When you get there...

Next, sign the waiver at the window. This holds true for both West Palm and Pompano.

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Wait for permission from the boat captain or dive master to load your gear on the boat. The crew will help you load your gear onboard.

After your gear is loaded and you have permission to get on board, set up your gear as soon as possible when you're still at the dock.

“If you find something missing, it's much easier to find it on land,” Dive Instructor Donna Dornbos says. “Things become more expensive when you're out at sea.”

When you're still at the dock, you can go to your car and get the missing item or rent it from the local dive shop.

“The likelihood of someone having an extra BC at sea is not very good,” Dornbos says.

On the way to the dive site, the dive master or captain will give a briefing. Pay attention. They will tell you how long to the site, when he will give the warning to put your gear on, information about the dive site: topography, depth; and how to get on and off the boat.

They will also tell you how long you can dive if you are using a dive computer, but that you are limited to a certain amount of bottom time. Some people can stay at depth for an hour and a half.

The dive master has to limit bottom time so all the divers stay together, so that everyone has the same surface interval. In Pompano, dive flags are given out to groups diving together. In West Palm, everyone dives together.

After the first dive, there will be a surface interval, according to dive tables or your dive computer.

“Switch over your gear, rest, drink plenty of fluids and stay well-hydrated,” Dornbos said. “Being dehydrated makes you more susceptible to Decompression Sickness.”

There will be another briefing on the second dive site.

When the boat gets back to the dock, unload your gear. The dive master will help you. Put your gear in the grass and load your car.

If, at any time during your trip, you have questions, ask the dive master. They are always there to help you, and that is why you tip them at the end of your dive.

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