January (7)

31st January 2015   

Last October Big Blue Diving became a Shark Guardian Dive Centre which means that one of the wonderful Directors from Shark Guardian Brendan Sing came over to give everyone at Big Blue a lecture on the importance of sharks in our oceans and to inform people just what Shark Guardians are all about. This time around the lecture was based around Whalesharks and how to identify them using pictures between the pectoral fin and the dorsal fin. This data then goes into a database and we can locate where the individual whalesharks travel to. Very cool indeed. Thank you Brendan for coming over and joining us. www.sharkguardian.org

I don’t think there are many dive centres in the world that have family members working together but at Big Blue for 3 months only we have a brother and sister team working. Sonia has been at Big Blue for around 8 years and when her brother Graeme was introduced to diving in the ocean and not cold quarries for the first time in 2008 he was addicted to the diving in Thailand just as much as the rest of us. So now every year he comes over from the UK to dive and work, but is the first time they have worked alongside each other!

Some more instructors for you

Tim Morrish

Could have been a professional BMX rider but he wasn’t, cos he couldn’t, so he didn’t, hence the diving! Another extremely experienced Instructor having worked all over the world for the best part of the last 10 years & has worked at 10 different Dive centres & resorts & actually reckons Big Blue is the best Dive centre or Resort he’s ever come across. Crikey imagine what those other shitholes must have looked like! An SSI & PADI Instructor Tim is another Instructor who started life on Koh Tao at a different centre then defected to join us at Big Blue.

Steven (Steve-o) Taylor

Stepped into the world of Scuba Diving a little later than most of us but has taken to it like a rather large duck to water. Steve is proof that’s it’s never too late for a career change and 3 years after his life changing decision to become an SSI & PADI Scuba Instructor Steve was one of our very highest performers in 2014 certifying over 300 students in just 1 year! Steveo is one of our more popular guys all round. His students think he’s the best & his work colleagues also have high praise for him & his attitude to team work. Never says no to anything he’s asked, pulls his weight & most importantly is not shy at buying a round at the bar.

Phil Smith

A horticulturist by trade, Phil ran his own landscaping business in the Lake District area of the UK! Gave it all up to go traveling the world and ended up here! Oddly enough was nicknamed 'Fishlad' by his mates at school way before he took up Scuba Diving as a career! They reckoned with a nose that big he looked like a sea creature. Should have called him Elephant Seal Phil!  Phil started work here at Big Blue as a Divemaster & last year became a PADI and SSI Instructor as well as one of our Sidemount Instructors. He is very laid back & patient is Phil. Excellent qualities to have as a Scuba Diving Instructor and as an elephant seal.



30th January 2015sailrock

I can’t believe it is the end of January already, it seems like only yesterday we were celebrating the New Year in! The conditions have cleared up a lot over the past few weeks and we have been able to get out to Sail Rock on our Full Day trips. Sail Rock is probably the best dive site we have in the Gulf of Thailand and we try and get out there as often as we can. The full day trips consist of 3 dives, breakfast, lunch and soft drinks. With huge schools of fish, giant moray eels, macro, and the chance of a passing Whaleshark (sigh) these trips must not be missed while you are in Thailand.

Ever since the documentary Blackfish pulled back the curtain on the lives of captive orcas, SeaWorld has seen some serious backlash. Corporate sponsors such as Hyundai Motor America, Southwest Airlines, and Virgin America have cut ties with the company, many celebrities and condoned the parks actions and have distanced themselves, and attendance is down. The latest people to sever ties with SeaWorld are the Miami Dolphins. Jason Jenkins, Miami Dolphins senior vice president of communications and community affairs, confirmed to that the partnership will end, though he explained it is not an early termination. The contract between the organizations ends in March, and it will not be renewed.

If you have not seen the documentary please have a look and make your own opinion on it, also The Cove is also a very intense film about how dolphins are caught in nets and sold to ‘trainers’, but it is those poor dolphins that do not get picked for be paraded around in aquariums that are needlessly slaughtered instead of being released back into the oceans.

