Show me the rule book
Scuba diving is undoubtedly exciting and for recreational divers it should be a fun activity in the first place. But it is also complex and involves a lot of self-awareness and respect. Respect for your instructor or dive masters, for the boat crew, the other divers in your group, and last but not least you should definitely respect the natural environment in which you dive. Scuba diving etiquette is a real thing. Like for most things in life, there are some rules to scuba diving too and any diver who doesn’t wish to be thrown overboard (figuratively speaking) or turned down by a dive operator should be aware of them and respect them.
Unwritten Rules of Scuba Diving
Still, those rules are only the tip of the iceberg. No matter what you do, try walking in other people’s shoes and see if you would enjoy diving with a person that is ignorant or arrogant. Have a look at our original post about the etiquette of scuba diving. In addition to mastering the diving itself, we suggest to bear in mind these simple rules for a more enjoyable scuba diving experience:
- Don’t be late for your dives
Whether you are taking one of the PADI scuba diving courses or you have signed up for a fun dive, do respect the set schedule and timetable given by the dive center. At diving lessons, a group of people is usually under the guidance of an instructor, so it would be very rude and impolite to keep everyone waiting for you. This should also be respected in case you are a certified diver. For example in our dive center in Padangbai, we don’t just rent out scuba diving equipment and leave the divers to themselves. We dive in small groups of 4 guests and very group has a guide assigned. Even though we value our guests highly, we have many to look after and provide the best service to. So be a gem and don’t ruin the schedule for everyone. Just be on time.
- Do not throw your diving equipment all over the boat
And we could also add – know where your equipment actually is. When getting ready for a dive, try to be organized and don’t spread your equipment all over the boat. Here, the space is restricted, so a fin lying here, your mask over there, or a weight belt not to be found anywhere shows a lack of respect, and more importantly, unsecured equipment can hurt someone. Organizing your equipment in such a manner that allows you take each piece out as soon as you need it, will make you an example to follow.
Also, always double check whether you have all the gear you need, prior to leaving the dive center. Otherwise you may have to sit the dive out, if you find out too late, that you left your mask sitting on a bench in the dive resort.
- Do not fight with your friend or other divers
Luckily we are not talking from our own experience here, but still diving boats are not that big and they might get rather crowded during high session. So they won’t be the best place for an argument between friends, spouses or even between two strangers. Whatever may be bothering you, save it for later, when you are done with diving and away from the group. If you have to say it then and there, choose your words wisely and don’t create a suffocating atmosphere for the others. After all, it is a common sense to have unpleasant discussions away from curious ears. Everybody wishes to have a fun time while diving, so they won’t appreciate a tense atmosphere and two people that argue continuously.
Our OK Divers dive team is always present, so whatever you need to resolve, they will be happy to assist.
- Do not stir the bottom while diving
Once you are underwater, you should master your buoyancy, so that you don’t touch or kick the bottomat the dive site. Otherwise you will produce a cloud of murky water that will reduce the visibility for everyone behind you. There is nothing more unpleasant than to be behind a diver that does this. If you have problems with the weight you are carry, ask the instructor to help you set it right, so you will be able to keep your fins horizontally and off the bottom.
- Don’t tussle to get the best view
Your dive guide or dive instructor will probably point out some interesting critters to your group during a dive. Yes, the truth is that if you are at the end of the line, sometimes you might miss the chance to see it (because of its shyness or speed). That doesn’t in any way mean you need to hurry and tussle the others in order to secure the best spot. Also if you already have the best spot and have admired the animal for a while, please make room for the others too.
From the many years of experience with managing a PADI dive center in Padangbai we could go on and on about the dos and don’ts as the list just seems to be endless. But for now we will let you digest the basics and we’ll return with more tips in our next blog posts.