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

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Wednesday 31st January 2013- 

 

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Saw this & thought how true! " A Dive Center  Posted On padi yesturday at 11.30 pm ish,...5 ads for padi pros in 5 differant locations...Ok good I thought 5 chances at a job in one go..... So I answered with CV straight away......Guess what I got back this morning...... Divers Club International Topic: No dive master/AI opening available. From: Human Resources Department - Hello Chris J, Thank you for your interest in our dive master/AI job opportunities! I regret to inform that all dive master/AI positions have been filled by our instructor course interns. In the hope that you might consider joining one of our PADI diving instructor courses or internships with inhouse job objective and priority as an alternative to Divemaster employment, I have sent you our GO PRO ACADEMY information. Not Good........IF YOU HAVE NO JOBS DON'T POST JOBS ON PADI.....If I wanted to pay for the AI/IE I would not waste my time answering ...JOB!!!!. Adverts. Sorry !!!!......RANT OVER....." Stop wasting time! Do your SSI Instructor Training & get a job Eezy Peezy lemon Squeezy! www.bigblueinstructortraining.com

“100% recommend this place” -5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 28, 2013 - 3 of us just finished our advanced open water with big blue last week. It came highly recommended and we'll be sure to send our mates to the same spot. Great food accommodation etc and the staff are really cool. Massive thanks to Petra! (Best instructor on the island) Defiantly go to big blue!


Sharks are kinda scary. In the water they're faster than us, can appear from what seems like out of nowhere in an instant, and pack a pretty solid bite. It's easy to get nervous when you're in the dark ocean and unsure of who is swimming by with a toothy grin. But sharks aren't the animals you should be most afraid of. Here are some that are much more likely to cause your demise. Mosquitoes-  655,000 people killed each year, primarily in Africa, through the little buggers spreading malaria. Hippos- 2,900 people are killed by these moody mammals annually in Africa. That roly-poly exterior is just to lure you in. Deer- 130 people killed across the U.S. by deer, almost exclusively because drivers hit the deers with their cars. That saying "a deer in the headlights" came about for a reason.  Bees- 53 people die each year in the U.S. because of an allergic reaction from being stung. Dogs- 30-35 people are killed each year in the U.S. Fido isn't always your best friend. Ants- 20-50 people are killed each year in Africa from ants. They may be small but dozens, hundreds, even thousands of stinging ants can really add up. Jellyfish- 20-40 people per year die in the Philippines alone from the anaphylaxis caused by the stings. Cows- 22 people are killed in the U.S. every year from these seemingly docile creatures. They're fun to pet, but getting kicked in the head by one ... not as fun. Horses- 20 people die each year thanks to our equine friends. Spiders- 6.5 people die in the U.S. every year from spider bites. Rattlesnakes- 5.5 people die from rattlesnake bites each year in the U.S., which isn't a whole lot considering how common they are in popular hiking and camping areas. Sharks-1 person is killed each year in the U.S. and fewer than six worldwide are killed by sharks. From 2006 to 2010, there were just three fatalities from shark attacks in the U.S.  So if you find yourself harboring feelings of fear or even hatred of sharks, you might want to take a step back and gain a little perspective. They aren't nearly as deadly as you might think. 

 

Saturday 26th January 2013-

26Congratulations Emiko one of our many Japanese Instructors who can now bat for the other side having completed her SSI Crossover with flying colours. SSI (Scuba Schools International) is one of the oldest dive organizations in the world and still growing each day. The SSI Instructor Crossover program is designed to orient Instructors who were trained by other certification agencies to the teaching and business philosophy of SSI. At the end you will be allowed to teach and certify divers through SSI. Since you already have done your instructor training with another agency, you already know how to teach divers. Therefore our main goal during the course will be to make you knowledgeable and comfortable with SSI Programs, products and services, so that you may confidently teach SSI courses and attract members of the opposite sex!

Another busy Full Day Trip to Sail Rock today. The Gulf of Thailands number 1 Dive site according to Lonely Planets Diving & snorkeling Guide to Thailand & there aint many people who are going to sit there & disagree with that. Sail Rock is a 15m above and 35m below surface pinnacle that lies between Koh Tao and Koh Pha-ngan. Its famous for its natural underwater vertical swimthrough or chimney which divers can enter at 6 metres and exit at 18. It is also the visiting site of many larger pelagics including chevron barracuda, big schools of mackerel, jacks, trevally and tuna & apparently Saturdays are an excellent day to encounter a seasonal whale shark or manta ray here as well!

