There comes a time in every diver’s life when your usual dive buddy (wife, husband, partner in crime, lifelong friend, annoying neighbor, twin, etc.) is not able to make the trip, but you are determined to dive anyway. Not to be deterred from the lure of the sea, you boldly climb on the dive boat and start scrutinizing the other divers to see who is going to be your assigned buddy for the day. Sometimes it works out, and a new dive buddy/lifelong friend is made. But, more often then not, you get saddled with The Worst Dive Buddy, the butt of jokes and the basis of buddy comparison for all dives in the future. A few of the unfortunate buddy options:
ADOS Buddy – Attention Deficit…Ooooh Shiny. ADOS Buddy can’t seem to focus on anything for more than a second, making task completion and stimulating conversation impossible. You are the last pair to descend because he forgot his weight belt and has to climb back on the boat to get it. Underwater, curious things continuously pull his attention and his body in the polar opposite direction from you and the rest of the dive group. Before the boat pulls back to the dock he will ask you at least four times “What was the name of that reef that we just visited?” It is okay if you lose your temper with him – he won’t remember you tomorrow.
Scuba Steve Buddy – Scuba Steve knows it all (just look at the endless list of ScubaSteve Twitter sites). What starts out as some interesting ocean factoids on your ride to the reef quickly turns into an overwhelming dissertation about the mating habits of the humuhumunukunukuapuaa fish. He corrects the divemaster during the dive briefing, and wants to point out to you every bit of obscure fish sh*t he encounters during the dive. Note: you can usually tell Scuba Steve Buddy before he even opens his mouth: he’s the one with the enormous trapper-keeper dive log and seven sharpened pencils for recording the details.
I Love Scuba Buddy – This man is moved by the scuba spirit. You can appreciate his enthusiasm, but your hand starts to sting from all the high-5’s he keeps giving you. He claps at the end of the dive briefing. Fascinating underwater finds like seaweed and sand cause him to grab your arm and gesticulate excitedly. Warning: this man will whoop with joy and celebration the moment he breaks the surface at the end of the dive. Do not be alarmed – this is normal behavior for I Love Scuba Buddy, and not nitrogen narcosis.
Clueless Buddy – Has this person ever gone diving before? Clueless Buddy has no idea how to set up their gear, how to function on a dive boat, and even looks like he put on his swimsuit backwards. His weight belt is on the bench seat, he washed his soapy mask in the camera bucket, and he is gazing off into the sunset while a whole line of divers waits behind him to giant stride off the swim platform. Underwater, his hand gestures look like Kabuki Theater and he wants to fondle every living thing in the sea. Fortunately, the fire coral teaches him a lesson before you have to.