- Before you get on the boat, make sure you have all your scuba diving equipment with you.
- Keep all your scuba gear contained in a dive bag. Boats can become crowded and having your scuba equipment all over the place is annoying. You can buy smaller bags, such as a mesh bag, that won’t take up much room.
- With limited space on a dive boat, you don’t want to take up valuable real estate with your miscellaneous gear. Your scuba diving mask, dive mask defogger, diving fins, scuba diving computer, scuba diving wetsuits, etc. can be safely stored under the seat until you need them. This also prevents someone from stepping on and breaking your scuba gear or you losing something. Weights should never be put on the bench since it could easily fall off and kill someone’s toes.
Use the Correct Rinse Buckets
Depending on the dive boat, there may be a rinse bucket solely to rinse masks and one solely to rinse cameras. Don’t put those fins, wetsuits, or anything else in those rinse buckets – especially the one for dive cameras. Try that and you’ll see an annoyed scuba diver. The boat crew or divemasters will usually point out the buckets on the boat. If they don’t and you aren’t sure, just ask. It is not big deal and everyone will be happy.
Get To the Boat Early
This will give you ample time to sign in, get your scuba equipment, check you have all the right gear, etc. You will also be able to assemble your gear so you will not be rushed once you reach the dive site. Not to mention, it is inconsiderate to keep a whole boat of divers waiting just for you. Many times, there is one in a group – just don’t let it be you.
Suit Up Early (or at least on time)
Depending on the length of the boat trip, you may suit up at the dock or about 5 minutes before you reach the dive site. The divemaster will tell you when to begin. And when they do, start getting ready if you haven’t already done so. This will ensure you are ready to get in the water and not keep the other divers waiting.
Assemble Your Gear Early
The best time to assemble your gear is while the boat is still at the dock. This way you don’t have to deal with rocking if it is rough. It also gives you less to do once you get there so you won’t feel rushed. Another advantage of assembling scuba gear early is you will know if something is wrong. If you are missing an O-ring, have a low fill or anything else, you can take care of it before you leave the dock. Also, don’t forget to secure the tank before you leave or else that tank and your gear can end up on the deck, not to mention on someone’s toes.
Listen to the Dive Briefing
Always listen to the divemaster when he goes over the details of the dive (how to enter the water, where you will be going, max depth, time of dive, etc.). Even if you think you heard it all before, the person next to you might not have. Things change at divesites (current, etc.) and each divemaster has their own way of doing things.
Don’t Hang Under the Ladder
When you are waiting to get back on the boat after you finished your dive, don’t wait right under the ladder for your turn. The diver going up the ladder ahead of you could fall off the ladder and land on top of you. Which would be especially nasty if he still had his BC and tank on. Be extra careful near the ladder if the water is rough.
Bring a Dry bag
You can easily get cold if it is windy during the surface interval and a dry towel or jacket is always welcome. You can also keep your camera, keys, money, etc. in here.
The sun can be brutal, especially when you are out on the water. You should put sunscreen on even if it is cloudy because those rays will still get to you. It’s a good idea to reapply sunscreen in-between dives too.
Bring Cash for Tips
It is customary to tip the divemaster and/or crew after your dive if you were happy with their service. We usually tip each day unless we know we will be having the same divemaster/crew for the duration of our stay.