Big Blue Diving - Koh Tao - Thailand - Big Blue Timeline

Timeline

Big Blue Diving Resort

Over 25 years

In the Beginning...


We opened a small little dive shop at the end of the only pier on Koh Tao. At that time it was only the second shop to offer diving Koh Tao. We sat around most of the day waiting for customers to arrive on the island once a day! It wasn't long before people started hearing of scuba diving and this unexplored diving paradise around a little known island about 90 kilometers north of Koh Samui, Thailand. Then as Koh Tao started to get a mention in the travel books like the Rough Guides & Lonely Planets, Big Blue Diving expanded a little & opened our Diving Resort on Sairee Beach in good old Koh Tao Thailand.

1991

2000

Big Blue 1


In 2000 we opened our 5 Star PADI Gold Palm Resort, with a Beachside Dive center, bar & restaurant, operating with 2 purpose built Dive Vessels, leaving the choice of sites for diving Koh Tao upto our guests & leaving directly from our Resort. Big Blue Diving Resort comprised of 5 Beachside fan bungalows as well as over 20 fan rooms all with ensuite bathrooms & another 10 Air Conditioned rooms. Our own Big Blue Diving Restaurant & Beach Bar quickly became a favourite with guests & locals alike with its ambient al fresco style dining quite literally on the waters edge & an amazing seat when it came to enjoying some of the worlds best sunsets at one of Koh Tao Thailand most popular scuba diving resorts.

The Boom


Over the next couple of years tourism and scuba diving really boomed throughout Thailand and come 2001 Big Blue Diving branched out & opened up another small Diving Resort in the heart of a new up & coming little island called Koh Samui. From here we offered luxury speed boat trips diving Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan, as well as the legendary Sail Rock, the best Divesite around Koh Tao Thailand & also the then famous Angthong National Marine Park. (The setting for Alex Garlands Best selling book- The Beach). We also arranged overnight packages & trips to Koh Tao so our Samui customers could really enjoy a taste of tropical island life.

2001

2003

Khao Lak


In 2003 we opened Big Blue Diving Khao Lak, on the West Coast of Thailand in the sleepy seaside resort town about an hour north of Phuket. Here we originally offerred scuba diving Full Day trips to the Similans but as we grew we started to offer Liveaboard cruises onboard our own private Liveaboard MV Halleluja, as well as faster daily speedboat services to the world famous Similan Islands & the more challenging divesites of the Surin Islands including the legendary Koh Bon (Manta Rays) Koh Tachai (Leopard Sharks) & in the words of Jacques Cousteau Thailands Number One Dive Site - Richelieu Rock (Whalesharks).

Out with the Old

Big Blue Diving took the next logical step and became diving Koh Tao first SSI Instructor Training Center within our diving resort. Having been a major partner in the formation of the Koh Tao Thailand PADI IDC Group this was a real pioneering step for us, but we felt the way teaching scuba diving was at that time administered, that there was enormous room for improvement. With SSI's focus on the Instructor rather than the system we believed that SSI could offer more enjoyment through education by relying more on the Instructor & the student relationship rather than the materials which at that point hadn't been updated for a loong time.

2004

2003

Getting Technical


In 2003 we opened Big Blue Tech- our Technical Diving division of Big Blue Diving specialising in Wrecks, Tech, Depth, Nitrox, Trimix, Rebreathers, Caves, & Side mount diving. With its own dedicated Tech Diving boat we were able to concentrate on pioneering techies diving Koh Tao & further afield within the Gulf of Thailand which ultimately led to excursions away from our Dive Resort around Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia & the Phillipines, Big Blue Tech very quickly became one of Koh Tao Thailands leading Tech, Wreck & Cave Diving Operators winning numerous awards & commendations of achievement throughout the scuba diving & Tech Diving Industry.

Added Comforts


In 2008 we opened up Big Blue diving Guesthouse also known as Preewa. A brand new clean, spacious & quiet little building set back about 100 meters from the beach & just a 2 minute walk from our main resort. Ten private rooms upstairs offerring Air con or fan & with double bed or twin options available, aswell as six 4 bed AC dorm rooms and in every room a TV, Big Blue Guesthouse was the perfect accommodation option for light sleepers & also for our regular scuba diving Groups who were looking for something a little bit nicer & where everyone could stay at the same place.

2008

2009

Basically BSAC


Big Blue Diving becomes a BSAC Center of Excellence. This is the top level of a BSAC Centre, authorised to train all scuba diving grades and Skill Development Courses. Being accredited our BSAC rating at this time worked very well for us with so many military leaving the forces and looking for a change in lifestye & career.  With the growth of the British Diver diving Koh Tao Big Blue BSAC Thailand instantly became the Number One BSAC Instructor Training facility in Koh Tao Thailand & Asia and alongside Big Blue Tech are currently the only BSAC Centres of Excellence in Asia.

The Planeteers


2010 saw the official opening of  Big Blue Conservation, a non-profit Ecological awareness and educational organisation with in house Marine Biologist Jennifer Matthews. She organised the Charity Event Swim for Sharks which raises money and awareness of the inhumane practise of Shark Finning. We've won awards every year since we formed Big Blue Conservation from the Project Aware Foundation for outstanding contribution to Eco Awareness and since our conception Big Blue Diving have been awarded SSI's prestigious award for Most Environmentally Active Dive Center in Koh Tao Thailand.

