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Monday, 06 May 2013 08:08

March 2009


Tuesday 31st March 31 2009-

2009-03-31-1Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaleshark! At Sail Rock, second trip in a row. Not bad, eh? Helen finally got to see her first big fish, thank god for us, no more moaning and complaining on her part every time we see one. And guess who else was there? Scobby! Our favorite Aussie is here on holiday and started with a whole day of boozing with Spaz at the end of which he called Jim telling him he was lost and couldn’t remember where he was staying. Only thing he could make out was that he was on his back, looking at the stars! The next day, he “rested” and thought it might be a good idea to get wet again. Well, good on ya matey! No diving for a year and the first thing he sees when he jumps in the water is a whaleshark. I got to say, Scobby is still the luckiest man on the planet. And I can already hear people saying as they read this: “wait a minute, hasn’t he always been on holiday, what’s the difference now?”. Well, he hasn’t changed at all, apart from those few extra kilos from eating steaks every day. I’m guessing he’s not missing the Big Blue restaurant’s Scobby Special Steak too much!

From the 24th to the 29th of March Big Blue Tech were in Khao Sok conducting a Cavern Diver course for 4 people. Those who joined the trip came from a variety of destinations. One person in particular came from South West Australia, Ian, who flew all the way up to Thailand just for the course. He left enough room for a couple of nights on Koh Tao and quickly rushed back to far edge of the world. Also joining us was Trevor from Sai Ree Cottage who combined this event with the completion of his technical diver course conducted by Matt Rolph. And last but not least was “Dive Medic Cum Dive Instructor” Sonia Scott who came from Khao Lak (west coast of Thailand) for a completely different type of diving. For those who want to join us on the next cavern course check www.bigbluetech.net. At the moment the 18th trip is full and we’ll be staying on site to accommodate a second course.

Happy Birthday Emily, Happy Birthday Andy! We’re all off to Vibe tonight for another fantastic night of free barbecue, acoustic set by Steve Whelan and DJ Tim behind the decks. We’ll give you a full report tomorrow if we can remember any of it, right Cory!

 

Friday 27th March 2009-

2009-03-27Another evening of mutual humiliation & self degradation last night! & not a choked chicken to be seen anywhere! Last night the starring attractions were Ian, Simon & Cory, our newly certified Divemasters. After 6 weeks of pure misery & pain, public humiliation & much cross dressing these 3 have been so well conditioned they actually voluntarily step up to the plate when self degradation is needed. & so great to see all our other DMT's showing their support. Hey if you embarrass one of us you embarass us all! Well ok then! Its a Can-can on the bar for everyone then!

Earth Hour was first celebrated two years ago in Sydney, Australia, when 2.2 million people and thousands of businesses turned out their lights, allowing the message about climate change to shine brightly. In March 2008, Earth Hour went global. More than 400 cities, thousands of businesses and over 50 million people around the world turned off their lights for one hour to demonstrate their commitment to slowing the effects of climate change. The movement captured the public’s imagination with lights going out at some of the world’s most iconic landmarks including the Sydney Opera House, Bangkok’s Wat Arun Buddhist temple, the Coliseum in Rome, Stockholm’s Royal Castle, London’s City Hall, New York’s Empire State Building, Sears Tower in Chicago and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Other symbols going dark this year includ Cola-Cola’s famous billboard in Times Square and the Google homepage as well as the Big Blue Beach Bar & Restaurant! Save the Cheerleader! Save the world!

How romantic! Kelli took a couple of Israeli divers out yesterday for their first taste of diving underwater. Now we do this a lot obviously but we don't often get proposals underwater! We do get them but not often. So congratulations Tzlil & Eli who are to be married in the not too distant future. So love is in the air folks. Wonder who's going to be next to get hitched. Could it be Soren & Emma? Oskar & Eveline?? Deano & Lara??? Dan & Kymmie???? Michael & Pim?????

Thursday 26th March 2009-

2009-03-26Lia Barrett our undiscovered soon to be extremely famous, Professional photographer is back with us for a week or so to take more action shots of life in Koh Tao, or more importantly for marketing purposes, the lifestyle you can expect to enjoy when you stay here with us at the Big Blue Dive Resort. & today we're going to be having another staff photo. Lia has already been taking a few underwater shots for us already & has some new great whaleshark snaps aswell. & this morning I've seen her wandering around the resort taking a few unposed shots of everyday life. I can't wait to see all the 1000's of photos I'm going to be left with when she's gone so that I can go plastering them up all over the website! Hoep there's some nudie shots!

Scuba diving has attracted the attention of many enthusiasts all over the globe. It is a very fulfilling and enjoyable activity. Some people are even making careers out of their passion for scuba diving. The world has sensationalized scuba diving in such a way that it is helping to preserve the environment and is greatly contributing to the awareness regarding the environmental issues that are associated with our aquatic resources. One of the major issues that are continuously being discussed in the scuba diving arena is the conservation of air under water. An emerging scuba apparatus design is called a rebreather, which can help people address the concern about rapid air consumption. It functions in such a way that the exhaled air by the diver is stripped of carbon dioxide and is re-circulated to the air chamber. This way, one can enjoy the deep seas much longer. If you are an 'Air Pig" then this is the only way forward! Oink, oink, bubble bubble!

Police arrested four fishermen who accidentally killed a diver with explosives. Police officials in the Phu Cu District in the central province of Binh Dinh in Vietnam told the Coast Guard heard an explosion and caught the fishermen who tried to escape. The fishermen told police they saw bubbles and movement under the surface and thought it was a large fish. One of the fishermen tossed dynamite into the water and after it exploded the group jumped into the water but instead of finding a fish, they found the body of the dead diver. Dynamite fishing, which severely damages coral reefs, is illegal in Vietnam but a common practice. Head of the Phu Cu District police department, said the fishermen would be charged with killing the diver and destroying aquatic resources with the illegal use of explosives! Feed them to the sharks!

Wednesday 25th March 2009-

2009-03-25Hi Jim, I just want to say thanks for a terrific Open water course! Me and my girlfriend Maire just did our last dive today and we are very happy! Our instructors Soren and Craig have made an excellent job, I must say. We have singed up for the advanced course today and we start tomorrow with Soren as our instructor. I´m already looking forward to it. Again, many thanx! Adam & Marie.
Your welcome guys. So glad you are enjoying your diving with us. Guess it helps having a whaleshark in the water!

So Canada & his gang of merry cavers left last night for Khao Sok for Big Blue's second caving expedition. They are going to be spending the next 4 days & nights learning the correct procedure to take when diving in caves. Do you have what it takes? For the average diver, the answer to this question is a resounding No. Many experts estimate that less than one percent of the recreational diving population possesses the knowledge, skills, attitude and judgement needed to cave dive as safely as possible. Could you be among this group? Although there are few formal prerequisites for Cave Diver training, other than Advanced Diver certification, the fact remains that students who complete training successfully typically have the following in common, small brains & large Kahunas!

British scientists will release a school of five robot fish next year off the northern Spanish port of Gijon. Shaped like carp, the robotic fish will be used to search for potential pollutants in the sea. The robot fish, which cost about $29,000 a piece, will be operated with Wi-Fi technology and use chemical sensors to find biohazards in the water. One major difference in these robot fish versus earlier models is they aren’t operated by remote control, but are able to run autonomously without human guidance. They have batteries which last five to eight hours. If the robot fish are a success, plans are in place to embed the fish in seas, lakes and rivers across the world. Computer scientists at the University of Essex in the U.K. developed the self-guided robot fish, seen here swimming in the aquarium. The designers say it is the smartest such robot yet created—the fish uses artificial intelligence and built-in sensors to avoid obstacles and respond to environmental changes.

Tuesday 24th March 2009-

2009-03-24There we go that's much more like it! Now we're back on top of our game! Whaleshark at White Rock & on a night dive! How's that! Even Jacques Cousteau never got to dive with a whale shark on a night dive! Must have scared the heebee-jeebies out of some of you! Apparently its very rare to see a whaleshark at night. Like most intelligent creatures, whalesharks would rather be down the pub with their mates at night! Congratulations all those that saw the whaleshark. High 5's all those that didn't kak themselves!

Congratulations Big Blue! We are now the proud parents of 1000's of little anemonefish! Our Japanese Team have been charting, logging, planning, & data tracking the developments of a large number of soft anemone corals & the family of Anemonefish that inhabit these corals, located just underneath our boats moored up on Sairee Beach! And because of all this research we can actually calculate to within 10-20 minutes exactly when the eggs will hatch! What happens is Mrs Anemonefish lays her from 100-1,000 eggs depending on how hard she's been working. Mr Anemonefish then passes over the eggs and fertilizes them. The male looks after the eggs, fanning them with his fins and eating any eggs that are infertile or damaged by fungus. & then last night all 1000 of these eggs hatched & we were there to see it! Our first 1000 Anemonefish!And of course being hermaphrodite, we'll have to call them Billy the Fish 1, Billy the Fish 2, Billy the Fish 3 etc in case we run out of asexual names... like G !

Weather report! Well we'll start by saying its hot. The sun is out & has increased the air temperature to a staggering 40 degrees centigrade! Choice of fashion this season seems to be skin, sweat & tattoos! There are some people walking up & down the beach with rubber band sized swimsuits, but I'm not sure its catching on. Strangely the girls are being cheered & the guys are being jeered! Water temperature at the waters edge seems to be similar to that of this mornings hot cup of cocoa though its a surprisingly muggy 30 degrees at the dive sites so there are some extremely brave individuals flapping around underwater without a wetsuit! Forecast is that there may be another day or 2 or 3 or more of pretty much the same thing with intermittent spells of extreme sunshine & heat! 'Hotter than Balls' I believe is the correct meteorological terminology!

Monday 23rd March 2009-

2009-03-23Well we've got to take our hats off to all those involved with the Big Blue Grease Lightening rendition. The whole thing went down a tremendous storm & it was quite literally the talk of the Koh Tao Festival. The boys had rhythm, the girls looked fab & Cory & Pete looked excellent together. What chemistry. I think we might have started something here! Reckon there will be a few more shops coming up with a few skits of their own next year. Once again massive thanks to Barry Kymmie & Lara for getting the whole thing together. Maximum R-E-S-P-E-K-T!

Lovely to see Sonia & Paul come over from the west coast to say hi & join us in Koh Tao for the Festival. Great to see them both even if it was a little bit whistle stop! Got here yesterday afternoon left already this morning! But here to give one of the best prizes of the night - a 2 person cabin for a 3 day 3 night liveaboard trip to the Similan Islands with Wicked Diving. Sorry second best prize. Best prize was of course the free Divemaster course at Big Blue Diving worth 25000 Baht!

The broken handed Dan will be the first face you meet from Big Blue if you are going to be arriving here in the next few weeks. Dan fractured his hand last week so can't dive for at least 4 weeks & so will now be prostituting himself out in the dive shop by helping out in his free time with the meeting the greeting, the accommodation enquiries, accounts enquiries, Diving, courses, entertainments, bookings enquiries. The lot! The rest of us can sit idly by while Dan goes about doing his job & everyone else's too. So if there is anything you need ladies & gentlemen when you are here this month just give a little tinkle & Dan will come running.

Sunday 22nd March 2009-

2009-03-22Apparently 'Grease' is the word! The whole island is buzzing! Word has finally got out that Barry & the gang are really going to be up on stage tonight at the Koh Tao festival singing & dancing to the tunes of Summer Nights & Go grease Lightening! Peter is our John Travolta & Cory looks resplendant as Olivia Neutron Bomb! Then we got Barry, Dan, Tim & Duncan are our boys & the girls are Emma, Laura, Becky, & Hanna. Its all being choreographed by the very experienced & professional Kymmie & Laura has just gone completely to town on the stage set. It looks fantastic & its on stage tonight at 7pm so come one come all & lets go have a good laugh at Big Blue's expense! "You are supreme the chicks'll cream for grease lightning, Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go grease lightening!'

I knew our spell of bad luck & missing things couldn't last forever! Congratulations to all our divers who broke their Whaleshark cherry yesterday & dived with the largest fish in the sea- the Whaleshark. 5 or 6 meters, depending on whether you ask a guy or a gal, this particular whale shark was witnessed at South West Pinnacle so chances are it will remain in these parts for another few days at least. After all it is whale shark season & they have been known to hang out as long as 3 weeks on some occasions and with their mates! "Step up! step up! Get your lovely whalesharks! 2 for a pound!"

Mother's Day is the one special day of the year when sons and daughters take a moment to thank mom for all the hard work and care she's put into raising her children. So for those of you, like me, who forgot Mother's Day, the situation doesn't bode well. Luckily I have a very understanding mother who realizes that her son who has spent the last 38 years forgetting Mothers Day isn't suddenly going to start remembering while poncing around on a tropical island in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand! Happy Mothers Day Mums!

Saturday 21st March 2009-

2009-03-21Save Koh Tao today. Boys, girls, men & Women, Thai & Farang, are all getting together today to do one thing. Raise everyones awareness of the problems we face in Paradise. We are amazingly lucky to be living here in Koh Tao & if we don't take care of this place then we won't be amazingly lucky for much longer! The tourist footprint has left a very large mark in recent years & its up to us as a community to make things right & ensure that the footprint we've made already doesn't get any bigger. Save Koh Tao & give generously. All donations will go towards planting trees & plants to strengthen the soil & reduce erosion. Money will also go towards generating a means & ways to treat our waste water. & we are also raising money to promote, maintain & increase our Biorock project & to launch our new Buoyancy World Project. Rock on Koh Tao! We love it!!

And to ensure we do our bit underwater as well as ontop, G has organised a big Sairee Beach Clean up with over 50 divers this afternoon including 10 divers from the Royal Thai Navy who are all here to help pick up the rubbish underwater. Amazing the consistency of the rubbish found. In addition to the usual empty beer bottles & odd bits of clothing we'll find batteries, plates, cups, knives & forks, & biscuit tins. Two years ago in Maehaad we came across an Armitage Shanks porcelain toilet bowl, & last year we came up with a DVD player. In fact last time we did Rocky Bay Yvonne came across a 2 CV car! Its amazing what crap you'll find when you are actually looking for it!

Had a lot of rain in the early mornings recently. Its lovely too... for us. Though I imagine the tired & weary travellers who have just come all the way down overnight on an 8 hour busride from Bangkok aren't feeling quite so lovely as they realise their bags are going to get soaked getting off the boats. But good news is people that its just morning showers & its all gone by lunchtime. Highly refreshing actually & the island could do with a good downpour at that time of day. As long as its fine & sunny for the festival! & your bags are waterproof!

Friday 20th March 2009-

2009-03-20Congratulations Craig for reaching the dizzying heights of PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor! For the last 3-4 weeks Craig has been sitting his Instructor Development Course learning how to teach scuba, how to demonstrate skills, & how to pose like an Instructor, Zoolander style- Tilt one of your shoulders towards the camera, make sure your face is looking directly at the camera, elongate the neck, pucker your lips, and suck in your cheeks some. Squint your eyes just a bit, as if there is a strong wind or sand blowing at you, spread the chest wide & breathe in the gut & say 'Hi' in a manly manner. All essential skills for a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. Congratulations Craig. Now go out there & show us your 'Blue Steel'!

So the Save Koh Tao Festival is almost upon us & the island is clubbing together to get everything ready in time. One of the biggest occasions on the Koh Tao Calendar with over 1 million baht being raised with raffles & prize drawers etc. We are donating a free Divemaster Course, & there are IDC's & liveaboard spaces to be won as well. There'll be a Mr & Mrs Koh Tao beauty pageant & there will be a turtle release with the 44 Miss Thailand entrants all in their bikinis, as nature intended, there will be a beach clean up, a concert, & Big Blue are actually going to be doing a quick 10 minute skit of Grease choreographed by Kymmie, performed by BB boys & girls & created by Barry with Lara in charge of costume, make up & set design. Should be a lot of fun. Save Koh Tao people & donate to a good cause!

Whale Shark at South West Pinnacle yesterday! Same one that has been swimming around the South of the island I guess. The Whale shark usually follows pretty much the same path when travelling through these parts. Usually we get wind of it when it comes up past Koh Samui through the Angthong Marine Park or at Sail Rock. Then it heads off to South West Pinnacle. This is where it does one of 2 things. It either heads straight up the West side of Koh Tao via, White Rock upto Green Rock & then onto Chumphon Pinnacle, or it goes from South West to Shark Island then up the east coast of Koh Tao over to Hin Wong & onto Chumphon Pinnacle. Either way it loves to hang out at Chumphon for a few days, sometimes a few weeks. You see! Everyone loves Chumphon!

19th March 2009-

2009-03-19Well there was another Whaleshark spotted yesterday & the day before at Shark Island. Another 5 meter one apparently. Not that we'd know as we went twice & missed it both times. & then there was a 2 meter Tiger shark seen at Green Rock yesterday as well. Yup. missed that one too! Looks like we're on a roll! Missed the Minke Whales, the Brydes Whales, the Whaleshark, the pods of dolphins & now the Tiger Shark. Bugger! Still mustn't grumble yet. After all this is just the beginning of this Summer's visitors.

The 'Plong Sai Yai Canadian' or 'Large Canadian Grotto' in Thai, is a cave filled with fresh water in the area of the Khao Sok National Park here in Thailand. It is an easy fresh water scuba cave dive. Cave Diving! The thought conjures images of delving into the dark depths of Cocklebiddy Cave on Australia’s Nullabor Plain or the sink holes of Mt Gambier. For the vast majority of sport divers this prospect is either too dangerous or simply not enjoyable. However, there is one scuba dive in a fresh water cave dive that is easy and doesn't require any complex training. This is the Plong Sai Yai Canadian in Khao Sok. 'Canada's Grotto' as us local's call it, is a limestone cave filled with fresh water. Many years ago it would have been above the water table, enabling stalactites and stalagmites to form. Then the water table rose, filling the cave with fresh water & oversized Canadians! Next trip departing on the 24th. & there's still 1 seat left. Going... going...

So DM Paul has done well by combining his Koh Samui Visa run with the hosting of the Miss Thailand Beauty Competition for Miss Universe being held in Samui today. Apparently the 44 final contestants have all arrived in Samui for the Final showdown to see who will be crowned Miss Thailand 2009. & Paul is going to there stuffing his face with Big Macs while soaking in the ambience of having 44 of Thailands most beautiful women parading themselves infront of him! You got to be pretty multi-talented to get a job working as a DM for Big Blue these days!

Wednesday 18th March 2009-

2009-03-18Tis the season to be... avoiding Triggerfish! They are after all known to nest and guard their eggs during periods of the full moon especially March, April & August & September. Triggerfish may be gregarious or unimposing, but during mating season (and during the full moon) the females of at least two species the Titan Trigger & the Yellow Margin Trigger can become extremely territorial in guarding their nests and thus aggressive, inflicting painful bites. The strong jaws each carry eight long, protruding, and chisel-like teeth in an outer row, backed by an inner row of six teeth. Usually the fish “bites and runs,” but some triggerfish have been reported to bite and not release. According to one knowledgeable Divemaster "It is common to have to strike the fish in some manner to get it to release. In the Gilbert Islands, a release technique is to bite the fish on the top of the head." So if you find yourself with a triggerfish stuck to the end of your fin, bite it in the head! Apparently this works for sharks, crocodiles & alligators too! Though offically no one has lived to tell the tale!

Big Blue Bar held their first official Striptease last night! Luckily for everyone it was a very PG striptease with Simo, Cory, Duncan & Rich revealing everything above the waistline! There was a little apprehension as to whether the boys would be putting on the Borat Lime Green Mankini's in celebration of St Patricks Day but luckily the Mankini's haven't come back from the wash yet. Still you got to feel sorry for Kymmie who was looking rather excited at the thought of having a plethora of lime green handsome hunks strip for her on her Birthday. Happy St.Patricks Day Ireland. Happy Birthday Kymmie. Happy you kept your drawers on boys!

Nice to see Alain, pronounced Elaine, continuing the tradition of Weird Beard Wednesdays! I think it must be some sort of Multilingual side effect; the irresistible urge to shave a weird & wacky design into ones chin beard! Last year our cunning linguist Hal held the mantle of Weekly Weird Beard Contender & could interpret Weird Beard Wednesdays into 7 languages. Unfortunatley Elaine can say weird beard Wednesday in 5 languages only but does have one hell of a weird beard today! Kind of looks like George Michael after a hot & sweaty session with Edward Scissorhands!

Tuesday 17th March 2009-

2009-03-17Koh Samui... for some its the crystal clear azure waters of the Gulf of Thailand. The sound of the gentle lapping waves. The coconut palm lined beaches. The varied and delicious local food, the lush tropical vegetation, the choices of many waterfalls, idyllic beaches, numerous Buddhist temples, sightseeing around the island on motorbike or car, trekking around inside the island by foot or by bicycle. Or maybe its the shopping or the golf, or the jet skis or the wide varieties of massage on offer. Or maybe for some its the chance to go to the cinema & grab a Big Mac meal at McDonalds. Ah a tropical island paradise. A Big Mac & a movie!

A baby whale shark has been found in waters off the eastern Philippines, raising hopes that the world’s first breeding ground for the creature may have been discovered, the World Wide Fund for Nature reports. The whale shark, measuring just 38 centimetres, was found in shallow water off Donsol in the Philippine province of Sorsogon. Local fishermen had tied a line to its tail and anchored it on a local beach so it would not escape. Whale sharks, which can grow up to 12.2 metres long, are the largest fish on the planet. Donsol is known for its large adult whale-shark population but it is not known to be a breeding ground. After it was examined by biologists the whale shark was taken to deep water and released. In spite of all the research being done worldwide on whale sharks, to this date no one knows where they breed or give birth. “The pup was so small, it was probably born here. For many years, scientists thought Donsol was merely one of many feeding grounds along the global network of marine highways where whale sharks cruised. This new discovery is the first indication that this coastline may actually be a birthing site." Isn't that cute!

Hi Jim, back in the cold and damp of the UK and recovering from the jet-lag, but thought it appropriate to say "Thank you" for all that Big Blue represents to me and my family. I read the BB blog very regularly as one way of staying in touch with what Amanda is up to and the overwhelming feeling I get is always the same, that BB is not just a business venture but is one big happy family! I was pleasantly surprised to find that your blog is entirely accurate in real life. The last three weeks I spent on Koh Tao were fantastic, not just because I was catching up with Amanda after so long, but because I was also treated as if I was part of the family. For that I am really grateful, to you and to everyone involved with Big Blue! Next time I e-mail I will revert to a bit of 007 banter but this one is a sincere sentiment ..... Thank you! Kind regards, Don Bond.

Saturday 14th March 2009-

2009-03-14Living on a small tropical island like Koh Tao means every now & then when something major needs to be done to the islands power supply or water supply certain parts of the island shut down for a few hours. It doesn't happen too often & we do try & notify everyone staying with us when it does happen but sometimes people for one reason or another just don't get the message relayed & then end up in the most awkward situations. Just ask the girl in Bungalow 5 who looks like she's just seen a monster who made a mess on her head!

'Four Little Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.' What on earth is happening to our DM team. They are dropping like flies! As you know Andy ended up in hospital in Samui having the doctors trying to photograph his innards! And then last night Amanda came down with a spell of 'overworked, dehydrated, no sleep & overknackeredness' Knackeredness & had to be admitted to the island doctor. Whats going on! Who keeps bumping off my DM's! I bet its one of our almost ready to be signed off DMT's.

Each year Koh Tao is host to the Underwater world Festival. This year, the festival will run for two days and two nights, march 21st/22nd with local and international bands, dancing, entertainment, food, games, history and educational booths, and day time activities such as volleyball and water jousting. The money raised from the festival goes towards social and environmental projects on the island conducted through the Save Koh Tao group. Last year's profits went to the construction of a new school building, and funded part of the Koh Tao Biorock 2008 Project. Big Blue Diving will be actively participating in this event. We will run a reef and beach clean up on the 21st on Sairee Beach. On the 22nd, we will be on stage with a choregraphy by some of our staff and DMTs. And finally, we have two "volunteer" contestants for the Mr. and Mrs. Save Koh Tao pageants! So please have a look at the following link:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/event.php?eid=57483605527 Hope to see you there.

Friday 13th March 2009-

2009-03-13An activity that only a decade ago was widely considered to be beyond the scope and purpose of recreational diving, technical diving has now come in from the cold to play a leading role in the development of practices that have opened up a whole new world of exciting underwater discoveries and possibilities. Although still regarded as a niche component of the recreational diving market, the demand for technical diving training is growing rapidly, especially here in Koh Tao. & now it appears Cave diving might take off in a big way too! Both technical diving & Cave Diving still arouse alot of curiosity especially form those who wonder what it is that drives otherwise seemingly sensible people to want to commit themselves to a challenging activity fraught with risk? Apparently its the chicks!

When you spend your life in the water, I guess you tend to develop a good intuition for its subtleties. One of the most important things Professional divers have to be able to learn is how to blow bubble rings. Its a tricky skill but once mastered is worthy of all the ooh's & aah's divers who have never seen it give it. Even dolphins have been known to go ooh aah & have even been observed creating their own bubble rings by exhaling air carefully in the middle of the vortices caused by the motion of their fins through the water. This neat demonstration of fluid mechanics, is not only fun to do but it also looks good and really ups your underwater street cred!

So Dan comes out of hospital today with his titanium hand, but only to be replaced by DM Andy who seems to have gone into hospital with some form of a nasty kind of stomach problem. Sounds delightful! & meanwhile Helen is on a visa run with Kelli, Canada is in Pattaya learning how to give a good servicing, & G is still on this IDC with Craig! On top of that we have boats load of customers, a whole truckload of Freelance Instructors with a gazillion questions, the History Channel TV crew, a broken longtail, I can't find the Nitrox exams, Ugly doesn't seem to be very well, the neighbours are complaining that every time it rains they have to close their Restaurant because of all the water run off from our AC Building, & I haven't had a large Chang for 10 weeks or a cigarette for 4 months! No wonder I'm bald!

Thursday 12th March 2009-

2009-03-12Yvonne is back from her very exciting Liveaboard trip aboard the Manta Queen, cruising the 9 beautiful islands of the Similans & then the Surin Islands as well. Nothing but eating, sleeping, sunbathing, reading & diving! Sounds like heaven. Wake up have pre-breakfast & then a dive then breakfast & then a dive, then lunch, then a dive, then afternoon tea then a dive & then dinner a few beers to round off your day. Sunshine, scantilly clad females, & scuba diving. Throw in a bit of slap & tickle & you've got yourself the ideal holiday! Ja!

Our painted Canadian is up in Pattaya this week getting qualified to service & fix compressors. A very useful skill to have under your belt especially if you want to be working in Scuba Diving. Just a shame you have to go all the way up to Pattaya to learn how to do it! But once certified Canada will be able to give our 5 compressors a fortnightly going over thereby insuring our compressors don't break down about the time they usually do... the day after the Full Moon Party! All we need now is someone to become an outboard engine mechanic who can service our ferry boats outboard engines & stop them from breaking down every full moon & we might be getting somewhere. Anyone know how to fix friggin' outboards?

Got to love those Full Moon rushes! 100's of people all arriving on the island all at the same time looking somewhat accusingly at us because we have run out of rooms. Sorry guys but I only have what I have. & there's only a certain amount of rooms on Sairee Beach & when they go you need to dig a little deeper in the pockets to afford the AC rooms in Sairee Village or the posh bungalows along the beach. But its really not my fault if you didn't book ahead! & I know you've been partying hard for the last couple of days & I know you are hot & I know you are tired, but losing it with the locals isn't what I'd call the best way of finding accommodation. Everybody be cool. We'll do everything we can to help you, just be cool!

Wednesday 11th March 2009-

2009-03-11Whaleshark at Hin Wong Pinnacle! About time too! It must have been at least a week since we saw our last whaleshark. & what great timing too! This Friday Big Blue & Ace Marine Images will be taking out a camera crew from the History Channel to do some diving at Chumphon Pinnacle in the hope of seeing a Whaleshark. Not quite sure what its got to do with the History Channel, but hey who am I to argue. If a well respected TV Documentary company want to come out & dive on our boat then who am I to stand in their way? Still I wish it had been National Geographic or Discovery. Bet the whaleshark does to. It might possibly feel a little threatened if it knew it was being filmed on the History Channel!

Not quite sure what the fascination of wearing Speedo's actually is. It seems to me that prancing around in your smalls is something that should only be done at home & without the presence of mirrors. Why some men insist on walking around the beach, the resort, through the town & in some restaurants with nothing but their 'Budgy smugglers' is beyond me. & how come some nationalities seem to be so good at it! Well don't worry ladies here at Big Blue we are a No Speedo zone. You might catch the odd Instructor wandering around in their Mankini from time to time but you'll never catch us in our speedo!

The first Full Moon Party either went off in 1987 or 1988, no-one is really sure; and it was someone's birthday. It was such a good party that the same crew met up again at Paradise Bungalows and partied under the next Full Moon. From there on the party grew to be a mecca for travellers in the 90s and then became the global dance music festival that it is today, attracting thousands of visitors from every walk of life. There are now over 10 major sound systems on the beach playing everything from psy-trance to drum and bass with each one representing a different genre. Crowd sizes vary from around 8,000 in low season getting up to 30,000 in the high season. The expected number to arrive on Koh Tao over the next couple of days will be somewhere in the region of 10000 people! Hope you've all booked!

Tuesday 10th March 2009-

2009-03-10So what does one do in Koh Tao when they aren't diving? How about snorkelling! At Thian Og Bay or known locally as Shark Bay, or Rocky Bay you can even dive with Sharks! Heaps of them! Are they big? Up to two meters. Are they dangerous? No, not under normal circumstances. Will my heart beat faster when I see one? Why else would one want to snorkel with sharks? These are Black tip, and White tip reef sharks. They look just like the real thing, but are essentially harmless. Much of the coral here was severely damaged a few years back, and is in the early stages of recovery. That does make it an ideal opportunity to spot cruising sharks especially in the deeper water in the middle of the bay. The rocks at either side of the bay also give some excellent snorkeling. Popular with longer term farang residents as well as the Thais themselves, Rocky Bay can sometimes get busy, but I've yet to see it crowded... other than with sharks!

Unbelievably tragic news emerging from Phuket, which I'm sure most of you have already seen or read about in the news about our friends at Dive Asia in Phuket who had their brand new Liveaboard topple over in an unexpected storm causing the boat to sink with what is believed to be 6 customers & 1 staff still on board. I have ahd a few emails from you checking to see we are all Ok as we do have staff working in the Similans & as you know Yvonne is out there now & I'm very relieved to let you know everyone we know is safe & sound. For our friends at Dive Asia & for the friends & families of those missing our hearts & thoughts go out to you. A truely tragic event.

Unlucky to our Big Blue Volleyball team who failed to retain the cup after last year's heroic win. This year we were beaten in the semis by the semi professional boys from Bans. Of course I don't want to make excuses but if Instructor Dan had been able to play that night instead of hanging around the Doctors clinic with a broken hand we might actually have won! Yes Dan has broken his hand & is in hospital having a Titanium rod inserted. He broke his hand doing some sort of synchronised motorbike dance with his mate from home Steven. Pair of synchronised Ponces! Hope you feel better soon Dan!

Sunday 8th March 2009-

2009-03-08Gentleman if there is one reason to do your diving with us here at Big Blue then it really must be in part, due to the amount of extremely attractive barely dressed young ladies wondering around the place. We all know of course how drop dead gorgeous our lovely team of female Instructors DM's are. And you can't miss our bevvy of beauties in our DMT's & then of course the very many stunners we have who learn to dive with us. Take for example Jarah Mariano who did her Open Water Course with Yvonne a few weeks ago. Now a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model. Just one of our many Big Blue Honeys. Congratulations Minnie! You look amazing!

I recently asked one of our newly certified DMT's to write something about their course: The DM course…" For me one word sums it up “exceptional” I have had an outstanding experience during the past 11 weeks, I would without any hesitation recommend this course anyone with any interest in diving. Whether with plans of becoming a working professional or just as self advancement this experience will give them a real insight not only into the workings of a well run dive operation but also into themselves. All of the staff at Big Blue from the boat boys to the mentors have earned both my respect and an enormous amount of gratitude, never was any question to stupid to be answered and never was a request for help turned down. To the instructors I assisted on open waters a huge thanks, it was a privilege to see new divers take their first breaths underwater in the hands of people whom genuinely care but at the same time who can look in six directions at once whilst holding the reg in one student and the weight belt of another, should I go on and do my IDC it will be in large part due to those assist’s again thank you. To the DMT’s I shared the “board” with, a salute, a cold beer and good luck to each and everyone of you, from lectures to skill circuits and from stress test’s to my DM challenge. To the Mentors and instructors in general, you’re the “best” the results of your guidance are the best testimonial you will ever have or need, whether newly qualified divers or cocky new DM’s they got the best. Not sure I can really ever tell my friends back home I hade a French mentor without being called gay but thanks “G” it was cool! Finally to the Dm’s… the “grunt’s” of the diving world without whom the boats would stay tied up and the tanks, weights and regs would all be in the wrong place, I take my hat off and will always owe you all a beer. Again big thanks to all it was the time of my life…" Thanks a lot Andy & Fiona, look forward to seeing you both again soon.

I'd just like to thank Instructor Rich & DMT Hannah for nominating themselves as this years representatives for Big Blue Divings Mr & Mrs Save Koh Tao. Last year we had Darren Hasselhoff Buckland as our Mr Macho Man & Heather came as the always beautiful Miss Koh Tao. Of course neither of them one but if I remember correctly we did win the Best male Beer Drinker & female beer drinker- Ally won both! This year we will be dressing our Big Blue Models in recycable materials. Hannah will be dressed in Sea Weed & Rich will be wearing his boxers inside out & back to front! The original in recycable!

