17/18 Moo 1, Koh Tao Suratthani, 84360 Thailand         Info @ Big Blue Diving        +66 (0) 77 456 050

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Thursday 28th February 2013-

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 Team Big Blue went out to fix some of the mooring lines around Koh Tao last week, including deploying a new line at King Kong and fixing one of the mooring lines at Japanese Gardens from an old polystyrene box to a proper buoy as supplied by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. But why do we make buoy lines on Koh Tao? Well, dropping anchors can cause massive structural damage ot the reefs around Koh Tao, and so to reduce this damage, The Save Koh Tao Group and the Thai Navy began a marine zoning and mooring line project in March 2009. Since the start of this project, nearly every dive site has the appropriate mooring lines and buoys. Snorkelling areas, small boats tie offs, boat lanes, and ‘no boat’ areas also have their own particular markers, such as yellow buoy lines for snorkelling areas, as part of the island zoning project. It is hoped that by working with the local community for the installation, maintenance, and repair of these buoys that we can increase the amount of education and awareness about human impacts on coral reefs and reduce those impacts for Koh Tao. At Big Blue, we use these buoys everyday at the dive sites. By replacing and maintaining the existing lines, we help ensure this project's success. A big thanks to the nine Big Blue DMTs and Marine Conservation Interns who joined the project and thanks to Save Koh Tao for putting on the fantastic mooring line workshops last week.

“Best Dive Shop in Koh Tao”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 24, 2013 - Would highly recommend Big Blue to all travellers, whether you are back-packing or looking for a more family oriented hotel. They make scuba diving as easy, fun and comfortable as can be. The best place to start or further your dive experience in Koh Tao. Would definitely recommend the instructor I had for my Open Water and Advanced course, Ben. He was helpful every step of the way! 
 
 Right peoples! As long as the boats back up and running we're organizing another Sattakut night dive tonight. Last time we saw crazy crabs and mental cuttle fish but most importantly, the wreck at night, by torch light, is a sight to behold! Peoples who are interested need to have Nitrox and wreck specialties. Staff members will also be asked to make a small donation to Pidams and Zaws booze fund. For more information come to the Tech shack and have a chat with Bryan or James. Happy Friday!

Tuesday 19th February 2013- 

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Meet some of our newer staff- Anke Moors.Completely fluent in over 700 languages Anke has a birds nest growing out the back of her head. Hails from a small town in France called Belgium, famous for little Private Investigators, Martial Arts & Chocolate porn! She has an incredible way of making sure everyone remembers her name- "My name is 'Wanker' without the 'W'!  We employed her straight away! Anke is a very accomplished Tech Diver, as well as a PADI Instructor, BSAC Instructor & SSI Instructor. Started off at Big Blue working in our Beach bar but has come a long way since those days of drunken debauchery and now teaches all our courses in English, French, German, Dutch & Belgiumese. Always laughing, awesome character, reliable, patient & friendly everyone just loves our Wanker!

“Into the blue!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 16, 2013 - During my 6 days on Koh Tao I did 10 dives with the guys from Big Blue Diving and had a kick-ass time. I have my Advanced OW and had many dives in several other spots in South East Asia and Mexico. Well, Koh Tao may not have the best dive spots in the world concerning what you can see there, but the Big Blue´s dive guides make up for this big time. I have been diving with Darren and Christine and it is amazing how passionate they are about their jobs and how much effort they put into lighting the same fire in their customers. Seeing your dive master cheering and screaming underwater because she/he just found a scorpion fish (which is pretty hard to spot) or a tiny nudibranch is just inspiring and adds so much to your dive experience. Darren and Christine were both mad about the tiny things, you normally don´t spot easily in Koh Tao. For me this makes both of them great underwater guides, because everyone can point to a whaleshark (if you are lucky enough to meet one), but finding that piece of rock that actually is a scorpion fish or a colorful 1cm nudibranch requires a lot of love for your job and lots and lots of dedication. And this commitment doesn´t stop on the boat or on land. They are always up for a joke and create just good vibes. Thanks to Darren and Christine and to the whole Big Blue team. 
 
