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May 2008

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31st May 2008- Saturday

2008-05-31We would like to give a big shout to all those who participated in yesterdays underwater clean up at Aow Leuk & Rocky Bay. The good news is that there was virtually no rubbish! 1 buddy group even came up at the end of the dive having found no rubbish at all! Well done Koh Tao! It looks like all these festivals, council meetings & clean up days are getting the message across. Now if we could only find a way to blow up the 7/11!

Happy Birthday Deano! The big three & 'O'! There is going to be a party tonight at Vibe on Sairee Beach with free BarBQ & free beer if you give the bar 60 Bt! And then of course I'm sure Dean will be made to do a snorkel test & have an egg poured into his mix. You know ... the usual. Happy Birthday Taffy!

So there is a few old faces back around Big Blue at the moment. Welcome back Lyn who is here to do her Nitrox course this weekend & then go out on the Full Day Trip on Monday to Sail Rock to maximise her bottom time! & hello again to Robin too who has now come back from her Indonesian holiday to work in Koh Tao again. & she has only been back a couple of days & already has a job at another diveshop. Congrats Robin! Isn't it good to be back! 

30th May 2008- Friday

2008-05-30Big Blue Diving would like to apologise for the lame arsed effort of yesterdays entry. Unfortunatley the member of staff who's job it was to take care of our dailly diary was rubbish! She was unable to perform her task cos apparently her tongue was hanging so far out once she realised she was starting yesterday's course with 6 handsome athletic males, she couldn't sit down. Lame arse!

Speaking of rubbish! Its Aow Leuk & Rocky Bay clean up day today. & guess who's going with another 30 volunteers! So in case you weren't aware we get involved in a monthly clean up around Koh Tao. Recently we have done Maehaad, Sairee Beach & Nang Yuan Island. Now we are off to the South of the Island. Generally these clean ups have been very encouraging as the amount of rubbish has actually been very minimal. We are cleaning up Rocky Bay this afternoon- Wicked, Sharks!

Right guys, anyone fancy a pint? I'm going to pop down to the Safety Stop pub in Maehaad now & bid our friends Darren & Ally off as they head on their way to the Maldives. They are on the 4pm Seatran to Chumphon & then Bangkok. They've been unbelievably great staff & I know we shall all miss them here at Big Blue. Good on you guys & see you for a holiday either here or there in the not too distant future.

Thursday 29th May 2008-

It was an emotional farewell last night to instructors Ally, Darren and Pagnos, and a welcome back one Sonia!!! Who was propping her eyes open with the lids of singha bottles, after a long journey from bangkok, stepping off the ferry and straight into a DSD thanks Jim!

Wednesday 28th May 2008-

Well we must be doing something right! & Koh Tao isn't even that busy! We've sent Banzai out to Sail Rock again today due to popular demand. Its really only in the last week or so where our divers just keep signing up for more & more dives. What have we done in the last week or so that has encouraged such a demand for diving at Big Blue? Could it be my new Swedish shopgirls Helena & Evelyn? Oh the joys of volunteer labour!

Sonia is back! And no sooner had she walked through the door when she's sent out to take a Discover Scuba Diver! Its not like she had much choice either. There's no staff left cos everyone has either buggered off or is on holiday & we don't just employ anyone round here. apart from Sonia! Welcome back Sonwan. Now pull your finger out & do some work! Slacker!

& today is the day when we have our leaving drinks with Darren, Ally & Panos! As you may or may not know Darren & Ally are off to the Maldives in a few days. They are leaving one small tropical island paradise for another even smaller tropical island paradise. & Panos & Kayleigh are also off. They are off to some unpronouncable Greek island paradise. I wonder if they'll have 7/11's too. Thanks for all your work, your help, the laughs, the sadness & the memories guys! Big Blue Diving will miss you all!

Tuesday 27th May 2008

2008-05-27The average age of the Big Blue staff just increased as we welcome back some 'old heads' to the teaching team. Klaus (don't mention the war) Fistenbender is here for a month, the oldman of Koh Tao himself, Klaus remembers when it was all coconuts as far as the eye could see. Best known for his sunny disposition and wide-eyed enthusiasm for all things PADI, Klaus will no doubt be enjoying his first confined session at Japanese Gardens as I type ;)

No-one has heard from Guillaume for a while but we're fairly sure he's happily stuffing his face with saucissons dipped in melted camembert and sipping on some foie gras infused Pouilly Fume as I write. If you were looking for a reliable, sober, steady kind of guy to look after your pride and joy while you were away who would you choose? Thats right, Simon has been given the keys to the dream machine TW muscle bike for the next 6 weeks! Don't worry your pretty little head G, I'm sure you made the right choice....

