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May 2011

Monday 30th May 2011-
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Whale sharks are often thought to be solitary behemoths that live and feed in the open ocean. Scientists however, have found that whale sharks can be gregarious and amass in the hundreds to feed in coastal waters. Aggregations, or schools, of whale sharks have been witnessed in the past, ranging from several individual sharks to a few dozen. However this new research, which involved both surface and aerial surveys, has revealed an enormous aggregation of whale sharks—the largest ever reported—with up to 420 individuals off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. What brings them together is food.

“Whale sharks are the largest species of fish in the world, yet they mostly feed on the smallest organisms in the ocean, such as zooplankton. Our research revealed that in this case, the hundreds of whale sharks had gathered to feed on dense patches of fish eggs. Whale whale sharks may seem conspicuous as the heaviest and longest of all fishes, growing more than 40 feet long, there is still much that is unknown about them. They have a very widespread distribution, occurring in all tropical and sub-tropical regions of the ocean around the world. Understanding this filter-feeder’s diet is especially important since food sources determine much of the whale shark’s movement and location. During the dozens of surface trips that team members made to the aggregation, called the “Afuera” aggregation, they used fine nets to collect food samples inside and immediately outside the school of feeding whale sharks. Scientists then used DNA barcoding analysis to examine the collected fish eggs and determine the species. They found that the eggs were from little tunny, a member of the mackerel family. “Having DNA barcoding is an incredibly valuable resource for this research,” said Lee Weigt, head of the Laboratories of Analytical Biology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. “It not only allowed us to know what exactly this huge aggregation of whale sharks were feeding on, not readily done from only physical observations of eggs, but it also revealed a previously unknown spawning ground for little tunny.”

The team of scientists also examined a nearby, less dense aggregation of whale sharks, known as the Cabo Catoche aggregation, off the northern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula. They found that the prey of this group mostly consisted of copepods (small crustaceans) and shrimp. Increased sightings at Afuera coincided with decreased sightings at Cabo Catoche, and both groups had the same sex ratio, implying that the same animals were involved in both aggregations. “With two significant whale shark aggregation areas and at the very least one active spawning ground for little tunny, the northeastern Yucatán marine region is a critical habitat that deserves more concerted conservation effort,” said Maslanka. The whale shark is listed as “vulnerable” with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Populations appear to have been depleted by harpoon fisheries in Southeast Asia and perhaps incidental capture in other fisheries.

Sunday 29th May 2011-
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Not one to harp on about our achievements but some things really need to be said twice! Thank you again to everyone who came to help us clean up our Koh Tao Dive sites. Actually there wasn't even that much of a mess but it was absolutely awesome to see so many volunteers! Big thanks too to Cameron who while Jenny is away in Bangkok, representing Big Blue & BSAC at the Thai Dive Expo, did a stirling job saving our beaches & reefs & our fishies from man made rubbish. A big hand all round!

The royal navy is set to sink two decommissioned warships off Koh Tao and Chumporn later in the year to serve as artificial reefs and wreck destinations for divers. The navy decided to make use of the two ships, both 70 years old, as artificial reefs to help preserve the country’s marine ecology and promote southern Thailand as a prime diving destination. Tourism officials in Suratthani said the sinking of the two ships in the waters not far from Samui would help the island’s dive tourism. Navy sources say that each ship is about eight meters wide and 50 meters long. One of these ships, the sources add, will land on the seabed off Ngam Island in Chumporn province. The second ship will be sunk on a flat seafloor off Koh Tao, about 300 meters from natural coral ridges. The precise depth will be between 25 to 28 meters.

Another Full Day Trip to the Gulf of Thailand's best dive site Sail Rock! It’s a big granite pinnacle that breaks the surface half way between Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui and as there are no other rocks around it acts as a congregation point for all the fish in the surrounding area. The pinnacle drops down to 30 metres in the sand and is typically dived in a circular route around the rock, spiraling slowly shallower. If currents are strong however, divemasters will guide customers around the sheltered areas, avoiding hard finning in the currents. There are other outer rocks a little deeper that can be seen from the main pinnacle and are home to reef sharks. On a clear day, with light filtering down into the crystal blue water, the granite boulder looks stunning. Enormous schools of trevally are all over the dive site and they energetically harass the smaller fish which bunch together and move as one for protection from these darting raids. Sail Rock is best known for its chimney, a large swim-through that is entered at around 20 metres and can be exited in 2 places, first at around 10 metres or shallower at around 5 metres deep. The chimney's cavern-like area is a haven for all sorts of fish life like schools of glassfish that appear to block your exit, only to part at the last second to reveal the holes. Truely the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand!

