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April 2008

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28th April 2008

2008-04-28Love on the Rock? 'Ain't no big surprise.
Pour me a drink, and I'll tell you some lies.
Nothing you can do or say, if they have to leave, they'll just go away.....

Or not ;) Seems like Big Blue's 'Tech' DMT is in for a Swedish surprise when he gets back from his wreck trip and finds a certain someone has decided to stay! Ah, the Darling Buds of May sprouting already and here we are still in April...

Its often been said (by Marcel) thats its easy to meet people on the island, the hard part is getting them to stay. It can be a lonely life as an islander *takes out violin* as I'm sure you can imagine, but these are the sacrifices we must make if we are to live in paradise seven days a week *puts violin away, takes out brass band*, enduring long, sun-drenched afternoons drinking bloody mary and Ricky's Vodka Surprise (AKA The Kneecapper) on the balcony, dropping off the side of Banzai into dark blue, warm, clear water at Chumpon Pinnacle first thing in the morning, swimming with whalesharks, sleeping in hammocks, waking up in bushes. So spare a thought for those of us left behind by those of you who went away, its not all Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain, you know.... Well maybe it is ;) 

27th April 2008
3 more on the count!!! 3 proud new Divemasters of the finest kind, the Big Blue one. Yesterday was the cause for lots of celebration and of course, another DM Challenge. The theme was Ross’s wet dream and featured two very sexy bedfellows, Jodie and Malin. Ross, I wish I could read your mind and have the same dream you had last night! If you thought scuba equipment setup was just a casual dull activity, those two sexy sandwomen turned it into the hottest thing and had all the boys with their tongues hanging out, drooling on the Big Blue Bar floor. More than one reason for all of our 15 DMTs to hop on the bar counter where it was still dry and not too slippery. Thankfully, the bar now has an extension to fit the whole bunch!
While we are having fun in the sun, some less fortunate people are mourning in cold Europe, dreaming about the Rock, with or without Malin and Jodie, depending on your sex, I guess. Caz has confirmed (for the fifth time now?) that she will be back. Ok, girl, we got the message, thank you. The restaurant has already ordered two tons of pineapple and 3 tons of cheese for your return. And G’s ordered an oxygen mask to protect himself from the disgusting stench of the most disturbing culinary combination in the world!

So farewell to Malin, Ross, Olga, Suzi and Hugo. We hope to see you back soon, in and out of the water. Take care all. The Big Blue team.

22nd April 2008

2008-04-22Well.... Full Moon is over and people are slowly making their way across to Koh Tao all painted up with the biggest pair of sunglasses they can find to cover their tired, black looking eyes from excessive alcohol abuse.

Normally the islands packed by now with no rooms, people running around looking for the cheapest room and diving package!

but not this time which is a real shame as the sun is shining, visibility is awesome and our instructors are eager to teach and introduce people in to the weird and wonderful world of diving.

Whats going on at Big Blue

As Sonia and Robyn came for songkran to run up the biggest bar tab,
they did that and a little bit more (nice one sonwon) but now they've left again,
Sonia for one month in cold England and Robyn of f to Indonesia, have a good time girls.

As the Japanese team start to get busy we welcome back Mayuko one of their instructors and her fiancee Dan one of our videographer's.

Simon's keeping himself busy and is very involved with the D.M.T course, now its a busy schedule for him as there's 17 of these guys so he's had to take on extra curricular activites!

but only invited one of the D.M.T's and has been enjoying some very expensive indian dishes!!(thats a bit unfair Simon).

World earth day was yesterday and Darren and the D.M.T's went to Japanese Garden's dive site to conduct a reef watch.

We've got another Full Day Trip out today so the bar is going be full of exciting stories as people relax with a few beers and watch the vidoe of the days going on's.

This weeks also busy for us guys as we have a line of D.M.T's finishing and we all know what that means!