Saturday 7th March 2009-

2009-03-07'Every time you see him, The Hammer's just so hype, He's dope on the floor & he's magic on the mike! You can't touch this. Break it down. Stop. Its G time!' Congratulations Monsieur G Hammer (or MG Hammer) for winning last nights Pop Idol at the Big Blue Bar. An unprecedented turn out & surely one of the most memorable nights on Koh Tao. G sang & danced his way to the finals as if he was MC Hammer himself! A fantastically gutsy performance which brought the place down. & a very worthy winner. 'Its Hammer, go Hammer, MC Hammer, Yo, Hammer & the rest can go & play!" Well Done MC G!... can't touch this...But you can download it!

Anyone looking for work? I think I can help. Rick- Leader of our Westside Massive- needs someone till the end of the season. The suitable applicant needs to be able to work the shop about once or twice a week. Shifts are from 11am to 9pm. They will need to visit Koh Kho Khao island from time to time to see the hotels there and keep up relations & work our new account at a 5-star resort. And they will need to staff our new office from about 4pm to 8pm, starting april 1st. They will staff our Big Blue Khao Lak office about once a week, go to Koh Kho Khao about 3 times a week, and then April 1 they will start to staff the 5-star resort office. The position includes free fun diving in the Similan & Surin Islands. The person we're looking for would need to be able to ride the company scooter,be good with office work, know how to use a computer, is a good speaker & can talk to people comfortably or is outgoing.They need to know about diving & it would be nice if they had previous sales experience. & finally & most importantly isn't an idiot. This has proven harder to find than i thought it would be! All applicants please send their Resumes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I got given a very fascinating breakdown of how Andy, a recent Divemaster in training, now Jedi Divemaster, spent his DM training with us over the last couple of months. Andy spent 62 days learning how to be a Divemaster. In that time he did 154 training dives with us, & since certifying has done an additional 24 dives to gain experience. Coming to a total number of dives of 178 or just under 3 dives a day on average for the grand old sum of just 140 baht per dive. Of that 62 days training he has spent just over 5 days total underwater & only 1/2 a day total having sex! Last I heard Andy was sleeping in the spare room!

Friday 6th March 2009-

2009-03-06Inviting all non divers, divers and professionals. What are you waiting for? Do you dream of living the dive life but haven't taken the plunge? Want to spend your days diving instead of sweating it out in an office? If so, now's the time to jumpstart your career as a PADI Professional by entering the 2009 Go PRO Challenge Contest. To enter simply complete a Professional-level PADI certification (Divemaster or above) before 30 September 2009. Then, submit a home video (or captioned photo) describing “Why I Became a PADI Pro.” Submit the winning home video or photo and you’ll win the $10,000 US prize. The PADI Pro who submits the most passionate testament to living the dive life as a PADI Pro will win the contest and the $10,000 US. A First Runner-up Prize of $1,500 will also be awarded. & if you mention how great it was to do your course with us at Big Blue we'll throw in a large Chang & a Big Blue takeaway pizza! Hmmm almost better than the PADI prize!

Its Pop Idol at Big Blue Bar tonight. Always a favourite when you get the Instructors & DM's up on stage to embarrass themselves silly. Last time we hosted the Big Blue Pop Idol we had Canada singing a very heartfelt rendition of Bright Eyes & what could be funnier than that! Maybe a duet! Dan & Kymmie with Rene & Renate's famous classic 'Save your love my darling save your love' Or how about Corey with his version of Percy Sledge's absolute classic Ballad " When a man loves an 'older' woman".

So the number of tourists coming through the main international airport in Bangkok is down 20% from last January. The worlds economic problems has led to the massive decline in tourists from Japan down 32%; UK down 9%; US Down 13%; China down 36%; Germany down 8%; Korea down 53%; France down 4% and Russia down 33%. The continent of Africa down 21%; Oceania down 19%. The Americas fell 13%! Europe was down 12%. Big declines were registered in Spain 33%, Sweden 17%, Belgium 14%, Norway 14% and Ireland 12%. In comparison one country has increased the amount of tourists coming in to Thailand up 90% from last year. Which means we are now going to be seeing a whole new wave of tourists coming to Koh Tao to learn to dive. So in order to avoid our own economic crisis we shall be focusing our advertising towards the fastest growing new tourist to Thailand ... The United Arab Emiratesianish, up an unbelievable 90%!

Thursday 5th March 2009-

2009-03-05One of the very first things you'll notice when you arrive in Koh Tao at this time of the year is the overwhelming sound of Cicada's. These not so little bugs spend up to 17years under ground as nymphs till one day they shed their skin & become the noisiest bugs in the world. In fact the sound carried by a male cicada can travel up to a mile. They actually make the loudest sound in the insect world. & when 1 starts they're all at it! But before you get too annoyed remember the noise is made to attract a mate & you know how much noise some people can make, like Yvonne, when they're looking for their mate, so why can't Cicada's be that noisy too?

Australian Geographic magazine is sponsoring an unusual competition - the construction of an underwater house where aquanauts may stay for weeks without leaving. The first underwater mission was successfully completed by a trained aquanaut and lasted for 13 days. The 8 by 10 foot under-sea home is constructed from metal parts and maintains healthy air pressure and oxygen levels to recreate living conditions in the atmosphere. The special chambers supply oxygen to the room, and filter out the carbon dioxide produced from breathing. Last but not least, this sea house has a supply of food in the fridge and is equipped with a bathroom. Sounds like our Fan rooms last Monsoon season!

Introducing Big Blue Diving's Noodle run! (Thanks Andy:)) For you certified divers out there who don't want to get up at the crack of dawn but would like a bit of a later start then I think we have just the thing for you! 10am departures! We'll do our first dive wherever the best viz & conditions are & then we'll have a Pot Noodle (hence the imaginative marketing name- the Noodle Run) for lunch during our surface interval & then a second dive wherever the wind takes us. Should be back on land by 3pm just in time for pre-beer o'clock!

Wednesday 4th March 2009-

2009-03-04Twas the week before Full Moon & all through Koh Tao not a creature was stirring except for a ... Big Blue DM! Looks like Amanda has been doing what is needed to keep up good international relations. After all we are about to be inundated with our friends from Japan who shall be descending on us for Golden Week later in the month, so what better way to keep the Japanese end up. And who could do a better job than our Saintly Amanda. Sorry... Our not so Saintly Amanda! More like our 'Yuta Saintly' Amanda (nudge nudge wink wink).

Glorious weather we've been having. There was a couple of days where we had a spot of rain but it never lasts long. Just stays long enough for a beer in the bar & then its all over, unless you want another beer in which case it rains again! The sea is flat, the water is clear, the cicada's are singing & the beach is awash with bikini strewn lovelies. Have I died & gone to heaven. Bugger. No I haven't... I got a meeting at 6 with the Instructors. Aw shucks & in my head it was all going so well!

So in South Africa the most amazing events are happening right now as we read this. Each winter, cool ocean currents drive millions of sardines northwards along the eastern coast of South Africa. These immense shoals, squeezed into this narrow cold-water corridor, provide an incredible feeding opportunity for the predators that live in and around these waters. Thousands of sharks and dolphins, as well as elusive Bryde's whales, Minke Whales & Gannett birds are feasting on a banquet of sardines. And for those of you who got the heads up from me earlier in the year & are there right now enjoying this most amazing live action scene we only have 4 words for you - You Lucky Lucky B@#%*@#^'s!

Tuesday 3rd March 2009-

2009-03-03Big Blue Diving is the only Dive center in Thailand who can certify you as a PADI Cavern Diver. We can only take a handful of people each trip & since our next trip is now actually over booked we've had to run a concurrent trip! So having filled up the last couple of spaces we need another 3 people to fill up the overspill! Who'd have thought putting on all that kit & clambering around through dark flooded caves while underwater could be so much fun!

I have just finished reading 'The Swarm' by Frank Schatzing. It has to be the very best book I have ever read! In it whales begin sinking ships. Toxic, eyeless crabs poison Long Island's water supply. The North Sea shelf collapses, killing thousands in Europe. Around the world, countries are beginning to feel the effects of the ocean's revenge as the seas and their inhabitants begin a violent revolution against mankind. In this riveting novel, full of twists, turns, and cliffhangers, a team of scientists discovers a strange, intelligent life force that takes form in marine animals, using them to wreak havoc on humanity for our ecological abuses. Soon a struggle between good and evil is in full swing, with both human and suboceanic forces battling for control of the waters. At stake is the survival of the Earth's fragile ecology, and ultimately, the survival of the human race itself. This gripping, scientifically realistic, and utterly imaginative thriller, will keep you in tense anticipation until the last suspenseful page is turned. Read it now- Frank Schatzing's book- The Swarm.

So after the success of last nights sunset & night dive at Chumphon Pinnacle & todays rip roaring Shark Safari trip with Yvonne, the team are now organising a dawn run to Chumphon to be there descending on the dive site as the sun comes up! At that time of day there are always heaps more sharks, way less divers (if any) & a chance to see Chumphon in all its naked splendor, standing tall & proud! What else would you expect at that time of the morning!

Monday 2nd March 2009-

2009-03-02Today, we organize a trip that is a first in Koh Tao history: 2 dives on Chumphon Pinnacle. One at sunset, one at night. Imagine the sun coming down on thousands of barracudas, fusiliers, rabbitfishes and malabar groupers. And just there, out of the blue (or is it the black?) comes the largest of all fishes… aahh, just imagine!

Shark day tomorrow with Yvonne. Nehh?! This follows Hailey’s awesome presentation from last week and the projection of Rob Stewart’s Sharkwater. Yvonne is our in-house Shark specialty instructor and she’s gonna spend the morning delivering even more sharkish knowledge to a group of lucky students. In the afternoon, the whole group gets to go looking for sharks at Rocky Bay while Canada gets to stay home and do the dishes. In the end, they receive a certification and a nice looking Shark Diver specialty card. The idea of this course is to broaden people’s knowledge about one of the world’s oldest and unfortunately most misunderstood creatures. After all, in Canada’s own words, Yvonne is a very misunderstood instructor and that’s why she has to talk so loud!

Craig started his IDC today with G staffing it. 13 candidates for Koh Tao IDC group on this session, who said anything about a crisis? Yvonne is on her way to Khao Lak for a week to work on a liveaboard. Canada is doing a compressor repair course soon. Deano is missing his parents. And Cory has just been casted for the Koh Tao version of the “Graduate” to take Dustin Hoffman’s old part. So here’s to you Mrs. Robbinson…


By the way, did I mention that France defeated Wales in rugby on Friday?

Sunday 1st March 2009-

2009-03-01Well its gone a little quieter over recent days. In fact the last week of February has felt a little like monsoon without the inclement weather. After all its nothing but sun every day, flat seas, great viz a whale shark at Sail Rock, Minke Whales at Chumphon & Brydes whales at Southwest. And this is usually a very busy time of the year for tourism too. Oh dear I do hope that doesn't mean the economic crisis has finally hit us here in Koh Tao as well. I guess if it has then I can get some time to do some diving at last! Ah the power of positive thinking! Hold on Whales I'm coming!

G is going to be taking Emmanuelle diving today. Sadly Emmanuelle, a lovely french filly, had a very nasty accident a few years ago which has left her in a wheel chair for the rest of her life. But with drive, enthusiasm, & an ability to make a positive out of every negative Emmanuelle is travelling the world & is here to dive! & she's come to the right place. So today our Dashing Frenchman will be showing Isabelle what an unforgettable experience she can have; the extra dimension diving offers to a physically challenged individual is awesome. Whenever we dive we take for granted the sights, sounds and sensations of being underwater. For many physically handicapped divers, some or all of these sensations are heightened and diving provides a unique opportunity to move freely, weightlessly and without restriction. Enjoy your day G! Enjoy the experience Emmanuelle!

The next time you think you are having a bad day... Fire authorities in California found a corpse in a burned out section of forest while assessing the damage done by a forest fire. The deceased male was dressed in a full wet suit, complete with SCUBA tanks on his back, flippers, and face mask. A post-mortem revealed that the person died not from burns, but from massive internal injuries. Dental records provided a positive identification. Investigators then set about to determine how a fully clad diver ended up in the middle of a forest fire. It was revealed that, on the day of the fire, the person went for a diving trip off the coast some 20 miles away from the forest. The firefighters, seeking to control the fire as quickly as possible, called in a fleet of helicopters with very large dip buckets. Water was dipped from the ocean then flown to the forest fire and emptied. You guessed it. One minute our diver was making like Flipper in the Pacific, the next he was doing the breast stroke in a fire dip bucket 300 feet in the air. Apparently he extinguished exactly 5'-10" of the fire. Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed!

Monday, 06 May 2013 08:07

February 2009

Saturday 28th February 2009-

2009-02-28Well we've got 2 maybe 3 spaces left on next months Caving trip to Khao Sok National Park. Canada is obviously going & Jim reckons he's going & now Ian from Australia is flying all the way out to Thailand just to do this cave trip with us before he then flies all the way back Downunder again. & then John from Siam Dive and Sail based in Phuket will join us as well for his second trip. & then there's 2 or 3 spaces left to fill! Its a trip of a lifetime guys so who's coming with us? Next trip departs March 26th for 4 nights though we're still up in the air as to whether we want to come back or stay a few days longer!

Its another Koh Tao beach clean up today organised by Helen & G. Today we have over 30 divers coming out with us this afternoon for a free dive & an opportunity to give a little back to the island by removing Maehaad Bay & Reef (where all the islands Catamarans & Ferries come in every day to drop off the tourists), of its underwater filth! So you can expect heaps of plastic bags, discarded clothing, batteries, cutlery mugs, pots & plates & if its anything like last year we might even find a portable record player or an Armitage Shanks toilet bowl! USe the bins people & Save our Seas!

A bizarre, psychedelic fish that bounces on the ocean floor like a rubber ball has been classified as a new species, according to a scientific journal. The frogfish - which has a swirl of tan and peach zebra stripes that extend from its aqua eyes to its tail - was first discovered by scuba diving instructors off Ambon island in eastern Indonesia. The fish - named 'psychedelica' - is a frogfish of the genus, Histiophryne. The fish's stripes were probably intended to mimic coral. It has fins on both sides of its body that have evolved to be leg-like. But it has several behavioral traits not previously known to other frogfish. Each time the fish strike the seabed, for instance, they push off with their fins and expel water from tiny gill openings to jet themselves forward. Coupled with an off-centered tail, it causes them to bounce around in a bizarre, chaotic manner. It is an exciting discovery. 'I think people thought frogfishes were relatively well known and to get a new one like this is really quiet spectacular. It's a stunning animal, & it also speaks to the tremendous diversity in this region and to fact that there are still a lot of unknowns here - in Indonesia and in the Coral Triangle in general.' The fish, which has a gelatinous fist-sized body covered with thick folds of skin that protect it from sharp-edged corals, also has a flat face with eyes directed forward, like humans, and a huge, yawning mouth.

Friday February 27th 2009-

2009-02-27Bit of excitement here on the high seas! The 2 whales that have been gracing us with their presence over the last few days were actually seen being chased down by a very mysterious fishing boat with a very long harpoon looking implement seen threateningly off the bow of the ship! Luckily before any harm could be done, this wonderful country's boys in Blue were out at the scene immediately & were last seen boarding the suspicious looking fishing boat in a threatening manner! Since then both whales have been seen again. Not by divers though but by those coming across from Chumphon on the ferries. So if you are coming over soon keep your eyes peeled for 2 lucky to be alive minke whales!

Wow. Got to go & give Canada an enormous hats off for all the work he has done on our www.bigbluetech.net website. Even the wonderful people at Lonely Planet have recognised this & have chosen the Big Blue Tech News blog for inclusion between 5 others in the “Theme Blog” category. Not only is this a great bit of recognition for Big Blue but also its a huge bit of recognition for Koh Tao & for scuba diving be it recreational or technical in general. Voting will close at 12am on Wednesday 20th March 2009 Pacific Time USA. You can find the link here, we’re the only diving one on there! Please visit the link and cast a vote for us. It takes a second but would mean a lot for us all here at Big Blue & of course for Canada too.

Not sure who wrote this on the Lonely Planet Forum but I like it!
" For anyone thinking of diving in Thailand I thought I'd give some feedback about where I've been latley. In 2007 I did a liveaboard trip on Similian Islands...simply some of the best diving you can do. I am not sure exactly the company i did it through but the boat was Manta Queen..nice, modern,not too expensive (think it was 18000 baht for 4 days 4 nights all gear, food included...great staff and such a brilliant once in a lifetime trip!! I checked out Phi Phi from a dive school in Koh Lanta..not bad there either..that was in October too the diving was great..Recently I have been on Koh Tao in gulf of Thailand...I tried out a few dive schools... but the best I think was Big Blue..very friendly,professional staff...really cool people,all heaps of fun and very good courses/ trips. You feel like part of a big family straight away..and lots of cool travelers are passing through (they have accommodation as well) After diving we would hang out at the bar and very easy to socialise..their boats are really nice too....

 
Thursday February 26th 2009-

2009-02-26Oh yeah. When you're hot you're hot! Diving at Chumphon today with Whales! Today we had a large Minke Whale breaching just away from the pinnacle. Breaching occurs when a whale flips itself entirely out of the water, twists in midair, and lands loudly on its side. You may think the cavorting mammals breach just to create photogenic moments, but it probably has more to do with communication, comfort, defense, or predatory behavior. Though I did hear once that Whales breach to loosen their bowels and that they often have a bowel release immediately following a breach. What a load of Minke poo!

Another great night out at Vibe last night. Massive Dave was there on the Barbie again dishing out the free burgers & sausages. Tim was DJing, G was being compere for Andy's Divemaster Challenge, & Deano, Sonia, Simon & Emily were getting sozzled to celebrate their SSI Instructor Upgrade. Meanwhile DM Paul fell over & landed on Marcel! & tonight its our Divemaster Trainee Night with an evening out with the Big Blue Instructors & Divemasters at the Bowling alley. I'm sure it will be a very sober event. Followed by an alcoholic one soon after. Speaking of alcoholics. Anyone seen Emily today?

And how nice is this..." Hi there I'm looking for Jim´s email address. I'm a friend of Paul Landgraver- (Owner/ Manager Wicked Diving, Thailand) and Joakim Hedelin- (Owner/ Manager Liquid Adventures, Khao Lak), and I have been working for them for 5-6 years and i want to go somewhere else and they told me that "all good instructors should do a few seasons at Big Blue Diving in Koh Tao!" So... I want to send you my resumé :).Cheers Robin." awww- you've made me blush!

 
Wednesday February 25th 2009-

2009-02-25Well I'll be a Monkeys Uncle! Not sure any of us expected that. At last nights Shark lecture we must have had over 100 people turn up to listen to what our Guest Speaker Hayley Unpronounceable- a Marine Scientist from Cairns, had to say about Sharks, their ecological role in the sea & what amazing creatures they are. Then afterwards we played Rob Stewarts prize winning Documentary on Shark Finning called Shark Water. Thank you everyone for coming. Thankyou Hayley Unpronounceable for taking the time to give us a shark presentation on your holiday, thanks Yvonne for organising everything & thanks to all of you reading this who know how important it is to protect this magnificent species. SOS- Save our Sharks.

Not the sort of thing you'd expect from an SSI Instructor Certifier but it couldn't have happened to a nicer Dutchman! Yesterdays Full Day Trip had Marcel & his band of SSI Dive Con Instructor Students Deano, Simo, Emilyo & Sonia-o doing their in water diving presentations. Now you'd of course expect nothing but sheer professionalism & total preparedness from this bunch. So how stupid did Marcel feel when he realised he'd forgotten to bring his dive bag with him & had to wear a shop wetsuit BCD & Reg & fins 2 sizes too small for him & a mask that squeezed that enormous dutch hooter of his across his face! Exce-SSI-vely stupid, hey but you looked great!

Not 1 but 2 Minke whales at Southwest Pinnacle this morning! Unfortunatley we weren't there but being the massively flexible dive shop that we are we have quickly organised a trip out there this afternoon & now have almost 20 people signed up in less than an hour! Hows that for organised! So divers - you're looking for a large underwater mammal that looks like it might hurt you if it landed on you... & his mate! Happy hunting! Sorry whales, wrong choice of words... Happy whale spotting!

 
Tuesday February 24th 2009-

2009-02-24Full Day Trip to Sail Rock today. I reckon it should be a great day if recent reports are anything to go by. There has been a whale shark there last week & yesterday a Brydes whale was seen measuring 12 meters long! Imagine swimming along and then bumping into a 12 meter long fish! They're not terribly common around these parts but because of all the hunting going on around the world it appears they may be hiding out! Remember there's no fleet fishing for 3 months in these waters around Koh Tao right now so the Brydes whale is probably getting in a really good feed about now! Umm... Fish & ships.

So its Shark Night tonight & if its going to be anything like last time we did this there might be as many as 100 people show up! So lets warm you up with a few interesting shark facts- 1. About 80% of sharks are not a threat to humans... Because that 80% of sharks are less then 1.8 meters long, and are classified as not a threat. 2. About 50-70 people are wounded by sharks per year, although about 10 die per year which is no where close to how many sharks we kill per year! We kill up to 100 million sharks, per year. Or I could exaggerate that number by writing it in numbers, 100,000,000 sharks are killed per year by humans, compared to the 10 humans killed per year. Hmmm... makes you think!

So Ian & Georgie have booked themselves a trip on a Liveaboard for 5 days & 5 nights 18 dives, the Similan Islands, the Surin Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai & Richelieu Rock for the all in price of just 23500 Bt per person including Marine Park Fee & Equipment! What a bargain! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get in on the same deal! Trip leaves on the 5th March! Ian & Georgie will get their own double cabin (ooh romantic!) hot water showers, 4 meals a day, an outdoor saloon, a sundeck & they will be guided by the old Big Blue Team of Joachim, Klaus, Keith, Claudio & Anna. Sorry Guys. Can't win 'em all!

 
Monday February 23rd 2009-

2009-02-23So Google Ocean reckon they might have found the legendary lost city of Atlantis 620 miles off the west coast of Africa near the Canary Islands! Google Ocean has found a perfect rectangle the size of Wales lying on the bed of the Atlantic Ocean nearly 3½ miles down. According to Plato who wrote about Atlantis, Historians, scientists & deep sea explorers reckon the host of criss-crossing lines, look like a map of a vast metropolis, enclosed by a boundary. described as a “dense wall” by Plato surrounding the great city, which is just like the rectangular perimeter of the seabed image. Plato told of a complex network of streets and buildings — again similar to the grid in the picture. He learned about Atlantis from Egyptian priests, whose records of the lost civilisation were scrawled in their temples. The ancient equivalent of Google!

Its Shark Week! Well Shark day. Well Shark night... tomorrow! Yvonne has organised our second shark night and this time our guest speaker will be Hayley a Marine Biologist from Cairns Australia. Everyone is invited to come & there will be a short lecture on sharks with some interesting facts like- Sharks never running out of teeth because as soon as one is lost another spins forward from the rows of backup teeth like a cyborg! Then after the lecture Yvonne will be showing the Documentary movie 'Sharkwater' which by the way if you haven't seen it yet you are depriving yourself of something essential. Then the next morning Yvonne will be leading the SSI Shark Specialty Course at Rocky Bay for any of you who want to come diving with sharks. Come one come all & remember- Only soft cocks eat shark fin soup!

Dear Mr. Donaldson, We wanted to write and thank you for a wonderful time at Big Blue Diving. Our family really enjoyed our instructor Deano. He is an excellent teacher and very professional. Yes, he is a funny guy, but when it came time to be serious he acted accordingly. We felt very confident having him with our family during our training. We also enjoyed Duncan and know that one day he will make a great divemaster. Thanks again.
Sincerely, Teresa Seelen and Family. 

 
Sunday, February 22, 2009

2009-02-22Good morning everyone! Some of us woke up feeling tired this morning after saying goodbye to Darren for most of the night. I can’t remember the last time my head felt so bad. But, as professional, I was at work at 9am as usual. No diving today obviously. We had a great time at the Big Blue bar with the usual dancing on top of the bar with the Koh Tao old school. All the newbies got to admire Darren’s Baywatch act as he was looking at the horizon with his old mates. Canada was once again managing our very sophisticated DJ equipment which consists of one iPod and one microphone and it was just like the good ol’ days on the bouncy floor, dancing to classic tunes such as “don’t stop believing”, “farenheit”, “sweet child o’mine” and many more. Later, everybody rushed to Moov for the Goodtime Adventures one year anniversary party. A lot of things happened as usual but I personally lost track and even if I did know, I wouldn’t say a word…

Speaking of Deano, his parents are visiting us right now and they brought the usual goodies from home, among other things. I’d never heard of welsh cakes before but I tried one that Deano’s auntie made and it was delicious. Being French, I’m always pleased to take a bite out of the Welsh. See you Friday!

Canada finished his Swedish celebrity rescue course yesterday and Andy filmed the last water session. The video featured Canada passively watching his students attempting to save lives in a true Sairee beach tradition, guest starring DMT Lara as the most frightening shark to ever set fin on Koh Tao. Thanks to Aussie James for his old costume but I’m not sure you’re gonna be able to use it again!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

2009-02-21This morning, we had a meeting with members of Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, people from Green Fins and Thai marine biologists. It was hosted by the Save Koh Tao group and about 40 people attended. It started with a very interesting presentation on coral watch and conservation by P’Niphon, one of Thailand’s most eminent marine biologists. As it turns out, 25% of Thailand’s coral reefs are located in the Surat Thani province (Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and the Ang Thong marine park) and only 16% in the Similans and Surin. Take that you west coast snobs!

Following was a presentation by the Save Koh Tao marine branch on our various projects, including Biorock the main topic of the day. It is a metallic structure consisting of 5 domes through which a current is sent to help coral grow 3 to 5 faster than it would normally. Hin Fai (electric rock) is located between Koh Tao and Koh Nangyuan. This lead to an open discussion on how Save Koh Tao and different government agencies such as the DMCR can work together.

After a quick lunch break, a lucky group of 15 people including Save Koh Tao representatives, DMCR and Green Fins members, P’Niphon and Big Blue’s Amanda, Colin and G set off on Navakid to dive on Hin Fai. The visibility was amazing and despite a slight current, we had a great dive and saw beautiful hard and soft corals on the artificial reef. It even made us forget that, like our friends on Banzai this morning, we could have been diving at Southwest Pinnacle with a whaleshark!

Friday, February 20, 2009

2009-02-20A new item for the Big Blue Tech museum of cool things you can take underwater: the full face mask. Actually, there’s 2! Full face masks are great for deep long cold water diving as they protect you from the cold. Very comfortable and easy to use, they include a regulator second stage so you don’t even have to bother with a mouthpiece. Canada and Oskar were trying them off the beach this morning. Well, Koh Tao is not exactly a cold water environment but it still looks really cool (rule number one of scuba diving) and we are all eager to play as well. To sign up for your full face mask course, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. These masks also have integrated radio systems so you can communicate with your buddy or the surface. Good thing is you can turn them off so you don’t have to listen to Canada mumbling the words to Journey’s hit “Don’t stop believing” while you’re hanging on the line during those long deco stops!

Big Blue is packed at the moment and we are using our three boats everyday. The diving conditions are fantastic and the weather is lovely. Confined water sessions are mostly done in Mango Bay where you can observe the most beautiful school of fusiliers on island, at a depth of 8 metres only! And if that’s enough, we sent another happy group of divers for a double Chumphon Pinnacle trip this afternoon. Our next Sail Rock trip is in two days. Fortunately, we have 23 DMTs right now and they are really helping us out with the load of people. So let’s give them a big hand!

Tomorrow, our old mates exiled on the West Coast are coming to Koh Tao. Marcel is crossing over from Surat Thani to cross over our latest team members that are only PADI instructors to SSI. Oskar, Soren and Dan will get to spend a few days with the Dutchman. Sonia is coming with her brother to breathe some Koh Tao atmosphere which she hasn’t done in a while. One week without the evacuation hotline phone in her hands, I’ll bet you that atmosphere will have a strong aftertaste of Singha! 

Wednesday 18th February 2009-

2009-02-18For over a year the good people of Koh Samui have known that one of the world’s biggest sports names has bought an address there. David & Victoria Beckham are now Samui residents though it's unlikely you'll see them bargain shopping down Chaweng High Street. Well its unlikely you'll see David but Posh might get snapped by the paparazzi pulling that face that looks like a cow with a hand up its arse! But apparently the Beckhams have pissed off the local monks of Samui by innocently killing bugs & mosquitoes with Victoria's Diamond encrusted Mozzie Zapper. A kind source for the Beckhams said: "The Beckhams were very keen to keep the mosquitoes out because they can carry disease, as well as being annoying."A spokesperson for the entire population of Thai monks responded by saying: "The Thai people are very keen to keep the Beckhams out because they offer nothing of value, as well as being annoying."

Well the diving at the moment is absolutely awesome! Water clarity at Chumphon is up to 30 meters & you are able to see the depths from the surface. There is a massive wall of chevron barracuda there, a large school of batfish, & the biggest groupers to be found in the Gulf of Thailand. We have even seen our first reef shark of the year there yesterday which means there will be plenty more to come. When they come they are big, fearsome looking sharks, some of them a couple of metres long, bigger than a frenchman - but they are harmless to divers, although of course they have to be treated with utmost respect, or they'll bite your nipples off!

Want a cheap flight to Koh Tao? We are a 4 hour ferry ride from the mainland port of Surat Thani. This isn't so bad, but the only cheap way of getting to Surat Thani before was a gruelling overnight bus ride from Bangkok which took around 12 hours and dumped you at the ferry terminal at 4 in the morning. Now www.airasia.com, the budget airline carrier that seems to be expanding its routes all over the continent, has started flying daily trips from Bangkok to Surat Thani - which means you can be at the port in a couple of hours and then catch the ferry. Much more civilized. Prices start from 499 Thai Baht - about $12 US! - although taxes will double that price to around 1100 Thai Baht. Even so, it's still a bargain. You could also catch a flight with www.bangkokair.com to Koh Samui and catch a ferry www.lomprayah.com from there to Koh Tao, which only takes a couple of hours as Samui is much nearer. Bangkok Airways have a monopoly on flights to and from Samui so their prices tend to be a lot more expensive.

Tuesday 17th February 2009-

2009-02-17Jealous as hell! The boys & Yvonne, are back from their caving trip & by all accounts it has been a massive success. Khao Sok is one of Thailands unspoilt treasures. A National Park with a massive lake in the middle of it & virtually unknown on the Koh Tao Backpacker circuit. Well not for long! With the enormous success of this last cave diving trip its time to subject this unspoilt paradise to the eyes of the world. Monkeys swinging from the trees, a beautiful fresh water lake with 20 meter visibility & a water clarity to rival anywhere in the world. Next trip is on 26th March & there's only 4 spaces available. Sorry make that 3. Think I've just decided to go myself!

Video: Cave Diving in Thailand

We have ourselves another celebrity diving with us right now. Probably unknown to all nationalities other than our Swedish buddies we have Mr Erik Blix hanging out at Big Blue for the next few days. Erik is a TV & Radio personality in Sweden apparently & has just signed up to do his Rescue Course with us. Now because he's the theatrical type & he's doing the course with 3 of his friends who are also thespians we've decided to make this one of the most theatrical courses we can engineer. & with Canada directing the Rescue Scenario & Heather from Ace Marine videoing the whole shannanigans this could be the end of Eriks illustrious career! Oh dear.

How about this for something different- Dead Sea Diving! It must be one of the most unusual and unique scuba diving experiences in the world. Most divers don't imagine it is even possible at all. The amazing underwater scenery with its magnificent salt consolidation is breathtaking. In a clear day you can expect to see the salt crystals shining like million diamonds. The best description is that it's like diving in an ocean of ice, but the temperature and the weight you are carrying on you, remind you you are not. Water temperatures vary between 18° C in January to 28°-35° C in August. Visibility ranges from 1 up to 20 meters. The Diving season is all year around. Be warned- don't dive with cuts- It smarts!

Monday 16th February 2009-

2009-02-16Well there have been a lot of crook necks about Koh Tao in the last few days. I think its because of the massive infestation of young nubile Scandinavian teenage fillies! All this head turning stretches neck muscles that haven't been used so often over the monsoon period. I actually question if there could be a more beautiful place than Koh Tao to be right now. The crystal clear flat waters on Sairee Beach, the tropical sunshine, the palm fringed beaches, & the beautiful buxom blond bombshells in their mini bikinis sunbathing topless outside Big Blue right now! Don't you just love Monday mornings!

The Fisheries Department yesterday issued a fishing ban in parts of the Gulf of Thailand for three months during the spawning season. The annual fishing ban, which takes effect from today till May 15, covers more than 26,400 sq km of sea including the seas around the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, & Koh Tao. The ban is expected to increase fish stocks in the Gulf as the fish can breed without harm from fishing gear! Destructive fishing gear and large fishing vessels will be banned from operating in the area during the three-month ban. Violators are liable to 5,000-10,000 baht or one year in jail or both. Hooray long live the fish... for 3 months!

