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November 2012

Wednesday- 7th November 2012- 

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 Like the sands through an hourglass ... sunshine, suntan, sunburn, sun shades, sunglasses, 30 degree water temperature, 30 degree air temperature, deserted beaches, golden sands, swimming pools, flat seas, ocean clarity, bountiful marine life, Whalesharks, Bull Sharks, turtles, schools of Barracudas, twisting typhoons of trevally, eels, sting rays, bikinis, topless sunbathing, apres dive, sunsets, sunset beers, Scuba diving, Open Water Courses, Advanced Courses, Rescue Courses, Divemaster Courses, Instructor Training, Fun divers, certified Divers, Scuba Instructors, Tech Diving, Deep Diving, Wreck Diving, Nitrox Diving, beach side parties, Full Moon Parties, beach side bars, beach side restaurants, cheap beer, great food... these are the days of our lives!

“Can't wait to go back!”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor November 5, 2012- I did my open water certificate at Blue Big, and couldn't be happier!!! My instructor Skui was amazing! She made sure we are well prepared, and also made sure we had fun! Our last dive was with a whale shark!!!!! Can't beat that!!! Everyone in the resort was nice and friendly, location was beautiful!!! We upgraded our accommodation to a private room with hot shower and AC for only 800 baht a night, which was worth it! We wanted to be away from all the noise and get some well needed rest after each day. Already planning our return trip to Big Blue!!! 
 
28, 29, 30... & I'm outta here! My time is done! In the immortal words of Led Zeppelin "Leaves are falling all around, It's time I was on my way. Thanks to you I'm much obliged For such a pleasant stay. But now it's time for me to go" ... to Bali ... from one hot sweltering beach paradise to another! (Oh when will this misery end?) I shall be back around the beginning of December. In the meantime I'm sorry to say I shall be leaving the reigns in the hands of our very experienced triumvirate of Mr Paul "Tosh" Tanner, Mr "SSI"mon Garrity & Mr Guy "looks just like Jim anyway" Bannister! You're in good hands people. Have a great monsoon. Hugs & kisses & see you in a month!

 

Tuesday 6th November 2012-

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As always we do what we can to lay on the best treats for our customers & this morning was no exception! We brought in a Whaleshark, 100th one of the year I've just been told- really? wow- & then polished off our morning shannanigans with a Water spout! "an intense columnar vortex (usually appearing as a funnel-shaped cloud) that occurs over a body of water, connected to a cumuliform cloud" - thanks Wikipedia! Two amazing sites in just 1 morning! Both completely natural phenomenon but we'll take the credit anyway!

“Completely Hooked!”-5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor November 5, 2012- After the half moon party on the 22nd of September, I headed to Koh Tao for some diving with a buddy. I had never been diving before but I had been recommended Big Blue from a bunch of friends who had traveled to Koh Tao before. On the ferry over from Phangan me and my friend were approached by a friendly Big Blue rep who explained to me how the diving courses, prices and accommodation worked. I had already decided to come to Big Blue but the positive interaction with the rep just reaffirmed my decision. Got picked up at the ferry terminal and was dropped off at the dive centre and we were given the briefing and details on how everything works. Accommodation is included when you do a course or you are diving with them - We were hoping for dorms but I guess if there's two of you they give you a bungalow or a room with two beds. I ended up staying at the dorm at Big Blue 1 (they have two sites about 200-300 m apart on Sairee beach), which was fine but I did hear that Big Blue 2 dorms are much much nicer and brand new. So onto the diving - after we signed up for the Open Water course and was shown to our room, we had a quick break and we headed over to Big Blue 2 for the start of the course. We opted for SSI over PADI although we had only heard of PADI but in the end it doesn't matter other than that you pay less for SSI since you don't have to buy the course manual. The following day we were split up into two groups - Skui's and Neil's. Our group ended up getting into the pool first before we did the theory bits, which I think was better, at least for me - it was much easier to just get going rather than first sitting down and talking about a bunch of stuff I had no idea about. Neil was professional and personable and I decided that I wanted to stay longer and do my advanced course with him. He was very straight forward, clear with his instructions and had a good sense of humour, which is key when you have to see his ugly mug for a week straight! (kidding, Neil). As for the actual diving, BB has boats heading out to the usual dive spots 2-3 times a day (was there a 4th? pretty sure not) - apart from the night diving the morning and afternoon trips have 2 dives per trip. Now having been diving a bunch since then in Indonesia I can easily see that the dive sites in Koh Tao are a bit crowded and not the most exciting spots in the world to say the least. But Chumphon pinnacles was a treat and although I had not personally been to Sail Rock I hear it's a good spot for whalesharks and bull sharks. Despite what I mentioned previously I really enjoyed diving there and I can easily say that the majority of the dive sites here are perfectly suited for learning. I will probably return for another course next time I swing through Thailand. The location is great, the restaurant serves reasonably priced food (pizzas here are quite excellent) and they employ some great staff. Highly recommended! 
 