DM CHALLENGE'S- ooh yeah we're going to get these guys really drunk and make fools of them in front of everyone and get pissed up ourselves, cool, beer's ahoy !
Sunday, April 20th

Sail Rock!!! Another fantastic two dives yesterday on the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. Fusiliers galore, couldn’t count the number of schools we saw! Not to mention that massive school of chevron barracudas intimidating every other fish, causing great tremor in the depths. What about those weird creatures with a big tank on their back desperately trying to swim through the fusiliers as if they could keep up with the speed of marine life? They are funny looking and strangely behaving characters just swimming with the fishes, seeking for scorpion fish and going up and down the chimney as many times as they can. There was more staff on board than customers! Panos and G got to enjoy the thrill of fundiving for the first time in moths. They were joined by Sonia and Robyn who’d just been slacking on the west coast for the last 3 months anyway. But we all know the real reason why people go on Full Day Trips, even when they are supposed to have a day off: the massaman! Banzai is officially the best Thai restaurant on Koh Tao!!!

Talking about the Koh Tao Party Life Cycle, April 17th was the day for two celebrations. One was G’s birthday, started with a house party where everybody got to sip wine, taste pastis and try the dreaded Martiniquan rhum. Not many people managed to down the latter, guess you gotta be really tough for that one! After a few a spilled cups and one broken glass of wine (thanks, Malin), the crew went on to Moov and got joined by Rich. Congrats Rich on becoming an instructor and making Big Blue proud! Everybody was happy to help Rich celebrate, hugging him, buying him drinks or offering services of another nature;-) Hello cheeky!

Tonite’s the Full Moon Party so tomorrow will see the boats unload with spaced out backpackers full of flurorescent paint, eager to learn how to dive. For us, that’s the big day of the month so we like to chill out in preparation. What a better way to relax than to sit on a balcony facing Nang Yuan and watching a movie on a big screen. Thanks Rick for the movie night last night but make sure your hammoc is available for tomorrow!

April 17th 2008

2008-04-17Songkran is over, everyone is back to work. The temptation to throw a bucket of ice water over people is still bubbling away in the background but we are resisting ...so far.
G's birthday today so its all round to his house this evening for saucissons and fromages, Ricard and red wine, a discussion on french existentialists and Jane Birken's bosom, Gitanes all round and Serge Gainsbourg crooning some filthy chanson d'amour in the background. You're all invited, see you there!

Sad farewell to Anna who leaves for Finland today, rivers of tears were shed by most at the Dragon bar last night, whilst others sought solace in the cocktail menu, have you tried the Espresso Martini?

2008-04-17-2Its hard working for a dive shop on Koh Tao, the hours are long, the rewards are soon spent, and we seem to be constantly bidding farewell to great friends. There are a few reasons why we stay so long, though.

Reasons to be cheerful:
The weather. There's nothing like waking up to warm sunshine, blue skies and gentle salt scented sea breezes each and every day.
The diving. Especially at the moment when vis is great, its 30C in the water. Lets face it, who doesn't like messing about on boats and in the warm, clear waters of Koh Tao?
Riding a motorbike to work every day. Not to be underrated, this.

Never having to cook, clean, wash dishes, do laundry etc. Unless you really want to, that is!

Its usually cheaper to eat out than cook, and theres a little old lady somewhere will do the rest.

Thai food. Tastes great, fresh, healthy, different. And if you get bored or fancy a change the Western food here is great now, too.
Meeting people every day who are either travelling, working abroad or just on holiday means just about everyone you come across is in a pretty good mood most of the time. Can't say the same thing about too many other places...

