A few month’s ago something happened on a dive charter boat that I cannot seem to shake. I was by myself but had picked up a buddy onboard. It turned out to be a good day of diving, but what bothered me was those divers during the dive briefing simply did not pay attention. When I expressed my irritation to my newly-found buddy, he wanted to know why I paid careful attention to the briefing (he had learned that I had been on this boat dozens of times and dived most of dive sites before). Here is why:
Water and ocean conditions change daily, hour-by-hour, and sometimes minute-by-minute. Currents and winds shift, plus the boat is rarely anchored exactly in the same spot. The boat will swing differently each time. Water clarity is rarely the same. Even if you are good at observing these conditions, you might miss something. Pay attention.
DIVE SITES CHANGE
While this is rare, it does happen. Kelp forests come and go. Wrecks deteriorate and sections collapse or become unstable. Even underwater topography can shift.
YOU MIGHT LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Always be open to new diving techniques. Or perhaps there is an aspect to a particular dive site of which you were unaware. New marine life will sometimes move in. By paying attention your dive will be more enjoyable.
While most dive procedures are standard for dive boats in a particular region, each boat will have their own particular twists. Furthermore, boats in an effort to continue to offer the best experience to their customers, change procedures from time to time. In addition, each dive master has his own particular style that may also change from time to time. Again, pay attention.
If you are not paying attention, you are being rude to those who are. You’re knocking around, fiddling with your gear, or worse, talking things over with your buddy. These are distractions to those divers who are paying attention. Keep quiet, stand still, and pay attention.
Funny, the buddy team aboard that day that did not pay attention for that particular dive ended up down current and had to struggle to return to the boat. It could have been worse.
My final words: Pay Attention!