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Last minute advice

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by divecouple, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. divecouple

    divecouple Registered

    20
    0
    We are headed to Curacao in just a couple of days. This will be our first "real" dive experience since becomming certified in May. Do you have any last minute advice before we go?

    I'd love suggestions about what kind of a save a dive kit to take. We have all of our own gear (brand new) and will only be renting tanks and weights so I dont expect we will me missing or needing anything. We took everything to the local pool and played so we are comfortable with all our equipment.

    We plan to do a shore dive with the resort operator the first day to get aquainted (Marriott Carribean Sea Sports). Do you think we should shore dive by ourselves after that or are we way to inexperienced? We will prob also do some boat dives but mainly the shore diving interests us.

    Also if you've been to Curacao any suggestions on other things to do places to eat etc?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Simon L

    Simon L Registered

    45
    0
    in my save-a-dive kit are..

    spare fin straps and buckles
    spare mask strap
    duct tape (never leave home without it!)
    zip ties of various lengths (can be used to "permanently" fix broken pinch clip buckles)
    Neoprene glue (but you can use duct tape for temp fix)
    screw driver
    allen spanners
    adjustable spanner
    o rings
    plasters


    did i mention duct tape?


    Hope that helps

    Si
     
  3. dlndavid

    dlndavid 私は寿司およびアジア女性を食べるだScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: California Norte
    16,580
    402
    If you are diving the first day there, be carefull about over doing it the night before.
    Be sure to drink plenty of water as to be hydrated. About diving on your own, I would think you could use alot more guidance, especially in an unfamilar area. The local dive shops are a fun, guided way to enjoy some good diving, with someone looking after you. Just relax, have fun and enjoy the dives.
    David
     
  4. Simon L

    Simon L Registered

    45
    0

    I'd echo that.

    Diving with a guide takes a load off your task list, so you're free to look about you a little more and enjoy the sights... and you won't stray into dodgy currents, drop offs etc.

    You're also almost guaranteed to finish somewhere near where you want to be!!
     
  5. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,387
    820
    SimonL took a good stab at the save-a dive kit.

    Are you qualified to shore dive alone? You are certified divers so you should be capable of starting in with modest shore dives assuming decent conditions. Since you have not dove since May and have your gear I'm going to assume that you don't like your home waters. That would suggest that they are more challenging than your destination so that's in your favor if my guess is correct. Here in Maine we say "if you can dive here you can dive anywhere!"

    Getting an orientaion / refresher dive with a local operator is a wise thing indeed considering your situation. Don't go beyond your comfort level, take it easy and don't do anything to add to your task loading for a while. Just lugging a dive flag for our first post certification dive proved to be a huge distraction. Keep it simple and within each of your comfort zones. If you need help get it. You may fall in with some other diving couple(s) who like to mentor, that would be a great thing for you two.

    Have a great trip, take it easy and dive safe.

    Pete
     
  6. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    9,681
    2,443
    Just got back a couple of weeks ago from my first trip to Curacao. We enjoyed it and will most likely go back. Two beaches I suggest you try are Porta Maria and Cas Abao. These are pay beaches but they are really nice, have restrooms, wash tanks and food. The cost is only $3.50 Nfl/pp which translates into around $2 US, well worth the cost- PM even throws in a Coke with the entry fee.. We would load up with 2 tanks each, do a dive, rest and eat on site for lunch and dive again later. The diving at these beaches is not super great but they are well worth diving and the entries and exits are very easy. These are exactly the kind of dives to do your first shore experience. You really don' t need a guide if you pay a little attention to the reef, your depth and your compass. Take plenty of water with you. We bought a couple of 1L bottles apiece and refilled them from the tap all week, the water is safe to drink on the island. The food at both places was pretty good and reasonable in cost. The currents at both of these sites was almost non existent. Buy yourself a good road map. The one given by the rental car places is OK but a real map is a big help.
    We ate at several places on the waterfront near the Queen Emma floating bridge. All were very good and reasonably priced. If a greeter at the airport tries to hand you a shopping bag DO take it. There is a really nice restaurant guide and DVD inside. You should take at least one walk across the Queen Emma bridge, its a strange experience to feel the bridge moving under your feet. If the bridge is open you can also take the free ferry located close to the bridge.
    US dollars are taken most everywhere but expect your change to be in guilders (Nfl). Most places put both the USD and the Nfl price on your bill so don't be shocked if you see a huge amount on your bill, it's most likely Nfl. The exchange rate is around 1.75 to 1 which is a little more than 1 guilder = $0.56 USD. I use 2 to 1 as an easy way to estimate the cost. An added bonus because they will bill your credit card in USD, the %^@#@! at the credit card place will not hit you with an exchange fee.
    Drop me a PM if you have any specific questions about Curacao, I may can answer them.
     
  7. munkispank

    munkispank Contributor

    572
    10
    You are so usefule Herman- I'm thinking of heading Curacao-wards at Christmas and you have already answered most of my questions. I was hoping for somewhere I could take my mum (and she would not be too bored whilst I dive).

    and back to the original poster- If you feel comfortable with the first dives with the on-site operator, then don't worry about the shore diving. Along with the suggestions from Herman above, you can ask your operator which sites are better for beginners (over more challenging ones) or check out shorediving.com for a run-down. Although I have yet to visit Curacao, I have done shore diving is several places and as long as you take your time on entries nad exits, and remember to look around at your entry point underwater for some markers, it should be easy enough to navigate back in.

    Obviously if conditions are rough and/or you do not feel comfortable, then do not dive.

    You will have a blast - especially for your first "real' dive trip and don;t forget to post us a trip report when you get back :)
     
  8. toodive4

    toodive4 Instructor, Scuba

    238
    0
    Visit the SeaAquarium next to the Lions Dive Hotel & Resort. Neat place for new divers... get in the pool with big fish and turtles and feed the sharks! Curacao was fantastic for new divers - but I would still not recommend those as new as you guys going it alone. Stick with a group or at least another more experienced couple... Enjoy!



     
  9. Skinsfan1311

    Skinsfan1311 Contributor

    255
    0
    Relax and have a great time!
     
  10. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    9,681
    2,443
    I have been called a lot of things but I think that's the first time I have been called uesfull. :) Always happy to help. For pure diving I still prefer Bonaire but with non divers along Curacao is a nice compromise.
     

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