The 2019 dive season is upon us and with it comes lots and lots of boat diving (at least we hope!). If you're new to boat diving it can seem a bit overwhelming at first...cramped quarters with lots of gear and people. However, as many seasoned boat divers know, there are a few tricks that make boat diving much easier and less stressful. Follow our tips and you'll be a boat diving expert in no time!
5 Tips & Tricks For Easy Boat Diving
Tip 1: Manage Your Gear FIRST - Socialize Later
It can be so tempting to climb aboard the boat and start chatting with your fellow divers about the exciting day ahead. However, trust us when we say that you DO NOT want to be setting up your gear while the boat is moving. Hanging out around the stern of the boat with all that exhaust spewing aboard is the last place you want to be. Instead, you should be sitting on the bow of the boat taking in the fresh air and scenery...that's the time to socialize.
Follow these quick and easy steps as soon as you climb on board and you'll be happy to not have to deal with your gear later:
- Claim a tank
- Assemble all your gear
- Attach your mask to your BC (or put it in the rinse bucket)
- Put your weights into your BC
- Slide your empty bag directly under your set-up
- Lay your fins on top along with your wetsuit if it's too hot to put it on right away.
Tip 2: Don Your Wetsuit ASAP
Unless it's too hot, it's best to put your wetsuit on, just up to your waist, before you even leave the dock. If you've ever tried putting your wetsuit on while the boat is moving you know it's a tricky task at best. Also, all boat divers know that once the boat makes it to the dive site the divemasters like to get the divers in the water ASAP so if you already have your suit on half way you don't feel the anxiety that comes with rushing to get yourself ready to get into the water.
Tip 3: Minimize Your Risk Of Seasickness
Anyone who's ever been seasick before can tell you it's one of the worst feelings in the world. Not only does it ruin your day of diving out on the boat but you feel miserable for hours after returning to dry land. You can reduce your risk of getting seasick by following these tricks:
- If you know you get seasick already, be proactive by taking an anti-seasick medication like Dramamine.
- Eat breakfast! You may think that having food in your stomach will make things worse but on the contrary, feeling hungry will activate that nauseous feeling you are trying to avoid.
- Don't eat a greasy breakfast. Skip the quick McDonalds egg McMuffin and opt for something milder like oatmeal or a muffin.
- Stay AWAY from the back of the boat. The boat exhaust is guaranteed to trigger nausea. Hence the importance of following our first tip above!
- DO NOT go inside the boat! This is a true rookie mistake. The cabin of the boat is usually hot, enclosed and the
most rockyplace on the boat. Do not go down there! Not even to use the head. Hold it and go during your dive unless it's an absolute emergency.
- Stay away from anyone else getting sick. It's like a chain reaction: once you see someone get sick over the side of the boat you're sure to as well so stay away!
Tip 4: Don Your Fins At The Boat's Edge
It is tempting to put your fins on while sitting comfortably on the bench with your gear on but try walking on a rocky boat with fins on and you'll know why we recommend waiting to put them on right at the boat's edge before you jump in. It's much easier to handle yourself with all that heavy gear
Tip 5: Put Your Gear Away ASAP
Just as you came on the boat and delayed socializing to get your gear all set up right away, you should do the same when you finish your last dive. Break down your gear as soon as you come back on board. This ensures that all of your gear gets put away and not left strewn about the boat. It also ensures that you are not stuck on the back of that boat while it's heading back to shore, breathing in all of the exhaust while you're trying to put your gear away. You'll feel nice and relaxed knowing your gear is already packed up. Then you can enjoy that post-dive high and chat with your buddies about all of the amazing things you just saw.
Just like any type of diving, boat diving takes practice. The more you do it the more comfortable you'll feel every time you climb on board. If you'd like to learn more about boat diving come take a Boat Diving Specialty Course from our