Eagle Ray Divers scuba diving guests like Kenny and Connie Chromis, pictured, now have the opportunity to earn free dives or better seats on dive boats based on how many feet they accumulate while diving with the Blacktip Island dive operation. (photo courtesy of noblejoanie)
Blackip Island’s Eagle Ray Divers has instituted a frequent diver rewards program, similar to airlines’ mileage rewards programs, based on the cumulative depths their scuba diving guests accrue during dive vacations.
“We call them ‘frequent-diver feet,” said Eagle Ray Divers operations manager Ger Latner. “Log enough depth points on our boats, you’re eligible for an upgrade. Twenty-five thousand feet gets you a free dive or a seat on the bow. Fifty thousand, you can talk to the boat captain. If you don’t ask any stupid questions.
“Your average dive guest racks up 1,000-1,200 feet per week of diving,” Latner said. “More if they night dive. That kind of thing ads up.”
The program is proving popular with the resort’s guests.
“We just signed up, so we don’t have many points yet,” said Eagle Ray Divers guest Kenny Chromis. “But I guarantee we’ll be doing all our diving with E.R.D from now on. Just today I racked up 220 feet on three dives. Our buddies diving with Club Scuba Doo are majorly jealous.”
Critics, however, say the plan will result in divers going unreasonably deep solely to earn reward points.
“This is gonna get divers hurt,” said Club Scuba Doo dive manager Finn Kiick. “Our guests already add 10 feet to every profile we give them. Ger’s divers’ll be going 150, 200 feet just for the points.
“What’s next, people doing two-hour dives to earn frequent diver minutes?” Kiick said.
Eagle Ray Divers management bristled at that criticism.
“Our divers’ll lose a point for every foot beyond the profile they go,” Latner said. “And they don’t get credit for their depth unless they show their gauges to one of our divemasters.
“Finn’s just muddying the water, blabbing about dive time points,” Latner said. “That’d be crazy. We’d never get back in time for lunch. Or by the time the bar opens.”
The Eagle Ray Divers dive staff, meanwhile, has embraced the plan.
“We’ve got a system to keep our wallies in line,” said Eagle Ray Divers divemaster Alison Diesel. “They lose double points if they go into deco. They lose all their points if we have to break out the O2, the defib or send them to the chamber.
“We dock points for wearing a Speedo, too,” Diesel said. “We’re not gonna encourage that sort of thing.”