Interested in seeing if anyone scuba dives while they cruise. Do you fill your own tanks? If so how and what equipment? Or do you get tanks at your destination if available. Would love to see some stories.
I think the best solution would be to use a hookah rig, aka gas compressor on the surface. Simple yet reliable giving you lots of time for shallow diving (as deep as 60 feet is possible) the compressor doesnt take much to maintain unlike tanks which need hydros, visuals, and filling. If you are cruising in areas that have many dive shops it is doable but seems inconvient for the weight, and space the tanks will occupy especially for the little time that you get diving. A single tank kept on board for maintiance issues is much different than a few tanks used for diving. The only viable option I would see if you plan on diving with tanks is to have your own compressor on board, just remember a compressor is a power hog and it takes a long time to fill one tank using it. Good for a stinkboat which can be generating power all day.
I spent a few months with a buddy boat that had dive gear including a compressor on board. They never once used their equipment in the Bahamas as it was all shallow enough to snorkel.
They continued down island and their boat sits out the rest of hurricane season in Trinidad. I kept in touch with them and I'm pretty sure they only used their tanks a few times. The Turks & Caicos comes to mind.
If you PM me your contact info I could put you in touch with them and they can advise you as to exactly what they brought and if they thought it was worth the bother.
I understand what you say about not diving even though you had the tanks and compressor. I live in the FL Keys, and have 4 tanks, 2 reg sets, all the rest of the gear needed, 2 boats. Not to mention I can get the tanks filled for free. I never used them and use my snorkle all the time instead.
I suggest you buy a "personal" compressor and make a bracket to run it off of the boat engine. In my opinion the Hooka takes up more room and will require more maintenance than a couple of tanks. It will be hard to use in heavy sea's
I run a Sweden 34 for the marine conservation and humanitarian aid organisation www.oceanswatch.org We carry the smallest Bauer available and 4 full size tanks. On passage the compressor goes down below, wedged between a berth and the saloon table. Rest of the time it's on deck just forward of the main traveller where it does not get in the way. Tanks fill in about 25 minutes and the exhaust is a hassle! Tanks are in the lazarette at sea or on deck otherwise. We dive most days, mainly for our conservation work but pleasure diving too occasionally. The diving in the Pacific, where we are focused at the moment is very good and the better diving is often beyond snorkel range.