Tuesday 28th September 2010-
Big Blue Tech celebrates the successful graduation of Ash Dunn, James Thornton-Allan, Nick Amidy, Tony Alba and Thomas Hallstrom from their TDI Mod 1 CCR course conducted over 5 days on Koh Tao Island in the Gulf of Thailand. This course was also attended by Ben Reymenants, Simone Reymentants and Kris Harrison.
The CCR Mod 1 course is the first certification level for divers wishing to learn the safe assembly, use and diving of a closed circuit rebreather issued through technical diving certification agency TDI (technical diving international). Nice one guys, you have new dive porn to look at!
Military, photographic, and recreational divers use a CCR (closed circuit rebreather) because they allow long dives and produce no bubbles. Closed circuit rebreathers generally supply two breathing gases to the loop: one is pure oxygen and the other is a diluent or diluting gas such as air or trimix.
WHALESHARK!! the lucky divers on the full day trip to Sail Rock yesterday were joined by a 4metre long whaleshark. The toothless filter feeder hung around for them all to see. Lets see if she hangs around for a few days more.
Saturday 18th September 2010-
It’s not every day we are reminded just why we do this for a living. But when Big Blue Tech organized a professional’s only Wreck Exploration trip, it all came back to us. Relaxing on a boat gently swaying in the middle of the gulf of Thailand with mates, playing DJ with a selection of ipod’s and tiny speakers trying to outdo each other’s cheesiest tunes, girls talk and man talk, and then doing 2 dives on a piece of history that only a hand full of people will ever get the chance to see with their own eyes.
Divers, never forget just how lucky we are to do and see what we do.
Our Big Blue Conservation Queen is at it again. After a night in the bar thinking what could we do to raise the awareness to the ever falling number of sharks in the world Dan and Lala came up with the idea that we could ‘Swim for Sharks’. Sharks are approximately 500 million years old. They have survived 5 mass extinction events. Yet due to shark finning and other human causes such as habitat destruction, many shark species are now endangered. To help raise awareness and support, dedicated (and some say crazy) Koh Tao residents are going to swim around Koh Nang Yuan on September 23rd 2010!
This has now become a huge hit with many of the other dive shops on the island asking if they can join in to swim for them too. If you thought that was good PADI’s Project AWARE has heard over the ripples and they also want in it as well.
Come sign the Shark petition against shark fin soup and other factors causing the decline of sharks. We will also have limited edition shark t-shirts! So come join the fun, sign the petition and watch us struggle! September 23rd 2010. For more information please visit our conservation page www.bigblueconservation.com
and to sign the petition go to www.projectaware.org/givesharksachance
Tuesday 14th September 2010-
False Killer Whales and Sail Fish come to Koh Tao!! Big Blue Diving was lucky enough to have both Banzai and Navakid stumble across a school of 20 false killer whales yesterday between green rock and twins. and then spend nearly an hour watching them play infront of the bows. The school, which can stretch miles in length, appeared to be hunting a sail fish! False Killer Whales (Psuedorca crassidens) is the largest member of the dolphin family, and like orcas, kill other large marine mammals. They are widespread in the tropics and temperate waters, have 44 teeth and can grow to 6m! However the killer whales also feed on tuna and yellowfin, and so fishermen, such as the Japanese fishermen from Iki Island, actively hunt them, resulting in only 10 groups left worlwide. They are near the brink of extinction, with 900 individuals being slaughtered in 35 years. Also, they only reach sexual maturity at 12 years, with a gestation period of 14-16 months, and then cannot reproduce again for another 7 years. Both of these issues mean that we were very lucky to see such an interesting and rare marine mammal. Lucky us!
News from Bangkok is that Andrea and Jim are allowed to leave the hospital and Lulu Belle is gaining went quickly so she should be out soon. All three are doing amazing and I swear when Jim comes back he will have the most toned face ever. I dont think he has stopped smiling once, you can tell on the phone that his face is about to crack. Good on you Daddy.
