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November 10th 2013

10 Nov 2013 ="post-tag" > Written by  ="post-tag" >

Equipment room boys
equipment-boysAny dive resort is only as good as the people that work there. Big Blue is no different, and there are a lot more people involved in the smooth day to day running of the place than the divemasters and instructors that you'll see the most during your time with us. The land-based staff play a vital role in keeping things tickety boo. Headed up by Mae, the team keep the equipment room clean and tidy, wash all the regulators at the end of each morning or afternoon of diving, fix broken regulators, BCs and tanks, fill any tanks needed for the pool, and make sure everything is packed away properly at the end of each day. Dive equipment is very reliable these days, and when it does break, it's only minor things like small bubbles coming out of an air gauge, or a slowly filling BC. Mae ensures that these problems are fixed quickly, so we have that piece of equipment back up and running and working as it should for the next diving day.  
At 5pm each day you'll see a few of the boys playing hackey sack (pictured), or whatever it's called, and at other times of the year they'll be guaranteed to be playing a game of football on the beach.. I think it's fair to say the Burmese love their football. Mae also manages the best Korean barbeque restaurant on the Island in Mae Hadd (no relation). When he's not working, I'd love to tell you that he enjoys knitting cardigans with huge pictures of wolves on them, and that he was once a stars in their eyes Regional finalist, singing as Neil Diamond.. maybe it's true, but I can't prove it... yet. When the rest of the staff aren't working or playing football, they seem to enjoy kareoke.. a lot!
The boys work long hours but are always smiling. If you come diving with us you'll have to wash your fins and BC when you get back to land. When you hand in your BC to Mae or one of the other boys, fully inflate it so it has a chance to dry inside and out. If you want to make Mae laugh, ask him why it doesn't inflate when you press the button!

Getting to Koh Tao
Back in the days before Koh Tao was on the backpacker's map, it was a real adventure trying to get here. Now it couldn't be any easier, there are so many options to choose and you don't have to come from one particular place anymore. If you are in Bangkok, you can get a VIP bus with aircon and legroom that will take you to Chumphon (takes around 7 hours), then hop on a ferry- all in one ticket. Or you could take the night train, which has first, second and third class- again, all in one ticket. Don't bother with 3rd class, it's just a seat you'll sit in for 12 hours, trust me you will regret it! Go 2nd or 1st class (for around £20!) and have your own bed so you arrive in Chumphon fresh as a daisy the next morning after a good nights sleep- but be sure to book ahead. If you're feeling really fancy, you could fly from Bangkok to Chumphon or Bangkok to Koh Samui, then get a ferry from there. It's way more expensive than travelling over land but saves you a lot of time. Just be mindful of your return trip back; if you've been diving you cannot fly on a plane for at least 24 hours. Once you're in Suratthani or Chumphon you will get to Koh Tao by catching one of the ferrys. The Lomprayah is the fastest but also the busiest. It takes around two hours from Chumphon and Koh Samui. You can also get the Seatran, which is slower but not as crowded. If you're really on a budget you can get the Songserm, which takes even longer, and isn't the most modern boat the world has ever seen but it's super cheap. I wonder if anyone ever took a taxi from Bangkok to Chumphon, and how much it cost, and whether they were still sane after listening to the taxi driver's Thai muzak for 7 hours!

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Read 1094 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 08:24

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