ON THE DIVE BOAT
All dive-boats and operations have different procedures, and when you’re diving with them the etiquette is to follow these. Listen and be flexible.
If you dive with the operation often and want to do your own thing, there may be room for negotiation. If it won’t compromise and it matters to you, vote with your feet and go elsewhere.
On day-boats, space is often very limited so pack with care, using a gear-bag or small plastic crate that fits neatly under benches.
Pack your scuba-gear in reverse order of use: that is, the things you need to get out first should be at the top. Stow your gear neatly out of the way and keep everything together both before and after the dive.
Perfectly sized dive-boat baskets.
Bring everything you need but only what you need. Keep your phone and cash in a dry-bag in the dry area but keep your spares box with your scuba gear rather than in your dry-bag, as there is every chance that you’ll be in your suit when your O-ring blows.
Keep out of designated dry areas if you’re wet, even if you have a damp towel around you.
On any boat, never leave a cylinder standing unsupported. They are heavy metal objects, and a falling cylinder can crush a toe, destroy a regulator second stage, crack a mask or demolish a dive-computer as well as causing irrevocable damage to the cylinder-valve.
For similar reasons, keep weight-belts in a box or on the deck and out of the way. Never put weights or a loaded belt on the bench beside you or anywhere else where the movement of the boat could cause them to fall.
The toilet on a boat is called the “head”. This is not because it is where you should put your head if you feel seasick. The best place to hang your head is over the side of the boat, preferably the side where the wind will carry away your stomach-contents when they appear.
Your fellow-travellers will appreciate this, as will the crewmember whose responsibility it is to clean and unclog the head. The fish under the boat will be happy, too, at the unexpected delivery of manna from heaven.