So we introduced you to a few of our instructors the other day, here are a few more:

Denja Steigmeier

Comes from the lucrative world of International Banking, lives on a mountain, stashes dodgy 2nd World War art pieces in her cellar, eats cheese & chocolates, likes snowboarding, yodelling, cuckoo clocks and milking cows! Denja used to work at another dive center here on Koh Tao till we put the word out that we were looking for a hot looking German chick to join the team but as we couldn’t find one had to settle on her. & what a catch! Extremely punctual, very clean and won’t be offended if you can’t say her name right! Another one of our Bikini models Denja is also an experienced SSI and PADI Diving Professional & one of our most popular Instructors having recorded an amazing 50% of her Open Water Students in 2014 stayed on to do their Advanced Course with her. Probably got nothing to do with her teaching, it’s all that Toblerone she gives them!

Sonia Scott

Ex- Great Britain Rugby International & sports physiotherapist, is also our resident Dive Medic & one of our most experienced members of the team. Sonia has worked in Scuba Diving as a Divemaster, a PADI & SSI Instructor, a Dive Medic Technician, a Liveaboard Dive Operations Manager & a Dive Center Manager. She’s certified thousands of novice divers & hundreds of diving professionals. She’s worked for Big Blue Diving in Koh Tao & Big Blue Diving in Khao Lak & she worked at the largest Dive operation on Thailands west coast & also opened their Dive Center in Komodo, Indonesia & is one of the few people in the world who have ever dived across the Equator in complete Open Ocean. … … (sigh) … … … I’ll get my coat.

Ant Edgely

Mini Ant used to be a big shot Architect with many of his fine erections scattered throughout London & was offered a job by one of the UK's largest building firms but turned them down in order to become a Big Blue Diving DMT! Could have been a disastrous decision for Ant but luckily he excelled at his DM Training & went straight on to become an SSI Instructor and was immediately offered a job by another Dive shop on Koh Tao before we told them to bugger off! "He's ours!" Now works as one of our Full Time SSI & PADI Instructor's Ant is still trying to keep his eye in the architectural game & totally designed our Mothership MV Waverunner. A bit of elbow grease here and a bit of imagination there & Ant has gone & created another fine erection!

Matt Waters

Ex Military so exceptionally presentable and will turn up to class punctually and with immaculately clean booties on! Will probably call you sir and end every sentence with the word ‘Rodger’! Matt also worked at a competitive Dive center here on Koh Tao before realizing there’s only 1 shop on Koh Tao really worth working at. When he didn’t get that job he ended up here! A PADI and SSI Instructor Matt is possibly our most recommended Instructor on Trip Advisor. Doesn't mean he's any good. Just means he's on Trip Advisor a lot! Military Matt is an excellent catch for us here at Big Blue, you know just in case we get invaded by ISIS or the Americans!



25th January 2015


Tomorrow is Australia Day and Big Blue seems to have accumulated quite a few of these flaming galahs! Having to put up with the very strange way that these people speak can be very confusing as they stick an o onto every word and name! Steve-o, John-o, arvo, drongo, smokeo, everything is ripper or too easy and if its not then you're a drongo! They brought us the god awful vegemite, Rolf Harris and Kylie Minogue! Although some of us do quite enjoy a small Singha!!! As custom to the Aussies, our bunch of wallaby lovers will be cooking up some shrimps on the Barbie and enjoying a cold tinny mate! So put on your cork hats, wife beaters, budgie smugglers and thongs, fill up the esky and have a yourself a ripper of a day! AAh yyeeeah!

And here are some more of our Instructors…….

