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

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Thursday, 25 February 2016 11:43

Koh Tao A Slice Of Heaven On Earth

Thursday 25th February 2016BARACUDAS

People often ask why Koh Tao is so good for diving in the Gulf of Thailand. First of all Koh Panghan and Koh Samui have maybe 2 or 3 dive sites. The vast majority of centres travel to Koh Tao to dive. Divers who go to Koh Samui realise that after their 2 hour boat ride to dive around Koh Tao and then another 2 hour ride back again, it makes more sense just to come straight to Koh Tao where the diving is on our doorstep. Our limited depths and calm conditions make it perfect for training. From your first ever breath under water on a Try Dive in one of our shallow bays to exploring wrecks at 50 metres. We are lucky to have a wide range of sites suitable for beginners and the more experienced divers looking for macro life. Having dive sites located all around Koh Tao it is always possible to find a sheltered bay if the weather is windy or wavy.

Our house reef of Sairee is home to many Saddleback Clownfish, and the dive is like an underwater dot to dot to find the anemones they call home. The 'Nemos' here are much bigger than the ones we regularly see at Twins or Green Rock. Along with a wide variety of nudibranch and colourful reef fish is has everything a shallow site needs. A staff favourite is White Rock, this large spread out site is home to many blue spotted stingrays as well as a Jenkins Ray cleaning station just off the main site. We have seen Whalesharks and turtles there, huge Barracudas feeding at night and stalking their prey during the day. These sites of perfect for Open Water courses. Then we head slightly further away to Chumphon Pinnacle. This stunning location never fails to impress even the most experienced diver. Hughes schools of travelly, snapper and barracudas of all sizes. Another favourite spot of the the Whalshark with more sightings here than any other site around Koh Tao. This is a deeper dive site which allows you to complete the 30 metre dive of your Advanced course and even head off deeper to 40 metres for your Deep Specialty. You will also see our Technical divers here on sidemount or with multiple tanks hanging off them doing decompression dive training.

If scuba diving is not your thing but you still want to explore the ocean then we can leave the tanks behind and submerge below the surface on one single breath, being one with the ocean and surrendering to all which is around you and the silence of no bubbles. Freedivers are a rare breed who have the ability to retrain everything we thought we knew about the bodies abilities whilst underwater. This course will make you see your body and it's power in a whole new light, with relaxation and breathing techniques your journey underwater is on another level completely.

Once back on land and you have dried off, you will want to unwind watching the sun drip into the horizon, chilled music and cold drinks at the North end of Sairee and then getting busier and more of the party scene further towards the South end. Or if it's sport that your into most sporting events can been seen in a many of the sports bars. The island is full of some amazing restaurants. From cheap street stalls to beautifully located restaurants that will have you wanting more.

So what are you waiting for........

Sunday, 14 February 2016 13:15

Valentines Auction 2016

Sunday 14th February 2016valentines auction

Last night saw our annual Valentines auction to raise money for Big Blue Conservation, the Noistar Animal Clinic and Sea Shepherd. It saw our desperate Instructors and Divemasters selling them-selves to the highest bidder just so they can have a social life away from Big Blue. This did back fire to a certain degree with both Liam and Erik being bought by Mini Ant, and Irish G being bought by Steve-o. The prize was that the winner had the Valentine for an hour to do whatever they wanted them to do. Steve-o is having Irish G try and not talk and stand still for one whole hour and try not to say the word sweetie or ears.  Mini is going to have his strapping young men do 100 press-ups then cover them in baby oil while dancing to Ginuwines “Pony” and then just stare at them till his hour is up. A strange buy last night was Rick who bought Boz, what he is planning on doing is anyone’s guess, maybe be his tank carrier or in charge of polishing his valves…who knows watch this space.

We also had a few guest appearances from other dive shops who wanted to muscle in on the act. Scuba Junction and Roctopus joined us in the money raising see scantily clad females offering body shots all for charity. Recently we have seen Andreas searching down the back of the couches and picking up spare coins whenever he saw them, at the time we just thought he was a cheapskate, but it all made sense last night when he went nuts and did body shots off just about everyone who lay down including Piglet and Panda, this is probably going to be the most action he will get all year so we won’t hold it against him this time. His was the biggest….. smile in the whole bar last night.