Thursday 12 September 2010-
Apologies for the hiatus - Jim and Andrea had a baby! Sonia and Dan have been left in charge while Jim is in Bangkok getting to know the new arrival, that is when he's not being mesmerised by the sight of his beautiful wife expressing breast milk into feeding bottles - one for the bank there mate, eh? Er.... Congrats go out to our very own Big Paul back in Canadia, Paul's missus has just produced a baby of their own with the simply awesome moniker of .... Maverick 'King of the World' Herygers!
Anyhow, while the boss is away, the mentors will play and last night we hosted Big Blue's first (and probably only) S&M Challenge! The challengers were led on their hands and knees, pulled by a variety of leashes attached to a selection of porn collars. Spanking featured heavily, as did role play, teabagging, alaskan pipelining, spidermanning and more spanking. In the end, Adam was declared the most perverted DMT ever after deep throating a footlong 7 eleven hot dog till he could lick the fingers holding it....
NB The DMT/DiveCon Challenge is an OPTIONAL extra for trainees at the end of the course, please don't let this prospect affect your decision to come and join us for Serious Diving and Serious Fun (optional).
Saturday 4th September 2010-
Big Blue is very proud to announce that our wonderful, best boss in the world (ahem!!) Jim and is even lovelier wife Andrea gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday, and they are all doing very well. At the moment she is still called ‘Girl’ Donaldson as they are both still competing at paper, rock scissors over names!! Quite a few of the staff (most of us) joined in wetting the baby’s head at Choppers yesterday afternoon and now we quietly suffering the after affects today.
Nick, Sonia, Kelli and Ash have now all returned from going home for a month or so of recharging the batteries, picking up new visas and eating British food and drink that you just can’t get over!! Double Deckers, crumpets, Boosts, Wispas, more crumpets, Newcastle Brown Ale, proper fish and chips with curry sauce and mushy peas, and washed down by more crumpets; ah my mouth is watering mmmmm.
Eco Jen has done it again; we have yet another amazing article in a top Dutch diving magazine Onderwater Sport. It is a 4 page article with lots of wonderful pictures of the resort, boats and the affects of climate change on the coral reefs on the island. Unfortunately we have no idea what it says as its in er dutch. Thank you to Dr Bert Hoeksema who dived with Big Blue Conservation earlier this year and is continually supporting us with his written pieces back in the Netherlands.
Friday 27th August 2010-
Beccy & Emily recently stripped down to their drawers to represent Big Blue at the Koh Tao Bikini fashion show. All the boys turned up to check out the local curves & all the girls came to see whats hot & whats not for this coming seasons aqua apparel. Happy to say both of our Big Blue Instructors looked ravishing in their skimpies & we had a bumper pack of new sign ups the next day when the girls were on ' Meet & Greet'. Great for business! I wonder if we'll have the same effect at next weeks Y-Fronts fashion show with Hal & Swapey?
A NEW way to study dolphins and whales without dart guns undercuts Japan's argument for what it calls scientific whaling, scientists say. The "blow-sampling" method, developed by Australian scientists, allows scientists to gather crucial DNA information without potentially harming the animal, discrediting Japanese arguments that a whale needs to be killed. Celine Frere, from the University of Queensland, headed the study. "Maybe this will make them realise they don't have to kill the whale to get the information," Dr Frere said. Marine animal researchers have relied on gathering the animal's DNA by shooting a dart into the skin of the mammal to gather tissue samples. Blow-sampling captures the air and the equivalent of spit expelled from the animal when they come up for air. Hmmm. Now lets see what arguments they can come up with for continuously murdering whales shall we.
