1. Arrive on time.:
2. Wait to Board the Boat Until the Captain or Guide Asks You To:
3. Listen to the Boat Safety Briefing:
Either the captain, guide, or a member of the crew will give a detailed boat briefing at the beginning of the trip. Listen to this briefing with your undivided attention. The briefing will cover important safety information regarding emergency procedures and helpful tips such as the location and use of the marine head (toilette) and the location of drinking water and rinse buckets.
Be sure to take note of underwater diver recall signals. Commit the dive boat and captain's names to memory -- these will come in handy should you get separated from the group and need to ask another dive boat for help. Finally, keep in mind that ignoring the briefing is disrespectful and will alienate the captain or guide speaking (not something you want to do). While you may have already heard the briefing, others on the boat may have not, and your fidgeting/chatting will distract them.
4. Use as Little Space As Possible:
5. Avoid Placing Heavy Objects on Raised Surfaces:
6. Assemble Your Gear Before You Reach the Dive Site:
More tips for easier diving:
7. Rinse Masks and Other Gear in the Designated Rinse Buckets:
8. By Ready to Go When Approaching the Entry Platform:
9. Follow Recommendations When Boarding the Boat Post-Dive:
Many diver operators will give specific protocols for boarding the boat after a dive -- follow them. If the captain wants divers to remove their tanks and buoyancy compensators (BCs) before climbing the ladder, there is usually a reason. Don't ignore this advice and attempt to board the boat with your gear on if you have been asked not to. Pay attention to boarding protocols, the order of gear removal, and whether or not BCs should be handed to the captain with integrated weight pockets attached or not. Always remove your weight system before your BC (so you don't sink to the bottom) and never, never, get under the ladder until the previous diver has safely climbed onto the boat. If the diver before you slips or falls off the ladder, he will land on you!
10. Wait to Use the Head Until All Divers Are on Board:
Diving lore abounds with stories of divers making safety stops or decompression stops near the boat only to get an unpleasant surprise when the toilet is flushed. Common courtesy dictates that divers wait until everyone is on board before flushing the toilet.
11. After the Dive, Keep Dry Areas and Objects Dry:
This is common sense, but be mindful of where you place your wet dive gear and wetsuit after a dive. Be careful not to place wet objects on or near other diver's towels, dive logs, and clothing. Also, do not enter dry, clean areas such as the boat's cabin wearing wetsuits or dripping clothing. Keep the boat nice for future use.
12. Don't Compete With the Other Divers on the Boat:
One of the behaviors I hate the most is when a diver starts bragging about how much air he has left after a dive, and compares it with other divers' tank pressures. No one is going to give you a gold star for having the lowest air consumption rate. In fact, no one cares. Try to keep the posturing and bragging to a minimum, and be polite and respectful to other divers.
13. Thank and Tip the Captain and Crew:
Tips for the captain and crew are customary. Be sure to thank the captain and crew after the dive and tip them appropriately. Plan to tip ahead of time, and be sure to bring the money on board with you. If you require special assistance - such as having cameras, tanks, or other gear passed to you in the water, throw in a little extra cash to show the crew that you appreciate them going out of their way to help you.
Now it's your turn! What basic rules of boat diving etiquette have I missed? Use the link below to add your advice.