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ISSUE 1 ARCHIVE - ROB'S WORLD: HOW TO BE THE TOSSER ON A LIVEABOARD

Ocean Visions
Liveaboard holidays are an intense experience for all concerned. Conditions are confined, youíre with a group of strangers and most importantly thereís no escape. As a result, the crew will be doing everything they can to keep you happy and your fellow divers will be making that extra effort to get along. But fear not, in spite of this adversity, just follow Robís ten step guide and youíre guaranteed to ensure you stand head and shoulders above the rest as the tosser on the liveaboard.

Step 1. Do your homework. Everyone knows that Johnny Foreigner is inferior to the Brit, thatís why they have so many derogatory names associated with them, and itís important to properly research the history, politics and customs of your hosts to achieve the correct xenophobic attitude when dealing with them. If this proves too difficult, or if you donít know what the word xenophobic means, then referring to them as ďdagosĒ, regardless of nationality, is sure to achieve the desired effect.

Step 2. Hit the ground running. Itís never too early to develop your status and the true tosser will establish their credentials long before arriving at the boat. As most liveaboard holidays take place in hot and quite distant countries, itís important to remember that everyone will be somewhat flustered and exhausted upon arrival at the destination airport. Complaining loudly to them about queues, the heat and everyone speaking ďdagoĒ is sure to get your cause off to the right start. If youíre unable to lose your luggage, try to entrust it to a local thief for half an hour whilst you search for the bathroom.

Step 3. Try to pick as many faults with the boat as possible. This is easy as generally speaking the cabin will not be a comparable size to the four bedroom house youíre used to, plus the entire vessel will doubtless have an annoying habit of gently swaying on a regular basis. Remember that itís your duty to make everyone aware of the unacceptability of your environment at the earliest opportunity as they may never develop an awareness of it on their own. Once theyíre aware, keep reminding them.

Step 4. Set yourself up immediately as a dive expert. Talk loudly over anything the guide has to say and compound it all by being completely unable to set up your dive gear correctly and then displaying the buoyancy skills of an anvil.

Step 5. If youíre unable to ensure that youíve done this particular trip before yourself (when everything was inevitably better than it is now), try to find a friend who has and extract some invaluable, erroneous information from them and repeat it at the appropriate times (ie. when it directly contradicts dive briefings). Examples include, but are not confined to, expecting dolphins to turn up on particular dives because they did last time (blame your guide when they donít); complaining that a particular wreck has been stripped of all the most interesting features (by you, last time you were there); questioning safety advice (donít forget to try and injure yourself whilst ignoring it) and; complaining about any sites you didnít get to do this time (be it because of weather, because the site only exists in your imagination, or because the crew are so fed up with you they refuse to put any more effort in to make your trip enjoyable).
Step 6. The food will be foreign and so will the people serving it. Demand proper English food like pizza at all times. If your hosts are unable to understand, demand louder.

Step 7. You never know where anythingís been in other countries and so the hygiene standards surrounding the bottled water could be questionable. This is an unacceptable risk. Instead, drink only from the taps and guarantee yourself a gastric infection.

Step 8. Do not put toilet paper in the toilet as this will block it for the duration of the trip. Put toilet paper in someone elseís toilet instead.

Step 9. Speedos are absolutely indispensable for the discerning tosser and must be worn alone and at all times, particularly during meals, regardless of gender. The necessity of adhering to a strict diet of chocolate, chips and beer for at least three years prior to the trip cannot be emphasised enough for this fashion statement to have the full impact it deserves.

Step 10. Be strategic. Remember that the whole point of liveaboards is that you get to visit dive sites that are far from shore and can sometimes take days to reach. Try to ensure that the boat has to return to port at least once every 24 hours. Tips for ensuring this include: playing with the compressor until it breaks; ensuring that vital pieces of your equipment, or even better, someone elseís break (there will probably be spares on board but donít lose heart, if you can break a piece of gear once thereís a fair chance that you can break any replacement by misusing it in exactly the same way) and; trying to injure yourself when drunk or through irresponsible dive practices.

Above all, bear in mind that being a tosser is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration: if at first you donít succeed, do the same thing again another 99 times and youíre sure to achieve the desired effect.
Catfish Dive & Safari

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