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Packing and Diving Tips for the Bonaire Invasion

Discussion in 'Invade Bonaire, 2013' started by ROXANNE, Mar 17, 2013.


    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    Well we are getting close to the ScubaBoard INVASION!!!!!
    I thought we could touch base on some of the great ideas that everyone had on preparing, packing, travel, and dive related tips. For some this is old hat, so share your knowledge.

    I’ll get things started… Here are some of my tips.

    DON'T FORGET These Items when Packing!
    Airline tickets/info for going and return flights
    Passports (I also make a copy of it and put it in my carry on)
    Driver’s License or if you don’t have one, some other form of picture ID.
    Diving Certification Cards and Nitrox Cards
    View attachment Toucan Diving Release Form.pdf
    (Please print, fill out what you can and bring with you to the diving orientation.)
    DAN and Health Insurance Cards

    Credit Cards or ATM Cards (call you card company, let them know when and where you’ll traveling)
    (Some CC company charge an extra fee for transactions when out of the country)
    Small Bills (1’s, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s go a long way) (Some of the restaurants don't accept credit cards or $100 bills if you plan on venturing into town to eat out)
    Prescription Medication (keep it in the prescription bottle with your name on it)
    Over the counter medications and first aide items that you may need
    (You can find a lot of the same products in Bonaire, but the packaging may look different and the instruction might not necessarily be in English) Especially an allergy medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction.
    Sunscreen (biodegradable containing a mineral ingredient such as titanium oxide or zinc oxide if possible for the coral reefs health)
    Sunglasses and an extra cheep pair for the truck (polarized are better for gazing into the water)
    Bug spray (if the bugs find you tasty)

    I like to be organized (can’t you tell) so I have a travel checklist on file that I printout. Here's my list if you like. View attachment 124688
    That way, I don’t have to think too much about remembering what I need. The list includes everything that might be needed. If something's on the list that doesn’t apply to this trip, I just cross it off. I also includes things to do like stopping the mail, newspaper, contacting your cell provider if you want service there, and calling the credit card companies to inform them that I will be going out of the country so they don't cut me off in mid-trip.

    Check with your Airline for specific rules as to what accepted and procedure for checking in, as these seem to be changing constantly.

    For anything in question or liquid form, check with your airline.
    TSA will take it and throw it away!
    We personally had a problem with our rechargeable batteries in our carry ons one time. They weren't allowed in the checked and they weren't allowed in the carry ons. Making up the rules as they go, Go figure??? I would suggest not putting them all in one place in your carry on. Dennis had quite a few, all in one spot and I think they stood out like a sore thumb.

    ID’s, Credit Cards, Cash etc.
    Any Cameras/Electronics
    You’re Regulators and Dive Computers
    Prescription Medication

    Put your name, address, and phone number in all your bags including your carry on and personal item in case they become lost or separated from you.

    Put some of each persons items in each checked bag. That way if one of the bags get lost, you still have some of your things.

    Making the most of the luggage weight restrictions
    (Don't forget, Men and Women are allowed to have a personal item purse/back pack/briefcase/man purse in addition to their carry on. Make the most of it!)
    I have a large purse that I use just for flying. the personal Item is not weighed, so it's great for a few heavier items. Just make sure they can be carried on and not needed to be placed in checked luggage.
    Think about light weight items when packing. Inexpensive t-shirts (like Hanes or fruit of the loom) are very lightweight, come in multiple colors, are great for shore diving cover ups and can be left behind if you shop too much in town.
    Light weight dresses are great for the ladies.
    Think kakis over jeans. Shoes can weigh a lot also. Even thou it's a pain at the airport, I'll wear my tennis shoes as they weigh the most. And if taking a light jacket, it goes on the plane with me as well.
    A personal hand scale is an invaluable tool so you don't have surprises when getting to the airport.

    The Tipsy Seagull may also require a collared shirt for the guys along with some of the finer restaurants in town. So it doesn't hurt to bring one along.

    Diving Tips
    You will need hard soled dive boots for shore diving and if buying new ones make sure they fit in your fins. IJS

    We like to use baby shampoo for mask defog.

    My feet get blisters and take a beating while diving multiple days, so I wear the thin trouser socks. It also helps your feet slip into your wetsuit!

    A lightweight cooler bag is a great way to carry those bigger underwater cameras. They give the camera some protection and are easy to fold up for packing, light weight and rinse out easily.

    A water proof bag for the boat and a pelican box or other waterproof case for shore diving come in handy for keeping things dry.

    You must leave the vehicles unlocked when shore diving, so you don't want to leave anything of value in them. If it can't go in the water with me, then it is something that's considered disposable. i.e. cheep sunglasses, flip flops, t-shirt, hat. I don't bring my save a dive kit either.

    Some Woolite or those all-in-one washer sheets if you plan on washing the funk off your clothes or dive wear in the sink/tub. Especially great when your staying longer than a week. Don't forget some close pins too. They help when hanging items up for drying.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  2. Dubi

    Dubi Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: College Station, TX
    I have an excel packing list that I have modified over the years. A few weeks before the trip I will print it and put it on the kitchen counter; then I can add items when ever I think of something.

    Make sure to revise your list when you get home.
    Inked Medic, cardzard and ROXANNE like this.
  3. Dannybot

    Dannybot Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    This is a good time to get your gear serviced! If it's new, you might want to get in a pool session and make sure it works. If you have been on the Cozumel Invasions, the DM's were patient with the divers to descend as a group, but when you are shore diving, you are on your own (or at the mercy of you buddy).

    Also bring extra zip ties of all sizes and look at your stuff to see if it has nuts and bolts. If so grab a few stainless or brass spares, if not for you, then for a buddy.
    James R, ROXANNE and cardzard like this.
  4. hroark2112

    hroark2112 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Raleigh, NC
    Is it possible to carry on your dive gear?
  5. djtimmy77

    djtimmy77 Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: RPB, FL
    If you get your gear serviced you might want to check it out before your trip...
    ROXANNE likes this.
  6. Dannybot

    Dannybot Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499

    Yup, I always carry on my regs, mask and computer on the way there, so I can dive if my luggage gets lost. On the way home, I pack everything except my computer.
  7. Juni To

    Juni To Garibaldi

    I pack all my gear except fins on my carry on and backpack, don't over pack as you will be diving 70 % of the time dri fit shirts goes a long way, bring must have snacks and don't expect Walmart prices on anything there, 7 days about 300 USD does it for me alone eating out lunch and dinner only not including happy hour breakfast was included on condo rate. At the end it was all worth it and heading back on July 2013.


    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    The average temperature for June is a high of 88 F and a low of 80 F and the average water temps 80.6 F.
    Pack accordingly. :cool2:
  9. cbrich

    cbrich Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Austin
    One other item I would say to bring are ear drops for drying out your ears. I use a 50/50 mix of alcohol and vinegar. My last trip to Bonaire, I got Swimmers Ear which ended my diving for the rest of the trip.
    Tiffku, ROXANNE and cardzard like this.

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    I just ordered myselt 2 new Scuba Do Rags to keep my hair under control. If I don't keep my hair braided and covered like that, It would just be shredded. Some kind of covering is great for gals with shorter hair and guys to keep their heads from getting sunburned. Unless your bald, it very hard to put sunscreen on your scalp.

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