Manta Divers October 2006: Travel Hints
Summer has flown by and the kids are in school. Now is the time to look forward to winter travels to tropical places. With all of the new restrictions in airline travel, a bit more thought must go into planning what to pack. Economy is the name of the game!
Start with a well made dive travel bag. Traditional dive duffels and totes will not be durable enough to make many trips. It is better to buy well once than cheap several times. I usually pack everything in my dive bag and unpack toiletries and clothes when I reach the resort. Then, I use my dive bag to transport my gear to the boat or dive site. In this case it is advisable to get a bag with back pack straps since luggage wheels are great in the airport, but a detriment in sand! If you have a large travel bag, you may opt to save it strictly for transporting your gear on the plane. In that case, bring a heavy duty mesh bag for day to day gear schlepping. The mesh allows easy rinsing post dive as well.
Even if your airline allows each passenger to bring two bags, try to keep it down to one. Remember, the more bags you pack, the more bags you are going to have to lug through the airport’s numerous checkpoints and customs lines. It is good advice to lay out what you think you’ll need, and then pack only half of it. If you select clothing that is lightweight and quick drying, you will be able to wash and dry items in your room, if necessary.
Pack only small travel sized versions of your favorite shampoos, hair gels, tooth paste, etc. Guys can use a brush and lather up bar soap from the hotel to shave and avoid having to bring a can of shaving cream. (or you could opt not to shave at all during your trip and go for that rugged “survivor” look) It is a good idea to place all of your toiletries in Ziploc bags, especially if they have a toggle top. These are notorious for popping open if the pressure changes during the flight and leaving you with a mess. The Ziploc bags also are handy in case you have anything wet when it is time to pack for home.
Be sure to bring fresh batteries for your flashlights, but do not travel with the batteries inside the light. Some inspectors will insist that you take them out. It is also a good idea to change the batteries in your dive computer before a trip. If your computer fails during a dive and you have no back up depth gauge, pressure gauge and timer, you must end your dive.
When packing your dive gear, be sure to protect your regulator. Ideally, your regulator should be packed in a padded regulator bag. Your regulator is likely the most expensive piece of diving equipment you own, so it makes sense to spend the money on a bag to protect it during travel. Some regulator bags are big enough to serve as a cary on, holding your regulator and computer, as well as a book, your medications or other items you normally carry on. In any case, it is probably a good idea to carry on your dive computer if it is in a quick disconnect console, or a wrist model. That way, you can keep an eye on it and make sure it arrives with you. Make sure your BC is completely deflated to maximize your bag space. Use clothing to pad your inflator and anything potentially breakable.
On the boat, space is always at a premium! If you bring a towel on the boat consider a microfiber towel. They are super absorbent, quick drying and VERY compact. A 30”x50” towel folds easily to 5”x 6” x ½”! It is also important to be able to get at your gear readily. Be sure your bag or duffle has compartments for your small essentials, such as defog, sunscreen and chapstick, and a safe place for your room or car keys.
Now you know how to pack for a dive trip! Hopefully you have some adventures planned in the next months!
Manta Divers now has a Master Scuba Diver trainer on staff! Lisa is qualified to teach Deep Diver, Boat Diver, Wreck Diver, Enriched Air, and Digital Underwater Photography specialties! Watch the calendar for class dates and times!
Are tired of doing the “wet suit tango” every time you try to don your suit? Do you wish you could slip into your WET wet suit without a struggle? Try a dive skin! The lycra dive skin will make even a WET wet suit slip on like silk! It gives arm and leg protection to those diving in shorties. In addition, it puts one more layer between you and the water for greater thermal protection. A bargain at $34.99!
In Other News…
Just because the local dive season is ebbing, doesn’t mean you have nothing to do! Take the Emergency First Response class! Have you ever worried whether you would know what to do if you came upon an accident? Would you like to be equipped to offer help if a coworker or relative should have a heart attack? Are you planning on taking Rescue Diver this spring? If so, now is the time to take action! Sign up for Emergency First Response class today and start studying. You will independently study the books and watch the video, then meet at the shop for review and testing followed by hands on scenario practice. The class will meet Nov. 7 & 9 at 6pm. The cost for the class and materials is $60.
There are 4 spots left on the Manta Divers Bonaire adventure! $500 holds your spot and the balance is due November 1. Don’t pass up this chance to dive in the shore diving capital of the world! Bonaire is fun for divers and non-divers alike!