The boat leaves at 8!

06 Dec

We have this new system (new as in we’ve been doing it for 6 months) in which we radio from the house to the dive shop to let each other know when guests have arrived, when the trip has returned, etc. Calling cell phones we too expensive, plus these radios are great. I think there is a 3 mile radius or something. Hmmmm, perhaps these would be a good Christmas present someone…. Anyway. That is our system.

Sometimes I get a radio call from the house (this is really the departure site) from Stu.

“Goldilocks, Goldilocks, this is Papa Bear. Come in Goldilocks.” (This is Stu being funny on the radio. Only if he has had a sufficiently good nights sleep the night before however!

“Goldilocks here, what is it Papa Bear? Over”

“The Divers haven’t arrived yet, any sign of them at the shop? Over”

“No, nothing here yet. I’ll send them right down when they show up, over.”

“Ok, over.”

“Over, over.”

“Go away Sally, I’m trying to work. Over.”

“Ok, Over, I’ll go away, Over.”

Now we are in a situation that I hate, the divers are late. Should we wait for them? Should the boat leave? Are they even showing up? What if we wait 15 minutes and then they still don’t show up? What if we leave and then they arrive just as the boat is pulling out of mooring? How long can we wait and the other divers we have on the boat won’t be put out? After all, they got here on time.

Yikes, so many questions. The answer is: Don’t be late for the boat.

I suppose it is because we are the only, that is right… I said the only diving center that offers four dives a day, that we have a pretty tight schedule to keep to. The first boat leaves at 8 AM, gets back around 11:30, we get 20 minutes to turn over the boat for the afternoon trip, have some lunch, and then the afternoon divers should be arriving at 12:40. The boat then leaves at 1 PM and gets back at about 4:30. Sometimes we get back a little sooner, 11:15 or so, but it still isn’t a long time. We have a lot to do at lunch time! We need to get all the gear off the boat, rinse the gear, hang it up, sign log books, exchange emails with people, make sure that everyone has their belongings, then take the tanks off the boat, put fresh tanks back on the boat, clean the boat, fill the mornings empty tanks, plus Lil’ Rog needs attention! All this is hard work! Stu will vouch for this. Well, we all will vouch for this.

This means that if someone arrives late in the morning it makes it even more difficult to keep to the time schedule. Check in is at 7:40 AM, and this does seem early for vacation, but for those that want to stay out late drinking and then sleep in, we’ve got the 1PM trip (check in 12:40).

So, how long do you think that we should wait? Stu wants to get tee-shirts made that say “Octopus Diving – The boat leaves at 8 AM!” to see if it would make a difference or not. Normally we wait until 8:10 which means that the divers are officially 30 minutes late, but I still always feel bad if they show up a little later and the boat has already gone.

Then there are the people that show up super early. Are you one of those? Once I came to the dive shop at 7:25 in the morning, as usual, and there was a diver sleeping in front of the shop! I kid you not! He was laying out using his dive bag as his pillow. He was quite content actually… I don’t mind the early bird, rather early than late!

So, please, where ever you dive in the future, respect the timing. Think of it like catching a flight, except you are catching a boat, and as Stuart’s Tee-shirt says “THE BOAT LEAVES AT 8!”

(Sally wrote this blog 🙂 )

2 Responses to “The boat leaves at 8!”

  1. jean-marc December 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    You are right Sally about insisting that people arrive at 7h40 am and make the boat leave at 8 am (max 8h10 am). It is respectful to people who make the effort to be on time. It is a good policy. I remember diving at your place for a full week last year and a group of woman were significantly late on three different days. Other divers get upset, your master divers get impatient, and it kills the mood on the boat. Stay the course !

  2. Greg in OKlahoma December 8, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    Hey Sally, unless I am Mexico I expect the boat to depart within 15 minutes of the scheduled times.
    I would say that the exception would be if you get a call saying that they are running late and the other divers on the boat verbally tell you that they don’t mind waiting. Otherwise let the divers who arrived on time enjoy their day.
    I can tell you that there have been times ( in another un-named Caribbean location ) that we have all been on the boat waiting for two more divers to show up. We had a group of 6, and there were several other divers on the boat as well, and we were ready to go on time. By the time the late divers showed up, we were NOT HAPPY. So now there are a lot of very unhappy divers on the boat, and a lot of tension regarding the other divers. I have since tried to be be more relaxed, but I still don’t like it when I have a tight schedule. If there were no afternoon dives, then it might be a different story, since we try to pack in a lot of dives on our one vacation a year.
    No one really understands that the operators are bustin’ their butts to make everyone happy, and usually at the whims of the customers. I don’t think most people realize how many times the operators go without lunch or eat after everyone else is taken care of, grabbing a quick bite on the way to the dive site. Besides, airlines don’t wait for passengers, and they don’t lose any sleep over leaving someone at the gate.
    The bottom line is that you guys give great customer service, and take out 6 divers per trip. To be honest, I don’t understand how you do that and stay ahead, but I am so glad that you do ! And if 6 people can’t have the courtesy to you and the other divers and show up on time, then they should understand if the boat leaves without them when they are late.
    Just my two cents

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