This whole night would not have been possible without our Eco Queen Rachel, who spent weeks organising the event and roping people into participating. The night was a great success and saw us raise a whopping 40,000 baht for the 3 charities. A massive thank you has to go for everyone who took part and were auctioned and humiliated by Simo on the microphone and also to the lucky people who bought their Valentines, please be gentle with them and give them back clean and in one piece once you have finished with them.

Thursday, 04 February 2016 12:34

Miss Scuba UK On Koh Tao And Chooses Big Blue

Thursday 4th February 2016miss scuba uk

We were recently privileged to have Miss Scuba UK 2016 Sarah Winterbottom join us for her SSI Stress and Rescue course and some fun dives. She has been lucky enough to dive in various countries while being hopeful to win the title of Miss Scuba International. We have just finished a photo shoot with some of our better looking staff, unfortunately Jim and Steve-o were unavailable so we had to drag in Handsome Swedish Erik, Hot Aussie Steve, Tattooed Hunk Matt and the newest Blonde German Danny. Our resident photographer Andy was on call to take some stunning shots which will soon be in our new brochure. Thank you to Sarah and our wanna be models, we look forward to seeing the pictures soon.

We think Jim is having a slight mid-life crisis or at least after watching the photo-shoot he has regressed back to his pre-diving life when he was working in the porn industry... Oh yes, not many people know that our illustrious bigger than Steve-o leader used to be known as Hugh Hefner to his pals. Now just to be clear he was never in front of the camera or involved directly as a fluffer, it was just the advertising or marketing stuff (or so he tells us).
Where was I going with this? Oh yes, Jim has decided to make an Instructors / Divemaster Calender and he is trolling Facebook of all places to find the sexiest picture of us he can. Please do not get too excited as I can see it being along the lines of either The Full Monty or Dads Army rather than Magic Mike...

My job now is to ask his lovely wife if she has any hidden sexy photos that we can use, mwahaahhahaha! Maybe some when he had hair! (and I may be getting the sack now)

On a serious diving note which is why are all here at the end of the day, tomorrow sees the end of another SSI Instructor Exam with 4 new and sparkly candidates joining the flock. At the end of their exam and before they start teaching on their own they are shown the delights of recreational side-mount as well as spending a few weeks as interns with our full time instructors to learn the ropes and professionalism we expect at Big Blue. We are very proud that our standards exceed the required course standards set out by SSI and once they are off on their own they are certifying students who feel safe and comfortable in the water. Well Done guys the first round is on Mr Hefner.

Saturday, 30 January 2016 06:35

Rough Days and Now Back To Being Smooth

Saturday 30th January 2016january storm

We had a crazy few days when a tropical storm passed through the Gulf of Thailand last week. The waves were big, we had lots of rain and the ferries were cancelled from the main land. The tide was so high that it was all the way up in the restaurant. Then after 2 days it was all flat again and sunny as if nothing ever happened. Got to love this place. The diving was still good though despite the waves and rain.

We had rescue students doing an amazing job in some challenging conditions with waves and currents, once back on land they were physically and mentally exhausted but over a few we earned cold beers said that it was the funniest and hardest and most rewarding course they have ever done. Well done to all the rescue divers who finished in these conditions, not everywhere in the world is flat and easy when you dive. The ocean is strong and needs to be respected, but once you appreciate that it will also show you how spectacular it is and once under the waves the life aquatic is way better than on land. No fish shooting or bombing each other just nature at its finest.

Full Moon has been busy and all of our fabulous Instructors and Divemasters have been out every day, be sure to book your courses and accommodation online in advance (and please not the night before) to secure a spot. We start courses everyday but we do not have unlimited beds for sleeping in.... So book early to avoid disappointment. Remember as well, depending were you are in the world there may be a time difference and all of our staff need their beauty sleep, some of them a lot more than others, In fact some are constantly sleeping but are still just as ugly....we will respond to your requests as soon as we possibly can.

