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

BIg Blue News

×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 575
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 02:58

October 2nd 2013

Divemaster Whaleshark Training
It was a busy day yesterday for the new influx of divemaster trainees at Big Blue, up before the Sun for the morning boat so they could learn how the boats are readied logistically for the days diving, assisting customers with equipment, and helping to lug any tanks that were needed- and that's before they even got wet. The morning's training involved SSI instructor trainer and divemaster trainee (DMT) mentor Simon Garrity (Simo as we like to call him), going through a variety of rescue scenarios and then assessing the DMTs on what they learned. They are training to be dive professionals, so being able to deal with anything and everything is an essential part of the programme. A lot of people have started their DMT at the same time, so this week has been similar to freshers week, except that instead of sitting in a dingy pub with sticky floors, they spent most of their time on a dive boat in the Sun with the tropical Island of Koh Tao as their backdrop! The rescue assessments were all finished when word came over the captain's radio that a whaleshark was in the vicinity, at nearby divesite Green Rock, so everyone frantically got in their dive gear and jumped in the water for their first big spotted fish encounter- lucky buggers! It certainly gave them something to talk about in the bar later, as if they needed it! Lovely bunch of people that get on well with each other, they are embarking on an unforgettable experience at Big Blue. All part and parcel of becoming a professional divemaster or instructor. If you're reading this with a twinge of jealousy, maybe you should have a word with Simo. I promise the whaleshark is not animatronic! Contact Simo at SSI dive pro here

 DMTs

“Open Water Diving Course at Big Blue - the best experience throughout my trip”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 October 2013- I did the Open Water Diving Course at Big Blue Koh Tao. I was on my own and a bit nervous - it turned out to be the best experience throughout my trip. My Instructor Ant was very professional and did and amazing job. With his lovely sense of humor and smiling face he made me relax and feel very safe about the diving; breathing and do skills under water. They delivered great equipment and the diving sites were absolutely beautiful. I will definitely recommend Big Blue Diving!

Putting the warrior back into Eco

Bad news and good news- A recent full day trip to Chumphon Marine Park found fish cages; that's the bad news. This method of fishing captures not only the target fish species, but also bycatch including fish that are unsuitable to eat or sell. Use of fish cages is now prohibited in the protected areas of Koh Tao, and they are definitely prohibited in the waters in and around National Marine Parks such as Chumphon and Ang Thong! The good news is the divers that found the fish cage (full of rabbit fish) happened to be from Big Blue Conservation, and, being responsible divers they all carried a cutting device. So they set to work transforming the cage from a tomb to a sanctuary. Now the fish can use it for protection against predators, and leave whenever they feel like it! The incident was filmed and turned into a lovely little video. Watch it on the Big Blue Diving youtube channel here. 

Monday, 30 September 2013 11:14

September 30th 2013

Fundiving- the reason you learned to dive!
Big Blue is well established as being a fantastic place to learn how to dive, or take your diving further with courses for anything you might be interested in, be it technical diving, conservation, freediving or recreational diving. But we are also really good at fun diving! Here's the thing, too many dive resorts around the world, and especially koh Tao neglect fun diving in favour of more lucrative dive courses. For example, most dive schools on Koh Tao only have one boat, so they have fun divers on the same boat as students doing try dives and/or open water courses. This means that the dive sites are dictated by the schedule of that particular course and may need to be very shallow with lots of sand. So the fun divers are not as free to explore the best dive sites that Koh Tao has to offer. Not at Big Blue! We have four boats, and one of them is dedicated to fun divers only, called Porponawa (difficult to translate from Thai!), we like to call it the Millenium Falcon as it's probably the fastest boat in the known universe! Getting to Chumphon pinnacle in 25 minutes (normally takes 50!) and Sail rock in an hour (normally takes two and a half!). the speed of porponawa also gives us access to Chumphon Marine Park, making us the only dive resort on Koh Tao to go there. We like variety at Big Blue so we go wherever the divemasters decide they want to go. If a fun diver wants to request a specific dive site, even better! Speaking of divemasters, we have four of them working full-time, Steven, Darren, Carly, and Phil, all unique in their own way, but all ridiculously enthusiastic about diving and marine life, and they see it as a personal challenge to show you the coolest things they can find on each and every dive. They also know every dive site like the back of their hand; they really should stop looking at their hands though! We're also going to take advantage of quiet season to get the boys at Big Blue Tech to get out looking for new dive sites. We know they're there, and we know where to look, we just have to find them, then we can take you to even more amazing dive sites- exclusive to Big Blue! 

