As the world slowly starts to open back up from our seemingly endless Covid-19 lockdown, what better way to celebrate than to go diving? Shore diving is fun and easy, but nothing beats the feeling of being on a boat, wind rushing through your hair as you make your way out to the deep blue – boat diving is fantastic!
Boat diving can be fun and relaxing if done right. Having to share cramped quarters with lots of gear and other divers may make boat diving may seem a bit overwhelming to newer divers, but as experienced divers know, boat diving becomes a breeze with a few tips and tricks.
5 Easy Tricks and Tips to Make Boat Diving Easy
Tip 1: Reduce your risk of seasickness
Some people experience seasickness, and some don’t. Anyone who has ever been seasick before will tell you that it is one of the world’s worst feelings and can quickly ruin what would have been a beautiful day of diving. Reducing your chance of getting seasick starts well before you even step foot on the dive boat. If you plan ahead and follow these simple steps, you will significantly reduce your chance of getting seasick:
- If you know you are prone to seasickness, be proactive, and take an anti-seasickness medication like Dramamine well in advance.
- Eat a small breakfast but stay away from greasy foods. Having food in your stomach will help to prevent nausea from coming on.
- DO NOT go inside the boat! This is a rookie mistake, and if you are prone to seasickness, going into the boat’s cabin is sure to set it off. It is hot down there, and being inside makes the rolling motion of the boat feel worse.
- DO NOT hang out near the back of the boat. Another rookie mistake is to stay near the boat’s stern. The smell of the exhaust is sure to bring on seasickness as well.
- Stay away from anyone else who is getting sick. Seasickness is like yawning; once you see someone do it, your body gets triggered as well.
- Look toward the horizon.
- If you do start feeling queasy, for goodness sake, DO NOT STAY ON THE BOAT! Going diving may feel like the last thing you want to do but getting in the water will make you feel 100 times better. If you do still have to vomit, don’t worry, you can do it through your regulator. Staying on the boat will just make you continue to feel worse.
Tip 2: Unpack first, socialize later
Meeting the crew and chatting with the other divers is so tempting when your fist climb aboard, but resist the urge! Claim your spot and get to work unpacking your gear first, it will pay off later. Trying to set up your equipment while the boat is moving is not fun and will contribute to possible seasickness. Follow these simple steps to get all set up BEFORE the boat departs and then sit back and relax while you cruise out to the first dive site:
- Claim your tank. This will be your designated spot for the entire dive trip, so choose carefully. The best places are near the stern of the boat, where the least amount of walking with heavy gear is required.
- Assemble all of your gear onto the first tank.
- Put your mask in the rinse bucket or attach it to your BC. You do not want to be searching for it later when it’s time to jump in the water.
- Place all needed weight into your BC weight pockets.
- Slide your empty gear bag under the bench where your gear is and lay your fins directly on top.
- Don your wetsuit half-way if it is not too hot.
Tip 3: Put on your wetsuit ASAP
Right after you assemble and store your gear, ideally before you leave the dock, put on your wetsuit. Unless it is too hot, pull your wetsuit on, at least up to your waist. Trying to put a tight wetsuit on while the boat is moving, over sweaty, sticky skin can seem near impossible. Doing this will save you time and stress once you reach the dive site because as all seasoned divers know, once you reach the site, the divemasters like to get you in the water ASAP.
Tip 4: Put your fins on at the boat’s edge
Unless the boat crew instructs you otherwise, carry your fins with you and slip them on just before jumping into the water. Nothing is worse than trying to traipse around the boat deck with heavy gear on your back and long fins on your feet. Take your fins with you to the edge of the boat where the divemaster will help hold you while you use the “figure four” method to slip each fin on.
Tip 5: Dismantle your gear and put it away ASAP
Once you finish your last dive, take apart your gear and store it straight away. Just as you delayed socializing when you first got on the boat to set up your equipment, do the same to put it away. If you can get your gear all stored back into your gear bag and tucked under the bench before the crew pulls anchor, you will have a much more pleasant trip back to the dock. This also ensures that you will not be stuck on the back of the boat trying to store your gear while in motion, breathing in all of that lovely exhaust. Instead, you will be able to sit back and relax, knowing your equipment is all packed away.
Boat diving is one of the most popular ways to go scuba diving; however, it does take practice and some getting used to. If you are new to diving and want to learn more about how to dive from a boat under the supervision of a diving instructor take the SSI Boat Diving Specialty program. Being certified as a Boat Diver will give you the skills and experience needed to safely dive some of the world’s best sites, which are only accessible by boat.