After the tremendous succes of yesterdays trip with the Navy boys to our secret wreck this morning we're off to dive the Unicorn wreck. The Unicorn sank around 1989. Local Koh Tao inhabitants said that the ship just pulled up off shore, around a mile North of Koh Tao 'Mango Bay' and over the next couple of hours slowly sank. No-one was hurt in the sinking. An Insurance Fraud was immediately suspected. A commercial Diving company mermaid-maritime.com was hired by the vessels insurance investigators to investigate the cause of the sinking and to confirm the cargo. which was listed as expensive Tuna Fish. Under armed guard, Divers descended to examine the wreck, and discovered that the holds contained nothing but low-grade animal Feed (Dog-Food) un-fit for human consumption, NOT expensive Tuna fish as listed on the manifest! The Unicorn is a large modern 1960-70's, 60meter long steel freighter lying stern down on the bottom at a depth of 50m. The vessel leans slightly on its port side an angle of 60degrees(Not shown correctly on the sketch) with the top of the bow at 38meters, and the keel of the bow area several meters above the seabed, allowing divers to swim under this area of the hull. Lots of penetration available for technical divers highly experienced in diving in conditions where a total silt-out may occur. Good job we're diving with the Navy boys!
Thursday 26th August 2010-
Apologies for the tardiness of updating the Big Blue Blog but its been a very hectic week for me this week as I've now taken the Missus up to Bangers for the imminent arrival of our little one. The good Mrs Donaldson is sitting in a nice hotel in Bangkok ready to drop though hopefully not for at least another week as Jim is back on the Rock bracing himself & the staff for the busiest week of the year! The August Full Moon Party rush! If you haven't booked yourselves a room already then there aint no point in coming to Tao unless you fancy a night under the stars! Having said that because we are that organised we have booked up heaps of rooms already just to make sure we have somewhere for you to stay & do your dive course with us. But book now these rooms might just be the last rooms available on Sairee Beach this week! Look forward to hearing from you soon! & darling... hold it in! I'll be there shortly!
Oh dear! Well & truly rumbled! Roz, Roz, Roz, Roz, Roz! Last seen leaving the island with a neckerchief to hide all the hickies around her neck & on her way to Blightey for a short holiday! What are her parents going to think when Roz unveils the sordid marks of her last night of passion on the Rock. Jason you animal! Roz you tease! What a pair! Aren't we all sooooo glad we got a snap to remind us of what a lovely couple they make. Looks like Jason was a little hungry there Roz! Practically swallowed your face off!
Phenomenal diving right now! Beautiful sunny skies & at least 20 meter viz at most sites. Sail Rock is as good as its ever been. Chumphon had a Whaleshark there a couple of days ago. Our first one in ages. & the Thai Navy are diving with us today to check out our Big Blue wreck of which we are the only shop to know the co ordinates of. Clear water, sunny skies, Whalesharks, Navy boys, hidden wrecks & a Roz romance. Sounds like the perfect back drop for a great holiday!
Wednesday 18th August 2010-
Hats off to Erik & Beccy who today saved the life of an abandoned dog! Stupid 19 year old Swedish bird came took a puppy & left 3 months later leaving this dog without an owner & with no one to look after it, it got very skinny, very tick ridden & extremely scared of people. It wouldn't have survived another week & after the last 4 nights of continuous howling & with neighbours threatening to kill it Erik & Beccy have stepped in & taken the poor thing home with them to love & look after & give a new home & a new life to! Well Done to you Erik & Beccy. Cystitis & frothy sputum to you dumb 19 year old Swedish bird!
The Seabreacher X is the ultimate millionaire's boy-toy: a James Bond-style craft that can dive under water, roll from side to side and jump 12ft into the air. It looks like a great white shark, complete with dorsal fin, gaping jaws and rows of dagger-sharp teeth. At 16.5ft in length, it is even the same size as one. Unlike the real thing, it also has a 260hp engine, which powers it to 50mph above water, and 20mph below it. Toys they may be, but each one costs about £60,000. The seabreacher is really for people with a large disposable income who want to have fun. It's pretty popular in the Middle East, Korea and the Caribbean. The seabreacher is unlike anything I've seen on the water before. The shaft craft is 16ft long and has a dorsal fin and gaping jaws. This isn't a submarine - you're not going to visit the Titanic in it. It's more of a cross between a plane and a boat, I wouldn't recommend it to those with sea sickness, but it is exhilarating. Sounds a little like the Lomprayah!
