Saturday 29th October 2011-
So whats the latest on the Bangkok floods situation? Well word is that unfortunatley despite all efforts to save it Khao Sarn Rd is actually flooding. Which is obviously catastrophic news for those businesses & stalls in that area including our very own Big Blue Bangkok office! Everyone is fine but we have been forced to shut up shop for a few days I'm afraid. Unfortunately this flooding will also disrupt the bus services with Lomprayah & Seatran down to Koh Tao as well So again... please spread the word too all weary & worried travellers about to arrive or stuck somewhere wet & unpleasant right now. Get the fuddleduck outta there & get yourselves to the main International airport & go to the Bangkok Airways counter or www.bangkokairways.com & get yourselves a ticket to Samui & then the boat to Koh Tao. Beautiful weather here. Awesome conditions & no flooding whatsoever! Have yourselves a holiday! You've earnt it!
" Big Blue Diving is one of the biggest diving center in Koh Tao and one of the most serious. The staff is comopsed of great guys, thais and foreigners, who are really friendly, cool and professional. I passed the SSI Open Water with Iain, Koreen and Pete. They were really good instructors, very helpful and pros. I recommend you to ask for them if you want to pass diving certifications. The Open Water was 4 days of academics and practice: 1 exam and 5 dives (1 in a deep pool and 4 in the ocean). The dive sites are totally amazing! You'll see a lot of tropical fishes and corrals! One of my best activity during my trip to Thailand! Prices are fair: I payed 9000 THB including the Open Water and the accomodation in dormitory. It worth it! The dorm is clean, the diving equipment really good and the dives really awesome! There is a big and animated bar close to the diving center were you'll pass academics, have beers with lot of potential friends and eat good food (hai and international). At the end of your Open Water, they will film you (during your last dive) and propose you to buy a DVD. The dvd quality is really pro but the price is a little bit expensive (around 2500THB) but if you have enough money, buy it! Really! The center is located on the Sairee beach so during your free time you'll be able to swim, snorkle quite easily. They also rent snorkelling equipment if you don't have your own. Really close to the center, you'll find all the commodities: bars, pubs, 7Eleven (supermarket), shops ans internet cafes. And also massages (count about 300THB for an hour). If you want to discover the island, the easiest way is to rent a motorbike or a quad (you can rent motorbike directly in Big Blue Diving center - prices are fair). So, YES, I highly recommend you to go the Big Blue Diving! Don't hesitate to negociate the prices on the Lomprayah boat, on your way from Chumphon to Koh Tao, with the big blue guy promoting it. If I go back to Koh Tao, I will definitely go there to do my Advanced courses! Really cool." Zetraist, Poitieres, France- Trip Advisor.
Well that appears to be it! Seem to have got rid of everyone who was leaving for the last 6 months when we finally managed to get rid of Sonia, Laura & Tibo last week who have all buggered off to work over in Khao Lak & go diving the Similan & Surin islands everyday for a living. Tough life! & then very sadly & rather suddenly our favourite American Heather who due to persistant health issues has decided to call it a day. Which as I say was very sad & unexpected but the awesome news is that she is now off to manage another Diveshop here on Koh Tao & has even started already! So thats great news for Heather & Sonia, Laura & Tibo! Thanks for all your hard work guys & gals. Hope your new jobs are going to be just as awesomely cool as your old jobs!
Friday 28th October 2011-
Buoyancy World 2.0 is now finally deployed! After waiting for the weather to clear, divers from Koh Tao have finally been able to deploy our new improved diver training center. A huge thank you to everybody who helped out with the Buoyancy World Project - from the ideas, fundraising, building and the deployment, it wouldn't have been possible without out our fantastic dive community effort. A small team of volunteers put in a very hard day of work yesterday and completed the job with no r problems. As Chad from Save Koh Tao said - "Really things could not have gone better – perfect weather, clear water, and a fun group of people". Don't worry if you still want to get involved as there is still work to be done to assemble all the structures under the water, which various teams will do over the next week. veryone involved is looking forward to showing our new site to the people diving on Koh Tao, and hope that you use it and enjoy it as much as we do.