Saturday 28th May 2011-
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False killer Whales. This morning we took our divers out to the south of the island to dive the legendary Trident wreck & then followed it with a dive off Shark Island only to see a pod of false killer whales! How cool is that? The False Killer Whale is named as such for the tendency of fishermen to confuse them with the killer whales as well as for its habit of using cooperative feeding techniques as it preys on smaller species of marine mammals. It is known to not only feed on fish and squid, but to hunt cooperatively on other species of marine mammals such as smaller dolphins and the occasional humpback whale. Adult false killer whales reach lengths around 5-6 m with males being slightly larger than females. False killer whales are one of the species of cetaceans that are frequently involved in mass strandings. Its true!

Another day another beach & divesite clean up! Many thanks to all our volunteers which I am being told numbered almost 40 (!) who met up with us this morning to wander up & down Sairee Beach picking up litter along the way of which I saw over a dozen full black bin liners! & then regrouped after lunch to go to one of our divesites around Nang Yuan to pick up more crap this time underwater! & for your services we would like to offer you all a free dive! Not a bad deal is it. You give me your crap! I give you a free dive! I'm surprised we didn't have almost 50!

Welcome back to most of my staff who have returned rom their well deserved breaks. Canada &  Ibone Fries have spent the last month living it up in Canada. Heather & Andy have just got back from Florida where they witnessed the launch of the last ever Space Shuttle! & Sonia is back from her 3 week trip from Singapore to Komodo Island in Indonesia diving with dolphins, Mantas & Orangatans. Some of us get to travel to such exotic locations! Me? Well I went to Chalok Ban Kao for my wifes Birthday! Not exactly paradise but a damn site better than Milton Keynes! ( mY apologies to all those from Milton Keynes!). Welcome back guys. Hope you have had a good holiday & looking forward to getting stuck back into it again! 

Tuesday 24th May 2011-
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Here's what our children are writing About The Sea

1) This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles. (Kelly age 6)

2) Oysters' balls are called pearls. (James age 6)

3) If you are surrounded by sea you are an Island . If you don't have sea all round you, you are incontinent. ( Wayne age 7)

4) Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily Richardson. She's not my friend no more. (Kylie age 6)

5) A dolphin breaths through an arsehole on the top of its head. (Billy age 8)

6) My dad goes out in his boat, and comes back with crabs. (Emily Burniston age 5)

7) When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean. Sometimes, when the wind didn't blow, the sailors would whistle to make the wind come. My brother said they would be better off eating beans. (William age 7)

8) I like mermaids. They are beautiful, and I like their shiny tails. How do mermaids get pregnant? (Helen age 6)

9) I'm not going to write about the sea. My baby brother is always screaming and being sick, my Dad keeps shouting at my Mum, and my big sister has just got pregnant, so I can't think what to write. (Amy age 6)

10) Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves into chargers. (Christopher age 7)

11) When you go swimming in the sea, it is very cold, and it makes my willy small. (Kevin age 6)

12) Divers have to be safe when they go under the water. Two divers can't go down alone, so they have to go down on each other.
(Becky age 8)

13) On holiday my Mum went water skiing. She fell off when she was going very fast. She says she won't do it again because water shot up her fanny (Julie age 7).

Monday 23rd May 2011-
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Unbeleivably nice weather in Koh Tao right now jut in case you were thinking of popping over & doing your diving with us! Its hot, bright, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. Completely flat calm. Absolutely crystal clear. At least 30 meter visibility & teeming with fish life. Guaranteed blood red sunsets every evening. Just such great conditions right now, it even makes me want to go here on holiday!