Not quite sure what just happened but its suddenly gotten really busy here on Koh Tao! We are pretty much out of rooms to walk in & are only just managing to honor our bookings as well. Its unbeleivable. So if you are heading this way over the next few weeks I would highly recommend booking your accommodation before you get here to avoid missing out on all the fun & games. I wouldn't rely on walking in & being able to get yourself a budget room as they are all gone! & next week is going to be even worse as it is the Full Moon party in Koh Phangan. Drop as an email. I highly recommend it! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday 18th February 2013-

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Updating our Meet the Team profiles- Carly Marsh- A whiteSouth African, so obviously completely racist, corrupt & filthy rich! A Gold Smith by trade! Obviously not a very good one or she wouldn't be working here! Nicknamed Prawn- something to do with that terrible South African Sci fi movie, nothing to do with a chick that has a mad body, but a bad face, you know like when you eat a prawn, you eat the body and throw away the head! Prawn is the hottest of our Divemaster team. She's also the smallest, ah maybe that's where the name came from! Absolutely crap at soccer Carly is our first employed Seffrican who can speak English or at least thinks she can which results in a completely effective failure to communicate. We usually just wait for her to break into tribal dance and sing/dance/unnecessary shouting/boobies! 

“Great time at Big Blue” -5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 16,- I did the open water diving course at Big Blue and overall this was a very good experience. Arriving at 4pm, I started the course right away at 5pm. Next day we were already training in the pool and the following days we did 4 dives in total. We completed the whole course and certification by day 4. The atmosphere and the general level of expertise makes you feel at ease as ease. The free accomodation during the duration of the course ( dorm room) was a nice extra touch. Special thanks to/ mentioning of our instructor Tim. His excellent teaching skills made this a great experience:
* focus on the essence: I never dived before nor did I do any kind of snorkelling. Therefore the first days were quite overwhelming. Tim makes you focus on the essence and keeps on repeating and stressing the core things you need to know and do to master the skill of diving.
* focus on the students: Tim has his full attention on the students at all time. He is not trying to be mister popular nor is he in love with the sound of his own voice. Instead he focuses on the students' questions and needs. Our group very much appreciated this straightforward approach.
* individual approach: Tim does not believe in a 'one size fits all' teaching approach and tailors his way of teaching according to your needs and demands.
As a result, by the end of the course our whole group was at ease in the water, had the basic about diving and we all had a great time. In a nutshell, when going to Koh Tao, going diving with Big Blue and ask for Tim as an instructor, you will not regret it.

Eco Jen has laid on a Marine Buoyline project today for all our DMT's. THis morning she finally got delivered the 3 mooring lines we ordered & showed our guys how to tie a knot to secure the big bright floaty thing at the surface & this afternoon she's taken a boat to the other side of the island to install the big bright floaty things on 3 Divesites. Tanote Bay, King Kong, & Hin Wong Pinnacle. Its an awesome experience for our team of soon to be professional Divemasters and I think its what sets us apart from every other dive school on the island which is why if you are going to become a Dive Professional you need to know more than just how to lead divers & how to assist Instructors. You need to know about Big bright floaty things too!

Saturday 16th February 2013-  

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 Due to the enormous shortage of rooms on Koh Tao & the excessive demand for cheap accommodation we have been forced to adjust our pricing a little! So as of today we are happy to announce that we have 3 types of budget dormitories available now. First off we offer for FREE a bed in our 6 bed AC dorms which in all honesty have seen better days. Please note you can only book these rooms online if you book them alongside your Open Water & Advanced Courses, otherwise you'll have to take a chance to see if they're available upon walk in whihc in all honesty is going to be pretty slim. These dorms are almost always full! Then we offer 100 Bt dorms in our 4 bed fan rooms at Big Blue 2. Nice. First floor with a balcony overlooking the pool. Definitely a good bargain. & then we offer 200 Bt AC dorms also at Big Blue 2 also with 4 beds to a dorm but this is on the ground floor. However still very much a bargain & also nice! Then we offer 300 Baht private fan rooms, 400 Bt beach bungalows, & so on & so on. Hopefully this will free up the accommodation problems we've been experiencing over the last few months for all you cheap skates out there! ;-)