Just a reminder in case you weren't aware... Christmas & New Year are quite literally the busiest times of the year for Koh Tao and already we are getting heaps of bookings by the day for courses & accommodation. So please book in now guys if you fancy spending Christmas & or New Year with us. We still have rooms available for now but do expect them all to be all taken within the next month or so, so drop us a line on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. & we'll get straight back to you. We've also got a video production being filmed the week before Christmas so if you want to get talent spotted on the telly then you better book now! We'll make you famous!

Monday 5th November 2012-

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Ever had one of those relationships you've been trying to get out of for ages but couldn't find a way to do it nicely when suddenly she turns round & dumps you first? Wham! Bam! Boof! Kapow! Feel like I have been slapped in the face by Batman! I mean the only reason we actually continued our relationship this year had absolutely nothing to do what so ever with quality, service or love. The only reason we continued our relationship in 2012 was because the newly appointed Regional Manager is a personal friend of ours & has been a big part of our PADI Instructor Development Course over the years. So being given the news that we are no longer to quote "in the best interests of PADI" & therefore have been ditched comes as a rather large slap in the face! I mean we are the largest SSI center in the world! & our PADI numbers in 2012 are higher than they have been in the last 6 years but because we aren't selling purely PADI courses but are selling SSI, BSAC, TDI, & SDI courses as well, thereby giving our customers the choice they want & not by enforcing only 1 organisation we've been chucked! Doesn't mean we can't still as individual Instructors teach PADI courses because we can. It just means PADI probably got wind that we weren't going to renew our relationship with them next year & so chucked us first before we could chuck them! No phone call. No text. No flowers. No photos of all the good times we had together. Not even a valid reason. Just an unheaded attachement in an email! "You're not in the best interests of PADI!" the equivalent of saying "its not you its me!" Damn. Why didn't I think of that!

“Great place to learn how to dive”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor November 3, 2012 - I just completed my open water and advanced at Big Blue. I had two instructors - Felix and Jen. Both were amazing, professional knowledgeable, patient and supportive. The video of the final 2 open dives was hilarious and worth the price in my opinion. The instructor/divemaster to diver ratio was 1 to 4 or 1 to 3. The staff took safety very seriously. The dive spots can get crowded, but the lack of current and warm waters make it a great place to learn how to dive. I didn't stay at the resort, so I can't comment on the accommodation. The pizza and coconut shake from the restaurant is highly recommended. All in all, spent a fun 2 weeks here!
 
 

"Please forward to whom it may concern, I am writing to to thank you for making my recent visit to Koh Tao an amazing experience.. I had a wonderful time and did a total of 19 dives with Big Blue (including your last trip to Sail Rock of the season) saw bull sharks and topped it off with a whale shark at the end.  I was impressed with the professionalism of your dive operation and the helpfulness of your staff and as a fun diver dived with a number of you divemasters.  I was particlarly impressed by Chris Cherry who was most helpful, very knowledgeable and added a lot to my diving experience by finding and pointing ot a number of very interesting marine spieces.  Whilst it was amazing seeing bull and whale sharks, they are not hard to find (if they are around) Chris found more smaller intesting stuff on our dives than any other dive master I dived with, including a croc fish, dancing shrimps, scorpion fish, pipefish, indian walkman, blue spotted and jenkins rays to name but a few. I will certainly recommend Big Blue to my friends and intend to return in the future. Again thanks for everything, Please also pass on my thanks to Chris,  Arnold (Will) Williams."

Saturday 3rd November 2012-

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Part of Big Blue Diving's success this year has been due very much to the quality & calibre of our Instructor Team. Some of our guys have been working in diving for over 10 years now. Some have only just started. Some are widely travelled. While some know where Maehaad Pier is. Some teach in many languages. Others also teach in many languages though many have trouble understanding what they are saying! And all have the character, the patience & the passion to be what I refer to as... a bunch of monkeys! Welcome to the Big Blue Instructor Team. Welcome to... The Planet of the Apes!