Hello!!! I recently did the Open Water Certification on May 12-15. I wanted to say that we had so much fun on the course. Nick was our instructor and he was amazing! He was thorough and could answer any questions we had. He made us feel comfortable asking questions and he was always willing to help when we had a problem. There is nothing i could suggest to improve. The length of the course was perfect and the instructor was phenominal! THANKS SO MUCH!!!!! Rachael G

Dear Big Blue Diving Resort Manager, All I want to say is that your new Instructor Muhammed, is a very good Instructor. He was very professional, & explained & briefed us very well. While diving I felt very safe & comfortable with him & it was very clear for me that all he wanted from me is to be safe & enjoy myself. Instructors like him make me really appreciate this company & I'll definitely recommend your company to my friends & tourists that I meet during my travels. Thanks very much for everything. Elad Geva

Sunday 22nd May 2011-
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Little did they both know that when they signed up for their Divemaster Courses with us that it would lead to the most memorable day of their lives! Congratulations Mr & Mrs Ashley & Kelli Dunn (nee Bennett) who yesterday under a blood red sunset tied the knot at Janson Bay, & then went to the Vibe Lounge to celebrate their bond with the rest of us drunken reprobates! Beautiful day, great evening, Beautiful bride, great piss up! Now anyone else fancy tieing the knot? If so just sign up for your DM Course! I told you, all those years ago that doing your Divemaster Course would change your life Ash!

Thanks, cheers, & goodbye Erik & Beccy. Who have after at least 2 years working as Big Blue Instructors decided to bid farewell to our Koh Tao shores for pastures new! They're off to England first & then its Sweden, then who knows where! They are looking for a new job, still in diving, preferably in the Caribbean, maybe working on board the cruise ships. So if anyone knows of any jobs which these 2 can apply for then please write & let them know. Erik is Swedish, speaks perfect English, has devilishly good looks & is an excellent Instructor! Beccy, also an excellent Instructor, also devilishly good looking, English speaking & positively buoyant! Thanks Guys for all your work at Big Blue. Hope you've had fun & we look forward to hearing all about your Caribbean Adventures!

Meanwhile Instructor Sonia has been gallavanting around the Southern Seas onboard a Liveaboard which set sail from Thailand & took a month to travel down to Indonesia. By all accounts Sonia has had a whale of a time. Quite literally too! Diving with Whales, Dolphins, Manta Rays, turtles & lots lots more! Heaps of deserted tropical islands, lots of sun, sea & amazing memories I'm sure. She's now diving in Bali but will be back soon to bore us all with tales of her travels! Remind me to take some days off when she gets here!

 Friday 20th May 2011-g

Now some people will look at this photo & think the diver who snapped this picture has next to no chance of surviving this dive with that many sharks to ascend through. Well those people would be fools! Of the 350 species of sharks only 3 have ever been known to attack man & I am very happy to say the reef sharks in this photo are not one of the 3! Awesome photo. Exhilerating experience! Enormous Gonads!

What a busy day! And that was yesterday! Can't even begin to imagine how busy today is going to be! I really must thank all of our divers who when they leave here continue to spread the word on how much they enjoyed themselves with us & how highly they recommend us to their fellow travellers. It's definitely the most successful form of advertising there is! Yesterday there was at least 10 new arrivals who all admitted the reason they walked through our doors & ignored all the touts on the boats & the hassling taxi drivers at the pier was because of our ex customers from as far away as New Zealand recommending us as THE place to be on Koh Tao. Thats really cool guys. I wish you'd told us before you left you were going to be sending us soo many customers... I'd have put my hair on!

Awesome conditions for diving right now. Viz has got to be over 30 meters at some of our better dive sites. Chumphon & Green Rock are unbeleivably beautiful right now & at this time of year when there is a fishing ban in the provinces of Surat Thani & Chumphon the dive sites are simply teeming with fish. & the sun is out & the sea is flat. In fact if you were to look at your picture postcard of Koh Tao right now & then look at Koh Tao its pretty much same same! Tropical island paradise!

