Liveaboard Diving For The Beginning Scuba Diver
If you are considering taking a vacation that focuses on diving or even one that diving is an significant portion of the trip then you need to consider a Liveaboard diving vacation as a possible choice.
Many new divers are enthusiastic about their new diving skills and are eager to learn more and dive often. Going to a tropical resort where they can enjoy diving is the logical choice.
Many new divers may not consider going on a Liveaboard vacation.
The Liveaboard choices have vastly expanded over the last few years and the quality of the vacation is drastic improved.
Many veterans will talk about their previous Liveaboard experiences leaving the impression that the only thing to do on a Liveaboard is to dive and that the creature comforts are like that of an army troop ship.
The current Liveaboard generally differ greatly from the old war stories. Also there is still the impression that it is only about diving and you need to be an advance diver. In the past that was an accurate statement, but currently only a few Liveaboards fit that description.
Why a liveaboard is the best for a beginner.
Liveaboard vacations are not for everyone. If you want a vacation that combines scuba diving with wild nights of parties and drinking, then a Liveaboard is not for you, and you should limit your diving. However, if you want a vacation where diving is one of the important points, the diving is in a relax environment and want to be able to learn from the experience of other divers, Then a Liveaboard may be an excellent choice.
While each Liveaboard vessel is different there are certain factors that will be common.
As our model Liveaboard we will use the MV Reef Encounter sailing from Cairns Australia to the Great Barrier Reef as our example.
The MV Reef Encounter is one of the new breeds of the Liveaboard industry that is attractive to divers of all experience levels as well as snorkels and non-divers.
Built along the lines of a 35 meter mega-yacht her 21 cabins can take a maximum of 42 divers to five different outer reefs on the Great Barrier reef, each reef with a number of different dive sites. Like most resorts you can join the MV Reef Encounter on any day and stay as many days as you wish.
Transfer from the land to the vessel is done by use of a daily dive vessel the MV Reef Experience.
When you arrive at the Liveaboard there is time to settle into your ocean-view stateroom, and go snorkeling before lunch. After lunch it is time for the dive briefing. When you are ready take your dive, there is no need to rush to get into the water.
After your dive, enjoy your surface interval with a snack or chatting with the other divers and the dive staff. Or maybe you want to just stretch out on the sun deck or spend some time in your stateroom.
A second dive in the afternoon, an excellent dinner prepared by the chef, and a night dive. After a night dive, maybe a drink watching the most star you have ever seen.
The other guest are also relaxing and it is easy to start a conversation.
The next day starts with a sunrise dive as the reef is at its best, breakfast and another dive before lunch.
At a resort a typical dive day would be getting up and haul your gear down to the dive boat, set up your gear, and then wait for those who arrived late to get ready.
A few hours after you left your hotel you are all ushered into the water for your first dive.
After your second dive you head back to the resort, haul your gear back to your room. No sunrise dives, no night dives, little interaction with others.
Not all resort operators are like that, but you do see it frequently enough.
One of the advantages of the Liveaboard is the crew. You get a chance to know them and they you. It is easy to approach them with a question or two and they are open to giving advice.
Many of the dives have an option of being guided and if you would rather have a private guide that can be arranged for just a small fee.
Another is the amount of diving, at a resort two dives a day is normal and if your lucky there may be one night dive a week.
On a Liveaboard plan on four dives each full day out of five possible dive times one of which is a night dive. The experience that you gain in a few days is well beyond that of a land resort.
Liveaboard Or Resort
Many people thinking of taking a Liveaboard are concerned that the activities on-board will be limited. Granted there are no discos or nightclubs.
Consider that many people will spend days at a resort and not leave the resort. Laying by the pool, maybe a swim, some good meals will occupy many at a resort.
On the Liveaboard you have a sun deck and instead of a pool you have the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Non-divers can enjoy a snorkeling session when the dive deck is open.
The MV Reef Encounter even has a glass bottom boat so you can enjoy the view of the reef without getting into the water, and a hot tub with incredible views.
Meals on board will rival those of the best resorts on shore, and there is an afternoon snack.
After you are finished diving for the day, the bar is available for beer, wine or cocktails. Basically the same as a laid back resort.