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Packing, Travel and Diving Tips for the SURGE to Curacao

Discussion in 'ScubaBoard Surge 2015 Curacao' started by ROXANNE, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,952
    2,414
    113
    Packing, Travel and Diving Tips for the SURGE to Curacao

    Well we are getting closer to the 1st Inaugural ScubaBoard SURGE to Curacao!!!!!
    I thought we could touch base on some of the great ideas that everyone has
    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.


    PACKING AND TRAVEL TIPS
    DON'T FORGET These Items when Packing!
    Airline tickets/info for going and return flights
    Bay Adventures Travel Vouchers for the resort and Diving.
    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)
    Here's a link to the Waiver for Diving Oceans Encounters Waiver download .The Padi Medical form from Oceans Encounters is for those who are receiving certification from them. You do not need to download that form.
    Please print, fill out and turn into the dive shop after checking into the resort.
    Also a ScubaBoard/Dive Rite Waivers will be emailed to you by Bay Adventures or cardzard. Please print, fill out and bring with you to give to either cardzard or myself at the welcome party. All Crew members must sign and turn in the ScubaBoard/Dive Rite Waiver.

    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)
    You can charge your drinks, tips, gift shop and any excursion through the resort to your room.
    And don't forget there is a Casino at the resort for your pleasure.
    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 and shop)
    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.
    Over the counter medications and first aide items that you may need.
    Especially allergy medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction.
    I have a med pack for traveling with items such as band aides, sports wraps, Benadryl, imodium, advil, 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.
    (You can find a lot of the same products in Cozumel, but the packaging may look different and the instruction might not necessarily be in English)
    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 cheep pair for the boat (polarized are better for gazing into the water)
    Hats
    Bug spray (If the bugs find you tasty and near sunset and sunrise are the worst time for mosquitoes.) Here are a few products Cactus Juice , www.reefsafesuncare.com.
    Water, You can purchase a bottled water and refill the bottle or bring your own bottles to fill if you don't wish the cost of buying bottled water. All the water at the resort is safe. You can bring flavor packets or liquids 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 conscience 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.
    The guest rooms are equipped with a blow dryer, coffee/tea maker, iron/ironing board, safe and mini bar with water, soft drinks, juice and beer.
    Don't let your common sense go on vacation too. Lock up your cash, jewelry, passports and credit cards in your room safe. Don't leave your phones, tablets, laptops, cameras and dive computers sitting out in plain view when you're not in the room.

    On another note, for those of you planning on participating in the Photo Contests or planning on sharing photos with other, don't forget a thumb drive. They come in real handy! IJS [​IMG]

    Good thing to started 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. Here's my list if you like or use this as a jumping off point for making your own list. 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 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 me off in mid-trip.

    CARRY ON ANY ITEMS THAT YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE.
    Check with your Airline for specific rules as to what's 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
    Glasses/Contacts
    Jewelry/watches

    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.
    If a solo traveler, try to fit in at least 1 extra of your under garments in your carry on. Outer wear is easier to purchase if your bags arrive late or are lost, but trying to find under garments for purchase can be more difficult.

    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 the items you put in your personal item can be carried on and not needed to be placed in checked luggage. ( Again always check with your airline.)
    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 khakis or other light weight fabrics 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. (You will want your tennis shoes to protect your feet if you go to the ruins or some of the other 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.
    Some of the restaurants require pants and a casual dress shirt for the men, so pack accordingly.
    Here's a link to the resort dining. http://www.sunscaperesorts.com/curacao/dining-drinks

    Travel from Airport to Hotel

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

    Weather Forecast to help you decide what to pack

    On land, daily lows/highs around 76°F to 85°F throughout the month of December.
    http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/l/Curacao+CUR:9:NT

    Diving Tips

    Here's a few links you might be interested in.
    Maps and Fish ID
    Dive sites from Oceans Encounters

    Photography Diving Tips

    ebook of Curacao Dive Sites
    The Dive Bus

    Shore Diving Sites

    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 services, you might want to get in a pool session/dive in and make sure it works.


    Get yourself hydrated before the trip and stay hydrated, but don't over do it. Drinking smaller amounts of water through out the day is better than just guzzling a glass or 2. They will also have water and fruit on the boats for in between the dives.

