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September 9th 2013

09 Sep 2013 ="post-tag" > Written by  ="post-tag" >

Mermaid School 
Who would have thought that holding your breath would be so popular!? Pepe and Flavia at Big Blue Freediving are rushed off their flippers at the moment, teaching SSI and AIDA freediving courses. It's actually quite incredible to think that, if you walked in off the street (or yellow brick road behind Big Blue!) and had never dived or even snorkelled before, within 2 days Pepe and Flavia will have you diving down to 20m on a single breath of air! That's what you can achieve on the SSI level 1 course. If that seems a bit much, you can do a discover freediving session, which is very similar to level 1 but without the depth. Once you've got the basics you can progress on to level 2, which focuses on relaxation (ommmmmmmmm!) and conserving oxygen in order to go even deeper, until you get to level 3; 40 blooming metres! All SSI Freediving courses include theory sessions on relaxation and breath-holding techniques, as well as advanced techniques for equalising your ears, and Pepe and Flavia are record holders in their respective countries so you are in very experienced and capable hands. Just don't bet that you can hold your breath longer than them!

Big Blue Freediving

“Great course, fantastic diving, brilliant people!”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 8 September 2013- I undertook my SSI Open Water Course with Big Blue and it really was the highlight of my time in Thailand. Our instructor G took the course at the pace we required and created a great learning environment and really made the 4 day course incredibly good fun and very interesting. The resort, restaurant and bar were a great place to relax after a days diving and the accommodation was great value. All in all, I can't recommend Big Blue enough to anyone looking to dive in Thailand!

Naked Gills!
Wrongly called sea slugs, Nudibranchs are very common within the Gulf of Thailand, and can be seen on every dive site in Koh Tao. But that doesn't mean they are by any means dull. They are some of the most colourful creatures on Earth, which dictates whether they blend in to their surroundings, or display aposematic coloration; bright and distinctive colouring to warn potential predators that they taste horrible or are poisenous! They live all over the world from Antarctica to the tropics, but are most commonly found in warm shallow reefs- in other words, everywhere in Koh Tao! Ask any divemaster on Koh Panghan, Koh Samui or Koh Tao about nudibranchs and they'll start reeling off latin names- "oh yes, they are soft bodied marine gastropod molluscs, with the name coming from the Latin nudus- meaning naked, and the Greek brankhia- meaning gills!" You may or may not fall asleep before they finish talking.... ok maybe that's just Steven DeVelter! But divemasters definitely see it as a challenge to get their eye in to find the smallest ones possible, or look for a previously unseen species. One final fact, nudibranchs are hermaphroditic, and have sex organs for both sexes, but cannot fertilise themselves- and you thought you were weird!

Nudibranch Chumphon pinnacle Big Blue Diving

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