If you’re heading for a boat dive there’s a few things to think about before packing your bags and jumping on.
The Spread-It-Out Diver
Keep your kit together. You’re unlikely to be taking a big box on board due to space but a dry bag is a good idea as well as a mesh bag to keep your bits and pieces together.
Get there a bit early and get organised. Set your kit up by the car, check you’ve got all your bits and pieces. Think about making a check list for your kit so you can check you’ve got all you need.
Don’t be the diver who everyone is waiting for. Get your kit set up and then relax and chat. After dive 1, change your tanks ready for dive 2. If you’re not sure how long you take to get things together, such as putting on gloves and so on, then get ahead a bit.
Bring extra weight – especially if you’ve not dived in salt before. You’ll need more in the sea than in fresh water.
Plan the Dive
If it’s the first time in salt water then how are you going to weight check? What will happen if you don’t have enough weight? Think this through before you get in the water and let the skipper know your plans. This is a joint discussion with your buddy as it’s how the dive will start. Think about extra 1kg weights – where will you put them and how will they be passed down to you?
Then plan your dive. And dive it. The skipper will brief you on how the boat works – the lift, emergency procedures and so on. Listen carefully and then check you know where it all is – don’t assume you can rely on everyone else… but don’t hassle the skipper with questions if he’s busy!
The “have you got a…” diver
Get together a save-a-dive kit. O rings, spare hose, allen keys… all of these things are useful to have in the set.
Snacks and Water
Being along some snacks and something to drink. Something to share with others always goes down quite well. Offer it to the non club members on the boat too. There’s nothing like bonding over a brownie.
Hat, hoodie and gloves
Don’t forget that you may get chilly between the dives. It’s also worth having a change of clothes in the car in case you have a leak. If your kit is staying on board overnight then take a pair of shoes onto the boat so you can leave your drysuit on the boat. Sunscreen is a good shout – even when the sun doesn’t look that strong.
Say “Thank You”!
Whoever has organised the trip has spent hours of sorting out to get you into the water. A quick thank you is always welcome. The skipper and boat hands are also due a thank you too and a bit of beer money goes down a treat. You can also review them on their Facebook page or via google.