Are you a recreational diver? Are you off on holiday soon? Doing some diving? Will you have a diving professional guiding you during the dives? Here’s a few really great ways to get on their nerves, make their life difficult and generally compromise the safety of yourself and the rest of the dive group courtesy of Scuba Monkey diving research labs.
Diving professionals are employed globally to lead dives and offer local diving safety advice and diving tips to certified scuba divers. Each diver paying for this service is, therefore, a qualified diver with an autonomous diver qualification seeking the underwater guidance and dive planning of a diving professional.
However, in this lesson (and it is a lesson) our team of recreational diving experts will show you how you, too, can liven up their dull lives and annoy your diving professional to the brink of a nervous breakdown.
So, sit back and learn some key techniques that will mark you out to experienced diving professionals as a enormous bell-end and someone they can’t wait to see the back of.
1. Equipment Savvy
Tom Perkins, 46, of Berkshire, an IT professional and Open Water qualified diver with 32 dives, said “I like to irritate my dive guides by having no clue about diving equipment set-up. I find the best way to get on my Divemaster or Instructor’s nerves is to either a) stare blankly at my scuba equipment for 20 minutes before each dive like a caveman who’s been thawed out of ice after 7000 years and has just seen scuba equipment for the first time – holding up the rest of the dive group – or, b) claim I know what I’m doing before connecting up the hoses incorrectly and leaving the tank band loose to ensure there’s an in-water incident. The key to this annoyance technique is to not be prepared for a diving trip and – certainly – not to take a diving refresher session before the holiday. And, additionally, ensure you omit a buddy check before entering the water for maximum annoyance. Divemasters and Instructors like nothing better than securing a loose tank by man-handling the cylinder back into a BCD band at 18m in my experience. Livens up their day.”
Annoyance Score: 6
2. Weight Clueless
Sarah Jones, 35, a HR manager from Bolton says “I trained with BSAC, so naturally my favourite trick on safari boats and day trips is to absolutely insist that I need about 6kg more on my weight belt than I actually need for the dive. It’s a great tactic. This means my buoyancy is completely screwed and I move around beneath the surface like a chimpanzee riding an invisible unicycle, guzzling my air at a rate of knots and compromising the length of the dive for everyone else. On a good day I can have my dive group back at the surface in 25 minutes and my dive guide still with 150bar in his or her tank. Brilliant. I might also ask the guide to carry spares in their BCD for me, like some sort of underwater ‘pack horse’. Then for an added annoyance I complain about the length of the dive as if it’s their fault. It’s great watching their blood boil. The key to this technique, like many you’ll hear, is to be absolutely unwavering in your belief that you know more about diving than someone who does more than 500 dives a year for a living and is trained in dive management.”
Annoyance Score: 5
3. Fashionably Late
Tammy Lawrence, 24, from Baltimore, USA, has this fantastic way to grate on your dive guide and group “I like to be late for each dive briefing despite knowing exactly when the next briefing will be and then, while everyone else is getting ready for the dive, f*ck around with my camera or decide that this moment – at the end of a 2 hour surface interval – is the ideal time to start a conversation with someone else in another group. If I do it right the captain and crew can be circling the boat around the dive site for a good 10-20 minutes burning fuel waiting for me – or, for bonus points, I can have the rest of my group standing waiting in full equipment and getting increasingly hot and tired with the weight on their backs. They love that! For a full score on this one make sure you’re late getting ready and, at the 11th hour when you’re nearly ready, find you’ve left your computer in a personal bag in the cabin meaning you have to de-kit and repeat the whole process. After all – the dive is all about me!”
Annoyance Score: 7
4. Computer Crashing
Bill, 39, from Montreal, a car salesman and Advanced Open Water diver with nearly 46 dives says “I like to always arrive for a day’s diving with a brand new diving computer I’ve bought online that I’ve never read the instructions for – or even taken out of the box until the day – and then expect the guide to know each individual brand of dive computer’s functions intricately. For real impact and maximum irritation you’ll approach your dive guide 3 minutes before the dive with lots of questions about the computer and no sign of an instruction manual. Then, and you’ll like this, I like to ignore common sense and put the computer on my left wrist instead of the correct right wrist so that every time I wave my left arm around on ascents and descents making adjustments to my BCD or drysuit it starts beeping and giving me warnings. It’s particularly good doing that on ascents so I can’t read it with my left hand moving up and down in a venting position. It then begins beeping repeatedly – that way my dive guide thinks I’m having a rapid ascent or crashing straight through a safety stop – and has to keep spinning around to check. Which sometimes I also like to do to keep them on their toes!” said Bill grinning.
Annoyance Score: 3.5
5. Mutiny Beneath The Waves
Frank Wilson, a 51 year old quantity surveyor, from NSW, Australia offered this top-tip. “I particularly like to ruin my dive guide’s day by completely ignoring that he/she is supposed to be leading the dive and lead the dive myself by swimming off like a torpedo, unannounced, in a random direction until I’m out of vision. Have I been to the dive site before? No. Do i know where I’m going? Not a f*cking clue. Am I keeping an eye on my depth, no-stop limits, my buddy, currents or air consumption? Don’t be bloody stupid! That just adds to the fun! The secret of making this look plausible – and that I’m not simply taking the p*ss – is to be holding a camera; that gives you licence to behave like a crazed triggerfish underwater. Or, another method is to swim directly in front of the dive leader, kicking them in the head, before flutter-kicking sand and silt in their face so they can’t see where I’m going. But that takes a little more expertise to pull off. The more variables and problems you can throw at the dive leader, the better.”
Annoyance Score: 8.5
6. Gas Consumption Poker
Henry McTwatt from East Kilbride, a 33 year old bar manager and massive tit, said “My party piece for causing problems while away on diving trips is ignoring my gas consumption or, when I’m ‘in the mood’, to blatantly lie about it. Most diving instructors always ask me to let them know at 100-120 bar so they can safely bring us all shallower or to our ascent point. The sheer cheek of them! I like to ignore all that and make it a big guessing game. When I’m really on form I’ll manage to ignore requests to confirm how much air I have until I’m at 50bar at 28m. Just to see the whites of their eyes! Sometimes, for a laugh, I also like to lie about how much air I have left too . I’ll say I have 120bar when actually I only have 70bar a-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!”
Annoyance Score: 9.5
As you can see, there is a real art to this. The experts assembled above are masters of the craft.
To begin annoying your diving instructor, divemaster or guide, start slowly and build up to these bigger skills.
At first you may wish to leave a dangling/unattached hose or SPG that you can snag on a wreck or coral, lose a fin at depth and flap around like a chicken, take off your mask on the surface before you’re back on the boat to facilitate struggling to remove your fins and head-butting the ladder. Also, touching coral and wildlife when told specifically not to can get you up to 8 points depending on the gravity of the offence or, alternatively, even just be so incompetent at even getting ready for a dive that you need a team of people to dress you.
With time and effort you can be one of the greats like the experts assembled here.