April 16, 2008

2008-04-16Songkran was...awesome. I had so much fun, I can't wait for the next one. Some of us had to dive in the morning which was a bit of a pisser, but Banzai got raided by a longtail full of drunken DMT's on our return and Sairee was already fun and games by midday. Choice of weapon was revealing as ever. Most of the boys opting for the biggest, meanest looking water bazooka they could find (Guillaume), nice long, fat bright red barrel, multi-spouted business end, pump action power jet kinda thing - compensating for what, I wonder? Others strapped on pink Pokemon pussycat backpacks (Simo and Dan) and plumped for compact yet accurate *actual size* rifles, whilst MacGyver Rick brought his home-made 'water mortar' which promised much more than it delivered. Drunken waterfights were the order of the day, BB raided Simple Life en masse, then braced for the inevitable counter raid, Asia Divers came down to BB, led by our very own in-house Hawaian traitor, Rick! Its hard to describe the scenes at Sairee, just an entire island full off pissed up happy people soaked to the skin and laughing their asses off for an entire day. Nightime is all a bit of a blur, buckets were flowing, tabs were growing, and the dancing was bad as ever. One by one people paired up and sloped off or just stumbled their way back to their bungalows (or patch of sand, comfortable bush, random hammock). Any gossip? Plenty, but this blogger 'ain't tellin!
April 12th 2008
2008-04-12One day to Songkran and Sairee beach is filling up with peoples getting wet not just in the water as watering guns are flocking the beach. Aukotans supplies are running low and everyone's getting that cheeking grin on their face saying you're next! Its still really hot still and people's enjoying the tropical laziness of koh tao.
Our Full Day Trip divers came back yesterday with huge smiles as they spent 2 beautiful dives at Sailrock and 1 at Southwest where the vis was stunning and conditions were awesome and don't forget the massaman curry (still the best!).
Well Canada's started a Tech Basics course today which includes 4 dives 3 tanks per person to 24 metre's waow this serious stuff these guys are experiencing! Simo, Panos and G are still bitching about having to work tomorrow mormig but hey its not a bad thing to keep these guys away from the bars in the early morning as they would be tucked up in bed at 3pm otherwise!!
As the Big Blue Bar opens at 12 tomorrow the race will be on to see who racks up the biggest tab, In the absence of the welshman we've recruited Birmingham's strongest woman SONIA! yes guys she's back, so be on guard she was in training last night with Robyn and Dan! So guys lets wish all the Thai people a Happy New Year and mourn for the people who have to work tomorrow!!
April 10th 2008

2008-04-10Victory is ours!!! For the last months, some idiots have been renting out jetskis on Sairee Beach, jeopardizing swimmers and divers’ safety. So they made a channel, but it goes right over where most dive schools do their skills. And they’re not even using anymore as they prefer to zoom on top the coral. Well, yesterday was a day of rejoicing as we watched one of those machines burn right on the beach.

Needless to say, there was a lot of clapping going on. Of course, Darren went strait to 7-eleven to buy more marshmallows!The vis is incredible at the moment, everybody just came back from Chumphon and White Rock with a massive smile on their face. The weather is superb as well and it’s still really hot. Fans are blowing full speed all day long… when they can!! Power is still a bit of an issue.

However, the heat hasn’t stopped Darren from running his Dry Suit Specialty course in Chumphon this morning. Problem is, because of the sweat dripping from he and his student, the suits weren’t really dry!This heat is perfect for Songkran Yes, two more days!!! People are flocking from everywhere to Koh Tao and Sairee is where it’s going to happen. The event is even attracting people from the “other side”, Sonia and Robyn are on their way, Dan is also finally back from his never ending visa run to join the fun. Don’t miss it!

The souvenir shops are stocking up on super soakers and I hear Aukotan’s got a great selection. Might go shopping this afternoon... The real good news is that Canada’s request a few days ago has been heard. A little bird told me the Big Blue Bar will open at midday and this year they will make sure to have enough supplies to stay open all night. Let’s see who gets the biggest tab in the absence of the Welshman!

April 9th 2008

2008-04-09Today is again very hot, and still no power. However that didn't stop the big blue wrecking crew for a day out on the unicorn. It's always fun to see the genuine concern of virgin wreck divers on their faces to be replaced with huge grins and laughter when they get back. Since the trip was all girls, the boys were smiling as well.

Darren still doing his drysuit course, i think they're in the pool today. That was the easy part, getting 4 tons of ice added was a bit more challenging.

