December (16)

Reasons for diving
whalesharkWhy do you like to dive, or want to learn how to dive? Ask some of the staff at Big Blue their reasons and they'll all give you a different answer. The reason can be as varied as the ocean is deep. Some people will tell you that they want to explore the underwater world, be it the variety of different types of rock formations or the chance of seeing some incredible marine life. Some people just love the feeling of being underwater and enjoy the sensation of weightlessness- we had a fun diver recently that had problems with their balance, and they loved being underwater because it temporarily went away. If you ask our tech instructors, James, Ian, Rick and Donnie, they'll pretty much agree that they like being inside a wreck or cave in zero visibility pushing themselves to the limit and putting their training to the test.. weirdos.
Whatever your reasons for going diving, we can turn you into a very competent diver. The open water course will give you the foundations to be able to begin enjoying the underwater world. The advanced course will introduce you to some important diving skills such as navigation and deep diving techniques, as well as increase your confidence. The rescue course will turn you into a diver that is able to look out for other people, anticipate problems with yourself and others and deal with them effectively. We can also teach a wide range of speciality courses that will make you better at the type of diving you are interested in, be it wreck diving, photography, or equipment maintenance.
If you want to work in the dive industry you can do your training with us- you'll learn from the best people in the industry, and if you want to become an instructor we can make you into a bloody good one- a trait that other dive resorts will recognise instantly. Finally, if you're a liitle bit weird, we can teach you technical diving so you can sit inside a shipwreck in complete darkness, because, you know.. you're a bit strange. But if that's still not getting you going, we can train you to freedive down to 40 metres, or become a freediving divemaster, or freediving instructor. Finally, we can teach you all about marine conservation, so if seeing the marine life underwater is not quite enough for you, you can learn some marine biology and ecology, and help spread the message of why it's important to look after our oceans.
So which type of person are you? If you're not sure, just get yourself to Big Blue... you'll soon find out.

Different types of dive professional
There are all sorts of creatures that frequent this beautiful Island we call Koh Tao. Some people did their divemaster, or used to work in diving but then ended up working in a bar. Some people that live and work here have never dived before in their lives. But the vast majority of westerners that call Koh Tao their home work as either divemasters or instructors, and you can tell them a mile off in the local bars, usually by the fact that they will be sporting a dive computer on their arm. Now everyone knows someone in any job that falls into a certain "type". Diving is no different, obviously the vast majority of people are diligent hard working professionals. But if you hang around places like lotus or fishbowl on Sairee beach, sooner or later you'll come across one of the types listed below. It's all a bit tongue in cheek, and thankfully Big Blue staff really do seem to fall into categories 7 and 9. We rarely frequent the aforementioned establishments as we're working all the time! But have a look and hopefully laugh along:

1- I've got the best job in the world, and I really need you to know that 24/7.
2- I've been doing this so long I used to look good in a wetsuit!
3- I'm a total space cadet yet everyone genuinely seems to like me!
4- I've been doing this for a long long time and think i'm amazing, but actually i've gotten lazy and am pretty bad.
5- I'm terrible at this but i'm kind of proud of the fact.. but i'm so much fun to be taught by so you'll never know the difference anyway!
6- I'm really humble and just like to get on with the job, unless someone thinks they may know better than me, then I'll just have to tell them how amazing I am.
7- I actually really like teaching diving and want to teach the best course I possibly can.
8- I'm gonna teach you how to dive then make love to you.. and you, and you, and you.
9- I've been doing this for a while but there's always more to learn.
10- This is just a stop-gap until I become a world champion ping pong player.
11- Diving keeps my piles at bay.
12- My favourite thing about diving is that no-one can talk to me underwater.
13- My favourite thing about diving is that I get to hear my own voice all day.
14- I love nudibranchs!
15- I couldn't care less about nudibranchs, or fish in general!
16- I've been doing this for 2 minutes but to listen to me you'd think i've been at it for years!
17- I reckon I can liven up your evening by talking to you about diving all night.
18- My voice will feel like a dentists drill entering your temple for every agonising second, as I tell you everything I know about decompression diving.
19- It's just a job, please talk to me about anything other than diving.
20- I am to diving what Jack Johnson is to surfing.




Clean and green
november-beach-cleanupIt never ceases to amaze us here at Big Blue that, whenever we organise a beach and underwater clean up, we get a fantastic response for volunteers in the form of our customers. Yesterday was no exception. 39 people decided to get involved in the morning to keep Sairee beach devoid of rubbish. Then in the afternoon the same people turned up to go for a clean up dive at Sairee reef. Rubbish can come in many forms; many of the dive boats moor up on Sairee reef, and people accidentally drop tea bags, mouthpieces from regulators, masks, weights and weightbelts, and god knows what else. When the weather is bad the fishing boats take shelter from the worst of it by mooring up at Sairee reef, and they discard all manner of items, which sadly includes plenty of beer bottles. They are a tough one, as although you may be doing a good deed by picking it up to dispose of it properly, you may also inadvertently make a tiny family of anenome fish homeless if it's been laying on the sea bed long enough to become an artificial reef. So sometimes it may actually be better to leave it as it is. Other items you might find on an underwater clean up include wire frames that are used to make the giantlanterns that people set off from the beach. What they don't realise is that turtles get stuck in them, rendering them unable to swim to the surface to get air.
If someone drops something in the Gulf of Thailand, it can end up on Sairee beach. Even if someone dropped a crisp packet on the mainland in Suratthani, we may end up having to pick it up off the beach. It's a never ending job, which is why we organise these clean ups so regularly, but it is effective, and the beach is looking lovely again!
So once again, thanks to everyone that made the effort. The day ended in the bar with a well deserved beer. If you want to get involved in our next clean up, send us an email (address at the top of our homepage) or pop in to the office.

Christmas is coming
Just a quick reminder that, as if you didn't know, it's December already... how the hell did that happen!!!? There will be plenty of Christmas blog posts coming up over the next few weeks, so this is a specific one aimed at those who live here, or the family and friends of people that live here. If you are plannning on sending a parcel to someone on Koh Tao, or if anyone on Koh Tao is diligent enough to send Christmas presents home- that'll be the girls then, you really need to either do it today or last week. The Thai postal service is not the best in the world and you can normally expect a letter or parcel to take 3-4 weeks to arrive. But with the Christmas rush god only knows when you'll receive it. The post office in Mae Hadd is probably going to be rammed with items so there may even be a backlog in even knowing your parcel has arrived.  So, it's not that nobody loves you, it's simply that you live in Thailand as to why you haven't received anything.. yes, that's the reason...