Whaleshark at Chumphon Marine Park

 There's a thousand reasons as to why one should learn to dive. The feeling of weightlessness, the exhilaration, the exploration, to visit wrecks, to quote PADI- Meet people, go places & do things, but of course the biggest reason to dive is to see up close & personal all the many sea creatures there are to see in their natural environment & see to them with your own eyes! We were lucky enough to see a Whaleshark at Chumphon Marine Park yesterday which of course is the dream of every diver but how about this photo taken off Western Australia of a Whaleshark & then off in the distance a Whale! Now that takes some beating! Imagine swimming & photographing the biggest fish in the sea then along comes the biggest animal in the world! Amazing! Awesome photo. Congratulations Australia, you lucky buggers!

Open Water was a great experience

“Great first diving experience with Chloe”5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013 - I did my Open Water Diver at Big Blue with Chloe as an instructor who was really great at easily explaining things, especially for non-native English speakers. As she immediately sensed that I was pretty scared in the beginning, she took extra care of me and made me feel safe all the time! She prepared us very well for the adventure and great experience-she always payed attention to the specific problems everyone in our group had and made sure everyone felt comfortable! For me it was one of the greatest experiences and I would definitely recommend and go back to diving with Chloe at Big Blue! 

How to Become A PADI Divemaster

Anyone looking at changing their career direction I would highly recommend looking at becomming a PADI Divemaster. You will need to be a Rescue Diver to start your Divemaster training which of course means you will need to have done your Open Water & Advanced Courses too but having completed all them it can take you as little time as just 1 month to complete your Divemaster Training. And once you've done that then you can put your CV out & get work any exotic location in the world and lead people diving. If you did want to go further then the next step is your Instructor Course. Only another months worth of training & you're able to teach people how to dive. Truely can there be a more satisfying way to earn a living?

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The Real Value of a Whaleshark

 Amazing how much business gets generated by just one Whaleshark. By advertising the fact we dived with a Whaleshark the increase in diver numbers is up about 20% the following day. And that's just with us alone. If every Dive center on Koh Tao experiences that increase in numbers then we're talking millions of baht for just 1 sighting! Thats over 30,000 USD. That's way more than the fisherman would get for slaughtering a Whaleshark & selling it off for chopped fins. & don't forget of course that the divers way as opposed to the fishermans way, the creature is still alive. So it can make another 30,000 USD the next day, & the next day & the next day, forever & ever & ever or at least till it croaks! Killing Whalesharks- obviously a stupid mans game!

The Open Water Diving Course was the Best Experience of my Trip

“Great Experience”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor July 4, - Just did my Open Water Diving course with Big Blue, it was the best experience of my trip. My instructor, G was really helpful, I had a lot of trouble with my ears (due to a bad cold), she was so patient and did everything she could to get me down and she did. Good value for money, didn't feel unsafe at any point would highly reccommend it here. 

New Longtail

We're just going boat crazy! Bought ourselves another boat! This one is just a longtail used to shuttle our divers to the boats from the beach. But wow what a beauty! She's bigger than a lot of dive boats here! She's the longtail equivalent of the Airbus 380. Licensed to carry 40 people with or without their clothes on. This should make waiting time alot less. Big Blue Diving- always looking for ways to maximise your Dive time!

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Whaleshark!

Its like I speak Whaleshark! Yesterday predicted a Whaleshark. Today dive with a Whaleshark! The biggest fish in the sea! Not this one though. This one was just a baby. This was the smallest biggest fish in the sea! An awesome experience diving with Whalesharks & a regular occurrence here in Koh Tao. Most likely dive sites to see Whalesharks are Chumphon Pinnacle, Southwest Pinnacle, Sail Rock & lately we've seen a few around the island of Nang Yuan. If you want to know when our next whaleshark sighting will be then just ask Jim- the Whaleshark whisperer.

Good, Professional & Friendly Staff

“fun diving on koh tao”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor July 4, 2013 - Booked off the internet a fun dive package of 16 in total dives during an 8 day period in June for the sum of 11,000 baht (£234) Was duly picked up at the ferry terminal and taken to the beach front dive centre which was full of divers and many people chilling out .Greeted by very friendly staff and they gave me keys to various lodging options nearby I chose a seperate fan room with plenty of space and a hot shower which was 600 baht (£12)a night if I was diving .The whole period spent with Big Blue was so good and professional that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to friends. There were dive boats going out many times a day and night with different levels of diving skills so everyone was catered for There was an on site bar and restaurant and at night a scrumptious barbeque wwhich included Barracuda ,squid ,red snapper ,steaks and kebabs all for around 300-400 baht This is a PADI resort and the dive masters and instructors spoke many languages so many thanks for a good time to a very honest outfit who also are eco friendly 

New Website Coming

Redesigning our website at the moment to make it look more updated, funky & user friendly. Having a blast doing it all too but think we need a spot of help with some reviews that aren't just on Trip Advisor. Wink wink nudge nudge! Also going to be redesigning a few new T-shirts & are looking for a good catchy slogan if any of you creative people out there have got anything. We've been using Live & Let Dive & Scuba Nirvana since the yeat dot but just can't help feeling we can come up with something better. Anyone?