“big blue and koh tao”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 20, 2013 - Absolutely amazing !! The staff, especially AMI my open water instructor...she was incredibly calm, funny, knowledgable and averall fantastic.We had only small groups, just 3 in ours, I felt confortable, completely safe and at ease( and I was really nervous!!) and Ami made the whole 'learning to dive' experience completly awsome!! They even filmed us on the last dive, (the one where we all qualified as open water divers) edited so well that it will make me smile always , a treasured memory. definitely hooked now though, will be back for more.Cant rate it higher....the best dive school in Koh Tao, staff, accommadation, beaches, boats and dive sites ALL Fantastic.

Friday 25th January 2013-

 

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Calling out all old school Koh Taoians! Remember when Koh Tao was a little get away from it all unexplored island hideaway that no one had ever heard of. When you had to sit on a bag of coconuts to get here from the mainland on one of those once a week delivery boats. A little island with awesome weather, white sandy palm fringed bays & beaches, fabulous sunsets, unspoilt, undeveloped, virgin divesites & a place with a real close friendly bonding between the locals & us 'Farang? How when we opened Big Blue Diving, only the 2nd Diveshop on Koh Tao, people thought what pioneers we were! & now look at us! Who would have guessed that we could go from there to now - one of the largest Dive centers in the world! Well we've been offered something amazing! Anyone fancy repeating what we've just done here on Koh Tao in another undiscovered tropical island paradise with unbelievable diving right on our doorstep! Whalesharks, pygmy seahorses, turtles & dolphins A Resort, a bar, a restaurant & a diveshop in another part of Asia? The opportunity of a lifetime! A golden opportunity to partner up with one of the worlds leading Dive centers and open up Big Blue Diving....(TBA)....! Interested parties must be willing to input capital & whose aim is to supply their customers, holidaymakers divers, with an enjoyable and safe experience & memories that will last a lifetime. The business of making people happy! Serious applicants please send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“More than I ever imagined”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 20, 2013 - I came to Koh Tao after traveling through southern Thailand. Big blue was highly recommended by many of the travelers I had met. When I arrived at the island, I found them and the resort was very professional. Super kind people gave me the run down for the course and I was hooked. I booked for the open water dive course, which consists of 4 open water dives and a pool day (learning). I loved every minute of it. I was lucky enough to have the best instructor I could asked for, her name is Petra. She is a rock star... So knowledgeable, safe and funny. When I was given my open water card, I decided to stay for the advanced diver course, which Petra was also teaching. I can tell you that 4 dives just doesn't cut it, you will want to stay there for much longer. The ascended course took the group to a wreck from WWII, chumphon pinnacle and other areas to navigate. I would not have traded this experience for anything. Thank you Big Blue diving and most of all THANK YOU PETRA!!! .... For you are the best. Can't wait to come back for more diving next year. 
 

 An awful lot of lost looking Cobias at Southwest Pinnacle right now which doesn't bode well considering there was a Whaleshark there full of these lost looking Cobias on it just the other day. Do hope that doesn't mean what I have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach tells me it means. Please let us know if you see a Whaleshark in the Southwest Pinnacle, Sail Rock, Samran Pinnacle or Shark Island divesites. Also let us know if you see a fishing boat with a Whaleshark! :-(

Thursday 24th January 2013-

24Did you know that absolutely every instructor candidate we've had over the last year is working. From NZ to Caymans but mostly in Thailand. To give you an idea, we have crossed over 20 instructors on Koh Phi Phi this year. They are all working at dive shops now on Phi Phi apart from one who got sacked for being crap and breaking standards. We have taught around 20 SSI ITC's on Koh Tao and over 20 Crossovers this year & every one is working apart from 2 who now live in Bangkok working for Microsoft. Right now we have a 2 person ITC & a 1 person crossover with a polish guy today & then a japanese lady tomorrow & we'll tell you when they get their first paid jobs. I should think it will be a few days after they get there SSI number. Unless they have a negative attitude and think the world owes them a living, which is covered in the X over or ITC, so they should come out of it being realistic. ie Just because you go to UNI doesn't mean you get a 100,000 pound a year job. You still have to work your way up and work hard. Same Same in diving. Some people become instructor and think that's it. These are normally the people who can't make a living in the "real" world and think dive instructing is an easy job. Sitting on beaches, drinking cocktails and diving once a day and getting paid loads of money. You need to pick where you do your instructor course. Just saw this post from a dive center . "Congrats to all our candidates who passed the PADI IE. The first batch of 2013 is a really good one. Best of success to all in your career as diving instructors" That sounds like thanks for your money good bye and good luck. Pick one that will help you find work. www.bigblueinstructortraining.com They might even help you with the ladies! 