Petra Bauer- Swedish

Petra started her Dive career as a PADI Instructor at another shop here on Koh Tao but soon saw the light & crossed over to do her SSI Instructor Course with South East Asia's leading SSI Instructor Trainer who coincidentally also happens to be working at Big Blue! So impressed were we with her Swedish assets, Petra was employed before she'd even finished her training! And now holds the prestigious honour of having won our Best Instructor award 2 years in succession. Petra is also responsible for organising the islands Swedish Summer Solstice whereby every single Swede comes over to Big Blue dressed up in togas and laurel wreaths to get really drunk & dance around a Maypole. Drunken Swedish girls in bikinis & togas! & you thought people came here for the Diving!

Neil Draycott

He could have been the 6th member of the boy band Take That but producers decided they'd rather have someone who had absolutely no talent what so ever! So he formed his own band instead! Neil has calmed down a lot since reaching the dizzying heights of Rock stardom! Once hailed by NME as the next major British Ska band to hit the big time. A performing music legend at festivals, live gigs & concert halls, scantily clad in his socks Dr. Martens boots, & strategically placed Trumpet, Neil is now an unassuming SSI, PADI & BSAC Instructor and a power boating Instructor as well & with over 6 years’ experience on Koh Tao working in the scuba diving Industry is one of our very best Instructors here at Big Blue & the guy many of our interns aspire to be. Oh no sorry that’s Robbie Williams.

Luke White

Another one of our triple certified Instructors, PADI, SSI & BSAC. Luke comes from a place in England I only thought existed in fairy tales & children’s horror stories- Grimsby! Need I give any other reason as for why Luke finds himself gainfully employed in one of the world’s most amazing locations? Looks like he's just stepped out of a line up for a Sparta movie, Luke is nothing like the scary Barbarian his outward appearance would have you perceive! Calm, funny, relaxed, very easy going Luke has found himself right at home at Big Blue, & having just tied the knot last year is ready to settle down to a life of domestic abuse, physical violence, unpredictable mood swings, enslavement & enforced manual labour. Who’d have thought the similarities between Marriage & Grimsby were so alike!

Ernesto Guijarro Adame- Spanish

When not eating or playing guitars or flamenco dancing, Ernie teaches both SSI & PADI Courses from Open Water all the way thru to Divemaster and won our 2014 Staff Award for Best Dive Staff which is an equivalent victory to say that of winning the PFA Player of the year in World Football. Here is a guy that’s truly loved by everyone. Patient, hardworking, funny, social, enthusiastic, flamboyant, helpful, humourous & warm hearted. He’s like the Antonio Banderas of Scuba Diving, you know if he had more hair & was better looking. So maybe not Antonio Banderas, more like Manuel in Fawlty Towers.



21st January 2015beachclean

Big Blue Conservation had our monthly beach and reef clean up the other day which was joined by the divemaster trainees and some of our guests (anything to get a free dive hey). The team collected from Hin Wong Bay which is a beach that seems to collect rubbish during monsoon as the winds are coming in a westerly direction pushing the rubbish up on the beach on the eastern side of Koh Toa. Well done and thank you to everyone who took part. We need to keep our oceans and divesites clean its just a shame that the rubbish we pick up as a result of our own humanities actions. So in the bars and restaurants and shops say no to straws and plastic bags if you dont need them.

Today we meet our Divemaster Mentor Team. This bunch of muppets are responsible for the training of our professionals, they can be all that bad as some of our best fulltime divemasters and instructors were trained by them.

So without further ado lets meet Simo, G, Guy, Iain, Nick and Ant. To see pictures of their ugly mugs check out The Team section in about us at the top of the page.

Simon Garrity

What a character. Worked as a Divemaster at Big Blue before becoming an SSI and PADI Instructor and is now the worlds most accomplished SSI Instructor Trainer having certified more SSI Instructors than any one individual anywhere else in the world. Recently Simo also became an Instructor Examiner which means he gets to travel the world scaring the bejeezus outta possible instructor candidates! Simo is a natural stand up comedian and can be seen live on stage at Koh Tao’s Comedy Club at weekends & on other nights he hosts all our Divemaster Challenges at Big Blue, dressed in high heels, a wig, fishnet stockings, make up and a short tight dress. Seriously!

