August 15, 2003

New Way

I finally decided to change from diving center and go with New Way starting from tomorrow. Ban's Diving Resort is really doing mass production of divers and fun divers suffers a lot from it.

What I can say about Ban's is pretty factual:
- I was never checked for my certification card when I asked to dive.
- I never signed a liability form (which is fine by me for a potential lawsuit if there is any incident but says about how they care)
- Dives are time-limited to 40 minutes.
- Meeting point is at 7:30AM but it takes about 20 minutes to get ready, 20 more minutes to board the gear and divers in the boat. When you arrive on the dive site, you sure are not among the first boats.
- There are tons of people diving here. Most of them newly certified.
- They don't know how to accommodate photographers.
- Divemasters/Guides (trainee or not) are pretty inexperienced about diving. In short the longest distance you do does not make you see more critters underwater. Most of them seem pretty stressed and take a compass, a drawing of the reef on their slate and here we go, they spend the dive the nose on the compass following the reef.
- As a matter of fact, in 5 days I had 5 different DMs and none of them knew a site well enough to bring his group to a special place.

I was told by a member of the staff that Ban's issues 15000 certifications a year. That means about 40 a day...

This is a great place to get experience as an instructor as you will do many certifications in a short amount of time. This would maybe be my choice if I had to get my IDC. However, as a fun diver, this is definitely not a fun place to enjoy relaxed dives.

So I'm on my way to find a New Way . I was recommended to go check them out and the first contact was pretty good. I had to fill a form, there's no time limit, this is the first boat leaving in the morning and this is a small boat with small groups.

On the technical side, I noticed that corrosion is affecting the camera (as I said, electronic and salt water don't mix well ) and I have to open the battery cap and switch on/off several times so that the camera starts working.

I will try to contact Olympus repair center at Singapore so that they get ready with spare parts of the housing when I will be there at the end of the month (hopefully).

Appart from that, Gaelle and Solene left on the afternoon back to France via Bangkok.

School of fish Pink anemonefish hiding How do you like my cell phone ? ;) Hello, who's speaking ? Solene standing up before boarding Wow ! A boat full of new tourists is coming ! Time to go

Posted by stephane at August 15, 2003 01:52 PM