Deano is off to meet the parents. His own actually. He's going to do a bit of Thailand sight seeing & then he'll end the trip with a night on the town in Koh Tao with them. Meanwhile DM Craig is back from his trip to Australia to be with his not so loved one anymore, & Andy Luckman is back as well, looking to be the next BB Trained DM to get work on the island. In addition to them, Simon & Jodie get back from their Similan trip tomorrow & Canada, Oskar & Yvonne all get back from their cave trip tomorrow as well. And today Helen gets back after she has been away on an excessively long dirty weekend romancing her beau for the last few days. Glad you've all had a great time guys & sorry if you find I've moved people into your houses while you were away but I totally ran out of room. My bad! Sorry!

Sunday 15th February 2009-

2009-02-15So waking up on this beautiful island paradise we call home to the sounds of Land Of My Father as the Welsh do themselves proud one more time as they equal an eighth successive win in the 6 nations over arch rivals....er......er...oh yeah England. So i guess the French are gonna be next on the agenda as Deano and G go head to head next Friday night both sitting and waiting along with both their mum's and dad's to referee the next chapter of the welsh temporary delusion of Grandeur!

So it definitely seems extremely busy here on Koh Tao with more and more people wanting places to stay here and to get their diving license so they can explore an underwater world which will blow your mind away, Especially with 30 meter visibility at all our dive sites right now. My advice is book ahead to avoid the disappointment and not missing out. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Its so funny to see a frenchman run around like a big pansy trying to work out what to do when you have a group of people waiting to be rescuers. Its easy my giant friend, press play on the DVD player like the rest of us duh !! Double Chumphon this afternoon with group of fun divers waiting to see if the big fish with white spots will be waiting and Emily i'm sure has lots of camera's at the ready to capture that moment with her Advanced students with fingers on the buttons, cross finger for you.

Saturday 14th February 2009-

2009-02-14Word on the street is that the reason the island looks like Swedens beaches in Summer right now is because a very famous Swedish bloke called Timbuktu is playing here on Sairee Beach tomorrow night for free! A Swedish rapper and reggae artist. He was raised in Chile and Sweden. He sings primarily in Swedish, and occasionally in English. He has released four albums and is firmly established as a considerable improvement to the dreadful rapping of the Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show!

Happy Valentines Day! The Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony is widely known amongst diving couples and tourists throughout the world as an annual event romantically organized on Valentine's Day. Bridal couples participate in a Thai Traditional wedding ceremony and perform marriage registration underneath the turquoise Andaman Sea. This coming 13th Anniversary of Trang Underwater Wedding is under the theme of, 'Love & Harmony in Us All' which signifies the love among us and the harmony with our surroundings. The bridal couple will also be participating in eco-friendly activities, for instance, releasing 'Corallimorphs', a colorful coral and planting the trees of love in a botanical garden. Corallimorphs reproduces very quickly in nature and benefits the eco-system by acting as a nursery for young sea creatures, such as shrimps, crabs and corals. Isn't that romantic. Crabs for Valentines!

Congratulations to Chris & Colin our newly certified DM's who did very well in yesterday- Friday the 13th- Divemaster Challenge. Chris looked a very suave & dapper Freddy Kruger till about his 3rd bucket when he really did start to look a little scarey. Colin on the other hand looked scarey from the start dressed like a bad doodle as Jason from the Halloween films in hockey mask and butchers apron. Well Done Boys. Now go out there, spead your wings & Divemaster!

Friday 13th February 2009-

2009-02-13Whaleshark Whisperer strikes again! I told you it would be going to Chumphon Pinnacle & lo & behold there it was, trying to hide behind a rabbitfish no less! Shame we weren't there to see it but at least we know it was there according to the reports of another dive boat in the area. Whalesharks have been seen around the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Eastern Pacific Islands of the Northern Galapagos, Malpelo, Cocos, the Revilligigedo Islands, the Sea of Cortez, Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Maldives, the Seychelles, western Australia at Ningaloo Reef, the east coast of South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Malaysia, Comores Islands and of course here in Thailand. Whaleshark whisperer says next siting will be tomorrow morning at Chumpon again! Anyone fancy a bet?

I didn't leave work yesterday till 10.30 last night! & why was that? Because at 8pm the Catamaran & the Ferry to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan arrived with 500 revellers all looking for a place to stay! Why o why Full Moon Party people don't you organise yourselves a little better & book yourselves accommodation in Koh Tao before you get here. Its the same problem today. Every one on Sairee Beach is full. There isn't a bed anywhere in Sairee & I have literally been through the phone book ringing looking for rooms for people and there are none. So word of warning to any one reading this who is planning on going to the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan & then coming to Koh Tao after- book ahead! My wife worries about me if I don't get home till 10.30!

Fancy a holiday but can't afford it? Wrong! Check out www.airasia.com I just booked me & the Missus a 3 week holiday to the Phillipines leaving from Kuala Lumpa for only 5000 Baht return for 2 people! Its a deal, its a steal. Its daylight robbery! Sale of the effing Century! What you still reading this for! You should be on the Air Asia site. You can even fly from KL to the UK for just 5000 Baht. No idea why anyone would want to do that but you can if you want! Offer is only valid till 15th Feb so everyone hurry up & get on it! See you all soon!

Thursday 12th February 2009-

2009-02-12So its the departure day of our very first Big Blue Caving trip to the Khao Sok National Park. This morning Canada took Yvonne & Oskar in tow & are off to meet John Williams of Lonely Planet Diving & Snorkelling Thailand fame for a 4 day jolly diving the infamous caves of Khao Sok! The course will be done on site in the national park over a 3 day period of 4 dives and academics plus dry land skills. This course will be conducted by Instructor Development Director Bruce Konefe and certification as a Level II Cavern Diver will be received after completing 4 dives and a final exam. Nice one guys! We are now Koh Tao's very first Cave diving school!

Well I might not be as pretty as the normal weather girl but I can predict the actions of a whaleshark! That Whaleshark I was talking about that the people on the Songserm Ferry saw was seen at Southwest Pinnacle yesterday morning! I'm like the Whaleshark whisperer! & yesterday she told me she'd be heading north in a few days after popping off for a bit of slap & tickle on its way to Chumphon Pinnacle. So if you want to see a Whaleshark then come to Koh Tao now, so you're here for our legendary Whaleshark trips to Chumphon Pinnacle! Guaranteed Whaleshark dive or your money back! Damn did I say that out loud!

How good for KohTao is that! If you look at the Lonely Planet home page there is a banner of self promotion with colorful ads down the right hand side of the screen & if you scroll half way down the page the ad reads-' Where to go in February - Casablanca for Valentines Day, Rio De Janeiro for Carnival & Koh Tao for the world-class diving!' Casablanca, Rio & Tao! Can you believe we are being compared with such legendary greats like Casablanca & Rio! A tale of Two Mighty Cities & one tiny little Rock! Haven't we gone a long way in a very short time! Gulp, for someone who's been living here 10 years it feels kind of spooky!

Wednesday 11th February 2009-

2009-02-11So for those of you who came to Koh Tao yesterday on the Songserm ferry it looks like you guys had yourself the perfect journey! Apparently there were about 100 dolphins seen swimming alongside the ferry as it set out from Surat Thani yesterday morning. & then on its way from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao it came across a Whaleshark! That's the first time I've heard that happen! So that means there will be a Whaleshark spotted around Koh Tao dive sites shortly. The smart money is on Sail Rock, Southwest Pinnacle or Shark Island! Better organise ourselves a Full Day Trip then!

So how about this for an idea. Construct an artificial island using plastic bottles collected from Koh Tao. The bottles would be put into cages that would be bolted together to form a floating platform, then soil & sand is placed over the cages and trees are planted to create an artificial ecosystem. The cages will be electrified like the Biorock, improving growing conditions for corals and clams. It could also act as a floating power source (wind, solar, wave) which could be moved around to power smaller Biorock structures. Its size will be 65 square meters large & because its floating it can drift around the island according to the conditions. We can also in latter years use it as a Marine lab for research & education & as a data collecting centre. & the cost of this idea? Well how does 300,000 Bt & 400,000 empty plastic bottles of water sound?

Salvagers claim to have found the world's most valuable wreck - a British ship sunk by a German submarine during the Second World War while laden with a $5 billion cargo of gold, platinum and diamonds. In a project shrouded in secrecy, work is due to start on recovering the cargo, which was being transported to the U.S. to help pay for military goods provided to Britain by the U.S. in the Second World War. The ship first sailed to a port in South America to drop off cargo and was torpedoed by a U-boat off the coast of Guyana.... Bugger!

Tuesday 10th February 2009-

2009-02-10Had a lovely morning around the other side of Koh Tao today diving the magnificent dive site of Hin Wong Pinnacle! Often over looked in favour of KT's more famous Dive Sites, Hin Wong can be a real treat with lovely colours, soft corals, fish we don't get anywhere else in Koh Tao like the razor fish & some funtastic trenches to swim along. Helps of course if the viz is 30 meters too! Time to plan another trip over to the east coast of Koh Tao to do Laem Thien Caves & Shark Island too. Any of you lot fancy coming?

Some time ago, a group of tourists found that the most beautiful moon was in Koh Phangan. They arranged a party along the crescent-shaped beach of Haad Rin to celebrate the Full Moon night. From then on, people from all over the world come to join the celebration. And now there are 7,000-10,000 people at the party each month. The party begins at dusk, when the round yellow moon makes its appearance over the white sand beach. As the evening progresses the beach explodes into a dancing frenzy of trance, techno, drum and bass, commercial dance and reggae. Jugglers and fire-eaters entertain the crowds as the night goes on and with the brilliant impromptu fireworks display, the party atmosphere is complete. There are no barriers here, no inhibitions, just people enjoying themselves with one unified intention, to rejoice in the magic that is the paradise of the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party! 'Put your hands in the air'

Well our techie boys are now bonding in the back room together learning how to blend gases. If you put more Oxygen in your tank than there is in the atmosphere upto a maximum of 40% then you can actually increase the length of time you stay at your maximum depth when you go diving. Its called Nitrox & it is the future of diving. In a few years from now courses will probably be conducted using Nitrox instead of air, so you can see the value in getting the qualification needed to mix the air in your scuba tank. Only downside is you got to spend a couple of days in the back room with Canada- The Mighty Gas Bender!

Monday 9th February 2009-

2009-02-09We're all off to Vibe again tonight to celebrate the 36th year of Darren's existence on this good earth! As always I'm sure there will be a plethora of pals & a gaggle of gals turn up to wish this man a Happy Birthday & make sure he can't remember a thing tomorrow. In fact so popular is our Dazza that Dean from Hed Kandi has agreed to play for 1 more night! How's that for a Birthday present! Nice one Darren. & rumour has it there's going to be a giant cake with an Ally popping out of it. Wouldn't that be nice. Big sloppy wet Kiss Ally! Manly Birthday handshake Darren!

Always dreamt of being a wildlife Photographer? Come dive with sharks, dolphins and whales, and learn the tricks of the trade from an award winning Wildlife cameraman. Gil Arbel from BBC's "Planet Earth" ,who is offering you the chance of a lifetime - to accompany, photograph and learn the trade from a pro. This June a small team will be leaving for South Africa, to shoot two incredible underwater scenes: First is the Sardine Run, and its predators. Among the players are hundreds of Copper sharks, Dusky sharks, Blacktip sharks, thousands of Gannets, thousands of Common Dolphin, hundreds of Bottlenose dolphin. Also to be seen are hundreds of Humpback whales and the Brydes whales. Many species of ray follow the sardines, as well as many bird species. Penguins and seals are frequently encountered. The second scene will be the shooting of the Great White Shark, the ultimate sea predator. As well as cage diving with these giants you will get a close up look at the highly athletic jumps that they make in pursuit of Cape Fur seals which they hunt in the area. This trip is a diver's paradise but the logistics of this trip are complex & include an ultra-light plane that will direct you to the Sardines, and securing shark diving cages. The cost of this trip will be divided amongst the team. Registration closes at the end of February. For this opportunity of a lifetime please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bazza is back, looking all refreshed & fighting fit! After a few weeks of Khao Lak singing with the Blues Brothers & dancing with the Manta's at Koh Bon. Perfect timing too. Its Full Moon Party tomorrow so we're expecting our monthly rush of party poppers in the next couple of days, & Canada, Yvonne, & Oskar are off soon to do their Cave diving trip in the Khao Sok National Park & Helen is off for a week long jolly with her chappy today as well. Perfect time to come back! Welcome home Baz!

Sunday 8th February 2009-

2009-02-08Last years Koh Tao environmental project was the Biodome- an electrically charged iron Dome which speeds up the growth of coral by 5 x! This year Nathan from Eco Koh Tao has come up with Buoyancy World! It'll be like an underwater Theme Park or Amusement park. The objctive is to construct a series of objects on land & submerge them to make an interesting fun dive site where new divers can be taken to practise their skills before being taken to natural sites that are currently being well over used. Objects will be made from garbage or recycled items which will promote the idea of re-use & also provide a research ground for new growth on different substrates! Like a wreck we'd be able to see what marine life gravitates to new structures & differing materials! Sounds funtastic! Lets make a Manta Coaster!

Well apparently 20Million people just got made unemployed in China alone & the headlines are of more people being made redundant every day! Well don't despair people. Become a Diving Professional. There are heaps of jobs out there & I get this type of email sent to me everyday- 'Hi Jim, We are based in Fiji and are currently looking for an Instructor and another Diver – could be a Rescue diver/Dive Con or another Instructor. If you know of anybody who would be interested, please could you ask them to get in contact with us. These positions will not be available for long as we need to fill them as soon as possible. They would be for a 3 month period with the possibility of being extended to 6 months. Thanks very much Jim for your help. Zoe Trickett, Business Manager, Reef Safari (Fiji), PO Box 9090, Nadi Airport FIJI ISLANDS'
So... anyone fancy a Diving job in Paradise??? Existing Big Blue Koh Tao staff need not apply!

So our Techie heads have set off for a day at Sail Rock today! Thats Monsieur Canada & his deux garcons, Guillaume & Jean Claude! (can you imagine 2 better french names!) They're off to plough the depths in excess of 50 Meters! To put that into perspective 50 meters would be the same height as a 17 storey building! Its cold dark, deep & dirty at 50 meters. Just the sort of place to send the French after their humiliating defeat to the Irish in last nights 6 Nations clash! Chortle, chortle! Guffaw guffaw! Smirk smirk!

Saturday 7th February 2009-

2009-02-07'Hello staff of Big Blue. I am Jan (the dutchguy) i did my Divemaster last year at Big Blue (march-April'08). It was a great experience. So i decided to do more with diving. I sign in for the Dutch commercial diving school.(NDC) And after a very very hard selection, i have been selected!!!! so in April i go for 3 months in training with the dutch marines. After that i have a job at www.duikbedrijfeuropa.nl ....A big career change from truckdriver to prof.diver so special thanks to all of you greetings Jan'
Man we are so proud & happy for you Jan! That's fantastic news! A massive congratulations to you from us all!

I came across this amazing photo of Golden rays migrating in the Gulf of Mexico which was taken by amateur photographer Sandra Critelli, in July 2007. Sandra Critelli, an Italian living in New Jersey was on a whale shark snorkeling expedition in the Gulf of Mexico when she noticed a group of migrating golden rays on their migration. Having gone over to the group they discovered that there were in fact thousands of them. Unbelievable photo! Imagine if she'd been in the water with them. Awesome stuff!

It was another great night out at Vibe last night with the DJ from Head Candy playing till the early hours of the morning! Great turn out, great music, & a free barbecue! & apparently the no 1 Swedish group Timbucktoo are playing here in Koh Tao next week as well. Cool! Koh Tao seems to be attracting a few big names here now! Paul Rutherford from Frankie goes to Hollywood has been coming here for years & The Red Hot Chilli Peppers did their Open Water Course here a few years ago. I'm going to write to Fatboy Slim & see if he wants to organise one of his legendary beach parties here too! I'm sure he'll come. He can stay in Bungalow no 1! I'm sure he'd like that!

Friday 6th February 2009-

2009-02-06Welcome back Emily! Our lovely Emily has been sunning herself stupid over on the Other Side for the last week or so! She's had 4 days & nights galavanting around the Similans & Surin Islands spotting Manta's juvenile Clown Triggers, Leopard Sharks, turtles, a vast array of ocean pelagics, a Barry, a Marcel & a Sonia! & apparently just missed a Simo & A Jodie! Sounds good the Similans! Except for the Manta's & clown Triggers sounds very similar to the marine Life we get in Koh Tao, though the Marcels, Sonia's & Barry's aren't seen over here as often as they once were!

So you are swimming and you get tired of floating in that horizontal position. What’s the way out? You could choose to just sink to the bottom and walk upright. The only problem then would be those stupid fins. Jokes apart, every diver would agree that fins – as necessary they may be underwater – make it terribly hard to walk (for instance while climbing boat ladders). The way out is the award-winning Amphibian Dynamic Scuba Fin. Designed by Designcraft and bronze winner at IDEA 2008, the Amphibian Dynamic Scuba Fin obliterates the need to drag stupid fins around. A handy mechanism on each fin is activated with the opposite heel and it readily transforms the fin into a shoe. The blade of the fin goes vertical and comes to rest against the diver’s fin. When someone wades into water, the opposite happens as water resistance opens up the fins in a matter of few kicks.

Its getting to that time of year again when we can't do Confined off the beach anymore so have to put everyone on the boats & take them over to the beautiful bays & beaches of Nang Yuan Island! If we can't do Japanese Gardens then we'll be at Mango Bay & sometimes we'll even venture round as far as Aow Leuk on the south of the island. Wherever we end up you can guarantee its a beautiful picture perfect bay or beach & there's fishies all over the place! Why would you even think about doing your Open Water Course in the pool when we have so many perfect places to take you to around Koh Tao? So today Dan & Helen 2 (soon to be christened Zoe to make Jims life easier) have hijacked a boat & are spending a very enjoyable afternoon at Mango Bay! & then when they've finished it'll be back to the Big Blue Bar for a sunset beer & a debrief! Doesn't sound too bad does it? Its got to be better than sitting stranded in a wintery British Blizzard!

Thursday 5th February 2009-

2009-02-05You got to love those legendary spontaneous parties where everyone goes out together & gets truely hammered! The sauce flows & everyone loses their inhibitions! & when I say everyone I mean everyone! Students, locals, DM's, DMT's & even Instructors! So should I go on? Should I spill the beans? Who did what to whom? Who snogged who? Which Instructor went off with which Divemaster in Training? Which DM fell asleep on their way home. Which customer woke up in someone else's room thinking it was their own? & who is the person that gave Jim the photos of last night to put on the Blog today?

So Simon & Jodie are off to Khao Lak for a jolly! The Liveaboard MV Octavia is setting off in a couple of days for 4-6 nights of sunshine, scuba, sleep & scoff! In fact it seems to be a bit of an old Big Blue staff jolly with a few of the old faces from years ago coming along like Joachim & Keith, & Guy "King of Pain" Veneer! Should be fun! Nothing but sun & sea, cheese & wine, isolated islands, pristine reefs & a reg a scuba tank & a bunch of old Big Blue alkies!

A 29 year old man has been left with the 'beak' of a needlefish stuck in his face after it leapt from the sea and impaled him below the nose. The man was admitted to the hospital after the fish hit him in the face, and left its toothy jaws wedged in the hole. The fish apparently leapt from the sea and impaled the man at the side of the nose. It's jaws hit with such force that they pierced his naval cavity, went through his maxillary sinus and stopped just short of the wall of his eye socket. Surgeons managed to remove the jaws of the needlefish and the patient was discharged with no further complications. In 2004, a patient checked in to an Eye Clinic five days after a needlefish impaled his eye socket. The fish caused a serious injury to the optic nerve as it tried to flap free, and pieces of bone from the fish's pointed jaws snapped off damaging the orbit of the patient's eye. In 2005, a 19 year old Hawaiian man was rushed into intensive care after a four-foot long needlefish impaled him in the chest while he was on a night dive. The man was rescued by his friend who managed to pull him into their dinghy and drag him for nearly a mile before getting help from a police officer. Big Blue Top tip! Don’t night dive!

Wednesday 4th February 2009-

2009-02-04A quick update on the weather then. Its sunny & beautiful here. Its blustery cold & miserable everywhere in Europe! By that I mean its hot & swimming in the ocean weather here. While its bitterly cold, arctic winds & howling gales in Europe! Here the need to even wear clothes is minimal whereas in Europe people are wearing all their own clothes all at the same time! So in summary- its hotter than balls here. & its ice encrusted balls over there!

The average diver at 10 meters in warm, calm seas can expect an average tank of air to last about an hour. But as any diver can tell you, scuba diving is anything but average. Deeper dives, stronger currents and chilly water can drastically reduce bottom time. New divers, a little panicky and prone to “panting” rather than easy breathing, have been known to suck a tank dry in 15 minutes. Obviously, increasing your physical fitness is one way to get more out of every breath, but even fit divers can find themselves breathing too fast or too shallow from the stress of diving. That’s where yoga comes in. Like scuba, yoga places emphasis on proper inhalation and exhalation, as breathing is considered the essential connection between body and mind. “Practiced regularly, yoga promotes deep, slow breathing, and teaches you how to calm your mind. Yoga also strengthens and stretches muscles that are important in diving. This all adds up to more quality time admiring the marine life on your next dive. So Diving with Big Blue & Yoga with Kester! Could there be a better combination?!

Well it must be a Blue Moon cos Jim is going diving! Its that special time of the month when demand from our customers to sleep in & do some good diving later in the day takes over! So its 2 dives at Koh Tao's No.1 Divesite, Chumphon Pinnacle, this afternoon & it looks like a pretty full boat. Canada is taking his French techies out for a soucisson or deux & there's a whole horde of Advanced divers & Fundivers all going out in eager anticipation at the Whaleshark we are all going to see this afternoon! Oh I do love those Blue Moons!

Tuesday 3rd February 2009-

2009-02-03Its a tragic day for Big Blue today. Our Resort Manager P'Lyn is off to run one of Koh Tao's newest, swankiest & poshest Resorts! I can't believe she is going to leave me after all these years but when you've got something quite as amazing as P'Lyn you just have to let them go & flap their wings once in a while & hope they'll come back! But its really no wonder she has been stolen from us. You are 1 in a million, you've been amazing P'Lyn & we shall all miss you! Damn that new swanky posh resort!

Well its obviously a week for feeling sorry for everyone out there. It was only a couple of days ago we had to send out our positive vibrations to Barry & the boys over in Khao Lak for having their vision underwater consistantly being disturbed by Mantas in there way & now our feelings of condolences must be stretched as far across the globe as England for the heavy winter & snows they are facing at the moment. You poor so & so's. It was only last night when we were all sitting around a beer watching the large bright red sun set behind the huge wobbly ocean that we were talking about you all over there in England & how cold & miserable it must be! & then someone bought a round of drinks & we changed the subject & started talking about girls & football! There's no point in feeling too sorry for you all!

Google Earth has expanded with the introduction of Google Ocean which is basically an Underwater map! Users can dive beneath a dynamic water surface to explore the 3D sea floor terrain. The map also includes 20 content layers, containing information from the world's leading scientists, researchers, and ocean explorers. You can now dive into the world's ocean that covers almost three-quarters of the planet and discover new wonders. You can not only zoom into whatever part of our planet's surface you wish to examine in closer detail, you can now dive into the world's ocean that covers almost three-quarters of the planet and discover new wonders. Approximately 70% of the worlds surface is covered by water and contains nearly 80% of all life, yet less than 5% of it has actually been explored. Google Oceans aims to let users visit some of the more interesting locations, including underwater volcanoes, as well as running videos on marine life, shipwrecks and clips of favorite surf and dive spots. So now folks you can dive Chumphon Pinnacle without even getting out of bed!

Sunday 1st February 2009-

2009-02-01I think we should all spare a thought for our poor friends & colleagues in Khao Lak who are at present spending every underwater moment diving with Manta Rays! Chinese whispers has it that Barry was out diving with 8 Manta Rays & Church has been so kind as to even name some of them after us on Faceboook. Its really unfortunate that we don't actually get Manta Rays here in the Gulf but they love hanging out there in the Similans & especially at the cleaning station in Koh Bon. Its a magical creature & well worth writing in to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out how you too can get to experience something as amazing as diving with Manta's. Nice 1 Barry! Nice 8 Mantas!

Canada is teaching G his Tech Diver Course today. Jean-Paul is also joining in the fun. & seeing as Canada's French is tres merde its a good job Guillaume & Jean-Paul are actually in the same class or it could have been diabolique for Jean-Paul who non comprends pas Canadian! But c'est bonne! Our Knight in shining amour' The gallant Guillaume has come to the rescue! Hurrah! Onions all round! Bonne Chance Canada!

Lots of new faces wandering around the place today! Sao our super shopgirl is off to work as our super Receptionist at our new Guesthouse & I've found Yo & Jo to replace her in the shop & to help fill the time shifts in over at our guesthouse too. Then in addition to Yo & Jo who'll help Kate, we also need to welcome Paul who is joining us in our DM team alongside Andy, Oliver, Amanda & now Paul. Paul was trained by Marcel in Khao Lak funnily enough but we won't hold that against him! So welcome to Big Blue Paul, Yo & Jo!

Monday, 06 May 2013 08:05

January 2009

Saturday 31st January 2009

2009-01-31As I sit here munching on a poppy seed topped bagel filled with houmus, avocado and fresh, crunchy sweet red peppers, caressed by a light, refreshing sea breeze wafting through the open window of the dive shop, trying vainly to pull my eyes away from the bikini-clad swedish female gymnastic team stretching their tired limbs on the beach, I ponder aloud why would anyone want to live anywhere else. The weather is, well...great, the food is fantastic, and the view is magnificent - oh, and the diving's not bad either. Full day trip goes out tomorrow, guaranteed sunburn for those that fall asleep on the roof on the 2 hour cruise out to Sail Rock, Mama's famous Massaman Curry for lunch, and the boat boy's private stash of ice-cold Chang beers for on the way back. Fancy it?

Feel like a change of pace, want to escape the doom and gloom of the 'credit crunch' back home, had enough of the dire european weather, endless steel grey skies, sheeting rain, scraping your windscreen free of ice in the morning after leaving your car running for half an hour, dodging the patches of black ice on the road as you nudge, battle and beep at streets full of fellow motorists just as hacked off as you are, to a job you can't stand, working for a boss who hates being there as much as you do, to pay for the 2 week holiday twice a year to a place that makes you feel happy?

Quit your job, sell your house, dump your spouse and come to Koh Tao to start professional dive training. Change your life completely, work in the dive industry, get a tan, drink some cold beers and kick back and watch the sunset after work..... Courses available from Beginner through to Divemaster and beyond - lifestyle improvement comes with the job. Visit our website for details.

 
Friday January 30th 2009-

2009-01-30Congratulations Big Blue! Project AWARE is delighted to award Big Blue Diving in Koh Tao Thailand the 2008 Environmental Achievement Award. We have determined that your dive operation has met all requirements set forth for Project AWARE’s Environmental Achievement Award and shown exemplary efforts to conserve aquatic environments through education, advocacy and action. Therefore, we’re proud to name you an official 2008 recipient! You’ll find your facility already listed on the Project AWARE website honoring 2008 Environmental Achievement Award winners, which can be viewed at:  http://www.projectaware.org. In a separate email I will forward you the Project AWARE Environmental Achievement Award website banners. Please use these banners to increase your exposure of receiving this honor and stay tuned to industry communications for announcements and recognition. Once again congratulations and please keep us posted with all your eco news and activities. Best wishes Joanna McNamara, Marketing and Fundraising Coordinator, Project Aware.'Economic Crisis' my French friends Arse! There are as many people coming to Koh Tao right now as there has ever been! The boats coming over are full & the boats leaving are also full! I'm looking for staff to cover all sorts of jobs. In fact because it is sooo busy here we have now decided to rent an additional guesthouse! Which means I need staff to man the reception there. On top of that we are also looking for another Divemaster, another Swedish Instructor, a Resort Manager, another shop girl, an emails, bookings & reservations handler & if anyone feels like giving out free massages I could do with one of them too!I would very much like to thank Massive Dave from Vibe Bar for laying on another free Bar B Q last night for all of us here at Big Blue. What is great about Vibe is how its a meeting place for everyone from all over the island. Even if we do have DMT Kym & Freelance Instructor Alicia working their magic & fluttering their eyelids behind the bar & DJ Instructor Tim spinning the decks on the Wheels of Steel! Cheers Massive. & thanks for the tequilla shots you Bar-steward!
 
Thursday January 29th 2009-
 
2009-01-29Professional Divemasters! Its nice to know that when another Diveshop on Koh Tao needs a Divemaster they come to us to employ! Isn't that sweet. So today Mickey has a job! Congratulations! Mickey has been snapped up by Coral Grand for her Dive skills, her languages, & her fabulous personality! That's another newbie trained Divemaster we have now sent out into the big wide world to lead, brief & multiply! & funnily enough I hear Seashell is looking for a brand new shiney DM as well! Who's going to be the next Big Blue trained Divemaster who's going to lose their dive career cherry?!Helen & G are getting ready to organise this months Koh Tao clean up over at Chalok Ban Kao on Saturday. We do this every month except over Monsoon, so its actually been about 3 months since our last efforts already so there should be a fair bit of trash out there. So if anyone is interested in a free afternoon of diving then come & give us a hand picking up the rubbish. Its great fun & you will feel really good about it! So will the Earth, the Sea, your children & all the ickle fishies!Yesterday Canada took 3 of our lucky divemaster interns out for a discover technical diving afternoon with a small introduction to some of the caverns and caves around Koh Tao. It was a chance for these future technical divers to actually try diving in the equipment and also expose them to mock overhead environments to see if they were interested in that sort of diving, especially with our upcoming cavern/cave trip in February. All 3 took to the skills and diving conditions really well and remarked at how different it really was causing even more interest in this style of diving. And of course the T-shirts rock!

Wednesday January 28th 2009-

2009-01-28Its another beautiful day in paradise! The sun is out. The sea is blue. The fish are abundant as are the bikini clad fillies. & Deano & Canada are taking out a bunch of our Divemasters in Training for a day of water skills. Its a skills circuit in the morning then lunch, then an afternoon of swimming, snorkelling, tired diver tows & 15 minutes of treading water. All downed with a healthy measure of Chang Chasers! Now thats good Divemaster Training!Nice to see President Obama taking the reigns of the world with such a firm grasp after the limp wristed attempts of Former Presdient Bush! Apparently though, the last lousy idea of the Bush Administration was to legitimize commercial whaling in the 21st century.Japan has killed more than 15,000 whales and hundreds of thousands of dolphins to prop up its failing fishing industry. The industry blames marine mammals for "eating all of our fish". In fact, overfishing and the government's failure to effectively regulate small, but politically powerful regional fishing coops caused the collapse of Japan's coastal fish stocks. It's unbelievable. We should be encouraging Japan, Iceland and Norway to end whaling, not cooking up deals to help it continue. Reckon we should feed Bush to the Whalers!Hello Big Blue diving ,Here is an email from holland, A few weeks ago we did the diving course with Big Blue Diving, we had lots of fun and it was a great experience to become a padi open water diver,thanks for that! But our trip went on in Thailand and after a few weeks i lost my cell phone with everything in it, also the email address of our diving teacher Anna from Sweden, we made lots of cool pics and i want to send them to her and add her on face book just for fun, she s cool , hope you send this email to her or give me her mail address!???hope you can help me and see you next year !!greetzz Jeroen from holland (friend from Hein eken) Thanks Jeroen!' Sounds like you might have an admirer Ana!

Tuesday January 27th 2009-

2009-01-27Read any good books lately? In Neutral Buoyancy, journalist and diver Tim Ecott takes us on a guided tour of the history of undersea exploration and the emergence of diving culture. He tells the extraordinary story of man's attempts to breathe underwater, from the sponge divers described by Aristotle, to the development of sixteenth-century diving bells, to the invention of modern scuba equipment. Along the way, Ecott intersperses the story with his own thrilling adventures, from the waters of the South Pacific to the remote islands of the Seychelles, from explorations in the clear, flowing tides of Sardinia to a near-death experience in the cold gray depths of the English Channel.Filled with engaging stories of humanity's conquest of the undersea world -- and heart-pounding action that will leave you breathless -- Neutral Buoyancy is a compelling blend of history and adventure, an exciting overview of the world of undersea diving.Congratulations Mickey & Fiona for entertaining us all at their Divemaster Snorkel Challenge last night. Its like a graduation Ceremony for Divemasters in Training & if you fail it you have to take the whole course all over again! But the girls did very well last night showing us that their senses are very much intact. Taste, smell, sight, hearing & feeling! Their 'Smell the Frenchman' round was absolutely spot on! Congratulations ladies on successfully completing your DM Training. Now go out there & DM!We had a solar eclipse here yesterday! In ancient times, and in some cultures today, solar eclipses have been attributed to supernatural causes. Total solar eclipses can be frightening for people who are unaware of their astronomical explanation, as the Sun seems to disappear in the middle of the day and the sky darkens in a matter of minutes. Some people here started panicking & running for the bar! A Solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth so that the Sun is wholly or partially obscured. This can only happen during a new moon, when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction as seen from the Earth. At least two and up to five solar eclipses occur each year on Earth, with between zero and two of them being total eclipses. The most recent solar eclipse occurred yesterday here in Koh Tao at Beer O'clock & it was an annular eclipse.