big blue boats

“Awesome Instructors!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 29 September 2013- Just had an awesome diving experience with Big Blue Diving. A big thank-you to our instructor, ANT 1 or "Big Ant" who definitely made our diving. Hubby and I found Big Blue through the recommendation of a family member. We originally planned just Open Water SSI but went on to do Advanced Adventurer SSI as we had such a blast. Ant is really knowledgeable about Marine life and passionate about Coral conservation. He made the course really fun whilst providing safe diving practices throughout. He answered our multitude of questions and gave heaps of advice about dive gear and even sites in our homeland (NZ)!. Kate the Australian DMT also accompanied our Advanced course and was a huge help under and out of the water. She is extremely knowledgeable and took great time explaining what we would be seeing and tasks to complete. Both Ant and Kate were really professional and a big laugh on the Island post diving! The water is 30 degrees, visibility is awesome and sea life plentiful! Would recommend the Advanced Course also as the deep dive, night dive and wreck dive were a real highlight.

A-Z of Koh Tao for backpackers
A- Apnea- Big Blue Freediving of course!
B- Big Blue Diving of course!
C- Chang- A delightful Thai beer that redefines the word hangover.
D- Diza bar- Don't ask, just don't ever go there... ever ever ever ever.
E- Elephants- No, that's Koh Chang.
F- er, Big Blue Freediving again?
G- Greasy spoon- Hangover food cafe.
H- Hin Gnam bay- Nice little dive site on the East coast.
I- Instructors; they're everywhere, beware of excessive dive talk and do not feed after midnight.
J- Jitson- small village inland for accommodation longer than a month- nicknamed DMT village.
K- Koh Nang Yuang- Two little Islands next to Koh Tao, great for kayaking to, but not from.
L- Lomprayah- High speed ferry to bring you to Koh Tao.
M- Massage spas- You can't come all this way and not have one!
N- NDL- Twinned with refresher courses if you are a qualified diver but have no idea what it means!
O- Opticians- In Sairee with a big sign in the window that says very precisely- 51.354% off!
P- Porponawa- The fastest boat in the universe.. didn't you read the first news story?
Q- Quinine- Ingredient in tonic water that mosquitos hate. that's the best I could do.
R- Rentals- Motorbikes- don't do it!
S- Seatran- One of the ferry companies that brings you to Koh Tao.
T- Tosh- stray Instructor that went missing- If found proceed with caution, extremely ginger.
U- Unimpeded views- Some great high up viewpoints on koh Tao for your facebook cover page.
V- Venice- I think you may have got on the wrong plane.
W- Waverunner- Big blue's longest boat!
X- Xtreme snorkeling?
Y- Yellow brick road- The road behind Big Blue that goes all the way to Mae Hadd, and back if you're feeling crrrazy.
Z- Zanzibar- Cafe in Sairee, good soup, weird bagels.

 

Come up with your own and post them to Big Blue facebook 

 

Sunday, 29 September 2013 06:03

September 29th 2013

Successful Beach clean up
A big thank you to everyone that participated in the beach and underwater clean up yesterday, it was, er, messy! Organised by Lizzie May at Big Blue Conservation, volunteer holiday makers, Koh Tao locals, divemaster trainees, and whichever instructors and divemasters were not working, walked along Sairee beach in the morning with marigolds and bin bags to pick up anything and everything that shouldn't be there- luckily Neil is not in the country at the moment. In the afternoon an underwater clean up was arranged, this time at Hin Wong pinnacle. Bin bags were swapped for mesh nets, and spring cleaning commenced. It always helps that for those that participated in the clean up the diving was FREE! Thanks again to everyone that volunteered, it was great to see so many people giving up their time for everyone's benefit- especially the fish! We organise monthly clean ups, so If you want to get involved, contact Big Blue Conservation, or just pop in to the Big Blue shop.

