Sure, there are many memorable shore dives, but the majority of the best dives still require a boat. Here are a few quick tips to help you fit right in on board:
1. First, get permission. It’s common maritime courtesy when boarding any vessel (especially as a first-time guest) to ask permission before coming aboard. The boat might look like it’s ready, but the crew might still be making some last-minute preparations.
2. Know your limits. A dive boat, no matter the size, will have certain areas reserved for crew members only; you should not venture into those unless invited.
3. Wet and dry. Everyone on a dive boat expects to see some water on deck. However, most boats have strict limits as to where divers can roam while not totally dry.
4. Be gentle. There’s nothing more cantankerous than a marine toilet, or the “head.” And a stopped-up head is the quickest way to get everyone aboard feeling very unhappy in a hurry.
5. What not to do. These days, there’s little tolerance for cigarette (or other) smoking on many dive boats.
6. Know what H2O is what. Fresh water is usually scarce and should be used sparingly. Water in buckets on the deck is usually marked to indicate intended usage.
7. Keep it clean. This applies to your gear, your level of noise and your language. If you keep everything quiet and clean, you’ll offend no one.