March (6)

Tuesday 24th March 2015

march2015 itc

The Instructor Training classroom has been busy this week with a group of new SSI Instructor candidates who have been studying hard in preparation for their Instructor Exam. With a mixture of classroom, pool and open water sessions they cover all aspects of how to be an instructor. Jai, Jacqui and Mahdi have been led by Simon Garrity, Koh Tao’s, Asia’s’, and quite possibly the world’s Number 1 Instructor Trainer. Joining these candidates a few of our current SSI instructors Tim, Ami, Mike and Daisy are upgrading their present instructor rating to become Dive Control Specialist Instructors. Big Blue Diving certifies more SSI divers than anywhere else and with our SSI Divemaster programme also headed up by Simon and is band of merry mentors we also certify the most professional divers in the industry. We pride ourselves in the fact that Big Blue trained Dive master’s and instructors are possibly some of the best trained around, with other dive shops trying to poach them away from us. Following the completion of the exam the new instructors will have an internship at Big Blue where they can continue to learn and fine tune their skills by team teaching with current experienced instructors who can guide them in how to really be the best instructor possible. Erik and JD who were our last candidates now work full time at Big Blue, so it just goes to show that all that hard work pays off. #REALDIVING #REALTRAINING if you are interested in hanging up the staplers and office clothes and changing your career to something more fun contact our SSI trainers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Other BIG news!!! Jim Donaldson our fearless leader dusted off his regulators and BC yesterday and joined the rest of us hard working bunch on the boat to go fun diving! Big Blue Movies Billy Cloud used this as a perfect opportunity to give his videographer intern Anouk a chance to film some extremely experience people underwater! Dan and Tim two of our instructors from the good ole days joined Jim, Tamma and Matt on their underwater performance but due to their slightly over enthusiastic-ness the film and the fact that when Dan jumped in his fins fell off she decided it was rated x and has been put forward for our staff Christmas video instead as it couldn’t be shown in the bar without possibly offending some small children or people with no sense of humour! Big Blue knows how to put the fun in fun diving!- cheesy yes!



Tuesday 17th Marchsaint patricks day

Today is St Patrick’s Day: Patron Saint of Alcoholics! Anyone from anywhere seems to be able to celebrate this day and join in on the craic! No matter where you are in the world, pretty much every city has at least one Irish Bar. The invasion of the Shamrock and Guinness is everywhere!! Even here at Big Blue, we have not been able to avoid this invasion over the years with Greek (who is Irish but has a silly name) running our Higher Ground Bar and convincing us to do The Riverdance an Irish caili for the Save Koh Tao Festival and Mama G who has been a resident on Koh Tao for more years than anyone can remember and who is now the owner of Moov. We have to put up with fiddle playing and jigs and calls of ‘to be sure’ and most morning G can be heard shouting to the restaurant staff ‘where are her Lucky Charms’!!! G has turned her nice chilled out club into a Green Grotto for today’s celebrations, and I think everyone except Nick ‘Sid Sloth’ Bufton will be there as he is still recovering from his momentous 30th Birthday celebrations on Koh Samui, come to think of it has any one actually seen Sid? Or is he still clinging to a tree wearing a dress and wig on Samui?

Big Blue is not just the best dive school on Koh Tao where you should come to learn how to dive. It also has some of the islands best Divemasters. The Divemaster are responsible for the daily running of the dive trips, making sure the instructor have suitable sites for students, and basically making sure the place runs smoothly. Once they get out of the shop and get on the boats they come to life. Our Divemaster team have vast amounts of knowledge on these dive sites and if you are going fun dive you will have a fantastic time. With a combination of fun/ Geordie humour, seriousness, passion and nerdy knowledge you will not be disappointed with these guys! Headed up by our most senior and most hairy man ever to walk the planet Steven Develter , the self-proclaimed ‘best Divemaster on Koh Tao and the world’ and followed closely but Nick, Stephen and Carly and with the awesome help of Sunna, Linna, Angel and Jai whether its stingrays or shrimps or the tiniest nudibranch, these Divemaster will show you.

So if you are already certified and want to be shown an abundance of life that Koh Taos waters have to offer these are the guys you should do it with.




Friday 13th Marchequator dive

You may sitting at your desk or stuck in traffic jam scrolling through the web for holiday options and be asking yourself what is so great about diving? well let me tell you just a few things..

1. About 71% of the Earth's surface is covered in water, and the oceans hold about 96.5 of all Earth's water, not to mention lakes and rivers.

2. A study published by PLoS Biology, says a staggering 91% of the species in the seas have yet to be discovered, described and catalogued.

3. Once underwater, you’ll get to meet a dazzling array of fish and marine mammals. Encountering the bigger fish is certainly my favourite part of scuba diving, but you will not believe your eyes when you will discover the amazing biodiversity present in our oceans. Seeing marine creatures such at very close range, following them around and watching them eat and play while you gently swim past, is a unique experience that cannot be replicated in any aquarium.

