Boat diving etiquette has certain dos and don’ts that, to be honest a lot of us have forgotten, "permission to come aboard captain", showing up on time, "women and children first". But like all walks of life, there are some things that you just don’t say in certain situations. Uttering one of these on a dive boat will most likely mean you’re swimming home, either that or that tiny day boat will miraculously produce a brig that you’ll call home for the next few hours while all your Facebook friends disappear...
5 Things Not to Say on the Dive Boat
"Where’s my Buddy? I dunno In the water..."
Much like customs at the airport, the skipper has zero sense of humour about missing divers or uncertainty about what’s going on. Remember that you are guests on their boat and all they’re asking for, other than payment, it that you keep yourselves organised and back at the boat together at the right time. It doesn’t matter how confident or experienced you and your buddy are in the water; if you get separated don’t continue the dive, act quickly and you might save your buddies life if they’re actually in trouble. I’d rather be the hero in the story than the guy pictured in the news for abandoning his buddy.
"Is that your mask under my weight belt?"
Are you kidding? Yes, that’s my expensive dive mask that I’ve spent hours preparing and oh look it’s in seven pieces and the only part worth keeping is the strap. Yes, I suppose it is my fault for leaving my mask with the rest of my gear neatly on the bench, I should have known you would cast your weight belt aside there. When my father taught me how to drive a car he told me to always assume everybody else on the road is an idiot. The same goes for dive boats so keep your gear organised and out of any obvious crush zones…
"Can I borrow a dive computer, mine’s locked me out"
No, you’re barred. Your dive computer is trying it’s very hardest to keep you alive. Just because you leave your dive computer in your bag doesn’t mean that your Nitrogen levels have cleared out of your tissues. What’s the point in buying and using a dive computer if you don’t take its advice? It’s not some clever loophole you’ve just discovered. If you’ve missed a deco stop or have become saturated then sucks to be you; you have to miss the next dive. Pour yourself a drink, don’t sulk and help all the others get kitted up while your dive computer counts down when you can go diving again.
"All this? Yeah it’s brand new and I set it up myself, haven’t even gotten wet yet"
Every Rescue level diver and above's ears have perked up and have just done a meerkat to assess how much they need to look after you. And the whole boat is now looking at you and thinking when and how they may have to rescue you. We all love new kit, it’s great and there’s always a time when everything you own is new but test it out in a pool first at least. Scuba kit will fail on either the first few dives or last dive of its life and most kit needs a pool session or two to settle and adjust for correct working order. New scuba gear needs time for all of the seals and moving parts to settle so try to get and hours worth of use from it before taking it out into the deep ocean.
"Can I keep this? I found it on the wreck and it was shiny"
Put it back, whatever it was I didn’t see it, we’ll go back down now and put it back. Just like a kid in a sweet shop or museum; don’t touch anything unless you are going to pay for it. Paying for a stolen Wagon Wheel isn't so bad when you're five, but paying for lifting an artefact as an adult means serving time, in prison for a few years. I don’t know about you but the replica portholes and nautical stuff is pretty good online now, you don’t have to go thieving wrecks. Gone are the days where you can just go down with a pry bar and a hammer and claim ownership of what you find. In today’s world you have to fill out paperwork for stuff like that.