Oskar is studying furiously to start his tech course, he's an x-dmt who's been itching to start so on the 19th off we go!
Our fearless leader has risen, it seems Jim saw the rocky video and is doing his own exercise montage, i can see him now running in the snow with dodgy russian cars following and doing sit ups in barns. Hopefully he'll be buff enough to defend us from the wrath of Darren. He's made fish appreciation and mandatory lecture, it wasn't that hard, once you admit you have a problem it goes quite smoothly. To quote G "Hello my name is G and i'm a fish adict" bit to much crying and holding hands for most so please Captain JD, help!

G's out of prison, they let him go when they found out about how much trouble he has picking up women, they felt sorry and sent him on his way. Maybe next time G try saying hello first?

On the baby news front I've heard Poon-Tang is getting bigger already so it's either she's eating to much meat (no pun intended) or she's preggers. How about Bang for a name.. that has a nice ring to it.

As for Simo's pink eye, appearently you can cure it with breast milk, this has no diving value however i mention because i know who will have more then enough soon.. jade?

I close with a congratulations to Tim who managed to do his eap in a record short time of 4 days, that boy can really impress when he puts his mind to it!

April 8th 2008

2008-04-08So it seems the power situation on Koh Tao is still looming in despair. However they did get massive mobile power generators on the island to light the 50% of the island in darkness. However when they arrived they we so happy to be on koh tao and with their engineer mates (engineer used lightly, i haven't seen proper wiring yet) and just got pissed. So today in a hangover state they're trying to splice into the island main supply with these generators. I'm not holding my breathe that i'll have lights tonight.

Darren is doing a Big Blue first, a Dry Suit Specialty. Now you're probably wondering why Canada isn't doing it and then you might notice he sweats in Air con sitting down, we can just imagine the language from him putting it on. Since today is actually the hotest day this year we're all wondering how mad these boys must be, perhaps during monsoon when you might actually need it. But hey, big blue leads the way again with alternative diving!

With Simons naked sleep walking experience G thought it was a good way to pick up women, we're trying to sort the bail out now.. silly frenchmen.

Panos is back and he's very excited to be teaching something other than open water and advanced, he's actually doing a rescue course, should be entertaining.

And with that it's another hot hot hot day in paradise, i move to vote the bar starts serving cocktails at 1pm, anyone else with me?

April 7th 2008

2008-04-07Its been a busy few days for the Big Blue Nurse. After Canada's low speed collision with a parked bike (it just jumped out in front of him apparently), Ricky is suffering from Yuppie Flu (no energy, especially after a night on the Jameson's) and Simon may have sparked the island's latest epidemic of.....PINKEYE! In the communal (incestuous), caring (lecherous) and sharing (Dan) environment of the dive shop, Pinkeye has been known to spread faster than an English girl in Benidorm.

Mask sterilisation measures have been initiated and poor old Simo has been quarantined in Chalok Baan Khao until his eyes unglue themselves or he cuts off his gunk clotted eyelashes himself, and then applies the bleach drops,,, maybe Toilet Duck to make sure he gets it right under the lid ;)

They say you should never go back, but this in no way applies to Koh Tao. It really still is as good as you remember and its even better when you come back for another stay. All you have to do is quit your job, sell your house, dump your boyfriend and book the flight! Come on, you know you want to. Why wait? You could be back on the Rock before you know it ;)

Seems like we may be seeing the return of the Haigh sometime in June, and Phoong Tang Ba-Boom Thang keeps threatening to come back too. Oh, the anticipation!

Speculation over the guest bloggers identities filling in for Jimbo while he's tying the knot continues unabated. Guess who? Answers on a postcard, please.

April 6th 2008 -

2008-04-06Farewell to Sopi the Swiss divemaster and Julie the Norwegian fundiver. Get home safe and we hope to see you again soon. Everybody gathered at Hippo Bar and Grill Friday night to say goodbye to the lovely couple. The tables in the East restaurant definitely miss Sopi, never forgetting how they were treated one night of September last year. What a show!

