Regardless of your position on the popularity hierarchy in high school, it is still in your power to achieve peak popularity on the dive boat. I’m sure you sprinkle an abundance of joy and bring pleasure to all you encounter in your day to day life, but just in case you’re in need of a few helpful hints to boost you up that ladder on your diving vessel , we’ve compiled a few pointers for your perusal...
Be on Time
We know all about “Island Time“ and it definitely has its place in society, but we also enjoy a little something called “Lunch Time.”
If you’re late - the boat’s late, if the boat’s late, it then cuts into the small window we have between our morning schedule and our afternoon schedule. We get it, things happen sometimes - nobody is going to shout at you on your vacation. But we already can’t drink during work hours, so if you can help it, please don’t make us starve as well.
Aside from us potentially becoming food for circling birds of prey, there are also other guests on board, who are also hungry and potentially have afternoon arrangements that are scheduled time sensitively. And new guests for our afternoon trips that turned up early and are now being made to wait around in the blistering Caribbean sun, and those birds are getting closer...
Make sure you’re familiar with your equipment before you get on board, and preferably before the briefing is over and everyone else is already waddling to the dive platform. If it’s rental equipment you’ve not used before, make sure to let your dive crew know so that they can assist you in setting everything up efficiently.
A huge complaint we hear from other divers is them being diligent and getting in the water promptly after the briefing, only to have to spend 15 minutes under the boat and burning through their air waiting for other dilly dallying divers to get in the water. It’s also worth noting that preparation before you even get on the boat ties in nicely with our first point. Make sure you have all the documentation needed to check in on your first day. eLearning Paperwork, medical clearance if required, credit card, and a huge one people strangely often don’t seem to deem necessary - Certification Cards. I’m sure you HAVE done 427 dives to 178 feet on Nitrox with some obscure diving federation off of some tropical island with no WiFi or postal system, but if you don’t show us your proof of certification, we unfortunately can’t take you diving. As much as we would love to.
Be Spatially Aware
For the same reasons your Mom made you make your bed before leaving the house, beginning your dive day with having everything organized in a mesh bag will set your mindset for the rest of the day. A tidy gear bag is a tidy boat.
I don’t think we need to Mansplain the effect Manspreading has on a busy dive boat. Most of the time there is plenty of space on board to get your set-up in order. In high season though, space can be a little tighter, so just be aware of how far wide your gear has spread from your tank. It also saves that post dive panic searching frantically through every other gear bag on board looking for your mask before setting foot back on land.
I’ve never seen a more popular diver on the surface interval than the one that comes armed with cookies and twizzlers.
Who says money can’t buy you love ?
Be entertaining but not obnoxious
Everybody loves to regale a good dive tale, it makes for great ambiance on the boat and they are most welcomed, especially during the surface interval when we’ve run out of lame dad jokes. But there’s a line where it wanders out of the interesting and into the annoying.
Also, nothing puts egg on ones face like someone saying “I’ve been diving since before you were born” followed by them jumping into the water with their regs put on backwards and flopping around kicking sand in everyone’s face before turning the dive around after four and a half minutes because they forgot to check their air before splashing.
Dive Instructors are not renowned for their big bank balances and lavish lifestyles. If you want to see an extra spring in your hard working crews step, a few shekels of appreciation for the after work beer fund will go a long way.
Don't talk during briefings
I was always the kid in school who got in trouble for talking in class. Finally, all these years later, I get it. It may seem insignificant, but the briefing your crew members are giving you is important. Even if you’ve been here more times than our dive boat and you know it all already, it's important to be quiet while the Captain or Divemaster is speaking, as it lets the rest of the customers know they need to pay attention. When you start talking, others think they can start talking, and someone will miss an important part of the safety briefing.
The art of a good blow job
Continuing momentarily with the silent treatment, please, please, for the love of God and all that is Holy, please don’t blast dry your first stage. It is honestly more detrimental than good, and the noise is MOST annoying. A simple breath blow on your dust cap will more than suffice in ridding any pesky residual water from your cap. When you’re done, don’t forget to put the cap back on, or all your hard work will be fruitless.
Don't try to be helpful
Many customers love to try and help the staff. And that truly warms the cockles of our salty hearts. Often times though, when you try to help you're actually getting in the way. This is especially true with trying to handle boat lines - a potentially huge safety issue. You could be a 30-year sailor, or someone who's never held a rope before. When we tie up the boat, we really don't have the time to review your nautical resume, and if you are the latter, there's a huge risk of you getting a hand or finger caught between a stanchion and a line - causing massive injury. Just ask Julia.
Alrighty, so you’ve heard the phrase the customer is always right - now you’re armed with the knowledge to make it a reality. Go forth, fill your karma bank, and make somebody’s day a little bit brighter.