Just in case you haven't seen it yet Videographer extraordinnaire Marek from one of the better Film Studio companies on Koh Tao has made a great promo video which we will be showing every time you get on the Seatran Ferry now. Take a peek. Very professional. Great video. Great Dive center.Great Resort. Great people. All wrapped up in a 1 minute promo video. We should have more of these made eh Andy wink wink nudge nudge, say no more, say no more!
Monday 16th August 2010-
"Hi folks, I'm back in gloomy, wet, cold Northumberland - and yearning to be back with you on Koh Tao! Wanted to say thank you for the MOST BRILLIANT few days - excellent course, superb instructor (Heather), fabulous diving - a truly memorable experience. Now all I have to do is save up to come back! Thanks to you all. Mary" Many thanks Mary for letting us know how much fun you had with us here in Koh Tao & how appealing Northumberland sounds at this time of year. Can't wait to visit! See you back here again soon!
According to workers, young and old male visitors to the Chessington Sea Life Centre were spending 'a lot' of time staring at the ample charms of an underwater mermaid statue.Bosses at the centre have attempted to prevent any further distraction by dispatching a team of divers to cover underwater temptress with a red and white bikini. Manager Justine Locker said: 'We hadn't noticed quite how buxom Sally was until we clocked young boys, and not so young boys, spending a lot of time ogling her in the walkthrough ocean tunnel. Since then, none of us can avoid what is starring us straight in the face, so it's time for a cover-up. Chestintigton Prudes!
The Koh Tao Community is clubbing together to raise some cash in order to buy & then sink the legendary MV Trident liveaboard to use as Koh Tao's first official wreck dive! In case you didn't know the MV Trident has been cruising the Gulf of Thailand for a few years now discovering many previously undiscovered wrecks & is the boat that discovered the last US Submarine to be sunk at the end of World War 2 the US Lagarto which sank with all crew members aboard. An awesome boat with a legendary history & we're all clubbing in so we can buy it & make it even more legendary. So send us your donations & we'll offer you a free dive on it when next you make it here.
Sunday 15th August 2010-
This rare photograph of an American alligator in salt water was taken a mile offshore of a reef in Palm Beach, Florida. Regularly found in fresh water lakes and rivers, alligators can tolerate salt water, but only for short span of time. The salt glands on the American alligator are nonfunctional, unlike that of its close cousin, the American crocodile. Crocodiles eat anything stupid enough to come close to them including gazelles, chickens, & Australians! Scuba Divers on the other hand eat crocs & alligators for breakfast! I'll have a crocodile sandwich & make it snappy!
"Hi Jim, My name is Celine and my sister and I stayed at the big blue and did a diving course ( beginners). We would have gone on to the advanced however the weather was bad so was not possible. Firstly I would like to thank everyone at big blue for the dive experience and supportive staff who work with you, was a real pleasure. In particular, our dive instructor Greek. He was a true professional in the water and I knew that we were his priority. At one stage the visibility was so bad that I could not see a thing however he managed to keep it and us together and gave us the confidence to continue on the dive. Off water he is a blast, hence a true professional. I would not hesitate in recommending Big Blue and Greek. Again many thanks and I look forward to staying with Big Blue the next time we are in Koh Tao. Many thanks and best wishes, Celine" Thanks for taking the time to write in Celine. Glad you had such a good time despite the weather & look forward to seeing you here again next time!
Its another picture perfect beautiful tropical day in paradise! Great if you are out on the boat all day! Pants if you are stuck in the orifice all day! Fancy a change in lifestyle! THen speak with SSImon about becomming a SSI Instructor, or BSACanada about becoming a BSAC Instructor & work on the beach all day or contact Jim and see just what skills you need to waste time on the internet! email us on
It'll change your life!
