I should have listened to those who 'warned' me about him in the 1st place......I should have trusted my judgement....alas, thus is the state of play....
I'm sorry to report some negative fall out from the recent Anglesey gig. And, as a result (and I can't speak for you as individuals) 'we' shall NOT be using Diggs and his RIBs ever again for any diving off Anglesey. Here's the news.
Being a paying customer (and I know there's been a thread on here recently about certain centres being quite happy to take your money and still treat you in a 'casual' manner), I'm very keen (as I have to conduct myself in my own job) to be treated as 'valued' by those to whom I'm handing over mine (and others' cash for services - in this case booking a RIB off which to go diving. I am damned if I (and others with me) are gonna get treated like either an embuggerance or a inconvenience - alas, such was the way with Diggs.
Alarm bells began to ring about Diggs on the Saturday morning of the trip, when this extra from 'Captain Pugwash' kept making smart-arsed comments about all and sundry (what, in certain circles, is referred to as 'gripping my shit'.
Trying to concentrate on getting kitted up and wondering where I was going to park the car at a very busy slipway, I bit my lip and just cracked-on. Unfortnuately Diggs's attempts at humour carried on. Again I bit my lip and said nothing. I think he was pissed-off at us for changing the time from the 09.00 hrs RIB to the 11.00 hrs RIB, but seeing as this had all been OK'd the night before on the phone, his comments were more than a little grating. Added to which, without our booking, one of his RIBs would have been standing idle for the day.
I mentioned it to Jay and 2Tanx later and said that if this gash continued I was gonna say something and remind him just who the customers were on this gig.
We got the decided impression that Diggs doesn't like divers; they are an embuggerance to him - albeit a lucrative one.
When we got back to shore after the dive, his 'Oh, are you still here?' couln't-be-arsed attitude was still very much in attendance. Quite happy to stand and watch as we restled our twin-sets off the RIB (he had to be asked to lend a hand!, he parked as far away from the slip-way as possible, meaning we all had long tab across the beach to get back to the slip-way - which was not even busy, so why he didn't park closer I'll never know.
Any way, after a genuinely good dive, Jay, 2Tanx and I diving as a threesome, we came back to shore and headed back to the Valley of the Rocks campsite where Tanx-a-Deux and Jay's respective families were sprawled in the sun and enjoying the crack, to which we joined in and made lunch. And although we did discuss Diggs's behaviour, a massively convivial surface interval was enjoyed by all.
The next dive went without incident and we all had a great dive on the 'Norman Court' wreck. Truly a wonderful, if only shallow (I max'd out at 7.1 metres! dive. Alas, same drill as before with its attendant half-mile tab (with twins, 'V'-weight, and the rest of your kit) down the beach to get back to the slip-way. Yes, this was beginning to grip my shit.
Determined not to let this candidate for 'saleman of the year award' get on my thruppenies any more, I asked him what time and where the RIB party (Kev W's squad) for the Sunday should RV to be picked up and depart. We agreed on 11.00 hrs. This I duly reported to Kev and the lads.
So, the next morning, I'm driving over to Amlwch harbour to RV with the day's hard-boat YD team. At gone 11.15 hrs, I get a call on my moby from Bob Allinson (one of Kev W's team) asking me had we got the right time time and RV for the RIB at the slip way?? Apparently they'd gone and got fills that morning and had been at the slip-way in good time ready to be picked up for their dive. So where was the RIB and skipper? They'd been out in the bay next to the Slip and had asked every RIB there if they were Diggs or one of his skippers? No one could help them. They then called me.
As I was driving, I couldn't retrieve Diggs's numbers (I had his home and moby), so I told Bob that I'd be in harbour in ten mins and would call him back with both numbers so he could attempt to contact Diggs. I asked Bob to let me know how the day went later, as we were off on the hard-boat.
We had a top day out on the boat and did two decent dives, the Dakota being a particularly interesting rummage.
Any way, the following day, Monday, I got a voice mail from Kev W with a sit-rep on how the day's diving off the RIB had gone - not what I wanted to hear at all.