Monday January 26th 2009-

2009-01-26Its one of my favourite days of the year. From the country that brought us such cult classics like Home & Away, Mad Max, Inxs, ACDC, Yahoo Serious, Pat Cash, & the Barbecued Shrimp today we celebrate along side Gazillions of drunken Australians how to sing extremely badly such fabulous hits like Waltzing Matilda & the theme tune to Neighbours! Happy Australia Day Straylia! Put another Fosters on the Barbie Scobby!'Hi Jim, our holidays in Thailand were so great that we plan to come back there in April :) we would like to come to Koh Tao once again and of course dive with the best diving center in the whole universe..Big Blue!!! ;) best regards, Alex and Anatol from Poland.'
Aw shucks... I'm blushing!How To Fail Your Open Water Test.
a. Tell your instructor you will race him to the surface.
b. Lie face down and motionless while holding your breath.
c. Loudly proclaim that safety stops are for "wossies".
d. Show up with a set of tables based on your own algorithm "that's WAY better".
e. Spit in your wetsuit and pee in your mask.
f. Ask your instructor, which fin goes on which foot.
g. Tell your instructor there is no way you can lift a cylinder with 2000 pounds of air in it.
h. When asked for your dive plan, you hand over a bundle of travelbrochures.
Thanks Divinganarchy.info Very good!

Sunday January 25th 2009-

2009-01-25Welcome back G! After sunning himself & diving himself silly with Manta's & whatnots over on 'The Other Side" with Ricky, Marcel, Barry, Sonia & Church- G has returned home! & not a moment too soon. With Emily all bandaged up from her 'sunburn' & out of the water now for the next few days G has quite literally walked off the boat & straight into the classroom to take over Emily's Open Water Course. Not sure the boys in Emilys class are too happy. Yesterday they thought they were going to be taught how to dive by some Hot English Chick! Today they're getting taught by an unshaven smelly Frenchman... with a fantastic personality! Bienvenue chezWreck Diving today! Canada has rustled up pretty much everyone on the resort who wasn't doing anything today to go out on our first Full Day Wreck Trip of the year. And they are going out on Trident as well which is one of the best decked out boats in Thailand for technical diving. So its a bit of a wreck tech day out! Just the sort of thing that keeps Canada happy & it turns on our experienced divers too!Lovely to see the rain last night. And this morning too! It isn't expected to hang around & it hasn't stirred up the viz at all & there's no wind either & its such a gentle drizzle you hardly notice it anyway. Its lovely rain! Not like your movie monsoon madness that we get in December. Its like April rains in January!

Saturday January 24th 2009-

2009-01-24Nice to see Rick our Big Blue Khao Lak Manager come over to say hello. No rest for the wicked. Its a long sleepless night on the nightboat & then its off to Chumphon Pinnacle with the morning trip for a shark safari. We might not have Manta's in these parts but the sharks are well worth a look see. & Meanwhile Rick being here means Sonia, G & Barry in Khao Lak have closed the shop & have hijacked the boat & are spending the day diving the Boonsung wreck. While the cats away... the mice will play!There's a few red faces here & there at the moment. Deano did his usual Full Day Trip sun soaking but poor Emily. After a very tiring afternoon sunbathing in front of the dive center yesterday in her skimpies she's gone & got herself a very nasty sunburn. Actually its a very attractive butty sunburn but the 3rd degree burns she has incurred on her leg looks very nasty! Emily says it is her first Koh Tao Kiss, exhaust burn on the leg, but we know it was due to yesterdays topless solar soaking! So I'm afraid its a few days out of the water for Emily. Hope she recovers by sunbathing in her smalls again outside the shop. We've never been so busy!I never knew we had soo much hidden talent here! Last night Dan, Ryan Seacrest hosted Koh Tao's very first X factor! With Judges Tim- Simon Cowell, Judge Yvonne- Paula Abdul & Judge Simon came as Randy Jackson! Lots of great critiquing. Tim was a little bit tough, honest but tough. Yvonne was very emotional & Simon was just a very diplomatic liar. Performance of the night went to Jodie who does a very good Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston impression & Canada who looked great as Meatloaf! Even if it was unintentional!

Friday January 23rd 2009-

2009-01-23I 've been looking at swimming pools to present to the owner here so we can build one at our Resort & I have found the perfect one. It is more than 1,000 yards long, covers 20 acres, has a 115-foot deep end, and holds 66 million gallons of water. The Guinness Book of Records has named the vast pool beside the sea in Chile as the biggest in the world. And if we fancy splashing out on one of our own -then it will take five years to build, cost nearly 1 billion, and the annual maintenance bill will be 2 million. Its perfect!I'd like to congratulate & welcome Amanda, (surname Bond!), to the team. Like her father Amanda has a license to shoot people & sleep around alot & will be joining us in our Divemaster Pool alongside our existing pool of Andy from the Isle of Wight, & Ollie from the isle of Switzerland! Unfortunatley Merieia from the Isle of Spain has left us for some serious Flamenco, rather than the hopscotch flamencoing we do round these parts! So 'thank you & see you' Marieia & 'hello congrats & stop lallygagging around now you got a proper job' Amanda! Welcome to the Team.

Hi Jim, Just a note to say thanks to all your staff for making my experience so enjoyable on Koh Tao I was wondering if you have any photos on file of the diving off Koh Tao so I can show my friends and persuade them of the memorable experiences to be had. Thanks, John. Have a look at www.acemarineimages.com at their Photo Gallery. Ours is under construction!

Thursday January 22nd 2009-

2009-01-22Its our first Full Day Trip of the year to Sail Rock tomorrow, & it looks like it is going to be a reasonably busy boat! After all Sail Rock is only the number 1 Divesite in the Gulf of Thailand! In fact if you put the best dive site on the West coast of Thailand- Richelieu Rock, & put it in a fight with the best divesite on the East Coast of Thailand- Sail Rock, although Richelieu would probably win I reckon Sail Rock would still get a good nipple cripple & a Chinese burn in!Meanwhile the sun continues to shine brightly every day now. There's not a breath of wind & the ocean is mill pond flat! The visibility has increased enormously of late & because the Fishing boats haven't been out for a while there seems to be heaps of fish of all varieties frolicking around! And bright red sunsets every night, frisbee at dusk, & one large Chang to wash it all down with. Aaaah... This is the life!So we're adding Canada to our Instructor team of PADI Divemaster trainers! So now its G, Simon, Deano & Canada all taking care of teaching our Divemasters in Training. Which means now by the time you qualify as a Big Blue Trained Divemaster you will be an Equipment Specialist, a Fish ID specialist, a Nitrox, Cave, Wreck & Deep Diver, a Gas Blender, a Dan Oxygen Provider & a Tech Diver Discoverer & a Discover Scuba Diving Divemaster. And if Deano does his EFR Instructor Trainer & Simon his SSI Instructor Trainer & G his PADI Course Director we'll be training Divemaster Cyborgs!

Wednesday January 21st 2009-

2009-01-21If anyone reading this has been looking for a good reason to either start diving or to get back into the sport, now seems a good time as any as you will be greatly rewarded with the honor of seeing and swimming with one of natures most beautiful, gracious and hard to find sea creatures. Ask any diver what is one of the things they would most like to see when diving and everyone will tell you, “a whale shark of course”. Well guess what was seen yesterday at White Rock! A Whale Shark of course! So thats number 99 Whaleshark sitings in the last 2 & half years! Next one will have to wear speedos!Would like to congratulate Darren & Mirko on last nights snorkel test. These boys have been completeing their Divemaster Training with us for the past few weeks & now they've made complete arses of themselves on stage infront of everyone they've completed the final part of their training! Always amusing to watch professional Divers in training turn from responsible polite hard working individuals into food splattered, toothpaste caked dribbling drunkards! Congratulations Darren & Felicitations Mirko Big Blue's newest Divemasters. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said his government may waive visa fees for all tourists for three months in a bid to boost visitor numbers following last year's siege of Bangkok's airports. More importantly he also said there would be prettier stewardesses & there'd also be discounts on aircraft landing fees which will help the tourism sector one way or another. Which means keep your eyes out for some pretty cheap flights to Thailand coming up!

 Tuesday- January 20th 2009-

2009-01-20Liveaboard Diving in Thailand seems to be very popular at the moment. I've booked at least 6 groups over the next 2 weeks to go out on about 4 different boats all going off for a jolly around the Similan & Surin Islands. And at the moment we got such cheap prices for 4 days of breakfast, lunch & dinner, 12 dives, free softdrinks & equipment! All for the much sought after price of just 17300 Bt per person! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to check availability & reserve your trip of a lifetime.Taken from the Samui Express Newspaper
' Local groups are against a plan to explore oil off the coast of Koh Tao for environmental reasons.The government has tapped Soco Exploration Co. Ltd. to explore for oil in the sea 65 kilometers off Koh Tao. Local groups opposed the exploration project saying it could cause serious damage to the marine life and coral reefs in the area. Soco Exploration has reportedly hired a company to make an analysis on the effect of the project to Koh Tao residents and to draw up compensation measures to fishermen who will lose income once the oil exploration begins.It is worth pointing out that aside from dislocating fishermen, the oil exploration could destroy the habitat of various fish species like mackerel. The mackerel lay their eggs during this time of the year & having the exploration done at this time could potentially destroy the fish stock. Diving establishments on Koh Tao are also expected to oppose the project. The beautiful underwater landscape around the island, could be destroyed from the three-dimensional seismic survey method used in exploring for oil. The planned seismic survey is set to for January and February 2009. Soco Exploration has promised to do all it can to prevent any damage to the environment in doing the seismic survey.'Thank you Barry for taking the time the day you leave for Khao Lak to get together all the DMT's & some of the staff to talk about Fish Identification & typical behaviours of our local aquatic marine life. There must have been at least 10 people who turned up to hear about the symbiotic relationships between the Shark & the Remora, the Eagle ray & the Jack, the Goby & the Gobyfish, the Jellyfish & Jellyfish Fish. Nice one Bazza! Have a great time in Khao Lak!

Monday January 19th 2009-

2009-01-19You'll all be pleased to know that the viz is getting better & better & the recent weeks of pea soup & large swelling seas are over & the fish life has increased considerably! The sun is out the sea is also completely flat calm & truely beautiful. Koh Tao is a very special place when the weather & conditions are this good. Bright red sunsets at night & table flat conditions on Sairee Beach. Feels like heaven. Looks like paradise. Smells like coconuts!The State Government and Tourism Queensland are searching the globe for candidates for the "Best Job in the World" - a $150,000 six month contract based on a Great Barrier Reef island. “The successful applicant will live on Hamilton Island for six months and travel to other Islands of the Great Barrier Reef and report back on their adventures to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries, video updates. They'll also have to talk to media from time to time about what they're doing so they can't be too shy and they'll have to love the sea, the sun, the outdoors. The fact that they will be paid to explore the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef, swim, snorkel and generally live the Queensland lifestyle makes this undoubtedly the best job in the world. They'll have a great job and be doing a great job for tourism in Queensland at the same time." Airfares from the successful applicant's home country and live-in accommodation on Queensland's Hamilton Island are included. F%$#in Lucky B#$%ard!Dan is back. He had to whizz home for a couple of weeks. I think it was supposed to be for longer but lovesickness got the better of him & he was back to see his Missus before you could say "Gravesend". Aah isn't young love sweet!

Sunday January 18th 2009-

2009-01-18Look what Lonely Planet just wrote about us!
"This scuba-centric resort is a great place to hang up your fins. Newbies and divemasters alike will enjoy the convivial atmosphere and tasty dishes at the popular restaurant. No-frills aircon rooms are stacked in a pink motel-like structure, and fan bungalows are basic at best.
Big Blue has a summer camp vibe - diving classes dominate the daytime, while evenings are spent en masse, grabbing dinner or watching fire-twirling. The onsite eatery, known as East Restaurant and Beach Bar, serves the best personal pizzas on the island. The joint fills up around sunset as divers pre-game while chuckling at the daily dive bloopers shown on the big-screen TV. Both the basic fan bungalows and motel-style aircon rooms offer little when it comes to views, but who has time to relax when there's an ocean out there to explore?"
Thanks LP! I'd like to wish Heather our No1 Videographer a very happy Birthday congratulations on reaching the big three and oh! 30 years young eh Heather. SO its drinks at Dragon Bar with special priced Illusions & Wild berry Martinis & then some gratuitous American 80's Rock classics. Bit of Bon Jovi & Bruce Springsteen! Born in the USA! Oh well. Nobody is perfect. Happy Birthday Heather!Barry is off to Khao Lak for a few weeks. Big Blue Diving Khao Lak operates speed boat trips to the Similan Islands & Richelieu Rock & Barry's off over there to help out & get some of the best diving in Thailand in! Its a win win situation for all of us. Barry gets to go on a paid holiday. Rick gets to show off his operation & way of life & maybe even get a day off or 2! I get to reward one of my staff with a trip there & when Barry will get back he'll be all full of the praises of Khao Lak & the Similans that we'll have a rush of people going over there to see what all the fuss is about which in turn increases Big Blue Khao Laks profitability & Ricks cheesy smile! Thats about 6 birds we just knocked over with that 1 stone! Genius!

Saturday January 17th 2009- 

Jim, i dont know what it is that you've got but from the moment we (pete, vix, tara) landed in Ko Tao 22/12/08 -29/12/08 we had a really great time. The Staff and Instructors were so helpful ,understanding, laid back! and put one at ease. Even the captain and crew (ask Helen the name of the boat) were so cool, me not knowing any thai and him no english but we were able to understand one another. Not forgetting the staff that ran the restaurant and the people that serviced the rooms. Christmas day on the boat with santa (aka Barry) dressed in all the festive robes and diving too! will be an image that shall be with me for a long long time. I'm not going to go on (unless a cheque is in the post!) but surfice to say we had a great time and an experience.A big thank you from Pete,Vix, Tara have a really good new year.Please see that helen gets to see this (i think she may have promised me money!!lol) X x xG is on his way to Khao Lak for a Liveaboard trip with our friends from Wicked. Not a bad way to spend the next 3 days of your life. Aboard a diveboat cruising the 9 islands of the Similans. Its Manta Ray season as well so unless he's really unlucky he should have a great trip. Problem is however G hasn't been very lucky so far! The boat to Chumphon was cancelled, the plane to Phuket was full & the ferry to Surat Thani lands miles away from Surat Thani so he'll need to get a taxi all the way from the pier to Surat & then a bus to Khao Lak. With any luck he'll be in Khao Lak about the time his Liveaboard trip gets back! Sacre Bleu!We’re the only school doing this right now.. In response to growing demand for diving alternatives. Big Blue Tech will be conducting a 3 day ANDI Cavern Course in Kao Sok National Park on the 13th Feb & the 17th Feb. This trip will be open to divers from around Thailand diving with Big Blue Tech from Koh Tao and Khao Lak.The course will be done on site in the national park over a 3 day period of 4 dives and acaedmic plus dry land skills. This course will be conducted by our in house Instructor Development Director Bruce Konefe. Certification as a Level II Cavern Diver will be received after completing 4 dives and a final exam. Included: Park Fee, Transfer from resort or location to Khao Sok and Back, all equipment (recreational or technical) Accommodation, boat fee’s , transfer around national park, manual, certification. Not Included: Island Transfer for coastal locations to mainland. Food. Tekkies: Technical gear is available for those certified, included in the course price. for more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Friday, January 16th, 2009-

2009-01-16So nice to be off my deathbed & back at work. Man flu's a Bitch! & it can be a very serious ailment though ladies have trouble realising just how life threatening this illness can actually be! Anyhow I'm much better now & very happy & grateful to see that things have been ticking along nicely & I haven't come back to a bombsite or a barrage of problems! Many thanks G & Barry for manning the fort! & a very belated Happy New Year for the rest of you!Don't think I've missed too much. The weather has been awful. Lots of wind but no rain & its been really cold of late! There's lots of us walking around in jumpers, beanies & long trousers. Nice to see we still have a our regular hoard of bikini babes sunning themselves on the beach but they look a bit silly with a beany & socks on tho! extremely Sexy but a little silly!So the Economic Crisis has led to a lot of redundancies & unemployment the world over by all accounts. & apparently as many as 20% of all recently unemployed are looking for a shift in careers. Many people are studying skills like plumbing & baking & what not & others are looking for a change in lifestyle having experienced the recent stresses & strains of the economy in crisis. Which might well account for why we have so many people looking at becomming Dive professionals! Excellent idea I might add. Get in touch people. Become a PADI & SSI Divemaster or Instructor today! Don't delay.The last 11 years working in the dive industry for me has brought nothing but good times & many happy mammaries!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2009-01-14Barry came to me yesterday with the latest issue of the Bangkok Post and a victorious smile. For those of you who have never read this paper, it doesn’t only cover Thailand and world economy, politics and culture, it’s also a goldmine in which you can find many colorful stories happening around the world. One article caught Barry’s attention…The Caribbean island of Grenada is clamping down on the practice and wants tourists to cover up in town.
Those who flout the indecent exposure law, which bans swimming costume wearing away from the beach, are being asked toput clothes on. But they can also be fined around £180 or sent to jail for six months, according to police commissioner James Clarkson.
He said cruise ships usually tell passengers of the correct way to dress when in town, but “from time to time, there is the one or two who take their chances.” He said: “I can’t see any reason why someone would walk around town in speedos”. Mr Clarkson has also criticised people who wear baggy pants that expose their underwear. It is part of a campaign aimed at “bringing back morality into the country”. He added that some young men seemed to forget where their waist is located. “Any time you allow lawlessness to start taking effect on your country, you have a problem,” he went on.

While the Caribbean work hard to takle the growing problem of non-sports related speedo wearing, the rest of the world suffer.

Monday January 12, 2009

2009-01-12Big Blue management is going through a difficult phase. Jim is fully recovering at home, staying away from any possible germ on the island. So we had to put him on a diet of pancakes and kippers, the only things we can slide under his door! Michael had an unfortunate swim 2 nights ago when his bike decided to go off the side of the bridge outside Big Blue resort instead of crossing it. A “No Parking” sign has been placed in the poonama canal to avoid further mishapps. The last diver to take a dunk in our lovely river was also Swedish so Canada thought it would be better to write that sign in their language!

Poor Big Blue Tech! The compressor on Navakid broke down so we took their compressor away to replace it and they're weeping because they have to pump his Nitrox tanks the old fashioned way. And to think I was hoping to do my DSAT Gas Blender course soon. This adds even more insult to injury as the entire Technical Diving Training Department is waiting for the weather to change so they can dive deeper and longer again.

We haven’t seen this many DMTs in ages. It seems like we are signing one on every day at the moment. And we have more coming up. So say hello to Ian, Mikey and Simon as we wait for Lara, Eveliyn, Duncan, Gemma (????) and many more… Needless to say, Simon, G and Deano are working double shifts. Hey, nothing the Big Blue Old Farts can’t handle!

Saturday 10th January 2009

Many thanks to Barry and Rich for putting on a free BBQ at Vibe Bar last night. Sausages ordered from Samui went down a treat, Cumberland, Chilli and regular old pork, not to mention Dave's Special Burgers. All we needed were Alice's bread rolls and we'd've been in Hamburger Heaven. Eager to prove we hadn't just turned up for the free food Big Blue downed their buckets and ripped up the dance floor (literally, Dave's gonna have to replace half his floor boards) till closing time. The hardcore (G, Rich, the 2 Helens) carried on to Lotus Bar and partied till the first strains of American Pie were heard. Ah, reminded me of the old days....

The tide is high today and waves are lapping all the way up to the dive shop - perfect conditions for DMT stamina swims. 400m swim, 800m snorkel, 100m tired diver tow and a 15 min float. Thankfully I can just start the timer and watch from shore, not sure how I'd score on the swims these days...

Friday January 09, 2009

2009-01-09You wouldn’t believe the full moon party is tomorrow night. Usually, 2 days before, the island goes quiet and all you can hear is the buzz of a couple mosquitoes’ flight. Well, not this time. We are very busy, the island is packed and finding a room for everyone is just as challenging as searching for the Holy Grail. But no need to worry, if you do come to the island, our Knights of the Round Pinnacle will find a place for you to stay. It would be a good idea to book through our website if you don’t fancy lying in sand while the waves gently stroke you body on your first night!People coming back and people leaving… Jim is back on the Rock, in great shape. Our old friend Richard from Sweden is back for a 5 day visit. Filip was here with his girlfriend but he left just as quickly as he arrived. Thanks for the T-shirts! Wicked! More importantly, the first whaleshark of the year showed up at Shark Island yesterday. The street meat lady is back but still no sign of the samosa man. The whole crew is in withdrawal and if you have any ideas on how to deal with, please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!Tonight we say happy birthday to Barry and Rich who turn 21. Again! So we’re all having a bash at Vibe on the beach later and there’s free barbecue involved. As if it wasn’t hot on the island at the moment. Well, nothing a cold Singha can’t take care of… If you’re on the Rock come by and celebrate. If you’re in a cold country, we’ll be thinking of you wearing those 3 or 4 layers!

Tuesday January 06, 2009

2009-01-06I must admit it’s funny. This morning as I was watching the news, I saw my hometown covered in snow. Felt cold for a moment but as soon as I opened the blinds, I was blinded by the sunshine. Then I opened the window and felt a warm rush blow into the house. As soon as I was outside, I hopped on my bike and drove down to Big Blue, warm wind blowing in my hair, warm smell of sausage rolls, rising up through the air. By the time I’d walked from the parking lot to the beach, I was already sweating. Lucky for me, the tide was high and the sea was flat and crystal clear. All I had to do was take the shirt off and go for a dunk. Believe it or not, by then I had totally forgotten it was snowing in Europe!
 

News from the crew: Jim is feeling much better and should be back on Koh Tao soon. I just hope he won’t forget my Whopper! Filip is on the island for a quick break from the West Coast. Barry did a fantastic fish ID lecture yesterday and the lucky attendants have gone on a fish ID dive with him this afternoon. They’ve also got a buoyancy practice dive planned with Simon. The topic of the day is how to dodge sea anemones, a topic Simon has become an expert at. Unfortunately, the last anemone victim, Kymmie couldn’t make it today. Advice for everyone, get a long wetsuit!

New photos to print on milk cartons: samosa man and street meat lady have gone missing in the past few days. The crew here is running out of options for lunch. If you see them anywhere, please call us at 66 77 456 415. Our main concern however is that just like every time, samosa man goes away, the prices are gonna rise. If they go up to 25 baht this time, he might as well put his stand in front of Papa’s Tapas!

January 4th 2009.

2009-01-04Good morning and a belated Happy New Year from the Big Blue crew. We all hope you had as great a holiday period as we had here.

New Years Eve was as crazy as ever here. Work finished as normal at around 6pm. The gang went home to put their glad rags on and grab some food. It was then all down to Big Blue Bar to start the evening off. From here the gang moved down the beach to a different assortment of bar to see the New Year in. The partying finished around silly o’clock in a bar that no one seems to remember but everyone was agree that it was a great night……we think? A huge thank you to one of our newest members of staff Alain for volunteering to work on New Year’s Day (or was it Jim who volunteered him!*?) Any hoo well done mate, promise I’ll do it next year.

Life on the island is now back to normal after the festive season and Big Blue Diving is as busy as ever. The sea has been quite rough lately but this has not deterred the soon to be qualified divers. No matter the weather or sea conditions here, there is always a sheltered area around Koh Tao to dive. The sea is now calming down though and the morning boat was able to go out to South West Pinnacle. Tomorrow they will be diving Chumphon Pinnacle so bring on the sharks!!!

Jim our boss is not so well at the moment and is on Koh Samui getting checked out. So from all the Big Blue crew, ‘hope you feel better soon mate”.

Tomorrow morning we are trying out a new lecture for our DMT program. This will be on Fish I.D. and the habits of marine life native to these waters. As far as we are aware nobody else offers this to their DMT candidates so we are very excited and hope that the knowledge learn will be of great benefit to our future DM’s. If this is a success as we are sure it will be, we will then offer this service to our diving customers also.

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 07:06

August 2010

Friday 27th August 2010-f

Beccy & Emily recently stripped down to their drawers to represent Big Blue at the Koh Tao Bikini fashion show. All the boys turned up to check out the local curves & all the girls came to see whats hot & whats not for this coming seasons aqua apparel. Happy to say both of our Big Blue Instructors looked ravishing in their skimpies & we had a bumper pack of new sign ups the next day when the girls were on ' Meet & Greet'. Great for business! I wonder if we'll have the same effect at next weeks Y-Fronts fashion show with Hal & Swapey?

A NEW way to study dolphins and whales without dart guns undercuts Japan's argument for what it calls scientific whaling, scientists say. The "blow-sampling" method, developed by Australian scientists, allows scientists to gather crucial DNA information without potentially harming the animal, discrediting Japanese arguments that a whale needs to be killed. Celine Frere, from the University of Queensland, headed the study. "Maybe this will make them realise they don't have to kill the whale to get the information," Dr Frere said. Marine animal researchers have relied on gathering the animal's DNA by shooting a dart into the skin of the mammal to gather tissue samples. Blow-sampling captures the air and the equivalent of spit expelled from the animal when they come up for air. Hmmm. Now lets see what arguments they can come up with for continuously murdering whales shall we.

After the tremendous succes of yesterdays trip with the Navy boys to our secret wreck this morning we're off to dive the Unicorn wreck. The Unicorn sank around 1989. Local Koh Tao inhabitants said that the ship just pulled up off shore, around a mile North of Koh Tao 'Mango Bay' and over the next couple of hours slowly sank. No-one was hurt in the sinking. An Insurance Fraud was immediately suspected. A commercial Diving company mermaid-maritime.com was hired by the vessels insurance investigators to investigate the cause of the sinking and to confirm the cargo. which was listed as expensive Tuna Fish. Under armed guard, Divers descended to examine the wreck, and discovered that the holds contained nothing but low-grade animal Feed (Dog-Food) un-fit for human consumption, NOT expensive Tuna fish as listed on the manifest! The Unicorn is a large modern 1960-70's, 60meter long steel freighter lying stern down on the bottom at a depth of 50m. The vessel leans slightly on its port side an angle of 60degrees(Not shown correctly on the sketch) with the top of the bow at 38meters, and the keel of the bow area several meters above the seabed, allowing divers to swim under this area of the hull. Lots of penetration available for technical divers highly experienced in diving in conditions where a total silt-out may occur. Good job we're diving with the Navy boys!

Thursday 26th August 2010-g

Apologies for the tardiness of updating the Big Blue Blog but its been a very hectic week for me this week as I've now taken the Missus up to Bangers for the imminent arrival of our little one. The good Mrs Donaldson is sitting in a nice hotel in Bangkok ready to drop though hopefully not for at least another week as Jim is back on the Rock bracing himself & the staff for the busiest week of the year! The August Full Moon Party rush! If you haven't booked yourselves a room already then there aint no point in coming to Tao unless you fancy a night under the stars! Having said that because we are that organised we have booked up heaps of rooms already just to make sure we have somewhere for you to stay & do your dive course with us. But book now these rooms might just be the last rooms available on Sairee Beach this week! Look forward to hearing from you soon! & darling... hold it in! I'll be there shortly!

Oh dear! Well & truly rumbled! Roz, Roz, Roz, Roz, Roz! Last seen leaving the island with a neckerchief to hide all the hickies around her neck & on her way to Blightey for a short holiday! What are her parents going to think when Roz unveils the sordid marks of her last night of passion on the Rock. Jason you animal! Roz you tease! What a pair! Aren't we all sooooo glad we got a snap to remind us of what a lovely couple they make. Looks like Jason was a little hungry there Roz! Practically swallowed your face off!

Phenomenal diving right now! Beautiful sunny skies & at least 20 meter viz at most sites. Sail Rock is as good as its ever been. Chumphon had a Whaleshark there a couple of days ago. Our first one in ages. & the Thai Navy are diving with us today to check out our Big Blue wreck of which we are the only shop to know the co ordinates of. Clear water, sunny skies, Whalesharks, Navy boys, hidden wrecks & a Roz romance. Sounds like the perfect back drop for a great holiday!

Wednesday 18th August 2010-
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Hats off to Erik & Beccy who today saved the life of an abandoned dog! Stupid 19 year old Swedish bird came took a puppy & left 3 months later leaving this dog without an owner & with no one to look after it, it got very skinny, very tick ridden & extremely scared of people. It wouldn't have survived another week & after the last 4 nights of continuous howling & with neighbours threatening to kill it Erik & Beccy have stepped in & taken the poor thing home with them to love & look after & give a new home & a new life to! Well Done to you Erik & Beccy. Cystitis & frothy sputum to you dumb 19 year old Swedish bird!

The Seabreacher X is the ultimate millionaire's boy-toy: a James Bond-style craft that can dive under water, roll from side to side and jump 12ft into the air. It looks like a great white shark, complete with dorsal fin, gaping jaws and rows of dagger-sharp teeth. At 16.5ft in length, it is even the same size as one. Unlike the real thing, it also has a 260hp engine, which powers it to 50mph above water, and 20mph below it. Toys they may be, but each one costs about £60,000. The seabreacher is really for people with a large disposable income who want to have fun. It's pretty popular in the Middle East, Korea and the Caribbean. The seabreacher is unlike anything I've seen on the water before. The shaft craft is 16ft long and has a dorsal fin and gaping jaws. This isn't a submarine - you're not going to visit the Titanic in it. It's more of a cross between a plane and a boat, I wouldn't recommend it to those with sea sickness, but it is exhilarating. Sounds a little like the Lomprayah!

Just in case you haven't seen it yet Videographer extraordinnaire Marek from one of the better Film Studio companies on Koh Tao has made a great promo video which we will be showing every time you get on the Seatran Ferry now. Take a peek. Very professional. Great video. Great Dive center.Great Resort. Great people. All wrapped up in a 1 minute promo video. We should have more of these made eh Andy wink wink nudge nudge, say no more, say no more!

Monday 16th August 2010-i

"Hi folks, I'm back in gloomy, wet, cold Northumberland - and yearning to be back with you on Koh Tao! Wanted to say thank you for the MOST BRILLIANT few days - excellent course, superb instructor (Heather), fabulous diving - a truly memorable experience. Now all I have to do is save up to come back! Thanks to you all. Mary" Many thanks Mary for letting us know how much fun you had with us here in Koh Tao & how appealing Northumberland sounds at this time of year. Can't wait to visit! See you back here again soon!

According to workers, young and old male visitors to the Chessington Sea Life Centre were spending 'a lot' of time staring at the ample charms of an underwater mermaid statue.Bosses at the centre have attempted to prevent any further distraction by dispatching a team of divers to cover underwater temptress with a red and white bikini. Manager Justine Locker said: 'We hadn't noticed quite how buxom Sally was until we clocked young boys, and not so young boys, spending a lot of time ogling her in the walkthrough ocean tunnel. Since then, none of us can avoid what is starring us straight in the face, so it's time for a cover-up. Chestintigton Prudes!

The Koh Tao Community is clubbing together to raise some cash in order to buy & then sink the legendary MV Trident liveaboard to use as Koh Tao's first official wreck dive! In case you didn't know the MV Trident has been cruising the Gulf of Thailand for a few years now discovering many previously undiscovered wrecks & is the boat that discovered the last US Submarine to be sunk at the end of World War 2 the US Lagarto which sank with all crew members aboard. An awesome boat with a legendary history & we're all clubbing in so we can buy it & make it even more legendary. So send us your donations & we'll offer you a free dive on it when next you make it here.

Sunday 15th August 2010-j

This rare photograph of an American alligator in salt water was taken a mile offshore of a reef in Palm Beach, Florida. Regularly found in fresh water lakes and rivers, alligators can tolerate salt water, but only for short span of time. The salt glands on the American alligator are nonfunctional, unlike that of its close cousin, the American crocodile. Crocodiles eat anything stupid enough to come close to them including gazelles, chickens, & Australians! Scuba Divers on the other hand eat crocs & alligators for breakfast! I'll have a crocodile sandwich & make it snappy!

"Hi Jim, My name is Celine and my sister and I stayed at the big blue and did a diving course ( beginners). We would have gone on to the advanced however the weather was bad so was not possible. Firstly I would like to thank everyone at big blue for the dive experience and supportive staff who work with you, was a real pleasure. In particular, our dive instructor Greek. He was a true professional in the water and I knew that we were his priority. At one stage the visibility was so bad that I could not see a thing however he managed to keep it and us together and gave us the confidence to continue on the dive. Off water he is a blast, hence a true professional. I would not hesitate in recommending Big Blue and Greek. Again many thanks and I look forward to staying with Big Blue the next time we are in Koh Tao. Many thanks and best wishes, Celine" Thanks for taking the time to write in Celine. Glad you had such a good time despite the weather & look forward to seeing you here again next time!

Its another picture perfect beautiful tropical day in paradise! Great if you are out on the boat all day! Pants if you are stuck in the orifice all day! Fancy a change in lifestyle! THen speak with SSImon about becomming a SSI Instructor, or BSACanada about becoming a BSAC Instructor & work on the beach all day or contact Jim and see just what skills you need to waste time on the internet! email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. It'll change your life!

Thursday 12th August 2010-
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At least 700 people have been stung by small, transparent jellyfish on Spanish beaches this week, leading officials to post warning signs. The creatures have created "a swimmer's nightmare." The jellyfish have been particularly prolific in their attacks near the city of Elche in eastern Spain, in the area known as Costa Blanca for its white sand beaches. On Tuesday alone, 380 people were stung, says Juan Carlos Castellanos of the Elche city tourism department. "In the five or six years I have been in this job, I have never seen anything like this," Castellanos said. In addition to putting up warning signs, Elche officials are watching for the jellyfish from lookout boats so they can warn beach-going crowds when a mass approaches. Meanwhile, off Spain's northern coast, in Cantabria and the Basque region, more menacing, jellyfish-like Portuguese man-of-wars have also stung more than 300 people over the past three weeks. Biologists are blaming climate change and overfishing of sharks & bluefin tuna & tourist development on beaches where previously turtles would lay their eggs for the jellyfish increase. Oooh dear. Its all doom & gloom... & purple people eaters!

