I came to Koh Tao with the intention of completing some skills progression courses as well as diving for fun. I contacted Big Blue and received an immediate, helpful response from James, the technical manager. I booked the courses and accommodation on the website and found the prices very reasonable.
On arrival on Koh Tao, a representative from Big Blue met me at the pier and took me to my accommodation which was clean, tidy and free! The diving formalities were taken care of in a swift but professional manner and I was quickly in the water.
I arrived in mid December, clearly a busy time on the island. It was clear that the company's logistics were pushed right to the limit, with one of their dive boats being refurbished. That the experience was still so good was in no small part due to the outstanding, highly professional Big Blue staff.
Right from the outset, I felt more like a club member than a customer, especially in the 'Tech Shack' with James and Bryan. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they went out of their way to ensure I got the training I wanted and had fun doing it. The TDI 'Intro to Tech' course is by far the best diving course I have done, improving my diving immeasurably. I was the sole student on my course; 3 days of instruction and diving with Paul Jura, an experienced TDI instructor, all for less than £200 was outstanding value for money.
Following the course, I felt that I needed some time to consolidate, getting familiar with the twinset before progressing. James (Big Blue Tech manager) didn't try to push me at all; in fact he provided me with all the specialist equipment necessary and ensured I could dive recreationally with the tech kit, all at a very reasonable price.
From a recreational diving point of view, it is worth highlighting how good the Big Blue Dive Masters are. I dived with Carly, Phil, Darren, Stephen, Marc and Sophia and found them all to be excellent DMs. Professional, safe and fun, they all know the dive sites intimately and ensure divers have the best experience possible. I completed the SSI Basic Wreck course with Rick and found him to be equally good.
It goes without saying that the diving in the Gulf of Thailand is quite special, as is the atmosphere on the Island. You will need no small measure of discipline to drag yourself away from the Big Blue bar in a fashion commensurate with diving the following day!
Overall, I couldn't recommend Big Blue and Big Blue Tech highly enough. The staff are outstanding and really make the experience. You will need to be flexible at times, however this really does work both ways and in return you will have a thoroughly enjoyable and very rewarding experience.