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Dive in
I started to think of other examples when dive guides had
demonstrated what I considered to be really poor qualities. There
was the guide in Australia who insisted on asking everyone how
their dive was followed by a rather annoying and repetitious
reply of, ‘Fantastic!’ Apart from her briefing that was pretty much
all she said to her customers. And in Roatan, off Honduras,
common practice among the guides was to take customers
on Disney-style tours of the island’s sites complete with tame
morays and groupers. Years of fish feeding had created a reef full
of marine life that would come close to divers to be stroked and
petted. The guides had no interest in providing a genuine quality
service; quite simply, they were chasing big tips from wealthy
Americans.

As we returned to Hurghada, I watched the guides as they
clustered around the wheelhouse. Some of the customers were
sharing their experiences and filling out their logbooks, while
others took the journey as an opportunity to relax in the sun.

What was missing was the sense of camaraderie that comes from
sharing in an adventure and the glue to bind it all together, to
bring about this feeling, was keeping up with the latest gossip in
the wheelhouse.

The day’s diving had met with all the expected high standards,
but what was missing were the communication skills that would
Diving As It Should Be!
have made the whole experience exceptional. The guides didn’t
No Crowds or Crush
ask questions about what their customers wanted, they didn’t
involve them in the planning process and they didn’t help them
Just You and the Sea
reflect on the day’s highlights. Pitching your communication
at the right level to achieve this is a balancing act; some are
Pristine Reefs
naturals while for others I believe it to be a quality that can be
learnt by being genuinely interested in the customer’s needs
Abundant Life
and how to provide for them. People with these qualities are
A Diving Paradise!
remembered and asked for by customers - the ultimate measure
of an exceptional dive guide.
Your Views
What do you think makes a good or exceptional dive guide?
Email us your thoughts in less than 200 words to
blue@cdws.travel
Photo: Andrew Slater
www.pharaohdiveclub.com
Issue 3 October / November 2009 www.cdws.travel 31
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