A HUGE dolphin’s dead body was found stuck in a net and washed ashore on Nathon Beach in Koh Samui. It was assumed it had died two to three days before. It was the third dolphin found dead in Nathon this month, and the 10th this year. On July 24, Khun Prasit Prayoonsak, an officer at the rescue unit of Kusol Songkroh Association, said the dead black, female Irawaddi dolphin was found at Nathon Beach. The dolphin weighed around 200 kilograms and measured two meters long. It had numerous minor wounds on the fin and a big wound on its ear. It was assumed that it was caught by a fish net and the fisherman had to cut the net to let the injured dolphin die in the sea and washed ashore at Nathon Beach. Dolphins thrive in an area in the Gulf of Thailand that covers Koh Samui. A rescue officer informed the Koh Samui Fishery Office and the Sea life Research Center so they could document the dead dolphin before burying it. The officer expressed fears that with the increasing number of Irawaddi dolphins being separated from the flock and caught by fish net, this variety of dolphin may be extinct soon if no defensive measures are set in place.

Despite the predictions for terrible weather & a week of storms, ferocious winds & buckets of rain its actually turned out nice again! Another lovely sunny day, blue skies, calm seas & great visibility. Even managed another Full Day Trip to Sail Rock today. Oh the joys of unreliable weather forecasts! So next time we're due for a solid downpour we'll let you know so you can get your beachtowels at the ready.

Thursday 6th August 2010-l

To Erik- Thank you so much for an amazing 5 days of diving. It has been absolutely awesome.. I hope you have a great time for the rest of the diving adventure out here & the turtles name is Erik the Swede! From James.

Hey Hey Erik with a 'K'. Thanks very much for the course & the dives. Your love for the sport has spread like wild fire in our group. GOt to go but will add you on our FB & if you are ever in Ireland give us a call & we can check out our coasts. Thanks again JT

Hey ERik, Finally got the spelling correct this time! THank you so much for a wonderful 5 days of diving. Really enjoyed it & I think we all hope to keep diving so hopefully you'll see us back here again! Enjoy the rest of your working year & I hope you make it to Ireland on your future travels. Let us know. Thanks again Jayne.

Well Erik, Our time together was short but sweet. Cheers for your patience with me diving. Joachim

Dear Erik, Stop writing letters to yourself pretending that they are from your students! Yours Jim!

Wednesday 4th August 2010-
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The Full Moon torrent has settled down into a nice ebb & flow of morning & afternoon arrivals all looking for a fantastic spot to learn to dive with Koh Tao's best Instructors, dive Koh Tao's best dive sites with Koh Tao's best Divemasters, & bed their heads at Koh Tao's most popular Resort. So we're sending them down the road! Only kidding! Welcome to Big Blue Diving. "Koh Tao's best Divecenter"! Just do a Google search if you don't believe me!

The Recreational Diver Medical Technician course has arisen out of a need for qualified professionals in the recreational diving scene that are able to provide advanced first aid care, administer drugs, and be skilled in such techniques as suturing wounds, setting up I.V. lines and advanced airway management. You may be a dive master on a live aboard yacht or providing paramedical support to an expedition. You may be a diving instructor working on a remote island or simply interested in extending your skills and ability to cope with injured clients or friends . The RDMT is an intensive 10 day course that has theory sessions - but the emphasis is on hands-on training. You will be faced with casualties with realistic wounds in scenarios that are designed to build your confidence in difficult situations. You will spend time at a hospital emergency room where you will see real casualties as they arrive and are treated. You will be taught how to perform emergency procedures by an experienced diving doctor and discuss case histories of decompression illness with certified hyperbaric professionals. The RDMT course specifically covers diving emergencies and includes the management of a casualty inside a recompression chamber. You will learn how to conduct a full neurological examination and how to decide which treatment table to use for decompression illness. Other important subjects include the legality of giving first aid, risk assessment, emergency planning and casualty evacuation. You will also learn how to specify a medical kit and where to source equipment and supplies. The Recreational Diver Medical Technician qualification is accredited by DASPAA - the Diving and Adventure Sports Paramedical Accreditation Agency. Training conforms to ILCOR guidelines and good practice as recognised by St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s Ambulance and the British Red Cross. Course venue: SSS Recompression Chamber on Koh Samui Course dates: 8th to 19th November 2010 Course price: 54,000 Thai Baht For details Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Diver Down in Style! You are the romantic at heart, the thrill-seeking adventurer, waiting to explore the vast wilderness, calling the shots and accustomed to being in the driver seat! Introducing the DiverBike! The DiverBike is the first underwater propulsion device of its type. Take charge and effortlessly soar through the reefs, explore more and increase the thrill of your dive experience. The DiverBike enhances your unforgettable weightless flight through the underwater world. And the best thing is if you fall off you won't have to spend the next few weeks out of the water. Eh Instructors!

Tuesday 3rd August 2010-
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Hats off to the 52 kilometers of people who turned up in Koh Samui at the weekend in protest at the announcement of 4 off shore drilling platforms all within spitting distance of Koh Tao, Koh Phangan & Koh Samui! Thats 52 kilometers worth of people all linking hands all the way around the island to show support against the vile infidels who plan on destroying these 3 beautiful islands and the Angthong Marine Park & Nang Yuan Island. After whats just happened in the Gulf of Mexico have we learnt nothing? Filthy money grabbing Bangkokian heathen political infidels! Ruin these islands & we'll stick a free flowing reg up your jacksie! 52 kilometers of free flowing reg!

Lara & Dan are planning a Swim for Sharks day! The plan is to get as many volunteers as we can, all paying 100 Bt to swim all the way around Nang Yuan Island to raise money to help save the sharks! 200 Bt if you need to use flippers. Many species of sharks, from the great white to the iconic hammerhead, are in danger of being fished to commercial extinction. A major culprit is soup. At one time, shark fin soup was considered a delicacy for the elite. But as Asia grows in population and wealth, the demand for shark fins has gone through the roof. According to the United Nations, shark fin imports to Hong Kong and Taiwan alone rose 214 percent from 1985 to 1998. This has had a disastrous impact on shark populations globally. The wasteful practice of "finning"-- slicing off a shark's fins and discarding the animal to die at sea -- is one of the biggest threats to populations. Indeed, up to 73 million sharks are killed annually across the globe to support the shark fin trade. So come one come all. Bring your 200 Bt & swim your fins off!

Love the editorial on Big Blue Tech Cave Diving written by Phillip Moore who came to learn his Cave diving with us. Read the full version on www.bigbluetech.net Its extremely well written, makes you want to sign up for the next course immediately & is going to be a great plug for Canada & his team of highly trained Techies Wreckies & Cavers, I just wish I knew who this James character was Phillip keeps mentioning in his piece!

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 04:41

January 2010

 aSaturday 30th January 2010-

Yvonne, Helen, Duncan & Thomas are all starting their Tech Courses today with Canada & his protege Andy Cav. For the next 3 weeks our Tech Students will be diving deeply, through caves, on wrecks, lugging heavy equipment around, not smiling in photos, wearing black, wolf whistling at pretty girls, hoicking up their genitals, parading around on the boat in their speedo's, extending the Tech Shack while revealing their workman's bums, relentlessly working out for short periods of time & urinating on each other at night. Nothing new for Helen & Yvonne then but I do hope Duncan & Thomas will be alright!

Its our monthly beach & underwater clean up today & we have at least 30 people all coming out with us this afternoon for free to pick up some rubbish & other flotsam & jetsam from Maehaad. SO far there are only 10 schools participating which puts the majority of dive shops on Koh Tao to shame! Still we're doing our thing & that's all that counts. & our Big Blue Green Queen this year is none other than everyones favourite happy person Heather Keeler who is organising todays event. Free Diving & free Beer for everyone who participates! Now if that aint a reason to pick up trash then I don't know what is!

To ensure that whale sharks are not harmed by tourism or boating activities, please follow the guidelines below to ensure good whale shark etiquette:
♦ Do not touch, ride or chase a whale shark – a 100,000 Thai Baht fine can be imposed by the KohTao fisheries department!
♦ When diving, remain off the ocean floor to avoid disturbing reef fish spawning aggregations.
♦ Remain at least 3 meters away from the whale shark at all times.
♦ Do not block the whale shark’s path.
♦ When your DM or Instructor tells you to leave the water, please pay attention and get in the boat as
quickly as possible. Please follow all instructions of the DM
♦ Relax and let the whale shark approach you. It’s only curious!
Violating these guidelines can ruin the trip for everyone. Big Blue Diving reserves the right to deny any violator further participation in any dive or snorkel trip without compensation. You have been warned!


bFriday 29th January 2010-

Whaleshark at White Rock again & again & again! In fact its getting pretty hard to see all the small fishies with the ruddy great big Whaleshark getting in the way all the time! Still I guess when the whaleshark is here it means Trevor the Titan Triggerfish & Wally the Napoleon Wrasse get a day off. We really should start charging extra for our whale shark dives. I think a beer for the manager would be a good start!

Hi Jim, Claudine and I have now left Koh Tao, just wanted to share our Big Blue experience with you. First day I dived with Emma. She was very professional, very knowledgable and we had two great dives at Chumphon Pinnacle and White Rock. On the following morning I dived with Andy. On the first dive I had some difficulties (my camera floated off and I had some trouble equalising at ~22m) but Andy was great and we continued the dive once I had equalised. Andy's considerable diving experience was also helpful as he was able to answer a number of questions about Similan liveaboards. Overall I was very impressed with the Big Blue DMs and would gladly recommend Big Blue to other divers. Claudine did her Open Water license: I know that her Instructor Roslyn is very new to Big Blue but she was fantastic. I was a little apprehensive before starting the course but her obvious experience; her commitment to diver safety and her enthusiasm for diving made the whole process a lot of fun (and I felt I was in good hands with Roslyn and Greg - trainee). I just wanted to make sure that you (and Roslyn) knew how appreciative I am. Thanks for all your help, Claudine & James.

Long term Koh Tao Dive Medic Steve Reed makes an appearance today at Big Blue by starting a DAN O2 Provider course for 5 of our promising DMT's ready and waiting for some C.P.R and some O2 handling. This course is a must for all semi serious divers & essential for those of us who work in the Dive Industry. Its not the CPR or the first aid or even the O2 handling that is so important. Its the art of being able to put on a rubber glove in an invitingly provocative manner!

cThursday 28th January 2010-

"Hi Jim, I would just like to say thank you so much for my fantastic diving holiday with you, the island is beautiful,as is the people and of course the diving. I did my open and advanced courses with Deano who is an excellent instructor and and a credit to your diving school. i am planning to do my rescue course next which i reckon i will be coming back to you to do in about september, after that i really fancy doing the divemaster course but have to look at the time factor involved as to where i do it. It maybe in Australia cos i am going that way in september so we shall see. But once again thank you and i hope to see you all again very soon. Kev" You're welcome Kev. Glad you had a good time & look forward to seeing you here for the Rescue & DM Training.

Submarine – available for immediate sale! The G-150 is a new high-tech small two-man submarine with an operational depth of 50m, designed for one pilot and one passenger. This superbly constructed submarine has all the components you would expect & the main control options are on a joystick control, positioned so that both crew members can operate the submarine. Main pressure hull constructed from carbon steel, hot zinc sprayed and finished with an epoxy paint system. The pressure vessel is torispherical in configuration, with a volume of 1500L. Comes with Air conditioning / heater / dehumidifier unit & surround sound super woofer! Submarine weight 3.6 tons. Selling Price: US$ 496,000. Think we'll get one for our Advanced Courses!

Simo, Jodie, Paul & Nick have all gone up to Bangkok for a couple of days to stretch their legs while its quietened down just before things go ballistic next week with the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party rush. Of course they claim they have some important things to take care of in the big smoke but we all know its because they are all dying to go stuff their faces with Big Macs & Whoppers & of course to see Avatar in 3D. Clever kids our Big Blue Instructors!

dWednesday 27th January 2010-

Love is most definitely in the air again! There are relationships blossoming all over the resort! Emily B, now known as Emily PP, is back with her tech hunk, Craig from Canadia. He obviously heard about her recent exploits & wanted to come back & mark his territory again! Kate won the sweepstake with the most accurate 'they'll be back together within the month' guess, but everyone knew that anyway so she only won 5bt! & our other blossoming bosom buddies who of course nobody knows about are Ron Burgundy & Veronica Corningstone! She really does love her root vegetables!

They call me the Whaleshark whisperer! I think it was only Saturday I bet you all, my Mothers Aunt we'd be diving with a Whaleshark within the week! & lo & behold having spent the first dive swimming among the hordes of sharks we have at Chumphon Pinnacle right now we then spent the rest of the morning diving with a two meter long Whaleshark! Whisper whisper whisper whaleshark whisper whisper! He says he'll be here tomorrow too!

Its hair & make up time this afternoon with this year's 2010 Staff photo. I've asked the entire dive team to turn up sporting this years latest Big Blue Fashion accessory the 2010 Big Blue Divecrew T-Shirt. I'm not sure why. Surely these photos would be a lot more marketable if I asked the ladies to turn up in their Bikinis & the Tech team to turn up in their Speedos! The rest of us could have brought our Mankini's! Come on lads don't pretend like you haven't got your own pair! Everybody say Chesticles!


e
Sunday 24th January 2010-

Gradually turning this place into a No Smoking dive center. We have turned another! Join the No Smoking Gang, cos we're really cool! Over recent years this once untrendy group is now flourishing with members. So many in fact that the smokers are now way outnumbered by the non smokers. Rick, Sonia, Barry, Jim, Jodie, Canada, Yvonne, Simon, Soren have all given up the evil Nicotine. Dean, Emily, Pierre, Kelli, Dennis, Andy Hat, Emma & Erik never started. Leaving the malodorous Duncan, Paul, Colin, Helen & Beccy festering in their own toxic cloud. Filthy peasants! Beer Fine!

Congratulations Swapey Potter, Thomas Weasley, & Tina Granger our newest PADI Instructors. Having another 100% pass rate our brand new Instructors are off to drink the night away down the local somewhere. Luckily Traitor boy, (almost Course Director Guillaume Froisgras), & his trusty steed, (new Master Instructor Deano Valleyo) were there guiding them through it all over the last few days & will be there on hand to show them how its done tonight as well. Congratulations Swapey, Thomas & Tina. I look forward to utilising your new found skills over the next few weeks & months. : )

Nice to have Professional Photographer Martin diving with us this week. Its our annual professional Photographer week. Free diving in exchange for a multitude of photos I can use for publicity purposes. So if you are out diving with us this week & some scruffy looking Eastern European starts taking snaps of you in your swimmers don't be alarmed. It just means you might be seen in either our brochures or website or some travel & dive magazines & articles that we'll be featured in later this year. Not some gentlemans Bikini Magazine or Swedish FHM... well not unless you want to., after all we do have contacts, eh Erik! Dive with us... we'll make you famous!

f

Saturday 23rd January 2010-

Well the nails have been trimmed down to nothing & the knee trembling is increasing steadily & the nerves are shot to pieces but I'm sure they'll all pass with flying colours! Our 3 little wizards- Swapey Potter, Ron Thomas & Tina Granger have all passed their Instructor Wizard Development Course & are as we speak sitting their Instructor exams right now. I don't know why our Big Blue Divemasters get so worried during the IE. Its Easy guys! I reckon most of you can do it with your eyes closed, your hands tied behind your back, & sitting on a broomstick... hovering!

Our Big Blue reporter out in the Field Mr Barry Covill found this little snippet of interesting information. Fifty Years ago today on 23 January, 1960, the bathyscaphe Trieste propelled Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh to the bottom of Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, which at more than 10,900m (35,800ft) down is the deepest spot in the ocean. They were the first - and even now, the only - humans to have experienced these depths. With the vessel creaking and groaning under an immense 1,100 bars of pressure - the equivalent of having several dozen jumbo jets piled on top of you, the explorers stayed at the bottom for 20 minutes before their windows started cracking & they began their risky ascent back to the surface. Crazy Mother Fathers! Sounds like the sort of thing Big Blue Tech might start attempting! Happy Anniversary Jacques & Don & great fieldwork Barry!

Another very successful mornings double dive at Chumphon Pinnacle! Always a popular trip with our divers especially with Chumphon being as impressive as it is right now with 20 meter visiibility, & the enormous amount & variety of sharks that we have there. There's Bull Sharks, Black tips Grey Reefs there's more than likely a couple of white tips though they are a little more sensitive to the divers bubbles & I bet my mothers Aunt there'll be a whaleshark spotted there within the next week. So if you want to experience our Big Blue Shark Safari & come dive the whaleshark with us then you better step in line! Next Shark Safari double dive at Chumphon Pinnacle leaves this Monday afternoon. Get your tickets here!

 
g

Thursday 21st January 2010-

Sorry for not having found the time to fill you in on all the latest shannigans that have been happening here over the last few days. I took a day off which turned into a day & a half & then the next day went down with Man flu & we all know how serious that can be! But I'm back & its time to fill you in on whats been happening for the last few days. Barry left back for Khao Lak. Dan & Kymmie left to go on a Liveaboard in Khao Lak. Soren is back from Khao Lak. Canada & co spent their time in Khao Lak in their skimpies. Sonia is in Samui. Emma is away & everyone is enormously hung over after last nights snorkel test! So all pretty much the same as normal! Anyone fancy a pint?

Haven't had the best of weather lately here in this part of Asia in whats known as the Golden Triangle. Its not exactly been pissing down, well not on this side anyway, but apparently its been really pissing down on Koh Pee Pee. In the middle of the night as well! Imagine that! Wake up in the middle of the night to find out its pissing down on you! Most unpleasant! I wouldn't be able to sleep a wink if it was showering down on me! And if it was Golden Showering down on me I'd probably have to go sleep in the bathroom! & if you woke up in the middle of the night & found the extremely inebbriated Andy Cav pissing down on you mistaking you for the toilet You'd probably leave immediately! Never a dull moment at Big Blue Tech, eh Emily!

And speaking of big penises...Barnacles have the longest penis in relation to body size of any animal: the organ is ten times its height! As adults barnacles cement themselves to rocks & are unable to move. The barnacle unfurls its long penis which roves around to find a partner, leading to jousting matches between neighbouring male barnacles! Learn something new everyday!

Saturday 16th January 2010-
h
FYI- heads up all you party people the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party is on again at the end of this month & if you are thinking of going & coming to Koh Tao after then you absolutely MUST book ahead for your accommodation. The island is already busy & its just going to get busier especially either side of Full Moon. Last month we had people sleeping in the bars restaurants & classrooms because there was no accommodation left anywhere on Koh Tao & the end of this month will be very similar so be smart & book your accommodation & diving with us now! & don't come crying to me if you get here & there's nothing available! You have been warned!

It looks like Canada & the boys & Emily have been scaring the Bejeezus out of the divers on the Pawara Liveaboard this week as they cruise the Similans & Surin Islands by parading around the place in nothing but their speedos! I don't care what country you are from. Its not a laughing matter! Speedos are a criminal offence & wearers should be prosecuted! On the other hand if Emily is wandering around in nothing but speedos we'll let her off the hook! But the rest of you boys... you should be ashamed, scaring everyone like that! Its just not cricket!

If you have seen the movie The Cove then you are aware of the Dolphin drive hunts that take place in Taiji every year with over 2000 dolphins from a number of species either being sold to the aquarium industry or slaughtered in an inhumane practice that leaves The Cove's waters red with blood. The Taiji Dolphin Action Group has been formed to help support those people who are on the very frontlines, visiting Taiji, talking with locals and documenting the slaughter. The Groups goals are amongst other things, to educate those who want to know more about what happens there especially the cruelty and the dangers of Mercury poisoning risked by consuming dolphin meat, empowering the Taiji Visit Program i.e helping anyone observe and protest in Taiji, Japan. Facilitate ideas that will lead to and end of the killings not only in Taiji but in all of Japan - Taiji is just the tip of the iceberg.

Friday 15th January 2010-i

Despite the fact he's now left us to work at another big Dive Center here in Koh Tao we just can't help bringing him up here on our blog. A bit like bile! Congratulations Guillaume whose application for Course Director has finally been accepted by PADI! Not just G but Jeff from Choppers has also been accepted. Congratulations the pair of you! & what better way to celebrate the birth of these CD twins than going down to Choppers Bar to give the boys a good old fashioned Course Director snorkel Test! Caught the boys totally off guard! & then followed by some nice French Champagne... what fun! Congratulations gents on your promotions! God save the rest of us!

"Hello Jim, This is just a short email to thank the team at Big Blue and especially Alan Swap for taking care of us and making our stay in Koh Tao very enjoyable. It was really nice being back at where we first learnt to dive in 2004. Thanks again and we hope to see you at some point in the near future. Cheers,Daren and Gemma".
You are welcome guys. Glad you had such a good time again & hope to see you back here before another 5 years is up!

Meanwhile we have 5 of our students training to be Instructors right now. Ole & Mike are ding their SSI Crossovers with SSImon right now & Swapey,Tina & Thomas are demonstrating why doing their DM course with us at Big Blue is holding them in good stead with their PADI Instructor Development Course. Soon they'll all be little baby Instructors banging on the door looking for work. Shouldn't be too much of a problem either. The island is still busy & we are still needing more Instructors. So if there's so much work going around right now, why doesn't everyone become an Instructor?

Wednesday 13th January 2010-
j
Wasn't expecting to wake up to a Twister this morning but lo & behold... a Twister! It's an awesome sight & looks all the more cooler when its out to sea as the surface of the water gets all stirred up & then gets sucked up into the vortex, while everything outside of the vortex remains calm! Thank you Mother nature. A splendid thing to witness just before you go out for your mornings diving!

So the Team descriptions have been updated on our website if you care to have a look. Not sure if everyone is going to flattered with their personality description or their photo, but its not been made to flatter its been written so that our prospective customers can check out who they might be diving with while they stay with us here. Crikey. Hope I don't put anyone off!

Got to hand it to Yvonne & Erik who have both managed to get all their students so far this year to go on from their Open Water & continue their diving experience by completing the Advanced Course as aswell! & what a great thing to do especially with all these sharks around for the deep dive & the hunting barracuda's on the night dives! With a few swim thru's to start the course off to fine tune their students buoyancy control its not really a surprise to see so many of our newbie divers continue their education its just great to see such a high amount from 1 Instructor, let alone 2! Excellent work guys! You deserve a pay rise! You won't get one but you deserve it!

Tuesday 12th January 2010-k

With it being so incredibly busy here in Koh Tao in recent days & because so many of our full timers are indisposed with other diving activities I just haven't had a moment to get on the computer & fill you in on the news here at Big Blue. Well I guess first things first! Happy Birthday Michael. The proud owner of Big Blue Diving turns 21 today! Right Michael! That would make you about 6 when you established this place then! I never was very good at Maths! Happy Birthday Michael & look forward to the round of Birthday drinks you are going to buy us all tonight!

Congratulations Canada & the team at Big Blue Tech! It appears we have won the award from TDI (Tech Diving International) & SDI (Scuba Diving International) for the most amount of certifications in 2009! Not really surprising bearing in mind the sort of adventures you get upto as a student diver with Big Blue Tech. Having just spent 4 days diving the caves & the sunken village in Khao Sok, & now the new wreck in Khao Lak & then the Big Blue Liveaboard in the Similans & Surin Islands & then the islands off Krabi & Phuket & then back here to find the caves in the Angthong Marine Park I think they deserve the award! Should have won it for most originality at least! Can you name one other dive shop that does what we do at Big Blue Tech? No I didn't think so! Guess that's why we've certified more SDI & TDI certs than anyone else! Big smile! Big pat on the back! Big Canadian!

Want to thank Mr Hans Ulrich, PADI Regional Manager, & Mr Mark Spiers, PADI's Regional Managers' Manager for taking the time to come in & meet with all our Big Blue Instructors to answer a few of questions & to give us a heads up on the way things will be changing for the better this coming year! Unfortunately the boys forgot the number 1 rule in Scuba Diving- Buy your Instructors beer- but I guess we can't hold that against them! Thanks Hans & Mark & look forward to the enormous amount of free PADI merchandise you promised us!

Thursday 7th January 2010-
l
Un-fluffing-believeable! As if killing hundreds of Whales each year for scientific reasons isn't bad enough now the Cetacious mass murders are trying to drown our friends at Sea Shepherd by ramming their boat & leaving the crew onboard to die in the freezing cold arctic waters. Why does the world not do something about it? How can we let these butchers get away with what they do. They slaughter the whales, they murder the dolphins what the flippin crikey is going on! Stop this insane slaughter & tell these people that they're selfish slaughter is just not acceptable in this day & age, & if you haven't yet then do so now! Support Sea Shepherd & stop the whale killing at http://www.seashepherd.org/support-us/ & take action & stop the insane slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan at http://www.takepart.com/thecove.

Welcome back Dan & Kymmie! On their way to the Land Down Under our sweet little lovebirds just couldn't avoid popping in to say hello & stay for a couple of weeks of fun, & sun. & judging by the size & colour of them... not a bad idea! Our poor little pie eaters have been slaving away in deepest darkest Kent collecting their shekels for their mammoth trip around Australia for 3 months before returning home again for a wedding & then finally back again to Koh Tao again to live out the rest of their days as Jims Bitches! Welcome back guys & cheers for the hangover!

Good luck Swappey, Tina & Thomas- 3 of our Big Blue DM's all studying hard to become PADI Scuba Instructors. This week they start their gruelling 3 week training with new Bans (almost) Course Director Guillaume Baguette Boy Froigras & his trusty sidekick Orangatan Taff (TM) Deano! 3 weeks of lectures, exams, presentations, demonstrations, 3 course dinners & excessive amounts of drinking. Sounds like 39000 Bt well spent if you ask me; except for the traitorous Frenchman ; ) Good luck guys! You'll breeze this!

Tuesday 5th January 2010-m

Following in the footsteps of our Neighbours & Home & Away celebrities from last year we kick start 2010 with another top celebrity this time a topless glamour model from Sweden who has graced many magazine covers including FHM & Playboy! Welcome to Big Blue Linda Djurberg! This most attractive Swedish model is right now prancing around the deck on the restaurant & the poor thing forgot to bring her bikini top with her, and to make matters worse she grazed a nail on the coral. Thankfully though DM Duncan was at hand to give her first aid so was able to get her to lie down on her back while he attended to her needs! Its all work work work for our Big Blue DM's!

Well its been crazy busy so far this year but it is finally starting to quieten down now. Our Full Mooners have partied their little speedos off & are now quite happy to be taking it easy while they learn the ins & outs of Scuba Diving. We almost ran out of Instructors, tanks, weights, regs & BCD's but luckily our DM team have managed to juggle things around & to the unsuspecting eye everything looks perfect. Especially with the well endowed Linda Djurberg sitting topless in the restaurant!

Baby whale shark! Less than 1 meter and a half long & probably not older than a month. How cute! Its made all the guys & girls go oooh! though some customers were a little confused to hear after the dive that that was the biggest species of fish in the sea & can grow upto 20 meters! One chap thought it was a large barracuda! Bless! Now... lets get back to the lady in the restaurant!

Sunday 3rd January 2010-n

Wishing you all a very happy though slightly belated New Year! Its just got so busy lately that i haven't had time to write! (sounds like an email to my mum). But due to the Full MOOn Party in Koh Phangan falling on the 31st December 2009 and with over 20000 people all in Koh Phangan you can imagine how busy Koh Tao is right now. Busier than a builder in Pakistan!

Hi Jim, Just a quick note to say thank you for another wonderful experience in Koh Tao. The whole fiasco was a headache I'm sure but you guys were so accomodating (much more than some other places would be I'm sure). Also please give kudos to the gentleman who was working the dive shop in the morning on New Years Day (didn't get his name but he had glasses). He was incredibly nice and helped to get everything sorted out correctly. Big Blue is quickly becoming my favorite place in Thailand (and perhaps my favorite place anywhere!) I'll be back soon. Cheers
J Zeiler.
-Thanks Jay Z. Lovely to meet you & look forward to seeing you back here on your next holiday!

Todays the day Canada & his team are venturing off on their Countrywide Thailand Dive Trip.Today they leave for the Khao Sok Area, to find some more caves somewhere within 5 big lakes there in the National Park. Then they are off to Khao Lak to dive the coastal wrecks there, a new one just near Taplamu pier Then they are off on our Khao Lak Liveaboard to the Similans & Surin Islands & Richeleieu Rock in search of a 10,000 dollar ring dropped there. Thenthey are off to Sra Keow Cave – 200m deep pool near Phuket in the middle of the jungle, then the Trang area in Song Hong (really in the middle of the jungle) for some more caves and even a day trip in Krabi & then back to Koh Tao & head straight off to the ANg Thong Marine PArk on our Big Blue Sailboat for a spot of cave hunting! Not a bad way to start the New Year! Have a good trip guys & we'll see you in 3 weeks!

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 04:40

February 2010


Sunday 28th February 2010-


a"F.A.O Inst Paul.
I know i said i would never dive again but after you got me through my open water my fear of the sea is now officially cured. After we left Koh Toa I became a prolific snorkeler and yesterday managed to do 3 dives in Borneo without any tears and I actually relaxed and managed to enjoy it. You'll never belie...ve it but I was actually wanting to go deeper and stay down longer! So cheers Paul I couldn't of done it without you and maybe I'll be back at big blue to conquer my nemesis, Chumpon pinnacle. Until then be lucky and thanks a million your a legend!
Suzanne Parker"

"Hi BB,
Just an e-mail to show my appriciation to you guys. I had a great time doing my open water and advanced open water course with you guys. Also I want to give a big compliment to our instructor, which was Andrew Evans.. it was a great experience learning diving from him and seeing how enthausiastic he becomes during the teaching of other and how much patience he has with everyone. Thank you big blue and hope to see you again :-) ! Regards,
BartVan Den Boomen"

" Hey there,
I have been meaning to get in touch for awhile to say cheers for the paradise that was our holiday to Thailand last November, koh Tao was defiantly the most amazing laid back place I have ever been too. Big thanks to Kim and Nick who some how got us through our open water, few close calls underwater. Again cheers for the great times and the everlasting memories (that tattoo of a shark isn’t fading fast) any hope to get back out there as diving in the freezing North sea off Aberdeen isn’t too inviting – plus we have to show you all how to drink!!!!!!!!!!! Missing the changovers. Cheers,
Iain McAllister"

Thanks Guys! Means alot to get your emails & glad you all enjoyed your time so much with us in Koh Tao.

 

 
bSaturday 27th February 2010-

Hats off to our team of Techies at our Big Blue Tech Diving department who this morning successfully managed to locate the missing nightboat that sank around Koh Tao about 6-8 months ago. That's quite a feat & we'll be arsed if we're giving the coordinates away to the other dive shops if they want to dive it! Sorry guys but its a dog eat dog world & we're going to be keeping this little Pedigree Chum very tight lipped!

"Hi Big Blue Divers !! I really feel the need to give my compliments to Andy (Andrew) again. I just came back from Koh Tao after finishing my courses with you. Before i started I didn't expect at all that i will get confident in the water. I dived once before, years ago, and that wasn't the best experience. So i was a bit afraid but only because of Andy i did it :-D I am soooo happy. His enthusiasm is unforgettable !! and his patience..i can learn from him, amazing. I had no doubts to do the advanced course because i could join his group again, yes. If i come back. I come you to guys, definitely. Thanks to Andy ! Cheers, Vivian Bosters,The Netherlands"

Our Green Queen, Heather & her team of Green cleaners are organising another Koh Tao reef & beach clean up with another 40 odd volunteers all ready to come & join the party in an effort to rid the island of all the crap that's been collecting here since the last time we did an organised beach & reef clean up. If everyone would just stop throwing their crap in the sea & on the beaches we could find a lot more productive things to do but ho hum... I guess we're at least a generation or 2 away from that goal! Thanks Heather & thanks volunteers! There'll be a free beer for you at the bar when you get back!

cThursday 25th February 2010-

Project AWARE Foundation honors dive operators around the world who display commitment and excellence in their efforts to protect underwater environments within business operations and their community. “The Environmental Achievement Award is about rewarding vision, excellence and pursuit of conservation. More importantly, this award ensures the enjoyment of underwater environments for future generations,” said Henrik Nimb, Project AWARE Foundation Director, Asia Pacific.

The following Asia Pacific Environmental Achievement Award 2009 winners operate in an environmentally responsible manner and demonstrate an outstanding commitment to conserving underwater environments through education, advocacy and action.
1. B&J Diving Centre – ABC, Malaysia
2. B&J Diving Centre – Salang, Malaysia
3. Big Blue Diving Resort, Thailand
4. Blue Season Bali, Indonesia
5. Crystal Dive Resort, Thailand
6. Deep Sea Divers Den, Australia
7. Dive Tropex Tokoriki, Fiji
8. Dive! Tutukaka, New Zealand
9. Eco Scuba, Korea
10. Gangga Divers, Indonesia
11. Kon-Tiki Krabi, Thailand
12. Malapascua Exotic Dive Resort, Philippines
13. Matava, Fiji Islands
14. NZ Sea Adventures, New Zealand
15. Ocean Elements, Malaysia
16. Plunge Diving, Australia
17. Scuba Cat Diving, Thailand
18. Sea Hounds, Singapore
19. Sea World Dive Center, Philippines
20. Subsurface Fiji, Fiji Islands
21. Thresher Shark Divers, Philippines
22. United Divers, Australia

The number of amazing initiatives and actions implemented by the Project AWARE Environmental Achievement Award Winners is inspiring. Congratulations! For information on planning your own environmental project or becoming more environmentally sustainable contact Project AWARE.

d

Wednesday 24th February 2010-

Still incredibly busy here in Koh Tao & it doesn't look like its calming down in any way either. The boats to Koh Tao are full & the rooms on the beach are all full. The buses & trains from Bangkok are full even the planes from Bangkok to Samui are full 3 days prior to departure. In fact the island is getting so busy right now especially here in Sairee that I wouldn't be surprised if we started to tip up!

