nipples300x225Apparently if you rub your nipples hard enough & often enough a whaleshark will turn up! Big Blue Instructor Sonia Scott has been teaching this very important skill to all her students this week & low & behold look what happened in the end! 10 stiff nipples later & here comes our 30th Whaleshark in 30 days! Here's to stiff nipples & whalesharks!

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Friday 14th October 2016

This great Country that so many people from all over the world calls home is grieving. The people of Thailand are mourning the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-reigning monarch, who sadly died yesterday aged 88.

It is difficult to put into words as someone not actually Thai how much of an impact this has on people.

Everywhere you turn there are pictures of The King hanging, in houses, in shops, in restaurants, in banks, along the road side, on boats, in taxis, in tuk-tuks. You even know you are an honorary Thai when you go to the cinema and you make sure the tourists stand up as a sign of respect for the Royal Anthem, and when you stand still in the street when you here the National Anthem play in the morning and evening. Brightly coloured flags of yellow and blue fly everyday, not just on special occasions but everyday. As everyday is special when it comes to the love and admiration that the Thai people have for their beloved King.

In all 70 years as the King of Thailand, the King had never live a luxurious life as he could do. Every day, as long as people can remember, he had worked long days and long nights to help his people.

He traveled to all the remote areas in Thailand. Places that even many do not dare to go. As a trained engineer he went map and pencil in his hands, creating thousands of his Royal projects to help his people with water project, agricultural, healthcare and so many other things more than we can think about.

His palace, unlike any palace in this world, is the testing ground for new agricultural concept aim to improve people’s living. Many of these concepts had been implemented all over the country.

Thai people love him not because he is the King of Thailand but because what he has done. The King, the ordinary man who had been working to help all his life and never asked for anything in return.

With respect, the government have asked that people are to avoid “festivities” for 30 days of mourning. They have also asked for people behave respectfully and “wear sombre and respectful clothing when in public”.

Please check ahead of time for any closure of embassies or Immigration offices and transportation services.

This month’s Full Moon Party has been cancelled.

May he now be Resting In Peace and watching down over everyone.

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Sunday 9th October 2016isla

If you haven't booked your accommodation over Christmas & New Year yet then I would highly recommend you shake a leg & get your plans into action! The island is fills up extremely fast for the Festive season and if last years Christmas Season was anything to go by there could well be a few disappointments this year. So chop chop and get you holidays booked.

We have said a few goodbyes in the last few weeks to some of our Divemasters and Instructors, some are off back home for a few months and some are off on new adventures around the globe. The Big Blue family is spread all around the world these days and some are even popping out babies. 2 of our Instructors from about 5 years ago Rick and Fanette have just given birth to their first baby. Rick was the Manager of our Khao Lak branch. Congratulations.

We also have some very happy news in the form of a very brave little girl that has won her battle of Leukemia. Isla Donaldson who is the Big Boss man Jims own warrior princess has finally been allowed to leave Bangkok and come back home to Koh Samui. In a very emotional meeting at the airport, Isla has been back playing on the beach with her friends and family and getting back into the swing of having a normal life as a 3 year old kid again. With no tubes or treatments and nasty tasting medication to take. The good news is that Jim is also going to be back at work soon after being away for so long I’m sure the first night in the bar will be very welcome and a few people will be booking the next day off work to nurse a sore head. He will sure be looking forward to being reunited with his doggy Sunshine. Poor Sunny was involved in a hit a run a while back and told she may never walk again, but carrying on with the Donaldson spirit she has made a full recovery with the help and patience of Wayne and Jerrod up in the Big Blue Movies Department, she has lost some weight and is now running up and down the beach with a large coconut in tow. Daddy is coming Sunshine!!!

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gun300x225At 48m long and 7m wide the HTMS Sattakut lies just off the Koh Tao Divesite of Hin PeeWee. Initially, it was ordered by the US Navy in 1944; it was then sold to the Royal Thai Navy... 2 years later! Scuttled in 2011 for diving purposes, it now lies straight up in 30m of water with the super structure accessible from 20m depth: so even Open Water divers can 'see' the wreck albeit not being allowed to get too close... and for Advanced Courses & Wreck Specs it makes the ideal underwater wreck!

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Box 2300x225If you're thinking about learning to dive or you want to know a bit more about what to expect in your certification course I've answered the most common questions here.
What is the Open Water course?