Canada came back form Samui yesterday, after taking more morphine than a horse can handle!! He looks a bit different now, walking with a massive splint on his left leg. Just need a metallic voice and you can mistake him for Robocop! The 7 gates of hell nearly opened when poor Canada lost his crutch and started looking for it everywhere in the resort. Rumour had it that captain Peak had stolen it, you never know when you need a spare. Thankfully, Canada recovered his cane, he'd forgotten he'd left it by the TECH shack. Was he planning to store it with rest of the equipment? Will it be the latest trend in TECH diving equipement? I heard the boys from Trident ordered a whole batch for their next trip.

But Canada's despair is none equal to Simon's whose clothes were 'stolen' the other night. As everyone, our scouser was at Hippo to say goodbye to Sopi and Julie and claims he only had "a few drinks". After a while, Simon went home -with his own bike, might I add- but was woken up in the middle of the night by his neighbour. He was lying in bed, in his birthday suit, when the nextdoor guy, accompagnied by a local "friend" opened the door of his appartment. Whose flat??? The neighbour's, of course. They look just alike according to the defendant. Problem was Simon could not find his clothes to put them back on and walk back to his place. Turned out that his clothes were in his appartment and the door was locked. Talk about sleepwalking, people of Koh Tao, lock your doors, the scouser is watching you!!!

April 4th 2008 -

2008-04-04WHALE SHARK WATCH! It seems it's not just unwashed and tatooed hippies that love Koh Tao, Big Fish love it too. Today we had 3 seperate sightings. One was at Southwest Pinnacle (i was surprised too) and in the afternoon we had 2 at Chumphon Pinnacle. Most divers spent 30 minutes with the big fish alone, however the winner of "logged time with the big fish" award was Mac who had 60 minutes with the magestic beast. Why did he have so much time you ask? because he's a technical diver and was wearing 2 tanks. Just goes to show it's not just about going deeper. Hopefully the whale sharks will stay around long enough for everyone to see. Personally i think they're just here to see Celine's Yoga show.. next at 3pm people.

Thankfully however, G was at japanese gardens teaching his eager students on hower to master diving, so he missed it. I know we write a lot about G, but when he see's a whale shark you can get drunk very quickly if you drink to every mention that man makes of the fish, at first it's very exciting but after 3 hours we're all very "yes we know G, you told us already"

As you can see from the wall Poon-Tang is looking for names for her kid, you could always throw pots and pans down the stairs and see what comes out.. ping, pong, bang etc etc or just name it Ernst after his/her father. Get Some!

Canada is back tomrrow, after enough drugs to kill a horse and more sponge baths than a beached whale he said he's had enough of being treated nicely and he's going home to some more familiar abuse.

In other news we have songkran coming up soon. In the infinate wisdom of the government they have extended this rather wet and drunk holiday from 4 days to 5. However it's still a ban on alcohol during elections. I see what they're doing now, they take drinking days to get elected and then just refund us for the time lost. I love thailand more and more everyday.

A bit of advice for songkran virgins - dry bag! There's even a warm up party Saturday the 12th at that pool bar place to get everyone used to it.

Still another sunny hot day in paradise, i can see walking dive flags everywhere. Sunblock should be applied evenly people not just your face and chest.

April 3rd 2008 -

2008-04-03Rick and Fennette headed off to Bangkok. Fennette is heading back to France for some time. Rick put up a good face but i think he's going to miss his little croisant.
Speaking of French G had a day off and with that Koh Tao ran out of fancy cheese and wine, did you find your day old bread mate? If you know G, then him having a day off isn't a suprise. He likes to tell everyone atleast twice what he's up to. Especially when he's had a friendly night with a woman, he does the old "Hey mate, don't tell anyone but i got lucky" then goes to the next guy and says "Hey mate, don't tell anyone but i got NO sleep last night" ahh to be french and in love..
Speaking of Love, our x DM(t) Jade Poon-Tang (yes that is her real name) says she's not pregnant by Earnst and that P is a liar. Well must of been a big deal to make such a fuss... boy or girl Poon-Tang?Mac has been busy cleaning out the tech shack, it's gotten rather messy with world war 2 relics lying about, he spent 15 minutes sweeping and said "forget this, gin and tonic time" it was only 10 am. He's back at it again tomorrow.
Canada has been rushed to hospital and was admitted for 2 days observation. Appearently the scrape got infected and buggered his knee. Who knew that was the worst of his problems. He's up and about now, bothering the nurses for sponge baths, Get Some.
Big Blue is busy at the moment while the rest of the island is quiet. I suppose having Celine do meet and greet helps, she's young, attractive and french. The last two days was Darren who's old, hairy and english. If i was debating on spending my money, i'd pick celine. Who at this moment should be doing her hourly yoga infront of the shop. I got tickets for the next showing if anyone's interested.
Simon has adjusted well, he's been back only a week or so and already has the female dmt's twittering. I'm not sure how i mean he looks like the dodgy oasis brother. Good on ya mate, oh and don't tell anyone i told you. Supposed to be a secret :)
In closing it's another great day, hot, sunny, dry and great diving. Don't love the life you live, live the life you love!
April 2nd 2008 - 