“Awesome experience!” Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 23, 2013 - Couldn't recommend this diving school highly enough especially if you have never dived before. Me and my girlfriend were both excited to try this but also a bit nervous. We had Rick as our instructor for our open water course. If you get him you are in our opinion very lucky. He made all 3 days of the course good fun but was also very professional and put us at ease as he is so calm under the water. Though we have heard from other travellers good things about all of the instructors. Also have to mention Andreas who assisted our dives and is a dive master in training. We have no doubt he will go on to become just as good. Overall great fun and made to feel safe at all times. If we ever return to Koh Tao will definately be diving with big blue again. Accomadation also excellent and all staff very helpful at all times. Thanks guys! Neil and Toni - Farnborough, UK.
 

So it looks like the the Dive prices on Koh Tao for the Open Water Course might well be changing this year! Finally Dive centers are beginning to realize that selling the PADI Open Water course at 9000 Bt is just not covering the costs. So it looks like the PADI Open Water Course might be taking on a price increase of 1000 Bt by most shops & that doesn't even include the E-manual which will cost an additional 800 Bt. But its not all doom & gloom. Luckily the SSI Open Water Course is still staying the same price. So it looks like its going to be 9000 Bt for your SSI Open Water Course or 10800 Bt for your PADI Course! Know which one I'd be recommending to our year off undergraduate backpackers!

Tuesday 22nd January 2013-

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Whaleshark! Again. They just keep on coming! This one was a very friendly one too & decided to hang around during our surface interval & spent the majority of the time at the surface so we could all go snorkeling with it! Not a bad start to the week. and everyone on the trip got to see it underwater scuba diving with it & snorkelling on the surface with it aswell! Memory of a lifetime for just 1600 Bt! How's that for a bargain!

“Highlight of my trip!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor -January 20, 2013- I was in Thailand for 3 weeks in December 2012. I spent a week in Koh Tao at Big Blue over Christmas. It was the best experience. I completed the SSI Open Water Course and the Advanced Adventurer course. Having never dived before, this was the best place to be introduced to it! Daisy was my instructor and she was amazing. She is so knowledgeable, patient and fun! I heard that all of the other diving instructors were amazing, but I still believe my group had the best one ;-). (Sorry to everyone else! ) Big Blue Resort was so great to stay at as well. The accommodation was clean and well maintained. I met so many people and ended up hanging out with them for most of my time there. It was so fun to be there over Christmas with so many beach parties happening. Definitely the best place to learn to dive and to have a great time!! I hope I can go back again for some more diving!
 


HONOLULU —An amazing video was captured last Friday of a dolphin reaching out to a human for help. It happened during a manta ray dive experience off the Big Island's Kona International Airport. The group of snorkelers and divers heard a loud squeal and a bottlenose dolphin swam right into the dive spot. As it approached, diver Keller Laros saw it had a fishing line wrapped around its pectoral fin. The amazing part of this video -- to watch as this dolphin simply rolls over and patiently lets Laros get to work. "i was trying to unwrap it, I got the line fishing hook out of the pectoral fin.  There was a line coming out of his mouth.  But, the line wrapped around his pectoral fin.  Was so tight and he had cuts both front and aft," said Laros.  "I was worried if I tugged on it, it might hurt him more.  I was able to cut the fishing line and unwrap it." Laros got the fishing hook out and snipped the fishing line by the dolphin's mouth. Others tried to get more fishing line out but the dolphin swam away and the group never saw the dolphin again. "I've had bottlenose dolphins approach me a lot of times and they are really smart animals," said Laros.  "They way he came right up and pushed himself into me there was no question this dolphin was there for help."

Monday 14th January 2013-

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This photo was taken by Peri Paleracio, in the Philippines. The whale shark was found by a scuba diver, still alive and trying to swim. Its pectoral and ventral fins were cut off by poachers who sell shark fins at a premium for the Chinese delicacy, shark fin soup. Locals, with the help of local government, pulled the still-struggling shark to shore where it died the next day. Here a local woman mourns its miserable fate. This photo was named "most compelling image" of 2010 in honor of the UN's International Year of Biodiversity.
This is not just something caused by Chinese fishermen, it is a global problem. Shark Fin soup is sold all over the world, even in the UK. Please support the fight against shark finning.
* Spread the word.
* Share photos and stories such as this.
* Sign petitions. This one is petitioning the UN for a worldwide ban on shark finning: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/532/581/725/?cid=FB_TAF
* Write to local restaurants serving the dish: Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation have a celebrity-signed template letter and map listing restaurants in the UK selling shark fin soup. Find them here: http://www.bite-back.com/shark-sightings-map/
Most of these things can be done with such minimal effort, just a few seconds, or few minutes, of your time. Collectively our voices DO make a difference. Countries and cities have successfully implemented bans on the sale of shark fin products as a result of individuals coming together to make a stink about it.