Friday, 22 January 2016 07:01

Crazy World Of Freediving

 

Friday 22nd Januaryonebreathcover

We have been having some amazing diving conditions for this time of the year. Usually monsoon season means that the visibility drops and the water temperature goes down a few degrees, but not this year. This morning at Southwest Pinnacle we had over 30 metre visibility, the divers jumped in and could see all the way to the bottom. The water is lovely and flat which is perfect for everybody. When it's like this we are usually lucky enough to see Whalesharks so we all have our fingers and toes crossed for some big fish. Whalesharks seem to love the conditions over Full Moon and we get lots of sightings. So don’t bother the messy party in Koh Phangan and just stay and enjoy the diving and Koh Tao.

Our boat Big Blue is now back from its New Year paint and refurbishment which means the Tech boys can head out to their deep sites and wrecks and the free divers can go and play at depth, without the use of a tank and just holding their breath.

Speaking of free divers a very good friend of mine has recently published a book One Breath- about the crazy world of competitive freediving- a sport built on diving as deep as possible on a single breath—testing the limits of human ability in the most hostile environment on earth. The unique and eclectic breed of individuals who freedive at the highest level regularly dive hundreds of feet below the ocean’s surface, reaching such depths that their organs compress, light disappears, and one mistake could be lethal. Adam Skolnick has visited 45 countries and authored or co-authored over 25 Lonely Planet guidebooks as well as written for New York Times, Playboy, Outside, ESPN.com, BBC.com, Salon.com, Men’s Health, Wired, and Travel Leisure, among others. Big Blue Freediving teaches you how to dive safely up to 20m at Level 1 and all the way down to 40m at Level 3. Our Freediving staff have been doing this for 8 years and have national records for Brazil and Spain. If you want to do something different than just scuba diving this is a must. Contact out team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

 

Friday, 15 January 2016 06:01

A New Year and a Very Big Birthday

 

Friday 15th January 201625years

The New Year has come and with it came new sets of equipment, new TVs for our new classroom and new dorm rooms. Santa saw how good we were last year and has given us some stunning visibility for this time of year which has meant we have been able to go out on our full day trips to Sail Rock, which is the very best dive site we have in the Gulf of Thailand.

Big Blue Diving is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. 25 years ago a young Swedish boy called Michael came to Koh Tao and what he did has now changed our lives forever. That’s 25 years of certifying divers, 25 years of showing divers their first Whaleshark. 25 years of changing lives and seeing marriages and babies, 25 years of the Big Blue Staff coming and going and then coming back again for more. 25 years of Big Blue t-shirt designs that our now collector’s items for the guests who have been over the years. 25 years of boats including  Banzai, Phalap, Big Blue, Navakid, Aow Mong, Poponawa, Waverunner and Enzo. 25 years of thai beers being consumed in Deck Bar, Blue Bar and Higher Ground. 25 years of helping ginger instructors feel wanted. 25 years of riding to work on a scooter in bear feet in the sun passing coconut trees. 25 years of sunsets on Sairee. 25 years of the best dogs including Ugly, Yurie, BBD, Leo, Rocko, Schnitzel (RIP) Sausage, Moomoo, Panda, Piglet, Ernie. 25 years of being in the best job in the world and being surrounded by some of the best people you could ever dream of meeting (except some of the gingers)

I could go one but they would start to get a bit silly… to celebrate this huge birthday Robyn down at Drift has made some limited edition t shirts to celebrate this huge milestone. They will be on sale soon, so it’s time to book your holidays back to Koh Tao so you can get yourself one to add to your collection, and celebrate what already looks to be an awesome year.

Apart from the deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman which just sucks!

 

Friday, 15 January 2016 05:37

January

Monday, 21 December 2015 08:40

Staff Party Time

 

Monday 21st December 2015andreas

This is the time of year when it’s time to head out for the works Christmas Party. Wondering who your Secret Santa is and if they bought you anything that could embarrass you or give away any secrets you have been trying to hide for the last year. Wondering who will be the first person to be sick or say something inappropriate to the boss. Most work parties are done on the Friday night when you have a few days to recover before you have to go back in again on Monday morning. We don’t have the luxury of weekends or days off and we quite often don’t even know what day of the week it is, or which way is up or down (except bubbles go up) So when we had our Big Blue Staff Party a lot of us still had to go into work and dive the next day, so half of the staff were sipping on water and the other half were knocking back shots of tequila! Sadly I was working so no tequila for me(thank god).