And the job offers just keep flying through the door here! Again they're for SSI Instructors only I'm afraid but the good news is that if you are only a lowly PADI Instructor we can step you up a notch to become the high quality SSI Instructor by doing a 3 day Crossover. Once you are an SSI instructor then we can let you know more details of the jobs we have on offer for Instructors in Indonesia on Gili Air & Kalimantan. In Thailand here in Koh Tao as well as in Khao Lak. In the Caribbean there's a job offer on one of the Cayman Islands. There are instructors needed in Greece & we got awesome opportunities for Instrucotrs or Managers in Fiji! In a time of global recession isn't it refreshing to see so many opportunities for SSI Dive Professionals. Just another reason to choose SSI rather than PADI or any other Diving organisation.

“Location, Staff, Facilities, Diving”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on Trip Advisor October 29, 2012- Big Blue Diving was a fabulous place to come for my open water certificate. You get free accommodation in their dorms with any dives or diving courses that you do. They are located in Sairee Beach, which you have to take a taxi to get there from the pier. Big Blue has two free taxi services every day, to and from the pier. Unfortunately, I missed the one when I arrived, so you have to make sure to keep an eye out for the Big Blue pick-up truck to avoid having to pay for a taxi. The staff is very professional, and I felt totally comfortable doing my open water dive here. Most of the dive schools have the open water course priced between 8 and 9 thousand baht (Big Blue was 9,000), but I had a coupon for 10% off with the purchase of a Pub Crawl ticket. Another tip for coming here is to make sure you do NOT stay at Big Blue 1. Ask for a room at Big Blue 2. Big Blue 2 was built three months ago and are really nice and clean, have better wifi access, air-conditioned and the swimming pool. Both are located right on the beach. Dives depart from Big Blue 1, but it is an easy 5 minute walk along the beach from Big Blue 2. They will book ferries and buses for you, and they also provide lockers (but you need your own lock) for valuables. The restaurant/bar at Big Blue 1 is more lively and often has a fire thrower entertaining on the beach. Both have decent food, but are a bit more expensive than the more local restaurants. I am looking forward to hopefully coming back here for my advanced certificate. For more reviews, tips and stories: http://thesearemysheehanigans.com
 

Thursday 1st November 2012-

Another day another 100% pass on the Instructor Exams! Congratulations to all 6 of our brand new Scuba Diving Instructors. 6 more professional Beach bums! Can you imagine a better way to earn a living?  Living on a tropical island Paradise, surrounded by friends, teaching something you love, enjoying close up encounters with creatures you never thought you'd ever really get to see on a daily basis. And all the while actually getting paid for it! Apart from being perhaps a Rock star, Movie star, Sports star or Porno star can there be a better job? Congratulations guys! Now if you'd all like to pass me your CV's I'd like to get you all work ASAP!

The negatives to Scuba Diving- i) If you are vain you might as well forget it. Diving is like childbirth, you’re not going to look good doing this, it’s actually impossible. Between the rivers of snot you produce, the hair that tangles into an uncombable ball and the deeply unattractive pressure marks your mask will leave on your face this is not a sport for those who have to look good. ii) You will become poorer, quickly; this sport has more accessories than Ann Summers. Actually it’s a lot like Ann Summers, between stuff you wear and stuff that bleeps, restrains, informs and adorns, all of which come in a variety of day glo colours, scuba diving is fetish heaven with a higher price tag. iii) You will become very boring, because you are a convert and converts tend to bang on a lot about stuff with tedious zeal.  New Scuba divers only talk about diving. iv) all travel of any type will revolve around diving opportunities, it will become impossible to pop down town for some milk without fitting in a quick reef dive. & v) levering yourself into a tight wetsuit on a public beach whilst tourists gaze on at the way you bend the laws of physics by forcing so much flesh into neoprene. It’s a bit like the TARDIS. We’re all bigger inside our wetsuits!

“Open Water and Advanced Courses at Big Blue”5 of 5 stars Reviewed on trip Advisor October 28, 2012 - I showed up at Big Blue unsure as to whether I'd be able to overcome my claustrophobia and dive at all but wanted to give it a shot. Upon arrival, everyone was friendly and helpful so I immediately felt at ease. I did my open water course with G who was a wonderful instructor -- she was really supportive, fun, and knowledgeable. I learned a ton from her in just a few days. I ended up loving diving so much that I signed up for the advanced course, which was taught by Jo. Jo was also a phenomenal instructor. She was super chill with a great sense of humor so I had a blast while diving and also really improved my skills. After the two courses, I feel totally comfortable in the water and confident with my abilities. The only problem now is that I don't want to leave! Thanks so much G, Jo, and Big Blue!

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