“Highlight of my Thailand vacation at Big Blue.”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 12, 2013- Heading to Thailand my boyfriend and I knew we definitely wanted to get our open water in Koh Tao. There are so many choices. After reading reviews and lonely planet we decided to go with big blue and it did not disappoint. Everything was easy with big blue from the moment we booked. We were picked up from the ferry and driven to the resort. Checked in within minutes and received great accomadations. We decided to upgrade to a private room rather than the free accommodation. Our open water course was great. Student to inscturctor ratio was the perfect number. One instructor and dive master trainee for 6 students. Our instructor was Tosh who was a blast and always had a joke to tell. He was incredibly experienced and passionate about diving. I had a bit of an issue with taking my mask off while diving and panicked but Tosh was able to calm me down and help me get through it. Our entire open water class signed up to do our advanced. We got to stay together as a group and keep Tosh as our insctructor. My boyfriend and I left Big Blue to move onto other parts of Thailand only to return 3 days later to continue diving. We didn't have enough time to do any specialty courses so we did a few fun dives. We did a full day dive which is worth every penny. 3 dives, breakfast, lunch, drinks and snacks for a great price with a knowledgeable dive master. I highly recommend big blue. If you want a place with knowledgeable, passionate people, great location and great atmosphere it will not disappoint!
 

Here is an awesome story of a 3 fishermen miles off the coast of Australia who encounter a Whaleshark. The big fish swims straight up to the boat & just hangs out there at the surface. One of the fisherman jumps into the water with their mask & snorkel to get a closer look (as you would) and realizes the Whaleshark is there because it needs their help. Tied around its fins is a rope. A noose! The Fisherman grabs a knife & then for the next 20 minutes proceeds to free the Whaleshark from the rope while the whaleshark hovers just below the surface so the fisherman can snorkel while he cuts away at the rope. Then after its been freed the Whaleshark sticks a fin out the water as if to say thanks & swims away! A truly magical tale and an excellent example to prove that these creatures are very intelligent, way more so than we realize, and not something we should be fishing & sticking into a bowl of soup!

Thursday 14th February 2013-

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Lonely Planets write up on Koh Tao. "Scuba virgins from all over flock to Ko Tao to learn how to dive. Not only is this lush, pistachio-coloured island blessed with crystal clear water and trippy coral reefs shallow enough for beginners to explore; it’s also is one of the world’s cheapest and most popular places to get your open-water dive certification. Diving is definitely the island’s mainstay, and on its busiest areas you can’t walk 100m without tripping over a shop. Once you choose an outfitter, there are dozens of spectacular reefs with plentiful marine life to swim through. Once considered exclusively a dive destination, these days Ko Tao is nearly as popular with nondivers as it is with scuba enthusiasts. Small (it measures just 21 sq km) and laid-back, it’s become a haven for those seeking the beauty found on big sisters Ko Samui and Ko Pha-Ngan without the chaos. Fast and frequent ferries make travel to Ko Tao easy, and once you arrive there’s plenty of entertainment – from lounging on pristine beaches to mountain biking through the lush and rugged interior. All in all Ko Tao is a romantic place, where nights are casual affairs, usually involving a quiet drink by candlelight on a cushion near the edge of the sea. Even though Ko Tao has become more hip with each season, it hasn’t let this celebrity status go to its head. Although there are pockets of frenetic activity in the main tourist ghettos of Ban Hat Sai Ri and Ban Mae Hat, much of the island retains an easy-going pace. Infrastructure on Ko Tao is still pretty basic, with much of the east coast only accessible by 4WD or boat, and 24-hour electricity blanketing only about 75% of the island."
 
“Great Place to Stay, Dive, Drink & Eat!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 13, 2013 - Arrived at Big Blue for 3 nights and ended up staying 3 weeks we loved it so much. Did the open water with mini Ant. If you're a nervous diver, he's great, really patient and we all felt really safe diving with him. Couldn't recommend him more. Accommodation is clean & perfectly located on the beach. The food is really good to top it all off!