When I'd paid Diggs on the Sunday night, he assured me (when I asked him the direct question: "So, how many did you end up with on the RIB for both dives?" that he'd only taken four divers out, on both dives. Kev's (truer) story did not chime with that at all!
Apparently, Kev's team had been dutifully waiting at the Slip in the fond hope that either Diggs or one of his skippers would appear - and bearing in mind they'd already asked for his whereabouts at every vessel afloat in the Bay by this stage.
Finally, at 11.40 hrs, a skipper comes bimbling down the beach and onto an empty RIB in the Bay. Our lads approach and are told that they could join the skipper, who had another four divers he was taking out. This giving the RIB its full compliment of eight divers. This bit is important, as we were originally sending out Kev's team with only four divers and I was picking up the slack in the RIB charges for under-occupancy.
Any way, the lads had, by all accounts, a good dive. They did their surface interval and went out for the second dive with the same skipper but minus the other four divers - meaning I'm into Diggs (££s) for the four places not taken.
It was on this second dive that the skipper happened to let-slip the news that he had been called in at short notice as the original skipper was a no-show (the one who should have taken our boys out at 11.00 hrs).
Now I had resigned myself to taking a bath (££s) on the under-occupancy, to the tune of 8 x £24 (two RIBS with only four divers on each, when the RIB takes eight, meaning I pick up the slack), but I damned if I'm paying for an itinerant/AWOL skipper who no-shows and whose oppo spills the beans to our boys.
Added to which, when I came to pay Diggs on the Sunday evening, the price had suddenly gone up to £28 per diver per day!!! Here's an extract from the very document Diggs emailed me with his prices on it, which subsequently posted here in the original 'Anglesey II - The Return Match' thread:
"RV Point – T-Bay or Holyhead, weather dependent.
Cost - £ 12 per diver per dive (e.g. 2 dives = £ 24) includes fuel.
Diggs TEL: XXXX - XXXXXX; Moby TEL: XXXXX - XXXXXX
T-Bay - Try and get 1st dive @ 09.00 hrs, second dive 11.00 hrs, 12.30 and 2.30 – (min 4 divers, max 8 divers in shuttles finished about 4.00 pm
Will shot or anchor – no problems with picking up on bag."
Always one to try and keep skippers happy, in the fond knowledge that you might have to use them again, I queried this price at the time of paying, but paid nonetheless. Mug that I am.
I got back to Diggs last week about the episode with Kev's team and said that, these being the circumstances, I thought it only right that he owed me a refund of 4 x £28, as the 1st RIB out had had a full compliment and that I was OK with picking up the slack for the second dive where we did have an under-occupnacy of four.
He said he was sorry about this and that he'd go away and check with his guys and get back to me shortly, and if he found out that the news was as stated, then he'd be quite happy to refund the money.
So, I waited, and I waited and I waited. Not a dickie-bird from Diggs. So I called him yesterday and asked what the score was. He denied all knowledge and tried to spin some yarn about our boys not even being at the RV point, that he personally had 'scoured' the slip-way and Bay looking for our boys etc. All bollocks of course.
So I asked him was he prepared, in the light of the info I'd given him about his skipper's no-show and the subsequent delay to out boys, to refund the money. He was not. I then said that I'd ask him to reconsider his stance, bearing in mind that there being very nearly 1,000 YD'ers as potential future customers open to him and they would not want to read a report such as the one you're reading here. Short-sightedly, he maintained that he was not prepared to refund the money. Ergo this report.
As I say, I can not speak for you as individuals, but the larger, hardcore of YD will not be using this John Wayne character again. And I have told Diggs that I would be posting this write-up and that it may not place him in a favourable light - he tells me couldn't care less, so that tells me all I need to know about his method of deployment.
And lastly, he charges £28 for two RIB dives - all I can say is that the hard-boat charges £30, so for £2 difference (and access to the heads and hot drinks on the SI), I know where I'll be spending my money in future!! As far as I'm concerned, he'll be seeing as much business from me and others as a barber on the steps of the Guillotine......