The flip-flop theft crimewave is still sweeping the island and Big Blue has been identified as the one of the worst places to leave your Havainas unattended. Not since Rick's famous flip-flop filching spree have so many shoes gone missing (he filled his drybag twice over with footwear from Lotus Bar and filled 2 lockers with contraband). No-one is sure who is behind the latest thefts but witnesses have reprted seeing a young woman in white Ray Bans leaving the scene of many flip-flop disapearances. If you have any information, or if you have been a victim of flip-flop theft, please contact Jointheclub@bigbluediving>

Saturday 24th May 2008-

2008-05-24Scaredy cats! So we got these 4 burly lads here who play football in the UK for lower league teams like Rotherham & Mansfield. Now they are nice guys and obviously very good at soccer. They have that athletic build & the ladies around Big Blue at the moment are growing in numbers which is usually the sign of a hot stud hanging out. & Sonia is back today so thats another sign! Now being the burly butch physical types you'd reckon they'd be all game to go ahead & upgrade their Scuba Diver License to 12 meters to an Open Water License at 18meters but these brave lads don't want to go so deep! I bet if they played for a proper lower league soccer team like Brighton Hove Albion they wouldn't be such scaredy cats!

Its that low tide time of year again! When the coral heads poke their tops out of the water, we get the longtails stranded on the beach, & we have to very cunningly steer our way out through the channel to get out to the dive boats. There's no more Confined off Sairee beach its out on the boats now to Mango Bay or Japanese Gardens. Its earlier mornings & later nights at work. The winds are a little stronger & the waves are a little bigger on the west side of the island this time of year. We've just had summer & now we're coming back into spring again. Don't you just love the changing of the seasons?

I'm extremely distressed! I've just learnt my Chang hasn't got formaldehyde in it anymore! I know! I'm as shocked as you are! Its the formaldehyde that gives the Chang its special taste! Awww C'mon Thailand! What am I supposed to drink now?

Friday 23rd May 2008-

2008-05-23uess I better start by congratulating our past flock of DMT's who have now risen to become Divemasters or Liv might shoot me down! Sorry we forgot to mention you the other day. You & Sara, & Vicky & how you all stripped Tim & then dressed him in a wetsuit while pretending to be blindfolded! How could we forget to write that! Congratulations girls on becoming fresh new Divemasters & congratulations Tim for getting them all to dress you up in rubber!

And its Helloo to Erik! Our Manager in Khao Lak is joining us in Koh Tao now for their off season May to November & will be taking over where Canada left off. Erik is a Technical Diving Instructor & Wreck & Cave diving Instructor as well so where before we had tech & wreck, well now we have tech, wreck & roll! As we are going to be rolling over to the Khao Sok National Park on the mainland to do dive some caves. Put that in your pipe & smoke it diveshop that nicked Canada from us!

I have some very disappointing news I'm afraid. Darren & Ally have decided to pack up sell up & ship out. After the 3 years Ally has been here & the 2 years Darren has been here they have decided to draw to a close their time spent here on this little tropical island paradise & will be exploring the underwater world in.... the Maldives! Bastards! COngratulations guys sounds like a fantastic job & we know you'll both do very well! Our loss is the Maldives gain!
Right now would everyone please stop resigning!

Tuesday 20th May 2008

2008-05-20Some it comes around once a month for everyone travelling this side of the world. Yes people, exit Koh Tao, enter Full Moon Party, well for one night anyway then the majority all them come back with colourful body paint and crazy hair doos.

So another beautiful day on turtle island with many fun divers spotting a Hawksbill, baby octopuss and the ever cute pink lipped Yellow Box fish awwww!! Nice one Churchy for spotting them at one of Koh Tao's ever trigger happy dive site White Rock.

So we say congratulations to yet another one of our DMT's tonight Peter in our unique BB style as we set up a DM Challenge for him tonight at the Beach Bar. Nice one mate! We will all be there with our cameras at the ready and our voices singing away at DJ Tim's tunes and or course, the famous jig on the bar to end the night.