beach clean up

“Great diving with an amazing instructor!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 26 September 2013- Picking a dive shop in Koh Tao can be challenging since there are so many but after reading many reviews my friends and I decided to give Big Blue a try. So glad we did, as this was the highlight of our trip! Planned to do the SSI Open Water course and received Nat (Natalie) as our instructor. I had never dived before but her enthusiasm and love for the sport made me want to do it everyday! She is an extremely good teacher and made me feel 100% comfortable in the water at all times. We ended up having such a good time that we decided to extend our trip and complete the Advanced Adventurer course as well which I highly recommend! We got to keep Nat throughout the entire experience which is the main reason I decided to continue on. Overall I have nothing but good things to say about my entire experience at Big Blue! Koh Tao is such a great place to learn how to dive. If you go make sure to request Nat because she is amazing! She made our trip so memorable. Thanks Nat!

Killer Whale Impersonators
Amazing news from yesterday, divers from Ace Marine Images (who currently do all Big Blue's videography work) were followed by a pod of false killer whales and pilot whales yesterday! Apparently they followed the boat all the way from Liam Thien bay to Lighthouse bay on the East side of Koh Tao, and then swam underneath a group of snorkelers! The apparent highlight of such a fantastic experience was the noises heard when they used their echolocation to communicate; that distinctive clicking noise. False killer whales are protected by the CITES treaty (Convention on the International Trade on Endangeared Species) under appendix II, which includes species that "Are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless trade in specimens of such species is subject to strict regulation in order to avoid utilization incompatible with the survival of the species in the wild". Bit of a mouthfull! but good to know they are afforded some kind of protection. Lets hope these beautiful animals stick around; compared with other species, very little is known about their behaviour and mating habits in the wild, just like Big Blue instructor Luke!

False killer whale

Thursday, 26 September 2013 03:49

September 26th 2013

Conservation Internships

How do you fancy spending a month on a tropical Island learning how to dive, getting to know the animals that reside in the ocean, and understanding the threats that they face? What if we gave you practical skills to help reduce the impacts on these ecosystems, such as coral reef biology, underwater survey training, coral nursery construction and artificial reef maintenance? How about we throw in a few diving qualifications on top? Surely you're sold now!? Whether you're on a career break, about to have a gap year, at University, or you just want to do some volunteer work abroad and improve your CV, a Conservation Internship is an opportunity not to be missed. The main objective of Big Blue Conservation is to help ensure that the island remains undisturbed by the effects of increased tourism, and also to preserve the marine life in Koh Tao for ourselves and future generations to enjoy. But in order to achieve this, we depend on dedicated and trained teams of volunteers to help construct, maintain, monitor and develop the various projects that we undertake. So if you fancy going from never having dived before to knowing how to identify sharks and grow corals, or are already involved in conservation and want to gain valuable experience and improve your CV, contact Lizzie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and show your approval by "liking" Big Blue Conservation on facebook! 

Big blue conservation

“Probably the best place to dive with on Koh Tao”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 25 September 2013- I completed my open water course here in August 2013 and was impressed from start to finish. We pre-booked our course online and were glad we did as the school is very popular, so may not always have onsite accommodation when it is busy. Our room was the AC dorm, which was a bargain and well maintained and clean. The welcome was friendly and organised. Our instructor was Ant who kept us all laughing throughout the course, but also made sure we were competent and confident with our equipment. He knew where to spot to cool stuff as well as being great at explaining the skills we needed to complete to pass the course. His enthusiasm was infectious and two of our group stayed on for the advanced course, I would have done the same had I not already had a flight booked. However I had caught the bug and did stop for a couple of fun dives whilst on KP. All in all a great place to learn in an idyllic location. PS the food and drinks at the beach front restaurant is also good!