“Learning to dive”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 9, 2013 - I came to Big Blue after doing quite a bit of research because there are so many dive schools to choose from. I was not disappointed. I was lucky to get Guy as my instructor, he took a group with no knowledge of diving and within days we felt like pro's. I've extended my stay on Koh Tao to go further with Guy and diving in the advance diving course. As for the resort, it's right on the beach. Many schools are farther into the town. They have good food and a bar for a few beers during happy hour after diving. I stayed in the free accommodation that you get with the courses but they have all types if you aren't on a budget like I was.

First Full day trip to Sail Rock has gone off without a hitch, as is always the case. The boat is full. everyone on it is an experienced diver so not a single course on it which is rare so its going to be an awesome day out. Cooked breakfast on the way out then first dive at Sail Rock. Morning tea & crumpets during the surface interval followed by a second dive at Sail Rock. Then its a Thai buffet banquet for lunch while we head back to Koh Tao to do one of our lesser known dive sites but a very popular spot for the fishermen Samran Pinnacle then its chocolate cake & back to Big Blue by 5pm for a couple of refreshing beers at the bar just in time for sunset! What a day!

Saturday 12th January 2013-

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If you are dreaming of life changing adventures...are you ready for the life changing consequences? If you are, then get out there and live your dream! So many unhappy people out there living a hum drum existence prostituting themselves for some big corporation or even small company doing something they just don't want to be doing. Why? Make 2013 the year you change your life & do something you want to do! Get a job on the beach! Save an endangered species like the whale or shark! Photograph mind blowing creatures & historical wrecks & artifacts. See with your own eyes things you never believed possible. Educate people. But for gods sake do something life changing this year. This is your life. Your one shot at it. You owe it to yourself. Live your dream & start by sending me an email! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. I promise you this. You will not regret one minute of it!

“Big Blue was incredible!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 9, 2013 - Doing my Open Water Course (and the upgrade to an Advanced Adventurer the day after OW finished) at Big Blue was one of the best experiences of my life and certainly of my 3 months travel! Even though we were out of season, we spotted both whale shark and turtle twice - I went straight in and booked my next course. Ben was the best instructor anyone could ask for and he got our team down to 30 meters like a dream, despite of whatever concern one might have had. I had quite a struggle with equalizing in the beginning, but Ben gave me all the time I needed and got me safely down independently from my group - I was truly grateful! I think that I can speak for anyone in our 6 man group when I say that we all loved having Ben as our instructor and that we would recommend him very much! 
 

Going to be launching into fashion this year! Big Blue fashion! And I don't mean dressing up to look like smurfs but going to get some real cool fashionable clothing. Beach style! Looking at extending our huge range of T-shirts and singlets, short sleeve shirts, polo shirts, sweat shirts & hoodies too. On top of that we're going to have a range of hot ladies bikinis, & guys & gals board shorts. Want to make some boat coats & beanies, anoraks, baseball caps & sun hats. Some bags & briefcases, rashies & wetsuits too. We're going to be making people look so cool this year Quicksilver & Billabong will be quaking in their jandals! Just need someone to help me launch it all & get it all into action! Anyone fancy a very cool fashion challenge? Drop me your CV This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . This is an amazing opportunity. Who's up for it?

Friday 11th January 2013-

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Without question I think one of the best things about Big Blue Diving is the fact that it has 2 resorts within a couple of hundred meters of each other! Big Blue 1 is unquestionably the whole heartbeat & pulse of the operation. Its been there since the year dot & offers rooms- AC dorms, fan rooms, beach bungalows & AC rooms on site. It has an awesome Bar & Restaurant with a great atmosphere especially at sunset & at night & is the center of operations when it comes to the diving. You arrive here & you leave from here. Big Blue 2 is now 1 year old. Has a 3 storey building with 21 rooms offerring AC dorms fan rooms & AC rooms as well as bungalows Fan & AC, & a purpose built Divers swimming pool. The restaurant & Bar are also located on the beach & it also has a spa. With this kind of set up the place has a lot of appeal but its the staff that make it the legendary place that it is & when you put all 3 together the Staff, Big Blue 1 & Big Blue 2 you've got one of the best places in the world. Certainly the best place on Koh Tao. Lots of love, Jim Donaldson. General Manager, Partner, Scuba Instructor & one of the luckiest people in the world!