Wednesday 18th May 2011-h

The Open Water Course starts here everyday at 5pm. The first day is just a break the ice session with you your fellow students & your Instructor. Filling out somne forms then watching a video. All done & in the bar by 7pm! Day 1 the next morning starts about 9am with some classroom antics sitting in our beachside restaurant talking about what you watched the night before & why you need to know it & what you are going to do in the afternoon! The afternoon is out on the boat over to Nang Yuan Island to do whats called confined water skills. Skills you can do in standing depth. Next day is finishing off the classroom stuff, a multiple choice exam & then in the afternoon its 2 dives at 2 different dive sites down to a maximum depth of 12 meters. Look at fish, look at coral & have some fun! & then the final day you're up by 7am to do your final 2 dives to 18 meters at Koh Tao's Number 1 dive site - Chumphon Pinnacle. By 12pm you are all done fully certified & enjoying the video of yourselves from that mornings dives! 9000 Bt all in & this week if you book now we can even offer you Free accommodation!

Now most of our students then go on to do their Advanced Course straight away. 5 dives done over 2 days at 5 different divesites, all diving very little classroom work & no exams! Much more fun! Whereas the Open Water COurse teaches you how to dive & dive safely the Advanced Course shows you whats out there & all the different types of things you can do with your Dive license. Now you have to do a Navigation Dive & you have to do a Deep dive & the other 3 choices are upto you. Most popular choices here in Koh Tao are the Peak Performance Buoyancy Dive, Photography & the Night Dive. Cost is 7800 Bt but if you have done your Open Water Course with us we'll knock off 10% & we'll throw in another 2 nights worth of free accommodation!

Then once you've completed your Open Water & Advanced you can either continue your education with the Rescue Diver Course or you can do some Specialties like Deep Diver or Nitrox Diver, or you can just come out & do some Fun Dives!. With 3 boats leaving every morning & another 3 boats every afternoon & then 1 night dive thats at least a choice of 13 dive sites per day! Our Morning trips leave at 7am for 2 dives & are back on land by 12pm & our afternoon dives leave at 1pm for 2 dives & are back by 6pm just in time to grab a beer at our beach side bar & fill in your log books while taking in the beauty of another Koh Tao sunset. & at just 800 Bt per dive making this officially the cheapest place in the world to dive & the option of free accommodation on every day you dive you can't really go wrong. Big Blue Diving... probably... the best... Dive center in the World!

Tuesday 17th May 2011-i

At Big Blue, we are famous for our fantastic full day trips to Sail Rock, with breakfast, lunch and as many drinks as you could have, whilst enjoying some of the best diving (and company!) the Gulf of Thailand has to offer. So as we do them so well, we decided to put an ecological spin on the latest full day trip! Soooo much better! During our first dive, we collected Drupella snails that, due to last year's bleaching event, are now at such high population levels that they are consuming our reefs at an uncontrollable rate. Next, we visited Biorock, where we monitored existing coral fragments on the structure and added more. Then finally, we visited our wonderful nursery at Sairee reef to tag our newest giant clam residents to watch them grow. A massive thanks to everyone who helped out, it was a huge eco success! You can sleep easy tonight, knowing you've made a difference to the reefs around Koh Tao, & murdered lots of snails!

"Big Fish, Little Fish, Cardboard Box! Big Fish Little Fish Cardboard Box." Its that time of the month again! Full Moon Party Koh Phangan stylee! 1000's of beach party people all mimicking the size of their fishes with their hands as they strut their funky thang to the sounds of electronic beeping. So while its crazy busy over there its lovely & quiet over here. & in just a few days time when all those little shakers & movers descend on Koh Tao it will be crazy busy here & dead as a dodo over there. ' De Do Dodo, De Da Da Dead... cardboard box!'

Love is in the air.... Congratulations to our very own secret romantics BSAC SDI TDI Big Blue Tech Instructor Ash Dunn & SSI & PADI Big Blue Diving Instructor Kelli Bennett who last week quietly snuck off up to Bangers & tied the knot without telling anyone! How romantic! You always did know how to treat a Lady & make her feel special eh Ash? You big Geordie smoothie! Don't think just you snuck off to get married doesn't mean all the boys aren't going to be getting you back on the staggie we are throwing you tomorrow afternoon! In fact I do believe we have a speedboat of Lady-boys & a lime green Mankini ready for you for tomorrow afternoon Ash! Poor chap. Weddings are supposed to be fun. Well some people would find 12 Lady boys in bikini's prodding & poking the groom in his mankini fun! Dan & I are finding it down right hilarious! Congrats again Mr & Mrs Dunn.

