By Christina Macaulay.
Seven Seas January 2019 Voyage, Raja Ampat.
We sailed with 13 divers. Mostly advanced. Two VERY nervous beginners. And one incredible Cruise Director and Dive Master: Alex How to explain having an experience of such kindness and encouragement from someone with so much diving knowledge?
Alex’s passion for his job, his team, diving, and the underwater World are astounding on their own. His leadership and inclusion – in a somewhat competitive and perhaps even cutthroat “Diving World” – is impressive. It is also a very rare quality. Imagine Muhammad Ali teaching Joe Frazier to box AND simultaneously showing some scared little kids who are afraid to even throw a punch? That is what I would compare Alex’s job to over the course of the past 12 days.
Alex didn’t HAVE TO work so hard. Nobody would have judged him, or in fact, blamed him for leaving the beginner divers in their “scared safety nets”. It would have been much easier to leave them as they were – floundering around helpless and scaring not only themselves, but the other guests, and the fish. Instead, he carefully coaxed them out of their frightened diving cocoons and taught them to become better divers. Confident divers. Good divers.
At the same time- nobody would have expected him to challenge and thrill the advanced divers with new, exciting, remote locations and diving wonders.
But he did. With aplomb! A number of the advanced guests are returning Seven Seas divers. Hearing them bragging about all the things they were seeing, the diving spots, and being in places and with sea creatures they had never seen before? That is also thanks to Alex. And he did it with a big smile on his face and pure joy and excitement on each and every journey. It’s a great quality in any person – but especially in a Cruise Director.
But it gets better- Not only did most of the advanced divers come back from just about every dive cheering with glee over their new discoveries- but the two little scared newbie divers both managed to become stronger and less afraid and finally were able to dive with the entire group. So this is really a story not just about what a great Cruise Director Alex is – but also what an incredible LEADER he is. Truth be told we were a very mixed and potentially complicated bag:
- An ENTIRE family! 2 parents and their three children – lifetime advanced divers all of them.
- One advanced and repeat Seven Seas American diver and Two terrified American “newish” divers.
- South African businessmen.
- An Australian oceanic institute scientist and self-described “Fish Nerd”.
- An Advanced Diver and Google Ocean Map photographer and marine specialist.
- Valerie Freaking Taylor!!!!
- And another handful of business people.
Alex and your team somehow magically managed to bring us ALL together. We each felt INCLUDED. We each reached our “diving goals”. Alex made it all seem effortless and even FUN. That’s not just a regular Cruise Director, in my book, that is part Super Hero. And Alex didn’t serve as a leader just for the paid guests (obvious) but also for the TEAM working on the boat. The crew genuinely seem to like and respect him- and he in return likes and respects them. THAT is not an easy job. Alex makes it look easy.
I felt compelled to write – because if this were my vessel or business I would want to know. What Alex brings to the Seven Seas dive experience is an incredibly rare and special quality in a person. ANY person. Let alone someone dealing with the lot of all of us in varying capabilities and personalities. For that we would like to thank the Seven Seas team We appreciate you hiring such an experienced, special, and joyful leader to navigate all of us “guests” and the crew through a very fulfilling journey. For us, the experience has been a real dream come true and for that we are so grateful.