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Job Opportunites coming up at Big Blue

In this time of hardship, global financial crisis & high unemployment isn't it nice to know that here in Koh Tao we're desperate for new recruits! We got so much work coming up for Scuba Diving Professionals. Not only is it high season any day now which will mean I'llbe ringing round every night for Freelance Instructors to start courses the following day I'm also going to be looking for a fixed German speaking Instructor. Know of anyone? On top of that our Big Blue Conservation team are looking for a new recruit so I need someone there who's passionate about the environment & wants to join us in saving the world, organising fund raising events, beach & coral clean ups & monitoring our artificial reefs. And I'm also looking for a retail store manager. Someone who knows all about diving, equipment has excellent administrative skills & creative sales ideas. If you think any of these jobs has your name written on it then I'd highly recommend getting in touch with me ASAP. I'll be advertising on the PADI & SSI websites soon so here's your chance to get in with your application & CV's before the crowds. Its a hard life but someones got to do it. Why not you? Please address all applications to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our Instructor was Incredible

“Best dives, best trip, best instructor!! Must do!!!”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 28, 2013- I came to koh Tao with a friend as we'd heard all about the diving! On arrival we didn't really know which company was best! We had a couple of recommendations from people on the boat on the way for Big Blue and thought we'd go for it!! As we were both beginners we were a little nervous but there's no need!! Our instructor G was just incredible!! She taught us everything we needed to know and more and the diving experience we had was just top! If you're looking for an amazing diving experience I'd look no further than Big Blue and G!!! Amazing time, want to do it all again! TEAM G!!!! 

Whaleshark

Enjoying the diving at the moment. Not typical for this time of year either. We should be powering through 2 meter swells & visibility less than 10 meters & traipsing down to the pier in town for our daily departures. Instead we're experiencing 20 viz, relatively flat seas, still leaving from the beach here & all sorts of awesome underwater creatures. Wouldn't be surprised if we bump into a Whaleshark within the next couple of days. Stay tuned. Watch this space!

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New Big Blue Boat

A little while ago we had a few boat problems so ended up renting a boat for a couple of months. So impressed were we with it that we've now gone ahead & bought it outright! So ladies & gentlemen if you'd be kind enough to put your hands together & join us in welcoming MV Waverunner to the fleet of Big Blue boats. She's 28 meters long with an interior saloon, large upstairs outside shaded area, large dive deck, steel throughout & can manage a capacity of 35 divers no problem! She's got another Dive centers name written all over her for the moment but we'll get that rubbed out as soon as I can find the Tipex!

Koh Tao's Best Scuba Instructors

“Welcoming Dive Shop with Excellent Dive Instructors”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 29, 2013 - From the moment we wondered into Big Blue (on a word of mouth recommendation during the ferry from Koh Samui) we felt at home and at ease. The front desk accomadations worked hard to find us a room during a sold out weekend and got us into the open water diving course immediately. From the beginning, our instructor, Kyle, was easy going, insightful, knowledgeable, and willing to work with all comfort levels. Kyle guided us through the open water course from beginnng to end taking time to assist each group member as needed. The pace of the course was perfect, and we feel prepared to take on further dives in and outside of Koh Tao. All the instructers seemed great at Big Blue, but if you do choose to dive with them definitely request Kyle as your instructor! 

High Season Coming

So coming into high season here on Koh Tao now & by the look of things we could be in for quite a busy one. So I'm giving fair warning now for those who haven't yet booked anything to step it up & get something locked in. Its the time of year when we get people sleeping on the beaches cos there's no accommodation available! And according to the word on the Media street Bangkok is reckoned to be the most visited city in the world this year over taking London & Paris & the number of visitors expected on Koh Tao is going up 15% on last year! And last year was very busy so this year its going to go nuts! Like I said... better get something locked in!