Sunday 15th May 2011-
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"I liked the sound of Big blue diving from reading lonely planet (not too big to be impersonal, but big enough to have a bit of a buzz and social atmosphere), so headed straight there off the ferry. Staff were really helpful in getting me settled, free accommodation as long as you're diving. The SSI open water course was better than I could have imagined, helped in large part by the instructor Nick and divemaster Charlie. They were really helpful and genuinely friendly, and importantly very patient. Even though there were 6 of us on the course I still felt they gave a lot of one to one training. So having got the diving bug I went straight on to the advanced course, which was even better (group of 4 this time), the Instructor Iain was brilliant, and he made some pretty daunting stuff good fun. The night dive is easily the best thing I have ever done. I felt a lot more competent after the advanced course, through both getting more experience and the excellent instruction. I'm now intending on going back to do my divemaster and hopefully stay there, which says a lot about Big Blue. Can't recommend enough. " Ritchie B- Exeter UK.
Entry on Trip Advisor Date of review: May 7, 2011.

" Big Blue were great for teaching us to dive safely and in a fun atmposphere. We liked it so much we stayed and did our advanced certificate too! The resort is bustling, they have two boats and a friendly staff and tech crew. The instructors were great fun and answered any and all questions, they all seem to be diving instructors because they love diving and teaching rather than because it pays huge amounts of money - they're really enthusiastic! I even had problem with my sinuses on one dive and couldn't dive so the instructor took me out one on one in the afternoon so that I could fill my quota to get my advanced cert. The accommodation was fine, as long as you're diving during the day. We paid a little more (1500 baht) for an airconditioned room and therefore stayed at their sister hotel a few hundred metres away from the beach. The hotel was clean, comfortable and had all the amenities that we needed while we were diving." Kahm 81, from Canberra Australia.
Another Entry on Trip Advisor- Date of review: Feb 19, 2011

" I went to Koh Tao speculatively looking at maybe doing some diving. Big Blue were extremely friendly and welcoming even on the catamaran where the bloke was handing out information about Big Blue. I turned up, had a sleep and then started my open water course. Nothing was rushed, the instructor was top notch and everything was explained well. The boats (especially the smallest) could at times be quite busy, but it's really nothing to worry about as you are still only in a group of 4 and it does not feel like a production line of divers. Finished the OW, diving had me hooked so I stayed to do the Advanced Course and some fun dives. Everything was to the same amazing standard as the open water course and beyond. Highly recommended." Oli 19.
And another Entry on Trip Advisor Date of review: Jan 2, 2011

Saturday 14th May 2011-k

Friday the 13th yesterday! I thought it was when I came into work & got a puncture on the way! Then once I finally got in someone told me I had a night dive! Then the taxi forgot to pick up one of our customers, & another one of our customers ended up going to Big Bubble instead of Big Blue. It just kept going from bad to worse when the TV blew up, the compressor died, one of our customers had to be evacuated with some weird ailment, our one legged captain mislaid his crutches, the ladder on the back of the boat fell off with divers still int he water. The internet went down. I deleted all our incoming emails by accident, I stood in doggy doo doo & then spat in my wetsuit & pissed in my mask! What a day!

Fishermen have netted a young whale shark in Egypt's Suez Canal measuring about five metres and weighed 700 kilograms, died in the fishermen's nets. They chopped off its fins and tail before fishery officials arrived and buried the rest of the carcass. "The fishermen dragged it to shore. It didn't put up a fight, so it must have been sick. They cut off its fins and tail by the time they arrived. The shark was caught in the canal's Great Bitter Lake, which is saltier than the sharks' usual environment because its bed contains salt deposits. A shark expert said whale sharks were abundant in the Red Sea at this time of the year but they avoid the canal. "This is the time of the year when they move up to Aqaba [in Jordan]. This one might have taken a wrong turn. It could have had trouble adjusting to the canal's salinity." Adult sharks often measure between 10 and 12 metres and the shark found in the Suez was a youngster, judging by its description. Whale sharks have washed up before on Egypt's Red Sea coast.

