Tip of the Month
After more than 20 years in the scuba industry, we've learned a thing or two to help improve our diving, ease the rigors of travel and what equipment we can't live without. We share these nuggets of wisdom each month in our newsletter, and have aggregated them here to pass along to you.
If you've picked up some gem along the way, please share. A good diver is always learning, and it's usually much less painful to learn from others experiences.
January 2019 - The start of the new year is a time to set goals for the upcoming circle around the sun. Where do you want to go this year? What do you want to learn? Set your goals now, and let us know if we can help you achieve them this year!
November 2018 - Pack your carry on bag consistently, keeping your passport, liquids and electronics in the same place each time you travel. This makes clearing TSA easier, and makes you less likely to lose things if you know where they should be.
October 2018 - Don't spit in your mask. Seriously. We're not going to retire early off a few extra bottles of defog sales. But that spit is going to end up as mold inside your mask, possibly getting you sick and definitely fouling up the mask rinse bucket on the boat.
September 2018 - Do you know what options are available to you if you have a trip planned and a hurricane or typhoon is bearing down on your dive destination or flight connection city? Do you have trip insurance, and if so, do you know what is covered? Being prepared for the worst can make last minute changes less stressful. Better yet, let our travel folks deal with the details and do the worrying for you!
August 2018 - Take a few hours upon your return home to thoroughly clean your dive equipment. A cursory rinse or quick dunk won't dissolve the salt crystals that have accumulated on your equipment during your trip. From mask to fins, BCD to regulator, spending quality time taking care of your life support equipment will extend its life dramatically!
July 2018 - Do you know how to use your dive computer? No, really, do you? Do you know what it means to violate your no-decompression time, and what you should do if that happens? Do you know what to do if your computer won't sync with your transmitter? It's easy to forget these things when we only use them a few times a year, so take the time to get intimately familiar with your dive computer before you're sitting on the boat getting pressured to splash in!
June 2018 - If you don't use it, you lose it. Although some equate scuba being like "riding a bike", assembling the equipment, mastering buoyancy and just being comfortable underwater are skills quickly lost. Do a pool workout, join Pool Night, take a class, go on a trip. Whatever it takes, staying active in scuba will make you a safer and more confident diver!
May 2018 - Pay attention to the safety briefings, whether they be on a dive boat, or a plane. The recent incident aboard Southwest Airlines with the subsequent photos of passengers with the oxygen masks covering only their mouths, not their noses, clearly shows the importance of knowing both where emergency equipment is located, but also how to use it!
April 2018 - Be sure to take a printed copy of your itinerary and flight schedule on your trip. Relying solely on your electronic device to be working and connected could make for a sticky situation should you be unable to retrieve your documents.
March 2018 - When was the last time you worked out your ears? It's very common when we get back in the water to have sore ears after a couple of dives, similar to how our muscles might feel after that first trip back to the gym. Take preventative measures by "warming" them up in our pool, and pack ear drops and ibuprofen along to give them some post-dive love and care.
February 2018 - Just do it! Whether it's deciding to go ahead and take that dreaded exam*, or getting out of your seat and helping a distressed passenger*, getting up and trying is the only way to grow.
*These incidents really happened to our staff. Stop in and ask us about it!
January 2018 - On your next vacation to a familiar location, branch out and try something new. It's so easy to get caught in the lull of that which we know. For example, go ATVing when in Cozumel, or caving in Bonaire. You may find a new hidden gem in a location you thought you knew everything about!
November 2017 - As several travelers of ours have recently experienced, the importance of trip insurance is invaluable. When needed, having trip insurance could mean the difference between just being disappointed about having to miss a trip due to an illness or injury, or suffering the financial loss of the trip on top of whatever ailment is causing your absence. It can be difficult to focus on your physical well being when your thoughts are fixated on the amount of money you are potentially losing.
October 2017 - Learn to appreciate the little things. If your only wish is to see a Manta Ray on your next dive, and you spend the entire dive with your eyes to the blue, you're probably missing out on the many great critters that make the reef such a beautiful and fascinating place.
September 2017 - Is your dive gear ready for your next trip? Keeping your gear serviced not only extends the life of the product, but also ensures your safety while diving. If we haven't seen your gear in the last five years, you might also be impacted by recalled products. Transmitters, weight pouches (twice), hoses and computers have all had recalls over the last few years. Bring it in to make sure your equipment isn't impacted.
August 2017 - It's never too early to plan your next getaway. Little gets me excited like thinking about my upcoming adventures, helping adjust my attitude when I know I have a change in latitude on the horizon. Whether it's joining one of our group trips, or getting the assistance of our experienced travel desk, we're here to help!
July 2017 - Have you renewed your DAN dive insurance? Do you really want to risk diving without it? There are two things I always have regardless of where I go diving - my certification card, and DAN Insurance. Sign up here.
June 2017 - When traveling, pack your passport, credit cards, certification card, some spending money, prescriptions, a bathing suit, t-shirt, and your prescription dive mask in your carry-on bag at a minimum. That way, in case your luggage doesn't make it to your final destination at the same time as you do, you'll at least be able to enjoy the beach and dive with rental equipment on your first day.
