Scuba Diving Day Tours
Newly certified scuba divers are often are a little nervous taking their first dive trip away from their instructors. Many time the student diver did their dives from small dive boats often carrying six divers and referred to as six packs. Pac is a tourism industry shortcut for passenger, and dive people just tweak it a little to pack, since every one loves six packs. When you start looking at day tours on dive boats you often find the boats are much larger and frequently contain a mixture of both scuba divers and snorkelers. While the size of the boats will make a difference the diving is the same so just relax and enjoy the situation. Here are a few pointers about how to act on a dive boat, most are common sense but still there will always be a diver that does not follow them and gets referred to as that diver:
- Be on time, now one likes to wait for the late arrivals. Plus there is the possibility that your pre-paid dive will depart without you with no refund.
- Ask permission to board, yep it is not just in the movies or the navy. It is always best to ask permission to board. The crew may seem ready for you but they may have a few details to finish and being on board may slow them down
- introduce yourself to the dive leader if it was not done before boarding. If you are a new diver let him know. Most dive leaders will talk to each diver before the dive to judge their ability. Taking the initiative and doing it your self will allow extra time for questions
- Ask when to set up gear. In most cases the crew lets you set up as soon as possible. If you are on time or better one of the first, you can calmly set up your gear while still at the dock with no motion to contend with. When finished just move to a comfortable place on the boat away from the rush.
- Mishandled weight belts can cause thousands of dollars in damage or personal injuries. Dropping a weigh belt on yours or someone else’s foot will cause a miss dive and even broken bones. A weight belt dropped on a camera or dive computer might result in you getting some broken bones from the owner. Belts are always kept at the deck level when not in use.
- Camera bucket is only for cameras. Most dive boats will have a bucket of fresh water designated for cameras. It should not be used for anything else, such as rinsing your mask or fins.
- Wear your fins where appropriate. Unless told otherwise, you should assume that fins go on at the dive gate.
- Do not rush, take you time and do not rush to get off the boat, also wait your turn upon returning to the boat.
Cairns Based Day Tour Dive Boats
Being a Cairns based travel and dive company, we naturally know that the day tour boats in our area are by far the best. In our area the larger boats are most common and have both snorkelers and divers on-board as well as guest who just want to go out for a day tour on the reef. Each boat is different and look at their potential clients slightly different. To illustrate this, here is a review of two day tour boats from our sister companies.
Compass Cruises offers a full day of snorkeling or diving on some of the outer barrier reefs, Generally one of the many dive sites on Hasting reef is the first stop of the day. After loading at around 7:30 am and departing at 8:00am, you should be in the water by 10:00 am. The compass is a budget day tour which is really one of the best values in the area. After the first water session, the day tour continues with lunch. While you are eating and divers are working off the surface interval, the captain is relocating the vessel to the second reef. Breaking patches is the most common second destination. There are a few other reefs that the vessel can visit if the diving conditions are not perfect on either of these two reefs. On the way back to Cairns, boom netting is often done. Sort of water skiing without the skies. A boom net is towed behind the vessel as it speeds back to port, and the adventures can hang on to the net and follow along, a wine and cheese party is also held on the way back. This trip will have you out on the reef for about 5 hours.
MV Reef Experience
MV Reef Experience hails itself as the only all inclusive day tour dive boat in Cairns. The MV Reef Experience is a high speed multiple hull vessel that will take you out to the outer reefs, Hasting and breaking patches reefs are on its list of potential dive sites as are Saxon and Norman Reefs. Check in on the MV Reef Experience starts at 7:20 and the vessel serves breakfast after the 8:00am safety briefing and departure. On the way a marine biologist will give a talk for anyone that is interested. Divers and snorkelers are in the water around 9:30. One unique point about this vessel is that one scuba dive is included in the base fare. If you are a certified diver after producing your “C”card you can enjoy a dive on the reef, second scuba dives are available with an optional charge. Non-divers also have the opportunity to experience scuba diving. A non-divers can take a resort dive. A resort dive is a special program that allows non-divers to go on a dive with an instructor. After some basic lessons and practice, the resort diver is escorted by the instructor for a dive on the reef. After lunch, the vessel will move to a second reef for another water session. Around 3:00pm, the vessel will start back to port and have wine, cheese and fruit available.
Take A Liveaboard
Whether you are considering Cairns or elsewhere for your next day tour of diving, rest assured that it is the next step, enjoy your diving