    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 and the smaller ones too! They give the camera some protection and are easy to fold up for packing, light weight and rinse out easily. I have also found the little neoprene draw strings bags with clips are great for protecting your GoPros on the poles or trays.

    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.

    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 and to keep them from blowing of the balconies.

    I use 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. I alos like to put some biodegradible condition in it while dry before covering it. Some kind of covering is great for gals with shorter hair and guys to keep their heads from getting sunburned too. Unless your 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. Water temperature are around 81-2° F/28° C, with visibility usually /100-150 feet/30-45 meters.
    On land, daily lows/highs around 76°F to 85°F throughout the month of December.
    Most travelers to Curacao have been comfortable in a diving in a skin 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. wetsuit.
    Water Visibility varies based on the site, but is generally very good, ranging from 80 to 120 feet.

    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) There are plenty of full service dive shops available including our hosts
    Oceans Encounters. 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 etc. I would also include a spare battery for your computer. You can find many types of batteries there, but I prefer to have one handy.

    ​If you tend to get over heated easily, bring a bandanna with you. Wet it and tie it loosely around your neck, it will help to keep you cooled down.

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]
    I also want to remind everyone on
    the importance of getting Hydrated before
    and
    staying Hydrated during the SURGE.
    (beer and pina colas don't count)
    It will be hot down in Curacao especially for the northern folks.
    Drinking small amounts continually during the day instead of downing 1-2 glasses a day will help your body retain the liquids better. And remember if your planning on drinking after diving, drink some water in between drinks to help with the adverse effects of drinking and dehydration.
    [​IMG] Have fun, but play it smart and safe. [​IMG]


    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
    Insta-Gator likes this.
  2. islanddream

    islanddream ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hobe Sound, Florida
    838
    542
    93
    Hi Roxanne:
    We received our travel vouchers from Bay Adventures but no Ocean Encounters or Scubaboard/DiveRite waivers. Perhaps they will be coming at a later date?

    Oops....as much as I'd like to be going to Cozumel, I think you meant Curacao. But maybe we get two trips in one!!!!! Gotta love the cut and paste functions!
    It will be very hot down in Cozumel especially for the northern folks.


     
  3. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,952
    2,414
    113
    I changed the info for the waivers above to read
    "Here's a link to the Waiver for Diving Oceans Encounters Waiver download
    Please print, fill out and turn into the dive shop after checking into the resort.
    Also a ScubaBoard/Dive Rite Waivers will be emailed to you by Bay Adventures or cardzard. Please print, fill out and bring with you to give to either cardzard or myself at the welcome party. All Crew members must sign and turn in the ScubaBoard/Dive Rite Waiver."
    My apologies for the confusion. Thanks for catching the type o. :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  4. islanddream

    islanddream ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hobe Sound, Florida
    838
    542
    93
    Thanks for the info, Roxanne, and for the great checklist! I'll print out the Ocean Encounters waiver now and look forward to the ScubaBoard/Dive Rite waivers. We are excited for the Surge!!!

    Question: The PADI Medical Statement forms are just for participants who are going to do training????
     
    ROXANNE likes this.
  5. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,952
    2,414
    113
    Yes, To the best of my knowledge that is a waiver for training, but we'll double check with the dive shop just to be sure.
     
  6. islanddream

    islanddream ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hobe Sound, Florida
    838
    542
    93
    Wonderful....thanks!
     
    ROXANNE likes this.
  7. irinaz

    irinaz Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Greater Boston area, USA
    7
    8
    3
    Great, thank you Roxanne. Also, do you know if the resort runs a shuttle bus to town (like other resorts do) and/or have a car rental place nearby? Thank you
     
  8. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,952
    2,414
    113
    The Padi Medical form from Oceans Encounters is for those who are receiving certification from them. You do not need to download that form.



    I'll check on that for you.

    ---------- Post added October 28th, 2015 at 07:10 PM ----------

    [FONT=&quot]They run a shuttle between the hotel and downtown 3 times a day – around 9:30am, 1:30pm and 4:30pm. If people want to take the last shuttle and stay downtown later, they can just take a taxi back to the hotel (about $25). [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]There’s also car rental on site. [/FONT]
     
  9. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,952
    2,414
    113

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