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Newbie Dive Boat Question

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by n733lk, May 26, 2011.

  1. n733lk

    n733lk Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Houston, Texas
    165
    9
    0
    As a newbie, all my dives have been Shore Dives.

    I'll be Boat Diving in Coz in August. When you are Boat Diving, what do you take with you on the boat? Do you change on the boat? Do you show up wearing your wetsuit? Do the Dive Ops have changing rooms? Etc. Etc.

    What are all the little etiquette issues one needs to be aware of?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Brendon

    Brendon Barracuda

    358
    103
    0
    Bring as much of your own gear as you can. Reg, mask, fins, computer... Come dressed in swim wear (bathing suit) so you can easily put on a wet suit in front of everyone. Dont pee in your suit right before you get back on the boat, Pee early in the dive or not at all. Most boats have snacks and drinks, dont come to the boats starving though... Keep your stuff next to your tanks or under them. Things can easily go missing into another divers bag (usually on accident). If you get sick do not go to the bathroom or marine head. Puke off the back or side.
     
    wpbdivegirl likes this.
  3. scubadobadoo

    scubadobadoo Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SoCal
    2,407
    64
    0
    I suggest heading to the Cozumel forum for some specific answers as Cozumel boat diving varies by op and where you are staying can change the procedure as well. Some ops have small boats and some have larger ones and some have both so what you have room for can change. Basically though, in Cozumel, have all your gear including your wet suit usually (unless you don't get hot easily), in a gear bag and that goes on the boat. Proper attire is your bathing suit, hat, sun glasses, and basic beach type stuff. You don't need much.

    Sometimes the ops pick you up at your hotel dock and then it is a very short ride to the dive site usually. In this case I usually wear my wet suit kinda half on and just walk barefoot/dive booties on to the dock. Very convenient! But like I said, once you pick a hotel and dive op, then the Cozumel forum and the actual dive op of course will have more specific answers for you.

    My preference in for a small and fast boat with no more than 4-6 people on it. Some of the larger boats are a real slow mess of hot humanity.

    Have a blast!
     
  4. divekraz

    divekraz Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ft Lauderdale, Florida
    211
    18
    18
    When getting on the boat get your gear set up and then stowed and out of the way for people to walk by asap. You can put your wetsuit on when the dm gives you notice on time to the dive site, depending on the boat, there may or may not be a head or changing area so ask ahead of time. Bring water and snacks, the boat may or may not carry them. Ask what type of dives they will be doing to make sure your comfortable with them. During the suit up time people are going into the water, stay seated and out of the way until your group is called to hit the water. Try to be ready when your group is called so others are not waiting for you, do your buddy check before going to the stern. Stay on the surface, away from the stern and other divers entering the water until the dm tells you to drop as a group, a big reason for this is the current is usually very strong in Cozumel and the dm wants the group to be together. Do not bunch up at the ladder when getting on the boat in case the person on the ladder has a problem and falls back, there should be a line out from the stern for you to hold onto. Make sure you understand the hand signals the dm will use and listen closely to the dive briefing. Do not use the camera bucket to clean your mask. Ask the DM if your uncertain about the procedure for anything. These are general guidelines and should apply to most locations, when in doubt, ask.
     
  5. fisheater

    fisheater Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sebastopol, CA
    4,390
    946
    113
    Short version:

    - Keep your stuff out of the way.

    - Listen.

    - Ask questions.

    - Smile when you can.

    - Be safe and have fun.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. Cacia

    Cacia Divemaster

    63,275
    16,525
    113
    I prefer small dive boats (like Dive with Martin) where it could be just you or a few others, and you don't get ordered around. (I have lots of big camera stuff, not to mention usually a cooler ;))

    I like to feel like the customer and not be told a bunch of rules. (those operators are out there, and I usually find them)

    Tip up front, bring the crew a sandwich...it just is so much more fun. I don't know about "smile when you *can*" but I do try to be one of those they won't forget on a drift (converse, etc)

    Dive with Martin might have gotten much larger by now, but there are always small, new, eager to please dive guides...the larger operations get sort of burned out. (who can blame them?)

    I'd say the #1 thing is to listen to the brief, so you know when/how to get back to the boat. I usually wait for the clamoring of a knife on the ladder, which means they are sick of waiting for me. I try and finish my dive near the boat, as to not be too annoying.

    Keep your fins off the reef, clear the ladder area as soon as you can.

    At some point get a SMB .....I find the captains really appreciate them.

    Coz is very consistent and you'll love it.
     
  7. Lefty Writer

    Lefty Writer Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: League City, Texas, United States
    136
    33
    28
    I'm also a complete newbie, and my wife and I are booked on boat dives for both Cozumel and Grand Cayman on our December cruise. I was going to post asking about what is customary and proper for tipping.

    Does one tip a percentage of the fare, or a flat rate? Does this go to the DM or ???
     
  8. scubadobadoo

    scubadobadoo Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SoCal
    2,407
    64
    0
    Good question but not an easy answer. When I had 0-24 dives I tipped too much and all the time for service that I wasn't aware was poor service until I had more experience and could tell the difference. Mostly though it took ME a while to figure out what I wanted out of a dive trip and what it was about a dive specifically that interested me. Day trip diving from a cruise ship often goes hand in hand with rushed dives with limited bottom times so be careful on that one. My main criteria IMHO for a good tip generally comes from polite DM's and Captains who let me dive my own profile and only hold my hand when I ask or when it is obvious i need to be held. Do your research and pick a good dive op or just go shore diving in Cayman. Different people will have different opinions on what proper tipping should be for MANY different reasons. MANY MANY threads have discussed this. I suggest doing a search and getting a beer cuz it's gonna be a long read. ;)

    IMHO if you have to tip before you dive to get good service then you are diving with the wrong place. I understand the reasoning but it defeats the whole concept of a tip IMHO.

    To answer your question quickly though, consensus is generally 5-10 bucks per tank per person depending on what services the crew were providing and where you are diving. I have tipped more than that and I have tipped zero before.
     
  9. Lefty Writer

    Lefty Writer Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: League City, Texas, United States
    136
    33
    28
    Thank you!

    At least I have a baseline to compare to. We are booked with Scuba with Alison in Cozumel, and (via Carnival) with Don Foster's in Grand Cayman. I will post a trip report once we're back.

    December is so far away, but at least we have time to get in more dives before then, and hopefully refine our skills.
     
  10. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Murphy Cove, NS ,CANADA (Eastern Shore-Atlantic)
    7,785
    1,152
    113
    Bring a "dry" bag and find out where all that stuff goes (below? in a corner?). If you manually write up your log book don't bring it--it may get wet. Bring a small piece of paper in a jar & pencil for your data. Have your blank log page signed after docking.
     

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