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Good Scuba Diving Etiquette in Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

Good Scuba Diving Etiquette in Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Manners Cost Nothing: Scuba Diving Etiquette is no different

 

Diving is a highly sociable sport. Scuba diving etiquette should be observed to ensure that you have the best possible day and are not forced to “Walk the Plank” by your fellow divers. Don’t be “That Guy” or Gal that everyone avoids, instead follow these simple guidelines and everyone will be fighting to be your dive buddy on your next dive in Agia Napa, Cyprus.

 

 

 

The Oxford Dictionary defines etiquette as, “The customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group:”

 

Basically it’s all about courteous behavior for the good of the group. Scuba diving in Cyprus is not an exception to this rule. Manners cost nothing so next time you go diving, try to be the best diver you can be.

 

 The Diving Do’s

 

Do turn up on time. 

Good Scuba Diving Etiquette in Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Be on time or be unpopular

“Time and Tide Wait for No Man” and nothing will turn a group against you faster than strolling into the dive center half an hour after you agreed to meet. It is much better to be half an hour early, giving you ample time to prepare your gear, fill in your paperwork and have a coffee. A diver in a hurry is one who will not be as relaxed as they should be on the dive itself, so avoid tardiness at all costs.

 

 

 Do ensure your personal equipment is dive ready.

 

Good on you if you own your own equipment, but make sure it is dive ready and it has had its annual service. If something small is broken, like a mouth piece for example, your dive center can fit you with a new one – but don’t ask your instructor to do this just as they are loading the truck, it is much more polite to ask them when you book your dive the day before – or at the very latest as soon as you turn up at the center. Remember that it is your responsibility to ensure the working order of your equipment – it makes sense really, as it is your life support system under the water!

 

Do follow your dive guides’ instructions.

We want to keep you safe. The dive briefing is just one element that allows us to do so, so listen to it and dive accordingly. Entering and exiting the water can differ depending on weather conditions, time of day and time of year and this is when most dive accidents happen. It is also important to stay in your assigned buddy teams, and even follow your guide in a specific order if they ask you to do so. Drift diving can lead to separation, so stay in order as best you can and  whatever you do – don’t disappear on purpose! I have had experiences where particularly seasoned divers have listened to the briefing and then intentionally done a runner as soon as the dive begins. This is not only rude, but incredibly risky. Lost diver protocols have to be followed and this can be extremely costly to you if emergency services are activated when they are not needed.

 

  1. Do be aware of divers around you

We all want the shot of that turtle munching on the sea grass, but 10 divers all finning like crazy with arms flapping about all over the place is not the way to do it. Try not to crowd the turtle either – it will change their natural behavior which is what we want to see in the first place.  Be conscious and considerate even if it means missing out on the photo…..you can always get a copy of it from the diver who did later. No one likes to be kicked in the face – trust me.

 

  1. snotDo tell someone if they have “snot face”

I cannot count how many times I have finished a dive and gone about my day for hours before checking my face in the mirror, only to discover a large piece of snot hanging off my face. Why didn’t someone tell me? It may be rude to point out something like this in normal life, but in diving the exact opposite is true. There is no shame in having a cliffhanger after diving, after all, equalizing is bound to leave some snot evidence behind –tell the diver as soon as they remove their mask…..it is the polite thing to do!

 

Do shower and stay fresh.

showerYes, you will go underwater when you scuba dive – but this is not how we clean ourselves! Don’t opt out of your morning shower just because you have booked a dive. Cyprus is notoriously hot and dive gear is notoriously heavy – leading to a considerable amount of sweating before and after your dive. Be considerate to your fellow diver and try to keep your body odor to a minimum. Remember, smelling someone should be a choice…..so keep that deodorant stick handy!

 

Do use sunscreen.

Good Scuba Diving Etiquette in Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Apply Sun Creme Often

 

Sunburn is extremely easy to avoid and equipment on burnt shoulders isn’t pleasant, so apply sunscreen frequently. If using the spray kind, awesome, but put it on downwind so you can save your buddy a mouth full of this fowl tasting stuff.

 

 

 

 

Do log your dive

Good Scuba Diving Etiquette in Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Logging is Awesome

Log books are awesome. They are your passport to your future diving career and a diary of all the cool stuff that you have seen, not to mention your cheat sheet to the weight you need after an extended period out of the water.

Not logging your dive is nothing to be proud about and no one is going to be impressed when you proclaim “I stopped logging years ago, I’ve done thousands of dives!” If you have indeed made thousands of dives – prove it! How else can you prove it than with signed evidence that the log book provides? Trust me, it is much more credible to log religiously.

 

Do Help out

Good Scuba Diving Etiquette in Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Help Your Fellow Diver

Yes, you have paid hard earned money to go diving and it is indeed a service that your dive center provides – but being helpful to your fellow divers as well as your dive guide will earn you lots of extra brownie points. Sauntering on board, elbowing your way to the best position and then watching with amusement while everybody else loads the O2 set, first aid kit, spare equipment and so on is considered very bad form. Diving is a team sport, so help out with loading and unloading and try to be aware of other’s needs. Chances are if you are not there to help others then you may well find yourself struggling to get back on board the boat after your dive, or you get mysteriously overlooked when hot mugs of tea are passed around by your fellow divers.

