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April 8, 2013

02 May 2013 ="post-tag" > Written by  ="post-tag" >

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 Chumphon National Park remains one of Thailand’s best kept scuba diving secrets and offers an opportunity to get away from the crowds and see more marine life. A formation of 40 small islands sits just off the mainland coast, offering endless opportunities for scuba diving exploration and stunning scenery both above and below the water. Already mapped are a wide variety of dive sites ranging from shallow bays to coral walls, rocky caves and even deep sunken pinnacles for the more advanced diver. The Chumphon National Park dive sites are rarely visited so there are fish galore. You can see an enormous range of aquatic life with everything ranging from barracuda and trevally to shrimps, morays, sea-snakes, stingrays, turtles, scorpion-fish and even whale sharks visible around the Chumphon dive sites (and much more). Proximity to the coast, nearby river estuaries and shallow depths mean that visibility at the nearest Chumphon dive sites can be a bit inconsistent. But even when visibility does drop, exploring at a relaxed slow pace means you’ll appreciate the high density of diverse marine life and corals and enjoy great dives. (And on the clear days and more distant dive sites the diving can be unbeatable with visibility in excess of 30M). We’re out diving there tomorrow on our much in demand Full Day Trip. Full English Breakfast, Thai Buffet lunch, 3 dives, & chocolate cake for everyone!

“Awesome diving!”4 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor April 3, 2013 - Summary: I did my open water and advanced course at big blue diving, Koh Tao. The place is amazing and relaxed and the instructors are helpful and well educated. Thelma Clarke is an amazing instructor giving you all the information and tips to become a safe diver! She was also one of the reasons 3 guys from my open water group went directly to the advanced course requesting Thelma as the instructor!

The courses and big blue: I did both my courses in groups not bigger then 6 persons and found it really easy to get help if something was unclear. The lectures are given at a different location from where you go diving. It's only a 4 min walk on the beach between the two so its not really a big problem. At big blue they have 4 diving boats which makes it possible for several groups to go to different dive sites preventing your group from going to the same site all the time. This is a big advantage that really lifts your experience! At night all the divers and instructors gathers at big blue in the bar to relax and talk about the dives and maybe have a beer. They also have great food. The atmosphere is relaxed and everyone at big blue are super friendly so just go and have a chat with anyone!
The instructor: The person responsible for teaching me in both courses was Thelma Clarke. Thelma did a great job in both courses and she made sure that everyone understood what was happening and how to do it. It was safe learning! Thelma also made the dives to a great experience making sure that the group stayed together and showed us all fun fish and interesting marine life at the dive sites. Before and after all our dives she would give us a briefing/de-briefing making sure that everything (skills, fish, dive site, etc.) was crystal clear and if something was unclear she had an answer to your question.
Accommodation: When going to Big Blue for taking a dive course they will offer you accommodation. I stayed at a hotel called Praewa in a brand new 4-bed dorm. The dorm was equipped with AC, TV, fan, fridge, closets and a clean bathroom and I payed 100 baht every day I stayed at the course. This accommodation is the best I had since going to Thailand!

Yesterday was an exciting and awesome day out for Big Blue Tech, not only did five of our resident techies get the chance to dive the 70m long Japanese vessel known as the Torpedo which on its own is impressive. But along came the newest addition to Big Blue which is Big Blue Free Diving. We have to admit there was a real buzz on the boat as none of us had been in the water with these guys especially on the deep sites 50m . First impression of the wreck was WOW 10m visibility and lots of marine life around, even a very large NUDIBRANCH, as Phil,Big Blue Dive Master pointed out (which he was promptly slapped for, you can't take him anywhere without him looking for the small stuff ). Heading up for our first deco stops was when we started to see Pepe and Flavia in turns coming down to see us. Followed by at 5m the sight of bad ass Bryan doing what can only be described as the tech version of free diving ( not quite as elegant as he can be in a twinset). After this we packed up and headed South to our second deco dive of the day on the Unicorn, a cargo vessel that sits around 50m and can be a very hazardous wreck to dive with strong current and hit and miss visability. The last few dives on this wreck we have had 10m visibility and no currents we were looking forward to this one. First part of the decent was looking good, hardly any current and a thermocline at around 26m then it got dark or as Maxime ( our half French,half German ex student known as freman) pointed out " whoa that was black". Even so the guys enjoyed the whole challenge and yet again the crazies(freedivers) were there to greet them on their deco stops. All in all a massive success of a day. Thanks to everyone that made it happen and also for Pepe and Flavia for making our deco hangs heaps more fun. Pictures will be coming soon or check us out on Facebook These trips will be happening once a month to different wrecks and sites. For any more information contact James or Bryan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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