2008-04-02Whaleshark showed it's face today even after Darren yelled at it, this time it gave a private performance above the Unicorn Wreck to the privelegded wreck divers aboard the new Valiant 8m RIB. This one wasn't as friendly as yesterdays, it stayed about 5m down (probably sensed the menace in these hardened divers).

The afternoon has been a fury of activity, fun divers off on Navakid and confined divers on Big Blue. Sun, Smiles and Coconut - What else could you ask for.

Jim finally left today for his 5 week wedding/holiday i'm not sure which one he's looking forward to more , but Darren is finally in charge and the whole resort is holding their breathe... sink or swim matey. just kidding, he's going to do a great job.

Canada and Yvonne have made their engagement official. They tried to keep it quiet but changing their status on facebook didn't help. So it should be shouting and loudness at the canada home for years to come.

Finally a Big Blue welcome to our two new DMT's Peter and Zara. That makes it 15 DMT's, they're being oriented by Ricky as we speak, so i'm sure Jameson whiskey will be an important part of their course.

April 1st 2008

2008-04-01Today is fools day so i'll start the news off with our french instructor G. Last night Big Blue was gracious enough to treat it's staff to a wonderful wine and dine evening at Morava. The meal started off with Fondue, now i'm not a cheese dipper connoisseur so we had our local french explain the ins and outs of it. If those reading this don't know either it's basically a bowl of hot cheese, several bits of bread and very sharp sticks. Thankfully no one was hurt but G was kind enough to share his extensive knowledge of fondue and went off on one foe about an hour, but ladies, apparently he likes to rub it down with garlic before he adds the meat, C'est Bonne.

Whalesharks are back, we had one today at Green Rock, Darren was mortified when the aquatic beast tried to go through the swim through and he shouted "No overhead environments, padi standards fishy!" But it was Yvonne's first course with G and who could ask for more on their Dive 4 of their open water course then the biggest fish in the world, congrats.

On a more interesting topic, Non-Complicated Life (name changed for privacy) dive school set off for an afternoon of diving in paradise on their long-tail and sank about 100 meters away. New wreck??  no one was hurt as thankfully everyone could swim, i can sense a rise in dry bag sales coming.

This is Jim's last day as manager before he heads off to New Zealand (it's not that new) to get married to Andrea. He's gone for 5 weeks leaving Darren in charge. If you know Darren and jim you they could be twins, odd chest hair, shaved head, dodgy accent and a german woman so it should be business as normal.

Also tomorrow we have a new Wreck trip vessel called the Valiant, instead of the 6m rib owned buy DJL Divers we used before, this one is 8m and owned by Trident you can lap Koh Tao in 16 minutes. Get Some!

Speaking of get some, gossip says one of our old DM's and one of our old DMT's are having a baby. We're not sure how this started (DMT - Pee) but if its true we're all very happy for them.

Our local scotsman DMT Mac has come down with a bug and spent the night passing fluids in a 12 gun salute style. Some people think it's from something he drank, we all agreed that evernignt 14 gin an tonics will give you the runs but our clinics solution was to put him on an IV Drip. Restraints had to be used to stop him from adding vodka to the bag, he should be back up and walking by tomorrow.

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