17/18 Moo 1, Koh Tao Suratthani, 84360 Thailand         Info @ Big Blue Diving        +66 (0) 77 456 050

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Big Blue DMT mentor team

Yesterday you were introduced to the Big Blue Tech team. Today it's the turn of Big Blue's team of mentors!  These guys are some of the best scuba diving instructors in the world, which is exactly why they are charged with turning people into dive professionals through Big Blue's Divemaster training (DMT) programme. In no particular order, meet:

Guy Bannister

Guy Bannister
PADI and SSI instructor, Guy comes from somewhere in Yorkshire, which is similar to Mordor, but with more rain. If we at Big Blue were to get our heads together to give him an appropriate nickname, it would have to be yoda- a little unfair on his ears but the weird robes and wise advice are spot on. Guy is one of our most experienced instructors, and the only person I’ve ever met that is able to incorporate Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle into his open water academics. During work hours, when not turning people into competent divers or providing useful advice to DMTs, you'll find him in the classroom talking about diving physiology or physics, out loud- to himself. Total geek and walking Wikipedia, he's a sci-fi and film buff to the extreme, and even reads books on finance for fun- weirdo. His favourite films are flashdance, showgirls, and Justin Beiber: never say never.

 

Iain Goodfellow

Iain Goodfellow- Iain with an I, 47, has the distinction of being our only Scottish instructor. So all the women swoon whenever they hear his accent, even though they've absolutely no idea what he just said. An SSI and PADI instructor, Iain is the professional's professional. Very relaxed and laid back when he's teaching, he even puts the fish at ease. In between teaching you'll find him coaching someone about dive theory, even though all they asked was whether he needed a straw with his purchased drink. He previously lived and worked in Japan- no-one knows what he did there but we suspect he was employed to scout for potential vending machine locations. This position was probably unpaid- he just really likes vending machines.

Simon Garrity

Simon Garrity- Simmo, 24, is a SSI and PADI instructor, and in between helping to run the DMT programme, he's also Big Blue's SSI instructor trainer, meaning he turns normal humans into enhanced human SSI instructors. He's been doing this a long time and is very very good at it. He's also an accomplished taxidermist, and spends his days off work scouring Koh Tao for geckos and frogs to stuff and hang on his walls. As you can imagine his house is a very weird place. Another thing Simmo excels at is compering. When the DMTs have finished their internship, they usually have a challenge night at the bar, which involves a heady mix of light-hearted humiliation via a series of games co-ordinated by Simmo on the microphone, all for the pleasure of the baying crowd. Think of it as a lie detector test gone in front of a live studio audience- gone horribly wrong. He was possibly born for this role more than David Icke was born to see Lizard people. His sharp wit (Simmo, not David Icke) has everyone in stitches, and the DMT victims always seem to want more- all good fun and a nice little send off to the newly graduated dive professionals. Despite being the instructor's instructor, he still likes to keep his hand in and regularly teaches open water and advanced courses. He always gets glowing reviews from his students, possibly because he threatens to introduce them to his "dead friends" until they promise to like him.

Irish-G

Germaine Maguire- Probably has the fewest nicknames of anyone at Big Blue, known as G, Irish G, or mama G, though even she gets in a muddle sometimes as she often signs her name as Irish G, just in case we confuse her with all the other Gs at Big Blue- that's none by the way! G has been on Koh Tao since sea levels dropped and the magma was cool enough to stand on, and probably worked as a warden in the political prison that was here in the 1930s.. I'm not saying she's old, she's just been here longer than most, arriving at age 18 in a raft made entirely from betting slips. She's a PADI and SSI instructor, and sees it as her mission in life to ensure that DMTs end up being the best dive professionals they can. With years of experience teaching open water students and dive professionals alike, she's also often the first point of call when new instructors need advice and guidance. How she finds the time only she knows, as she also runs one of the Island's grooviest bars; Moov in Mae Hadd.

Nick Bufton

Nick Bufton- Whilst previously working for another dive school on Koh Tao, we head hunted him to come and work at Big Blue. Though if you've ever seen his head you'll realise what a terrible mistake that was. He's a PADI and SSI instructor, and possesses an uncanny ability to make his students love him on every single course he teaches. He's also very popular as a DMT mentor, and is quite famous on the Island as a champion swimmer. Regularly competing in the annual Swim for Sharks charity event, in which around 70 masochists swim around Nang Yuan Island- all 3.4 kilometres of it! He won it last year and ever since has vowed to "end this inhumane treatment of swimmers". I think he was also a DJ in a past life, kind of in the Tony Blackburn style. But I may have misheard him, and he actually just once owned a dinner jacket. Professional, fun, knowledgeable and not bad at diving, we’re glad we poached his weird head.

“It's the dopest”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 7 October 2013- What an amazing place to learn how to dive or enhance your diving abilities. The staff is awesome and the whole vibe of the establishment suits its location. If you require assistance of any kind, Daisy is a beautiful mermaid who will teach you everything. Diving was a huge fear of mine and she made forget that I was even scared of what I was getting myself into.

Koh Tao dive site- Red Rock

The final installment in the cornetto trilogy of dive sites (though technically it's a quadrilogy if you include Blue Rock), Red Rock is a lovely little dive site. Located just off the coast of Nang Yuan Island a little further North from Japanese gardens, it's perfect for fun diving, and often used for the navigation dive on advanced courses. The rock begins at 2m depth and goes all the way down to 22m. Divers can circle red rock at the beginning of the descent to peer into all the little cracks and crevices to see white-eyed moray eels and banded boxer shrimps, and a variety of different corals. Then at the deepest point take a heading West back to the coast of Nang Yuan, where there are a whole load of swim throughs for people to not go through. Along with the usual inhabitants of Koh Tao; rabbit fish, longfin bannerfish, butterfly fish, trevally, fusiliers, scads, and blue-ringed angelfish, you're also likely to see polka-dot nudibranchs, the occassional sea snake, adult boxfish and of course the grumpy little titan triggerfish- sociopath od the seas. As we approach monsoon on Koh Tao the location of red rock comes in really handy, sheltered from winds and devoid of all but mild currents, it's perfect to dive at any time.

 

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Read 919 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 08:23