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How to Arrange a Perfect Dive Trip

Sébastien Danneels our Diving Officer delivered a lecture on how to arrange the perfect dive trip and has complied the following guide. For easy navigation, the guide is split up into sections, please use the links below to select the information you wish to view.

1. Choosing a Location

This is probably the most important aspect of any dive trip, check previous visits, reports, and experiences. If this is your first trip it is probably better to start with an area that is well known and liked by the club so get recommendations from other club members.

Pointers to consider:

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2. Choosing the Date(s)

In choosing a date for your trip, your first consideration is to schedule it on neap tides, next, avoid clashes with other events or dive trips. Consider an extended weekend over a bank holiday. Whilst it is very difficult to predict the weather, plankton blooms and the likely sea state, certain locations can be dived in various sea conditions whilst others cannot, for an indication, check out the clubs schedule for the previous year

You will need to know when high and low water occurs, both at the slip (outgoing and incoming times) and the dive site. There are a number of ways of getting this information:

Find out when slacks water occurs. Many diving books quote slack water times for dive sites with precarious currents. Another method is to use the tidal diamonds on the nautical chart

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3. Who Should Go?

Make an early decision regarding the type of diving for this trip and also the minimum level of divers that can attend. Consider the following requirements:

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4. Boats

4.1. Hard Boats

There are a number of options to consider here. If you are chartering a vessel check out the following:

4.2. RIBs

If it's a RIB, there are a number of additional factors to consider:

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5. Finance

Make sure all participants are aware of the full costs of the following:

Where possible take a deposit from participants to pay booking fees etc.

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6. Things to Take

Make sure you have the following equipment on the trip:

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7. Dive Briefing

Approximately two weeks before the trip, arrange a dive briefing session at the club. Use this to let everyone know the plan and what is expected of them. Include:

It is also a good idea to allocate certain responsibilities to divers for each day, this may help to make divers feel part of it, this might include responsibilities for:

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8. Choosing the Actual Dives

When planning a dive, plan with contingencies in mind, always have a back-up plan. Decide the main objectives of the trip, e.g. scenic diving, specific training, deep wreck diving. As a general principle, make the diving safe but challenging and interesting.

Any dive must suit the capabilities of all the divers on the trip. A good approach is to get firm bookings (including cash deposits) very early on, so all the divers are known. When deciding the dives, find out each participant's:

With this in mind and the maximum depths allowed by BSAC at each level, you should be able to choose some good safe dives. Additional information can be obtained from the Internet, magazines, books, hard boat skippers and club members.

Consider these factors:

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9. Après Dive

Give all completed dive management sheets to the Diving Officer

Report to the Boat Officer any problems with the boat; and to the Equipment Officer any problems with the equipment, so that it can be replaced.

Remember the après dive weekend activities like boat and engine washing.

Share with everyone your adventure, you can write an article for the club website, or share photos for the gallery.

REMEMBER: You can't please everyone all of the time, so just do your best and enjoy it!

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