Germaine Maguire

Probably Koh Tao's most well-known person! Everyone knows Irish G! If you don't know Irish G then you obviously haven't been to Koh Tao! Long-time Instructor on Koh Tao, G has also done a stint teaching in South America & Australia, you know, for a Crack! Now a full time Instructor here at Big Blue and our only female Mentor in our Divemaster Training Programmes G has certified thousands of students already. She is a PADI & SSI Instructor & when she’s not teaching she is also the owner of Moov! One of Koh Tao's most unique, hippest & funkiest clubs & restaurants. G is an island legend & if you end up being taught by her when you get here then be prepared to pay a little more. We charge extra for diving with celebrities!

Guy Bannister

Guy is one of the islands finest Instructors who was working at one of the islands finest Dive centres but then quit & came & worked for us! Guy is a PADI Master Instructor & an SSI Instructor Trainer, so experienced is he that is the first choice for most of our Interns when they get to shadow one of our Instructors. Might be something to do with his laid back attitude, relaxed demeanour, extreme patience, widespread knowledge & bags of cash! Before being a Dive Instructor & Guy can be, & was, a bit of a Banker, but decided to pack it in just a few days before the financial crisis. Not saying he's the one responsible but I bet he's got a few million quid stashed away in his Dive bag somewhere!

Iain Goodfellow

One of our main pool of PADI and SSI Instructors, but this one is from the Highlands! Iain has been a Big Blue Instructor for about 4 years now and is also one in our team of 6 who train our PADI Divemasters and SSI Divecons & another one in our team of very experienced SSI Instructor Trainers. As the name suggests Iain Goodfellow is a jolly nice chap, and a member of the Las Vegas Mafia. Hailing from a background in social welfare Iain is naturally very chatty & extremely friendly & is one of the most patient & sensible Instructors we have around but you never know with these Scottish Mafia types, it could just be a façade. If I ever wake up with a horse’s head in my bed I’ll let you know!

Nick Bufton

Separated at birth from Sid the Sloth, Nick is one of our fully qualified SSI and PADI Instructors. Trained by another rival dive shop here in Koh Tao and even worked there for some time as a Dive master then an Instructor then as an Instructor training Divemasters! This is exactly what he’s doing now. He has a great track record with his Open Water students who continue with their Advanced Course and is also a very accomplished swimmer and holding the record for our 'Swim for Sharks' charity event we host every year, swimming 3.5 kilometres around the island of Nang Yuan in just 55 minutes to raise money for Shark conservation. Not a bad time for a slow moving mammal that lives in trees!

Ant Silwood

Despite the fact Ant is Welsh we still went ahead & employed him! Must be something about his likeable personality, charm, good looks & our necessity to have someone to pick on! Ant is a PADI & SSI Instructor having been professionally trained by some of the leading Scuba Diving Instructors in the business. I wonder who they were. He is also one of our Divemaster Trainers & having worked as a DM with us for a couple of years already really knows his stuff. Originally a Computer software salesman with an alleged talent at being able to fix computer problems, Ant has on numerous occasions proven this fact to be a complete joke & can't even spell PC let alone fix one! However he is very relaxed, reliable & great eye candy for the ladies!


20th January 2015dms

As promised the website is being updated and we have been tinkering around with our staff profiles. We have got to know them more of the months and years that they have been here so we have more abuse to give them.

So we have already met Stephen Larder, now its time for Steven, Carly and Nick.

Steven DeVelter

Self-proclaimed "Best Divemaster in the World" Steven is our Head DM. An extremely well trained diving professional having done most of his professional training with us! Steven has been our Head Divemaster for almost 27 years now and still doesn’t look like he plans on leaving anytime soon so happy is he with the joys of 12 hour days, 7 day weeks, dealing with Instructor demands, managing logistics and leading scuba divers. Consequently this might lead you to believe that perhaps Steven isn’t all there, which would actually be a very accurate observation! Italian by birth, Geordie by nature Steven has very distinctive sense of humour. Serious & professional, fun & entertaining, scarily hairy & swings both ways Steven will probably be here for another 27 years self ‘proclaiming’ with himself.

