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March 28th 2014

28 Mar 2014 ="post-tag" > Written by  ="post-tag" >


Occasionally, inspiration for a blog post is staring you in the face the whole time. Conversing with my colleagues over a beer last night, I mentioned that I needed to go home to write the blog. I was then bombarded with ideas of what to write about. SSI instructor Anthony Edgely, AKA mini Ant, AKA Plimsoll, AKA Ant 2, came up with an idea so completely forgettable, that I decided there and then that I would dedicate an entire post to him instead. There is reason behind the madness. Ant is the living embodiment of someone that decides that they are so sick of their drab and dreary life that they end up actually doing something about it. In his case, as the circus wasn't hiring tent-pole holders, he decided to become a dive instructor, and luckily for us he chose Big Blue to do all his dive professional training. As far as i'm aware, he never looked back. Not that that would have done much good, because, the Earth being an oblate spheroid, and Thailand being at a different longitude and lattitude to Aldershot in the UK, he wouldn't have been able to see whatever it is that that particular metaphor intimates. But I digress.
In spite of being one of our full-time instructors, he's proved to be quite useful, as, in his previous life he was some kind of architect... he knows a lot about potable water and good drainage.. a real lady killer. But as we are about to start sprucing Big Blue 2 up, Ant was able to draw up the plans. The fact that he did it in 12 minutes on the back of an open water manual fills us all with confidence that we will end up being the proud owners of the first windmill on Koh Tao. We also recently purchased a dive boat we had been renting long term- MV Waverunner. It's currently in dry dock in Chumphon undergoing a complete refurbishment. Ant saunted over there with his tape measure one day and has, we think, accidentally instructed the Thai naval engineers to build the world's first ever floating windmill. I see a pattern forming here.
When Ant's not designing buildings to turn flour into bread, he likes nothing better than to put on his best top shop frock and mime along to his favourite Dolly Parton album (the best of Dolly Parton), probably with clogs on.
Obviously, this is all ridiculous (apart from the Dolly Parton bit). Ant has proven to be a very patient, diligent instructor that really cares about his studentss' development. He's well liked by the rest of the team and it's been great for his SSI instructor trainer mentors Simo and Guy to see him go from open water diver to a highly professional SSI dive instructor. Just think, that could be you, leaving your job, getting the hell out of wherever you live to come and live and work on a tropical Island doing something you love. If you're interested in becoming a dive professional, have a look on our bigbluepro website and contact Simmo, Iain, and Guy for more information. The email address is at the top of their webpage.
Hopefully now Ant has finally got the message not to beg me to stop taking the mickey out of him on the blog!

Rainbow runners
Diving along the top of Chumphon pinnacle this morning, I saw a rainbow runner hunting and eating some little fishies. It was pretty amazing to watch as it herded the shoal and finally went in for the kill. So what are rainbow runners? Some facts for your brain:

- Elagatis bipinnulata, also known as the rainbow yellowtail, Spanish jack and Hawaiian salmon, is a common species of pelagic marine fish of the jack family, Carangidae.
- The species is widespread throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the world, inhabiting both coastal as well as far offshore areas.
- It is a fast swimming predator, taking small fish, cephalopods and a wide variety of planktonic crustaceans.
- The species reaches sexual maturity at around 60 cm (24 in), and spawning takes place at different times, with some populations spawning year round, while others only spawn at certain times of the year.
- Rainbow runner are also one of a number of pelagic fishes that prey on open-ocean species of sea-skaters- a type of insect which rest on the surface of the ocean.
- Rainbow runner themselves are important prey items for a number of larger species, with positively identified predators being Fraser's Dolphin, and a number of seabirds of the family Laridae.
- The fish is oviparous, producing pelagic eggs and larvae.
- Rainbow runner are not a major commercial species like tuna or herring, but are taken in large quantities as bycatch. Their flesh is said to be of fair to excellent standard, depending on personal preferences, but generally fetch a low price at markets because they are relatively unknown.
- There is a minor recreational fishery for rainbow runner in parts of the world. Often they are taken while trolling for other species such as tuna and mackerel, but are often targeted inshore by anglers on the west coast of the Americas using surface 'popper' style lures.



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