“Best time of my trip in Asia”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 5, 2013 - I found myself constantly saying almost everyday that it was the best day of my life. There are loads of dive shops in Koh Tao and it is a little overwhelming when deciding which to choose from... So just take my advice and dive with big blue! I went around the island and visited a few different shops that had this kind of "we could care less" if you dive with us or not attitude. Being the high season and around Xmas all the shops have tons of new clients coming in everyday with questions & at big blue they seemed to be the only place that was actually happy to have me and wanted me there. I signed up for the open water corse totally pumped but when it came to actually getting in the water I was quite freaked. It felt so unnatural I was really apprehensive about just breathing underwater. BUT since I had the best dive instructor EVER daisy was there to help me every step of the way. She had so much knowledge and experience and really made me feel relaxed and at ease underwater. I ended up totally having a blast during every dive we went on and I went on to take the advanced open water course. Everything about big blue felt just right. Kinda a summer camp vibe around the whole place. It was a great way to meet new friends and an awesome place to learn how to dive. Daisy was so patient and understanding and answered every question we had (and we had a lot). In a place like Koh Tao you can feel like you might just get rushed through the course and spit back out but daisy & big blue made me feel like I actually learned a bit about diving and the world underneath me. I def recommend it to anyone interested in diving while in SE Asia :) thank you so much Daisy I miss you xoxo !!! Can't wait to take my knowledge and dive in Bali and all over the world! 
 

 So I've managed to fill the receptionist vacancy I had at Big Blue 2 a few days ago. In fact I got a little overwhelmed with all the applications & ended up not being able to make a choice between the top 2 candidates so ended up hiring them both! So congratulations to our 2 new members of staff Joe & Sofia who will join Caz at Big Blue 2 beating the place back into shape. I might still be in the market for a new opening if there is anyone else interested in living on a little tropical island paradise. Know anything about running a restaurant & drawing in a crowd. If so drop me a line This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I might just be the answer to your dreams!

Wednesday 9th January 2013-

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Enjoying just the most tremendous sunsets here in Koh Tao right now. The beach is completely full of people with their cameras snapping away under a blood red sky! And while the weather is this good there's a big demand for Night Dives right now too, so we're pretty much night diving every night right now. And who wouldn't want to go out on a boat with this sunset to enjoy just before you arrive at your divesite for your night dive. Awesome sunsets, calm seas, warm tropical waters, great company & an hours dive checking out the teeming marine life Koh Tao has to offer at night.

“My most memorable week ever :)”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 4, 2013 - I planned on spending a few days on koh tao to do my open water course but ended up staying for 10 and this was largely down to big blue diving. koh tao has a unique vibe unlike anywhere i have been whilst traveling and big blue diving made my time here even better. i originally signed up to just do the open water course which was both cheap, recommended and came with free accommodation in very decent dorms (although upgrades are also available). My instructor daisy was absolutely brilliant, both in her teaching manner and helping me out personally with sorting out a room which i initially had a problem with and she went out of her way to sort this out despite it not being her job at all. She was very patient with all of us and we all felt like we had learned loads in our group, both in the lessons and the dives, we couldnt have asked for a better instructor.  The accommodation, bar and restaurant is right on the beach which is perfect. As to the diving itself, the dives were great and the service and quality provided by big blue for each dive was excellent. I had such a great time that I decided to progress onto my advanced course, again with daisy which did not disappoint and daisy was equally fantastic on this course despite working long hours and teaching us 6 days in a row right up to christmas eve. the night dive and the wreck dive on this course were worth the money alone and you get a discount for the advanced course if you did the open water with them which makes it dirt cheap. i had the most amazing week and would immediately return to big blue if i ever get the chance to go back to koh tao. thanks to daisy and everyone else at big blue that made my christmas and the rest of our groups so special we won't forget it! 
 

