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Essential Packing for Your Next Diving Liveaboard Holiday

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One of the key elements of many liveaboard dive trips is they take place in remote locations, which often required domestic flights to reach. With a continuing reduction in airline baggage allowance and growing fees it’s becoming increasingly important to get your packing just right.

Choosing the Essentials

Topping the list of course would be your dive gear. Or would it? Several liveaboards offer free equipment rental or low cost packages as an alternative to bringing you own. Perhaps you are supremely attached to your own BCD or Reg and would not wish to rely upon rental gear, but what about your fins? Do you really need all those wetsuits? For most trips there is not really a need to pack in lots of spare gear and parts for those “just in case” moments when perfectly adequate alternatives are available on board the yacht? Much depends on the quality of the dive operator so it’s important to check with them what they will have available before you depart. Then think about what you couldn’t dive without and bring a fix-it / repair kit of o-rings, mask and fin straps and a mouth piece or two.

Susie 2Clothing next. So lets just be honest – you’re on a boat with 12-20 other divers, and dinner will not be a cruise ship captain’s table black tie affair. In my experience most people wear the same clothes repeatedly – after all we’re hardly in them. Shorts, t-shirts and 2 sarongs would more or less cover it. I always pack at least 1 sun dress and a fleece jacket in case it gets chilly. Men might want to bring long trousers and shirts and if you’ll be taking any land tours, think about whether it is prudent to cover up to avoid offending the locals by displaying bare shoulders or knees. Shoes? Just forget about them! But very importantly don’t forget your swimwear… I’ve seen a naked 70-year old man bent over on the dive deck and I sincerely wish I hadn’t!

No one wants to be known as “Mr or Ms Stinky” during the trip so some toiletries won’t go amiss. Most operators I’ve dived with provide shower gel but shampoo/conditioner you should plan to bring for yourself. Don’t bother packing huge bottles – decant your usual brands into 100ml bottles then you can also take in your hand luggage too. Essential advice for the ladies: don’t forget your menstrual products! Such items can be exceedingly hard to find in places such as Egypt and Indonesia (note that any unused supplies are always very welcomed by female cruise directors!).

Don’t bother with a towel. Every liveaboard I know provides one or more and if you would like extra, a sarong works brilliantly and takes up far less room.

Now we know what to bring, the big question arises – can I fit it all in? Here the importance of Maximising your carry-on comes into effect. The best items for placing in your carry-on bag are your reg (if you decided to bring it), dive computer, mask, toiletries and any bulky but light weight items that you could put on if necessary. Any medication too, just in case your check-in luggage gets lost in transit.

Of course if you are photographer you’ll likely be struggling with which lenses, dome ports, strobes etc, etc, etc to bring with you. Most airlines count a camera as a separate hand carry item you are allowed on top of a 7kg bag, but even so it can be a tough decision so do your research on the destination and make your decision based upon that… or buy a jacket with loads of pockets and stuff everything into them instead!

Susie 1Knowing the struggles us liveaboard divers face, equipment manufacturers have developed Specialist Equipment for Travel. I have the Aqua Lung travel set – it’s a BCD, complete reg, fins, mask, shortie 3mm and bag all weighing in at 10kg. The bag itself is the perfect fit for the overhead bins on planes too, so I can be really flexible with how I pack. Last month I met two divers from Australia who only had 10kg each to check in, as they had purchased the Aeris backplate which doubles as a bag and then rented other kit on the yacht. There are plenty of great choices out there for divers who love to travel.

Now you are all packed and ready to go – unpack, remove half of the clothes from the pile, pack again and you’re all set!

Keeping your check in under 20kg is most certainly do-able with a bit of planning. To assist you, Liveaboard.com provides divers with a “Know Before You Go” guide for each destination and liveaboard yacht.

Susie has been enjoying the life of a dive instructor, travelling the world diving and teaching. Susie is somewhat of a liveaboard junkie after working as a cruise director in the Red Sea, the Philippines and Indonesia. She has also led trips to Fiji, Palau, Similans, Myanmar, East Timor, the Maldives and the Galapagos, yet she still finds time to do some shore based diving at her favourite sites in the Philippines too. Find Susie at www.heritagediving.com

News

Nauticam announce NA-A7C Housing for Sony a7C Camera

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Sony’s latest full frame mirrorless camera, the a7C offers the underwater image maker one of the most compact and travel friendly full frame systems available on the market today.  The a7C features Sony’s latest stellar autofocus and a much improved battery life thanks to its use of the larger Z series battery. The BIONZ X processor delivers superb low-light performance and faster image processing. For video shooters, the a7C features internal UHD 4K capture in the wide-dynamic range HLG image profile at up to 30p.

Nauticam has housed more mirrorless cameras, and more Sony E Mount cameras than any other housing manufacturer. This experience results in the most evolved housing line with broadest range of accessories available today.

Pioneering optical accessories elevate performance to a new level. Magnifying viewfinders, the sharpest super macro accessory lenses ever made, and now the highest quality water contact wide angle lenses (the WWL-1B and WACP-1) combine with the NA-A7C housing to form a complete imaging system.

Nauticam is known for ergonomics, and an unmatched experience. Key controls are placed at the photographer’s fingertips. The housing and accessories are light weight, and easy to assemble. The camera drops in without any control presetting, and lens port changes are effortless.

NA-A7C features an integrated handle system. This ergonomic style provides exceptional control access, even with thick gloves, with ideal placement of the shutter release and a thumb-lever to actuate the AF-ON button from the right handle.

Nauticam build quality is well known by underwater photographers around the globe. The housing is machined from a solid block of aluminum, then hard anodized making it impervious to salt water corrosion. Marine grade stainless and plastic parts complete the housing, and it is backed by a two year warranty against manufacturing defects.

For more information in the UK visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

For more information in the USA visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

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Blogs

BLUE EARTH – Future Frogmen Podcast Series – The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

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A series of conservation educational podcasts from Future Frogmen, introduced by Jeff Goodman.

The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

We have a new host, Dr. Colleen Bielitz, and today we’ll be interviewing a recent college graduate as part of our once-a-month episode that focuses on students: the next generation of conservationists, researchers, and activists.

What are the next generation of ocean stewards doing to protect our Blue Earth? Join us as we find out by speaking to Lauren Brideau, a recent graduate of Southern Connecticut State University. Lauren started as an undeclared major but soon found her calling, now she is part of a research team conserving life below water.  She is a prime example that if you want to defend our oceans and the creatures that depend on the sea to survive, now is the time to become part of the solution.


Richard E Hyman Bio

Richard is the Chairman and President of Future Frogmen.

Born from mentoring and love of the ocean, Richard is developing an impactful non-profit organization. His memoir, FROGMEN, details expeditions aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s famed ship Calypso.

Future Frogmen, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and public charity that works to improve ocean health by deepening the connection between people and nature. They foster ocean ambassadors and future leaders to protect the ocean by accomplishing five objectives.


You can find more episodes and information at www.futurefrogmen.org and on most social platforms @futurefrogmen.

 

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Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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