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Packing, Travel, and Diving Tips for the SB SURGE to Little Cayman

Discussion in 'ScubaBoard Surge 2020 Little Cayman' started by ROXANNE, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113
    Packing, Travel and Diving Tips for the SB SURGE to Little Cayman

    Well, we are getting closer to the
    ScubaBoard SURGE 2020 to Little Cayman!!!!!
    I thought we could touch base on some of the great ideas and
    address any questions that Crew may have
    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.

    GENERAL PACKING AND TRAVEL TIPS
    Anytime you are traveling outside of your normal area, it's good to check
    CDC Destinations/Travelers Health Info


    FYI if you're interested -
    Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Website
    Little Cayman Beach Resort Website

    Here's the 10-day weather forecast for Little Cayman. It looks like we will have some wind, so be prepared. Otherwise, it's looking pretty good!

    Weather Forecast to help you decide what to pack
    On land, daily lows/highs around 76°F to 84°F throughout the month of January.

    DON'T FORGET These Items when Packing!
    Airline tickets/info for going and return flights
    Bay Adventures Travel Vouchers for the Resort and Diving Reservations.
    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 (I also make a copy of it and put it in my carry on)
    The link to the Waiver for Diving Reef Divers Little Cayman will be emailed to everyone by Bay Adventures by 1-3-20.
    DAN and Health Insurance Cards
    Credit Cards
    or ATM Cards (call you card company, let them know when and where you’ll traveling) (FYI Some CC companies charge an extra fee for transactions when out of the country)
    ATM's are very hard to come by in Little Cayman.
    You can charge your drinks, tips, gift shop, and any excursions through the resort to your room.

    The American dollar is widely accepted, just know the exchange rate if prices are listed in the Cayman dollar. Visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com for current rates.
    Small Bills (1’s, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s go a long way) (Some of the restaurants or shops don't accept credit cards or $100 bills if you plan on venturing out on the island.)
    Prescription Medication (keep it in the prescription bottle with your name on it)
    And always bring a few days extra in case you have travel delays along the way.
    FYI - Medical Marijuana, Hemp, or CBD Products are illegal to transport into the Cayman Islands.
    Over the counter medications and first aid items that you may need.
    Please keep in mind, we are on a very small island and many items are not readily available.
    Especially allergy medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction.
    I have a med pack for traveling with items such as band-aids, sports wraps, Benadryl, Imodium, Advil, seasickness medication, bug bite cream, etc. FYI Did you know that if you put hand soap on a bite right away and don't scratch it, many times it will alleviate the itch and swelling.
    Sunscreen (Try to use products if possible for the coral reefs health)
    I found this wonderful line of reef safe products Stream2Sea | EcoConscious & Biodegradable Sunscreen.
    Sunglasses and an extra cheap pair for the boat (polarized are better for gazing into the water)
    Hats
    Bug spray
    (If the bugs find you tasty. Near sunset and sunrise are the worst time for mosquitoes and no-see-ums.) Here are a few products Cactus Juice, www.reefsafesuncare.com.
    Water All the water at the resort is safe and you can bring your own water bottle to refill for convenience. Flavor packets or liquids are also a wonderful way to flavor your water for variety. I like to bring flavor packs for my coffee too! I do strongly suggest drinking only bottled or can drinks when outside the resort and wiping any moisture from the tops to avoid having any health issues.
    You should always be conscious of what you are eating and drinking when you are outside of your normal routine and country.
    Personal flashlight
    , You may want to bring a small personal flashlight to help you navigate at night through areas you are unfamiliar with.
    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 you're staying longer than a week. Don't forget some close pins too. They help when hanging items up for drying and to keep them from blowing off the balconies.

    It's a good thing to start packing early, in case anything needs to be repaired before you go.
    I like to be organized (can’t you tell) so I have a travel checklist on file that I printout. I can email you my list if you like to use as a jumping-off point for making your own list. My 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 include 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 you off in mid-trip.

    Any newly updated info to this post will be in Green!
    :)
     
    caydiver, Moonie and markmud like this.
  2. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113
    AIRLINE TIPS
    Travel from Airport to Hotel

    Round trip airport transfers are included in your package to and from the airport to Little Cayman Beach Resort. You should find the details in your travel vouchers from Bay Adventures.

    Cayman Airways Baggage Policy
    Please note, with the weight restrictions on the smaller planes, sometimes all the luggage does not make it to the island on the 1st day.

    CARRY ON ANY ITEMS THAT YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE.
    Check with your Airline for specific rules as to what's accepted, size and weight limits for luggage and procedure for checking in, as these seem to be changing constantly.

    For anything in question or in liquid form, check with your airline.