Role up role up! PADI Open Water Course on Koh Tao is about to be increased by 1000 Bt making the price 10800 Bt for your PADI Open Water Course where as the SSI Open Water Course is still just 9000 Bt! Prices are going to be changing over the coming weeks so if you are insistent on taking your PADI license and want to save a few pennies then you're best off getting in here quick smart. However if you have any common sense you'll take your SSI Open Water Course which is cheaper than PADI anyway, you get your certification immediately as opposed to having to wait 3 months for your card and most importantly you don't have to sit through the most boring embarrassing educational vdo I've ever had the misfortune to watch. NB... all dive cards are interchangeable & recognised at 100% of all diving destinations in the world! Why would you spend an extra 1800 Bt when you can get the better more enjoyable version for less!

Tuesday 8th January 2013-

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Starting another SSI Instructor Training Course on the 15th January with world renowned SSI Instructor Trainers Simon Garrity, South East Asia's leading Instructor Trainer & Paul 'Tosh' Tanner South East Asia's second leading Instructor trainer! Course price will set you back just over 60000 Bt and includes 2-3 weeks of Instructor theory, skills, exams & lectures. Employment opportunities at the end are very high too. In fact of the 12 SSI Instructors on our last 2 ITC's 11 of them are gainfully employed and living a new life on the beach teaching people to scuba dive & showiing them Whalesharks! Fancy a change in lifestyle yourself? Well maybe 2013 might just be the perfect time to do it! Live the dream, sign up for your Scuba Diving Course www.bigblueinstructortraining.com SS Aiiiiii!

“Big Blue Rocks!!!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 4, 2013 - I went to Koh Tao to dive and randomly ended up at Big Blue when I was shafted by another motel/resort there. In short, I was so glad I went there. I wanted to complete my open water licence, which I did. The instructors are awesome. I had an instructor called "Irish G". Irish had been diving and instructing for over 16 years. She was cool, calm and totally a pro at her job. I always felt safe and she is MAJOR FUN! We only had 4 people in our dive crew which was awesome to have such a small crew. "Irish G" - totally made our crew feel confident and we all decided that we would then do our advanced if we could do the course with her. We completed our Advanced diving with a night dive, navigation, and a wreck dive as well as two other dives to just over 30m. I now am fully already planning my next dive trip - I am thinking Big Blue may be hard to beat as far as friendly service and beauriful surroundings go? I met loads of great crew and everyone was so friendly. There was time for divinga and also time for a party, which Koh Tao does well. It was really hard to leave. Thanks big Blue and Thanks "Irish G" for such an awesome time!! Will be back for sure!! Reece From Australia 
 

Whalesharks still being spotted with quite some regularity! Had one seen at Chumphon Pinnacle two days ago followed in the afternoon by another seen at Twins "in the sand' amazingly enough! Never seen one that shallow & then yesterday afternoon... get this... we actually had a Whaleshark in Japanese Gardens! Now that would have been a sight! So lots of Whalesharks still around Koh Tao right now. Are you?

Monday 7th January 2013-

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Employment Opportunity in Paradise! Big Blue Diving is looking for a Full Time receptionist at Big Blue 2 to start ASAP! Duties include check ins & check outs, cashier, & can talk diving. Perks office on the beach, free diving on your days off 20% food & drinks discounts at the Restaurant. Thai or Westerner. Must speak English! Great place to work. Great location. Awesome team & really handsome Boss!

“Advanced adventurer course”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor January 3, 2013 - This was my second time diving with Big Blue and they have lost none of the quality that I experienced the first time around. The accommodation was remarkable for the price you pay and I was right in the beach so could take advantage of the excellent nightlife. The dives were excellent and the instructor, Petra, was very patient with our course where you could see her obvious frustration with some of our course members. She maintained an air of positivity and enthusiasm that was quite infectious and all that attended the course thoroughly enjoyed the dives, especially the night dive and the dive onto a wreck. All in all, I have had a wonderful time and will not hesitate to dive with Big Blue in the future. A big thanks to all that made this trip so memorable. 