2010

2011

We'd Like to Thank the Academy


In 2010 Big Blue Diving won many prestigious awards from SSI for diving Koh Tao. Outstanding Contribution to Tech Diving, Best Diving Resort in Thailand, Best SSI Instructor, Biggest contribution to the Scuba Diving Industry in Koh Tao Thailand, Most Environmentally Active Dive Center, Dive Center with the most SSI Certifications & the most SSI Instructor Certifications in Thailand. The same year we were also recognised for the highest amount of Tech Diving & Rebreather certifications in Thailand by TDI. We also became the first Dive Center in the world to partner with the Coral Cay Conservation Society in the education of Marine conservation & Coastal resources.

Big Blue With a Vengence


2012 was a huge year for us in the making of Big Blue Diving when we opened our second Beach front diving     resort also on Sairee Beach, Big Blue II. This new resort was a little more upmarket than our original resort. Big Blue II offers Air Conditioned Bungalows on the beach, Private AC and Fan rooms and 6 bed air con and fan dormitories with ocean views, a purpose built divers pool, and another excellent Beach side Restaurant and Bar. It was the future of Big Blue Diving and it was from here where we were also able to offer the accommodation at Koh Tao Thailand's legendary backpacker beachside bungalows Pranee Bungalows and Mama O'Chais. Icons of the backpacker circuit.

2012

2013

FREEDOM!


In 2013 we relaunched Big Blue Free Diving- our breathold center with National Champions from Spain & Brazil Pepe Arcos & Flavia Eberhard, who are both internationally recognised Free Diving record holders. Flavia is also an SSI FreeDiving Instructor Trainer making Big Blue FreeDiving the only FreeDiving Instructor Training Facility in Thailand. Big Blue Freediving is the only school in Koh Tao that has our very own swimming pool, where we conduct all of our confined water skills and our very own dedicated Free Diving boat, thereby providing you a comfortable training environment to ease into the art of freediving!

Vidiots


In 2014 we brought our video making enterprise in house by introducing Big Blue Movies. Spearheaded by one of the most creative underwater videographers we've come across. Billy Cloud brings with him a team of vast experience from BBC Documentary makers, professional photographers and experienced videographers aswell as some serious music afficianados. Big Blue Movies films our daily showreels for our scuba diving entry courses as well as make our Promo reels & adverts for all our media needs. If you are looking for an inlet into media then Big Blue Movies can offer you it all with individually focused internship programmes.

2014

Cast Adrift


In 2014 we also opened our very own retail store on one of Koh Tao's busiest high streets. We had noticed a demand for beach clothing & summer casual wear so decided to open a new venture with clothing designed especially for the beach. We also decided to launch our own brand of Dive wear which we hoped would rival Skate, Ski & Surf wear. Drift by Big Blue Diving, also became the biggest distributor for all Go Pro Cameras and Go Pro accessories & very quickly became the busiest scuba diving, water sports & Beach clothing retail store on Koh Tao with clothing designed by us & featuring our very own iconic Big Blue dolphin.

Goodnight You Princes of Maine...


2015 came with great anticipated sadness at the impending knowledge that the lease for Big Blue 1 Diving Resort was due and the option to extend was not being made available to us. Not to be defeated we reinvested heavily in a brand new scuba diving Divecenter with offices, classrooms and relaxing area for our Big Blue Chaba Team from Japan at the very popular Blue Wind Resort on Sairee Beach, Koh Tao Thailand. We also opened a brand new booking office on Sairee High Street right next to our popular retail store Drift, which we kept open from 9am till 9pm 7 days per week and staffed with 2 of the biggest characters in Diving you are likely to come across.

2015

2016

Young at Heart


In 2016 we celebrated our 25th Anniversary in scuba diving & diving Koh Tao & what better way to do it than by extendeding our new diving resort to accommodate a further 5 budget Beachfront Dormitories, and 8 backpacker rooms and extended our restaurant and incorporated our brand new Dive center here at the new Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao Thailand. We sectioned off, in our diveshop, space for retail equipment and we also opened 4 brand new classrooms including a dedicated Big Blue Pro classroom for all our Instructor Development Courses and to top it all off we turned our Beachfront Bungalow into a classroom and social area for our Divemasters in Training.

Its a Big Blue future

With Big Blue Diving being a very well established name in the Scuba Diving Industry, and having achieved our goal of being able to offer everything under one roof our eyes are now focused on offerring the same set up we have here in Koh Tao & Khao Lak, in some other beautiful location for scuba diving. With so many exotic locations throughout the world and such amazing underwater encounters still to experience, and with a recognised brand and logo, and a customer base comprising of 26 years of divers... why the flip shouldn't we.
So we're looking. Looking for locations and looking for partners.
What do you think?
Isn't it time you started living the life you've only imagined!

2017- 2018

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Big Blue Diving
15/3 Moo 1 
Koh Tao 
Suratthani 
84360 
Thailand 

Ph :+66 (0) 77 456 050
Fax: +66 (0) 77 456 772

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