Talk:Scuba diving charter

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No divemaster?

@Pbsouthwood: This seems very odd to me: "A divemaster (to lead the dives) is not usually provided, but if there is sufficient interest we can arrange for one." Does this mean there will be no local guide or leader on the trip? Seems like a bad idea. I'm no professional (20 some under my belt) but have always had a divemaster along. -- Fuzheado (talk) 18:39, 20 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is how things are usually done on the boats I dive from in Cape Town. I will be diving and can give a detailed briefing on the sites, and I am as local as you can get, with about 2000 dives in the Cape Town area, and have personally mapped about a hundred of the sites. You can see the articles and maps on Wikivoyage. I strongly recommend reading the main article Wikivoyage:Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay before diving here, it is quite comprehensive. The skipper knows the area well, and will give a briefing on the boat related procedures. Most of our dive sites are suitable for a competent diver to explore without being led along a fixed route by a divemaster. How common or unusual this is in the global scene is not known to me, as I have seen everthing from tight litle groups following a divenaster, with another divemaster herding the strays back to the group, to groups where you all go in at the shotline and come up wherever you end up. We tend to use DSMDs to show the boat where we are when surfacing, and the boat will pick everyone up in turn. If people want a divemaster to follow around, I can organise one, but he is a professional and will not work for free. If people want to do their own thing that is also OK. I am also quite happy to show people around, but I do not take responsibility for the safety of everyone in the group. I will buddy at most with two people if they are both trained in team diving, or one if they are trained in buddy diving, but mostly I dive solo because I am usually surveying. If people want to follow me that is OK, and if they get separated or need to ascend I do not stop the dive for everyone else unless it is an emergency. I can organise as many divemasters as people are willing to pay for, and probably can arrange a local buddy of reasonable skill and local knowledge for those who need one, but it will be a working day, so no guarantees who will be available. I will try to get one of my colleagues who is fairly expert on the local ecology to come along as well. It does look like a few of the divers booked may prefer a divemaster to follow, so if they confirm this I will arrange for one. It will push the cost up a bit. If there is anything you need clarified further, just ask. Cheers, Pbsouthwood (talk) 21:08, 20 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Pbsouthwood, thanks for organizing this! I guess there are different perspectives on this issue. (BTW, as a Wikipedian, I recall first noticing your user name years ago as a prolific and obviously knowledgeable contributor to the article on solo diving on the English Wikipedia ;) - I, User:HaeB, was the editor who added the BSAC quote there.)
Personally, I will be happy to either share the cost of a divemaster, or to buddy up within a group where an experienced local diver gives a briefing about the site, enjoys showing people around below the surface and perhaps also carries the DSMB but, understandably, will not want to be personally liable for everyone's safety.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 04:47, 16 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Tbayer (WMF): There will be a briefing by me on the chosen sites, by the skipper on local boat diving practice, and possibly by a local marine naturalist/very experienced diver on the ecology. If there are any questions after the briefing we will be available to answer them. I will be diving with a surface marker, and a bailout cylinder, which is my standard practice for mapping, but will not be surveying. Anyone who wants to follow me around is welcome to do so, and welcome to ascend on my SMB when they want to. I will not be accompanying them up unless there is an urgent reason to do so, as I will continue the dive for the rest of the group. I do not stop the dive if someone leaves the group. They are then on their own or with their buddy. It is preferable to send up a DSMB when ascending to reduce the risk of being hit by a boat, but it is not compulsory, and unless you have drifted or swum a long way from the shotline, the skipper will probably see you at the surface quite soon, and pick you up as soon as he can (He may be loading someone else, or there may be several divers waiting their turn.) I generally dive at a speed that is slow enough for casual photographers. It looks like it will be a small group, and if I can persuade Georgina (the naturalist) to lead, I will probably do the sheepdog thing and follow up the rear of the group. It depends on the visibility. If you are intending to join the dive, please add your name and other relevant details to the list for planning purposes. I suggest those staying at the hotel group together to arrange transport through the hotel to Simon's Town, where the boat will pick us up (I live somewhat out of town), and rental kit is available. Cheers, Pbsouthwood (talk) 07:29, 16 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]