Friday, July 30, 2010

What we are and do – and not!

Just in case!

From a recent message by a friend
It's getting to the point where the inmates are running the asylum.

Indeed – but not in Fiji!
Here are some considerations that we’re about to post on our home page. They reflect the fact that we’re catering to a specific market segment and mindset, and will as a consequence always remain unattractive for some other demographics.

Here’s why you should choose Beqa Adventure Divers.
  • This is the original product. Yes the company has only been established in 2004 but some of our staff are the very people who have discovered and named most dive sites within Beqa Lagoon and above all, developed the Fiji Shark Dive. No dive team in Fiji is this experienced! The Shark dive on Shark Reef has been conducted since 1999 and is the only such dive that has been described as The Best Shark Dive in the World by Ron and Valerie Taylor and a whole host of diving icons and publications thereafter.
  • This is principally a marine conservation project that includes a dive operation, and not vice versa. Our seamless integration of diving, conservation, education, outreach and research has been hailed world wide. We are not on the hunt for awards and personal fame of whispering and the like, but instead, prefer to work hard at researching and protecting Sharks in Fiji and elsewhere. We also do not enable anti-Shark media.
  • We are a renowned ecotourism operator and always strive to further reduce our ecological and carbon footprints. From installing fixed moorings on all of our dive sites to running fuel efficient engines, everything we do is geared to minimizing our impact on the environment.
  • We are beholden to Fiji. We cooperate closely with Fiji's government and local communities and stakeholders, and generally strive to make a contribution to enhancing the country’s international reputation and prosperity, and that of its people. With the exception of the directors, all of our staff are Fijians who partake directly in our success via a generous bonus scheme. All of our earnings accrue and are taxed in Fiji, meaning that we do not operate offshore booking offices and do not dodge taxes by circling our cash flow via shell companies in tax heavens.
  • Safety is our main concern and our safety record is pristine. Whilst always striving to provide a memorable and highly enjoyable experience, we observe stringent safety guidelines comprising regular maintenance, upgrades and surveys of all of our infrastructure, highly trained staff, exhaustive dive briefings, special Shark diving procedures, high staff to client ratio, non decompression diving and comprehensive emergency equipment and protocols.
  • We provide for excellent and exclusive service. BAD is a high end operator and we pride ourselves in being highly professional and mindful of the needs and comfort of our clients. Specifically, we limit the number of customers on our boats and you will never experience any dive where divers from other operations will join in and spoil your exclusive experience.
  • You will be able to capture stunning images. We are experienced UW photographers and videographers and know our sites, Fishes and Sharks. We have designed the Shark dive in view of allowing for unobstructed and clear views of the animals, and experienced elite amateurs will be safely positioned in strategic locations from where they will be able to shoot top-notch pictures and video.

By the same token, you should NOT book a dive with us
  • If you are not cool. Fiji’s has been rightly called the friendliest country in the world and we are eager to please you in any way we can – but this is still a developing country, cultures differ, and quality standards and above all, the concept of time are subject to interpretation. We generally run a tight ship but transfers may run late, luggage may be lost (but is usually found) and bookings may be mishandled - such is life in the tropics and Paradise comes at a price. In general, all problems get eventually resolved and losing one’s temper usually makes things worse, not better. Please also keep in mind that service providers are not servants and that nobody likes to be talked down at.
  • If you are an adrenaline junkie. Yes our Shark dive is in many ways a spectacle, but we respect the animals and our show has nothing to do with intrepid native heroes showcasing their courage and manhood, or whatever, by wrangling lethal apex predators. We try to convey a sense of wonder and awe and do not subscribe to notions of extreme Shark diving and the like. You are invited to join us as a spectator - and thank you, but we do not need your help. Concurrently, we do not enable radical close-up captures by amateur image hunters.
  • If you’ve been everywhere, seen it all and now it all better. You may indeed be incredibly important and good - but please, let us be the judge of that. We’ve been operating successfully and safely for many years and nobody even remotely matches our experience when it comes to these specific dives. Whilst you may unleash your experience, skills and creativity on our reef dives, our Shark dive is a tightly choreographed event where you will not be allowed to roam and improvise but will be directed and supervised instead. We very much encourage constructive feedback as a vital contribution to improving our product – but we take badly to vocal public lecturing, posturing and self-professed stardom. In the softest possible way, if icons like, say, Ron and Valerie Taylor, Stan Waterman and Doug Perrine don’t display those attitudes, neither should you.
  • If you are a Shark hugger. Large predatory Sharks are potentially lethal and need to be respected and not romanticized. Also, our Shark dive has nothing to do with a natural situation where the animals display natural behavior: it is essentially a show where we have conditioned the animals to observe a uniform, predictable and safe routine, this principally for safety reasons. Feeding Sharks is controversial but we believe that it does not harm the animals, a fact that is consistently being confirmed by all relevant research - and no, we’re really not eager to engage in this debate!
  • If you are an anti-smoking zealot. Smoking is a personal choice and we allow it during the surface intervals, provided that smokers retire to the stern platform which is downwind from the cabin and the fuel tanks. Smokers are not criminals and smoke does not travel upwind, ever.
There you have it - now you know!

No comments: