The reason for giving five stars is not because my dive day was good - it was horrible, a complete washout, no viz, unpleasant swell, just all round yucky conditions.
However, that's nature, and dive operators can do nothing about it. What all dive operators should do is be as professional and customer-focused as the guys from ITB diving.
First thing to note is that ITB is considerably cheaper (by almost 1000.- Rand) than Simonstown operators, which is baffling considering that they also have the transport cost from Cape Town to budget for.
DMs, Instructors and Shopfloor staff are all super friendly and helpful; I even got picked up from my Cape Town digs and dropped off afterwards, free of charge.
On the boat, I saw all the emergency and redundancy gear I like to see: twin engines (VERY important!), Oxygen, comms gear, flares, the lot. Briefings were thorough, and buddy check was insisted on.
The trip to Seal Rock in the RIB was fun in the swell, but when we got there the captain did not let us dive because of the unsafe conditions. Disappointing as this was, he was totally right. Low tide and heavy swells are a dangerous combination this close to the rocks, and as for trying to get back into a RIB in seas like this....
We then tried the PMB wreck, where zero viz and nasty vertical swell separated the group and forced us out of the water after 25 minutes.
The captain did offer to try another spot but was honest enough to tell us that in his opinion it was going to be rubbish everywhere, and so we called it a day.
Back at the dive shop, we were all offered a re-schedule, but as I'm out of time I was given half my money back. I know from experience that this is not the norm in the industry, sadly.
Into the Blue is a top notch outfit that does things by the book, with a strong safety focus and very customer centered, on top of offering reasonable pricing and a fair refund policy. You'll have a hard time to find a better operator anywhere around. They'll definitely be my first choice when I pass through next, and for doing my IDC sometime this year.
Just hope mother nature will be in better mood then.
Visited April 2017