Turtle plastic waste

Peanut the turtle

Meet peanut, a turtle that should probably be a lot more famous than she is. I don't think I need to explain how she got her name, but it's quite sobering to see how she got her shape. When she was small she got stuck in a plastic multipack drinks holder- I have no idea what the proper name is but we all know what they are! She was unable to free herself and if she were any other animal than a turtle she would have died, as the plastic would have cut into her as she grew, causing a fatal infection. However, because she has a shell that protects her body, most of it was able to grow, though some of her organs don't function properly. Sadly because the shell is rigid, when the plastic was removed the shell didn't just rebound back into the correct shape, so she has to live with it. Here in the waters around koh Tao, Koh Panghan and Koh Samui, we have a big problem with plastic waste finding its way into the ocean. The Hawksbill and Green turtles that inhabit the Gulf of Thailand get the plastic stuck in their throats or stomachs, and are unable to digest them, so they starve to death. Big Blue Conservation works with local Thai community groups to educate them about waste disposal, and we educate all our divers about keeping the beaches and seas clear of rubbish, and buying goods responsibly such as saying no to carrier bags and straws when buying drinks and other items. We also organise regular beach and underwater clean ups. We don't want a cashew or pistachio famous for being found in Koh Tao! If you want to get involved with conservation in Koh Tao, contact Lizzie at Big Blue Conservation on the email at the top of the page.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 06:02

September 25th 2013

Just another day at the office

Ho hum, another day, another whaleshark! Big Blue instructors Rich and Nick were minding their own business this morning at Chumphon pinnacle to do dive 3 of their open water courses, when a 4m long whaleshark appeared and jolly graciously decided to keep them company! These two lucky and happy dive instructors see whalesharks quite a lot, but imagine their students, having only ever done two open water dives, and on dive 3 they see one of those bad boys! An amazing experience they won't forget in a hurry. These curious animals tend to hang around divers rather than just pass through, so if you do see one, it may be a full 30 minutes of pinching yourself! Rich had only one thing to say to his students after such an incredible encounter; "Chumphon was a good choice". Judging by their picture though neither of them seem to be too concerned about thumbelina flailing around in the background! Rich's too busy explaining to Nick that, "This whaleshark is small... the one's out there are far away".

A Whaleshark Chumphon

“Excellent diving school”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 23 September 2013- I went to Koh tai in 21st august 2013 for open water diving certificate. People I met there were awesome, helpful and friendly. Shool is well organized and proper managed by a great bunch of professional diver. I was lucky to have Petra as my instructor. She demonstated everything in high professinal manner. Our team of 6 students enjoyed so much of her teaching style and great personality of her . I believe I made great choose to learn diving in big blue. There are many diving schools around koh tao. I strong recommend Big Blue to everyone who want to learn diving. you won regret for this wise pick.

The Cove on steroids

Most people who have a passion for the ocean have heard of the Cove in Taiji, and the horrible slaughter of porpoises that goes on there every year. But have you heard of Iwate in Japan? No? it's not surprising, as many campaigners have never heard of it either. But Iwate, being only 500 miles North of the Cove, in Iwate Prefecture, is an annual slaughter of the Dall’s porpoise, in numbers that dwarf anything found at the cove. The Tsunami of 2011 destroyed much of the Dall hunting fleet, but somehow last year hunting began again in much reduced numbers. But the really depressing news is that between November 2012 and April 2013 it continues, but with the fleet of hunting ships being almost back to their pre-Tsunami numbers, killing 1,200 porpoises (pre-Tsunami deaths exceeded 9,00 per year, compared to the Cove's 1,200). A number of groups are involved in trying to stop this annual slaughter; Save Japan Dolphins, Sea Shepherd, the Earth Island Institute’s Dolphin Project, and the International Whaling Commission and the Animal Welfare Institute. If you want to see what you can do to help, or just want to show your support to ending these barabaric activities, contact Lizzie at Big blue Conservation.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013 07:49