There are lots of Dive instructors and dive masters on Koh Tao, what sets you apart? Volunteering and getting involved with local conservation projects is a great way to get ahead in the industry, add to your knowledge and skills base, and improve your student training and satisfactions; all while helping to preserve the environment we depend on. See the schedule of upcoming events below, hope to see you there! Feb. 17th –Zoning & Mooring Workshop, 7pm Feb. 18th – Mooring Buoy Maintenance

Feb 21st – Clean-up Planning & Project Aware Grant mtg, 7pm, Moov
Feb 23rd – Land and Underwater Clean-up
March 5th – SKT Meeting and After party
March 30th- clean-up
April 22nd- Earth Day Film Festival
Late April -Koh Tao Festival (Turtle release, Giant Clam nursery, etc)

Wednesday 13th February 2013-

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Pilot Whale! Yesterday! Mid afternoon. at White Rock! Not seen by anyone other than Bryan from the Tech Shack & you know how little these techie types know about fish Identification! So guess it could have been anything! But Bryan does quite categorically insist it was a pilot whale. No body else on the whole dive site saw one except bryan! And Pilot Whales are pretty big so it is a little suspicious that on a dive site heaving with divers our Bryan was the only one to see it. Still he beleives what he's saying & even managed to draw a picture of it which is a fairly accurate portrayal of a Pilot Whale so I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt! Pilot Whale! Yesterday! Mid afternoon. at White Rock!

“Great Time Fun Diving with Big Blue!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 11, 2013 - I arrived in Thailand with one thing on my mind: Go scuba diving!! I hadn't picked out any location but heard that Koh Tao was a must for diving in Thailand. So I got to Koh Tao, opened up my lonely planet guide and went directly to Big Blue Diving and I was not disapointed! I was initially supposed to stay for 3-4 days and ended up staying for 1.5 weeks! Diving: diving with big blue is a really fun and safe experience. Every fun diver is assigned to a divemaster that knows the area and guides the divers through the dives. For each dive, the divemaster gives a breefing that goes through the diving signals, safety rules, map of divesite and what is interesting to see at each divesite. The divemasters are very professionnal, make sure that fun divers feel safe and all that while making sure that the experience is both relax and fun! The diving schedules are very flexible with morning, afternoon and night sessions. The prices for fun diving are really good and they also add a discount incremental to the number of dives done. Going to the full day trip to Sail Rock is also a must! Accommodation: I stayed at big blue 1 in a 6 bedroom dorm and I honestly could not complain. The room was clean and decent for the price charged (which was 0 for days that I was diving)! The Big Blue Diving Resort also has a nice restaurant and bar after diving with a relaxed and cool atmosphere!! Big blue is centrally located in Sairee Beach (with a beachfront), making it a very good location to lodge on Koh Tao!Staff: As I previously said, the staff was very welcoming, professional and making sure that I had a good experience. At my arrival, a divemaster welcomed me at the resort, made the time to talk to me about what were my needs and expectations for my stay. So, despite the fact that there is a lot of person that do dive and stay at big blue, I was pleasantly surprised at how the service is personalized! They were very helpful whenever I had a question. So overall, an excellent experience at Big Blue Diving! I will recommend Big Blue to all my friends that are planning to go diving in Koh Tao! I will definitely go back when I'm in the area! A special thanks to the DMs that made my diving at Big Blue a memorable experience: Steven, Darren, Carly, Sophia, Christine, Angel, Bobby and all the staff at Big Blue!
 

So restricting a business to one supplier, then making them look the same as there nearest rivals, whilst feeding them misinformation and charging the earth for it helps the industry how exactly ?......SSI has always been the Business Support Agency for over 40 years! They are confident enough to use their Brand to stand behind ours, and support us where they can as a true partner should. How else are you going to get noticed in a competitive market? ....Think out of the bubble and STAND OUT from your competitors. Choose SSI an agency that respects YOUR business is worth shouting about.Wake up Dive Centers, get out of your little boxes and look around.

