The pledge: I have used Roger before, last year (in August 2011) a friend and I used his services to get to Advanced Open Water status, and it was a productive and enjoyable couple of days, some pressure on the course (under-water navigation !) but very focussed and practical with good gear and arrangements. The environment of Moal Boal (actually Panagsama beach, MB is the local town 4km inland) a good backdrop with many good dive sites and a small laid back, tourist-focused strip of bars and restaurants (try Hannah's for the best food).
The turn: so, this time, back for more in 2012, with the challenge in the shape of my Chinese girlfriend for PADI Open Water course. She had less than average swimming experience and one pool-based try dive under her belt and little technical english, but eagerness, and as it turned out - great ability, on her side. Roger was absolutely fantastic, changing gears down to a slower pace to help her, blending swimming, snorkel, pool and open-water elements perfectly. We were incredibly lucky to have Roger as a one-to-one tutor and this especially helped with the technical language barrier. His patience and dedication to his students certainly led to his novice student's confidence gaining incredibly, through to passing the course.
Meanwhile Joanne and his excellent new boat were looking after me on some great "normal" diving.
The prestige: Roger is not just an OW or AOW trainer, he obviously has experience in spades, both below and above the water and I am sure can train in a number of other scuba skills. But, he has that rare ability to make a vacation, constant advice and arrangements, not only whilst in MB but beyond, advising on other places to visit and how to get there. He also enjoys his diving, and this is infectious; all the dives and the whole experience were great fun, but always safe, and in scuba - I cannot think of a better endorsement.
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