September 24th 2013

Open All Hours
Sadly not a reference to the 1970s/80s sitcom starring Steveo & Simo, I mean Albert & Granville! But the fact that Koh Tao seems to be very slowly winding down from busy season. It's hard to tell, and you never really know how busy it's going to be, but reliable indicators include instructors and divemasters spending even longer than normal in the bar! It's also approaching the time of year when we send all our boats off to the mainland for their annual service, so they are ship-shape and Bristol fashion for December and next year. We also get all our equipment serviced, and give everything a bit of a spruce up. We are open all year round though, and can offer all sorts of dive related wonders, such as try dives, open water, advanced and rescue courses, amazing fun diving, speciality courses such as deep, wreck and nitrox, free diving courses, videography courses, tech diving courses, dive professional training- PADI, SSI and BSAC divemaster, or SSI and BSAC instructor. We even have marine conservation courses, and eco internships available. That pretty much covers every aspect of diving except SNUBA, and who'd want to do that anyway!?

Big blue diving

“Diving certification (Open Water and Advanced SSI)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 22 September 2013- I was in Koh Tao in July 2013 and got certified with Big Blue - literally one of the best decisions I could've made. I had done a discovery dive on Koh Phi Phi a week before and asked some instructors where on Koh Tao I should go for certification; Big Blue was mentioned multiple times. Thus, when I arrived on Koh Tao I immediately tracked down Big Blue and inquired about an Open Water course -- the staff was able to help me find accommodation right away and I started my course that night. My instructor was Dave (or "Squeezy" as the staff call him!) and I couldn't have asked for a better guy to train me. I was paired with 3 guys seeking just a SCUBA certification and one other also pursuing Open Water. As a result, it was just Dave, myself, and one other guy for the rest of the course. As a matter of fact, I had such a good time doing my Open Water course that I actually decided to skip my scheduled flight from Koh Samui to Bangkok in order to do my Advanced Open Water course with Dave; like I said, I couldn't have asked for a better instructor. Not only is Big Blue great for diving, there is also a great social atmosphere at the restaurant and bar once night rolls around. I HIGHLY recommend Big Blue for diving (and ask for Squeezy Dave if possible!).

Destruction of Coral Reefs Accelerating
The world's coral reefs are in rapid decline, which is extremely depressing, but pretty well documented. Yet a forthcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will state that the decline of the coral reefs is also accelerating. Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, who is in charge of the ocean part of the report said, "Our oceans are in an unprecedented state of decline due to pollution, over-fishing and climate change. The state of the reefs is very poor and it is continuing to deteriorate. This is an eco-system that has been around for tens of millions of years and we are wiping it out within a hundred. It's quite incredible." In addition to working on the IPCC report, Professor Hoegh-Guldberg is leading by far the most comprehensive assessment of the state of the world's coral reefs, the Catlin Seaview Survey (CSS). It's initial findings demonstrate that the reefs are getting "increasingly hammered" from all sides, he said. Coral reefs in the Gulf of Thailand are not yet covered by the study, but Big Blue Conservation and Save Koh Tao monitor their health regularly, and are trying out different methods to make provide artificial reefs for coral to grow on. For more information on what is being done to protect the reefs on Koh Tao, and what you can do to help, contact Lizzie at Big Blue Conservation (see contacts above)

Monday, 23 September 2013 02:33

September 23rd 2013

Big Blue Professional Training

Are you sick to death of the daily grind, probably sat in a souless office with artificial lighting, artificial air and surrounded by people you are forced to get along with that, in any other universe you'd go out of your way to avoid? Ever thought about just jacking it all in, getting on a plane and doing something completely different? If you answered yes to both of those questions then you are in good company, loads of people who live on Koh Tao were in the same boat! So Why not do something about it and become a dive professional? Here at Big Blue we can train you all the way from open water diver, up to Divemaster and instructor. As a PADI or SSI divemaster you can then get paid to take qualified divers around some of the best dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand, and as an SSI instructor you can teach people how to dive, which can be really rewarding. Our Dive Master Training programme (DMT) can be completed in as little as three weeks, to 3 months, and We have 6 very experienced and friendly mentors that will help you through every aspect of your training. You'll also meet loads of like-minded people from all over the world going through the same experiences as you. Need any more persuading? Ok then, have a look at the weekly highlights video on our Big Blue Diving youtube channel, and then realise- that's your new office!

