The Scuba Snobs’ Dive Etiquette Tip of the Week
Tip #1: Use a Boat Bag
Dear Fellow Divers,
We are excited to share with you a weekly feature here on scubadiverlife.com, in which we will present a new diving etiquette tip each week. Of course, you can read all the tips, rules, and funny stories illustrating the need for these rules in The Scuba Snobs Guide to Diving Etiquette, and the Scuba Snobs Guide to Diving Etiquete BOOK 2. Each is available in paperback or as an e-book for either kindle or nook. You can order at amazon.com or bn.com, or from itunes. Enough for the commercial. Now to this week’s tip:
Use a boat bag. As seasoned divers know, and all new divers will learn early in their diving career, most diving is done from boats that leave from the dock and return on the same day. We call these “day boats.” Some are very small and offer no amenities while others are large, equipped for 24 divers or more with multiple tanks for each diver. The bigger boats often offer beverages, snacks, and sometimes even a real lunch. To be a proper diver on a day boat, and to make friends rather than enemies, you need to know the proper rules of etiquette, and one of the most important rules is to USE A BOAT BAG. A boat bag is a soft mesh duffle bag that can be collapsed to the size of a shoebox or smaller. It will hold all your gear, and it will not be in the way of other divers on the boat. Get one. Use one.
We were once on a day boat out of Lahaina, Maui and a new diver had a huge hard case for his equipment that was the size of a steamer trunk. It was full of his gear and he plopped it right in the middle of the dive deck and left it there! Needless to say it created a huge nuisance as well as a real safety hazard. Oversized hard cases or airplane luggage used to transport your dive gear do not belong on a day boat. These bags are big, heavy, and cannot be easily stored out of the way. Yet we see them constantly. Don’t be a part of the problem, be a part of the solution. Get a boat bag, and use it. There are thousands of scuba retailers who will be very happy to sell you one. They are not very expensive.
Having no bag at all to carry your gear onto the boat is just as bad as lugging it in a big hard case. Trying to carry your wetsuit, bcd, regulator accessories, maybe a camera, water bottle, lunch, and other stuff is just about impossible. The diver who has his/her hands full of all these things is likely to drop things all the way down the dock, or (worse still) on the boat and on their feet or someone else’s feet. If you have never seen a diver boarding a dive boat with a pile of jumbled gear, dropping and picking up random items, I am sad to report you probably will see it one day. But it won’t be you, IF you get and use a boat bag for all day boat dives. Good manners are appropriate everywhere, and on a dive boat good manners start with using a boat bag. Happy Diving, everyone!
The Scuba Snobs