"Thank you Big Blue for an amazing time at Koh Tao. Friendly staff, atmosphere and professionalism made my holiday and diving awesome. Special thanks to Andy and Jodie who trained us into becoming confident and safe divers. You’re simply the best!! - and I can’t wait to return to this paradise island. Cya. Kind Regards. Karstein Jenssen, Tromsø - Norway" Cheers Karstein & thank you for taking the time to write in & give us your views on your time spent with us. Even if you did have to exaggerate the truth about Andy & Jodie!

Australia has set a deadline for Japan to stop whaling in the Southern Ocean by November this year, or face international legal action. Despite a 1986 international moratorium on commercial whaling, Japan kills hundreds of whales each year, ostensibly for scientific research. Australia and New Zealand have consistently opposed Japan's killing of hundreds of whales each year via a loophole in an international moratorium which allows "lethal research". Japan's new government has maintained its support for whaling, which has deep cultural significance for the Japanese people, since coming to power in September.Anti-whaling groups have made a habit of joining the Japanese ships and trying to prevent them from catching whales. This has led to several violent confrontations, including the ramming by Sea Shepherd of the whalers butcher boats. Too right!

Monday 22nd February 2010-e

Well the island is still crazy busy so please make sure if you are coming over to do some diving or take a diving course that you please book on-line as the rooms are getting hard to find, soon we will be dusting out the tents ready for the full moon rush.

SSI is ever on the increase with two new Dive Control Specialist Trainees having their course orientation today Christian and Greg and also Jen who is our new PADI Divemaster trainee. The trainee programme is growing by the day, its creates an awesome social and working environment as they prepare to become diving professionals. Welcome to the team guys.

Its official Beccy and Erik are a facebook couple, Paul is officially going to be a facebook Daddy, Deano is a facebook orangutan taff! Anyone would think we have a slight addiction to facebook!

Rehearsals for the festival are going wild, after only 2 practices we have pretty much got the moves already. Heather our choreographer extraordinaire has been working us all hard. I think everyone in Koh Tao could hear her “ and booty bounce and booty bounce….” From the top of Pauls roof the other night.

 

Saturday 13th February 2010-f

The PADI big wigs are here on Koh Tao this week launching their new fashion accessory the PADI Bikini! & they managed to rustle up about 10 of their Bee-atches together to do some beachside bikini modelling & even persuaded our Emily to join the party. It all started very tame with the usual hand on hip poses but before too long the girls were showering each other down with frothy bubblebath & running around with no clothes on. It was every mans dream fantasy & the perfect advert for the new PADI bikini! Every Diveshop should recommend the all new see through PADI bikini! Comes with 10 wet near naked PADI Dive Instructors!

Our team of techies are still wandering around the best divespots in Thailand. They've now finished their Liveaboard trip on the MV Pawara as it cruised through the Similan & Surin Islands & have checked out some of the sites in & around Ao Nang in Krabi Province & are off to the Khao Sok National Park to do a few more caves & really explore the depths of some of these fresh water lakes. After all that quality diving I reckon these guys should be just about able to dive Japanese Gardens or Mango Bay on just 1 tank of air when they get back!

Japanese officials have reacted angrily to an attack on one of its whaling ships by Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists in the Antarctic. The group threw butyric acid - made from rancid butter - at the ship. Japan has six whaling vessels in the Antarctic, which is allowed under the rules of international whaling. Whalers and activists regularly clash during the whale-hunting season. The latest clash reportedly lasted for several hours and involved two Sea Shepherd vessels and four whaling ships. In a statement on its website, Sea Shepherd said it had fired warning flares when three of the whalers attempted to destroy one of its helicopters with a water cannon. The group said it then launched a small boat from its ship, the Steve Irwin, and "annoyed the harpoon vessels with rotten butter bomb attacks". It said the substance, which it has used on previous occasions, was unpleasant but harmless. Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson said the group had prevented any whaling from taking place for the past week. "Our goal now is to make it two weeks and then three weeks. We will not tolerate the death of a single whale," he said. Right on!

gThursday 11th February 2010

"Hi everyone at Big Blue! Thank you for making our stay at Koh Tao so absolutely fantastic! A special thanks to Erik and Søren for teaching us how to dive and to Andy, Steven and Aila for showing us around afterwards. Big Blue really is an amazing place with nice people, nice food, nice diving, nice everything. Apparently even the bottle coolers are nice and very popular among the monkeys in Prachuap Khiri Khan. Hope to see you all next year for our DMT's. All the best Michael and Gitte" Thanks so much for taking the time to write in. We really appreciate it & look forward to seeing you both again next year for your DM courses. PS. Bring the monkey!

After the unbelievable success of Grease last year, which was choreographed and performed by the Big Blue Crew, a few other dive shops have decided they want to give it a go. So preparations for this year’s Koh Tao Festival have begun. Our very own Green Queen Heathers’ head is about to burst with ideas for this years act. Secret meetings have been held and rehearsals are about to begin. Watch out Koh Tao this year is going to be a Thriller! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!

Absolutely disgusted to see how many people throw their cigarette butts into the sea on their way over on the ferries & catamarans to Koh Tao! In the space of a 2 hour boat journey I must have witnessed over 30 cigarettes flicked into the sea with no regard for the environment! From the uneducated locals I probably wouldn't have been so surprised but to see it from supposedly educated westerners was dispicable. Every cigarette butt thrown into the sea is enough to kill a turtle! Save our turtles put your cigarettes butts in the bins! Or even better put your cigarettes in there too!

h

Saturday 6th February 2010-

Competitive freedivers, William Winram and Pierre Frolla, deliberately set out to dispel the myths surrounding  sharks when they decided to embark on their daring underwater adventures. The pair dived without cages or any other protection devices, coming face-to-face with the sharks wearing nothing more than a wetsuit. The great white shark is known for its size, often exceeding 20ft in length. The best-selling novel Jaws and subsequent Steven Spielberg movie helped perpetrate the image of the great white as a man-eater. In reality, humans are not appropriate prey for the sharks, who feed on dolphins, porpoises, whale carcasses and seals... & pizza!

Canada fancies a Big Mac & he's taking all the tech divers with him! Our Techies are off on another trip to the Khao Sok Marine Park for some more cave diving & then following it up with another Liveaboard trip aboard the MV Pawara, probably the nicest boat operating in the Similans & Surin Islands.There is a lot of gear to take with them and because there's so many of them, Canada, Andy Cav, Helen, Yvonne, Thomas & Duncan, they are really having to streamline their equipment this time. So the boys have binned the boardies for speedos & the girls aren't packing their bikini tops. Shame they got to take a bed pan for Andy Cav tho or they could have really have reduced their weight!

URGENT: Buoyancy World will be going down on the 7th of Feb. That's right, the day we thought might never arrive finally has. This Sunday, the 7th we will be using the car ferry to place the Buoyancy World Structures down to the site just north of Twins. It doesn't leave much time for planning, but since we have already gone over this last fall it should not be too much trouble. Remember, it is not the 7th that we need lots of divers, it will be the 8th-10th that we want lots of skilled volunteers. We hope you can make it!

i

Friday 5th February 2010-

The churning rumour mill that operates with such aplomb here in Koh Tao is telling us that there were 2 Blue Whales hanging out around Koh Nang Yuan Island last month. In fact there is even Video footage of a Blue Whale out in the distance & I'm all for encouraging positive rumours so lets jump this band wagon & help spread the word! Everyone help tell everyone else! There are 2 Blue Whales at Koh Tao right now! And a whaleshark, & a school of Bullsharks... and a swordfish... and a hammerhead... a sealion...a jellied eel. These rumour mills will only go so far.

" Thank you Jim and the whole team at Big Blue for making it the best holiday ever. We couldn't have asked for anything more! Special thanks to Sonia and Andy, best instructors in the world! See you very soon!! Salome, Antoinette & Albert." Thanks guys. Glad you had such a good time & happy to hear you'll be coming back. See you all again soon!

Following the almighty success of our afternoon double dive to Chumphon Pinnacle yesterday, today we follow up with another ingenius idea right out of left field! An afternoon dive at Southwest Pinnacle followed by a little light relief at Shark Island. Should be awesome. No one will expect us, not even the fishes! Fundivers only no courses! Serious diving! Serious fun! Think I've heard that SSImewhere before!

j

Thursday 4th February 2010-

Rumour has it the BBC Wildlife Documentary team are on their way to Koh Tao to film the Bull sharks at Chumpon Pinnacle. Apparently Chumphon Pinnacle is the only known divesite in the world where divers can swim amid the sharks without getting attacked & eaten! Sounds a little scarey to be honest so in true Big Blue style we've decided to launch a sweepstake to see who will be the first one in the team to get nibbled! My money is on Big Paul! On a Bullsharks menu I'm sure the succulent looking Paul would come just below a tenderloin New Zealand Steak but above an English Dime Bar! Crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. A little bit like an armadillo!

France has added its voice to calls for a ban on the global trade in bluefin tuna, the numbers of which have dwindled through overfishing. France wants a ban after an 18-month delay to allow scientists time to study the data on tuna stocks. The bluefin tuna trade might be curbed at world conservation talks in March. France is among the Mediterranean countries that fish bluefin tuna for export to Japan, the main market. France's tiny neighbour Monaco is leading the push to get bluefin tuna added to the list compiled by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites). Italy has also backed the call. "There is still powerful international lobbying from a big country, which has allies" - a veiled reference to Japan, which takes about 80% of the bluefin tuna catch from the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Conservationists say bluefin numbers have fallen to about 15% of their pre-industrial fishing levels. Stop eating Sushi! Eat Beef!

Whaleshark at White Rock yesterday! Which is exactly why we have organised 2 dives this afternoon to Chumphon Pinnacle. The Whaleshark whisperererer has been reliably informed that the Whaleshark has moved on to pastures new & will be spending a few days at its holiday retreat to the north, Chumphon Pinnacle! For a Whaleshark the thought of a belly full of krill & a nice relaxing Pilotfish wash & Remora rub down & diver Jacuzzi is just what the Fish Doctor ordered. & we'll be the only ones there to witness it! Guaranteed whaleshark dive or your money back! ( Just don't tell anyone!) Now why would you dive with anyone else?

kTuesday 2nd February 2010

Sometimes its great to get off the island and do something different, and a trip up to Bangkok to see Avatar was the perfect excuse. Did I mention we went to see Avatar....in 3D.....on the IMAX cinema screen...in 3D?! The only possible opportunity for four full time instructors to leave Koh Tao all at the same time had to around the Full Moon lull, definitely before the Full Moon rush so we absolutely made the most of it.

Step 1 - Stay somewhere other than Khao San Road
I've nothing against Khao San, its been the ruin of many a poor man, and Lord, occasionally I've been one. This time, baby, we wanted to be bulletproof so we stayed in the 'grown-up' part of BKK instead, which is Suk 11, apparently. Top Tip: Take your passport even if you're not leaving the country - Damn you Officious Hostel Woman! Bangkok's second 'Coolest Bar' Cheap Charlie's is right on the corner, just down the road from The Pickled Liver Real British Pub. First night - got drunk, pretended to punch each other.

Step 2 - Eat no Thai food at all
Off Siam/MBK for shopping and eating. Starbucks in the morning, then MacDonalds an hour later, followed by Siam Paragon Food Court and Vietnamese Pho, followed by MacDonalds just 'cos it was there, followed by... You get the idea. Its amazing what you miss when you live most of the year on a tropical island - apparently we mostly miss junk food.

Step 3 - Watch Avatar in 3D at the IMAX
Couple of hours to kill so we went bowling (I won, easily. Nick, you suck), drank 2 Towers of Singha and watched as Big Paul walked out still wearing his bowling shoes (curious? Find out why, soon). Then, the main event. Loaded up with more beer, BBQ Doritos, sweet AND salted popcorn and whatever else we could carry we picked up our enormous 3D specs and took our seats. I'm told the movie is fantastic but by then I was fairly smashed so I really can't offer an opinion. Seemed like I had fun, though.

Step 4 - Go to a proper indoor Nightclub
After being refused entry for wearing shorts, going all the way back to the hotel to change into jeans and trainers, I finally persuaded the doormen to accept the 900 baht! cover charge and let me in to 'Bangkok's coolest club' - Q bar. (Big Paul was fine, he was wearing stolen bowling shoes!). In our defense, Hed Kandi were playing live, so how bad could it be? Well, if watching middle aged men dance like your dad at a wedding in casual jeans and business shirts is 'cool' then I need to leave Koh Tao more. They did seem to be doing rather well with the young ladies however, can't think why. I was ALMOST missing Lotus Bar. Much piss taking ensued, Jodie got drunk, again. I was the epitome of sobriety.

Step 5 - Do something completely different
Off to Siam Park City then. 900 baht gives you unlimited access to the world's second largest rollercoaster, the world's biggest wave pool, a park the size of three Koh Tao's filled with amazing rides, an entire water park and.... NO QUEUES! After a few hours of riding rollercoasters again and again (no queues!) we hired speedos and a fifties women's bathing cossie for Jodes and ran to play on the water slides - brilliant.

Step 6 - Buy an appropriate souvenir
What says 'We had a great time while you were all working' better than a laser engraved block of plastic with our four grinning mugs captured inside it in glorious 3D. Best 1000 baht we ever spent in MBK...

There was more, obviously, so much more, but as the old saying goes... What happens in BangkoK (and can possibly get you sacked, arrested or mercilessly mocked by your friends), stays in Bangkok.

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 04:39

March 2010

Saturday 27th March 2010-a

A 6 meter long Whale shark has been mutilated in the Philippines by having its fins cut off. The shark had been de-finned and was fighting for its life, and was found floating belly-up amidst the rough waters of Bahay Kambing. Its twin pairs of dorsal and pectoral fins had been sliced off. Knife-marks were evident all over its tail but, perhaps mercifully, it proved too thick to cut through.The shark was towed to nearby Caban cove, whose waters were more placid. Together with a fisheries patrol unit, volunteers splinted the shark by flanking it with bamboo poles and installing a net underneath to minimize further injuries. Sadly but unsurprisingly, the great sharks wounds proved too great and the shark, died the next day. & why was this creature butchered so? All because the Chinese like to drink soup!??? Its completely insane! Do everything you can to stop the sale of Shark Fin Soup! Due to the failure at CITES we can't rely on the politicians to do anything these days. We're on our own folks!

Not that I'm moaning about it or anything but what the hell happened with the weather. This morning we awoke to the heaviest downpour since the last heavy downpour which was about December 2008! It wasn't predicted on the weather forecast & it took most of us ages to find our monsoon ponchos. It absolutely bucketed down. Great for the island, the plants, the dried up wells... but catastrophic for the motorbikes, those who just hung their laundry out to dry, & those who left their bags outside on the boats over. Welcome to the tropics!

Our Dive site of the Week this week is... Southwest Pinnacle! A deep divesite reaching 30 meters at its deepest & comes up to about 6 meters below the surface. This collection of awe inspiring rock patterns is home to an abundance of scorpionfish, Koh Tao's biggest & ugliest Mallabar Grouper, a mammoth school of fusilliers, blue spotted sting rays, cleaner shrimp, white eyed moray eels, trevelly, angel fish, bannerfish & is also a popular hangout with our visiting Whale sharks. & guess where we are going tomorrow? Southwest & Koh Tao's second best Dive site of the week... Shark Island!

Friday 26th March 2010-
b
Big Blue Tech welcomes Ben Reymenants , an instructor trainer with TDI (Technical Diving International) and SSI TXR (Scuba Schools International Technical Extended Range), to the team as our in house instructor trainer for instructor level technical programs. Ben has a long history in technical diving along with holding the deepest dive at one point with a dive to 202.5m in the Blue Hole in Dahab, which at that time was a world record. Ben is also a training director with TDI and contributes to course development and has contributing author signature on most of the TDI manuals we see today. He’s best known for being the dive medic and chamber operator in Phuket, if you were in such an unfortunate situation to meet him you will find him to be professional, respectful and a great guy to have a beer with. Most recently Ben was in the media or reaching a depth of 240m inside Sra Keow Cave in Krabi, Thailand, making it one of the deepest cave dives in history. With those achievements Ben is also in the final stages of introducing technical diving to the Maldives. While Ben’s activities keep him traveling around the world he is based in Thailand and we’re happy to have a diver and instructor of his caliber join our already stellar team. Big Blue Tech will be releasing instructor level programs as of next month.

Some of the gang are off to Buoyancy World tomorrow to finish off our lizard & put his head back on properly. We've rustled up a handful of volunteers, a couple of delegators, a techie or 2, a photographer & a vidiot & between the lot of them we should be able to finally finish the job we started almost a year ago. Well we'll see. Its been such a long time since we were there we've kind of forgotten what it looks like. But once its finished we're going to have a brand new divesite to teach buoyancy skills at. That'll do Canada a world of good!

 So we are bracing ourselves for the barrage of party people who will be at the Full Moon Party at the end of this month. Coincidentally there will be 10 of our full time team away at the same time to attend the wedding of Marcel & Kathi in Khao Lak next Tuesday. Well they say they'll be at the wedding but you never know they might be joining the hoardes in Koh Phangan, with their face paint, eccentricity tablets & whistles revelling it up on the ones & twos! Only kidding Marcel. We'll all be there , licking our lips & giving hand gestures."Big fish, Little fish, Cardboard box!

Wednesday 24th March 2010-
c
Its got to be one of the saddest days in the history of mankind & ultimately seals our doom.Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES, has failed us. Not only have they sealed the extinction of the Blue Fin Tuna last week they have also now sealed the fate of the Hammerhead shark, & the oceanic white tip shark as well by not marking them as protected species. So thats it folks. Only going to be a matter of a few years at the most where our oceans will still have these creatures who have ruled the seas since prehistoric times. We're all so farked! Sniffle.

Very excited to have recently employed a fantastic edition to the team our very own Jennifer Mathews who is joining our other Green Queen Heather to rid the island of rubbish & to do everything in our power to save the world of rubbish & dicks like those at CITES! Jenny who is a Marine Biologist & keen conservationist having done what she is about to do here already in Peru. Jenny is going to be launching loads of new Eco projects, coral reef surveys, & land conservation efforts & loads of training & eco awareness for everyone who dives here. Watch this space people. This time next year we'll be called Big Green Diving! Welcome Jenny. Sooooo happy to see you.

Its the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan coming up very soon & already this island is filling up faster than a bath with a fat man in it! Which means next week its going to be filling up faster than a bath with 2 fat men! Not a pretty picture. Nor are most of the party people the morning after the Full Moon party come to that! Book your accommodation & diving now before the 2 fat men get here!

Tuesday 23rd March 2010-d

It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark, Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart, You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it, You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes...You're paralyzed, Cause this is thriller, thriller night! Yeah Baby what an awesome night. The zombies were fantastic. Everyone was in time except for one exceptionally drunk Welsh zombie & the crowd went absolutely wild! Fun-Bloody- tastic! Well done Heather. That's really gonna take some beating for next year. Better start practising now! "Heather!"

SSImon has started another SSI ITC this week with 4 eager to become an SSI Instructor Candidates including our very own DM Duncan & 2 SSIStaff Instructors as well. So this week the guys have been mostly learning how to teach & demonstrate skills in confined water & next week they will be doing most of the skills needed in the Open Water & surface skills & lectures. Its masSSIvely ecSSIting, SSImple & profeSSIonal!

We've scheduled another Full Day Trip to Sail Rock tomorrow for all those who want to dive the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand as described by the Thailand Dive Guru Mr John Williams form Siam Dive n Sail, & author of many books on diving in Thailand including the Lonely Planet Guide to snorkelling & Diving in Thailand. A Rock that sits totally isolated somewhere between Koh Tao & Koh Phangan with its maximum depth at 40 Meters & rising 15 meters above the surface. A beautiful site. A fantastic Day out. & the best Massamun Curry Chicken in Thailand!


eSunday 21st March 2010-

Ja! You betcher ass! Being a Tech Instructor isn't just a guy thing! Congratulations to Yvonne & Helen on becoming Big Blue's first all womens female ladies Tech Instructors! & not only that this makes both of them the only Women girl ladies TXR Tech Instructors in South East Asia. In addition Yvonne is officially the only German Damen madchen womanly lady bird German speaking Instructor in Thailand! & Helen the only female bird lady TXR Deco Procedures & Extended Range Tech Instructor in South East Asia! You go go girls! Now go out there & be a man!

The nerves are all frayed for tonights Big blue zombies! Last year it was Grease! This year its Thriller. Heather has rustled up 20 of our most dead looking Instructors, Divemasters & DMT's to perform live on stage at this years Koh Tao Festival. Last night 2 other shops performed their rendition of the Timewarp & a beach medley consisting of California girls, Baywatch, Under the sea & Itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini! Bikinis off to both shops for their outstanding efforts. But tonight is the main attraction. Not even the inconveniently timed Liverpool V's Man Utd clash will stop people coming to this tonight! (We hope!)

Staff wanted! Big Blue diving is looking for a wonderfully friendly charming & efficient Shop girl or boy to work alongside our existing wonderfully friendly charming & efficient Shop girl & Shop Swop. Candidate must be able to speak English, be computer literate, be wonderful, friendly, charming & efficient. Ability to speak Thai an advantage. Hooters also an advantage but not necessarily essential for this job!

Friday 19th March 2010-f

Dear people of Norway, Japan, & China. Please stop butchering, killing & slaughtering our fish, our sharks, our whales & our dolphins! Its not big & its not clever! It is destructive & it is bringing many of these creatures to the edge of extinction. This is not a personal dig at any one of you people from these nations as I know there are many of you from each country who are against what their governments are doing but please don't stand there silent. Voice your opinions! Demonstrate against the policies of your governments & stop the killing before there is nothing left. Lots of love Dan Bolton (Big Blue Diving Instructor) & Paul Watson (founder of Greenpeace & Sea Shepherd).

Can't hold it in any longer! I'm absolutely bursting at the seams! If I don't let it out I am going to explode! Its been with me for the last 3 months & I haven't been able to tell a soul so now that I can its just such a relief I can't begin to explain! People have been questioning lately as to whats been up with me & the Missus? We haven't been out, haven't been drinking, keep having to bugger off for a couple of hours every now & then & all these hospital visits! There must be something up! & there is! We're going to have a baby! :) :0) :(0)

Well its just a matter of time now till all our zombies are let out the crypt & invade the stage at this years Koh Tao Festival! Heather & the gang have done an amazing job with their Michael Jackson dance routines & the whole island is waiting in eager anticipation to see our Big Blue rendition of the classic Michael Jackson classic Thriller. We'll be live on stage tonight for the dress rehearsal & the real thing is this Sunday starting at 9pm! Be there & bring money to give to the Koh Tao Festival so we can Save Koh Tao!

Sunday 14th March 2010-g

With only 7 days till the Koh Tao Festival, the finishing touches are being made to the dance routine, costumes are being made, impromptu dancing whenever a certain song comes on in the bar like a freaky flash mob dance!! I think Heather has earned a day or 2 off, she’s been dancing her little socks off, leading rehearsals, film editing, teaching diving and organizing beach clean-ups. Thank you Heather for all your hard work, we’ll do you proud.

It looks like we will all be having Weird Beards on Wednesday again as today we welcome back Hal(lvard) who has returned from his time over the pond in France. Our multi-linguist is back with us for a few months so a few beers in the bar tonight.

Speaking of the bar! Welcome to Lou who is our not so new anymore hostess with the mostest, she used to be found at places like the Fishbowl and Vibe but now we have her here at our very own Big Blue Bar. Its great to have a character behind the bar, it makes up for all of our quiet and shy staff members!!!!

hSaturday 13th March 2010-

If you haven't seen Shark Water or the Oscar winning Documentary The Cove yet then get off your arse & go watch them & once you've done that watch the Animal Planet documentary Whale Wars & once you've seen all them keep your eyes open for the next big Documentary Blockbuster Sharkquest Arabia! Just when you thought things were getting better here comes a documentary about the illegal finning of grey reef sharks, lemon sharks, carpet sharks, scalloped hammerheads & Whalesharks! Please people stop this insane madness! www.sharkquestarabia.com this years must see & act documentary for all people who give a shit!

Just in case you were wondering... its 36 degrees today. Not even a breath of wind! The sky is a pallette of awesome blue, with odd tufts of pure white cotton wool balls. The sea is flatter than a pancake. The water temperature is a cockle warming 30 degrees & the clarity in the water is over 20 meters minimum everywhere! The marine life is as vast & multicultural as ever & the boats & the dive sites are practically empty. The sunsets are a rosey red & the beers are an icy cold... just in case you were wondering!

So the Bangkok protests between the Yellow shirts & the Red shirts has kicked off in Bangers this weekend & many countries have issued travel warnings advising travellers & tourists to avoid Bangkok & Thailand. Seems to have worked too! I actually saw tumbleweed rolling down the streets of Sairee Village last night, its that quiet here in Koh Tao. So what better time to stick 2 fingers up & go do some shopping & check out the latest 3D blockbuster at the IMAX cinema in this great country's capital city. What a bunch of overhyped codswallop!
i

Friday 12th March 2010-

12 of our Divemaster candidates completed their Deep Diver and Nitrox Diver course yesterday on our Full Day Trip to Sail Rock. The guys were exposed to 40m and the use of nitrox for the first time. This training is required for anyone wishing to join us on our wreck diving trips coming up next week. Their Instructors Andy and Thomas were in technical diving gear for safety reasons but the students, being recreational Divemaster interns, were on a single cylinder. The course was combined with several different agencies which was based on the students preference. On top of the 3 great dives it was also Martins birthday which he spent celebrating at the front of the boat from seasickness. Happy Barf-day Martin!

The Save Koh Tao Marine Conservation Branch and Sabai Jai Mini Magazine are running a photo contest on a bi-yearly basis, and all winners will be printed in “Sabaijai” upcoming edition and Koh Tao Calender 2011. Prizes will be awarded for winner of land and underwater with a selection of restaurant vouchers and bar drink voucher. Selection of winners will be done by local judging team.To enter you must pay the entry fee (100B), and supply a photo and photo information to Big Blue Diving in any readable format (jpeg, gif etc) in any resolution. Photos above 1mb will be ok. (Photography should be taken within the past 6 months in Koh Tao.) Individuals may enter as many times as they like, and the more scantily clad women the better! Good luck & Happy snapping.

"Just wanted to say a quick thanks for a brilliant time with Big Blue at Koh Tao. My Instructor was Deano & he was fantastic and if I would have had the time I would be doing my advanced open water with yourselves tomorrow. Again, thanks for a great time - already planning my next spot of diving (Red Sea probably) and if I am back in Koh Tao anytime soon I shall look you up again. Cheers, Craig Hicks."
Nice one Craig. Glad you had such a good time & look forward to seeing back on the Rock again soon.

jTuesday 9th March 2010-

If you do a google search on Diving Koh Tao, Open Water course Koh Tao, ssi shop koh tao, Advanced Course koh Tao, Divemaster Course Koh Tao, diving Thailand, best dive shop koh tao, best diveshop Thailand, fun diving koh Tao, scuba diving koh tao, diving Thailand, dive koh tao, padi dive resort koh tao, rescue diver koh tao, number 1 dive shop koh tao, tech diving koh tao, best manager koh tao, best instructors Koh Tao we come up pretty much first every time, certainly on the first page & if we didn't already then this will definitely help! ; )

‘‘The Cove,’’ a U.S. film about a controversial annual dolphin hunt at a Japanese town, won the best documentary feature at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards ceremony Sunday in Los Angeles. Directed by Louie Psihoyos, one of the world’s most prominent still photographers, the film depicts, partly through the use of hidden cameras and microphones, the capture of dolphins by local fishermen in the whaling town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture. After screenings in selected countries such as Japan, Australia and the United States, the documentary provoked criticism against the hunt, while local fishermen defended it as part of a Japanese tradition, saying the practice was not bloodthirsty as they built memorials for the dolphins. Reacting to the Academy Award, fishermen in Taiji voiced anger, saying they were misleadingly described as ‘‘Japanese mafia.’’ A senior official of the local fisheries cooperative association rejected an interview, saying, ‘‘Whatever we might say, it will just help advertise the movie.’‘ Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen said, ‘‘Dolphin hunting is not an illegal activity. It is necessary to respect each culture’s diet, based on an understanding of regional traditions.’‘

Full Day Trip to Sail Rock coming up on Thursday & we have a queue forming outside the dive shop with people waiting to sign up to dive the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand. For just 3500 Bt you get to dive Sail Rock, Samran Pinnacle & Southwest Pinnacle have a cooked breakfast & the best Massaman curry Chicken on the planet all between the hours of 7 to 5! Better do some queue barging!

k

Monday 8th March 2010-

"After rocking up to Ko Tao four English sisters with four heavy backpacks wandered down the beach looking for a dive school. After a sweaty walk we stumbled upon Big Blue Diving Resort. The place had a buzz about it and we were very happy to be offered a welcome drink to quench our thirst! Jim came to meet and greet us and straight away we felt at home! There was a story behind why we wanted to learn to dive as our dad had been a diving instructor and growing up we would love to hear his diving stories. This was going to be a different experience to his stories of diving in the North Sea. Jim explained the courses and we were introduced to our PADI Open Water Dive instructor Nick. We all had the most amazing experience after completing the 3 day open water course and we had caught the diving bug so what better way to continue by completing our Advanced Open Water Course..Night dive, deep dive, sharks (well one sister saw them!) trigger fish.... Bring it on! We've been introduced to a whole new world and now our travelling will revolve around diving! We'll be back to Big Blue in the near future to do our rescue course and sure our dive master.... Thank you Big Blue and especially Nick for being a fab instructor!" Sian Maddocks, one quarter of the Maddocks clan!

So we have now revamped our 200 Bt fan rooms with a new cement walls instead of wood & have replaced each bed with a brand new metal framed bed! Its definitely about time as I think we've had these rooms since the dawn of man so we are very excited to be opening them back up for business again as of tomorrow. Just 200 Bt for an individual fan room with your own bathroom. Not bad at all. Not as good as our free accommodation we offer in our Air Con dormitories with hot water shower, but still, not bad!

Norway has dramatically increased the quota of mike whale that its whalers are allowed to catch this year. They announced their quota for 2010 would be 1286 whales- 45% more than 2009! Last year they killed 484 whales, the lowest taken in the commercial whale hunt in a decade. Conservationists say this was due to a lack of demand for whale meat & that they were surprised the quota has been increased. Such a huge quota defies logic & any pretence of claims of sound management. This is nothing more than the empty rattling of harpoons & it is clear these quotas are being set more for political show than anything else! If you are Norwegian, do something!! Stop the slaughter of whales in your country & boycott whale meat... & greedy self centred politicians!

lSaturday 6th March 2010-

The brave among us this morning all got up before the crack of dawn to do a bit of sunrise diving at Chumphon Pinnacle. Nothing like being up before the fishies! I had no idea we had so many nutters staying with us who could manage to get up that early on their holiday, but obviously we do as more than 30 people signed up to be the first people to dive Koh Tao's best divesite today. Crazy cats!

Soup is off! An advert showing real footage of a dying finned shark has been shown on Chinese TV. The ad was made by Wild Aid & Shark Savers as part of a campaign to halt the demand for shark fin soup. It shows Chinese basketball star Yao Ming in a restaurant pushing away a bowl of soup after seeing the shark die. Well played China! Now if only other countries would follow suit the world would be a far better place!

"Oh My God i had so much fun doing my Open water with you in Feb 2010 - so much so i am planning my next adventure back over your way to do my advanced :) Thank you for making my holiday so awesome - especially Deano & Sonia :) Miss you guys x- Emma Lovejoy" Thanks Emma. Look forward to having you back here for your Advanced...and Rescue... & Divemaster!?

m

Friday 5th March 2010-

Eagle Ray in Confined Water!? Imagine that! Most dive shops on this Island offer the first day of the Open Water Course in a swimming pool! Lots of phlegm, pubes, chewed off fingernails, discarded plasters & some pools on the island you even see dollops of man milk! But if you are wise & really want to get the most out of your dive course then I highly recommend doing your confined water training in the sea! Like we do! & if you keep fingers crossed you might see an Eagle Ray too. Or a Turtle. Or a Seahorse!

"Hi Jim, Thanks for all your help. I've just arrived back in England (sadly) after a fantastic holiday in Thailand and wanted to thank Big Blue for a great diving experience! My instructor, Nick, was brilliant and we had some great dives. Please pass on my thanks. Sorry not to have met you. I hope to come back some day soon!Kind regards, Belinda" Cheers for that Belinda & thanks for the email! Next time I hope to meet you too, if I can tear myself away from my computer!

Young love! Simo & his lady friend Jodie, & Erik & his lady friend Beccy, have all gone off for a busman's holiday together to the Philippines! You'd think that when you work 365 days a year diving in the ocean you might be more inclined to do something a little different. But so into their scuba diving this lot that they have all gone east for a scuba orgy! Lucky lucky bar stewards!

