Dive Charters Calling Off a Dive

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Zaixon

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I was just wondering how bad conditions need to be for a dive charter to normally call off a dive.
Reason being is that this past weekend had horrible weather conditions (my dive sunday got canceled due to them) so I called around searching for another place close by to do a wreck/reef. About an hour before the dive a storm seemed to be rolling in and by the time of the dive it was a complete downpour. They assured us conditions were fine out on the water but the storm didnt seem to be letting up. So we went out. Once on the ocean the waves were 4-5 ft and there would be gusts or rain downpour. We get to the first destination which was an 70-80ft wreck. After getting in the water and down to the wreck it was nice and I had a good dive. After the dive nearing the surface the current was extremely strong and upon surfacing conditions worsened by a lot (I could not see the shore at all as I could before).
So upon coming to stop 2 we were tied off to a buoy and attempted to dive a reef. lets just say this was no easy task. this reef was only about 20-30 ft and had an extremely strong current and maybe.... maybe 10ft vis. I could tell many of the divers were struggling with the conditions and once getting to the reef getting back to the boat was even more of a mission. I went thru so much air and could barely see anything just seemed like I had to fight the current the whole time.

Sorry for the wall of text.... Just wanted to explain the situation, but now i'm pretty new to diving this being my 9th dive out on a boat like this and I was just wondering if boats normally go out in conditions like this. If so I guess i'll have to pay very close attention to the weather when booking a trip.
 

v--Locke--v

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ummm... well it is and it isnt.

1. if a boat cancels due to conditions there is a good chance that as a newer dive you might to abort the day
2. there seems to be bad ideas coming from both the operation and the divers. for me 4-5 foot seas are okay, but for others they are not. current is the bigger obsticle and if the first dive was good they should not have moved!!!
3. its up to each diver to be able to determine if they can dive. its up to the experienced crew to be sure they are trying to do the best they can to relay conditions

Some might think its lucky to be able to dive at all, but that second dive seemed futile. In North Carolina assume missing 25% of your dive days based on condition...
 

friscuba

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My suspicion is there are operators that will rarely cancel no matter how bad it gets, and operators that will cancel any time the conditions get bad enough it's gonna be a bad experience for their customers.

In my locale, I've seen some comanies that have gone out every day but for maybe 3-4 days in the last decade, I've seen others that cancel 0-20 chaters a winter due to conditions (conditions vary year to year, so it's all over the board). Perhaps its not a matter of checking the weather, but checking ahead of time IF the company you use will cancel when conditions make for bad diving?

Something the poster above alludes to... what constitutes "bad" conditions might be different for each diver. Since this is your 9th boat dive, have all the dives been in typically the same general area, and are water conditions generally much better? That might help determine if it's a "bad" day. If the spot is typically 100'+ viz and no current, then 10' and lots of current could be considered a reason to reschedule. In Oregon, where I started diving, 10' of viz and some current was a good day, now that I'm in Kona and leading group dives, if conditons are like that at a dive site, it's just not happening.
 

TC

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The customers on the charter need to follow the established rules-

1. If the Captain cancels the trip then blame him for being a coward.
2. If the Captain does not cancel then blame him for putting his customers in mortal danger.
 

OldNSalty

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Just know that some days are just not good days to dive. 4-5 ft seas to me is too much and I would rather stay in.

Check the weather and the small craft advisory, if it is looking bad the day before then back out while you still can and get your money back. If you wait too late, the CPT makes 100% profit. This is one reason some CPT's will not call off a trip.
 

flots am

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I was just wondering how bad conditions need to be for a dive charter to normally call off a dive.
Reason being is that this past weekend had horrible weather conditions (my dive sunday got canceled due to them) so I called around searching for another place close by to do a wreck/reef. About an hour before the dive a storm seemed to be rolling in and by the time of the dive it was a complete downpour. They assured us conditions were fine out on the water but the storm didnt seem to be letting up. So we went out. Once on the ocean the waves were 4-5 ft and there would be gusts or rain downpour. We get to the first destination which was an 70-80ft

It's almost irrelevant what the dive op does. The important part is what you do.

If the dive doesn't give you warm happy thoughts, don't go. This goes for shore dives and boat dives in any conditions, as well as when you're underwater with a DM (or buddy).

Just because the boat goes out or the DM disappears into a dark hole in the coral does not mean that you need to follow.

I've blown off a number of dives for nothing more than not liking the way the sky looked, and if the DM wants to go explore a cave using what's left in his 80, I can't stop him, but I don't have to follow him either.

flots.
 

Zaixon

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Thanks for the feedback all, Yea I would've canceled the dive if I could but I would have not been refunded.
Thankfully everything was ok on our second dive with the exception of a few divers inflating a sausage and waiting for the boat to come to them because of the current being way way too strong.

I assumed they would cancel because the conditions were not as bad (still pretty bad tho) on this charter I was going out on the day before and they canceled the trip for our safety according to the DM and Captain.

Conditions in the area are generally much better, i've had days where vis is 80ft+ still somewhat of a current but nowhere near what this dive was. I've done almost all my dives off the coast here or about 30 miles north so its basically the same conditions everytime I go out.

Durring this dive I would have no minded at all doing the wreck we were at again because it was not nearly as strong of a current and there was so much to see at the wreck site.

And yes maybe I was also being stubborn and not wanting to miss the dive but I figured I was out there and was gonna do it. That was my stupidity kicking in......
 

TSandM

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Unfortunately, the general rule is that, if the charter cancels on you, they refund your fee. If they take you to the site and you decide not to dive because of conditions, you eat the cost of the charter. Therefore, some charters will take you out as long as it isn't unsafe to run the boat, and let you make the call. For experienced divers, conditions may be good enough to try the dive, whereas for novices, it's too much. (See my recent thread in Near Misses -- had anybody on the boat been a new diver, that would definitely have been a bad deal.)

As a new diver, I think I'd make the assumption that if any of the charters is refusing to go out, conditions probably aren't too good for me to dive.
 

Ana

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Things that I keep in mind are the size and the type of ladder on the boat. Usually I don't have any issues leaving the boat and completing the dive, is coming back to the boat what makes everything important.

As others mentioned, whatever the operator decides is not as critical as what "you" decide.
Keep in mind that if the operator calls the dive off for weather and you stay pierside, you haven't used your money. Going out "to see" how it looks at the site, changes your money into "his" money. So, at that point you need to decided if it is worth ending up black and blue (or maybe worse) in order to get your money's worth or if you're Ok with just a boat trip.

After a few dives you get the feeling of what you can handle with this or that boat, the good thing about the area is the good amount and variety of charters. For me the ladder of the boat is the #1 feature I look on a charter, closely followed by the philosophy of the operator.
 

knowone

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Well done.
 
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