Here is my 2 cents worth....Some things to think about...

Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Ed on October 25, 2002 at 15:35:35:

In Reply to: Bug diving posted by karl on October 25, 2002 at 10:04:53:

Here are a couple of tips (not about finding the bugs, but about diving from your boat) that I have learned from 'experience' of diving from my own (both a 16 footer, and the current 23 footer).

1) I always chose to anchor in a cove or sheltered water, with a good anchor, lots of chain, and sufficient rode to ANCHOR the boat. Then, I always dove between the boat and the cove/breakwall/shelter, whatever, but I always was in-between the boat, and "it". This gives you some protection against careless boaters as well. DO DISPLAY a dive flag also.

2) Make sure someone is on the boat, and that they are familiar with operating the boat, and knowing how to use the electronics (VHF) if the need arises for them to make an emergency call. Furthermore, make sure that they can recognize some 'diving' sign language... as in "I'm OK", or "HELP". If you are swept away, injured, etc, they need to know how to operate the boat, and come get you (without running you over!). If you surface unconscious, or are not feeling well, they need to know how to call the Coast Guard (or your boat starts gaining a lot of water while you are under!) they need to know how to call for help. Tell the person/people on the boat approximately where you will be diving, and how long you will be gone (and when it's "too long").

I've always practiced the above .... however, here are some stuff that I learned by trial and error.

a) I don't know how easy, or hard it is for you to get back IN the boat (even without SCUBA). I strongly suggest that you find a safe place, close to shore, to find out how well your swim stip, etc, really works. MINE STUNK!!! In a calm lake, all was well, but with a little chop, it was REAL difficult. With the SCUBA stuff on... FORGET IT! I did manage to build a better step, that was easier to get in the boat with.... BUT, unless you have a real good, heavy duty, super friendly one, the chances are that it will not work well in full SCUBA outfit.

b) ALWAYS put out a current line, with floats. On the current line, hang some BIG D-Rings or similar... The current line might help you make it back to the boat easier, should the currents pickup. More about the D-Rings (or whatever) later.

c) Assuming that your situation will be similar to mine, that is, you would have to take off your gear to get back in, here is what I do:
When I get to the boat, I first grab hold of the current line, so that I don't drift. Then, I carefully (holding on tight) remove the weight belt, and hand it to the designated 'boat sitter' (or throw it in the back). Then, I remove my BC, and do the same. Then, the fins come off.. One side note: Once you remove the fins, in even a very moderate/low current, you become a REAL INEFFICIENT SWIMMER! The point is, DON'T let go of the current line while removing fins.... Especially if there is ANY current/wind.
I then proceed to entering/crawling the boat.

Good luck.... and let us know how it goes!

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