Three new technical divers join the ranks of card carrying twinset masters.
Koh Tao, Thailand
Big Blue Tech celebrate the graduation of Damien Stewart, Lin Wang and James Ferrie from their TDI Intro to Tech Course course conducted over 2 days on Koh Tao Island off the coast of Thailand by TDI Instructor Ash Dunn and assisted by Ian Jordan.
The TDI Intro to Tech Course is the entry level technical diving certification which gives the student the ability to wear a twin set with isolator manifold to their own recreational depth limit. This gives the diver the freedom and comfort of technical diving equipment with the investment of money or time in a full tech course allowing them to progress through the modular system of TDI in their own time.
Additionally this allows the students to rent a set of tech gear and continue learning at any location around the world.
The skills covered in this course include advanced propulsion techniques including the infamous backwards frog kick, gas management, isolating problems and using redundancy along with trim and control in technical gear.
The students return to the realm of recreational diving, we’re confident they’ll return soon for the next challenge.
Diving Solo in one of the best diving destinations in the world.
Khao Lak, Thailand
Big Blue Tech celebrates the graduation of Ammar Dajani from his SDI Solo Diver course conducted over 2 days with 4 dives off the coast of Khao Lak in the Similan Islands National Marine park by SDI Instructor Trainer Ben Reymenants.
If you are one of the lucky few who have been to the similan islands you will know that every company always says “No Solo Diving” this is regardless of experience or qualification. We looked into this rule a few times and wondered why everyone says this; then we realized it’s because none of the instructors or operators in the Similans teach solo diving or are solo divers so the myth that solo diving is so dangerous continues. This is the same environment where most believe all rebreathers will kill you, which is why many operators don’t want rebreathers on their boats.
However, Big Blue Diving in Khao Lak who are part of the Big Blue Diving network benefit from the training and knowledge that Big Blue Tech provide. Ammar came across this course because his instructor on our liveaboard the Mv Pawara Dennis was trained as a solo diver by Big Blue Tech and had nothing but good things to say about it. Dennis worked for Big Blue Diving Koh Tao on the east coast of Thailand during the closed season and learned all about the ins an outs of solo diving.
Ammar was determined to become a solo diver, he had the 100 required logged dives and the experience to take on the new challenge so he signed up with Ben Reymenants to do the course which was based from speed boat trips to the similan islands.
The SDI Solo Diver course consists of skills like carrying an independent air source or pony along with navigation, dive planning and stamina skills. There is also theoretical knowledge sessions in a classroom and surface based swim tests.
One of SDI’s most popular courses, the solo diver program teaches experienced recreational divers how to safely dive independently of a dive buddy or strengthen your buddy team skills. The course stresses on proper dive planning, personal limitations, accident prevention as well as the benefits, hazards, and proper procedures for diving solo. You will also learn the additional equipment that is required for solo diving including it’s proper usage and assembly. This is the prefect course for underwater photography and underwater video divers.
This course is available also on Koh Tao Island you can read about at Solo Diving in Koh Tao
Out with the old and in with the new.
Koh Tao, Thailand
Big Blue Tech has experienced a recent shift in it’s staff as some people have left for colder pastures in Europe and others have joined to get their feet wet with the technical diving scene.
Big Blue Tech says goodbye to Technical Divemaster Duncan Tyler who left for England after crashing his car into a bunch of transvestites/lady boys and subsequently was chased by 6ft 200lbs “ladies” and their handbags. However not all is lost as Duncan was scooped up by Andy Cavell of Yorkshire Rec’N’Tec who is also one of Big Blue Tech’s x-employees. We also say goodbye to Mark Slinn who disappeared in the congo for 6 weeks then in Brazil working with Nasa to find oil and ended up back home, wherever that is. We’re not exactly sure what happened to Mark but we know he had a good new years eve 😉
All is not lost though as we welcome three new members of staff to the team.
Ian has just recently become a professional diver with completing his Divemaster course with us in 2010. During his divemaster course he became increasingly interested with the tech side of things and also showed an aptitude for servicing, compressors and blending. In addition to these qualities he also has a great personality and organizational skills which stems from his previous career of working for a leading soft drink manufacturer in the UK. Ian has already had plenty of experiences on Koh Tao from getting Dengue Fever, having his entire body hair removed in a hospital, dressed up as Elton John and Santa and has lost about 60kg from eating nothing but rice and sweating. Looking and feeling like a new man Ian joins the team as facilities manager And technical divemaster!
Soren is one of these guys who’s been doing extreme sports his entire life, from Discovery channels eco races to climbing Everest (not exactly but you get the idea). Soren looks and acts like he should be on a beach somewhere surfing however he’s teaching diving. Soren has been technical diving before there were tech courses and only recently finally got the plastic once he could behave. Soren joins Big Blue Tech as our Danish and Swedish instructor providing support to our customers while working as a freelancer through his own company. Soren is found mostly traveling the world teaching and diving but his love for all things deep brings him back every time!
Ben has been a professional diver for a very long time and has earned the right to be reffered to as one of the top technical instructors in the world. Not only is Ben a world record holding cave rebreather instructor trainer sidemount thingy dude he’s also an athlete wearing rather tight (or Toight as his dutch wife says) clothing during his recent Ironman competition in Phuket, he’s also a Divemedic and used to run the re-compression chamber in Phuket. His professional qualifications are too long to fit into this page but to sumarise he is a SSI Instructor Trainer, SSI – TXR Instructor Trainer – TDI Advanced Trimix Instructor Trainer – TDI Full Cave Instructor Trainer – Dive Medic Instructor – PADI Tec Trimix Instructor – TDI megaladon Mod 3 Instructor and a whole list of other things. Ben has also been an adviser to TDI and you can find him speaking in 2011 at Oztek.