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Big Blue Babies

Tis the season to have babies tra la la la la la la la la!. Congratulations to Jim- Il Duce, Tor one of our touts, & Takeshi & Naomi, Owners of Big Blue Diving Khao Lak & Mihoko BB Diving Marketing Manager in Japan who have all over the last month been dropping sprogs like there's no tomorrow! 3 girls & a boy. Must have been something in the water 9 months ago! Either that or scuba diving makes you super fruity!

Amazing Instructor

“Amazing”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor June 26, 2013 - There are sooo many dive schools to choose from on Koh Toa we really struggled to pick without knowing anything about them really but as soon as we saw the trip advisor results we decided to stay here. It was a really good decision. We stayed in a 4 bed dorm which yes wasn't the most amazing 5* accom we have ever had but we are in Thailand and it was free?! Also our dive instructor Steveo was amazing he was so patient and was really proud of us when we mastered a skill under water which was really nice. He helped us whenever we needed it and stayed around on an evening for drinks and we all went out for a meal. The course made me feel really safe for when we did our first dive on the OW course and it was amazing! The sites that they take you too are absolutely spectacular and the fish and sealife is amazing. Sometimes the visability isnt amazing but they tried to change to the sites that were the best. We have nothing to complain about and we stayed on to do the advanced course too we enjoyed it that much. Big love to steveo he was amazing and really made me feel safe when I was nervous. Thankyou Big Blue!!

Home Sweet Home

So its been a while but its as if nothing has changed. The sun is still shining, the sea is still flat. The whalesharks are still frolicking. Simo & Tosh are still doing their Instructor Training courses. The Instructors are teaching the students & the Divemasters are leading the certified divers. The AC rooms, fan rooms bungalows & dorms are all pretty much full. The shop girls are still accepting payments and the bar & restaurant are still serving 5 star cuisine. Its as if I never went away for 2 months to Bangkok to have another baby... except for the sleepless nights, & baby bile down my shoulder! Thanks everyone for taking such great care of the place for me while I been away. Especially to Tosh, Guy & Jess who've done an awesome job. So good in fact that I think I might bugger off for another month or 2! See ya suckers!

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1At last the decision has been made & those in authority have finally given the go ahead to start building the long awaited Train station to Koh Tao that will run from Surat Thani on the mainland to Koh Samui then on to Koh Phangan, then Koh Tao & all the way back to the mainland at Chumphon. Its been a while in the pipeline but finally its been approved. Cough, cough... splutter splutter!

 

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3

Twas a super successful Full day Trip to Chumphon Marine Park last Sunday with the biggest turtle any of us have ever seen, a 2 meter big Marble Ray, a Shipwreck & more marine life than we've seen on any one dive site on Koh Tao for years! Everyone had such an amazing day on our first Full Day Trip to the Chumphon Marine Park that everyone signed up again for todays Full Day Trip to the Angthong Marine Park as well. Big Blue Diving. Koh Tao's Number One Choice for Certified Divers.

“Amazing...just do it!” -5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor March 30, 2013 - Diving in Koh Tao has been one of the major highlights of my trip so far and I can't recommend Big Blue enough! I did both my open water and advanced courses and can't wait to continue diving elsewhere (and hopefully back in Koh Tao some day). The instructors I had (G and Iain) were really professional but also made sure it was relaxed and fun. The full day trip to Chumpon was amazing, definitely give it a try if you're around when it's on. Top marks all round for Big Blue!! Oh, and make sure you have the BBQ food at the restaurant, it's delicious and great value!

BIG BLUE FREEDIVING is the new Freediving facility on Koh Tao! We are part of Big Blue Diving, the best & biggest SSI training  facility in the whole of Asia! We have high standards! :-) We offer SSI and AIDA freediving courses, besides specialties, coaching sessions and fun activities. Freediving for us is not only a sport, but is fun fun fun!  Learn to freedive with skilled freedivers with over 8 years of experience and various Records between them. We will be working very closely alongside Big Blue Tech one of Koh Tao's largest & most successful Tech Diving Centers & are off this Saturday to the Torpedo wreck which lies at 54 meters. Come and join us in this underwater adventure! :-)