Monday May 19th 2008-

2008-05-19Today is the last day of our staff exodus leaving for their holidays. G is off to Sunny France & won't be back till July. Its frogs legs & onions for you for a while now! Au revoir mon ami. Bon Appetitie & Avez un bonne vacance vous ponce!

And today is also the first day of our Staff returning! Our Valley dwelling, flossy cuddling, pub singing, Taffy Deano is back today! He's been gone such a long time we're not sure he's going to be able to find his way back but we've opened the cold 'kylie' ( a small singha -Ha!) & reckon he should be able to smell his way home if nothing else!

Rick ! If you are out there & read this! Great job on the shop man it looks fantastic & there is so much more space its incredible. I'm thinking of turning the place into a roller disco at night its that roomy!

Sunday May 18th 2008-

2008-05-18The Lord moves in mysterious ways! Less than a fortnight after I'm married & just as everyone leaves me for their jaunts across the oceans I have had 2 very beautiful Swedish ladies who have walked straight into the shop & have asked for 6 weeks work experience with us! You realise what that means! For the next 6 weeks I have 2 young voluptuous Swedish girls working for me, for free & will do anything I tell them! Ahhh dear lord- why do you torture me so?

So after a week of pretty poor weather the sun is now out, the birds are chirping, the fish are swimming & we can see underwater again! Ahh the joys of a post tropical cyclone! & today is even brighter cos our lovely shop girl Kate has returned from her week long holiday shopping spree to Phuket. She had to wait for Ricky & Anna who both leave today! It just gets better & better! Have a wonderful holiday guys & we'll see you in a month!

Top 5 Interesting Triggerfish Facts
1. A triggerfish sneezes electrictiy.
2. A triggerfish uses red hot larva to moisturise its skin.
3. A triggerfish can kick start a boat.
4. A triggerfish can roundhouse kick a fully inflated pufferfish 5 meters.
5. A triggerfish's urine fetches $ 400 a fluid ounce on the Asian Stock market!

Saturday May 17th 2008-

2008-05-17Yep I can't ignore it anymore! I'm back! I'm older, balder & peculiarly smaller! (Must be the weight of the ring around my finger!) But I'm back & you never realise how great it is to live here & how lucky we are to be the ones doing it, until you go away. Thanks for the thoughts the wishes the emails the calls & facebookers. Its was good to be away but its better to be back!

And what does everyone do the minute I get back... Well, G, Hal, Rick, Ricky & Anna are all shooting off on holiday, While Canada has handed in his notice! What did I do? It wasn't me who farted honest!

Canada has been swiped from us by another diveshop on a package that really couldn't be refused. Bastards! Good luck with it all Canada & thanks for all the chaos you've left in your wake! Its been alot of fun. Congratulations mate!

May 16th 2008

2008-05-16Islanders were woken this morning by a strange yellowy light streaming through their windows. What was that golden ball of fire rising over the hilltops of Koh Tao? It was all getting a bit too tropical there for a while...

We knew we were in for a spot of rain when P'Piak grew a beard and started bringing the animals of Koh Tao aboard Banzai two by two. What no-one could have predicted was the endless days of steely grey skies, roiling thunderheads looming on the horizon, daily downpours of biblical proportions, driving rain, steamy drizzle, gorillas were spotted swinging through the trees of Koh Tao's mist-wreathed hillsides. Incessant, relentless, interminable rain. All we needed the last few days was Gene Kelly tapdancing through the sodden sand of Sairee, twirling his brolly (thats an umbrella in enger-lish) and looking all chipper. Little orphan Annie kept telling us the sun (would) come out, tomorrow, come what may, tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow your only a day away....ahem. Don't worry, she's safely stashed away in her blue ziplocked bag until the next EFR course.