Now every year we have the Christmas Awards and they are silly awards such as best smile, best bum, most likely to fall over on the night. But there are also some real awards which we the staff vote for and it is with much sadness and vomit in my mouth I have to say that Andreas ‘still hasn’t been arrested yet’ Dahlqvist, won the best freelance instructor award. To this day he still hasn’t shut up about his award winning position. And there was also an award to the couple most likely to get married next year, that went to Phil ‘Fishlad’ Smith and Antony ‘the Edge’ Edgley. They accepted there award graciously and were later spotted both coming out of the toilets clutching their trophies. Well done boys and congratulations let us know when you set a date…

Each year there seem to be more and more awards given out. The big boss man Jim is quite partial to Tequila and when the winners are announced it is traditional to down a shot of tequila and spin around on a chair trying to fall off singing a Mexican song. Jim also has a shot with the winners and by the end of the night he is being carried out but the elves and sent to bed with a empty bucket and a bottle of water next to his bed. This year was no exception. Merry Christmas Jim and enjoy your holiday in new Zealand while the rest of us are working.

 

Wednesday, 09 December 2015 10:51

New T-Shirt Designs Needed

 

Wednesday 9th December 2015dive spotting

Any of you who have been to Big Blue will have seen we have a wide variety of T-shirt designs, our latest Big Blue Pro shirt is out. It is based on the original Trainspotting poster (just in case some of you are now to young to remember). We are now trying to think of some new designs to add to the collection. So we are putting it out there to you, if you have any ideas please let us know. Contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with suggestions of picture designs and you could see your shirts in Drift and be part of the Big Blue massive.

Sidemount diving has been around for decades in the cave diving world, but was always seen as a very specialised and exclusive way of diving. This has all changed in the last few years as equipment manufacturers started to introduce much more practical methods for attaching diving cylinders to the diver. The result is that sidemount diving has really taken off, and is becoming more and more popular, for both technical diving applications and also shallow recreational fun diving.

When you first dive in sidemount you quickly realise why. It's a really comfortable way to dive. Where the BC is situated makes you want to be flat, and as the cylinders are tucked out of the way to your sides, you have a real feeling of freedom. Sidemount is an incredibly versatile way of diving and can be done using one cylinder or two. Cylinders can be easily attached when already in the water, so it's ideal for people with back problems, and perfectly suited to shore diving or boat diving. Having a redundant gas source makes your diving a little safer too as you are less reliant on your buddy in the event of an equipment failure. This redundancy makes it the perfect platform for decompression diving, not to mention the feeling of comfort on long decompression stops. Moreover, as it is easy to unclip the tanks and bring them forward, you can have a lot of fun getting through tighter spaces when penetrating wrecks, caves or swim-throughs.

You are able to complete the side mount course once you have finished your Open Water but we would recommend you finish the Advanced Course first. If you want more information on the sidemount course contact Rick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Saturday, 05 December 2015 09:21

It's Chrismaaaaaaaaaass!

 

Saturday 5th December 2015sand snowman

After a long and noisy wait we have been told the accommodation and classrooms above the shop will be completed in 2 more weeks. It has been a long wait with deadlines being pushed and we will all be relieved once it has finished, ready in time for our Christmas staff party.

Our swimming pool that has been burning the retinas off us all has been emptied, scrubbed, resurfaced and filled with lovely clean fresh water, without the use of chemicals we are using a salt solution instead. The rain has also been topping it up so we only need to fill it half way to begin with, which saved us some pennies.

We are on the hunt for the Christmas decorations, they were put in a safe place when we moved and no one can remember where exactly that safe place is. We started by looking in the bar, we looked behind the bar, then in front of the bar, we can confirm that the beer is there…. well it was when we started looking.  After confirming that the beer was working we forgot what we were looking for in the first place. So the hunt for the decorations will continue.

Our resident Instructor Trainer Iain Goodfellow is in the middle of teaching our latest new instructors. Divemaster ‘Homeless’ Stephen Larder is leaving his DM to become a professional mask clearer along with Dani, Yam and Lyndon. In the next few weeks they will be new SSI instructors ready to start their internship with our present instructors before they are unleashed on the masses. Good Luck all of you.

 

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