In the tropical waters of Koh Tao, two prawns were swimming around in the sea. One called Justin and the other called Christian. The prawns were constantly being harassed and threatened by sharks that inhabited Chumphon Pinnacle. Finally one day Justin said to Christian, "I'm fed up with being a prawn; I wish I was a shark, and then I wouldn't have any worries about being eaten." A large mysterious cod appeared and said, "Your wish is granted" Lo and behold, Justin turned into a shark. Horrified, Christian immediately swam away, afraid of being eaten by his old mate. Time passed and Justin found life as a shark boring and lonely. All his old mates simply swam away whenever he came close to them. Justin didn't realize that his new menacing appearance was the cause of his sad plight. While swimming alone one day he saw the mysterious cod again and he thought perhaps the mysterious fish could change him back into a prawn. He approached the cod and begged to be changed back, and, lo and behold, he found himself turned back into a prawn. With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes Justin swam back to his friends and bought them all a cocktail. Looking around the gathering at the reef he realised he couldn't see his old pal. "Where's Christian?" he asked. "He's at home, still distraught that his best friend changed sides to the enemy & became a shark", came the reply. Eager to put things right again and end the mutual pain and torture, he set off to Christian's abode. As he opened the coral gate, memories came flooding back. He banged on the door and shouted, "It's me, Justin, your old friend, come out and see me again." Christian replied, "No way man, you'll eat me. You're now a shark, the enemy, and I'll not be tricked into being your dinner." Justin cried back "No, I'm not. That was the old me. I've changed."......... "I've found Cod. I'm a Prawn again Christian". Boom boom! :D

Thursday 12th May 2011-
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Peeing in your wetsuit is no laughing matter! In fact in some parts of the world if you pee in your wetsuit then the Dive staff point you out to all the other divers to embarrass you & therefore stop others from doing the same. After all there is nothing worse than washing someone else's peed in wetsuit! But don't worry! Here at Big Blue we have found the best way to pee during your dive without stinking up your wetsuit! Dive commando! Its all the rage! & just to encourage you to Dive Commando we are offering all the ladies out there a free dive when they dive commando! Any takers? & just in case we've put you off don't worry cos we're going to be charging all the fella's double!

Man, I really can't beleive it! I don't actually quite know what has happened this month but its just not normal! Usually May & June are pretty quiet months & the staff bugger off on their holidays & the rest of us crack open a few bottles of Chang & get the Risk board out & play drinking games while watching Top Gun or Star Wars! But this year is not like any other year! This year we are all having to work! Its most disorientating! All our boats are running! We  got courses starting everyday. We're out of rooms & bungalows & all our TV's are airing Dive videos! And apparently the rest of the island is dead! Guess we must be doing something right! Might have something to do with that group of 30 Canadian swimsuit models we have staying with us right now, but my money is on the Free Chocolate Cake we gave out yesterday on the Full Day trip! Hmmmm. Chocolate cake. Always a winner!

"Dive centers across the Asia Pacific are showing their support for shark conservation by encouraging their customers to sign Project AWARE's Shark Petition. Big Blue Diving based in Koh Tao Thailand, hosted a shark swim to raise awareness for sharks, & collected over 200 signatures. Banns Dive & the Dive Shack in South Australia have also put their best fins forward collecting over 400 petition signatures." Scuba Diver Magazine. ( The official publication of the PADI Society) - The Black & White Collectors edition.

Wednesday 11th May 2011-m

Well look at that! You put out the Bat Signal & all the Instructors come flooding back home! Welcome back Roz & Curtis who've just been enjoying a dirty weekend onboard the Manta Queen Liveaboard. Then there's everyone's favorite Harry Potter Character Mr Dobby or Pierre as he's known to his Mum & Dad & Dennis Goodballs who've both returned to the roost having just spent the last 6 months over in Khao Lak working on board our very own Liveaboard the MV Pawara. Nice to see you all back guys & gal! Now go put your knickers on & I'll see you at the bar at Beer O'clock!

