What comes to mind when you think of valet scuba diving? If you stop right now and close your eyes what do you see when you picture valet scuba diving? Not carrying your gear, having it all set up for you or maybe it is rinsed well and hanging dry, even a nice dry warm wetsuit for the morning dives? It all sounds so nice and so easy, so what is there not to love about valet scuba diving?
In valet scuba diving the dive master or boat crew sets up your gear, but did they set it up the way you like it? Is the inflator properly attached? Is the tank band adjusted tight enough so the tank doesn’t slip out on your dive? Do you check it after it is set up and before you leave the dock? While it is great that the crew is taking care of you and doing the best they can to give you the best experience possible, it is still your responsibility as a diver to make sure you and your buddy are ready and good to go. Remember to always do your buddy check.
After your diving day is done, in valet scuba diving, the dive crew washes and hangs your gear. But how well do they wash your gear? Most of the time it is in a crate or bag and the crew just dunks the whole bag or crate in the rinse tank. This doesn’t do much in the way of really washing or rinsing your gear and it leaves quite a bit of salt residue on your gear which builds up over the week. To properly rinse your gear it should all be taken out and rinse piece by piece and not just passed through the rinse tank, but really soaked a little and even use the hose or move the gear through the rinse tank to flow some water over your gear. This will give you a little better rinse and get more of the damaging salt off your gear. Even if you do this, when you get your gear home, you still want to soak it for at least 24 to 48 hours with salt away to ensure your gear is clean and well taken care of.
Valet scuba diving is easy and that is what we all love and enjoy about it. Not having to carry the gear and having it all taken care of for you so you can enjoy your vacation. But remember even with valet scuba diving, we as divers are responsible for our gear and our self.