Tuesday 12th February 2013-

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 'I wrote a message on the sea bed' - Daniel Kurk, 30, proposed to Zoe Church, 35, on the bottom of the ocean. The couple, from Watford in Hertfordshire, are planning a beach wedding this year… Daniel said: I planned to pop the question in Thailand on our second joint holiday there. I'd spent over a month on the island of Koh Tao when I'd been travelling a few years back. It is where I qualified for my open water and advanced diving licenses and I had become firm friends with one of the dive shop owners. (Big Blue!) When I returned to Koh Tao with Zoe I arranged for my friend to supply us with snorkel gear and a dive bag and I told him my plans. I booked a night's stay on the tiny island of Koh Nang Yuan about a mile off shore and the following morning I got up at sunrise and snuck off into the bay while Zoe slept. I collected a dive bag full of dead coral that had washed up at the foot of the beach and then swam out into the bay to write a message on the sea bed. I managed to get back to our villa just as Zoe was waking up. I tempted Zoe into the water by pretending to have seen a turtle. We swam into the bay and I kept making her swim further and further out. When she finally saw the message she did a double take and started laughing bubbles. She thought someone else had left the message. Then she looked at me, looked back at the message, more bubbles and then nearly drowned as she forgot to breath! We made it back to shore after a few happy tears on her part. The message itself is very silly.  Zoe's favourite TV show is Come Dine With Me and during a WAG special, the wives talked about their proposals. Emile Hesky's wife said Emile had proposed via a text message and the narrator, Dave Lamb, screamed, 'What did it say, Wife Me LOL?'. It turned into one of Zoe’s favourite jokes for about the next six months, so I didn’t really have much choice but to write that as my proposal. Our ring needed to be just as special as the proposal so Harriet's team designed one around the themes of water and the ocean. The ring was designed to look like the crest of a wave and the central stone is blue topaz, to reflect the colour of the ocean. A perfect symbol of our future lives together.

“Great diving school, instructors, lodging, restaurant, location, beach, had a blast!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 9, 2013 - A fellow traveler recommended Big Blue and I'm so glad I went here for scuba school! Chris Cherry and Iain were excellent instructors. Very clear, patient and knowledgeable. Serious about diving and safety while striking a balance with fun and humor. After the Open Water course, I stayed for 5 more dives and the advanced certification with Felix, also excellent. We did deep dives, one through a chimney-shaped rock, and one at a shipwreck. On one dive, we swam for a long time with a turtle! I loved learning to dive and will certainly continue diving into the future. I'm so glad I was introduced to scuba properly by the terrific folks at Big Blue! Great place to sleep and eat, good vibe. Everyone here is learning to scuba dive! 
 

Listen up all you techies and wannabes! Tomorrow afternoon we have a Re-Breather try dives running from lunch time, there are still a couple of spaces left, so get busy & get in touch! As we said before the cost is 1000bht but this will be refunded if you book onto a course. Tell your friends then apply here, walk ins will be accepted on the day :-)

Sunday 10th February 2013-

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Just been looking at our Instructor Training stats for 2012. Due to the increased demand for SSI Instructors in South East Asia we've really boomed. Over the last year SSI have changed their Diver Master program  which makes it more dynamic focusing on dive safety, customer service including sales training while still keeping its high standards requiring the highest pass mark of any dive agency. This has clearly helped push the Instructor Training programs with the highest Crossovers, Instructor Training Courses and Instructor Upgrade programs ever run at Big Blue. The ITC also changed last year focusing more on the dive business and the dive industry as a whole. Once again SSI has set itself apart from other agencies by keeping the high passing grade of 90% or more. With all the above kept in mind we have had such a high demand for instructors coming though the ITCs. Dive centers all around the world are asking for SSI instructors due to the fact they are more aware of the dive business and what it takes to make a profit. Since the changes made to SSI pro levels we have 100% success rate at finding our new instructors work straight after they finish there internship. Just to mention a few: Jo, Anke, Billie, Rick, Donny, Big Ant, Little Ant, Ami, Ben, Daisy, Bobby, James, Nat, Tim, Rafa, all found work at Big Blue! Billie, Mia, Ne Tun, Serge, Cindy, Felix, Mark, Sara, Fin, Aj and many many more have found work outside of Big Blue, all the way around the world from New Zealand to the Caymans. Would also like to add a congratulations to Donny, Rick, Ludo, Big Ant, & Rick who all upgraded to Dive Control Specialty Instructor last year as well. Also a massive big up to Ne Tun for being the first Burmese SSI instructor and has now open the first SSI dive school in Burma. This year we have more of the same Planned. We have Dive Master courses starting everyday and we have Instructor Training Course starting every month on the 15th. If you want to join in send us an email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“BiG Blue”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 4, 2013 - My husband and I were absolutely stoked on our Big Blue Experience. We completed our Open Water diving course & enjoyed it so much we came back for our Advanced Course! Rick was our instructor for both courses and we loved him, he was professional, fun and still made you feel safe and confident as a diver. Learning to dive in Koh Tao at Big Blue was definitely the highlight of our month trip through Thailand. We highly recommend it!