What is the Open Water course?

The Open Water course is the basic scuba diving certification course taught by all certification agencies. There are small differences in course content between agencies, but they all cover the same basic skills and knowledge you will need to know as an independent diver.
Who can enroll?

Children as young as 10 years old (12 years old in some countries) can enroll in the Junior Open Water course and those 15 years and older can enroll in the Open Water course. Junior Open Water certified divers are automatically upgraded to Open Water divers on their 15th birthday with no need for recertification.

You'll also need to be in good health with no major health problems.

What does the course qualify you to do?

When you're certified as an Open Water diver you'll be able to dive to 60 feet / 18 meters (40 feet / 12 meters for 10-12 year olds) whenever you're accompanied by a fellow of the same or higher certification level (the other diver must be 18 or older for Junior Open Water divers).

You don't have to be accompanied by a Divemaster or Instructor, but can be if you'd prefer. You're also eligible to do the Advanced Open Water course and many specialties.

How long does the course take?

The course is usually taught over 3 to 5 days in dive vacation destinations, but can also be taught over weeks or even months if taken as a part-time course. The course content is the same but the daily workload is much greater, although still quite manageable, on the shorter course.
What do I have to do to complete the course?

Knowledge Development

You will be given a text book and videos to watch and will either study independently in your own time, with the assistance of your instructor, or online with guided e-learning. You will learn the basics of diving techniques, how diving affects your body, diving safety, equipment selection and maintenance, dive planning, and preview the skills you'll learn in the water. There will be a test at the end but if you've studied your material you should have no problems passing.

Confined Water Training

Your confined water training will be conducted in a swimming pool. Beginning in water shallow enough to stand up in you'll learn all the basic skills you'll need to confidently and safely enjoy scuba diving. As you gain confidence you'll gradually move into deeper water and learn some more advanced skills and safety drills.

Open Water Training

This is what it's all about - open water diving. Over four or more dives you'll practice all the skills you've already mastered in confined water out in open water, which means the open ocean or another large body of water that is used for diving. You'll practice the skills with your instructor until you're completely confident and can perform them with ease in a real diving situation. Of course you'll also get to check out everything the underwater world has to offer and hopefully develop a life-long love for diving.

Do I have to renew my certification?

The Open Water certification is forever and never needs to be renewed. However, it is recommended that if you haven't dived for a while (usually a year or more) or feel the need to brush up your skills to do a Scuba Review. This review is a short refresher course with a professional that can be integrated into your first regular dive.

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Whalesharks are still being spotted all over the place, with 2 or 3 spotted today at Sail Rock.
We would like to give them a little time to gather their thoughts so this Monday, 28th November, we're planning on heading out for 2 dives at Sail Rock followed by a 3rd dive at the HTMS Sattakut Wreck. Come join us for just 3800 baht!
If you like, you can also combine this trip with your advanced adventure certification, deep specialty and nitrox courses for a small extra charge!
Latest sign up will be tomorrow by 4:30pm on the 26th.

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IMG 0260300x225Sail Rock. The No. 1 Dive site in the Gulf of Thailand came up trumps again today with 2 more Whalesharks there this morning. Don't think we have had a single guest this month who hasn't dived with a Whaleshark. But rather than boring everyone again with yet another photo of a Whaleshark here is a shot of a diver swimming through the vertical chimney at Sail Rock, one of the cooler things you will ever experience underwater... apart from diving with Whalesharks of course!

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batfish300x225Koh Tao there has many dive sites where different kinds of Bat Fish may be encountered. Unfortunately, these interesting fish are seasonal, staying in one place for up to a few months before moving somewhere else. For most divers and especially photographers swimming alongside a school of batfish is a striking experience and a great opportunity to take close up shots. Sometimes these curious fish may `buddy up` with a diver, coming close to look at you and investigate what you are before rejoining their own group & of course One of the best dive sites to encounter these big schools of Tall-fin batfish (Platax teira) hovering over the rocks is Koh Tao's No 1 Divesite Chumphon Pinnacle.

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Starting another 2 week Instructor Development Course with our very own in house SSI Instructor Trainer Iain Goodfellow. Seems to me in this increasingly crazy world we live in that quitting your job, selling your house, living on a tropical island & getting a job in a pair of boardies is the only sane decision. "Book a ticket get a visa pack abag & it just happens". Big Blue Diving, changing lives for the better for 25 years.

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