Fun or Fog?
If your new into scuba diving you might wonder “what do I have to bring with me?” for a day of diving from a boat in a remote area. Some stuff is common sense: swimwear, shades, sun and wind protection. You don't have to be a Pro to know that. But there are those little extra gimmicks that can turn a normal dive day into THE BEST DAY EVER.
Let's assume your full set of scuba gear is already on board of the dive boat. What could you add for extra convenience, fun and safety? Here are Tabanka Diver's ultimate 10 packing tips for a perfect diving day on a scuba dive boat:
10. Extra battery pack for your action cam – cause there is no doubt: the best stuff always pops up when your GoPro is low on batt. Every Manta Ray can sense when your battery level goes down. But you can trick them by bringing a fresh pack on the next dive.
9. Your own Dive Mask. Yeah, sounds pretty lame and surely all Dive Centres have tons of different scuba masks for rent. But the mask decides if you will have fun or fog. Especially if you have eye sight problems you should prepare your own mask. And there is nothing better than you own perfect matching clean mask – that no one else is allowed to spit in but you.
8. Motion sickness tabs. If you easily get seasick, bring you own meds. We are not supposed to supply you with any medication. And be aware of the side effects. Try your meds for example before taking a flight and see how your body responds to the side effects. Than take motion sickness tablets an hour before the diving boat departures and than find a seat where you can see the horizon, far away from the engine exhaust.
7. Reef-Friendly Sun-Lotion. Yeah, we mentioned that as a common sense. But you would be surprised how many divers still fully cover themselves with sun-lotion just a minute before getting into their rental wetsuit (come on guys, really?!). Once they enter the water you can see an oil-film on the surface. Negative side-effects for the coral reef are well know so please...we offer Reef-friendly products in our dive shop. And by the way: a rush guard can safe tons of sun lotion.
6. Bring an Emergency Surface Marker. Knowing how to use a surface marker bouy (SMB, not to mix up with San Miguel Pilsen) is an essential skill for every diver. Currents, boat traffic, lost divers, Jet Skies...there are so many good reasons why you want people to know where you are. If you haven't learned it in your PADI Open Water Course ask your PADI Divemster to show you how to safely use it.
5. Sanitiser and magic towel. Some luxury items to bring on a dive boat: A boat in general is often not the most hygienic place – especially when it comes to bath rooms. A hand sanitiser can become your best friend before eating the next rice meal. Face cloth or a “magic” hand towel to quickly clean your eyes from sunblock or dust is another use-full fellow.
4. Waterproof phone-case. You wouldn't believe how many phones we saw dying after a wave splashed over board. Or people leave in their pocket when climbing down the ladder and Oooops ... done.
3. Water tumbler and Rehydration Powder. First one is a common sense product. Use-full, hygienic, reduces plastic trash. Of course we offer them also as a nice souvenir. But why Rehydration Salt? Did you know that in SEA purified drinking water is usually not mineralized? Even if you are aware that staying hydrated is an essential thing for every scuba diver – others maybe not. In our experience dehydration and sunstroke are the most common incidents on a dive boat. So take 1 hour rest between two dives, stay in the shade and rather drink water with a little extra than coffee or tea.
2. Wind and Tide Apps. Get windy.tv on your phone. There are countless weather apps. We made good experience with with windy.tv and windguru.com as they break it down pretty detailed to the spot. And windy.tv has a very intuitive layout and surface – not only for wind but all weather conditions. Wind causes waves and surface currents. Another great indicator for dive conditions are tide tables and apps like “GDS tides”.
AND THE ULTIMATE ITEM YOU WANNA HAVE ON A DIVE BOAT, IS....
YOUR CUSTOMISED MOUTHPIECE. Ever wondered why you feel muscle-pain in your jaws after diving? And how annoying is it to have a half-broken mouthpiece on a rental regulator? There is a cheap and super-convenient solution: Get your own remoldable Mouthpiece. Coming from dental industry, made from a special silicone that you warm up they are designed to precisely fit your teeth and gums. Honestly: even experienced divers who tried that for the first time shouted “WHY I DIDN'T GET THAT EARLIER???”