Calling all Freelance Dive Instructors looking for work! Here is the new way to get yourself employed in Thailand. It’s a smart phone App with the goal to find instructors work. Down load the app to your phone. (it free for the next 3 month after that 50Bt per month). Then there will be a questionnaire for instructors to fill out Name, Area, Age, Languages, PADI, SSI, Spec, Dives, OW Certs, AOW Certs, Rescues Certs, Spec Certs, Etc etc etc, ie a diving CV. The dive shop then uses this questionnaire to find the instructors they need. They then click to call them. Once hired for that job they then are taken out of the Apps search engine. After they do the job the dive shop can fill in a review on the instructor. The better the review the high up the ranking that instructor will go and in the end show up 1st on the search. New sign ups to the App get put on top of the list for a couple of weeks to help them start out and get good reviews. Out on android NOW for Koh Tao. This will also be used for dive shops looking for full time staff. Pick the best instructor. This will be pushed for next high season in Phuket/Phi Phi and Khao Lak. This app will be out on Iphone in 3 months time. Definitely recommended!

Saturday 9th February 2012-

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Look who's back! Sporting a nice tan & a new trim on top with short back sides & all scrubbed up with spit & polish!  Our oldest boat in our fleet Big Blue boat, now named Big Blue Tech Boat! Dedicated to our team of hardened explorers this boat is for the Tech Diving team who while away their hours at extreme depths for excessive periods of time exploring the bottom of the ocean in search of Wrecks. Shame the boat is back without their Illustrious leader James who's hopped it for a week of R& R in the Khao Sok National Park doing some Cave diving! Cool stuff these boys get into. Wreck, tech & caves, & with their very own boat! Interested in joining the team? Give us a holler This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Calling all aspiring marine conservationists! A very rare job opportunity has presented itself as we are looking to expand our marine conservation department. We are looking for a marine project scientist for a year minimum, in-country PAID position, to start ASAP. Essential requirements are: BSc in a relevant field (Masters preferred), Tropical marine fieldwork experience (previous experience in volunteer supervision preferred), Divemaster qualification or higher (any agency is fine, SSI preferred) with own equipment. Can show dedication to conservation and highly motivated. Duties will include: Volunteer supervision and training through our expedition conservation skill development program. Organising events and conservation activities such as artificial reef construction and beach and underwater clean-ups. Assist other Big Blue conservation staff and act as a role model and advocate for conservation. Assisting with reporting project updates and research. Maintenance of science equipment inventories and requesting re-supplies. Regular meetings with local stakeholders at the Save Koh Tao meetings. General training site maintenance and promotion. Personal benefits include: Author and co-author Big Blue Conservation publications and reports. Enhance research experience. Live on our beautiful tropical island as part of the Big Blue family. Diving opportunities and enhance your dive training. Liaise with local communities. If you think you have all this then please send a CV with a short explanation of yourself and career goals to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Great!!!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 4, 2013- I was in Koh Tao in November. I have to say it was more then definitely one of my favorite places in Thailand to go. its laid back but still is a good time. Big Blue was one of the reasons i loved Koh Tao. I had Billy as a instructor and he was awsome looked after our well being and made sure to point out all the good stuff. he was constantly checking up on us and assisting us in maintaining buoyancy. just an awesome guy. Really wish i got a Big Blue Shirt.

Friday 8th February 2013-

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What a fantastic day! We had 12 local school children come to Big Blue today to learn all about protecting the coral and fish, and about shark conservation too. When the kids arrived, we taught them some of the do's and don'ts of the ocean, and they even contributed some themselves, such as don't touch the coral, don't feed the fish and always wait an hour before going into the water after applying sunscreen. Then we had the chance to show them some mushroom coral specimens and for some of the kids, this was their first time seeing them! We also had a sea cucumber in our new classroom tanks, which made quite an impression when it nearly climbed out of the tank. Next, the kids helped us support shark conservation by colouring in their own Stanley Shark (www.sharkdefenders.com) and we took them down to the beach to have a photograph which we will now send to officials who decide which shark species to protect from international trade. All the kids had a fantastic day and I'm pleased to say I could see some budding marine biologists in the group! See you soon kids, and remember - save the seas!!