Recent updates on the flooding situation still isn't great if you arriving in Bangkok. The main airport where you arrive is still open & is not expected to flood at all over the forseeable future which is great news. However most of Bangkok could do! So the best suggestion we can make to anyone coming into Thailand over the next month is to jump straight onto a connecting flight with www.bangkokair.com & head to Samui then catch a connecting bus service which will take you to your boat connection to Koh Tao with either www.lomprayah.com or www.seatrandiscovery.com both of which will get you to the pier here where our taxi driver can pick you up & take you to the best place to be while all this flooding goes on which is of course Big Blue Diving Resort, Koh Tao, Thailand!
Since it opened last month, some 30,000 visitors have flocked to the Whale Shark Aquarium in the northern city of Yantai, China. Five whale sharks swimming together in one aquarium. Conservationists are accusing the aquarium of cramming the whale sharks into a tank that is far too small for them. When they reach maturity, each of the five whale sharks is likely to be 33ft long and weigh nine tons, while their tank measures just 88ft by 52ft. The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, and it needs a vast area of ocean to swim in. In other countries, we prefer to go out to sea in order to see large whales and fish. Only a handful of whale sharks have been kept in aquariums, and they have rarely fared well. In 2007, two young males died at the Georgia Aquarium within five months of each other. A study of 16 whale sharks kept at the Okinawa Expo Aquarium between 1980 and 1998 found they only lived for an average of 16 months in captivity. By contrast, the fish often live for up to 70 years in the wild. (:-(
Thursday 27th October 2011-
We, the undersigned, are calling for you to help prevent the unnecessary culling of Western Australia's sharks and instead further the use of non-lethal beach protection measures, such as spotter planes and regular beach patrols. We also encourage you to implement an education and awareness campaign to improve public safety in the water. This plea comes after numerous reports in the WA media have suggested that a number of politicians, backed by some members of the public, are calling for a shark cull in response to the recent shark attack fatalities. We are urging you to review the facts, and the reality of the risk of shark attacks, to make the right decision and recognise that a shark cull would be devastating, not only to Australiaâ€™s marine environment, but also Australiaâ€™s reputation as a world leader in marine conservation.The Cull That Is Happening In Australia Is A Revenge Attack. There is no way of knowing which shark attacked the diver recently. This is an endangered species and man in his wisdom try to control nature by killing it. Please SIGN the PETITION to STOP the CULL: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/4/stop-the-shark-cull/
Number one question being asked on the emails right now is all about the flooding in Bangkok & how bad is it? Well its pretty much what you are seeing in the news. Its bad! To the north of Bangkok as well but thankfully that is where it will end so us islands to the South of Bangkok are all good, so that includes Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi & Koh Chang. People are being evacuated from Bangkok as we speak. In fact we have a bus load of Teachers in the English Schools in Bangkok arriving here over the next couple of days to get away from it all. & then all those other travellers who can't hang out in Bangkok or travel north of the city are all either here or coming here in the next few days. Bloody good job the diving is still good here then isn't it!
"Hi Steve, How are you? How are things in Koh Tao? I just wanted to thank you again for showing me the way into the diving world. I really had a great time. So much even that I'm thinking about ways to do it even more. And that's also one of the reasons I'm writing this message to you. You moved to Koh Tao 12 years ago and heve been working there ever since, so you are the person to talk to. I know that Big Blue offers a 7 month course to become a dive instructor and that is something I'm thinking about doing. But I'm was just wondering how you went about it? What did you do to get where you are now? What are the things that you have to think about, besides the obvious things? I hope you are able to give me some tips and tricks or advice. With regards, Jorrit"- Sure thing here's our advice.... take the first step! Get your qualification & then take the next step, then the one after that, & the one after that! Taking that first step to becoming a Dive professional was the best thing I ever did!
