Choosing that dive operator that is going to work for you at an affordable price can take a substantial amount of time. It’s easy to type into a search engine ‘diving in…’ or once arriving in a location find the cheapest option however this doesn’t always create the best memories. There are many elements that contribute to a great experience diving which need to be considered. So here we go…
- Dive Company
It is imperative that you take your time to do some research online into certain companies operating within that region and choose someone that is going to suit all your needs. And even if you’ve done all the research in the world, always take into account your gut instinct when you first meet with the dive company. You should always feel comfortable and confident with their abilities.
My personal recommendation for diving in Australia would be to book with Pro Dive as they are not only extremely affordable, but also boast excellence in all fields of diving from their gear to their dive sites. It is truly a special experience. I further recommend you to dive with La Bombona Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand as a newer operator they have everything to meet all your needs and express this with utter professionalism. I guarantee you will create memories to last a lifetime! Both of these companies offer all forms of diving courses and their staff are experienced, cool, calm and collected. Essential trait when diving!
- Clean & Healthy Diving Equipment
There is nothing worse than diving with faulty gear. It’s important to read reviews and personally check over your gear before entering the water. Make sure you check your Tank, BCD, Regulator, Wetsuit, Fins and Mask. If there is any concerns or issues let someone know prior to entering the water. Anything that would impose on your safety is a threat. All gear has the potential to present issues. For example a BCD that has faulty connections or a regulator that doesn’t flow with consistent air.
- Mask Comfort
Every dive operator will provide you with all your diving gear; however having a mask that will work for you, is extremely important. I would advise anyone who is serious about diving to make the purchase and buy a decent mask that you know will not pose any problems for you. There is nothing worse than continually clearing your mask of fog and water seeping in. Personally I need a mask, which is frameless and doesn’t have a stiff plastic frame. Comfort is the key as diving is all about staying relax, moving slowly and discovering what lives under the ocean.
Choosing a dive operator that isn’t operating off a tiny little off board motor is important. If you decided to take part in a live aboard experience or a day trip its vital to feel like you are not over crowded on the vessel and that you can move around at your own leisure. Companies such as ProDive and La Bombona Diving have large, modern boats that have all the key amenities that you will need whilst out diving. Once again do your research!
- Dive Sites
When diving its important to once again do some research into where the dive operator’s dive sites are. You don’t want to be taken to a barren, dark dive site where there is nothing but dead coral and the odd fish. Most diving companies that operate with their day trips will advertise where they are going that day prior to boarding the boat. However it’s important to understand these constantly change due to accessibility to these locations due to the forces of Mother Nature. Its incredible that you may enter a dive site and have 10 meters visibility then on your second dive a mere kilometer away be diving in crystal clear water and have 25 meters visibility.
- Overall Health
It is important to be feeling 100% when diving. There is no point entering the water with a cold, blocked ears, headache anything that doesn’t feel right. All you will do is disappoint yourself and I speak from experience. I completed my second dive of the day to 15 meters with a small headache and when I resurfaced I was struggling to keep my eyes open my head was pounding so badly. You always have to ability to push your dives back if the operator is lenient and if you are onboard a live aboard you do not want to risk the possibility to undertake your other dives which are scheduled.
Safety is number one when diving. If you feel unsafe or are at risk while diving let your dive buddy or instructor know and resurface. Emergency situations can occur whilst you are diving and they can pose a threat to you or others in your dive group. These may be the result of fault gear, someone touching something they should such as a poisonous coral or fish or you or others injuring themselves underneath the water. Make sure to conduct all your dives with a dive buddy who you trust and feel confident with underwater. Many reported accidents whilst diving is the result of careless preparation and not abiding by the rules of the sea.
- Have Fun!
Make sure to make the most of each dive. If you follow this rough guideline you are bound to have an enjoyable experience and create memories that will last a lifetime. Remember when diving with your buddy or instructor you are there to observe and discover what lies under the ocean and communicate this to one and other. Once you enter the water it’s a totally different world when your 25 meters below sea level!
Check out our short video from our experience diving with La Bombona Diving, Koh Tao, Thailand.
Pro Dive, Australia:
La Bombona Diving, Koh Tao, Thailand: