Saturday, June 22, 2024

9 Top Tips For The Ultimate Liveaboard Experience


9 Tips for the Ultimate Liveaboard Experience is part of the Ultimate Guide to Liveaboard Diving

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Few things can beat a good liveaboard experience as a diver. There is always a new destination or vessel to seek out, and this kind of trip boasts anything that a diver would need, from great food to making new friends and unforgettable diving, among many other things!

Whether you are relatively new to liveaboard diving, preparing for your next expedition, or want to get a few extra tips on how to better prepare for and live out a fantastic experience on a liveaboard expedition, you’ve come to the right place!

Let’s giant stride into the top 9 tips for the ultimate liveaboard experience.

Find a Fitting Itinerary

The dive industry encompasses many liveaboard destinations, operators, and packages. The benefit of this is that you have many options to help you find the right trip. However, it can be a long search to find the right destination and operator to fit your needs and experience level.

To ensure that you will find the right itinerary, a booking agency can come with a lot of help, and expert advice during the early stages of decision-making can take a lot of logistical pre-travel stress off you! 

Liveaboard booking agencies include a support team with experience in liveaboard diving and access to an array of information about seasonality, fish life, marine animals, visibility, liveaboard vessels, and more!

Keep It Simple By Packing Light

Liveaboards are notoriously considered a home away from home among divers. However, cabin space can be small and often shared.

As a diver, you’d only need a few sets of clothing and something warm, along with some essentials.

One thing to remember is that guests on liveaboards go barefoot, so don’t overpack with shoes.

Consider using bags that you can fold or flatten after unpacking for the duration of your liveaboard trip.

Check with your agency or liveaboard company beforehand if they do provide pre-departure checklists, and in the meantime, have a look at our packing list:

  • Passport (Remember to check that the validity is OK)
  • Travel Documents for Children
  • Vaccinations or prophylactic drugs (if needed)
  • Enough cash
  • Dive insurance
  • Dive gear
  • Compass
  • Snorkel
  • Spare mask
  • Large Surface Marker Buoy – Knowing how to launch your SMB is a vital safety skill as a diver. Make sure that you know how to launch it.
  • Reef hook
  • Primary and backup dive torches (Remember to always take one, even on day dives)
  • Hat, headband, or buff for extra ear protection
  • Earplugs (Especially when you are sharing a cabin)
  • Seasickness remedies (if you need them)
  • Drops to prevent or relieve ear infections

Take Care Of Yourself

Diving comes with a list of mental and physical health benefits, never mind a break from the hustle and bustle of civilization while being surrounded by the ocean! 

Yet, apart from a full day of diving, a liveaboard adventure can still take it out of you. Remember that onboard you are still in a social, shared, and confined space. Make sure to keep yourself well nourished and hydrated, take time when you feel it’s needed, and stretch often.

Wake Up Early

A few things come close to the beauty of a sunrise at sea. More so, there is nothing like waking up early enough to make it for the day’s first dive and witnessing the underwater world bursting with life!

If you do not consider yourself an early bird, try to set a goal to wake up early at least once.

If you are a night owl or happen to wake up sometime in the middle of the night, take a walk up to the stern for a moment and see what is happening there, it can be that something is coming up from the depths in the quiet hours of the night.

Engage With The Crew

Nobody has a bigger knowledge about the ocean, the animals, and some good stories about the destination and liveaboard culture than the crew on board! Don’t hesitate to show some extra curiosity by asking them questions about the history and backstory of the dive sites, especially wrecks or marine species you encounter on your dives.

They are always happy to provide more in-depth knowledge, tips, and tricks for future liveaboard trips and possibly some good advice on where to plan your next trip! 

Keep Yourself Warm

After multiple dives in even the warmest tropical destinations, it is still possible to eventually get cold during dives; getting cold can result in discomfort and feeling unmotivated to do multiple dives a day, which, in a way, defeats the concept of “Eat, sleep, dive, repeat.”

Consider your threshold to the cold, and bring extra gear like a hood, gloves, and an extra thermal layer.

Lastly, remember to bring an extra warm layer for the evenings on board. Winds at sea can get chilly when the sun goes down!

Keep The Environment In Mind

By getting to witness the magic and beauty of the underwater world, divers are considered some of the biggest ocean advocates out there!

As a diver, you’d want to do anything to protect and conserve the underwater world. Stay mindful about your buoyancy on dives to avoid kicking the reef, and use eco-friendly toiletries and sunscreen.

Lastly, being an environmentally conscious diver matters as much on the surface as underwater.

Refresh Your Skills And Knowledge

Different destinations are notorious for different dive conditions and types; while some are good for a thrilling drift dive, others are great for deeper wrecks or night diving! 

Before booking a liveaboard trip, look into the certification and skills required for this kind of diving, and if it’s needed, brush up on your navigation and SMB deployment skills.

Some dive sites can be rather demanding towards your physical health and skills as a diver, so be sure to maintain them, and don’t forget to ensure that your dive gear is in top shape! 

Don’t forget to leave a tip!

Different liveaboard destinations have different approaches toward tipping the crew on board. Be sure to look into how the operators go about tipping and leave some space in your budget to tip the crew after your experience. Working at sea is a labor of love and passion, and that extra tip during the peak season can go a long way for the crew!

A lot of preparation happens in the background while preparing for a liveaboard. Still, proper research about the destination and preparation is key to ensuring an enjoyable liveaboard trip!

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Read more in our Ultimate Guide to Liveaboard Diving
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