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4

So our Full Day trip to the Angthong National Marine Park went down as a big success! Such an amazingly beautiful area actually listed as one of the Top 10 places to go in Thailand. Its actually where the setting of Alex Garlands book The Beach was based. And because of our new super powered fastest boat on Koh Tao "Ponpanawa" we are the only dive center on Koh Tao able to offer this trip as a 3 dive Full Day experience. & just in case you've been missing out on our other Full day Trips we also offer the Chumphon Marine Park & Sail Rock as well. 3 Awesome Full Day Trips departing every week! Massively in demand these trips so make sure you book ahead! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Best Place to dive :)”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor March 31, 2013 - We decided to do SSI Open Water Diving here are Big Blue. It was the best decision we made! We got accommodation with our diving. The rooms were basic and simple but very clean. There is a restaurant there, which serves a mixtures of food and is reasonably priced. They do an amazing BBQ in the evenings on the beach. The diving instructors were so helpful and friendly and really made us feel at ease. We had an instructor who is named Eco Jen! :) She was lovely and so nice. And even took us out to a lovely restaurant in the mountains one evening. There is very good nightlife and restaurants on Koh Tao. If you are going to dive... You must do it at big blue

 

Drupella Snails can be responsible for extensive coral reef damage, once an outbreak occurs removal must take place for the balance to be restored. On Koh Tao in 2010 following a bleaching event we lost a significant amount of the Drupellas favourite dish - Acropora (staghorn) coral. As a result, the Drupella population well exceeds the Acropora cover, meaning goodbye to even more acropora colonies as they eat the remainders. Drupella snails use a special mouth 'radula' and feed off of living coral tissue, particular favourites being stag horn and plate coral colonies here on Koh Tao. The snails leave white tissue scars on affected coral and can usually be found congregated at the base or deep down in-between the coral branches. Adults have a robust looking shell, 2 to 3cm long, are covered in small cones/ spikes and are deep purple in colour due to their shells being cover in calcereous algae. Juveniles are usually 0.5 to 1cm long and are white in colour. In an attempt to reestablish the balance between durpella and Ancropora populations, we must remove excess Drupella snails from the reef. It is important to make sure removal is of the snail's only and not the common hermit crab which also takes up residence in an empty Drupella snail's shell, some easy clues for checking are waving the shell (if they drop off immediately, they are hermit crabs), and also the hermit crab will re-emerge from its shell relatively quickly once removed and in your hand. On our last trip we collected 313 snails! We saw 31 aggregations, and then the odd snail or two on its own. All in all a good trip (well...maybe not for the Drupella victims...).

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The techies & our Freedivers have set off to day to dive the Torpedo & Unicorn wrecks today . The Torpedo is a 70 meter Japanese cargo vessel sitting upright in around 55 meters of water an hour north of Koh Tao, she sank in the mid 1970's. Due to the depths involved this has been classified a technical dive for experienced divers only.  Lying around 12km off Mango Bay and in 50 metres of water the Unicorn Wreck is also a technical dive. Still mostly intact with the majority of the obtrusive fishing nets now removed some penetration is possible. The wreck is now home to some big red snappers and patrolling groupers.   The techies are going to spend upto 2 hours doing their deco dives while our Free Divers will spend probably about 4 minutes in total per dive. & you thought Tech Divers were hardcore! Just you try holding your breath & descending to a depth of about 60 meters! These FreeDivers are truely HARD...CORE!

“Great diving, staff, and atmosphere”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor April 1, 2013- I stayed here for 10 days in March. Initially, I wasn't sure if I should do any diving - but now I am soooo glad I did! With the great instructors Anke and Ernesto I completed both my SSI O pen Water certificate and my SSI Advanced Diving. The instructors made it so fun, and I always felt safe and well taken care of. I am now looking to do some more diving in Indonesia and the Philippines. Thanks for initiating my love of a new sport! The hotel was also great. I would recommend getting an Air conditioned room, though. It's worth the etra 100 baht. Also, the resort has two hotels - Big Blue 'one' and 'two'. I would recommend hanging out and Big Blue 'one' in the evenings, but BB 'two' is fine for the day time. I was travelling solo and I found it very easy to meet people. 
 

So our Full Day Trips are selling like hot cakes! The plan is to have a Full Day trip to either Sail Rock, Chumphon Marine Park or the Angthong Marine Park at least 6 times a week & we're doing well leading upto that number with 4 Full Day Trips scheduled already for next week. Sunday we're off to Sail Rock, Tuesday it the Chumphon Marine Park including our new wreck! Then Thursday its back to AngThong & Saturday its Sail Rock again! The week after we hope to incorporate a 3 Dive Wreck day with our Techies & Free Divers & the week after we'll throw in the best 3 dives around Koh Tao putting a Full Day Trip to Chumphon Pinnacle, Southwest Pinnacle & HinWong Pinnacle! 6 Full Day Trips a week! Big Blue Diving. The number One Choice for Certified Divers!

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