    Making the most of the luggage weight restrictions and packing
    (Don't forget, Men and Women are allowed to have a personal item purse/backpack/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 the items you put in your personal item can be carried on and not needed to be placed in checked luggage. Sometimes we use a vest with multiple pockets that can come in handy.
    Please note, keep your essential item in your personal bag in case your carry on needs to be checked because of weight limitations.
    (Again always check with your airlines so you are clear with all the rules and regulations.)

    Personal Bag -
    IDs, Credit Cards, Cash, etc.
    Prescription Medication
    Glasses/Contacts
    Jewelry/Watches


    Carry on -
    Prescription Mask/Regular Mask
    Any Cameras/Electronics/Housings
    Rechargeable batteries in individual cases or bags
    Your Regulators (These can be placed in checked luggage to help with weight restrictions.)
    Dive Computers
    Dive lights (take batteries out or for rechargeable lights, put in locked mode.)
    A bathing suit and a change of undergarments.


    Think about lightweight 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. Lightweight dresses, shorts, and tops are great for the ladies. Think khakis or other lightweight fabrics over jeans.
    Shoes can weigh a lot also. Even tho it's a pain at the airport, I'll wear my tennis shoes as they weigh the most. (You will want your tennis shoes to protect your feet if you go to the caves or other island excursions)
    And if taking a light jacket, it goes on the plane with me as well. (Many of the airports and sometimes the planes can be very cold.)
    A personal travel hand scale is an invaluable tool so you don't have surprises when getting to the airport on your flights.
    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 person's items in each checked bag. That way if one of the bags gets lost or delayed, you still have some of your things.
    If a solo traveler, try to fit in at least 1 extra of your undergarments and a bathing suit in your carry on. Outerwear is easier to purchase if your bags are delayed or are lost, but trying to find undergarments for purchase can be more difficult.

    When we were on the Twin Otter last time, the carry-ons where stowed at the back of the plane and they also took my personal item (purse). Space is extremely limited, so do your best to travel lite or again a light jacket or vest with pockets can come in handy. :wink:
    Extra baggage charges can be hit or miss. Sometimes they are really strict and other times, you can pass on through. Just be prepared that you may need to pay for extra lbs.


    Travel from Airport to Hotel
    Round trip airport transfers are included in your package to and from the airport to Little Cayman Beach Resort. You should find the details in your travel vouchers from Bay Adventures.


    Any newly updated info to this post will be in Green!
    :wink:
     
    Moonie and markmud like this.
  3. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113
    OUR RESORT, LITTLE CAYMAN BEACH RESORT
    Little Cayman Beach Resort Website


    The guest rooms are equipped with
    • Ceiling fans
    • Mini-refrigerators
    • Private bathrooms with hairdryers, soap, shampoo, and hair conditioner
    • Towels for use by the pool or on the beach (towels separately provided on boats for divers)
    • Small drip coffeemakers
    • Closets with hangers
    • Desks
    • Televisions (although availability and quality of channels is very limited)
    • Wifi
    • Irons and ironing boards are available upon request
    The Front desk offers bicycle rentals, island tours, assistance with car or scooter rentals.

    Electricity
    -- Electricity on the Cayman Islands is 110-volt AC (60 cycles), so adapters or transformers are not required for U.S. and Canadian appliances.

    Resort tips are included in your package deal unless you feel a staff member has been exceptional.

    Spa Services are Available

    Laundry service is available.

    DINING HOURS
    Breakfast
    Coffee Bar opens at 6:00 AM
    6:45 AM – 8:30 AM (until 9:00 AM on weekends)

    Lunch
    12:30 PM – 2:00 PM (Opens 12:00 noon on Sundays)

    Dinner
    6:30 – 8:00 PM


    Bar Hours
    Monday – Saturday
    12:00 noon – 11:30 PM

    Sunday
    12:00 noon – 11:00 PM

    Any newly updated info to this post will be in Green!
    :cool:
     
    Moonie and markmud like this.
  4. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113
    DIVE SHOP & DIVING TIPS
    Reef Divers will supply each diver with a gear bag. Once in your room, put your BCD, regs, and fins in the bag and set outside your room. They will collect and transport your gear to the boats.
    And set it up for you each day. Wear your suits and boots to the boat on the 1st morning. Then, there will be a room available at the dive shop with hangers to hang your wet suits and boots up each afternoon to dry for the rest of the week.

    Here are a few links you might be interested in.

    Reef Divers Little Cayman
    Boats and Staff
    Dive & Snorkeling Sites
    The link to the Waiver for Diving Reef Divers Little Cayman will be emailed to everyone by Bay Adventures by 1-3-20.
    Fish ID

    Diving Schedule
    a.m. for a 2-Tank Morning Boat Dive
    p.m. for a 1-Tank Afternoon Boat Dive
    p.m. for a 1-Tank Night Boat Dive, on selected evenings each week.


