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Diving out of a boat is a memorable experience.  Whether that memory is a pleasant one or a nightmare can depend on the behaviour of the crew.

Firstly, it is important to get a boat ride.  If you know someone with a boat, then take the initiative and make contact.  Ask if they would like to go for a dive with you and keep in regular contact.  Don't leave it for the boat owner to invite you or you may be waiting a very long while.

When you score a boat ride do not be late.  If you are meeting at the skippers home early in the morning, keep quite.  Have your gear ready and ensure it is tidy and compact as room is always at a premium on a boat.  Do not dump your gear tub or weight belt on the gunwale of the boat as this can scratch the boat and turn into a very short trip for you.  The skipper will advise you where to place your gear and whether you need to share a gear tub with another crew member to make room.

Bananas.  Many fisherman are superstitious, especially when it comes to bananas.  For your own safety, never take bananas on a boat.

Understand that it is very expensive to own a boat.  At the end of a day's diving (good or poor) you should expect to make a donation towards the cost of running the boat.  Don't wait until you are asked.  Your contribution will depend on variables from the size of the boat, the number of crew on board, the dive location, the distance you travel on the boat ....

Do as you are told whilst on someone elses boat!  If the skipper asks you to do something, or do something in a particular way then do it - whether it suits you or not.  When you have your own boat you can make your own rules.

Your speargun shaft can cause a lot of damage handled incorrectly.  So you don't scratch the boat, puncture the canopy, scratch the engine, or stab another crew member etc.., whenever you move your speargun you should try to hold the tip in the palm of one of your hands.

The weights from your weight belt can also cause a lot of damage, especially when entering or exiting the water.  Keep weights well away from the outboard, and other parts of the boat likely to be scratched or dinged.

Learn as much as you can about the boat and the expectations of your skipper.  The boat needs to be made ready to launch; and needs to be properly secured after retrieval.  Ask if you can help, or at least pay careful attention to what is going on so you can help the next time.  Learn how to start the boat and become familiar with its operation.

While travelling on the boat, don't stand around like a stunned mullet.  Keep a lookout and let the skipper know if you see any obstacles in the way (other divers, fish & cray pot floats, driftwood, weed etc...); this also applies to more experienced boaties as 2 or more pairs of eyes are better than one. One especially important point., never mess with your captain's GPS unless you have express permission to do so.

Setting and retreiving the anchor is generally the reponsibility of the crew.  How this is done varies from boat to boat so pay attention.  In all cases gently ease the anchor into the water so you do not scare away any fish beneath you.  Ensure the anchor, chain, or rope do not rub against the boat as this will cause damage.  The anchor rope can get a bit messy on deck, especially on retrieval, so keep your feet well away from the rope so you do not become caught in it.

Always keep within easy sight of the boat whilst in the water, and try to keep within sight of another crew member.  If your skipper tells you that you will be at a spot for 30 minutes then that should be adhered to.  If you see other crew members boarding the boat then start heading back so others are not waiting for you.

Be patient when you reach the various dive spots.  Allow the other crew members to go ahead of you.  Ask which is the best way to get back into the boat.   When it is your time to get in, keep the tip of your gun away from others and away from any part of the boat. Glide into the water without making a splash, do not lean backwards and fall into the water so you scare everything in sight (and/or smack another crew member in the face with the tip of your fin blade), and do not allow your weights to scrape the side of the boat.

Proceedure for getting back in after a dive varies from boat to boat.  In all cases, try to have your float line wound up so it doesn't make a mess on deck, and never hand the pointy end of your gun to a crew member. Do not ever enter or exit a boat with a loaded gun.  When you get back on deck lift any fish you have caught and drop them into the ice box or fish tub; never dump fish onto the deck.

After a day's diving you can look forward to helping wash the boat and trailer.  Don't do a runner, leaving the skipper and other crew to do it.

Happy boating, dive safe and responsibly.
West Coast:  (08) 6102 7222     |     East Coast:  (02) 8007 6666