Carly Marsh

A white South African so completely racist, corrupt and filthy rich! A Gold Smith by trade! Obviously not a very good one or she wouldn't be working here! Nicknamed Prawn- something to do with that terrible South African Sci fi movie, nothing to do with a chick that has a mad body, but a bad face, (you know like when you eat a prawn, you eat the body and throw away the head!) Prawn is the hottest of our Divemaster team. She's also the smallest, ah maybe that's where the name came from! Carly is our first employed Seffrican who can speak English or at least thinks she can which results in a completely effective failure to communicate. We usually just wait for her to break into tribal dance and sing/dance/unnecessary shouting/boobies!

Nick Tringham

Another former Investment Banker who worked at Deutsche Bank then became a professional Scuba Diver once he’d managed to ruin the Greek economy and stashed away his barrels of cash! Nick works as one of our team of 4 Divemasters telling everyone else what to do while they abuse all the other members of staff in the shop. Another one of our own home-grown stash of DM’s Nick actually paid the boss over a million pounds to ensure he got the DM job here at Big Blue over all the other better trained, posh, plum mouthed, silver spooned, yuppie, toffee nosed waist coat wearing, spoilt DM types we had in the offing. 

As you can see we genuinely love our staff or at least we love insulting them, next will be our 6 Divemaster Mentors.






14th December 2015stephen larder

Over the next few weeks we will be updating our Meet the Team page. Please have a mooch around and meet some of the Dive professionals you will be meeting once you arrive at Big Blue. Big Blue has a very unique atmosphere which is one of the reasons why we have not only stayed so long but why so many of our customers just keep coming back for more. Many even go on with their dive training so they can sack in the day job from wherever they come from and come to work here. We really do have the one of the best jobs in the world. We know how amazing that underwater world is and we want to pass our passion on to you. Whilst maintaining a level safety and professionalism while allowing you to have fun in the process.

Let us meet our newest entry-

Divemaster- Stephen Larder

Looks like he’s just stepped off a refugee boat & claimed Australian asylum hence the nickname he’s been branded with ‘Homeless Steve’. Arrived here at Big Blue a couple of Christmases ago and booked in for his change of lifestyle package, Open Water thru to Divemaster, looking very ‘Kylie’ with his long blonde flowing locks, blue eyes, bronzed tan & budgie smuggled down his bikini bottoms. Stephen has proved to be a very good catch for us. As one of Big Blue’s full time Divemaster Stephen is very calm & relaxed & is just the kind of guy you’d want being in charge of your boat whether its heading out to Koh Tao’s famous divesites full of keen avid underwater explorers or guiding your Indonesian Fishing boat through the Torres Strait full of asylum seekers & and other Aussie soap opera star looking refugees!



 13th January 2015

comp winner

Happy New Year from everyone at Big Blue. We hope by this time you have all recovered from your festive antics. As you saw from our last post we had a very special Christmas present in the shape of a big boat. The big boss man has decided to name her Enzo after the character from the freediving movies The Big Blue, where the freediver becomes friends without benefits with a dolphin.

Last year we ran a competition on who could send us a selfie with their Big Blue T-shirt in an interesting location. Our winner was Joakim Moller Boneng. When we told him he had won the competition he booked a flight back out to Thailand from his home country of Norway. He won free Deep Specialty, Wreck Specialty and Nitrox Specialty courses. He has also been enjoying some fun dives while he has been here. We will be announcing a new competition very soon with some great prizes up for grabs including a Divemaster Course. So keep watching this space for more information. My theme is to have a Big Blue T-shirt on a celebrity. Let’s see how that goes.. #bigblueselfie