My Boat Handling Course, by Luke White


After working as a PADI Dive Master and Instructor for two years at Davy Jones Locker I’ve experienced many amazing trips on our high speed RHIB, from diving with the many bull sharks at Chumphon Pinnacle to searching the Gulf of Thailand for sunken shipwrecks. But I always wanted the chance to get behind the wheel, so when the opportunity came up for me to do the BSAC Boat Handling course, I jumped at the chance.
The course started out with an afternoon of theory, learning how to find my way around the boat, basic boat handling and some safety and rescue work. Then the fun part arrived.
Getting behind the wheel for the first time was a little bit scary but my instructors, Les and Tim made me feel really comfortable and with all their experience gave me the confidence to drive the RHIB for the first time. We started with some high speed turns and then moved on to more technical low speed maneuvers. It was a perfect day in the Tao for boat driving, the sea was as flat as a pond with no wind. As we progressed throughout the course I became more confident and learned about chartwork and position fixing using Seacharts and GPS. I got to put everything I learned into practice when my instructor Tim told me he had some GPS marks for some possible ship wrecks in the area. So, using my training we located the marks on a map and planned our day at sea. Sadly, nothing came of the GPS marks but Tim and his technical diving student, Jeremy did a dive to 50metres on a wreck called the Torpedo so the day was not wasted, I learned how to pick up marks using GPS and I logged valuable hours driving the RHIB.
The day came and it was time to take my driving test, I was nervous and admittedly I didn’t drive my best, but I was glad to hear from Les and Tim that I had passed. Now I’m looking forward to more shark dives and wreck expeditions and after gaining more experience driving the RHIB I aim to go on to become a BSAC Boat Handling Instructor at DJL Diving. It’s a great addition to any CV and will help to get a job in the dive industry, especially Australia. So, many thanks Tim and Les for the great course and if anyone wants to do something more than diving then I strongly recommend the BSAC Boat Handling course which is an Internationally recognized license, so you can drive anywhere in the world.

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