As is so often the case in Thailand major decisions are not so much announced as allowed to escape into the public domain. For most of the residents of Koh Phangan it was when they saw the following sign dotted around the island that they began to think that the rumors about Koh Phangan getting an airport were not just empty rumors. The announcement surprised lots of people. Those who are familiar with the island know that it is an island covered in mountains in the center and along the east and west coasts. There are, of course, flat areas suitable for an airport but for years it seemed that nearby Koh Samui Airport would suffice to service Koh Phangan. The island was somewhat defined as Koh Samui’s ‘little brother’ that was not as developed and that drew many backpackers and low-end tourists looking for more pristine nature as well as cheaper prices. This perception has changed over the last 10 years with the boom in the Full Moon Party industry. The Full Moon Party in Haad Rin as well as the other parties in Ban Tai and Haad Rin draw thousands of visitors to Koh Phangan every month. Another change is the creation of an up-market enclave in Thong Nai Pan Noi that has 4 luxury hotels to choose from. It seemed time that Koh Phangan stepped out of the shadow of its big brother and demanded its own independence. Kan Air with its successful bid to gain permission to build Koh Phangan Airport has judged the situation carefully. Moreover, at the same time the government has identified 100 tourist locations in Thailand that should be developed. Koh Phangan is among the first 29 locations to receive funding. The projects for Koh Phangan include building a reservoir near Thong Nai Pan , further improving the roads on the island and laying underwater electric and telecommunication wires between Koh Phangan and the mainland. This will greatly improve the electricity supply and internet speeds as currently both are routed through Koh Samui.It really is time for Koh Phangan to come out from Koh Samui’s shadow. The announcement of an airport for Koh Phangan should be seen in such a context. Whether the consequences of this action prove good or bad for the inhabitants of the island we will have to wait and see.

 

Sunday 6th January 2013- 

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 Been a heck of a start to the New Year! Every single member of staff is diving back to back courses meaning they're finishing their PADI Open Water Course in the morning & going straight out in the afternoon to start the new PADI Advanced Course then completing 2 dives of the Advanced the following morning then jumping into the pool to start Confined water with their new SSI Open Water Course & then completing the Advanced Cousrse after with a Night Dive. My injured Instructors who have cuts & scrapes & ear issues are all doing the Academics & the Meeting & Greeting of new customers & we've just employed Becky for this busy period to be here to make sure all our accommodation issues are managed efficiently. Busy busy busy! And on top of that we still got Whalesharks at 3 Divesites around Koh Tao at the moment so the DM's are flat out  & because we don't want to have the boatys rammed to the rafters I've rented another boat to see us through this busy spell. Loving it! Flat out but heaps of space! Could that be why we are Koh Tao's most popular Dive Center! or might it have something to do with the hoardes of topless sunbathers lieing out the front of the resort right now! 

“Loved it all!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 31, 2012 - I knew that diving was one thing I was going to do on my trip, but I had no idea I would love diving and Koh Tao so much! I chose big blue as it came highly recommended in my guide book, and I am so glad I did. As soon as I arrived I got a warm greeting by the staff and my instructor, and got settled in at Big Blue 2, in one of the dorms. Nice yet pretty basic, but a great deal as it is free on the days that you dive! And steps from a quiet area of the beach. I started my SSI Open Water that night with Steve, a seasoned professional. He was a great teacher, made sure that everyone was always very comfortable with all the drills, and got us excited for our open water dives. There were a lot of people on the boat other than our group, but despite being a bit crowded there was a great atmosphere. I decided that since I was there, I might as well do the advanced course, and that is when I really got hooked. We had 5 amazing dives with Skui, with the night dive definitely being a highlight! Still not wanting to leave, I did an afternoon of fun dives at 2 great dive sites with divemaster Chris, who was super excited to show us cool aquatic wildlife. Amazing dives, awesome instructors, and all around incredibly friendly people made Big Blue one of my favourite places visited! 

Japan bluefin tuna fetches record $1.7m. A single bluefin tuna has sold in Japan for 155m yen ($1.7m; £1.05m), almost triple the record price set last year. High bids traditionally mark the year's first auction at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market. Even the buyer, sushi chain owner Kiyoshi Kimura, who also paid out the record price last year, said the cost was "a bit high". The sale came amid continued warnings from environmentalists that tuna stocks are dwindling and overfished. This year's record-breaking fish was caught off north-eastern Japan and weighed in at 222kg (489lbs), some 47kg lighter than last year's prize-winner, which fetched 56m yen. The auction at the market - which trades millions of dollars of products daily and is a popular tourist destination - began at 05:00 local time. Mr Kimura immediately carted his purchase off to a nearby branch of his Sushi Zanmai chain. He said he wanted to "encourage Japan" with his bid. The price works out at about $7,600 per kg ($3,500/lb). Japan consumes more than half of the world's bluefin catch.... and clearly has the worlds stupidest man living there!