“The Best”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advsior February 6, 2013 - We stayed at Big Blue when we were getting SCUBA certified for 3 days. We stayed in a private room with two beds and it was wonderful. It was simple, clean, and had a shower. It was a few steps to the restaurant and bar and a few more steps to the beach. It was perfect! They also offer dorm type rooms and everyone we talked to said they were clean, safe, and had a bathroom. Our diving experience was also great! Our instructor Tim was awesome! Our class time didn't feel like a chore and our dive time was amazing. I always felt safe and taken care of, all the diving staff loves what they do and they really know there stuff. The only bummer was that we didn't get to see a whale shark:( Nothing we could do about that though... The restaurant had wonderful food (the best pad thai I had in Thailand) and was decently priced for the area. The staff was amazing and the facility was first rate. They made all of us feel welcome and always took care of our needs. I want to go back now! 
 
 Manta rays are in serious trouble. Both manta ray species are classified by the IUCN as Vulnerable to extinction, and their populations are rapidly declining due to the growing international trade in the gill rakers mantas use to filter food from water. We need to stop the gill raker trade before it's too late for mantas,
and this year we have a very special opportunity. In early March - one month from now - manta rays will be considered for trade protections under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It is  imperative that we get this vote passed. If we miss this chance, thousands more mantas will be lost to the international gill raker trade before the next CITES vote in 2016. Mantas can't afford to wait another three years for the next CITES meeting, and neither can we. Please donate today and your gift will be DOUBLED to better help protect these beautiful animals from extinction.

Thursday 7th February 2013-

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Sail Rock. The Gulf of Thailands best Divesite. Max depth: 40m- A real open water site, Sail Rock can be found equidistant between Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Not suitable for complete beginners, Sail Rock is considered to be one of the best sites in the Gulf of Thailand. Comprising one large granite rock pinnacle, which stands 15m above sea level and drops off to a max depth of 30m and outer lying smaller pinnacles, it thoroughly deserves the 2 dives we make at the site every Full Day trip we do. The famous feature of Sail Rock is ‘The Chimney’ - a large vertical swim through which can be accessed at 5m, 12m and 18m. Inside you will find wonderful clam and coral formations, dancing shrimp and much more. A full circuit of the whole rock takes approx 35 - 40 minutes & en route you will encounter mountain ranges, cascading coral gardens, vertical walls and delightful gullies. The marine life at Sail Rock abounds, with the smaller coral fish - Blue Ringed Angel Fish, Banner Fish and Butterfly Fish to name a few, found closer to the rock. The larger pelagics - Chevron Barracuda, Whale Shark and Sail Fish - can be found cruising the deep blue, just out from the rock. When conditions permit a whole dive can be made at The Secret Pinnacle which lies east of the main rock and delights with Giant Grouper, huge schools of Spanish Mackerel and Big Eyed Trevally. The favourite site of all our dive team, Sail Rock deservedly maintains its position as the No 1 dive site from Koh Tao. A Full Day Trip to Sail Rock is a must!

“Unbelievable Experience!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor February 1, 2013- I never expected to become so addicted and hooked so quick!I just finished my SSI course a day two days ago, and already want to go back and dive more. If you're going to Koh Tao and diving, Big Blue is the place, and DAISY is the instructor you want! She not only made the academics fun, she made the whole experience exciting and more than fun! Daisy made sure we were all comfortable and showed us not only the technical side of diving but the fun, and out of this world side. All of the staff at Big Blue are friendly and helpful, making the whole experience an unforgettable one. The instructor to student ratio is low, and its an all around awesome experience. I highly recommend Big Blue Diving (and Daisy), you wont regret it! This experience is going to be tough to impossible to top! Thanks Daisy!

Start your SSI Advanced Diver Program the easy way. Have you ever been out on a boat dive with friends exploring a new dive site and upon surfacing discovered that the boat wasn’t quite where you thought it was? Perhaps you’ve been interacting with schools of fish but never really known what type of fish they were … or what they did at night? Maybe you’ve been to dive sites that go deeper than you’re allowed to go and wondered what it’d be like to dive a little deeper? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions then you’d definitely find our SSI Advanced Adventurer program an enjoyable and educational experience. SSI Advanced Adventurer program is designed to give you an insight into 5 areas of scuba diving and best of all there is no theory or exams to worry about – just a pre-dive safety brief by your SSI Instructor and then you’re off and diving! SSI Advanced Adventurer program will improve your skills & introduce you to: Buoyancy control : Diving at night : Diving from a boat : Navigation : Diving in low visibility :  Wreck Diving & Deeper diving. The program is divided up into 5 dives over one weekend costs just 8500 Bt & for an additional 60 baht you can even buy your Instructor a beer for having had such an awesome time!