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 04:38

April 2010


Saturday 1st May 2010-
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So some of our DMT's & past Divemasters, even some of our present DM's & a couple of our Instructors all went off for a jolly last week to Khao Lak for another trip to the Similan Islands onboard old Big Blue DMT's DM's & Instructors new Wicked Liveaboard. Poor guys had to spend so much of their time underwater with Manta Rays tho that they hardly got to see anything else. My sympathy knows no bounds you lucky lucky lucky lucky DMT's DM's & Instructors! I saw an ickle jellyfish!

Looks like it's all go for the boys at Big Blue Tech this week. Cav and Helen are taking the DMT's through their SDI Deep, Wreck and Nitrox courses, Canada is taking James and Chris through their TDI Extended Range Course, Ash having just taught the BSAC Compressor Operator Course and TDI Gas Blender course is now teaching TDI Nitrox and Ben is on his way for TDI Advanced Wreck in 2 days! No rest for the wicked!

How exciting! Over the next few days eensy weensy teeny weeny tiny little Jenny, Big Blue's very own Marine Biologist will be launching our brand new website aimed at conserving & preserving everything we can here in Koh Tao with www.bigblueconservation.com She will be offering anything & everything to do with eco studies, Marine management issues, bio waste, marine life, artificial reefs, waste management, recycling, water retention & ecological awareness. She's going to be huge! Well lets face it she couldn't be much smaller! Go eco! www.bigblueconservation.com

 

Friday 30th April 2010-b

Canada & his team at Big Blue Tech recently returned from a technical diving expedition in Singapore on the HMS Repulse which was sank during a Japanese air attack during World War2 making it a war grave and a protected site meaning penetration was not appropriate. Although penetration has happened in the past we felt being former British military members it would be best to respect the war grave. During the trip Andrew Cav noticed on the list of casualties another “Cavell” after some research he found out that his great cousin died during the fall of the Repulse making the wreck an extremely humbling dive for him personally. The wreck itself is in 55m of salt water lying almost inverted on its port side with visible torpedo damage midships and stern. The large guns can be seen lying in the sand along with ammunition thrown around the exterior. Visibility was stunning with the wreck visible from the surface of the water. Big Blue Tech... Seriously!

The end of another month & another Full Moon Party exodus from Koh Phangan. Every month Koh Tao sinks a little deeper into the sea after being inundated with 1000's of hungover fluorescent painted party people, & this month despite the commotions in Bangkok is no different. Its like a Bank holiday weekend in the real world! Public transport increases from 8 boats a day to 12 boats for the next few days, all the resorts are all booked up, especially on the beach, the bar shelves are fully stocked, & all the boys are running around wearing their pulling pants.

Most of our DMT's are being treated to the joys of Nitrogen Narcosis at 40 meters today with the Deep Diver Specialty & Nitrox Specialties combined. So this afternoon its another beautiful day at Chumphon Pinnacle for 2 dives. The boat is pretty much full, & then the Beginners boat is choc a block at Japanese Gardens & tomorrows Full Day Trip to Sail Rock was closed within half an hour of promoting it cos it filled up that quickly! & I just know its going to be in the next couple of days we're going to see a Whaleshark! There's just so much plankton in the water right now its as good as guaranteed! Spectacular memories for those who see it! Red shirt for those who don't!

Tuesday 27th April 2010-c

If three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land, then it is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time diving as taking care of the garden! Its Live & let dive not Live & let lawn!

Don't worry we'll be fine! After all this isn't the first time the shit has hit the fan. In 2001 tourism in Thailand was impacted by 9/11. In 2002 the war in Afghanistan put tourists off flying anywhere near the Middle East so our European tourist numbers declined. In 2003 it was SARS. 2004 the Bird Flu epidemic & of course 2005 was a dreadful year just after the Tsunami. 2006 we had the military coup with the ousting of the former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, followed in 2007 by all the problems with bombings in "the South". 2008 was the Yellow shirts taking over the airport & in 2009 we all felt the impact of the global financial crisis. & now 2010 a volcano in Iceland & a bunch of Red shirts in Bangkok seem to be happily destroying our chances of having a good year! But like I said...don't worry about us, we'll be fine! This isn't the first time the proverbial shit has hit the industrialized size fan!

Recent discoveries by groups who practice both yoga and scuba diving have reported similar meditational qualities between the two activities, since breathing underwater creates a weightless state and the ability to achieve inner quietude. According to LeisurePro, one of the largest sellers of scuba equipment in the world, there are six reasons why ’scuba as the new yoga’ is becoming the latest travel trend:
* The body becomes relaxed underwater in a gravity-free environment where divers become naturally buoyant, like being in outer space.
* Many athletes use underwater meditation, such as Olympic swimmers.
* Certain types of dives called "drift dives" allow divers to gently move with the current, with minimal body movement.
* As with meditation, slow breathing works best with scuba. Focusing on breathing relieves stress and promotes relaxation.
* The only noise you generally hear underwater is the sound of your breath.
* Observing the beautiful colors of fish, coral and other sea life is stimulating.
Scuba Diving! Namaste.

Sunday 25th April 2010-

If you are into sex then now is the time to come diving! Its coral spawning time here in Koh Tao & recently Eco Queen Jenny dived our house reef to witness a spot of underwater hanky panky. Corals reproduce sexually, but are at a disadvantage as they are fixed to the sea bed. So they use the rising water temperatures and the phases of the moon as a cue to synchronise their reproductive activity to maximise the chance of success. Species that have separate sexes must release eggs and sperm at similar times for them to be fertilised. Some species of coral are both male and female, and they release eggs already prepackaged in sperm. Bundles of eggs and sperm float to the surface to mix with others along the reef. Each kind of coral times its release to a certain hour on a certain night, maximising the chance of cross-fertilisation. The fertilised eggs drift away from the reef. Leaving a very excited Jenny caked in spermatozoa polyps! How sexy is that?

Don't tell anyone but... the rumour going round is that Kelli & Ash are looking to tie the knot! Today Kelli was seen searching the net for info on marriages in Thailand! & as for honeymoon destinations we all know Ash has been spreading himself all over Europe in recent days, (sorry dreadful joke), so there's obviously something on the cards! Love is in the air! First it was Jim & Andrea, shortly followed by Scobby & Jolene, then it was Marcel & Katti, soon it will be Dan & Kymmie & who knows maybe Kelli & Ash will beat Emily & Craig & Canada & Yvonne down the aisle! Watch this space! The race is on.

A foreign national walking his dogs stumbled on a decidedly strange looking body that appeared to have been washed ashore in Pattaya. It is estimated to have been out of the water for approximately 8 hours. The creature is described as being approximately 2.3 metres long with the lower half resembling that of a large marine mammal and the top taking the form of some sort of land creature with arms and webbed fingers. The whole of the creature is covered in scales, which have started to flake off due to the length of time out of the sea. The strange creature has been taken under naval escort to the marine laboratory for forensic examination. Maybe its that bloke who fell asleep in the Poonama Canal the other day!

Wednesday 21st April 2010-
e
So recently we had a rather intoxicated member of the public, nothing to do with Big Blue I might add, who woke up one morning lounging around the very picturesque part of town we like to call the Poonama Canal. Unfortunatley for him he was still there at 7 in the morning when we all go off for our morning dives, & we managed to take a snap of him with his feet dipped into the river. What a lovely place for a sleep. So picturesque. The grassy bank, a lovely starry night, a rose tinted morning dawn & emulsified toes!

Ooh my word! So yesterday I mentioned that some old has been topless model from the UK has been told she can't dive cos she has surgically enhanced breasts & this morning I come to work and my emails are all about whether it really is dangerous to dive with breast implants cos some of our prospective want to be divers have recently had their breasts boosted! Ladies relax! Please. Don't worry. We have had many surgically enhanced hooters descend with us to depths reaching 30 meters & have even employed a couple of Instructors over recent years, one who is with us now, who haven't gone pop underwater yet! Its just codswallop! So for all those ladies who wrote to me this morning please don't worry. Come diving & bring your bosums along too!

2 more whales seen at Southwest Pinnacle yesterday morning. Probably the same 2 we saw the other day but not as exciting of course cos we weren't there, but none the less quite noteworthy. So we've set out today on another Full Day Trip to the amazing Sail Rock in the anticipation that the whales are moving south from Chumphon where we saw them last week to South west where they were yesterday to Sail Rock where they will be today! I am the Whale whisperer!

Tuesday 20th April 2010-f

Well the place feels a little empty but I guess it would do seeing as we've all had to say goodbye to one of the largest figures in the team- Big Paul! Unfortunately for us Paul isn't a jaffa & when he went home last CHristmas he got his good lady in the family way & now they are expecting their first baby together. So our resident Whaleshark went home (honorable thing to do) is now counting down the days till his son pops out! Congratulations Paulie. Thank for all your hard work, hope you had a fun last night & managed to enjoy every 1 of those 44 hours on the way home.

Breasts of Britain Glamour girl, Katie Price has been warned that her surgically-enhanced breasts could explode or drown her if she goes ahead with a diving course, according to a report. The glamour girl is currently enjoying a holiday in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Earlier this week, insiders claimed that Price wanted to go diving in the Red Sea as part of the break. However, a source told the Daily Star: "There have been scare stories about implants exploding underwater. "Research has shown this is unlikely but they do fill with air bubbles as the pressure increases and can change size underwater. Implants also affect buoyancy so she'd have to make extra efforts to stay afloat. "Given the risks, and how long she has spent perfecting her boobs, it is unlikely Kate will go ahead." What a load of tits!

Canada & his dream team of sweaty, hairy, plump, tight speedo wearing techies all went out this afternoon for a jolly on our very own Koh Tao wreck which no one knows about other than us! A little under a year ago one of the Koh Tao cargo boats sank less than 40 minutes away from Koh Tao in exactly 40 meters depth which means we officially have the very best deep dive, wreck dive & tech dive all within a hop skip & a jump away from Koh Tao. Now if that aint a reason to learn how to Deep, Wreck & Tech dive then what is! Apart from a pair of sweaty, plump, tight testetechies!

Sunday 18th April 2010-
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Isn't it amazing how one thing leads to another thing & next thing you know just when every thing was beginning to look ominously quiet the island has exploded again! & why? Well its this volcano in Iceland innit! Because no one can get home everyone is heading back to their favourite spot in Thailand- Koh Tao- chillin & diving & hanging out till the ash settles! Wasn't anticipating that this time last week when I saw that tumble weed roll through the resort! Welcome back!

Change your lifestyle, live in paradise, get paid to do something you love, become an SSI Scuba Diving Instructor and never look back! Already a DiveCon or DiveMaster? Become an SSI Instructor in 11 days for just 60500 baht, includes ALL materials, processing fees, dues and IE. Currently, demand for SSI Instructors outs...trips supply - there are jobs waiting for you! Training conducted at Big Blue Diving Resort on sunny Koh Tao, unlimited FREE fun diving once you sign up, the chance to assist our instructors on REAL courses, DISCOUNT in the resort bar and restaurant, & ... wait for it ... FREE T-Shirt!! Freelance work available at Big Blue for graduates of our Instructor Training Program, unlimited opportunities to team teach with our full-time Instructors to gain experience and certs. Instructor Training at Big Blue with SSI Instructor Trainer SSImon Garrity.

Just so you know... weather at the moment is hotter than balls! Its a sweltering 38 degrees today. Diving is hotter than balls too! Its 20-30 meter visibility at most sites. There isn't even a whisper of wind or a surface ripple. Right now conditions here are exactly the same as they are in the bounty advert... hotter than balls!

Thursday 15th April 2010-h

In the interests of keeping our customers happy & seeing as we have been so let down by our whale sharks this season, and to make sure we honour our promises to our customers who came over here especially for whale sharks this season we had to make do with a couple of passing Brydes whales a few days ago! Not just any old couple but a big 12 meter female & a smaller 6 meter baby! And we know it was at least 12 meters & no exaggeration as Erik was down at 10 meters when it breeched the surface & duck dived straight back down to Erik with its tail still out of the water when it came eye to eye with him. Not a bad dive for someone who's logged 100's of dives under his belt! Not bad for Heather's group of divers who were logging their 3rd dive either!

Only now recovering from a very sodden New Year on Tuesday. And in addition to all the new range of military style water cannons this year Songkran was made all the more special when Instructor Beccy walked in wearing her white T-shirt & bikini bottoms claiming she'd "forgotten" to put on her bikini top underneath. It took no time at all to to get Beccy soaked from tits to toe! Merry Christmas & a Happy Songkran.

So the goings on in Bangkok don't seem to be getting any where. Well they've stopped killing each other at least which is a start but unfortunately there's still a lot of hoo ha going on & consequently our arrivals have dropped dramatically. So much so that its freed up heaps of time for me & I think I'm going to go for a dive tomorrow morning at Chumphon! Now if that doesn't get the crowds coming nothing will!

Monday 12th April 2010-i

"Hi Jim, So I am now sitting back in reality at my desk at work and I just can’t stop thinking of Koh Tao and Big Blue!! So I thought I would send you some feedback!! I spent 5 nights down in Koh Tao from the 4th April to 9th April. I did my open water course and also 2 adventure dives. I wanted to let you know that this was by far the best holiday I have ever been on!! It was a tossup between 3 dives schools on Koh Tao and I feel I made the best choice. The moment I arrived at the resort Beccy sat me down and went through everything with me. I started the course that night and Beccy was my instructor. My biggest concern when going diving was getting sea sick... luckily is was nice and calm so that was not an issue!! From the moment I entered the water I felt at ease because Beccy had explained everything in detail so I knew it would all be ok.
Pros- Amazing instructors Beccy and Erik, staff can make a holiday what it is and Beccy in particular was fantastic, I cannot speak highly enough of her and her efforts with our group! I know that was a thought from all the girls as well. The relaxed and professional attitude of all the staff!! They all had just the right mix!! The amazing dive spots we visited. The list goes on and on.....
Cons- Someone not been at the pier to pick me up – good thing I used my intelligence and saw one of your cars and waited by it!! Kate at reception – don’t think customer service is her strong point? Not been able to finish my Advance open water due to the fact I had to leave which was another con. I will be back!!! And I will tell all my friends to visit you if they want to go diving!!!
Cheers Georgie Lucas"

Millions of marine turtles have been killed over the past two decades through entrapment in fishing gear, according to a global survey. Six of the seven sea turtle types are on the Red List of Threatened Species. Researchers advocate much greater use of gear safe for turtles. These include circular hooks rather than the conventional J-shaped hooks on long fishing lines, and hatches that allow the reptiles to escape from trawls. Turtles must come to the surface to breathe. When they are caught in a net or on a fishing hook, they cannot surface, and drown. Sniff.

There's a few old faces crawling out the wood work over the last few days & weeks. Of course we know octo-lingual Hal is back & working already, & then newly engaged Dan & Kymmie are back, Dan is teaching already & Kymmie is our new shop bitch. Then yesterday Teetotal Fat Alain came back & who should walk in the door this morning but the Milky Bar kid himself...Peter Couldn't give a Buckmaster! Welcome back everyone. Just in time for Songkran!

Sunday 11th April 2010-j

Oh dear. Well I guess no one is too surprised that its all ended in fisty cuffs up there in the City of Angels, Bangkok, between the Red Shirts & the Government security forces but at the same time I don't think anyone was anticipating the dead & injured. Very sad. Of course all the foreign embassies are issuing travel warnings to Bangkok which is fair enough & we certainly don't recommend hanging around in the confrontation zones but please don't fret. Bangkok is a huge city & the press does have a habit of blowing things out of proportion. Its obviously not good news whats going up in the capital but this is Thailand & the Thais are wonderful peace loving people so this will all blow over soon. Blimmin well better or we're all in for a very low high season. Great for you... not so great for us... terrible for the Thais! :(

Another extremely successful Full Day Trip to Sail Rock yesterday made all the more successful by the fact we all (well almost 'all') saw a Whaleshark! About time too! After all it is whaleshark season & we haven't seen any yet so its definitely about time! High fives to all those who broke their whaleshark virginity yesterday. Low blows to all those who didn't!

Coming up to the most ridiculous day of the year this week! Songkran! The Thai New Year when everyone runs around with water pistols spraying & squirting each other with the most oversized water pistols you can think of! What fun. Sounds extremely immature & juvenile & is! But like I said extremely good fun & a great way to celebrate the New Year... in April!

8th April 2010

kAnd it’s Happy birthday to the Codfather of a great British Institution….Fish and Chips!! This year, Britain is claiming its 150th birthday for the fish and chips industry – great news for all those cheeky chippies! However being such a tasty dish is not such good news for the fish and in 2000 cod was put on the WWFs protection list. As a result there was increased pressure on other fish species such as haddock and plaice, and many restaurant fish are now considered vulnerable to overfishing or fished using methods that are damaging to the environment and causing bycatch of non-target fish. There is hope though, with big fish supply company Compass banning 69 endangered fish species from its restaurants last year including Atlantic Cod, Bluefin Tuna and Swordfish, many restaurants now provide sustainable fish on their menus. Seafood Selector charts can help us as consumers to identify fish good for you and the ocean, and if you have a web-enabled device you can download the Seafood Selector To-Go application that allows you to make good choices about what seafood to buy.  So if you want to be in an environmentaly batter plaice [cant help it sorry] just point your web enabled mobile device at m.edf.org/seafood and start buying seafood that’s good for you and the ocean.

 

 

"Hi everyone at Big Blue, I just wanted to thank you all for making me feel like part of the family when I was doing my open water and advanced courses about a week ago. Learning to dive on Koh Tao was one of the most amazing experiences and I cannot wait to come back and dive some more. It has been less than a week since I left and I'm already missing it. Special thanks to Dennis for teaching one group in two languages and being an excellent instructor.Hope to see you all soon, Kate". You betcha Kate! We look forward to seeing you back here again soon for more fun in more than 1 language! Ja!
 
"Hey there! I just wanted to thank you and most of all Paul for a great Open Water Course! It was just amazing and we definitly had the best days of our trip with you underwater at Koh Tao! Take care! Kerstin from Germany." Thanks Kerstin & glad you had such a great time with us & with Big Paul. Unfortunatley Big Paul is leaving us now to go & be a Big Daddy in Canadia! Selfish Moose!

Thursday 1st April 2010l

 Our newly expectant Dad and Glorious leader, Jim, along with Mrs Jim will be indulging themselves on fine food and some fantastic diving from one of Big Blue's liveaboards on the west coast for the next few days...just like to say congratulations on your news and have a great time both of you.  Make the most of the next six months of your life being your own as it's all going to come to a swift but happy end...though some bits wont be that different, instead of soggy pee filled wetsuits it'll be soggy poo filled nappies...enjoy!

Anyway, back to whalesharks in trouble...Sammy, the female whaleshark held in a hotel aquariam in Dubai for the last 18months has been released after a huge campaign by the residents of Dubai to have her returned to the ocean.  The whale shark was tagged and quietly released after it had been placed in a Dubai hotel aquarium having been rescued by the hotel's fish husbandry team in 2008.   For some strange reason, no photos or invitations were sent to the media or the Dubai marine community to witness the much-anticipated release of the ocean's biggest fish.  Sammy had caught the attention of thousands of people when Atlantis, placed her in their aquarium, the Ambassador Lagoon.  Before being released she was tagged with a tracking device that will store information like movement, depths reached and water temperature for the next 3 months after which the device will detach and come to the surface for the information to be transmitted by satelitte. There's some speculation over her release as it was so hush hush and some speculators are saying she's dead, while Steve Kaiser, vice-president of Marine Sciences in charge of the operation said that it was done under great secrecy to avoid having the media circus that would have ensued.  Let's just hope she adjusts back to her natural habitat and doesnt end up in the Phillippines. 

Here's the best news I've had all week...Scuba Diving makes you lose weight!  Fact.  So my dream of looking good in a wetsuit and doing something I love is about to come true...finally.  The Guardian Newspaper says it's actually better for you than regular swimming.  All those fin kicks which seem so effortless to do underwater are actually re-shaping your legs.  Your doing water based weight training, firming the front of the thighs as you kick down and the back as you kick up.  So, my Elle McPherson shaped legs must seriously be taking shape at some point soon....like really soon please!  But there's more, Scuba Diving is extremely good for burning energy or calories which means weight loss!   Someone weighing approx 70kg [11st] will burn 13 calories a minute while scuba diving, so a 45 minute dive would use up a whopping 585 calories! Yay!  That's like a big Massaman curry with fat chips followed by chocolate ice-cream right?  I love diving!!

So has monsoon arrived...5 months late?  Hopefully it's just another day when it rains for about half an hour of biblical proportions, replaces dusty roads with huge puddles that come up to your knees but more importantly breathes life back into our thirsty island.  It was quite hilarious to watch the heavens open this morning and see the Big Blue restaurant rampacked within 15 seconds!  It was like a game of musical chairs with people hurling themselves at anything to sit down on! Thankfully sunny skies are predicted for tomorrow so all is well in paradise!

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 04:37

May 2010

Sunday 30th May 2010-
a
I just couldn't let this slide!

"Located on the west facing side of the island of Koh Tao Big Blue Diving is the ideal spot to base yourself for one of the most enjoyable & relaxing dive holidays you can have anywhere in the world and at an extremely affordable price. With 3 dive boats at their disposal & operating a choice of up to 13 divesites daily this is one of the best run operations in Thailand & in 2009 deservedly won the prestigious SSI Award for Most Successful Dive Center in Asia. Pretty easy to see why as well. They have a beach side bar & Restaurant advertising the greatest sunsets on the island while eating the greatest pizza on the island! They have over 40 rooms offering Free air conditioned dormitory style accommodation to students doing their Open Water Courses, or private fan rooms with ensuite for just 200 bt per night. Or they can offer you bungalows on the beach starting at just 400 Bt per night increasing to prices over 4000 Bt per night!
Environmentally aware, Big Blue organise frequent beach & divesite clean ups as well Whale shark & Turtle data collaboration & local land conservation projects & in 2008 & 2009 won PADI’s Project Aware Award for Environmental Achievement as well as the SSI Award in 2009 for Most Environmentally Active Dive Center in Asia.
Big Blue Diving is one of Thailand’s largest & well respected Diver Education center’s & in 2009 was awarded with 2 of the most sought after awards issued by SSI Thailand with Instuctor Trainer Simon Garrity being awarded with the Highest Instructor Certifications in 2009 & Yvonne Fries was awarded the Highest Student Certifications in Thailand.
Recently Big Blue has also become a well recognised Technical Diving Center & was awarded the Highest Technical Diving certifications in Thailand by TDI. They offer all forms of Technical Diving, Rebreather diving & also organise monthly Cave Diving trips to Khao Sok National Park & in the past year found a wreck lying in 40 meters depth just off Koh Tao, making it the most accessible wreck dive from Koh Tao.
Offerring all PADI, SSI , BSAC, SDI & TDI courses from beginner to Instructor it is easy to see why Big Blue Diving Koh Tao has become one of the most recognised & well respected Dive centers in the Asia Pacific Region.
For more information please feel free to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or see for yourself on www.bigbluediving.com"

Well said Rough Guide! 

 

Saturday 29th May 2010-b

"Hello! I stayed at your resort and went on a couple diving excursions a few weeks ago. While there, I had the french toast with honey & peanuts and now that I have returned to the United States, I'm craving it! Is there anyway I could get the recipe or at least a list of ingredients? I don't cook much so hard for me to figure out on my own and that was good stuff. Also, Sonia was extremely helpful and great to work with while I was there so I wanted to pass along that feedback! Thanks again, Sonia! Kristi Miller" mmm. I think it was bread fried in 2 eggs served then pour on honey & sprinkle on some chopped peanuts! & Bobs your uncle, Fanny's your aunt!

You may have read about an intrepid couple from Sweden who are on their way to stay with us here in Koh Tao having skated their way here all the way from Chiang Mai to Singapore & back! Jim is skating on a longboard (skateboard) and Maria on rollerblades. They started in the middle of January and reached Singapore on the 16th of May. Right now they are on Koh Samui but are coming to Koh Tao for a well deserved holiday before flying back home from Bangkok. They have around 8000 people on their Facebook Group from all over the world who are following their trip. They have also been in a lot of newspapers, radio and tv back home in Sweden. Two newspapers here in Thailand, one in Bangkok (http://www.scandasia.com/viewNews.php?coun_code=se&news_id=5945) and one in Phuket (http://www.phuketgazette.net/news/detail.asp?id=8350&Search=longboard)
(http://www.phuketgazette.net (news/detail.asp?id=8625) and two in Malaysia
(http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2010/2/6/lifeliving/5483428&sec=lifeliving) and a chinese newspaper in Penang so maybe you have read about them already. So alot of people knows about them & one of Swedens biggest newspaper has promised to do an article when they get back home so a lot of Swedes will read about them. They are doing this in benefit for childhood cancer foundation and their goal is to raise 50 000:- SEK and have raised around 22 500:- so far. Cool guys! Welcome to Koh Tao!

Still running our very popular Full Day trips to Sail Rock right now, & why wouldn't we? After all we have nearly 20 people all desperately keen to pay a visit to the legendary dive site reported to be the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand so of course we want to take our divers there. After all we are officially the the Best Dive Center in Thailand so we want to offer the best Dive site to the best customers with the best Dive staff & not forgetting the best Massaman Curry in Thailand! Dive with the best! Blow raspberries at the rest!

Friday 28th May 2010-c

The phrase "Deader than a dodo" springs to mind! So quiet you can hear a mouse fart! It's quieter than Bjork saying it's oh so quiet, quiet! & that's not just here either. Unfortunately it appears to be all over Thailand. Tourist arrivals are down 30%, Bangkok Hotels occupancy rate is at an all time low of just 10%. Never has there been a better time to come to Thailand & get that absolute bargain. Things are at such bargain prices right now cos people are desperate to make some money & because its so quiet with such a lack of tourists they're even cheaper than a bargain! So if you are looking for a cheap holiday destination then you know exactly where to come! Right here right now!.... please.

"When a Blue Whale tagged with a web-cam as part of a television nature program broadcasts a brutal murder at sea, an FBI agent with a fear of water finds herself in a deadly race to reach the animal before an unknown killer can destroy the digital evidence it carries. For Special Agent Tara Shores, the many possible suspects each present obstacles as unique and perilous as the sea itself. Is the murderer one of the web viewers vying for the controversial reality show’s million-dollar prizes? The extremist environmental group threatening violence unless the whale is liberated from its high-tech tracking device? The wealthy Hollywood power-couple who own the show? Or the troubled, young inventor of the whale-cam? And just who was the beautiful woman slaughtered live on the web? Navigating an ocean of manipulation and deceit, the detective’s best hope for a solid piece of evidence is the original murder video, still attached to the back of the 100-ton creature which roams the Pacific tethered to its electronic leash. But when the tag’s GPS locator mysteriously fails, it seems that finding the beast will prove impossible. As the Special Agent dives deeper into the case, what she initially dismisses as a publicity stunt for the glitzy reality series soon sweeps her out to sea in a riptide of greed, sex, and high-tech crime." Sounds like a book worth reading! Wired Kingdom by Rick Chesler out now!

The wind has picked up quite a bit. Quite a lot actually! & with the rising winds comes the rising waves so if you are one of the few coming over in the next few days then I would highly recommend a seasickness pill to quell that rising breakfast! Also consider taking one of the ferries as opposed to the catamarans. My top tip is the Seatran or the Songserm. They are a little easier on the waves than the Catamaran & if you do have to hurl they offer you non see through bags in which to hurl up in! Isn't that thoughtful!

 Monday 24th May 2010-d

"Hi Jim! The saddest scene is unveiling on my own balcony in the center of Phnom Pehn :) My diving equipment is painfully sweating the last drops of water I logged back from Koh Tao! :)) This means that...well, this wonderful week at Big Blue is behind..and yes, will remain in my mind as a very agreeable one. Nice place you have there. And super nice staff. Please, give my best regards to Steven, Tom, Yvonne and Rachel whom I have been diving with the most. Nice humour, relaxed enough, yet with no compromise on security. There...Big Blue has just made my mind up in considering going professional...and "dive" into the dive master program. Let's see... Here is one pic for Steven... Would you forward it to him? Merci! It was great. And until soon! I am working on the few friends I have that have not yet joined the divers club. If I succeed, I'll bring them to you guys! Catherine."

This years Save Koh Tao project is going to be a wreck! About time too! We are going to raise enough money to build a big underwater ship that we can swim through over & around. & today is the first of our raising money for the project days so Jenny is organising another beach & underwater clean up & Kymmie has organised a sports day with tug of war competitions, egg & spoon & 3 legged race & Dave at Vibe is dishing out another legendary Barbie on the beach. Should be fun so come one come all & bring some cash. All donations will be put towards the new Koh Tao wreck 2010!

Still bright sunny hot & sweaty. That's enough about me! How are you? Ha! No the weather I'm talking about. The sea aint bad either. Great visibility, fish everywhere, warm tropical temperatures, & reasonably calm surface conditions, absolutely ideal if you were thinking of coming on a tropical island holiday! Its pretty quiet too so it really is the perfect time to see Koh Tao without the usual swarms of revellers! So... See you next weekend then?

Sunday 23rd May 2010-e

Our very own Green Queen Jennifer "massive" Matthews took Jim, SSImon & Duncan & a whole bunch of very enthusiastic DMT eco warriors for a lecture & a dive at Bio Rock yesterday! We all went armed with bits of wire & broken fragments of live coral which we then proceeded to tie together on to the 4 or 5 electrically charged Bio Domes. With the 12 volts of charge these domes have surging through them it is understood that the coral will now grow upto 5 times faster than it would under normal circumstances. Just like Viagra!

There's SSImply no stopping our SSImon these days. Having already recieved the maSSIvely prestigious "Most Instructor Certifications Award" in 2009 SSImon is now being honoured with one of the highest ranks on the SSI ladder- which is that of Instructor Certifier, making him one of a very select number of people who can actually fail you on your Instructor exam. Thats like an SSI Knighthood! So not only does SSImon teach you how to become an SSI Instructor he might also be the one that examines you. So better pull your trousers up gents & your tops down ladies. SSImon's getting SSIrius now! Congratulations SSImon.

Seems to be that time of the year when all our members of staff desert us for their annual trip home to see Mum & Dad & get the laundry done... properly! Emily went home a couple of weeks ago already. She is now in Brummyville. Then Erik left to go to Sverge for the best part of 2 months to be joined later by Beccy no doubt. Then Rick & Fanette & came & went & now holidaying in Gaye Paris with Takeshi & Naomi no less. Then Deano flew home to be with his one true love Lara, & Barry went off last week to watch the World Cup in England. & then this week Dan & Kymmie are off to a wedding or 2 back in Europe & SSImon & Jodie are heading back for Blightey for a month aswell. Then Jim & his Missus are supposedly off to Germany for a last sojourn before their baby is born. Meanwhile Canada is cruising around Thailand diving the many wrecks & Caves we have here, Roz is off to Bangers with her Red shirt & Kelly is stuck in Malaysia on a visa run. Good job its not busy in May & June isn't it!

Thursday 20th May 2010-f

My word! This whole Bangkok thing... what a nightmare. I have sooooo much to say about what I feel about the current situation but out of respect for the people of Thailand I will keep my opinions as an outsider to myself. But wow, who could have imagined that such nice friendly happy heart warming people had so much rage in them. I'm really quite shocked! No idea how things will develop from here on in but I will say that so far all these problems are a geographical issue & are only affecting the areas north of Bangkok so south of Bangkok is completely unaffected. So with that in mind if you are on your way or thinking of coming over then jump on the next plane to Koh Samui with www.bangkokair.com & we'll see you in Koh Tao. Its lovely, sunny & not a red shirt or a burning tyre to be seen anywhere!

Congratulations to Dan who has successfully managed to pass his Tech Diver Course without even wearing a pair of speedos! Rumour has it speedo wearing is part of the Tech diver uniform. We've all seen Canada, Cav & Duncan in their beige yellow numbers, & our female TXR Instructors wear their speedos in the bar so its nice to finally have a proper Tech Diver sporting a serious Tech Diver look. Congrats Dan & congrats Helen & Yvonne who have now conducted their first Tech Diver Course.

"Hi Jim, First I would like to inform you that I am now a SSI Diver Stress and Rescue certified diver. Hal and DMT Fabian are great instructors in preparing my mind and body for the worst possible scenarios, including my mask being ripped from my face in an underwater panic scenario. The fun part of that was we were trying to find my mask for what seemed like minutes which was behind me wrapped around the first stage the entire time :) Good observation Fabian \m/(^__^)\m/ On the final day of my rescue course Hal was able to convince my mate Gemma to take a Discovery Scuba session the next day. Gemma's instructor was Becky. At first there was some anxiousness/nervousness on Gemma's part right when we got on the boat to the Japanese Gardens. Becky made her feel at ease and gave Gemma positive feedback during the entire session. I've been trying my hardest to convince Gemma to try scuba diving since we started out southeast Asia trip. I can honestly say that she is 'hooked', no pun intended, and she intends to take her open water course at the end of the year. Hopefully with Becky and also when it's the cooler months. Gemma's quote, "Becky is fantastic. Her instruction made me feel at ease, it was fun and easy!!! I can see why people like to dive." Unfortunately my schedule did not allow me to do some fun dives but that's ok. I'll be making my way back down to Singapore and make it a point to go back to Big Blue for some fun diving in between. Again big thanks to you, Hal, Fabian, Becky and the rest of the staff at Big Blue. I'll be back soon. Safe travels and fun dives, Jose."

