My experience with TSD was very good. The pick-up times from (and return to) Cebu were based upon what worked best for me and not a time schedule dictated by them that I had to meet. What was best for me, I got. High marks for that. I dove with 4 different instructors/masters and always felt safe and looked after. I was impressed by their attention to safety. Again, very high marks for that.
On the first dive I had lots of equipment issues (MY equipment, not theirs) and my dive master was very patient with it all. The rental equipment I saw looked to be in very good condition.
On one shark dive I only saw 1 thresher clearly, for about 5 seconds. There were also 2 eagle rays, and shadows of other sharks. But not every diver on the boat goes to the exact same place, and another diver had a thresher circle and stay within eyesight for over 10 minutes.
On another shark dive, I had over 10 clear and exciting sightings, got some incredible video, and saw 3 sharks swimming together after we left the bottom and headed towards the boat. I'm confident I saw between 5-10 different threshers.
I can imagine that saying the exact same things over and over several times a day for months or years on end would be boring and hard to get "excited" about for TSD's employees. While the instructors could have shown a bit more "energy" with their teachings, what they taught and prepared me for were "spot on".
Angus in particular really impressed me. His pre-dive instructions and descriptions were professional and precise. On more than 1 occasion I felt that he really had my safety and best interests in mind. On the dive itself he was attentive to the entire group (4 total) and communicated extremely well, pointing out several things of interest and guiding us incredibly well. After the dive he gathered us all together and reviewed the dive and what we saw and did. It was like re-living the dive all over again. Well done, Angus. Good on ya, mate! And again, sorry for calling you "Ashton" the first time! *laugh*
Cons: It was low tide when we reached our boat and we had to navigate over very slippery and uneven large rocks to reach the waters edge. Twisting an ankle (or worse) was a very real possibility. Then our luggage was set on the slimey rocks and got stained. Not huge issues, but could be improved upon.
Then it got dark with about 10 more minutes to go before reaching Malapascua. No one had a light (used our I-phones) and walking through the water for a couple of minutes was difficult. Again, could be improved, but not a huge issue. Also, we were charged an extra 1000 pesos for the "nighttime" crossing.
I would have no problem using TSD again, especially if I could request Angus as my dive master.
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