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September 23rd 2013

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

Big Blue Professional Training

Are you sick to death of the daily grind, probably sat in a souless office with artificial lighting, artificial air and surrounded by people you are forced to get along with that, in any other universe you'd go out of your way to avoid? Ever thought about just jacking it all in, getting on a plane and doing something completely different? If you answered yes to both of those questions then you are in good company, loads of people who live on Koh Tao were in the same boat! So Why not do something about it and become a dive professional? Here at Big Blue we can train you all the way from open water diver, up to Divemaster and instructor. As a PADI or SSI divemaster you can then get paid to take qualified divers around some of the best dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand, and as an SSI instructor you can teach people how to dive, which can be really rewarding. Our Dive Master Training programme (DMT) can be completed in as little as three weeks, to 3 months, and We have 6 very experienced and friendly mentors that will help you through every aspect of your training. You'll also meet loads of like-minded people from all over the world going through the same experiences as you. Need any more persuading? Ok then, have a look at the weekly highlights video on our Big Blue Diving youtube channel, and then realise- that's your new office!

Divemaster training

“Relaxed and friendly but also very professional dive company - we loved Skui and Rich!!!”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 21 September 2013- We arrived in Koh Tao already confident that we wanted to dive with Big Blue. Their previous ratings on Trip Advisor speak for themselves - but we had such a fantastic experience with them that I feel compelled to write another review! I already had my PADI Open water diving qualification - but having not used it for 5 years I was a little rusty and in dire need of a refresher course, and my boyfriend had never dived before but was really keen to learn. When we rocked up at Big Blue he was delighted to learn that he could start his open water course that evening, my refresher course was scheduled for the following afternoon. Unfortunately, their bungalow accommodation was already full so we had to look for an alternative so I couldn't comment at all on the quality of the rooms available though friends on our dive courses mentioned that the dorms were basic but sociable. After my refresher course with the jovial Dave and a couple of lovely guys, they mentioned that they were going on to do the Advanced Open Water course over the following 2 days. Comprising of 5 dives that could include 'Deep Dive', 'Navigation', 'Advanced Buoyancy', 'Night Dive', 'Underwater Photography', 'Fish Identification' and 'Wreck Diving' the price of the course was fairly similar to doing a few fun dives and since I feel I like to be challenged and learn new skills I opted to join them! Rich, my instructor, was fantastic. He had a cool, reassuring manner that really put me at ease whenever I was a little anxious. He was so positive and excited at the end of each of our dives, I got the impression that he quite enjoyed working with our little 3 man group - perhaps because none of us were prone to do anything daft! I can't rate Rich highly enough for all his encouragement! Nathan had a great experience with Skui too, she was supremely knowledgable but also really relaxed and added a fun element to the nitty-gritty of training! I laughed out loud when I found out about her system of 'beer fines' to chastise the group for saying 'flippers' and 'goggles' and making the thumbs-up sign underwater when they really meant okay! Both guys were fantastic, they hung-out with us students in the evenings and helped us fill out our diving logbooks, even joining us for a few 'cheeky beers' when the course was complete! We both gained SSI Qualifications with Big Blue - which is their preferred teaching method - but they also offer PADI courses which are a little more expensive owing to the need for you to purchase the PADI text books. The dive sites themselves we lovely, some really interesting chorals and great big shoals of fish, there are also turtles and whale sharks to be seen regularly in the area too - not by me mind you, and for that I fully blame Rich! ;P The restaurant and bar attached to Big Blue was great too. Brilliant for getting a hearty lunch before going off out on the boats - or for providing some much needed stodge when you returned! Try the pizzas if you fancy something Western, they're ace, or the BBQ grilled fish, delicious - though it does feel a little cruel chowing down on a Barracuda when you've been swimming around with them all day?! I would certainly suggest Big Blue diving to anyone visiting Koh Tao. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced veteran this dive company has something to excite everyone and enhance your learning (they also offer advanced tech diving, nitrox and skin diving if you're that way inclined!) They are reliable, all of the staff are supremely friendly and for me the huge selling point was having the security of instructors who spoke exceptional English - I would've felt seriously 'out of my depth' pardon the pun and frightened if I didn't fully understand the teaching aspect. I hope one day I'll go back to Big Blue, if not, I certainly hope you do!!!

Abbott Abolishes Climate Commission

Not satisfied with allowing the Great Barrier Reef to be dredged to provide a shipping "superhighway", Australia's incoming prime minister has now abolished the Climate Commission, a body set up in 2011 to provide information on the impacts of climate change to the Australian public. This will make it more difficult for people to get independent information on climate change that is not slanted by vested interests. It's also quite timely for this to happen, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is due to release it's latest report on the impacts of climate change, which will outline how increasing emissions of CO2 from man-made activities are continuing to warm the planet at an alarming rate. Oceans are warming, and CO2 is also making them more acidic as it dissolves into seawater. This is already having an effect on marine life ecosystems. The waters around Koh Tao contain some of the world's most amazing coral habitats, and as ocean temperatures increase they will be at risk of bleaching, which kills them. Big Blue Conservation is working closly with the Thai Government and the local community to monitor the coral reefs, but ultimately this is a global problem that will be difficult to deal with as long as politicians continue to do nothing to reduce CO2 emissions. 

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