While tricks to appear on the images of Google Maps have become common since the launch of the “Street View”, a couple of guys from Norway just pulled off the best Google “Street View” prank yet. Seems two unidentified gentleman had heard a Google camera car was in the neighborhood, so they decided to dress as ninjas scuba divers and laid (or rather sat) in wait for the unsuspecting car. As soon as the Google vehicle passed by, the two scuba divers sprang into action. They both leapt from their respective lawn chairs and gave chase as best they could behind the “Street View” car as it traveled down the road with one of the men brandishing a fishing fork. Fortunately for Google, since both the men were wearing diving fins at the time, the pursuit did not last very long. All the while, however, the Google cameras snapped away at the bizarre chase taking place. Now it seems no one is exactly sure how these Norwegian men caught wind that there was a Google “Street View” car in their town. What is known, though, is that Google apparently did not mind the funny scene as they posted the photos on Google Maps. Just go to “Street View” level to see the pair on the side of the road and then continue down the street to see them give chase.

In the interests of keeping our finger on the pulse of Divers Desires today we organised a very special & different kind of Full Day Trip. We started our day at 11.30 this morning when Banzai set off for the best dive site in the Gulf Of Thailand- Sail Rock. Then after our first dive we have a buffet lunch served, then after we've allowed time to digest we are off to Koh Tao's most elusive dive site Samran Pinnacle. After that the staff are going to be providing all our divers with tea coffee & Chocolate cake! & then we're off to Shark Island for a night dive & then its homeward bound with a free beer along the way! I'm pretty sure this won't be the only time we organise a Full Day Trip Chocolate Cake Night Dive beer by keeping our chocolatey fingers on the beer soaked pulse of Divers Desires!

Tuesday 10th May 2011-n

The average diver sightseeing at 10 meters in warm, calm seas can expect an average tank of air to last about an hour. But as any diver can tell you, scuba diving is anything but average. Deeper dives, stronger currents and chilly water can drastically reduce bottom time. New divers, a little panicky and prone to “panting” rather than easy breathing, have been known to suck a tank dry in 15 minutes. Obviously, increasing your physical fitness is one way to get more out of every breath, but even fit divers can find themselves breathing too fast or too shallow from the stress of diving. That’s where yoga comes in. Like scuba, yoga places emphasis on proper inhalation and exhalation, as breathing is considered the essential connection between body and mind. “Practiced regularly, yoga promotes deep, slow breathing, and teaches you how to calm your mind. Yoga also strengthens and stretches muscles that are important in diving. This all adds up to more quality time admiring the marine life on your next dive. Diving Holiday and daily yoga are now the perfect combination here in KohTao, Thailand. Starting this season we are offerring professional yoga classes at the Shambalah Yoga Center, classes are designed specifically to enhance your dive experience. You will learn different breathing techniques and how to slow breathing rhythm. Yoga increases lung capacity and overall muscular flexibility. Breathing underwater, experiencing the weightless state of buoyancy and discovering other body-mind awareness and sensations can enhance ones’ meditation practice and inner quietude. Approaching the study of scuba diving combined with yoga, diving becomes part of ones’ personal journey inward an intimate connection with the underwater world. You see, there are many good reasons for trying Yoga in your next holidays. More info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"75 volunteers from Big Blue Diving Resort, Bans, Crystal, Master Scuba Divers, Sunshine and New Heaven on the island of Koh Tao, Thailand joined forces on Dive For Earth Day helping to remove over 335kg of rubbish which mostly comprised of nets and ropes. Many more volunteers helped on land cleaning the beaches. Continuing the celebrations into the evening, Chad Scott, Big Blue Conservation's Jen Matthews and Eco Koh Tao’s Nathan Cook conducted a marine ecology and reef restoration talk before the attention turned to some great locally made films raising awareness at this important time for our planet." Project Aware May 2011 issue. Nice one Jen. You are famous now! You'll never be able to walk down the street as a nobody ever again!

Now where the hell have all my staff gone? I tell you if you don't keep your fingers on the pulse it all goes to pot pretty quickly! Looks like Erik & Beccy have flown the coop, a little earlier than expected but you just can't hold young love down! Then there's Ash & Kelli who've eloped to Bangkok. Yvonne & her Canadian stud muffin are honking their horns & then theirs Andy & Heather who are in Florida watching the Space shuttle launch or not whatever the case. Then there's Sonia, Roz & Curtis who are all off on various liveaboards Sonia off to Komodo & Roz & Curtis are cruising the Similans. So thats 11 down & 9 to go! Keep this up I might have to get my neoprene & Sergeants stripes out!