4. By exploring the seas, you can actually protect wildlife! By choosing to see sharks, sea turtles, barracudas, and other sea creatures in their natural environment you are actively discouraging keeping wildlife in captivity.

5. The underwater world is very peaceful and quiet. Aside from your own breathing, you cannot hear a sound. It is such a great place where you can relax and forget about the ‘real world’ and leave your worries behind on the shore. I love the fact that you can empty your mind and just let yourself be amazed.

6. Scuba diving is like any other hobby: it gives you the chance to meet new people. So even if your friends or family don’t feel up for it, you can always try it out on your own. The lessons are usually for groups of four or five people that have exactly the same doubts and fears that you have. Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there! After the lesson, you will probably go for drinks and talk about what happened underwater – a great way to end the session and make it even more memorable.

So what are you waiting for? Here at Big Blue we start Open Water courses every day and it only takes 4 days for you to get you full certification which will then allow you to dive all over the world wherever the is water! And as you have seen there is a lot of it, and whats more you get to do it on a beautiful island in the gulf of Thailand with some pretty amazing and experienced instructors. But be warned you may never want to leave once you see what is below the surface, just ask any of us who work here… a 2 week holiday for us turned in a career at the best dive school on Koh Tao!!





8th March 2015

A few very lucky instructors and dive masters has just left to go on a liveaboard in Sipidan which was formed over thousands of years as living corals grew on top of an extinct volcano in Malaysia. If they are lucky enough (which we blatantly hope they are not) they have the chance of seeing white tip, black tip, thresher sharks and even scalloped hammerheads, more varieties of rays to shake a pointy stick and the odd turtle. This region is famous for its strong current so is not suitable for everyone. Jealous? Us? No, not at all! We have our Whalesharks to play with.

Last night saw another Divemaster Challenge in the theme of Oktoberfest! There were dirndls and lederhosen, thigh slapping, beer drinking antics all night to celebrate Hannah and Albert’s graduation. The Divemaster Challenge is technically not part of the course. It is an added extra that the trainees can choose not to do? So the embarrassment is all down to them and we give them a night to remember, or at least remember bits of it.

The island is about to have a mass invasion of old Big Blue family members as we prepare for 2 weddings in the space of a week. Emily and Craig are two instructors who met at Big Blue and we also have Hannah and Stephen, Hannah was a dive master here and Stephen was our local one man band, he could be found singing and playing his guitar at various venues around KohTao. It will be the first time many of the guests have seen our new resort and with returning ex-staff members it will be a week or 2 of antics! And where better to have a wedding than on the small tropical island of Koh Tao where the magic of the 10 metre club happened all those years ago..




4th March 2015again

Our full day trippers to Sail Rock were treated to not one but 2 whalesharks yesterday. The baby whalesharks was only around 3 metres, but hung around for everyone to see and snorkel with. Congratulations you lucky advanced students and fundivers, even some DMTs had their whaleshark cherry popped! This is the 2nd day a whalesharks has been seen around Koh Tao. And this morning a spotted eagle ray was seen at Chumphon Pinnacle. With reports of people seeing sharks at Southwest ( or it was just a big cobia and their mask was foggy!) its turning into a great start at our new resort.

Koh Tao has 5 Thai Navy ships moored up on Sairee right now. These ships are similar to the HTMS Sattakut that was sunk back in 2011 to make an artificial reef and playground students doing wreck courses. The Thai Navy are here for their cadet training, whispers are going around about seeing if we could sink another one to add to the Sattakut. I think the guns and torpedoes on these ships might be a good deterrent. They are very impressive looking vessels and look spectacular lit up at night. I wonder if there are any submarines out there waiting to creep up on us during our dives!




1st March 2015bb1 closed

A very BIG thank you has to go to everyone who was at our farewell party the other night. It was definitely a night to remember, well to be honest not many of us can remember any of it but the pictures kind of do!! With half price drinks and drinking till the bar was dry, I think we gave our old resort the send-off it deserved. (no diving the next day obviously)

If you are thinking about coming over to learning to dive or you are already certified and would like to come diving with us, please be aware that it is full moon on the 5th and the islands accommodation fills up very quickly. So be sure to get here early. If there is no accommodation at Big Blue we can still help you find somewhere to stay while you are here.

Funny story in the news about a diver in Vancouver that has her face hugged by a giant pacific octopus. Natasha Dickinson was doing research with her diving partner, Jackie Hildering, off the coast of Port Hardy, B.C., when the pair got up close and personal with a giant Pacific octopus. Hildering documented the encounter on her blog, The Marine Detective, in the hopes of educating people about the often misunderstood predator.
“So what to do when you find a giant Pacific octopus on your dive buddy’s head? Observe, marvel, take some photos, share and maybe it can help dispel some of the mythology and vilification about these fabulous marine neighbours,” Hildering wrote.

It’s not everyday you get an underwater cuddle from a marine animal!