Divemaster training

“Relaxed and friendly but also very professional dive company - we loved Skui and Rich!!!”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 21 September 2013- We arrived in Koh Tao already confident that we wanted to dive with Big Blue. Their previous ratings on Trip Advisor speak for themselves - but we had such a fantastic experience with them that I feel compelled to write another review! I already had my PADI Open water diving qualification - but having not used it for 5 years I was a little rusty and in dire need of a refresher course, and my boyfriend had never dived before but was really keen to learn. When we rocked up at Big Blue he was delighted to learn that he could start his open water course that evening, my refresher course was scheduled for the following afternoon. Unfortunately, their bungalow accommodation was already full so we had to look for an alternative so I couldn't comment at all on the quality of the rooms available though friends on our dive courses mentioned that the dorms were basic but sociable. After my refresher course with the jovial Dave and a couple of lovely guys, they mentioned that they were going on to do the Advanced Open Water course over the following 2 days. Comprising of 5 dives that could include 'Deep Dive', 'Navigation', 'Advanced Buoyancy', 'Night Dive', 'Underwater Photography', 'Fish Identification' and 'Wreck Diving' the price of the course was fairly similar to doing a few fun dives and since I feel I like to be challenged and learn new skills I opted to join them! Rich, my instructor, was fantastic. He had a cool, reassuring manner that really put me at ease whenever I was a little anxious. He was so positive and excited at the end of each of our dives, I got the impression that he quite enjoyed working with our little 3 man group - perhaps because none of us were prone to do anything daft! I can't rate Rich highly enough for all his encouragement! Nathan had a great experience with Skui too, she was supremely knowledgable but also really relaxed and added a fun element to the nitty-gritty of training! I laughed out loud when I found out about her system of 'beer fines' to chastise the group for saying 'flippers' and 'goggles' and making the thumbs-up sign underwater when they really meant okay! Both guys were fantastic, they hung-out with us students in the evenings and helped us fill out our diving logbooks, even joining us for a few 'cheeky beers' when the course was complete! We both gained SSI Qualifications with Big Blue - which is their preferred teaching method - but they also offer PADI courses which are a little more expensive owing to the need for you to purchase the PADI text books. The dive sites themselves we lovely, some really interesting chorals and great big shoals of fish, there are also turtles and whale sharks to be seen regularly in the area too - not by me mind you, and for that I fully blame Rich! ;P The restaurant and bar attached to Big Blue was great too. Brilliant for getting a hearty lunch before going off out on the boats - or for providing some much needed stodge when you returned! Try the pizzas if you fancy something Western, they're ace, or the BBQ grilled fish, delicious - though it does feel a little cruel chowing down on a Barracuda when you've been swimming around with them all day?! I would certainly suggest Big Blue diving to anyone visiting Koh Tao. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced veteran this dive company has something to excite everyone and enhance your learning (they also offer advanced tech diving, nitrox and skin diving if you're that way inclined!) They are reliable, all of the staff are supremely friendly and for me the huge selling point was having the security of instructors who spoke exceptional English - I would've felt seriously 'out of my depth' pardon the pun and frightened if I didn't fully understand the teaching aspect. I hope one day I'll go back to Big Blue, if not, I certainly hope you do!!!

Abbott Abolishes Climate Commission

Not satisfied with allowing the Great Barrier Reef to be dredged to provide a shipping "superhighway", Australia's incoming prime minister has now abolished the Climate Commission, a body set up in 2011 to provide information on the impacts of climate change to the Australian public. This will make it more difficult for people to get independent information on climate change that is not slanted by vested interests. It's also quite timely for this to happen, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is due to release it's latest report on the impacts of climate change, which will outline how increasing emissions of CO2 from man-made activities are continuing to warm the planet at an alarming rate. Oceans are warming, and CO2 is also making them more acidic as it dissolves into seawater. This is already having an effect on marine life ecosystems. The waters around Koh Tao contain some of the world's most amazing coral habitats, and as ocean temperatures increase they will be at risk of bleaching, which kills them. Big Blue Conservation is working closly with the Thai Government and the local community to monitor the coral reefs, but ultimately this is a global problem that will be difficult to deal with as long as politicians continue to do nothing to reduce CO2 emissions. 