Thursday 12th August 2010-
At least 700 people have been stung by small, transparent jellyfish on Spanish beaches this week, leading officials to post warning signs. The creatures have created "a swimmer's nightmare." The jellyfish have been particularly prolific in their attacks near the city of Elche in eastern Spain, in the area known as Costa Blanca for its white sand beaches. On Tuesday alone, 380 people were stung, says Juan Carlos Castellanos of the Elche city tourism department. "In the five or six years I have been in this job, I have never seen anything like this," Castellanos said. In addition to putting up warning signs, Elche officials are watching for the jellyfish from lookout boats so they can warn beach-going crowds when a mass approaches. Meanwhile, off Spain's northern coast, in Cantabria and the Basque region, more menacing, jellyfish-like Portuguese man-of-wars have also stung more than 300 people over the past three weeks. Biologists are blaming climate change and overfishing of sharks & bluefin tuna & tourist development on beaches where previously turtles would lay their eggs for the jellyfish increase. Oooh dear. Its all doom & gloom... & purple people eaters!
A HUGE dolphin’s dead body was found stuck in a net and washed ashore on Nathon Beach in Koh Samui. It was assumed it had died two to three days before. It was the third dolphin found dead in Nathon this month, and the 10th this year. On July 24, Khun Prasit Prayoonsak, an officer at the rescue unit of Kusol Songkroh Association, said the dead black, female Irawaddi dolphin was found at Nathon Beach. The dolphin weighed around 200 kilograms and measured two meters long. It had numerous minor wounds on the fin and a big wound on its ear. It was assumed that it was caught by a fish net and the fisherman had to cut the net to let the injured dolphin die in the sea and washed ashore at Nathon Beach. Dolphins thrive in an area in the Gulf of Thailand that covers Koh Samui. A rescue officer informed the Koh Samui Fishery Office and the Sea life Research Center so they could document the dead dolphin before burying it. The officer expressed fears that with the increasing number of Irawaddi dolphins being separated from the flock and caught by fish net, this variety of dolphin may be extinct soon if no defensive measures are set in place.
Despite the predictions for terrible weather & a week of storms, ferocious winds & buckets of rain its actually turned out nice again! Another lovely sunny day, blue skies, calm seas & great visibility. Even managed another Full Day Trip to Sail Rock today. Oh the joys of unreliable weather forecasts! So next time we're due for a solid downpour we'll let you know so you can get your beachtowels at the ready.
Thursday 6th August 2010-
To Erik- Thank you so much for an amazing 5 days of diving. It has been absolutely awesome.. I hope you have a great time for the rest of the diving adventure out here & the turtles name is Erik the Swede! From James.
Hey Hey Erik with a 'K'. Thanks very much for the course & the dives. Your love for the sport has spread like wild fire in our group. GOt to go but will add you on our FB & if you are ever in Ireland give us a call & we can check out our coasts. Thanks again JT
Hey ERik, Finally got the spelling correct this time! THank you so much for a wonderful 5 days of diving. Really enjoyed it & I think we all hope to keep diving so hopefully you'll see us back here again! Enjoy the rest of your working year & I hope you make it to Ireland on your future travels. Let us know. Thanks again Jayne.
Well Erik, Our time together was short but sweet. Cheers for your patience with me diving. Joachim
Dear Erik, Stop writing letters to yourself pretending that they are from your students! Yours Jim!
Wednesday 4th August 2010-
The Full Moon torrent has settled down into a nice ebb & flow of morning & afternoon arrivals all looking for a fantastic spot to learn to dive with Koh Tao's best Instructors, dive Koh Tao's best dive sites with Koh Tao's best Divemasters, & bed their heads at Koh Tao's most popular Resort. So we're sending them down the road! Only kidding! Welcome to Big Blue Diving. "Koh Tao's best Divecenter"! Just do a Google search if you don't believe me!
