Posted by Jake on April 06, 2004 at 21:52:28:
In Reply to: Re: What happened to a reasonable trip to Catalina? posted by Deckman on April 06, 2004 at 10:35:25:
Glad you had a good second trip. And since you were on Spectre you should be relieved that you will be around to do a third.
My displeasure over the way Spectre operated developed over a series of seven trips, each progressively worse. On the last trip, which was chartered by two open water certification classes, we had the same rushed gate times that their open charters do. Why? Its a boat of students and at the time they could not make a fourth dive. It was also the students first ocean dive so we could have taken them to East Fish Camp and they would have been excited. I found the captain's briefing totally inadequate. What ended up happening? They gave me a time to be back with a student who needed special attention. We were on our way back to the boat well within the time limit when I hear the engine start and the anchor being pulled. I surfaced and stayed off lest the student become another one of the Spectre's victims. They live boated over and I waited for the signal that the engines were in neutral. Receiving no signal, I shouted to the DM (the boat's DM, not ours)"is the boat in neutral?" I was cursed and told to "get my and my student's ass on board." I figured they must have had an accident and had to get back to port. I turned out that the skipper wanted to move the boat. Now, who the hell does a live boat pickup in choppy seas knowing it is a first time student in the water with a DM who knows nothing about the procedure for doing a live boat pickup.
I walked off the boat and have probably cost them about 70 paying divers over the year and at least one private charter. A few years later I went back on an open boat and found the same rude service and the same rushed gates, despite the majoirty of the divers being rookies. Yes, short gate times do cause stress for neophyte divers. So I have never been back. There are lots of boats that move to four good spots, have reasonable gate times, and have good food, and plan the dive to the skill level of the people on board. And yes I am an experienced diver, 25 years, instructor, former commercial diver, and so on.
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