SSI Instructor Training Course starts 15th October
I was going to have a break from the Big Blue staff profiles and feed them in gradually from now on in between real news, but I think you deserve a couple more; yes I can't count it's actually four-ish. Four pathologically weird people, but all of them amazing dive professionals. I just hope you realise how unpopular this is making me at the bar! If you want to read about the rest of the staff here at Big Blue, click here.
Richard Todd- Rich was in the running for being the most famous person ever to come from the Town of Grantham in the UK.. except that former Prime Minister Margaret thatcher beat him to it by quite a few decades. Although he became a dive instructor quite late in life, he's an inspiration to other 63 year olds everywhere. Rich is a PADI and SSI instructor, and has what can only be described as freakish levels of infectious enthusiasm for diving. He's like the Duracell bunny, but not in the slightest bit annoying or fluffy. He probably gets more glowing praise on trip adviser than anyone else at Big Blue, and they all get a lot. When Rich is not busy turning people like you or me into the next Jacque Cousteau, he likes to press flowers and wander the meadows of Koh Tao whilst reciting poetry written by William Shatner. Being taught your open water course by Rich would definitely be a good choice!
Donny McFadden- Say hello to Donny, or Donnie, or simply Don. He walked out of the water on Sairee beach one day with a football called Wilson under his arm, asking what “all these people are doing with the weird breathy things in their mouths”. Obviously he fitted right in and it didn’t take long for him to become part of the furniture- he was a carpenter in a previous life after all. As a SSI, PADI, BSAC and TDI tech instructor and cave diver, he doesn’t have a lot of time to do much else. When he does relax and unwind, he "Dons" his apron and works in the Big Blue restaurant to man the BBQ. Being half Australian and half Thai, he has the very endearing trait of not being able to speak either language properly, which may explain why he chose a profession in which speaking isn't possible half the time. He used to be famous too as lead singer of the band Lame Excuse, a prog rock outfit that is currently being sued by magician David Copperfield for stealing his theatrical style and wardrobe chic. Humble, friendly and always smiling, you're in safe hands if he ends up teaching you.
Luke White- The second oddest person at Big Blue.
Neil Draycott- The oddest person at Big Blue.
“Big blue girls rocks!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 9 October 2013- we came to big blue after chatting to someone on the boat, and we were transported by a lovely little Thai man to a beach bar....first impressions count! after a chat to an instructor we signed up to a refresher dive and headed to our 5*(maybe!!) accommodation to chill out. I did the refresher dive the next day with becca who was funny and very patient (she needed to be with our group) and off a huge boat with ample sunbathing space :) after the refresher dives I was like oh ok, maybe it can be fun and signed up for some more dives. the next day after the pub-crawl (also recommended) I dived in the afternoon with Danielle which was cool, and then the following morning with Becca again where we saw a whaleshark! The whole 4 days we spent on Koh Tao were amazing. the accommodation is great, the staff are friendly and very good at what they do, the location is perfect, the boats are big, the bar and restaurant are right on the beach and offer a lovely sunset, we couldn't have asked for more. I reluctantly tried diving 3 years ago because my other friends wanted to. Now, thanks to big blue I love it and cannot wait to plan my next trip back. Thank you to everyone at big blue, especially Danielle and becca, I now have bragging rights in work for a long long time :)
Koh Tao dive site- Chumphon Pinnacle
If you're already a diver, then you'll probably come to Koh Tao because you've heard of Chumphon pinnacle. If you're coming to Koh Tao to learn how to dive, then when you're qualified and you dive it you'll realise that it was exactly the reason you wanted to explore the underwater world in the first place. I would say it's out of this world, but it's just under the sea. 11km Northwest of Koh Tao, it's one of the two best dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand, and is up there with any other dive site in the world. Comprised of one large rock pinnacle, the top sits at around 14 metres and along the sides it can go down to 35 metres. To the Southwest is Barracuda rock- no idea why it might be called that, apart
from the huge schools of barracuda that hang around it! This place is a divemaster's dream, with white-eyed moray eels, banded boxer shrimps and dancing shrimps hiding in the cracks. But it's also a place of refuge for huge shoals of fusiliers, and yellow scad that will dance around in a big ball in front of you to avoid being herded and eaten by golden trevally. But just when you thought it couldn't get any better, it's also a stop off point for juvenile whalesharks, on route from wherever they came from, towards wherever they're going to. Diving here will just make you want to come back for more, and more, and more.