Tuesday 5th February 2013-

5

 

 As predicted by the self proclaimed " Worlds Best Divemaster" DM Steven there was a Whaleshark at Twins this morning! And swimming really shallow in about just 5 meters of water.About time too. We haven't had a whaleshark round here for at least a week! One of the biggest fish in the sea lives off the smallest fish in the sea. And seeing a creature thats at least 5 meters in size in just a depth of 5 meters as well makes this particular encounter with the whaleshark today one of our most memorable yet! See Divemaster Steven to book your next Whaleshark dive!

“Completely Addictive!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor  January 30, 2013 - I was diving with Big Blue a couple of weeks ago and it is by far the best place to learn. My instructor was Daisy and she was amazing. She made everything fun and exciting, even the academics! and without her I don't think the experience would have been anywhere near as good. I was there with my boyfriend and although we only intended to stay and do the open water course we got hooked and stayed on to do the advanced and were lucky enough to get Daisy for that as well. The groups are small, no more than 6 people, ours was 5 and then 4 and it is ran without fault. I would recommend big blue in a heart beat and can't wait to go back!! Best thing about my trip in Thailand by miles! x

Another massive net again on Chumphon Pinnacles here on Koh Tao. Our best divesite! This is becoming an all to regular sight on protected reefs. Thai Fisheries Dept should pay massive fines and a clearance fee if they themselves can not control these individual fishing boats. The buck has to stop somewhere!! Hearing too many stories of officials in the pockets of the big fishing fleets & witnessing ourselves the masses of fishing boats around Koh Tao which supposedly has a 12.5 kilometer no fishing zone. Its just not on & we feel like there's nothing we can do as the people we are supposed to notify of this kind of thing are the same people that let this kind of thing happen in the first place! Mother fathers! Rant over but still pissed!

Monday 4th February 2013-

4

Well looks like we might have just found the perfect couple to spearhead our new 2013 goal of launching Big Blue Freediving (again!) This time we've pushed the boat out a little & gone & found ourselves 2 World Freediving Champions! Flavia Eberhard from Brazil, their national record holder who's been as deep as 70meters & can last 6 minutes on just one breath. Pepe Arcos from Spain has won numerous Gold medals and has been as deep as 90 meters, can swim 179 meters in a pool & can last just over 6 minutes on 1 breath. They are also AIDA International Judges so will be organising Koh Tao's 1st Freediving competitions once we get the ball rolling! Looking good guys. Just got to decide on the name- Big Blue FreeDiving or Big Blue Breathold. Oh the agony of choice.

“Excellent teachers, great experience”  Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 31, 2013 - Came here to get certified and could not have had a better experience. *Endless* thanks to my Open Water instructor, Guy. Anyone thinking about learning to dive - I highly recommend coming to Big Blue and doing your Open Water course with him. Before I started his class I expected to find diving somewhat daunting, but I quickly forgot that because he made it all so fun and easy. He manages to point out your mistakes in a way that ensures you'll never make them again, but he does so without making you feel like a complete idiot. Really appreciated that! He's also just a fun person to hang out with. Our group tried to find him before we left but sadly we couldn't, so Guy, if this gets back to you, thank you again! I'm so glad I finally got certified, I love diving, and I know I'll be doing much more of it in the future. I also did the Advanced course and with Rick as my instructor, and he was great too. Very cool and knowledgeable and led our group on a night dive, which was a truly amazing experience. 
 

Still looking for a couple with experience in the Dive Industry to run our new venture that I'm not allowed to talk about yet cos officially it aint happening but between me & you & anyone else reading this post is happening! Our plan is to take over an existing resort in one of ASAI's undiscovered Diving jewels! The succesful candidates will be totally in charge of the Dive resort the accommodation the restaurant & the bar. They need knowledge of the Dive industry & need to be extremely self motivated & hard working. This won't be an easy job but it will be a rewarding one! Management couple sought for position in paradise! Reckon you fit the bill? email me your CV's & any questions you might have- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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