Get familiar with the following basic concepts and vocabulary and
you will have taken a significant first step toward proficiency in
dive travel sales.
TYPES OF DIVES
Drift dives: Currents carry divers over reefs, with little or no
effort on the diver's part.
Shore dives: Divers walk into the water from the beach to
practice their sport and see underwater sights close to shore.
Wall dives: Divers descend from a boat to explore steep
underwater cliffs that reach hundreds or even thousands of feet
below the surface.
Buoyancy compensator (BC)/buoyancy control device (BCD): Inflatable
vests maintain neutral buoyancy, so divers suspend in the water
easily at any depth.
Depth gauge: Indicates depth of a dive and the deepest a diver
has descended during a dive.
Dive computer: Records factors such as the depth of a dive, time
in the water and tank pressure, helping divers calculate the time
remaining for a safe dive, recommended ascent rate, etc. It's
usually located on a console or the wrist.
Exposure suits: Include dry suits, used in especially cold
water; wet suits, worn in moderately cold water, and skins, thin
jumpsuits for use in warm waters or underneath wet suits.
Pressure gauge: Monitors how much air remains in a diver's
Regulator: Attaches to air tank and controls air flow for
Snorkel: J-shaped tube and mouthpiece that allows a diver
floating on the water's surface with his or her face submerged to
breathe without an air tank.
Weight belt: Belt with a quick-release buckle and lead weights
that counteracts a diver's buoyancy.
THE BARE ESSENTIALS
Dive certification: Dive training is available at a variety of
levels, including one-day introductory courses, full-certification
programs and advanced special-interest programs. Basic dive
certification usually requires about 30 hours of instruction.
This includes academic learning either in a classroom or using a
CD-ROM or video; confined-water training, usually in a pool, to try
out equipment and underwater breathing; open-water dives, and a
C-Card: Short for certification card, this is proof that an
individual has completed a dive certification course. Legitimate
dive operations limit participation to individuals who present
their C-cards, which agents should remind dive travelers to bring
along when they travel.
Log book: This is a record of divers' underwater experience.
Agents should also urge dive clients to bring their log books,
since some dive operators may check a diver's log to assess his or
her skill level.
Two-tank dive: A two-tank dive is actually two separate
back-to-back dives, each with one tank on the diver's back; divers
take a short break between dives.
Air travel limitations: Divers must wait 12 to 24 hours after their
last dive before flying, since flying with residual nitrogen in the
blood can cause physical problems. However, it is fine to dive
immediately after flying.
Excess baggage: Agents are advised to find out how much
equipment their clients plan to carry and check with airlines about
surcharges and restrictions.