by B Thornton- Harwood


When you’re in Koh Tao the scuba diving capital of the world you’d frankly be an idiot not to indulge. I’ve done try and fun dives in the past but never attained my open water certificate. My dad is an old school scuba diver taking great pride in the fact that he’s gone down to stupid depths and swam around gravel pits and even the English Channel for a reason only he knows.

Regardless he, with great delight agreed to pay for my open water. There are two options PADI and SSI. Comparibly I was told it’s a lot like Pepsi and Coca cola, not much difference but everyone has their own preference.

With that in mind I opted to go for an SSI course with a company called Rocktopus. It was a near instantaneous decision after the owner of the company, Jay, explained the ins and outs of the course with such enthusiasm, passion and comprehensive knowledge it almost seemed like a waste of time shopping around.

After a classroom and a pool tutorial session I had taken my exam wand was ready for the Thai Gulf. My instructor Eli was a great combination of hard ass and personal tutor for our group of four. It made it easier to learn when you could compare technique with three others in the group- and by the time we hit the open water we were brimming with both excitement and confidence to try out our newly learned skill.

The piece de resistance and the service that really singles Jay and Rocktopus out from a very saturated crowd in Koh Tao is the video that is produced the afternoon following your final dive. The whole Rocktopus team shows up and has beers with the groups who graduated that day to watch a video of what they got up to that afternoon. It was brilliant, funny, and fantastic to relive some of my favourite moments of my trip thus far.

I spoke to Jay afterwards at the bar and said how so many companies in Thailand just don’t get how a little extra bit of service goes such a long way. I could easily have not written a whole post about my experience with Rocktopus but I want to because that is how bloody awesome the service they provide is. A lot of companies in Thailand could learn from that. Shit, a lot of companies in the UK could learn a little bit of customer service and satisfaction from the Rocktopus gang.

I’ll be going out of my way to make sure I drop in again if I’m ever in the neighborhood..