Thursday, September 20, 2007

Back To Being A Solo Dive Bum

After much thought and soul searching this last couple of weeks I have finally come to the conclusion that I need to completely sever any affiliation I had with the dive group that Mike Tripp and I started. I still firmly believe in the ideals and thoughts we had when we initially talked about starting this group. I do believe that much more can be done to effectively market Saipan diving through the internet, and I do believe that a diving web portal, done properly, would be a great asset to anyone looking to come here to go diving. When we first talked about the group I had envisioned a bunch of people with a passion for diving getting together, talking about their recent discoveries, sharing information on the dives and pooling their resources online so it would be much easier for people looking for pictures or information on diving on Saipan to find it. That is really the extent of what I had in mind. But of course as is the case with anything, once you open it up and start having other people get involved, they will all bring their own agenda to the table and will try changing the focus of the group accordingly. That's not necessarily bad or wrong, it's just life, it's the way things go.

I realize that people will have disagreements and arguments, that is to be expected. But when some of the dive "professionals" started using the public forum as their way to bash those that they didn't agree with or that they saw as some sort of threat, all the sudden I realized that this group could easily do much more harm than good if this kept up. There are some very good reasons why I have adamantly refused to go beyond being an Open Water diver for over 32 years now. I feel like the dive industry has turned into a greedy, money grubbing racket in many respects, and I don't want anything to do with that part of it. There are some awesome people involved in diving, instructing and some of the dive shops, and I truly enjoy talking with them, swapping stories with them and sharing information with them. But then there are those who seem to want us all to believe there are "laws" relating to who should be allowed to go diving with who, and that everyone has to follow their imaginary "laws". This faction even talks about "Scuba Police" as if such a thing has ever existed. The bottom line with them is they make their entire living from being a dive master or instructor and they want to protect every potential customer out there. They don't want anyone diving with anyone but them, but of course they will charge you through the nose for it. They will tell you they are the only safe people to dive with, even though interestingly enough, the vast majority of fatal dive accidents here over the years have all been with "professional" divers.

I want nothing to do with people like that, and don't want anyone to think that I approve of their rhetoric, principles or business practices. And because these people are active in the group and very vocal on the public forums online, I need to set the record straight once and for all. I am no longer affiliated with the Marianas Dive group in any way, nor do I support or endorse what their public forum has turned into. I believe that Mike Tripp is a great guy and really wants to make a positive difference in diving here, but because of some of the people who have chosen to affiliate themselves with this group, he may be facing a steep uphill challenge.

I have removed all previous posts from my blog with any reference to the dive group, as it was pointed out to me that my blog popped up when people were looking for information on the group. I will now just revert to being a dive bum who loves to dive and take pictures of cool things that people stuck on dry land will never see without the aid of a diver with a camera.

1 comment:

Dominic said...

Thats unfortunate Harry. While I have done many a snorkelin' in Saipan I have never done the Scuba, I owe my newfound interest in scuba diving and nubiranchii to the Harry's World blog and Axe Murderer Tours.

Being in the Seattle area and learning about the business world here, I have appreciated one business generating instrument above all else. Networking.

A good networking group is made up of a diverse range of people who offer complimentary products and services. From what I gather, Hatchet Murder Tours is at best an AmPro venture. You have a primary means of livelihood that does not depend on the scuba diving industry (in your case, radio). On the other hand you bring a lot to the world about what is under the sea around Saipan.

If business is what the fellow Scuba Pros are concerned about they should network with people who provide lodging, taxi drivers, bars, restaurants, advertisers, etc. That way you can reciprocate the business to non-scuba pros whom you are personally familiar and your personal recommendation can benefit your clients.

But what am I posting this information here for?

Keep on dving Harry!