Exploring the Seven Seas

Whether you are a beginner or just need a refresher, this week’s Travel Tip Tuesday explores what elements to consider for your next trip below the surface.

Gear Up Sensibly

Do your homework, watch for sales, and then when the time is right, make your move to save money.

Buy Don’t Rent: This may seem counter-intuitive, but when you’re looking at the big picture it’s less costly to buy scuba gear and/or snorkeling equipment than it is to rent. This becomes more apparent the longer you own your items, which can be a very long time given proper care. Though it may make sense initially to rent your gear until you’ve determined what sizes and brands best suit your needs, owning will reduce the expense of future dives to little more than air tank refills and cleaning supplies.

Consider a One-Brand Package Deal: Find three or four big items that strike your fancy, all from the same manufacturer, and buy them together as a package deal. Doing so will afford you more room to negotiate down the sticker price(s).

Ask For Free Air: When making a major gear purchase, it’s a good idea to request a little extra from the vendor (e.g. Five free tank refills as part of the sale). Such requests are often granted, particularly by established dive stores.

Shop Around For Used And Generic Items: Dry boxes, general-purpose bags, first-aid kits, tools — anything you need that’s not unique to diving may likely be found for less money at big box stores.

Keep Top Of Mind…

Always thoroughly check your equipment before every dive. Take care of your gear, and it will take care of you. Wash and soak each item in fresh water after every saltwater dive, and allow them to dry thoroughly out of the sun to maximize their lifespan. With regular inspections you can detect and fix small tears and loose fasteners before they turn into costly problems. Warning signs of faulty equipment include air leaks, broken buckles, strange smelling/tasting air, and a jumping needle on your air gauge when you take a breath out of your regulator. Store your gear someplace dry that is out of the sun.

While you’re under the surface, it’s easy to be mesmerized by what exists below you. Don’t forget to look upward into the blue every once in a while. Much of the time that is where the larger sea creatures or schools of fish will be located. Enjoy exploring the countless sights there are to see, and bring with you a waterproof camera to record all the fascinating things that are indeed unlike anything on Earth.

Pick Your Perfect Venue

Do you prefer wrecks, sea life, caverns, drift dives, underwater scenery – some of each? Give thought to what sounds best and determine your diving location based off of what you’re after. Do you want to be somewhere that’s ideal for beginners? Somewhere that’s known for its photographic brilliance? There are endless diving locations available to meet your every preference. Below are a few of our favorites for you to consider:

Barracuda Point – Malaysia

Schools of circling sharks and barracuda congregate beside massive walls of coral in Malaysia’s Barracuda Point.

Great Barrier Reef – Australia

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is home to manta rays, octopi, turtles, bull sharks, clouds of fish, and the most spectacular coral found anywhere.

Cayman Islands – Caribbean

Amazingly deep drop-offs, fascinating shipwrecks, and some of the coolest coral in the Caribbean can be found underwater in the Cayman Islands.

Sharm El Sheikh – Egypt

A British vessel, the Thistlegorm, sank in 1941 and its cargo of war supplies is now a coral-covered home to numerous forms of sea life here in Egypt.

Great Blue Hole – Belize

More than 300 feet across and 412 feet deep, the Great Blue Hole in Belize is outlined by coral reef and inhabited by sharks.


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