Saturday, 21 September 2013 05:42

September 21st 2013

Recreational Rebreather
The tech shack is all excited this morning as they are due to receive their latest toy, a Poseidon MKVI rebreather. This probably means nothing to you or me but to James it's like Christmas has arrived early without having to leave any mince pies out! Rebreathers differ from normal scuba diving in that, instead of breathing air from a tank that gets steadily depleted, the rebreather has a chemical scrubber that removes the carbon dioxide from your exhaled breath. The rebreather also injects the oxygen that you used in the previous breath.... still with me? The advantages are that it enables you to stay down much longer than on a conventional dive, and there are no bubbles, so marine animals are less freaked out by your presence, making photography and videography much more interesting. The reason that James is all excited (apart from the fact that he's a geek), is that this is the first rebreather that is aimed at recreational divers, as opposed to technical divers. So simple to use in fact, that James will be able to teach you how to use it! Keep an eye on our website and Big Blue Tech's facebook page to find out more about the Poseidon rebreather course.

Poseiden rebreather

“Great Service And Dive Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 17 September 2013- From the booking to our AOW course to our final day, we enjoyed a very pleasant stay at the Big Blue Diving Resort. I booked one of the packages for AOW 10 fun dives and the staff was very helpful about sending me instructions for pickup and how to book transport to Koh Tao from Bangkok. I later got a middle ear injury while diving and the staff were also kind enough to allow my boyfriend use of some of my fun dives because I wasn't able to complete them. The courses themselves were as fine as could be. We had some pleasant instructors and divemasters, service was professional but friendly and the equipment also seemed to be well maintained.
The restaurant on the resort is also a highlight. It's priced mid-range but the portions are larger than other restaurants in the area. My favorite was the red curry with prawn and pineapple. One booking recommendation though is actually to not book too much at first. I had already paid for 10 fun dives but didn't get to do 5 of them and lost a bit of money on that. Plus we had to stay longer than the 7 nights free accommodation to finish the diving package so that ended up costing more too. I'd recommend booking courses and fun dives as you go along because the savings of booking everything together actually isn't that great and you'll end paying more if something like an unexpected injury happens.


Seahorses!
They are one of the cutest things in the ocean, and luckily for us they live all over the Gulf of Thailand. Seahorses are pretty rare, so they are very high on the list of any divemaster's animals to look out for during a dive. Sadly they are now endangered because of habitat destruction and overfishing. They are also sought after to be used in Chinese medicine, with an estimated 20 million being caught and sold for this purpose every year. So the Save Koh Tao marine branch has organised a presentation on the local seahorse population, so as to educate divers and locals on how to protect them. The presentation will be given by Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh tomorrow (22nd September) at 18:30, at the Government health office (2nd floor) in Mae haad (where the pier is). Big Blue Conservation will be there, and so should you!

Friday, 20 September 2013 01:13

September 20th 2013

September Full moon Party
Well it's that time of the month again, Koh Panghan's full moon party was in full swing last night, and even though the weather wasn't amazing you can guarantee all sorts of craziness occurred. Today at Big Blue we will receive some of the casualties that managed to make their way out of there, still dazed and covered in paint and day-glo shorts and singlets (that's vest in English!). But tomorrow will be busy busy busy across the whole of Koh Tao, and our instructors will be braced to teach a lot of spaced out people how to dive! We have a range of accommodation for people diving, from nice cheap dormatories, to bungalows, all the way up to air an conditioned villa. Some of the dorms are free on the days that you dive, and all the other accommodation is heavily discounted for the days you dive too. One bit of advice, book ahead.. in fact that's such a useful piece of advice i'll say it again.. BOOK AHEAD!! Just go on the big blue website, have a look around, decide on the accommodation you'd like and the type of course you'd like to do, and we'll reserve your room and be expecting you with smiles aplenty! We teach PADI, SSI, BSAC and TDI courses, and our fun diving is easily the best on Koh Tao. So have a look at our trip adviser reviews and get on over here!

