Did You Know? – Part 1
By Ken Kollwitz
While I worked on the Sunfish as a Divemaster and helping to run the operation I learned a thing or two, it was more like a dozen or more. Of these many things I learned there are a few I would like to share with you.
Keep in mind that all dive boats were never created equal and I have been a passenger on and have chartered many different dive boats from San Diego to B.C., Canada. Some dive boats are converted crew boats, fishing boats, sail boats and whale watching boats while some have been designed exclusively for divers.
Most all are run in a similar way, but there are still many difference’s between the boats as you have probably come to find out. Some of the difference’s and things you think of are; cost vs. size, number of passengers, geared mainly towards basic or advanced divers and dive sites, where do you put your gear, do they allow boxes and bags, tank filling procedure and maximum tank fill pressure, how do they keep track of divers, do they allow rebreathers or double tanks, is nitrox available, how knowledgeable and friendly is the crew and do they go out of there way to help, bunks or not, how are the bathrooms and showers, hot tub, how’s the food, food quality & amount, size of galley, how many dives and the list goes on.
As you can see (and you probably have) there are many difference’s between boats and each is unique in its own way. Some boats have mastered many of these things and some need help. Also each diver see’s things in there own way. Just like with restaurants-some days the food and service varies and with others it is always consistently good. In my opinion, consistently is the key word here and it may not be the least expensive.
By now you will see I am not naming any specific boat as I have my favorites depending on what I want to do and where I want to go. Where I want to go is probably the most important to me as I like spots that most boats will not go to (for many reasons) or do not know where they are and sometimes that leaves few choices for boats that are available for me to dive on. I have chartered boats so I could go to the spots I like, sometimes this is the only way. The biggest part is getting enough people to want to go to the same cool spots and sometimes that is not all that hard. I think we all get tired of the same things.
Anyways, before I get to far off the subject I would like to share with you the few things that I originally started to tell you about. They are things that I have not mentioned because most divers if not all assume (bad word) that these things are mandatory for a dive boat and they are not. These things are safety items and are very much needed in my opinion and the Coast Guard does not require them. I also think these things are more important then anything I have mentioned yet.
These safety items are-oops, I ran out of room. Check next months newsletter for the conclusion to “Did you know”.