Did the hours in the classroom. Got 100% on the test. Did the day in the pool. Did my first dive. Second dive we went down to 12meters and i was asked to fill my mask which i did. The instructor asked me to do this twice, upon the second time i freaked out! Unfortunately so much so that i took my mask off and my Regulator out and decided i was going up to the surface. Obviously taking the regulator out was ridiculous but i was in a state of panic and clearly wasnt thinking straight. i just knew i wanted to go up. The instructor took me up to the surface and after checking i was ok asked me to go and sit on the boat whilst she finished with everybody else. (I must state that things were all great up until this point. I was happy with the way she dealt with it - I have no complaints so far). As soon as i came up to the surface i was fine, i had swallowed alot of water but after sitting on the boat for 15minutes i was fine. When the instructor came back onto the boat she didnt initially say anything to me. Maybe around 5minutes later she came to me and gave me the option of going back into the water one-on-one to complete the final skills. She wanted me to go down to 5meters and half fill my mask twice, Fully flood my mask twice and take off my mask entirely twice. The other divers did not need to do this but i understood that i needed to show the instructor i was competent in order for her to sign me off.
I told her that i was nervous to go back into the water so soon so when we got in could i just try to fill and clear my mask slightly under the surface. (If i could do it successfully on the surface it would right things in my mind and it would reassure me that it would be fine to do it deeper) She had told me this was ok. When we got into the water 5minutes later and we were left alone as the boat had gone back to the shore with all of the other divers, this was no longer the case. She told me that there was no time to waste and we needed to go down to 5meters now and complete all 6 of the mask filling skills PLUS the some other skills the other divers had also completed earlier. I told her i wasnt comfortable going straight down and i just wanted to try filling my mask just ONCE just under the surface to reassure myself. She told me i looked scared and that if that was the case then i wouldnt be able to do it. She also said that 'its just water'. And that it was going to be dark soon so we have to go down NOW. I told her again i wanted a few minutes to try the half filling my mask skill on the surface before we went down. At this she told me there was no time, and she wouldnt take me out tomorrow (with everybody else) because it was her birthday and she wanted to enjoy the dive, and that she wouldnt take me out the following day as she was planning on being hungover so if i was still here on Monday she 'guessed' that she could try and take me out then. At this i said that i could stay a few extras days if it meant i could complete the diving course however i asked whether my partner who was also in her group with me could complete his also on Monday with me and she had said YES.
At that point we both swam back to the shore, and after clearing away and cleaning the equipment she decided that in fact she wouldnt let my boyfriend come with us on monday and that he would have to complete his tomorrow (Saturday) otherwise he wouldnt be able to complete it at all. She told me to get my partner to confirm that he would be diving the following day with her, as she would be sat at the bar for a while. Upon hearing this i was very upset, i still had alot of water i had swallowed earlier inside me. i was upset that she hadnt been more sympathetic/patient and professional towards me. I went back to the room and explained everything to my partner (whilst in tears due to the way she spoke to me) He immediately went to speak with her, he asked if he could speak with her privately (as she was sat at a table surrounded by other divers and instructors drinking beer) She had said 'no, im too tired, just talk to me here'. He told her that he wasnt comfortable completing the diving without me and that he wanted to join me on Monday like she had promised. She said no, she wasnt going to do that as it would take longer on Monday and she TOLD him that he would be doing it tomorrow. He had tried to explain to her three times that he wasnt ok with this arrangement and she had dismissed him completely in front of everybody.
After that we immediately checked out of Big Blue and checked into another hotel. The following day we collected out passports from reception and neither of us completed our diving.
Overall i was disgusting by her professionalism and her attitude. What i havent mentioned is that the day we had in the swimming pool she had also upset another diver who dropped out of her course and joined another instructor. He English was good but he found it hard to listen to her as she used alot of slang and jokes. She was unbelievable rude to him and actually shouted at him in the pool 'OOOOH GOD (his name) YOU NEED TO WORK ON YOUR LISTENING' . After half of the day in the pool he decided to leave and as soon as he left she had said 'Oh thank god hes gone, is anyone really that fucking thick??' I am not at all surprised that he was upset or that he dropped out of her group.
Unfortunately, both me and my partner live in Chumphon. The expats in Chumphon had already warned me not to go with Big Blue as it has a reputation, however we are young and we thought that diving with Big Blue would be fun (as my sister had dived with you a few years previously) and were very excited about completing our diving open water so that we could go diving on a weekly basis. We bought our own masks in the Big Blue shop and we were very serious about this becoming a regular hobby. However, due to one incompetent insensitive instructor we are 9000BHT out of pocket and two very upset customers who certainly wont be recommending you to passing tourists in Chumphon.
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