(The following is—hopefully obviously—written with tongue planted firmly in cheek.)
There seems to be one (sometimes as many as THREE!) on every boat. Their main function is to annoy you and hamper your personal diving style.
We’re talking, of course, about a divemaster, that insidious individual who tells you what to do and when to do it. Since their sole function seems to be to ruin your day, it stands to reason that turnabout is fair play (especially since there certainly can’t be any issues of safety or making the day run smoothly involved in all their rules and regulations). Here are some ways you can get even and how you can annoy the divemaster, from the moment you step on the boat until the moment you leave at the end of the trip.
PUT YOUR GEAR WHEREVER THE HELL YOU WANT
Don’t worry if it’s in the way or makes it more difficult for someone else. You paid good money for this trip and that means YOU decide where your stuff goes.
Especially if you’re on the boat as a single. Be sure to grab a double bunk. And make it look like there are two people in the bunk so you won’t have to share. Then go ahead and throw your extra dry gear on another empty bunk. Hey, it’s not YOUR problem if other divers don’t have a place to sleep.
IGNORE THE PAPERWORK
It’s all meaningless anyhow, right? And when they DO make you fill it out, grumble and point out how stupid it is. Write illegibly on the master roster so they’ll have a tough time reading your name.
“FORGET” YOUR C-CARD
When they complain, tell them that “some guy” said it would be okay not to have it. Besides, can’t they tell you’re a certified diver just from the way you’re already dealing with them on the boat?
IGNORE THE DIVE BRIEFING
Might as well be consistent. If they do make you listen to the briefing, be sure to get a bored, disinterested look on your face. Engage other divers in conversation. After all, it’s not like they’re telling you anything you need to know. You’ve got a certification card. What more do you need than that?
IGNORE THE SITE BRIEFING BY THE CAPTAIN
Sort of the same thought as above. You came to dive, not to be told what you might see when you dive. After the captain is done, be sure to go up to one of the DMs and ask what the name of the site was and how deep it is. That’s always a crowd-pleaser.
TAKE YOUR TIME AT THE GATE
Once you’re ready to go, definitely be among the first at the gate, even if it means pushing others out of your way. Once there, be sure to take your time adjusting straps, checking air, etc. And just as you’re ready to jump off, turn to the divemaster and say, “I don’t have a buddy. Who can you assign to go with me?” When they give you a dumbfounded look, just jump off anyway. (And if you can barely miss jumping on top of another diver already in the water, that’s just icing on the cake.)
DON’T SIGNAL—Don’t bother giving an okay sign once you enter the water or any other time on the dive, for that matter. They should just be able to tell by looking that you’re okay. And besides, you’re a certified diver. Why wouldn’t you be okay? What could possibly go wrong?
END YOUR DIVE WHENEVER YOU WANT
Some boats actually tell you when they want you back on board. (The NERVE of them!) Usually it’s under the pretense of having to move the boat or get in more dives. You’ll end your dive whenever you’re good and ready. And if everyone’s waiting for you to come back, that’s just too damned bad. It’s not like it’s YOUR fault that you have such good air consumption. If your tardiness costs the group a dive, as long as you’re happy, who cares?
SURFACE FAR AWAY
Downcurrent is good, too. Just makes them worry about what you’re doing off in the distance. You can make this even better by getting halfway back to the boat and yelling that you’re too tired to come any further and can they come get you? When you get back on board, mutter something about a geomagnetic disturbance. Or that the anchor must have slipped or dragged. (The latter is especially effective when the boat is tied to a mooring.)
ROLL CALL? WHAT ROLL CALL?
When they start the roll call, say something like, “I’m here; just wanted to let you know.” Don’t bother to actually wait for them to call your name. The other version of this is to remain silent when they DO call your name, just to see what they’ll do. (Bonus points for hiding in the head.)
DON’T DO TABLES
When you’re going in for your next dive, ask the DIVEMASTER what your repetitive group is and how long you can stay down. When they tell you that YOU’RE supposed to be checking your depth and time, tell them you thought THEY were doing that. And then just jump off the boat.
Especially on trips where food and air fills are included, be sure to be the first one in line for a meal and take huge portions to save you the trouble of going back for seconds. If someone doesn’t get fed because you took too much—hey—they could have gotten to the front of the line just as easily as you.
TAKE UP MORE SPACE
On the ride home, be sure to meticulously lay your stuff out all over the deck to dry. If it takes up space that others could use, that’s THEIR problem, not yours.
The DMs and boat crew are lucky to have such an easy job where they get to lay around in the sun all day and basically do nothing. How can they possibly deserve a tip for any of this? If anything, THEY should be tipping YOU for being such a good customer.
DON’T SAY GOODBYE OR THANKS
Just leave the boat without saying a word to anyone. You’re responsible for your own happiness and they had nothing to do with making sure you had a good time during the day. No sense in being friendly because you’ve already got enough friends and you’ll probably never come back on this boat anyhow.
So, follow these step-by-step instructions and you’re sure to leave a lasting mark and impression, and maybe even drive a few people to drink. Oh, and one more thing . . .
DID WE MENTION THIS WAS SATIRE?