Thursday 20th October 2011-
Now while there is not an awful lot going on at the moment this might be a good chance to remind those of you who are on their way here for Christmas to book ahead! Christmas & New Year is our peak season & the whole island fills up soo much that the island actually submerges a few feet & tips the earth on its axis ever so slightly! Best bargains to be had at the moment is our 3 bedroom villa with kitchen, private swimming pool, outdoor lounge, seating area & large garden. Just a 5minute walk direct to the beach & Big Blue Dive Resort Baan Sawainam is an absolute bargain at just 7000 Bt per night for a 3 bedroom villa with private swimming pool. Sleeps 7! Book 6 nights get the 7th for free! Book 12 nights get 3 nights free! Book 3 weeks & get 1 whole week for Free! What a Merry Christmas Bargain!
So the news is full of all the floods in Thailand & it really is terrible with nearly one third of the country flooded. Thats a lot of country. & the news is focused on Bangkok & what will happen if the barriers break or the rivers spill over the banks how Bangkok will suffer. Very frightening & we do all wish all the people of Thailand well in their bid to stop the flooding & all the stranded travellers & tourists a speedy journey to the south. Hot & lovely here by the way. Just in case you were thinking of popping down! Wink wink nudge nudge!
“ Big Blue Diving is one of the biggest diving center in Koh Tao and one of the most serious. The staff is comopsed of great guys, thais and foreigners, who are really friendly, cool and professional. I passed the SSI Open Water with Iain, Koreen and Pete. They were really good instructors, very helpful and pros. I recommend you to ask for them if you want to pass diving certifications. The Open Water was 4 days of academics and practice: 1 exam and 4 dives (1 in a deep pool and 3 in ocean). The dive sites are totally amazing! You'll see a lot of tropical fishes and corrals! One of my best activity during my trip to Thailand! Prices are fair: I payed 9000 THB including the Open Water and the accomodation in dormitory. Its worth it! The dorm is clean, the diving equipment really good and the dives really awesome! There is a big and animated bar close to the diving center were you'll pass academics, have beers with lot of potential friends and eat good food (Thai and international). At the end of your Open Water, they will film you (during your last dive) and propose you to buy a DVD. The dvd quality is really pro but the price is a little bit expensive (around 2500THB) but if you have enough money, buy it! Really! The center is located on the Sairee beach so during your free time you'll be able to swim, snorkle quite easily. They also rent snorkelling equipment if you don't have your own. Really close to the center, you'll find all the commodities: bars, pubs, 7Eleven (supermarket), shops and internet cafes. And also massages (count about 300THB for an hour). If you want to discover the island, the easiest way is to rent a motorbike or a quad (you can rent motorbike directly in Big Blue Diving center - prices are fair). So, YES, I highly recommend you to go the Big Blue Diving! Don't hesitate to negociate the prices on the Lomprayah boat, on your way from Chumphon to Koh Tao, with the big blue guy promoting it. If I go back to Koh Tao, I will definitely go there to do my Advanced courses! Really cool!" Trip Advisor 5 of 5 stars
Tuesday 11th October 2011-
Well while the majority of Thailand seems to be sufferring with the worst floods for 50 years, here in Koh Tao we are having glorious weather. Hot, bright, sunny, flat, clear & swarming with fish life! No wonder we are still managing to organise Full Day trips to Sail Rock. In fact so popular was our last trip yesterday that we've even got half a boat full booked already for our next Sail Rock trip & we're not even leaving for another 3 days. Mind you its not really a surprise that it is that popular. 2 dives at Sail Rock, a cooked breakfast, a thai buffet lunch , a 3rd dive at the new wreck followed by... wait for it... Free Chocolate cake! Brilliant! Hows that for a happy ending!
