Boats open the door to a world of diving that’s inaccessible from shore. Should you’re about to find the attraction, learn on for a quick introduction of what to anticipate on a ship dive.
We’ve damaged down this large topic by varieties of boat. Relying on the place you’re diving will possible decide the kind of boat you employ to scuba dive.
Small Inflatables and RIBs (aka RHIB or zodiac)
From moveable dinghies to greater Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs), these are quick, maneuverable, and may attain locations bigger boats can’t — making them fashionable for liveaboard shuttles and day journeys.
Earlier than boarding, you’ll have to assemble your package, don your go well with, and reply any calls of nature… there’s little area on a RIB, and even much less privateness! They’re additionally open to the weather, so pack reef-friendly sunscreen, a windproof jacket, and maintain non-waterproof necessities in a dry bag. Divers sometimes sit on the inflatable tubes (hold dive knives away!) or seats, with scuba units typically secured to a rack — stow the remainder of your gear in a mesh bag to save lots of area and keep away from mix-ups.
RIB diving is much less secure and really hands-on, so be prepared to assist others when kitting-up (and settle for assist your self!). Getting into the water is an easy roll backwards off the tubes, however exiting is extra fascinating; you’ll usually have to cross your weights and scuba set to the crew earlier than finning your self again onto the boat. It’s method over power, and will get simpler with apply!
Constitution boats can journey additional for multi-dive day journeys, carrying extra divers and gear than RIBs. They typically present restricted shelter, an on-board rest room (or ‘head’), plus scorching drinks and snacks.
Liveaboards are floating motels that accommodate divers for days and even weeks at a time, offering uninterrupted, easy entry to probably the most distant websites and the ultimate scuba vacation.
On exhausting boats, dive decks are extra spacious and secure than on a RIB, with benches and allotted areas to stow and assemble your gear. The briefing will clarify how and when to organize for the dive — in the event you’re requested to kit-up so as, ensure you wait your flip to offer others area. Hold any devoted images tables and rinse tanks freed from different gadgets (particularly masks with defogger, as this will injury cameras), and don’t use masks rinse tanks in the event you favor the ‘spit’ technique!
Getting into the water is often a giant stride from the aspect or stern (again) of the boat. When exiting the water, fortunate divers have a raise — simply stand on the platform and benefit from the journey up. In any other case, it’s a standard ladder with a serving to hand from the crew. ’T’ ladders have open sides and may be climbed fins-on, however commonplace ladders want fins eradicating first. All the time give divers area in case they fall, and watch out to not get caught underneath the ladder if the boat rises and falls.
Whereas de-kitting, be aware of moist and dry areas — additionally be careful for slippery surfaces. Water provides could also be restricted, so use as little as attainable when showering or rinsing gear. Earlier than utilizing the bathroom, examine the principles — it’s often prohibited to flush paper or use them when the boat’s stationary.
Notably on liveaboards, you might be away from land for lengthy durations, with out telephone or web, so additional preparation and insurance coverage is important — learn extra liveaboard ideas here and here.
Ideas for All Dive Boats
- Take solely what you want — even huge boats have restricted area. Examine every thing’s packed and dealing beforehand, and convey a save-a-dive kit (there are not any outlets at sea). All the time hold your gear tidy and well-secured to stop injury or damage; a tidy boat is a protected boat!
- Be on time and ask permission earlier than boarding. Take note of boat and dive briefings, and the crew’s directions — together with security and roll name procedures, smoking or no-go areas, and native cultures and customs (like what to put on).
- Chat to the crew and guides — they’ll reply questions and share native information, and in case you’re new to boats, they’ll lend an additional hand. Simply don’t distract them in the event that they’re busy mooring or choosing up divers!
- By no means enter the water till the crew says so, and stay away from the propeller. Utilizing a DSMB and noting down your boat’s figuring out flags or indicators will assist you to return safely after surfacing. One of many joys of boat diving just isn't having to swim again to shore — however do maintain your eyes on the boat because it approaches to select you up!
- When you’ve by no means been on a ship, attempt some shorter journeys first. In case you’re seasick, keep hydrated and rested, concentrate on the horizon, and get loads of recent air mid-ship (the place motion is much less). All the time verify any seasickness medicine is appropriate for divers — DAN has extra ideas here.
If you wish to study extra about boat diving, together with nautical phrases, gear storage, entry and exit methods and rather more, begin your PADI Boat Diver specialty course at the moment.