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

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Longtail drivers
Yesterday I talked about the boys that work in the equipment room to keep everything running smoothly. Today why not give a mention to the three musketeers.. kind of, that drive our luxurious (compared with other dive schools) taxi boats; Win, Bang, and Sea.

longtailThey probably work the weirdest hours out of anyone else at Big Blue. They have to be up early to wade out to sea and untether the taxi boats from their moorings, then sit around waiting for the instructors and divemasters to get organised and ready to head off for their dives. Then they spring into action like some kind of, er, taxi boat driver, and occassionally wait for everyone to get on board before heading off like the stig to one of our five dive boats. Win has been at Big Blue for years. In fact, rumour has it he was sitting on Sairee beach for a long time waiting for Big Blue Diving to be formed as a company. Bang has played Burma-Koh Tao tennis more than most of our staff, and has held a number of jobs with us between going home. Now he's back he drives the biggest and newest of our taxi boats.. lets call her Shirley. Our third driver, Sea, is possibly the most helpful human being on the planet, and if we could clone him we would probably be bigger than Apple right now. It also runs in the family, his brother doesn't speak a word of English but will fill your tank on Ao Meung before you even knew you'd used it up.
Once the morning boats have gone out, you'll not see any of them for dust until 11am when the boats come back and everyone needs to come back to land. Then again they mill around waiting for the afternoon divers to ready themselves to be taken out to the dive boats. 5pm and it's back out to pick them up on their return from the dive sites, then Bang and Win moor up Shirley and, er.. Ermentrude, whilst Sea usually gets the short straw to take the divers out on their night dive.  For the instructors and divemasters at Big Blue, it can be pretty easy to take them for granted, but just when that's in danger of happening, the weather turns bad and these guy's skills come out to play. In choppy weather (which is never really that bad on koh Tao), they know exactly how to handle their boats safely to negotiate the coral near the beach, ride over the waves, and pull up alongside the dive boats and hold them in place whilst people are loaded on and off.  They also know how to have a bit of fun, adding just the right amount of throttle to make an instructor blocking their view almost fall over, or let a big enough wave soak them and wake them up properly in the morning! Next time you're on board on our of longtails, say Mingalabar and give them a smile.

We didn't come up with a name for Sea's taxi boat... post your suggestions on our facebook page, and the best one will receive a Big Blue keychain. I vote to call it Baxter. Steven wants to call it Bertha, lovely Bertha (sometimes I think you're a dream). You had to be there...
Non-diving things to do on Koh Tao
What if you come to Koh Tao with the intention of diving, but for whatever reason you can't, or maybe your other half is obsessed with the idea of learning how to dive, but you have absolutely no intention of putting on those flippers and goggles? Well there are other things you can do. Lets ignore the bars on the Island, anyone can get drunk anywhere at anytime nowadays. I'm talking about productive, educational and fun things to while away the day. How about a bit of 10-pin bowling and mini golf? In Mae Hadd we have the weirest bowling alley in the world, with the aim being (depending on your point of view) to throw the ball at the man behind the pins, or avoid hitting the man behind the pins. Whatever you knock over, they put them all back neat and tidy ready for the next shot. You don't get that back home. It's also open in the evening so you don't get heat exhaustion whilst trying to negotiate the crazy golf range. You can learn Muay Thai. A lot of the people that live here do it, mainly for the exercise- they've never hit anyone in their lives. They can tailor the classes to suit your level of fitness and comfort with sparring. I've done martial arts for 20 years and the only reason I never did it was a fear of getting too into it and breaking my leg. Not good for a diver.. then I went and broke my knee anyway! There are a few classes all over the Island, one in Mae Hadd, one in Sairee up towards Jitson. There are also occassional Muay Thai fights that you can go and watch, with men handing out flyers all over the place so you can't really miss them.
Thai cooking classes are available in quite a few different places, and you can learn to cook a few authentic Thai dishes so you can wow your friends back home when you have them over for dinner. Should be high on the list of things to do here.
Yoga seems to be pretty popular at the moment, with classes being held at all times of the day anywhere and everywhere. There's also a pilates class, whatever that is!
You just missed the best time of year to learn this when the winds are high, but wakeboarding if quite popular in September and October on Sairee beach. It's getting to the point where the idea must be to stay on the board and avoid other wakeboarders! The beach dogs will hate you and chase you up and down the beach barking their heads off for no apparent reason, but luckily they all hate water.
Rock climbing- It's not going to be like scaling El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, but there are some good spots to learn how to rock climb, and there's a company that will teach you and provide all the equiment you'll need. What else.. oh yeah, snorkeling- loads of nice beaches around the South and East of the Island, Ao Leuk, Shark Bay, Tanote Bay, Freedom beach. For any of the above activities ask any of our staff and we'll be able to point you in the right direction.

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Read 1324 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 08:24