“Great diving experience with great instructor!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 18 September 2013- If you're heading to Koh Tao, diving is a must and Big Blue is the spot. My friends and I are really happy we went here. Your instructor can make or break your experience, and Nat made ours so awesome. We were pretty nervous about taking the open water course, but Nat made the whole experience so fun that we decided to continue on to get our advanced certification with her, as well! Best decision for sure. If you're thinking about diving, definitely go with Big Blue and request Natalie W (Nat).

Great barrier reef

Dredging the Great Barrier Reef
Pretty sad news from Australia, only 24 hours in as prime minister, Tony Abbott has allowed dredging to go ahead in order to create Australia's newest shipping highway, Abbott point, better known as the Great Barrier Reef! Completely disregarding the World Heritage Classification or UNESCO protection, dredging company Rinehart is removing 3 MILLION cubic meters of the worlds most diverse, largest living organism and ecosystem, only to build the largest coal export terminal. We are going to lose one of the worlds truly precious gems to a temporary and damaging "solution". The Great Barrier Reef will no longer exist because of Abbotts desire for CSG export income. This is something that we are seriously concerned about at Big Blue and Big Blue Conservtation. If you care about the oceans, please get the word out about it to this to show your support for saving natures gift to the world. Wake UP Australia, and spread the word.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 03:17

September 18th 2013

Certificate of Tech-cellence (See what I did there..)

If you were planning on heading down to Big Blue Tech to have a word with the boys about something or other, you may want to bring some grease, as James's head has swelled and is currently blocking the door! The reason, a fantastic email that one of his students sent to TDI as feedback from the Intro to Tech course she recently completed at Big Blue, that TDI then made into a very swish looking certificate of excellence. Asked about the certificate, James, 43, said "I barely even remember her because of all the medication i'm on, but I do remember she was very weird, but I must have done something right".. ok he didn't really say that! He actually said "It's really nice to be recognised for doing a job I love, by both my student and the training agency- TDI. Technical diving is a passion of mine, and another good thing about teaching it is that I get to meet all sorts of interesting people with different backgrounds from all over the world, so i'm very chuffed to receive the certificate". He's about as down to earth as it gets our James, his head is definitely the same misshapen mess it always was, he's not on any medication that we know of, and he's not (quite) 43! What he is, is a very experienced and accomplished TDI technical dive instructor, who will have you laughing as much as learning, in the waters around Koh Tao and Khao Sok National Park. So if you don't know what technical diving is, would like to find out more, or already know that you want to sign up for some very challenging fun, go to the tech shack and talk to James and Ian.

Big Blue Tech certificate of excellence TDI

“Incredible place to learn to dive”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 17 September 2013- Big Blue offer the perfect blend of reassuring professionalism and easy goingness that make for such a brilliant place to learn to dive with. Our wonderful instructor Chloe made us feel in safe hands the entire way whilst still gradually instilling a confidence over the course of the Open Water and Advanced courses that meant I couldn't wait to get back in the water every time we went out on the boat! I'd definitely recommend doing the Advanced course too, the night dive was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and the five extra dives with dive computer and compass just generally make you feel so much more ready to take on the underwater world!

Blackfish Documentary

A very powerful and emotive documentary, Blackfish focuses on the captivity of the killer whale Tilikum, kept at Seaworld in the US, who was involved in the deaths of three individuals. The film scrutinises the consequences of keeping such large and intelligent animals in captivity, and begins with coverage of Tilikum's capture in 1983 off the coast of Iceland, showing how he was harassed by fellow captive whales and left in dark tanks for hours. Incidents that the film argues, contributed to the whale's aggression. If you are in any way passionate about the ocean, and conservation of the marine life it contains, Blackfish is a must see film. Big Blue Conservation will be showing a screening of Blackfish at the Big Blue Conservation lab (date and time to be confirmed), but be warned, you'll probably need to bring some own kleenex. It would actually be great to get the local residents of Koh Tao involved in this and have Thai subtitles for the film... something for Save Koh Tao to arrange! You can view the trailer here.

Page 3 of 19