 

Do be enthusiastic

Keep your dive centers business healthy

Just One Click Means the World To Your Dive Center

If you love diving and have had a great day then show it! Tell your guide that you have had an awesome dive, your enthusiasm is music to our ears and it gives us the bounce we need to keep our positive energy flowing. Tipping is always welcome too (duh!). Posting your experiences online as soon as your hands are dry is even better – social media exposure will ensure that your dive center stays healthy as a business and you can help them become even more successful by doing very little. If you love it – post it!!

 

 

 

 

 The Diving Don’ts

 

 

Don’t complain

03fae474b236ea12a9952e2d132de161Now when I say don’t complain I am talking about the things that cannot be helped and not about putting your safety at risk. Complaining about things like rain or a wetsuit that is unflattering to your figure will just annoy everyone around you. Don’t whine, whinge or moan about the elements of diving that you don’t like – just get stuck in and get the stuff done that needs to be so you can get to the good stuff as soon as possible.

 

 

 

Don’t cancel the dive by not showing up

This is obviously worse than being late. It is ok to cancel a dive at any time, but let your dive center know. Don’t make people wait for you, it’s not only extremely rude but you stand zero chance at getting any of your money back (most centers require a minimum 24 hours’ notice of cancellation).

Don’t fight with your partner in public

Good Scuba Diving Etiquette in Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Don’t Fight in Public

A dive site, dive center or dive boat is not the place to have a lovers tiff. If your buddy just happens to be your husband be kind, even if he is annoying you by simply breathing. Don’t get your fellow divers involved in your drama….it ruins the mood and may well ruin your dive. Keep the private stuff private – no exceptions.

 

 

Don’t Urinate in your rented wetsuit

Good Scuba Diving Etiquette in Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Don’t Pee in your Wetsuit

It is spelled W-E-T-S-U-I-T.  There is no “P” in the word, nor should there be in the suit itself.  Urinating in a wetsuit not only makes you stink like a homeless crackhead, but trapping urine between you and your suit is terrible for your skin. You will get spots, rashes and a vastly reduced friends list on Facebook. It is hugely unsanitary and no one wants to touch it, especially the dive crew. This is the best way to ensure that no one will want to dive with you again and your dive center is likely to charge you to replace it. You have been toilet trained by your parents, so don’t regress back to the terrible-twos stage; you were intolerable at that age and will be again if you piss in your suit! Yuk – it is simply gross and it is the rudest thing you can do.

 

Don’t spread your equipment everywhere

Keep your stuff together before and after your dive. It will keep you organized and your day will run smoother, guaranteed.

 

Don’t use the rinse tank to rinse the snot out of your mask

Rinse tanks are for cameras, torches and other equipment that is sensitive to salt water. Don’t spit in your mask and then rinse it in this water. It’s gross. End of.

 

Don’t touch things you are not supposed to

People’s equipment is highly personal and if it’s not yours then don’t touch it (unless someone asks for help with something).  Don’t fiddle with something that could potentially pose a risk to someone. Don’t pick up a regulator and stick in in your mouth to see what Nitrox “tastes like”. If you are interested in something new then take a specialty course and get certified or ask the diver about it (they are likely to invite you to touch it if you show interest.)

 

Don’t be a “black cat” diver

The “black cat” refers to those who are continuously trying to “top” an experience of another…… “My black cat is blacker than your black cat” and so on is extremely annoying. Dive stories are entertaining and should be enjoyed, so listen to them and don’t just wait for your turn to speak and tell them how much cooler your story is to theirs. An engaged listener is a pleasure to around. A loud, show off know-it-all is not.

 

Don’t use a camera if your buoyancy sucks

Good Scuba Diving Etiquette in Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Master Your Buoyancy Skills BEFORE Using Your Camera

Cameras are awesome, but if you can’t hover a camera will only increase your risk of damaging the local marine environment. Get your skills perfected and reactivated before you add a camera to your dive kit. If you cannot control yourself then how do you expect to control a camera enough to get a decent shot anyhow?

 

 

 

Don’t throw up into the wind

Good Scuba Diving Etiquette in Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Take Anti-Seasickness Medication BEFORE You Feel Ill

We have all been sea sick at some point and it is far from a pleasant experience. If you are unlucky enough to suffer and you start to feel a little green, make sure you know which side of the boat to aim for. Always throw up over the side of the boat, and on the leeward side. Throwing up into the wind will only shower your comrades in chunks and will start a chain effect of “Ralph-ers”…..it is not a pleasant experience. If you think you will be affected then try to reduce the Ralph-risk by taking anti-seasick medication well in advance of boarding the boat. Don’t wait to take your medication when you start to feel ill, it is too late at this point. At the end of the day, it is better to be safe than sorry.

 

 

So, there you have it. 20 tips and tricks that will ensure that you are everyone’s first choice of dive buddy. If you follow these you will be the epitome of manners. I would love to hear from you all…..do you have any more suggestions for good scuba diving etiquette? What experiences have you had?

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