The Recreational Diver Medical Technician course has arisen out of a need for qualified professionals in the recreational diving scene that are able to provide advanced first aid care, administer drugs, and be skilled in such techniques as suturing wounds, setting up I.V. lines and advanced airway management. You may be a dive master on a live aboard yacht or providing paramedical support to an expedition. You may be a diving instructor working on a remote island or simply interested in extending your skills and ability to cope with injured clients or friends . The RDMT is an intensive 10 day course that has theory sessions - but the emphasis is on hands-on training. You will be faced with casualties with realistic wounds in scenarios that are designed to build your confidence in difficult situations. You will spend time at a hospital emergency room where you will see real casualties as they arrive and are treated. You will be taught how to perform emergency procedures by an experienced diving doctor and discuss case histories of decompression illness with certified hyperbaric professionals. The RDMT course specifically covers diving emergencies and includes the management of a casualty inside a recompression chamber. You will learn how to conduct a full neurological examination and how to decide which treatment table to use for decompression illness. Other important subjects include the legality of giving first aid, risk assessment, emergency planning and casualty evacuation. You will also learn how to specify a medical kit and where to source equipment and supplies. The Recreational Diver Medical Technician qualification is accredited by DASPAA - the Diving and Adventure Sports Paramedical Accreditation Agency. Training conforms to ILCOR guidelines and good practice as recognised by St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s Ambulance and the British Red Cross. Course venue: SSS Recompression Chamber on Koh Samui Course dates: 8th to 19th November 2010 Course price: 54,000 Thai Baht For details Email:
Diver Down in Style! You are the romantic at heart, the thrill-seeking adventurer, waiting to explore the vast wilderness, calling the shots and accustomed to being in the driver seat! Introducing the DiverBike! The DiverBike is the first underwater propulsion device of its type. Take charge and effortlessly soar through the reefs, explore more and increase the thrill of your dive experience. The DiverBike enhances your unforgettable weightless flight through the underwater world. And the best thing is if you fall off you won't have to spend the next few weeks out of the water. Eh Instructors!
Tuesday 3rd August 2010-
Hats off to the 52 kilometers of people who turned up in Koh Samui at the weekend in protest at the announcement of 4 off shore drilling platforms all within spitting distance of Koh Tao, Koh Phangan & Koh Samui! Thats 52 kilometers worth of people all linking hands all the way around the island to show support against the vile infidels who plan on destroying these 3 beautiful islands and the Angthong Marine Park & Nang Yuan Island. After whats just happened in the Gulf of Mexico have we learnt nothing? Filthy money grabbing Bangkokian heathen political infidels! Ruin these islands & we'll stick a free flowing reg up your jacksie! 52 kilometers of free flowing reg!
Lara & Dan are planning a Swim for Sharks day! The plan is to get as many volunteers as we can, all paying 100 Bt to swim all the way around Nang Yuan Island to raise money to help save the sharks! 200 Bt if you need to use flippers. Many species of sharks, from the great white to the iconic hammerhead, are in danger of being fished to commercial extinction. A major culprit is soup. At one time, shark fin soup was considered a delicacy for the elite. But as Asia grows in population and wealth, the demand for shark fins has gone through the roof. According to the United Nations, shark fin imports to Hong Kong and Taiwan alone rose 214 percent from 1985 to 1998. This has had a disastrous impact on shark populations globally. The wasteful practice of "finning"-- slicing off a shark's fins and discarding the animal to die at sea -- is one of the biggest threats to populations. Indeed, up to 73 million sharks are killed annually across the globe to support the shark fin trade. So come one come all. Bring your 200 Bt & swim your fins off!
Love the editorial on Big Blue Tech Cave Diving written by Phillip Moore who came to learn his Cave diving with us. Read the full version on www.bigbluetech.net Its extremely well written, makes you want to sign up for the next course immediately & is going to be a great plug for Canada & his team of highly trained Techies Wreckies & Cavers, I just wish I knew who this James character was Phillip keeps mentioning in his piece!