May 2017 - Have you checked the expiration date on your passport recently? Did you know that many countries require your passport to be valid at least six months from the return date of your trip? Some airlines won't even allow you to board if this requirement is not met. So set a date in your calendar to replace your passport at least 6 months prior to the listed expiration date.
April 2017 - Don't wait until the last minute to pack for your upcoming vacation. Dead computer batteries or that missing bottle of defog can all be handled if you have a few days to spare before your departure date. Waiting to the last minute makes it more likely you'll forget some crucial piece of equipment or clothing.
March 2017 - Taking lessons isn't just to learn how to dive. Just like you might take a golf or ski/snowboard lesson to improve your skills, updating your diving skills is equally important. Whether you need help fine tuning your buoyancy, struggle to get that perfect shot or just want to look as smooth and efficient underwater as the Divemaster, scuba lessons can make a huge impact on your enjoyment of the sport.
February 2017 - Remember to bring in your BCD for service along with your regulator. Failing to maintain the inflator could result in an out of control emergency ascent to the surface. And if you have an octo/inflator combo, like the Scubapro Air II or Aqualung Airsource, that's your breathing source if someone else runs out of air.
January 2017 - When it comes to exposure protection, overpack! It's always better to have a hooded vest or heated shirt that stays in the bag rather than be shivering on every dive because you thought the water would be warmer than it is.
December 2016 - Learn to appreciate the social and cultural differences you encounter during your adventures, whether they be in the food you eat or the customs of the locals. If you wanted everything to be like it was at home, you should have stayed home. Embrace the changes and you'll quickly broaden your horizons.
November 2016 - The most important thing you can pack on your next adventure is plenty of patience. Flights will be delayed, baggage may go temporarily missing and meals could be marathon events. How we choose to react can have a profound impact on both our mood and the outcome. Taking that extra deep breath, smiling our way through it or just ordering another frothy beverage can truly make or break our vacation.
October 2016 - Beware of greasy sunscreen. Not only could it be bad for the reef, but there's nothing worse than your mask sliding all over your face or the lens getting smudged.
September 2016 - Plan on exchanging some money to local currency when traveling abroad. Street vendors and small stores don't always accept credit cards. And many countries limit the dollar amount you can withdraw from ATM's, so having some cash on hand is key to a smooth transition into a new country.
August 2016 - Before traveling, scan copies of your passport and other important documents and email them to yourself. If they get lost or stolen on your trip, it makes it easier to replace them when you can look up the copy.
July 2016 - Spend time before your trip learning about your dive computer. Read the manual, visit our YouTube Channel, push the buttons, or schedule a private tutorial with one of our staff.
June 2016 - Throw a large trash bag in your suitcase. If you have wet or smelly items, use it to keep them away from your clean and dry clothes.
May 2016 - Adventure Plus is a great way to increase your confidence and proficiency in diving. Get three certifications all in one! The course includes Advanced Open Water Diver, Emergency First Responder and and Rescue Diver.
April 2016 - Don't let the flurry of activity on the dive boat distract you from taking care of your personal gear setup and pre-dive checks.
March 2016 - Always write down the amount of weight you used in your logbook so you don't have to guess when you go back to your favorite dive sites.
February 2016 - It helps to store your SCUBA gear together in one place to make packing easier and faster. We also use the packing checklist every time to make sure we don't forget anything important - like your regulator!
January 2016 - Make 2016 the year you learn something new about diving. Whether it be a new class, dive destination or piece of equipment that will enhance your diving, don't let your skills and passion stagnate by doing the same thing over again!
December 2015 - Compile a list of items you wished you had on your trip, or items that have been damaged, and replace them immediately upon your return. This preps you for your next trip, and takes away the stress of doing it at the last minute before leaving on your next vacation.
November 2015 - Labeling your equipment makes it easy to separate your gear from the crowd. But many forget to label their weight pockets. Don't let your dive be ruined, or potentially dangerous, by sliding the wrong set of pockets into your BCD!
October 2015 - What's in your Save-a-Dive Kit? Do you have what you need to rescue your trip should something break or go wrong? Stop in and chat with the experts to help assemble some must-have items to ensure your dream vacation doesn't turn into a nightmare!
September 2015 - Planning ahead can make or break your trip. Don't get left on the dock watching the dive boat leave for the day; book your dives ahead of time during the busy upcoming holiday travel season.
August 2015 - The most important thing a photographer can focus on is their fins!
July 2015 - Take a picture of your email address. If your camera is lost, maybe a kind person will email your photos to you!
June 2015 - Start thinking about your Fall Break plans in early Summer. Book early to get the best availability.
May 2015 - Use a packing list when getting ready for your next trip. Trust me on this one!
April 2015 - How well do you know your dive computer? Do you understand No Deco time, and what it looks like if you've gone into deco? Take the time to learn all the functions before heading out on your next vacation and potentially putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
March 2015 - DAN Insurance - Don't leave home without it!
February 2015 - Plan ahead - don't leave your diving to chance by hoping the operator will have space when you get there. A simple call to our travel department can be the difference between a nightmare or a dream vacation!
January 2015 - Escape the winter blues with a dive in our pool - the water is always 85 degrees and flat calm!