Two flights two days later left me walking a little wobbly as I nervously handed over my passport at Bangkok passport control! As for the Diving…
The prestigious, I use that term loosely, Cham Island Diving centre took me to, well, Cham Island. As beautiful as the sparse reef and clientele were, the guides and safety standards left a lot to be desired. Before I got on the boat that morning, no one had checked my dive creds, only our word. Which is fine, if you say you can dive and you can’t, it’ll become pretty obvious when you arse up a buddy check or breath from the wrong regulator. I can dive, I am also qualified to drift dive as an advanced open water diver, *salutes PADI. The thing about a strong drift dive is that if you don’t understand the basic idea of staying close to the bottom where the current is weaker, you may well lose your dive group. Which is pretty dangerous, in case that wasn’t obvious. Han, from Bulgaria, ended up thirty meters from the island. As the numbers of ours, and other groups, dwindled, we rose to the surface early. While Han was located my buddy and I were left to cling on to a large barnacle covered buoy and await the dive boat’s arrival.
I will concede that they stuck to their duties in getting us all safely out of the sea, but they could have easily avoided losing clients and their fins by, A, ensuring we were all qualified to drift dive. B, actually checking that we were all genuinely certified to the right standard with experience in drift dives,
C, taking us to a site with better conditions.