    GLOVES ARE NOT ALLOWED

    Camera care - A lightweight cooler bag is a great way to carry those bigger underwater cameras and the smaller ones too! They give the camera some protection and are easy to fold up for packing, lightweight and rinse out easily. I have also found the little neoprene drawstrings bags with clips are great for protecting your Go Pros on the poles or trays.
    For those of you planning on sharing photos with us and others, don't forget a thumb drive. They come in really handy! IJS

    Haircare - I use Do Rag to keep my hair under control. If I don't keep my hair braided and covered like that, It would just be shredded. I also like to put some biodegradable condition in it while dry before covering it. I use Stream2Sea | EcoConscious & Biodegradable Sunscreen leave-in conditioner. Some kind of covering is great for gals with shorter hair and guys to keep their heads from getting sunburned too. Unless you're bald, it very hard to put sunscreen on your scalp.

    Skin or Wetsuits? Warm tropical weather is the norm, but you can get some cooler up swells from deeper waters and this is their winter. Water temperature is around 78° F/25° C, with visibility usually /100-150 feet/30-45 meters. Most travelers to Little Cayman have been comfortable diving a lavacore to 3 ml wetsuit, but others have felt cold and needed to wear a 5 ml. So if you're one of those divers that are on the cold side, you might want to bring your 5 ml. wet suit.
    Water Visibility varies based on the site, but is generally very good, ranging from 80 to 120 feet.

    Other tips
    Tanks are yoke so bring a DIN adapter if diving DIN.

    This is a good time to get your gear serviced! If it's new or has been serviced, you might want to get in a pool session/dive in and make sure it works.

    We like to use baby shampoo for mask defog.

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

    A waterproof bag for the boat and a pelican box come in handy for keeping things dry.

    There will be envelopes available for tipping and we'll collect them at the farewell party to present to the dive shop as a group.

    Found this article and thought it might have some helpful tips for your ears and diving. :D
    Ear Clearing 101

    Some asked about their Save a Dive Kit (Spare Parts) We have a full-service dive shops available from our hosts. You'll find they really go out of their way to be helpful there. I would just bring some basics for the boat, O rings, mask strap, tie wraps and elastic bungee, etc. I would also include a spare battery for your computer. You may not find your type batteries there so I prefer to have one handy.

    A few days before travel, start getting yourself hydrated and stay hydrated during the week, but don't overdo it. Drinking smaller amounts of water throughout the day is better than just guzzling a glass or 2.

    Any newly updated info to this post will be in Green!
    :D
     
    Moonie, jsisemore and markmud like this.
  5. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113
    The thread is now open!
    Newly updated info to any of the above posts will be in Green!

    Please post If you have any questions
    or would like to add your own travel, packing or diving tips.
    I can't wait to see you all soon!
    :grouphug2::wavesmiley::grouphug2:
     
    Moonie and markmud like this.
  6. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    1,408
    1,678
    113
    Hi Roxanne,

    Thanks for the information that you compiled above!

    I went to the Cayman Airways website (as you linked) and found this regarding luggage on the Twin Otters:

    When travelling to Cayman Brac or Little Cayman via the Twin Otter Service; Baggage allowance is 55 lbs per person (combined weight of up to 2 pieces) and only one 15 lb carry-on, any excess will be charged US$0.50 per pound.
    Cayman Airways - Baggage Policy

    I don't know if a personal bag (like a purse or small backpack) is allowed along with your one checked bag and one 15 pound carry-on. I have been told that your carry-on must fit under your seat.

    I have emailed Cayman Airways to gain clarification. But no response so far. I will try again.

    Thanks,
    markm
     
    KristenK and jsisemore like this.
  7. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113
    When we were on the Twin Otter last time, the carry-ons where stowed at the back of the plane and they also took my personal item (purse). Space is extremely limited, so do your best to travel lite or again a light jacket or vest with pockets can come in handy. :wink:
    Extra baggage charges can be hit or miss. Sometimes they are really strict and other times, you can pass on through. Just be prepared that you may need to pay for extra lbs.
     
    markmud likes this.
  8. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    113
  9. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    1,408
    1,678
    113
    Hi Roxanne,

    Thanks for the video--that was nice. Very short roll out. Definitely a VSTOL AC.

    I have checked my dive gear for operation and have prepacked my gear and weighed both bags. I am under the limit.

    I am ready for the Little Cayman Surge!

    Tick-tock...tick-tock...

    great work as usual Roxanne,
    m
     
    ROXANNE and KathyV like this.
  10. Dubi

    Dubi Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: College Station, TX
    296
    426
    63
    Bring scopolamine patches! January can have really rough conditions like our Cayman Brac trip.
     
    ROXANNE likes this.

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