Recently, I found myself facing this particular situation of a boat breakdown
The sun was already shining high in the blue sky when we left the port of our distant destination in the Caribbean.
The smell of the sea was all over and the water drops came crashing down on our polarized glasses, leaving here and there white marks that made our eyes look like flies.
The dive gear was taunting us fastened in the tank rack, promising beautiful discoveries on the neighboring island where we went for a morning of wonderful underwater exploration.
In short, the day promised to be really perfect.
It was without counting on the engine of the boat which in capricious jerks began to smoke before saying bye bye, after a last hick up.
Calmly, the captain and the Divemaster present on the boat analyzed the situation, tried to reinitiate the oil pump, … before realizing that the boat was indeed NOK anymore.
After a distress call to the dive center, like shipwrecked people, we obviously had to wait patiently
In the distance we could see the coast moving away as we drifted offshore waiting for a solution and imagining the beautiful dives that we probably would not do that day.
The first minutes seemed to be “part of the experience” but soon the situation evolved and disappointment began to be read on the faces of our fellow divers and time was just passing, tirelessly.
Although the Divemaster was showing his best smile, loathing a few times and encouraging us to hydrate, we felt that our half-day dive was becoming more and more compromised as the coast disappeared.
A good hour after our departure, another boat (finally) came to tow us and the curiosity of the maneuver caught our attention and gave us a boost of energy. It was strange to see these mooring ropes crossed on both sides of the boats.
Back along the side and once the boat moored to a buoy, we were then asked to change boats to still discover the Caribbean waters but not at the expected place. Despite the proximity to the port, the dives were great: eagle rays, turtles, Frog Fish, … all in an ocean of colors.
Of course, during the wait time on the broken boat, we could have given in to discouragement, disappointment, … we who had come from so far to have a good time under water for a short week.
I then asked myself the following question:
What to do when the boat breaks down?
Here are 7 constructive reactions not to spoil your day when the boat breaks down:
- Regardless of your state of mind, you can not change the situation (unless you are a diesel boat mechanic). Keep your best smile, it’s more fun for you and for those around you and it prevents the terrible contagion of a bad mood
- Take the time you have to get to know the people on the boat better and perhaps make future friendships
- Discuss the topics you are passionate about and discover new equipment (it’s a safe bet that other divers do not have the same equipment as you have)
- Use this time to rest, lie in front of the boat (protecting yourself from the sun) or perform a small session of meditation / wellness in front of the endless ocean.
- Learn how to tie knots, read a map, ask about GPS operation, … talk to the captain
- If you are a novice (or even more experienced), take the opportunity to talk with people who have done their training in other training agencies than yours. You will see that it is very interesting if you are open-minded and it allows to progress in the understanding of diving
- Trust … the boat will eventually be repaired or towed and you will have a great story to tell 😉
As you can see, it is possible to positively manage an unforeseen event of this type and finally to get an original experience.
Have you ever had this type of experience?
What are your tips and tricks for waiting in such situations?
Do you have an idea of what did cause this breakdown, it is very odd 😉 tell me if you know or just guess 😉
Do not forget to be happy 🙂