthong Marine Park trip
Angthong-marine-parkBig Blue Dive Club's first ever diving expedition was a resounding success, with some seriously happy customers arriving back at Big Blue after a 3-day jolly, I mean trip to Angthong Marine Park. The trip was open to anyone and we had a mixture of Big Blue instructors and divemasters, customers from the UK, and divemaster trainees from other dive schools on Koh Tao all taking part.
We departed on the 4th July and managed to fit in 2 dives at an amazing dive site before heading to the accommodation on Ko Wua La Tap, which is where the headquarters of the national park is based. The Island was stunning (pictured)... beautiful sandy white beach, friendly staff, and simple and clean accommodation. A hike to the top of the Island was available to those hardy enough to attempt it, with viewpoints at various heights offering incredible views of the entire marine park.
After a long day everyone was ready for bed in anticipation of the next day's diving.
Day 2 saw an early start to head out into the park to look for new dive sites. It has to be said that the underwater visibility in the middle of the park was not amazing, but that didn't matter as the whole idea was about exploring and looking for new dive sites. So we headed up to the North of the park and found some great spots to dive, and the marine life was incredible; huge shoals of barracuda, trevaly, a sea snake, Stonefish, baby boxfish, cuttlefish, pipefish, huge snappers, lionfish, and numerous adult and juvenile blue-spotted rays. We then headed back to the accommodation and started a barbecue and fire on the beach... burgers, bangers, jacket potatoes and sweetcorn.. all washed down with a few cold beers whilst watching instructor Steveo have a good snore! Not a bad way to end the day )apart from the snoring), and all included in the cost of the trip!
On day 3 we headed out to some more dive sites for 2 last dives, before heading back to Koh Tao, tired but happy with our little adventure. Everyone had an amazing time and Big Blue Tech is already busy planning the next trip to Chumphon Marine Park in August. If you're interested in coming on one of the trips, follow Big Bue Tech and join the Big Blue Dive club on facebook for updates.

Mini-facts about Angthong Marine Park

  • The Marine Park consists of 42 tropical Islands!
  • The name in Thai is Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park.. don't ask me what that stands for!
  • The Park is around 102 kmĀ² in size, with about 82% of it being water.
  • It lies in the Province of Changwat Suratthani
  • Although much of the filming actually took place in Koh Pi Pi, Angthong Marine Park was meant to be the setting for the film the Beach by Alex Garland.

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