Disassembling your gear is an essential skill that every diver must have whether they are done for the day or simply switching out tanks for another dive. Not only is it simple courtesy (one everyone sharing the tight quarters of a boat will appreciate,) but doing it correctly will make you a better dive buddy and extend the life of the expensive Scuba gear that you depend on.
First of all, never be afraid to ask those you’re with what the proper protocol is for your specific situation. Boat captains and other divers are a friendly bunch and are always very happy to help. Every dive environment requires a different approach so be aware what you need to make your transitions easier. For example:
Beach Diving in Southern California – Diving the waters from many So Cal beaches can involve a long walk across the sand and in many cases, a walk down/up many flights of stairs. Make sure to have all your gear in place and carry your fins and mask. Find out where a clean and secure location is so you can remove your gear without having to carry heavy equipment back and forth across long stretches of sand or flights of stairs when you’re switching out tanks.
Boat Diving – Every Divemaster will go over their accepted procedures in the briefing prior to your dive. Follow their instructions to make your diving experience hassle free. In general, most Southern California boats will have you exit with all your gear and walk to your designated location to change out tanks and equipment.
Avalon Park, Catalina Island – Diving in the clear, cold waters off Catalina Island is always a unique and memorable experience. However getting in the water is as unique as the dive itself. Remember to follow “the rules of the road” and stay to the Right! Be patient and wait your turn. Take notice of any classes as there may be a line waiting to exit. Once you have safely exited the ocean, don’t delay on the steps talking about the amazing dive you just had. Continue up to the top to make room for others exiting behind you. DON’T Become a Roadblock! Common courtesy for all divers should be to walk with all your gear to your location, leaving the steps clear for other divers entering and exiting the water.
A little preparation will go a long way in making a good day a great dive day to remember. For more details on how to properly disassemble your gear after a dive, check out this helpful article in Dive Training™ Magazine: