George Bernard Shaw said that the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place!
This is doubly true in Scuba Diving!
Where do Scuba Divers fail to communicate?
As a new diver it is so easy to feel that you are the only “newbie” on the boat.
Well, we experienced divers did not get that way by keeping our mouths closed, we asked questions, we acknowledged that there was so much we didn’t know and we took the time to find out.
Your dive leader and your buddy don’t know that you haven’t understood something unless you say so.
The vast majority of experienced divers will be happy to guide you and any dive operator worth his salt will be willing to assist, but we are not mind readers, you need to help us out.
I tell my students that the only stupid questions are the ones that you don’t ask, simple isn’t it?
Communicate with your dive leaders.
If you don’t understand the dive briefing then ask, your dive leader wants you to have a safe, enjoyable dive experience, they are going to be happy to answer your questions.
If you are boat diving for the first time, arrive early and tell the crew, they will be happy to give you the extra attention you need.
- Only done 2 dives since Open Water? First time in the ocean? tell your dive leader, they can help you.
- Don’t understand what to do with your gear? ASK
- Don’t understand how you get off the boat? ASK
- Don’t understand the dive briefing/ ASK
- Anything else/ JUST ASK!
Whether it is your insta-buddy, your best mate or the buddy you completed your course with, some level of communication is necessary.
Briefly run through the dive plan On a guided dive, make sure you both understood the dive briefing, decide on entry and descent, decide on your air planning for the dive, run through signals, run through “lost buddy” procedure. All this takes only a few minutes and getting it right will make for a much more relaxed dive.
If you need to, put the details of the dive plan on a slate and carry it with you.
- Do you both agree and understand the dive plan?
- Have you agreed the gas plan?
- Have you agreed on signals for the dive?
- Have you agreed on “lost buddy” procedure?
- Anything else?
Communicate with yourself.
When you are enjoying your post dive beverage, spend a few minutes thinking about the dive you just enjoyed:
- What went well during the dive?
- What went badly during the dive?
- Where could your dive performance have been improved?
- What information were you missing when you started the dive?
You will already have logged your dive details so add a few notes to your logbook and before diving the next time, read these notes and learn from them.
Your log book, correctly used is an invaluable tool in your dive kit.