I’m impressed. They say integrity isn’t just measured by how one succeeds, but how one manages defeat, and our trip with Divers Reef Karachi was a demonstration of such integrity.
Our group of 45 people was unlucky enough to encounter a sudden change in weather that deferred our snorkeling trip to another day. Our DRK guide Khizer took this firm decision on the company’s own expense to compensate each one of us for something that was under nobody’s control.
Letting a group of 45 pumped up individuals, one of whom had travelled solo to celebrate her birthday, down for the sake of precaution is not an easy task. Facing the consequences is even harder.
My group of friends had planned this trip for a few weeks. On the day of we all showed up bright and early to be met by our punctual and friendly DRK guides. After a scenic bus ride, we found ourselves on the shore looking at the sculpted form of Churna Island in the azul sea. We were given a lecture in safety, lifejackets, rules and regulations which we only half heard, knowing well that in Pakistan we prefer to live on the edge.
Boat hopping, we made our way to Churna. But as we approached the island the winds changed unpredictably and did well to rouse the calm sea. This did not bother anyone and we waited with snorkels in hand, ready to face what may come. Before we were allowed to dive, guide Khizer and his assistant exercised precaution and jumped into the sea, swam around and made sure everything was alright for the rest of us. They swam quite a distance and appeared two bobbing heads in the billowing silks of blue.
When they returned, Khizer addressed each of us in a composed manner saying procedure calls ‘safety first’ and today the sea was behaving quite untamed for amateurs. He claimed the experience wouldn’t be to its full potential and it would be best if we cancelled todays dive. While some spoiled sports (like myself) celebrated their victory from having to adventure, most were a little disappointed – but none so much as our guide who seemed taken aback by the entire situation.
But who can argue with nature?
On our way back the sea grew rougher, proving Khizer’s reservations to be well founded. Back on shore while we enjoyed the beautiful beach and had lunch, Khizer assured us all in his professional tone that we were promised snorkeling and as is their company policy, DRK would make it up to us with another snorkeling trip following all of the day’s protocol.
That’s a tall order; taking ownership of an uncontrollable situation and reimbursing 45 people for it. Seeing this ordeal play out, one knows they can feel safe dealing with such responsible and experienced people like the ones at Divers Reef Karachi.
I look forward to going snorkeling with DRK – but until my group reschedules, we’re going to be bragging to our friends that we snorkeled our brains out, jumped off all the cliffs and saw every single fish, squid and dolphin out there, because hey, we’ll do just that soon enough!