Updated: Sep 11, 2021
# The very seasick person
Despite the 4 seasickness tablets, after 5 minutes on the boat this person starts turning a shade of pale green. Soon they are leaning over the side of the boat, retching. If they are lucky, they manage to get the first dive in but when the tea and biscuits come out they are done for and run to the back of the boat to barf. The trip usually ends with them wrapped up in a towel looking utterly green and miserable, shivering and, every so often, popping their head overboard to purge. The whole boat feels compassion but also slightly nauseous. You'll be lucky if you get this one underwater at all.
# The very big expensive camera person
From the start it's complicated, they can barely lift their bulky and very very expensive camera and need towels and protection every time they put it down. A special place is made for this gem of technology and the staff are briefed about handling it at length; as well, in fact, as everyone else on the boat. The briefing is followed by 5 more minutes of explanations of the particularities of their entry with the big camera, everyone must take heed. When you finally jump in , plan another 5 plus minutes as the cumbersome object is handed over by the staff, adjustments are made, extra weights/gadgets asked for to the boat crew. Once you finally get down there, it's a an exercise in patience- just like with all photographers if you don't have your own camera- so we recommend you take one. You might flinch as the photographer clumsily lies on fragile sea life, their buoyancy all out of sorts (if they had any to start with ) because of this leviathan of a camera. Arm yourself with patience and a stick for when those fins get too close to the coral. Your only hope now is that can actually take a decent picture, which isn't, unfortunately, always the case.
# The mascara and long nails gal
This tends to almost always be a female diver. She got confused as to whether she was coming to a fashion show or going diving. She has just had her hair done, is wearing impeccable (if a lot of) make up, perfect 2 inch long nails and a bikini so small you weren't sure she had one on at all, at first. Unfortunately, the nails mean she can't do anything by herself so the boat crew will have to assist her in everything, which, to be fair, they are only too happy to do, with respect to the almost non-existent coverage of her lithe body. She dives in completely impractical but 'oh-so-sexy' gear. Pink over the knee socks and a shiny g string in guise of wetsuit, pink fins and matching hoses. Her none-too-real bust is a bit an issue for her buoyancy but she somehow muddles through. All the sexists on the boat bet she can't dive, but actually she's pretty good. In fact, we're not sure she should be in this list at all, she brings a little glamour and sparkle to the boat.
# The totally-out-of-date-gear dinosaur
The antonym to the gadget guy. This person bought their gear in 1979 and has not changed it since. BCDs ? Makes it way too easy ! Dive computers ? Ha ! You pussies! This person would still dive with a J-valve if they could (full disclosure here, one of our lovely founders actually learnt to dive with one of those. It does NOT make her a dinosaur, she just learnt how to dive very young). It gets quite confusing for the buddy especially when the dive practices are just as antiquated as the gear. Gentle coaxing might do the trick to get them to update but more often than not, it's when a piece of gear breaks and they get lent a newer version that they discover a whole new world of comfort and ease, and are bought to modernity. They wouldn't be able to replace their exact gear anyway, it only exists in dive museums these days.
# The 'what ? What ? shrug' buddy
They seemed like a nice enough person at first, when the dive guide buddied you up. When you arrived underwater, however, is when the nightmare started. Any communication from you is answered with a opened handed gesture signifying "What? What?" and a shrug, then they swim away muttering. You're not completely sure what you've done wrong, they did it when you wanted to compare air, when you showed them a cool nudibranch; they did it again when you pointed out they were kinda lying on the coral and then again when you pointed out that the rest of the group were resolutely going in the opposite direction from the two of you. Now, you've been trained to be a good buddy, so you do your best to
accommodate them at first before realising they are a lost cause and buddying up with another group on the next dive.
# The use-all-my-air-in-5-minutes buddy
Finally, the best for last, the use-up-all-my-air in 5minutes buddy. This one doesn't need much more explanation. They are every diver's worst nightmare. The 20 minute dive and coming up with 150 bar. The one where people go and discreetly ask the dive guide if they can change groups. We've all been there. Bigger tanks! Tell them to ask for bigger tanks!