"Thanks Big Blue Koh Tao for some amazing dives & some fun times! A huge shout out to some of the amazing crew there who were just exceptional - Lucas (congats on finishing your DMT & please be careful with your new torch ;) ), Steven who managed to help us find some nudies & was just great in general (and listening patiently to all my questions), Skui for being so amazing at Sail Rock when we had that ridiculously hard current. You managed that so well. Ant for just popping by and having a chat with us, Andy for his interesting stories and the rest of the crew for just being so damn awesome. Pass this onto Jim. We love BB and think you guys are great at what you do, but more Importantly, the attitude you go about doing things is brilliant. You may see me doing my DMT there but... I'm kinda now thinking Khao Lak Big Blue but I'll miss you guys if I go there. Any thoughts :) ?" S Tomkins.
' Two divers in France say they discovered three dead dolphins in the Mediterranean that had been tied by their tails to a concrete block. The dolphins, believed to be a mother and her two young, were found off the coast of Marseille, The Local reported Friday. "We were at a depth of about 55 meters [182 feet] when we noticed an unusually shaped light-colored mass just underneath us," said Fabienne Henri, who was diving with another woman, Jacqueline Dozin. "As we got closer, we could make out the shapes of three dead dolphins lying on the sand," she said. "I'm not an expert, but they had not been there longer than 10 minutes," Henri said. "To me it seems obvious they were thrown from the surface. Why there? I have no idea." The Marseille prosecutor's office said it had begun an inquiry. "These mammals are protected and killing them is a criminal offense for which the guilty could go to prison," a representative of the maritime police said.' - Fark prison! The culprits of this crime should be placed at the bottom of the sea themselves.
Thursday 6th October 2011-
Our favourite anti-whaling crew are causing quite a stir. Japan have confirmed that they will go ahead with its whaling program in the Antarctic later this year under heightened security to fend off the Sea Shepherd activists including ex Big Blue DMT James Brooks, who have vowed to disrupt the annual hunt, the country’s fisheries minister said Tuesday. Japan’s whale hunts have become increasingly tense in recent years because of clashes with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The most recent expedition was cut short after several high-seas confrontations, and it was unclear whether the hunt would be held at all this year. But a fisheries minister said that measures would be taken to ensure the whalers’ safety, and that the hunt would go ahead. It is expected to begin in December. “We intend to carry out limited kills for "research" purposes." Research, hey? - Whale meat can still be found in stores and restaurants in Japan. Japan’s government claims the research is needed to provide data on whale populations so that the international ban on commercial whaling can be re-examined — and, Japan hopes, lifted — based on scientific studies. Opponents say the program is a guise for keeping Japan’s dwindling whaling industry alive. The Sea Shepherd group, which is already rallying to block the upcoming hunt, has been particularly dogged in its efforts to stop the kills. If you want to help support our friends of the sea's efforts, visit www.seashepherd.org
Monday 3rd October 2011-
Well its definitely alot quieter in Koh Tao these days. Not quite sure why either as the weather is pretty good & the diving has been amazing, with just under a weeks worth of Whalesharks last week, the new wreck which is absolutely teeming with life right now & the heaps of turtles we keep bumping into all over Koh Tao. Never mind I guess that means we can give more attention to those that are here & offer bigger & better trips. Anyone for another Full day trip to Sail Rock tomorrow?
"“Laidback, friendly, professional”-5 of 5 stars- I completed several Technical diving course with Big blue tech from INtro to Tech, up thru to Trimix, cavern and adv wreck diver. The guys at BBT are fantastic, really experienced and knowledgable and run all sorts of trips and excursions too. During my stay we went on a road trip to khao lak and went on a liveaboard as well as hiring longtails for diving local wrecks, we also took a trip to khao sok national park for the cavern course and went diving in a freshwater lake! In general, the whole of big blue dive school had a very friendly and relaxed vibe, but you could tell that the staff were professional and always there to help if needed. Brilliant place, make sure you check it out" Trip Advisor- Helen Art. From Basingstoke, UK.