This is how we social distance on a dive boat. Our new boats with business class tank stations and arm rests, already have extra elbow room built in. Check out the video below to see what it all looks like in practice.
It all starts with the check-in process where divers can sign their waivers and health declaration digitally and remotely before arrival. Divers can skip going into the dive shop and take advantage of our Express Check-In desk, located outside on the way to the dock. If you arrive early, there is lots of room on shore to wait and get organized- picnic tables are set up 12 feet apart to make it easy for everyone to spread out. When it is time to board, divers will walk on the left down the dock and signage will help everyone social distance every 6 feet. Divers will step through a disinfecting foot rinse tub when boarding and then be assigned to their tank station and port or starboard side of the vessel.
Face coverings will be worn by all passengers and crew when on board our vessels. We recommend a Hoo-Rag or neck-gaiter, as they can be kept around your neck while diving and can be used wet. While medical grade masks provide the highest protection, they do not last long on a wet dive boat.
On board our huge 46 foot dive boats there is plenty of space. We've even left big gaps between each buddy team or individual diver for maximum separation. Under your tank station is a clean gear crate with your name on it, so all of your loose gear can stay in one place and not get mixed up with anyone else's. The best part are the individual 1 gallon buckets of treated fresh water at every single tank station. This is your personal disinfecting rinse to keep your mask and primary regulator in while you are not diving. With your reg and mask in the bucket, they'll be sloshing around the whole time being disinfected when not in use. We use a disinfectant solution called Milton, which is used for sterilizing baby bottles. Watch the video below to see more details.
All dive boats will be cup-free. This is a big change that was already planned for Earth Day, even though the cups we use are biodegradable, they are still single use items that are best avoided. Now that single use plastic cups are considered a COVID-19 risk, we are glad that we were prepared for this need, even though it was for different reasons. Divers are asked to bring their own water bottle and bring it full. You will be able to refill on board and at the dive shop. Basic and premium water bottles will be for sale at the dive shop if needed, or you can just purchase a semi-reusable water bottle out of the beverage fridge- lots of options to stay cup-free.
Green Shorts Service will still be provided, including storing of bulky dive gear items such as BCDs, fins and wetsuits. Personal dive masks and regulators need to be kept in the divers' possession and carried with the back to their room after the dives. All other Green Shorts concierge service standards will also continue, including: Illustrated dive briefings, expert guiding on all dive sites, marine life identification, assistance with dive computer configuration, dive equipment advise, buoyancy coaching, logbook signing and Green Short Challenge dive site priorities.
Social Distance Diving is easy. Here is a summary of all you need to know when diving with Ocean Frontiers:-