Saturday 7th May 2011-o

Another trip to Sail Rock today. I think thats 3 times this week & why??? Cos its that bloody good at the moment thats why! Its got action, comedy, romance, intrigue, drama, sex, & thats just on the way out there. Then once you are there, its a treasure trove of travelling pelagics & with conditions as good as they are right now its possibly the best dive site in the Gulf of Thailand! 3 dives, breakfast & lunch & all the ingredients needed to make a damn good day out!

High-speed ferry operator Lomprayah has joined hands with budget airline Solar Air to offer fast but cheap combined air-and-sea transport service between Bangkok and Koh Tao. Passengers could fly to Chumpon, where Solar Air has daily frequency and then take a high-speed Lomprayah ferry to Koh Tao. Travel time between Bangkok and Chumpon is one hour and 15 minutes. A high-speed ferry trip between Chumpon and Koh Tao takes about 90 minutes. The daily Solar Air flight to Chumpon leaves the Don Muang Airport in Bangkok at 9:45 a.m. It arrives in Chumpon at 11 a.m. in time for the 12.30pm departure for Koh Tao. From Koh Tao, a Lomprayah high-speed ferry leaves for Chumpon at 10.30 a.m., arriving there at 11:45 a.m. also in time for Solar Air’s flight to Bangkok which leaves Chumpon at 2 p.m. One-way at Bt2,900. The easiest way & quickest way to get here!

Just want to thank all of you who over the years have commented on this blog that we try & update as regularly as possible. So nice to have you come up to us & give praise to our literary talents. Its never easy writing off this literary bollocks so its nice when you turn around & tell us that once you've visited us or made your booking or even checked out our website you mysteriously keep being drawn to read all about our latest scuba diving news & gossip. & I can hardly blame you. I have a talent for quite literary bollocks!

Thursday 5th May 2011-p

Whaleshark! Actually that was the other day! So Whaleshark again! as that was another day after the other day but before today cos today there was no whaleshark! Either way 2 whalesharks in just a matter of days! That's got to be good for business! & obviously is! The word got out & the island is back to its normal heaving self. Just imagine how much money that has generated for the businesses on KohTao. The ferries getting the people here, the taxi drivers taking the people to their resorts, the resorts themselves for the accommodation the dive shops taking the people to see the whaleshark & then the restaurants & bars & everything else you can think of that you'd spend your money on while you were here. All because of the whaleshark! Bringing in the crowds & generating an income for the local people! & the best part is they can do the same again tomorrow & the next day & the next day & so on & so on! Isn't that a better way of doing business rather than butchering them & slicing off their fins so you can make a cup of soup! How insane is that?

We had our first underwater wedding this week. Congratulations Satchi & Jun who both tied the knot at 5 meters depth infront of a congregation of another 40 invited divers at Twin Peaks on Tuesday. What a couple of crazy romantics! & didn't the bride look resplendant in the her wedding dress & BCD & mask! & the Groom managed to find a pair of fins that went well with his Morning suit & tie. Quite a pair. Congratulations guys. I thought you both looked very... wet!

Keen photographer & ex military sniper & present day Big Blue Scuba Instructor Charles has just got back from a visa run! We all have to do Visa runs every month or 3 months depending on how good looking you are. We have to either go to Burma or Malaysia get a stamp & come back into Thailand. Its very easy but it is a right royal pain up the whoopsie. Anyway there are rumours going round that Ex forces Sniper Instructor turned PADI & SSI Scuba Instructor keen photographer Charlie Charles Charles went a little further on this last visa run. I thought he'd been gone a while. Rumour has it he went to Pakistan. A little town in the north call Attamabad. Thats interesting, keen photographer ex military sniper & present day Big Blue Scuba Instructor Charles. Visa run to Pakistan. Last weekend. Attamabad. Hmmm.... Shoot anything while you were over there?

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