 

Friday 4th January 2013- 

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We decided as its a new year why not start this year off with our very own TECHTASTIC JANUARY SALE. For January only anyone who books an INTRO TO TECH Course we will give you a massive 30% Discount taking the price from 10,000 Baht down to 7,000 Baht. This will still be a 3 day course and will teach you all the foundation skills needed to progress in Tech whilst still looking cool as a cucumber. All you need is to be Advanced Open Water Diver. So grab a bargain whilst its hot off the press. The Tech Shack x www.bigbluetech.net

“Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, A Standing Ovation...Big Blue Deserves It!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 31, 2012 Here's another A review to add to the masses: I thought that I would maybe dive once or twice while on Koh Tao. I ended up diving 12 times in 5 days. I already had my open water when I arrived at Big Blue, but got a refresher with James (who was great!), and couldn't pull myself away from the water after that. I had the pleasure of diving with several different Dive masters, all of them were wonderful. Pal told us tons of great diving stories on the boat on the way out to the dive site; Danny was extremely nice and conscientious; Carly was awesome and realized I was using less air than the rest of the group so she switched me mid-dive to another group so I could have more time- Thank you Carly! Marc was wonderful; Chupa and Andre (sorry if I misspelled your names) were very patient and so much fun to dive with. Last but not least, Phil was spectacular. He makes an effort to really show you the dive site. We were always looking under rocks and crevices to check out the animals that he spotted. One of the dive spots we went on got a little hairy at one point because of the current, but Phil handled it very well and made sure we all got on the boat safe. The great thing about any of these guys is that at the end of the day, they are more than likely to sit down and have a beer with you and tell you diving stories no matter what your level of diving is. Their enthusiasm is infectious, and while I wasn't able to get my advanced with them due to time constraints, they have inspired me to continue with my dive training here in the states. The atmosphere on the boats and at their restaurant lends itself easily to making new friends and meeting new people. I walked in to the resort alone, but came out knowing much of the staff and people that I had been diving with consistently. Thank you guys! I genuinely had a great time with all of you and hope to be back some day soon. TLDR: Big Blue is awesome and you should go diving with them. 
 

Well you'll be pleased to know especially if you are on your way to Koh Tao this week that things have calmed down a little & that more beds & rooms are becomming available. We ourselves even have 6 Dorm beds available today which came out of nowhere. I also have a couple of beach bungalows as well. So drop in if you are planning on doing some diving here. You won't be disappointed!

Thursday 3rd January 2013-

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Ok ... welll... blimey crikey... Its been a little busy. Not just us but the whole of Koh Tao! In fact there's been so many arrivals here in Koh Tao over the last few days especially from Koh Phangan that I do believe this island has been slightly submerged underwater a little more than usual! There was still people walking around looking for rooms at 10 o'clock last night which must have been slightly unnerving for them. Tis a little less stressful today I'm pleased to inform you & there are a few more rooms coming available even as we speak but I do highly recommend booking yourselves in before you arrive on Koh Tao in future. I'd also recommend booking your boats too! A lot of our bookings weren't able to get to Koh Tao cos the ferries here were full. Book online www.lomprayah.com or www.seatrandiscovery.com once you've made your booking with us & then let us know which boat you are on & I'll organise a free taxi to pick you up at the pier when you get here! That should clear a few headaches for you.

“Loved it all!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor December 31, 2012 - I knew that diving was one thing I was going to do on my trip, but I had no idea I would love diving and Koh Tao so much! I chose big blue as it came highly recommended in my guide book, and I am so glad I did. As soon as I arrived I got a warm greeting by the staff and my instructor, and got settled in at Big Blue 2, in one of the dorms. Nice yet pretty basic, but a great deal as it is free on the days that you dive! And steps from a quiet area of the beach. I started my SSI Open Water that night with Steve, a seasoned professional. He was a great teacher, made sure that everyone was always very comfortable with all the drills, and got us excited for our open water dives. There were a lot of people on the boat other than our group, but despite being a bit crowded there was a great atmosphere. I decided that since I was there, I might as well do the advanced course, and that is when I really got hooked. We had 5 amazing dives with Skui, with the night dive definitely being a highlight! Still not wanting to leave, I did an afternoon of fun dives at 2 great dive sites with divemaster Chris, who was super excited to show us cool aquatic wildlife. Amazing dives, awesome instructors, and all around incredibly friendly people made Big Blue one of my favourite places visited! 
 

Three days into the New Year & I'm afraid we've only seen 1 Whaleshark so far! Just a little disappointing considering we saw over 20 last month but you know... mustn't grumble. Plenty more fish in the sea! & still not an entirely bad batting average all things considered. 33.3% to be exact. If we can keep up these averages then we will end up with over 100 Whalesharks throughout the whole year! Almost as many as we dived with in 2012! 

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