Do we dive in rain? Hell yeah! Rain or shine we still go out, there's bugger all else to do when its raining anyway, and no matter what goes on up top, its calm and peaceful down below. It can be difficult convincing customers to get back on a boat and go diving when they've just come off the catamaran from the mainland. Big waves means pale green faces and sick bags (why are they transparent ffs?), if you are thinking of coming to Koh Tao, I recommend the little yellow seasick pills before you board. If you can't find any at the pier most of the instructors and divemasters on the boat will usually have a few in their pockets. They're easy to spot, they're the ones drinking Singha while everyone else is filling a plastic bag with their breakfast ;)

May 15th 2008

2008-05-15Halleluiah!!! The boss is back!!! Yes, after a 40 hour trip Jim set foot on the island 3 days ago. Unfortunately, his luggage decided not to follow him. Maybe it was still hungover from the wedding. Or maybe it was an airline error, who knows? Eventually, the bags showed up on the Lomprayah this morning and luckily nobody had thrown up on them, despite the big waves in the Gulf at the moment. Better late than never, hey! I must say Jim was very impressed at how his team managed to hold the fort while he was away. Special acknowledgments go to Darren for acting as interim manager and Rick for making the shop look twice as big as before!

Last night was Olaf’s DM challenge. The theme was a short version of the divemaster course and including mapping the Big Blue Bar, showing drinking stamina, demonstrating a perfect cocktail fixing skill and performing a beverage buddy check. Nice program! As usual, the DMTs all jumped on the bar after the Challenge and Olaf proved to us that he could have a member of the Koh Tao Chippendales. A lot 20, 50 and 100 baht bills were slipped down his pants and it all went to the Burmese victims of the hurricane. Who said you can’t join fun and charity?

Hal just went on holiday for three weeks to the Philippines today and Rick left for a month to the U.S. of A. G and Anna and Ricky are soon to follow. Panos is saying goodbye at the end of the month. Rumor has it there will a party on Saturday for all the departures, temporary or definite and another DM challenge. Keep an eye on this page for more

May 9th 2008
2008-05-09W--------K!!! Yeah, I know, again… Getting boring isn’t it? This time the massive creature was spotted on Green Rock giving the opportunity for another group of divers to lose their whaleshark virginity. But the most important news here is that Church was not on the boat. Kind of reassuring I would say. It now turns out you don’t have to make sure Church is on the roster before you sign up for a dive to see a whaleshark anymore. Everybody gets a chance and all divers are created equal!

If you’ve been hanging around the Big Blue shop these days, you’ve probably heard a lot drilling and hammering noises. You’ve also noticed that Rick is here all day long but that he is not diving. Well, the reason is we are revamping the shop andMr.-I’m-building-my-own-house-on-Koh-Tao is supervising the progress himself after designing the future setup. You can already check out the retail area where the masks, fins and dry bags are displayed. The rest isn’t finished yet but we will keep you updated on a daily basis. From what I see this morning, looks like we might have a brand new counter tonight!

The weather has been gorgeous for the last days apart from the 5 minutes of rain we just had half an hour ago. What’s 5 minutes, hey? Banzai has gone on a Full Day Trip to Sail Rock again today and the afternoon fundivers get to visit the East Coast dive sites. Sairee Beach is as beautiful as ever so everybody, why not drop that pen or that computer or whatever it is you are working with right now and come down to the Rock!!!

Wednesday May 7th

2008-05-07CONGRATULATIONS!!! Our beloved Manager Jim has finally put the ring on Andrea’s finger!!! The event all of Koh Tao and most f Germany and New Zealand had been waiting for has finally happened. Unfortunately, we weren’t there to see it but rumor has it that the Chang Company had to send a whole container of its famous beer because Mr. Donaldson couldn’t imagine getting married without his favorite beverage. Andrea prefers the FIZZ of champagne! After the ceremony, the couple fled off on a floating carriage (kind of like the one Poseidon rides), led by two lovely big blue dolphins.

Another day, another whaleshark! Yesterday morning, divers on Navakid and Banzai got to once again experience the thrill of swimming with the king of the oceans. Guess who was on the boat? Church of course!!! I don’t mean to say that every time our Austrian friend is on a boat there will be whaleshark - in fact I was on the boat with him this morning and we didn’t see one – but every time there is a whaleshark, he is on the boat. What are the odds? Oh, and a few days ago, 3 reef (bull?) sharks were once again spotted in the afternoon on Chumphon Pinnacle. But no sign since. No worries, another couple weeks and they should be back from their holiday to resume their job: entertain divers!

Farewell Nyco! Our multilingual German divemaster is on her way home and we all said goodbye to her yesterday. Nobody will forget the day she bravely struggled against the treacherous waters of the Gulf of Thailand, swimming to another boat on Chumphon Pinnacle to pick up 3 regulators. Now that’s what I call professionalism!
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