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Blackbeard - Liveaboard - Questions

Discussion in 'All Star Liveaboards' started by dirkmy, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. dirkmy

    dirkmy Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Kennesaw
    29
    10
    3
    Going on my first liveaboard trip on blackbeards this march. A couple questions. Did anyone buy the travelex insurance that they are pushing for their trip? If so what does it actually cover? Was thinking about taking a 3 mil full suit. Anyone who has gone during that time think that is enough? Also they say to bring Cyalume sticks for the night dives. Are these just the basic crack and use glow sticks like this https://www.amazon.com/Cyalume-Gree...e=UTF8&qid=1516748279&sr=1-1&keywords=Cyalume Do you just attach them to your bc? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
     
    randpchi likes this.
  2. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    4,767
    2,744
    113
    Cold is a relative term and everybody is different but I have dived in the Bahamas in March and it was cold, and you will be doing a lot of diving on a liveaboard so you could get really chilled - and you can't take a long, hot shower on a Blackbeard's boat! I think you will need a 5 mil suit - but ask others their opinions.

    You attach the glow sticks to the tank on your back with a tie wrap or something similar, you won't be able to see it but others will. Or you can just bring reusable battery-operated tank lights.

    We use Travel Guard and DAN insurance so I don't know anything about Travelex.

    There are a lot of threads here on SB about Blackbeard's and what to bring - and what not to bring, check them out. Have a great trip!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
    jghead likes this.
  3. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,849
    2,143
    113
    I dove Bahamas in March and I needed a 5mm. Low temp was about 75, most around 80. I'm female and run cold, especially with back to back diving so you may want to see how you are. If you are going with a 3mm, I would look into bringing a vest/hooded vest option. During some dives when I was just sitting still, I needed the vest/hooded vest on top of my 5mm...Can you say whimp? :)

    You'll need to read the fine print on the Travelex insurance. There are many options out there for general travel insurance and then there's DAN, and then there's really dive specific travel insurance including Dive Assure. If you do a search on this board with those companies, you will find extensive analysis and information regarding your options. (Many of those posts are by me!)

    The cyalume sticks are the ones you describe. You usually put them onto your tank. If you don't want disposable ones you can also look at getting the LED reusable ones.

    Like @KathyV mentioned, there's a thread started by someone who was asking for specific packing suggestions for this trip. It's a great resource if you search for it. I think the OP also returned to the same thread to give feedback on what they decided to bring and whether it was needed, not needed, etc.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  4. dirkmy

    dirkmy Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Kennesaw
    29
    10
    3
    Thanks for the suggestions. Will check out the threads about the insurance. Dove right before New year's out of Sanibel and the water was in the low 70's. Used a 3 mil. So I am thinking I will be good. Might bring a shorty to double up if needed. Just wanted to see what others might say. Thanks
     
  5. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    4,767
    2,744
    113
    Well, you know best how well you can handle exposure to cold water, just keep in mind that you will be doing 4 dives per day on most days; have fun!
     
  6. T.C.

    T.C. Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ft. Hood, TX
    1,888
    971
    113
    I have done three trips with them. I would not worry about the travel insurance. March is well outside the hurricane season, and there is no reason to believe your trip wouldn't go. If you desire insurance, I would compare it to others such as DAN's insurance.

    I would bring the 5 mil suit if you have one or can rent one. You will be diving multiple times a day, and there is no real protection from the wind on deck. If you go below to warm up, you will be getting back into that suit in a few hours. Best to conserve your body heat and be comfortable. I would also recommend a hood. If you bring the 3 mil, I would strongly recommend a hooded vest.

    Yes, those are the sticks. However, I would recommend that you purchase a battery operated light stick like this: Lazer-Stik Battery Powered Marker Light, Constant-On. As you can see, it's a dollar more, and it will last much longer than ten chemlights; and make less plastic waste.

    What do you need? Your dive gear; obviously. A set of clothes for traveling, a set for relaxing on the deck after the dives are over, and a few swimsuits. I would bring a set of sweatshirts/pants to wear between sites, and a waterproof coat. Don't overpack. There is no storage room for your bag; so you will be literally, not figuratively, literally sleeping with whatever you bring, and don't leave on the dive deck. There is a small shelf. That's it. Everything else is on your bunk at night, which is smaller than a twin mattress.

    And of course, most massively useful thing you can have; a towel.

    Other things to bring: Dramamine. Bring enough for two doses a day. An electric razor if you wish to keep your chin wig in check, as hot water is somewhat scarce. A good hat to keep off the sun, but make sure you can secure it to your head. Sunglasses of course. A small bag to keep your clothes in; as you will empty out your dive gear into a small locker on the first day, set up your tank, and then they'll take away your bag and keep it on shore. A small laundry bag helps contain your stuff. Money for tips (there are 5 crew on the boat; plan accordingly) and other things (t-shirts and the like); and a pair of sandals/ boat shoes for wear on the boat. You won't like what happens to your feet if you wear your dive boots all the time.

    If you use alot of air, ask them for a 100cu ft tank; they have them. I preferred the forward-most cabin, and if you ask they'll put you in there. It's a little quieter, further from the engine; which is always on, and you can hear the waves sliding past the hull. Very relaxing. Ask for the top bunk if you need power, the bottom if you don't, or don't like top bunks.

    A power strip will make friends, as there are only a few outlets on each side. A bottle of your favorite drink goes over well with everyone, though the crew does provide free beer and rum at the end of the day.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  7. randpchi

    randpchi Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gulf Coast
    125
    36
    28
    I I went on Blackbeard"s last March. Temps were 75-78 and I was ok with a 3 ml and long sleeve Lavacore shirt but that's me. As others have said the glow sticks attach to the back of your tank, you can bring a plastic bag and store it in the on-deck freezer between uses so one will last the whole trip. Buy a twp pack JIC..
    I have no idea about the insurance. There was a pretty detailed what-to-pack for Blackbeard"s thread last fall, you can check out. Have a great time and good luck.
     
  8. T.C.

    T.C. Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ft. Hood, TX
    1,888
    971
    113
    In my experience, freezing glowsticks isn't a reliable way of preserving or extending them. And in the end, all it does is create more plastic waste. For the price of one box of ten, you can buy a battery operated stick that will last 100 times longer than a glow-stick.

    We're even using a similar device in the military now- and I can't send Privates to Supply for Chemlight batteries anymore.
     
    Saniflush likes this.
  9. dirkmy

    dirkmy Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Kennesaw
    29
    10
    3
    Awesome. Thanks for everyone's feedback. Will definitely look into buying a battery powered marker.
     
  10. diversteve

    diversteve tech admin

    26,126
    5,714
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    Get a Glo-Toob - they really are visible a long way away

    [​IMG]

    On the off-chance that 2 divers have the same color you can vary the flash pattern.

    I've tried a couple of the marker lights with the opaque light covers - they don't seem to be as visible over longer distances. The fish don't seem to mind the glo-toob either.

    Also it can go deeper than you can.
     

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