When we divers need nuts-and-bolts info about traveling and diving in a particular destination, crowdsourcing our peers through online forums and social media is often a good way to get it. Here’s a quick primer on what to say and where to share it:
KEEP IT CONCISE
A helpful trip report provides easy-to-read service info, not a novel. You might have incredible advice, but if it’s buried in 2,000 words, it’s unlikely readers will ever find it. Focus on important details like prices, distance to dive sites, the quality of service at the diving operation, and overviews of what you saw on your dives.
KEEP IT RELEVANT
Leave out subjective experiences unless you can frame them in a way that’s relevant to the greater diving public. Writing about how you broke a fin strap and had to abort the dive? Not useful. Writing about how that broken fin strap led you to discover that the dive crew did or did not carry backup equipment on board? That’s a detail other divers need.
Even if you don’t have a pro-quality -underwater-camera rig, you can still include helpful photos in your trip reports. At the very least, use your smartphone to snap shots of your room at the dive resort, the dive shop’s price list, the boats or the rental equipment. And simple underwater point-and-shoot cameras work fine for taking reef shots that help illustrate the health of the corals or the variety of marine life in the area.
JOIN THE COMMUNITY
The number of diving websites, forums and blogs rivals the number of dive sites in the ocean. Here are a few of our favorite online resources (including our Facebook page):
We've got 33,000 likes and counting! Join the conversation on our page and check out cool pictures, articles and gorgeous galleries.
The forum at the website of our sister publication, Scuba Diving, has long been one of the most robust, active and knowledgeable online diving communities on the Web. The dedicated Trip Reports section is a valuable resource.
PADI’s new online scuba community is where divers can help build a library of photos and dive-site descriptions for destinations around the world. Sign on, and then add your own insight to the collective knowledge when you get back from your next trip.