Wednesday 19th May 2010-
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The number 1 question coming in on the emails right now is if its safe to travel to Thailand? And the answer is... Fark yeah! Bangkok is an enormous city. & the area where all the Red Shirts are is tiny. It's the equivalent of having the Reds hold up Oxford Street in London, or Times Square in New York or George street in Sydney. Its obviously going to have a lot of impact but its not like the rest of the city would be underseige! Everything is fine! This time next week it will all be over & Bkk will be back to normal. & if you want some seriously accurate reporting on the situation rather than the diplomatically flowery reporting of the BBC or CNN then check out www.bangkokpost.com They give it to you straight! The Reds are a bunch of...

How cool is this? Designer Adam Wendel has come up with a futuristic device named the “Immersed Senses” that changes the way the diver sees, hears, and breathes underwater, allowing them to become a part of their surrounding environment. Immersed Senses is the future of underwater diving and exploration. Featuring a LED flashlight to let the diver to observe the dark depths of the ocean, the mask also includes a large OLED glass display to offer a panoramic view of the surroundings, and GPS maps, therefore allowing the diver to navigate efficiently throughout the ocean’s landscapes. The OLED enclosed helmet also allows the extracted oxygen to flow freely throughout the helmet, as if you are breathing on land without any breathing apparatus. The OLED also offers software that can identify all species of fish, coral and other ocean dwelling creatures that diver is currently viewing. In addition, the OLED screen depicts important info such as oxygen toxicity, nitrogen levels and even body heat to keep the diver well informed and safe. Water leakage is eliminated with the use of a silicone lining that seals the helmet to the skin. The silicone’s flexibility affords the diver to explore with comfortable movements. The orange side panels assist in internal circulation of the extracted oxygen. The rear of the helmet contains an electrolysis reactor that extracts oxygen from saltwater. The breathable oxygen is circulated throughout the helmet, creating a revolutionary underwater breathing experience. Immersed Senses operates by a battery that utilizes a centrifuge mechanism to pull oxygen from seawater that begins the electrolysis reaction. Saltwater is extracted into the bottom reservoir that reacts with hydrogen gas. The saltwater is then charged by a positive and negative anode/cathode that generates breathable oxygen. Two internal devices help to circulate the oxygen to the diver’s mouth and nose. The diver then breathes in the oxygen and out carbon dioxide, which exits the helmet. The battery and stored hydrogen can keep a diver submersed for up to 8 hours. The Immersed Senses revolutionizes how a human can breathe underwater, as well as interact with the OLED display offering a panoramic view of the deep sea.
Its soooo cool, I think I just wet my pants!

Monday 17th May 2010-
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Well it might be chaos in Bangkok but we're actually doing quite nicely thank you very much! Our rooms are pretty much full. At least 2 out of our 3 boats are running out every morning & afternoon. All our Instructors are working. We've got all the DM team working their fingers to the bone! The Techies seem to be permanantly busy. We've got oodles of DM's in Training. The Full Day Trip to Sail Rock is full. We've needed to rent equipment because we ran out the other day. We're practically out of T-shirts & Big Blue water Coolers. The kayaks are out all day every day. The restaurant is chocker! The stools at the bar are permanently occupied & the deck chairs on the beach have always got people sitting on them. We should be on the brink of civil war more often!

After 4 attempts it appears that Nick has finally managed to leave Koh Tao & go on his visa run, though I am still kind of half expecting him to walk back in and make up some other lame excuse as to why he has either managed to miss his boat, sleep in, got lucky, feign illness, motorbike wouldn't start or dog ate his homework. And as he still hasn't walked in since I began writing this paragraph I guess we can all gather that yes Nick has finally managed to get himself on his visa run! Who's a clever boy!

Sir Richard Branson is at it again!—whether it’s luxurious trips to outer space or stylish underwater adventuring, the Virgin tycoon wants to be the first to market it. Virgin Limited Edition announced today it will be going underwater with its new Necker Nymph aero submarine. The Virgin Nymph (sounds like a contradiction in terms) a Deep Flight three-person underwater aircraft. Virgin’s new Nymph sub will fit nicely into the company’s other luxuriously designed Necker-named properties and transports like the Necker Belle—a 105 foot catamaran—and Necker Island. Sir Richard plans to lend the Nymph out to visitors of his high-class hideaway, Necker Island. The Necker Nymph can glide through the ocean doing full 360 degree turns while carrying its pilot and two visitors on a two-hour trip. The Nymph is available to hire for $25,000 a week, or 1000 Bt if you do it as part of your Advanced Course!

Sunday 16th May 2010-
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The mystery of why thresher sharks have such huge tails has been solved.For years, biologists have been unsure why thresher sharks uniquely sport tails that can grow as long as the shark's body. Now video footage has confirmed their true function: thresher sharks use their huge tails to swat and stun much smaller prey fish. The discovery explains why thresher sharks are often caught by their tails by baited long-line fishing gear. There has been no documentary evidence proving what the sharks use their tails for until marine biologists decided to film thresher sharks feeding in the wild. Researchers towed a submersible video camera behind a research boat. In front of the camera, they towed two baited lines, hoping to lure in common thresher sharks, which commonly feed on dense schools of anchovy and sardine. They filmed 33 common thresher sharks swimming near or approaching the bait. The sharks struck with their tails in two distinct ways: either they waggled their body and surged forward, creating a wave down their body that ended in a tail flick, or they positioned their body alongside the bait fish, before making a sideways strike with their tail. These observations confirm that common thresher sharks use their long caudal fins to pursue and stun their prey, which are then easy to catch.

For the first time in what has felt like months, if not years, we had a spot of rain yesterday! Thanks god. The island has been out of water for at least a month already. The island is brown as opposed to green, the trees & plants are all withered & dying & the wells are so low that the shower water turned brown about a week ago. But not anymore! THanks to the good lord & the heavenly father it absolutely pissed down last night & everything looks all lively & healthy again! Long live the Rain!

Our Divemaster Mentor team consisting of SSImon, SSSonia, Danny Boy, Hells Bells, & kNickers are all treating the DM Team & the DM's in Training to a night at the Koh Tao Bowling Alley & Minigolf Course & Driving Range. There'll be a free Bar B Cue for everyone & as many lagers as your money can handle! Of course with 3 sets of groups playing to win the bowling the golf & the French Boules competition should be rife! We want a clean fight people. No poking, prodding, eye gouging, or molotov cocktails! Flowery shirt & a weekend away in Hawaii for the winners. Red shirt & a weekend in Bangkok for the losers!

Saturday 15th May 2010-j

And apart from diving what else is there to do in Koh Tao? Well what has really become popular in recent years is kayaking over to Nang Yuan Island for a spot of bikini watching, or snorkelling. If you are feeling really virile then a trip all around Koh Tao can be quite fun too. Take your sun cream, camera's, your snorkels & your bikini's. & a bit of cash so you can stop somewhere park up on one of Koh Tao's many beachside restaurants & grab a bite to eat as well. All good clean fun & cheap too! This advert has been brought to you by Big Blue Kayaks! Probably the best place to rent your Kayaks on Koh Tao! ;)

Well it looks like I might have spoken a little too soon when I said the other day that an agreement between the Red Shirts & the Government had been reached. Whoops sorry about that! But don't worry as bad as it actually looks it really isn't. I mean don't get me wrong. Its not good either but its not a war zone & you can still fly in & out of Bangkok. So please don't put off your holiday. Arrive & catch the first flight out of Bangers for Samui. Have a look at www.bangkokair.com & then catch a ferry or catamaran to Koh Tao. We'll pick you up at the pier & bring you directly to our Resort for a nice refreshing Mango juice & a seat by the beach! War zone my red shirt!

So I had over 100 logged dives before I saw mine. Jacques Cousteau dived for 20 years before he saw his. Many people dive for a living & have never ever seen one. And those that have seen them reckon it was the most amazing experience of their lives. To dive with a Whaleshark! & Yvonne & Heather's Open Water Students were lucky enough to see their first one on their first Open Water Dives! How lucky were they? Well they were with South East Asia's Number 1 Instructor so I guess we shouldn't be too surprised! Congratulations divers on losing your cherry at such an early time in your diving careers!

Thursday 13th May 2010-
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My apologies must go out to yesterdays Open Water Course who were unable to meet their Instructor because he was at the hair dressers! Our Scandanavian God of Thunder & lego, Soren, owner of Koh Tao's best pair of mens breasts, was unaware he would be required to start a Danish course yesterday afternoon so had already booked himself into the hair salon for a wash & colour! Unfortunatley half way thru he got the call to work so wasn't able to get a perm, but don't worry darling, you look absolutely fabulous!

Marine scientists have been closely watching massive coral bleaching in the Andaman Sea, believed to be the worst case in Thai waters for 20 years. Coral reefs in the Andaman Sea off Phangnga, Krabi and Phuket, including popular diving sites such as the Similan, Phi Phi and Surin islands, have been damaged by the phenomenon. Five percent of the coral reefs affected by the phenomenon have already died. More coral will be damaged if the sea temperature remains high. The phenomenon is also occurring in the Gulf of Thailand, where Scientists believe the main cause of coral bleaching is the warming of the oceans, which forces zooxantaellae, an algae which co-exists with the coral and gives it colour, to detach from the corals' shell. Strong sunlight can also kill the coral. The bleached coral reefs will take a long time to recover, Coral reefs in shallow waters at depths up to 10m will take three to four years to recover. Coral in deeper seas will take more time to recuperate.

Many thanks to DM Emma, who will be leaving us this week for pastures new. Well home I guess would be more appropriate. She has been a major cog in the Big Blue Engine & a big reason for the logistical success with which we operate 6-7 boats a day! Employed initiallly to open up Big Blue Yoga as well as run the boats & speak 5 languages she never had the time to get the Yoga thang off the ground- too busy with the dive thang! So with one less DM in our 4 person DM pool I wonder who's going to fill the gap? OOh exciting. Watch this space to see who becomes BB's newest member of the DM Team. Cheers Emma & good luck!

Wednesday 12th May 2010-
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Just in case you were wondering... its a balmy 38 degrees. Its golden brown sunny, not a cloud in the sky, not a breath of wind! The smell of seawater fills the nostrils. The sea is mirror flat, & the visibility is 20 meters from the surface looking down on the sea bed or 30 meters looking horizontal. There's a banquet of fish at every divesite & the turtles have been making a steady comeback in recent months too. Occasionally we get to dive with passing Brydes Whales & whalesharks & even in confined we've seen eagle rays, as well as a plethora of pretty ladies in skimpy bikinis. After an amazing day in the office its time to top it all off with a nice ice cold stubby & a view of the setting sun behind the ocean. Majestic yellows, reds, pinks & oranges fade to purples, browns, ochres & greens before the sky is filled with a starry starry night & we all head off for a slap up Thai dinner for the same price of a pint of lager before bed time! Just in case you were wondering. ; )

Welcome back to Koh Tao our Big Blue Khao Lak Posse! This last week has seen the return of the Bazza, Takeshi & Naomi, Dan & Mayu, & today we were blessed with the arrival of Rick & Fanette. All coming back to a red carpet, confetti, cheerleaders & a resounding applause for all their hard work & the phenomenal success of our 2 daily speedboats & Liveaboard to the Similans & Surin Islands this last season. They have by far exceeded expectations & are well deserved of a rest after a gruelling 6 months before they head off for their month long vacations & then battling head first to re- enter the rush that is the Koh Tao high season starting in July. Gimme a W-E-L-C-O-M-E-B-A-C-K-K-L-A-K!

Today's global whale population is vulnerable like never before - gravely threatened by climate change, sea level and temperature variations, pollution, ship strikes, entanglement and food scarcity. The public agrees: commercial whaling should be stopped TODAY. Yet, White House officials have met behind closed doors with foreign representatives to lift the whaling ban. Why is President Obama entertaining actions that could lead to the slaughter of thousands of currently protected whales? In 2008, President Obama pledged to strengthen the international moratorium on whaling. Given recent developments, it's time for us to send him a reminder. We've joined forces with Greenpeace to ensure Obama won't forget that campaign promise, but we need your help to make a difference. Help us save 25 years of whale conservation - tell President Obama to maintain the whaling ban. Since championing passage of the international ban on commercial whaling in 1986, every American President has made a commitment to lead in the worldwide fight to protect the global whale population. Even George W. Bush managed to uphold the whaling ban. We can't let President Obama be the first president to fail his duty to protect whales from senseless slaughter. Write to the White House today and tell Obama: we won't endorse commercial whaling on our watch!

Tuesday 11th May 2010-m

Canada & his team of Merry men are off tonight for a months trip around South East Asia checking out some of the best diving this region has to offer. First off its Khao Sok where they will be diving caves & the Sunken Village. Then its over to Khao Lak to dive the new wreck finds halfway between Tap Lamu & Thai Muang. Then pop into Phuket & dive the legendary Hin Daeng & Hin Muang. Then its Singapore bound to dive the 2 legendary Second World War wrecks- the Battleship HMS Repulse & the Dutch submarine K17. Then its more caves in Krabi & Trang in the Sra Keow Cave & the Song Hong Cave then a little exploratory dive near Songkla before finishing off with a few of the wrecks around Pattaya. What a happy ending! I wonder if they are all as jealous of me as I am of them? I have to go to the dentist's in Samui at some point this month!

We all had a very memorable night last night to celebrate Dan & Kymmies engagement to be married next year. The theme was going to be come in red the colour of passion but bearing in mind events in Bangkok it was decided to change the theme to come as the person you love. So the boys dressed as the girls & the girls dressed as Jim, and we all had a very fun & silly night! Congratulations Dan & Kymmie. We wish you both many happy years together.

Hairdressers, pet groomers and farmers worldwide are collecting hair and fur to help mop up the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The hair, stuffed into nylon tights, helps booms soak up thick oil spewing from the blown-out well off Louisiana.Some 204,000kg of hair and fur is said to being arriving each day. Hair is an extremely efficient material for taking in all kinds of oils including petroleum, each follicle has an enormous surface area, which the oil "sticks" to. Volunteers have been stuffing the nylons with hair at 15 warehouses close to the disaster zone, making huge "hairy sausages" or booms. The booms will be laid on beaches rather than out at sea, soaking up any oil that washes ashore. About 370,000 salons are taking part organising the massive "hair lift". ; )

Sunday 9th May 2010
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Hot Dawg! Congratulations Big Blue on a number of fronts! First off I'd like everyone to put their hands together to congratulate SSImon for being officially recognized by SSI as the highest certifying Instructor Trainer in Asia, having certified more SSI Instructors this year than the whole of Asia put together last year! Secondly I think celebration is in order for Yvonne who was last night crowned the best SSI Instructor in Asia with the highest amount of certifications & the most amount of students who continued & took their Advanced Course with her! Wow. That's quite an award! Then Canada received a recognition award for his services towards Tech Diving. Top stuff! & Big Blue itself won 2 awards for the most environmentally active Dive Shop in Asia & ... drum roll please... the most successful Dive shop in Asia! & come November we compete with other nominated Dive centers from around the world for the Most Successful Dive Shop in the World! How about them apples! :)

Latest news regarding the political situation in Bangers! The Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has offered to dissolve parliament in September which is kind of what the Red shirts are asking for & so everything is looking peaceful & lovely again & finally foreign governments have lifted their visiting Thailand warning & are telling their citizens that its alright to travel to Thailand again! You bet your ass! I could have told you that weeks ago!

Big Blue Tech celebrates the graduation of our very own Inst Helen, Simone Reymenants and James Foleher from their TDI Advanced Wreck Diver course and Andy Cav from his TDI Advanced Wreck Instructor Course conducted over 3 days on 2 different wrecks off the coast of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand by TDI Instructor Trainer Ben Reymenants. The TDI Advanced Wreck course is the next step for any diver that has taken a wreck diver course. During the course, the students were taught the proper techniques for locating and planning a penetration dive. The advanced wreck course is commonly taught with other popular TDI course such as advanced nitrox, decompression procedures, extended range, closed circuit rebreather, and trimix. The TDI Advanced Wreck course is unique in that it trains divers to conduct extensive multi level penetration or entry of shipwrecks without the linear depth or light restriction. & looks really cool on your CV!

7th May 2010- Friday
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Another great day in paradise! This morning our divers headed out to Chumphon Pinnacle, to find not just one Whale Shark, but two chilling out on the pinnacle. Such a great way to start the day that we thought it would be a great way to finish the day too, so our boats headed straight back out to Chumphon Pinnacle this afternoon. There have also been many recent turtle sightings. Emma was surprised on a night dive a couple of days ago by the biggest turtle she had ever seen! Good news for all as we see the return of the turtles to turtle Island (Koh Tao).

It’s been an interesting week and busy week for us all here at Big Blue, we had another of our famous Divemaster Challenges to celebrate Jade and Greg on becoming Dive Control Specialists, and Jen and Nina on becoming Dive Masters. In true Big Blue style we put them all through their paces with a cross dressing bind date themed Challenge and what a good looking ladyboy Greg was! Instead of “our Cilla and Graham ” we had new mentor Dan and birthday boy SSI Simon in the spot light. Before the final curtain SSI Simon graced us with a little sexy dance and impromptu strip-tease to celebrate his birthday, unfortunately for Simon it was laundry day, and lets just say he was not wearing his sexiest undies.

Yesterday saw rain clouds gather over Koh Tao for the first time in many months, the Island has been so low on water we have been getting shipments in from the main land. Its about time, even for those of us who left our home countries to get away from the bad weather. So yesterday we were all dancing in the rain, much to the bewilderment of our new guests. It didn’t last long though and today we’re back to clear blue skies and hot, hot, hot. Lovely.

To close, love is in the air tonight with a fancy dress ‘Come as the One You Love’ party to celebrate Dan and Kimmie’s engagement. So lots of love………..

Saturday 1st May 2010-
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So some of our DMT's & past Divemasters, even some of our present DM's & a couple of our Instructors all went off for a jolly last week to Khao Lak for another trip to the Similan Islands onboard old Big Blue DMT's DM's & Instructors new Wicked Liveaboard. Poor guys had to spend so much of their time underwater with Manta Rays tho that they hardly got to see anything else. My sympathy knows no bounds you lucky lucky lucky lucky DMT's DM's & Instructors! I saw an ickle jellyfish!

Looks like it's all go for the boys at Big Blue Tech this week. Cav and Helen are taking the DMT's through their SDI Deep, Wreck and Nitrox courses, Canada is taking James and Chris through their TDI Extended Range Course, Ash having just taught the BSAC Compressor Operator Course and TDI Gas Blender course is now teaching TDI Nitrox and Ben is on his way for TDI Advanced Wreck in 2 days! No rest for the wicked!

How exciting! Over the next few days eensy weensy teeny weeny tiny little Jenny, Big Blue's very own Marine Biologist will be launching our brand new website aimed at conserving & preserving everything we can here in Koh Tao with www.bigblueconservation.com She will be offering anything & everything to do with eco studies, Marine management issues, bio waste, marine life, artificial reefs, waste management, recycling, water retention & ecological awareness. She's going to be huge! Well lets face it she couldn't be much smaller! Go eco! www.bigblueconservation.com

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 04:36

June 2010

Sunday 20th June 2010-a

Environmental activists from the Sea Shepherd group say they have "liberated" some 800 bluefin tuna. They say the fish had been caught by what they described as poachers and were being towed by two fishing vessels off the coast of Libya. Five scuba divers on Thursday cut open a circular holding net filled with fish below legal weight and caught after the fishing season closed, Sea Shepherd said in a media release on Friday. The operation was carried out 68 kilometres off the coast of north Africa in waters claimed by Libya. The net was being towed by two boats, the Italian vessel Cesare Rustico and the Libyan vessel Tagreft, it said. "Sea Shepherd is convinced that this catch was caught after June 14 and they hold the position that this operation by these two vessels was illegal," the statement said. Activists on the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin rejected claims by the captain of the Libyan vessel that the fish had been caught three days earlier. Bluefin tuna have become a major source of controversy. Highly prized in Japan for consumption in sushi, their numbers have fallen dangerously low in the Mediterranean and east Atlantic, say green groups... & anyone with even an ounce of common sense!

As we draw ever closer to the end of low season & the beginning of what is the Koh Tao peak season from July till the end of September, I think its about time we used the recall system & summon up all our fellow friends & work colleagues who are all off in countries far & wide to return to work. Its like sending out the bat signal. Come on Simon, Jodie, Barry, Deano, Erik, Beccy, Heather, Dan, Kymmie, & Duncan. Come to Daddy! We got work to do!

Its another exciting night of soccer! Tonight the Mighty All Whites from New Zealand take on the minnows of the northern hemisphere & the reigning World Cup Holders Italy. After so many calamitous matches from the European countries its about time a country like New Zealand stepped forward & really showed the world how to play soccer properly! Pick it up & run with it boys!

Friday 18th June 2010-
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Governments ignored scientific evidence and advice in favor of short-term economic interests at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), March 2010. They failed to give eight threatened shark species the trade protections they deserve. Each year, tens of millions of sharks are killed by Earth’s most dangerous predators – humans. Too many of them fall victim to the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning – the act of removing shark fins and discarding the often still alive shark overboard. Despite set-backs, sharks have received recent, historical national protections in Europe, Maldives and Palau. Together, we will make a difference for these critical species. Sign the petition, express your outrage at the recent CITES failures. Your signature, together with thousands of divers and advocates worldwide, will demand government parties to CITES heed science and protect fragile ocean ecosystems. Thanks to your support, together we’re giving sharks a fighting chance.

Happy Birthday Helen! Helen turns 45 today! & is celebrating by having a day at the Koh Tao Spa & then we're all meeting her for leisurely drinks at Choppers to watch the Germany game followed by dinner at Whitening & then back to Choppers to watch the England game at silly o'clock in the morning! Should be a great night. Most of us have got her the usual consortium of goodies for her Birthday but this year Dan really went to town & in his absence has organised a massive showing of his movie which you can see here on You Tube 28 Slices Later at the Big Screen Cinema. What a guy. Good on you Dan. Cheers for that. Great acting by the way. You make Vinnie Jones look like a right amateur! Happy Birthday Hells!

Missing! 1 Frenchman. Looks a little like he just stepped out of a Harry Potter Movie wearing a French Football shirt, a beret, a basket of baguettes, a red crevatte and a squeaky black bicycle. Answers to the name of Dobby! Last seen crying at the bar watching the telly at 4am this morning. If found please return to Big Blue Diving. We're all dieing to take the pissoir out of him!

Thursday 17th June 2010-c

Picture a harpoon ship cutting through the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Suddenly, the harpooner spots a mother whale and her calf. The ocean quiet is shattered by the blasts of exploding-tip harpoons hitting the whales. The whale pair struggles to free themselves from the harpoon lines, but a gunman fires down from the deck, finally ending their suffering. It can take as “little” as 20 minutes to a couple of hours of agony for these magnificent creatures to die. If countries like Japan, Norway and Iceland -- now supported by the USA -- get their way at the next International Whaling Commission meeting, this horrific scene will see itself played out over and over again. For 35 years, Greenpeace has been the whales' greatest defender. They will not allow this newest threat to their existence to come to pass. The international ban on commercial whaling must not be overturned but they cannot ensure this without your support. Greenpeace is gearing up for one of the biggest battles the war against whaling has ever seen. Please make your most generous donation today to help Greenpeace in our fight for the whales. This is an "all hands on deck" moment!

Fancy an Introduction to Technical Diving? Many divers find all the adventure they need in recreational dives to 40 meters or less. Or maybe you linger at the top of the wall, looking down into the inky abyss? Does the idea of penetrating a wreck, with only your lights and a guideline to lead you give you goose bumps? Do you think you’ll never be happy unless you’re flying past a pinnacle at 10 knots on a scooter? Technical diving is about having fun, just like any other pastime. But, like anything worth doing, it requires perseverance and hard work. The Intro to Technical diving is designed for the diver eager to learn some basic technical diving skills which can help improve their recreational diving ability. Intro to Tech isn’t about flexing your muscles or pulling the birds! Its showcasing your latest equipment, & working to develop skills that will improve your dive, and thus propel you into a world of exploration. If this sounds like your cup of tea & you fancy spending some seriously close time with a rotund Canadian then please feel free to contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Well its a dramatic change in the weather today. I guess its about time really. Up untill now the weather has been fantastic. We have still been having the same kind of weather we expect to get in April. But as of this morning its an about face & today we are embracing the rain we have been expecting since May! Not a moment too soon. There's an awful lot of dried up plants around Koh Tao right now who could do with a good drink. And after last nights shocking performance there's a few Spaniards looking like they could do with a drink or two too!

Wednesday 16th June 2010-

Not that we are living in a fascist state or anything like that but the staff were all summoned to Choppers bar last night to watch New Zealand's first game in the World Cup football for the first time in 28 years under threat of instant dismissal! The threat of instant termination obviously worked as 30 Instructors, Divemasters & DMT's all turned up to watch the Mighty whites surprise the world by scoring a draw in the dying seconds of the game! How cool was that? How unexpected? & how excited did Jim get? Find out this Sunday when the kiwis do even better against the existing World Cup holders!

Canada is organising another jolly! This time he's rustled up just over a dozen people for a couple of nights of fun & games camping & diving over at the Angthong Marine Park. The actual aim of the mission is to seek out new holes & crevasses to explore & penetrate & to go boldly go where no man has gone before. Canada & Dive Medic Matt will be leading the troops & then Helen & Ash will be in charge of cooking & Captain Dam is in charge of entertainments! Sound like a blast? You bet your ass! We're off on Sunday! Sign up in the shop now or drop me a line on email if you want to be a part of the Big Blue Expeditionary Force to the world famous Angthong Marine Park!

Despite the fact its low season, & despite the trouble the Red Shirts caused, & the fact there's been an economic crisis the world over, & that the Thai Baht is now pretty strong compared to the Euro & the US Dollar, & that there is a World Cup on & most people are staying where they are untill their teams have been knocked out, & at least one of our boats seems to be on the blink at any one time, & that we only have a handful of Instructors here as most are away on holiday its really been a very pleasant & relatively busy low season! What a delightful surprise. Bit like NZ football!

Saturday 12th June 2010-
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Legendary underwater explorer and filmmaker Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born 100 years ago, on June 11, 1910. To mark the centenary of his birth, National Geographic Books is publishing a memoir by his eldest son, Jean-Michel, the noted French environmentalist, educator and film producer, who has spent most of his adult life nurturing the work of his famous father. In My Father, The Captain, Jean-Michel Cousteau takes an open and intimate look at the life he shared with his father, and the legend he has taken it upon himself to carry. In so doing, he hopes to shed new and meaningful light on the life and work of a man who inspired millions to reconsider our relationship with the sea and its creatures-and, in the process, to understand a little more about himself and his family as well. "Captain Cousteau was a complicated man," the younger Cousteau writes. "He was a man of many different personalities, many different moods. But this is how it is with all great men, yes? We know the public mask, but it is the private face that reveals a man's true character. It is the man we know when the cameras are not filming." My Father, The Captain is shot-through with new material and fresh insights into the life and mind of a man who helped to jump-start a global conservation effort that continues to flourish. Jean-Michel Cousteau and his collaborator, New York Times best-selling author Daniel Paisner, offer an intimate reappraisal of the many touchstone moments Jean-Michel shared with his father, as well as the seminal moments from his father's life that
have become part of the Cousteau family lore and legend.

"Hi there, I never got chance to say thankyou to everyone at big blue for a great week, and a special thank you to the lady with the pink hair she was great - visiting me, getting some things and helping me pack etc also please can you apologise to Greg for me as I did not turn up to meet him on Thursday morning." Not surprising Sarah. We heard you got really sick. I think Greg will find it in his heart to forgive you! And Joy the pink haired lady sends her love. Do hope you are feeling better & will come back & see us again soon.

Just a few comments from our very successful Sunset Dive at Chumphon followed by chocolate cake then a night dive at Green Rock followed by a Singha beer-
" Doesn't get much better than this! Sign me up for the next one" Lisa S. " Great sunset & night dive. First one & certainly not the last. Awesome time. Thanks fellas" Jeff. "Awesome you should do that at least every second day." Lukas. "What a great bunch of blokes you are for organising cake & beer & making diving perfect at last!. I loved it!" Shannon. & heaps more comments Cheers guys. Glad you liked it. When should we do the next one?

Saturday 11th June 2010-
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How about this for a publicity stunt! Skinny dippers left passers-by goggle-eyed after stripping off for the world record attempt - at nude snorkelling. Swimmers bared their beach bums on Australia's Nelly Bay, on Magnetic Island, near the Great Barrier Reef. Designed to celebrate World Oceans Day organisers had expected 100 people to take part but the attempt only attracted 23 people. Sounds like a pretty easy record to break next year people! Better start working those butt muscles ladies! Big Blue is going butt naked snorkelling next year & you are all invited to join us! Save the seas! Snorkel naked!

Well after a blustery few days of strong winds a bit of rain & some rather unpleasant surface conditions, the weather has turned again. Today is a beautiful day. Bright & sunny, flat & calm, blue & clear! In fact looks like a wonderful day to learn how to dive! Just wish everyone else thought so too. Tis very quiet on ol' Koh Tao!

In case you hadn't realised the World Cup kicks off today & all the staff from all their different countries are sporting their national colours of pride! Well Pierre is at least, & Dennis has laid his towel out in front of the telly (guess which country he's from!). Its going to be a very exciting month & if this World Cup is going to be anything like the last world Cup then its probably going to be a fairly quiet month as well on the work front. Still no need to get our knickers in a twist its going to be lots of fun & late night drinking & we're all really looking forward to seeing how well New Zealand will do this time after an absence of 28 years! Go the Blacks! Pick up the ball & drive!

Tuesday 8th June 2010-g

WHALE sharks are being slaughtered and sold in a back-street Hong Kong shark fin market. The fins of the gentle giants are sold for $300 each and used as window displays in shark fin shops in Hong Kong's Sheung Wan market district. Hong Kong's Sharkfin and Marine Products Association secretary Charlie Lim said Australians sent Aboriginal people's heads to museums and therefore the Chinese should be allowed to have whale shark fins on display in shops. Hunting the animals is legal in much of Asia. Whale shark expert Brad Norman said he was "shocked" by the number of fins on display. The founder of marine research charity Ecocean said his investigations had also revealed that up to 1000 whale sharks were killed each year in China. To think these gentle beings are mutilated and left in agony to drown in their own blood, just to end up in a window display in Hong Kong, tears out my heart." On Hong Kong Island's Des Voeux Rd - known to locals as "dried seafood street" - tens of thousands of dried shark fins, used in shark fin soup that is sold for up to $40 a bowl. Dozens of giant whale shark fins, some more than 1m in length and distinguishable by their pattern of dots, were also mounted in windows or packaged for sale. A spokesman for the Hong Kong Government's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said selling whale shark fins was not illegal and fin shops were doing nothing wrong! What the FARK!

Not massively busy here in Koh Tao right now which means its the perfect time to organise a little something special for all our existing divers. So tomorrow our DM's have organised a sunset & night dive interspersed with lashings of chocolate cake! Dusk dive will be at Chumphon Pinnacle. Our night dive will be at Green Rock. & our chocolate cake will be served in the surface interval followed by a lovely warm cup of tea served by our very own Tea's maid Mr Foxy in a pinaforte! Now if that doesn't sell the trip nothing will!

Big Blue Tech intern James Foleher successfully completed his BSAC Open Water Instructor Crossover Course yesterday after a completing a 4 day work shop with academic and water presentations and additional skills not included in other instructor courses. The BSAC instructor cross-over course includes oxygen administration (which is standard at the Dive Leader level) and decompression diving theory. Since James is already a technical diver and an oxygen provider instructor he didn’t need to attend those workshops. James started the crossover as an experienced PADI IDC Staff Instructor who’s majority of teaching and experience comes from working in England. The course concluded with a skill circuit in the swimming pool which was used to test James’s skills and give him the chance to demonstrate his teaching quality. In addition to his graduation, BSAC National Instructor Les Skelton awarded James with Merit which means performance above the passing grade! Good job James!

Friday 4th June 2010-h

Oh...My...God - Conservationists fear a falling shark population is prompting Asian chefs to look for manta and devil rays to help meet the voracious demand for shark fin soup. The growing demand for the manta ray is turning ray fishing into an export operation. Mantas and mobulas are being used as shark fin soup filler, The cartilage was being mixed with low-grade shark fins in cheap versions of the soup. With a life span thought to be well over 50 years, the fish reach sexual maturity only in their teens, at which time they produce one pup every one to three years. While the rays, which are distantly related to sharks, are ending up in Hong Kong’s restaurants, their gills are also being used in traditional Chinese medicines. They are dried, ground to a powder and used in traditional Asian medicines. Reaching sizes of up to 7m from wing tip to wing tip, the manta’s branchial gill plates, which filter plankton from seawater, constitute a tiny portion of a body that can weigh up to 2½ tonnes. The plates can fetch up to £200 on the street in China. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine claim that gill rakers — called peng yu sai — reduce toxins in the body by purifying the blood. A world without Manta's! What is the world coming to?

Big Blue Tech have released new designs to our existing online shop of technical diving clothing. One popular addition has been the “Team Chick” shirt which has been designed specifically for female technical divers. Designed by Helen Artal and Yvonne Fries who are not only female, we think, they are also female SSI Technical Diving Instructors. The new shirt features our famous twin set design with a pink theme, flowers and the slogan “We Go Down”, which of course conjures up a very beautiful image! I just can't look at Helen & Yvonne in the same light again! Or from the same angle!

Another Full Moon party has been & gone meaning we got really busy really quickly & then got really quiet straight after! & of course with the impeccable timing that you come to expect from years of living in Thailand Banzai broke down & we had to take it to the mainland for a few days to get the propeller fixed. Everything should be alright & back to normal again in a few days just when our busy rush is over! You see, its all about.... timing!

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