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Questions about the group trips :)


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#16 WreckWench

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 02:24 PM

Hi Weeble and others new to SingleDivers.com!

You have just experienced what our group is all about...divers who have just dove with us helping others out...divers who haven't dove with us yet but already signed up for a trip helping others out and divers who have dove many times with us...you guessed it...helping others out.

THAT is the true essence of this group. :birthday:

A few add'l comments most of which will be repeated but hopefully because they are worth it.

1. The flower gardens is NOT a newbie destination however you can offset that by 'hiring a Rent-A-Buddy' if you number of dives are still low but you are comfortable in the water otherwise. I have personally helped many divers who were fairly new dive the Flower Gardens and it will make you a better diver but you should have your own personal dive buddy to help you. Basically that is why we created the Rent-A-Buddy program. So you could get the extra help you needed or simply wanted without burdening another diver.

2. Experienced divers looking out for you...yes in a way its true...our members ALL look out for each other but usually you are paired with a diver with similar skill, air consumption, diving style and number of dives. If you want to be paired with a dive pro or very seasoned diver please consider our Rent-A-Buddy program where you'll be paired with a DM or higher. I would not want a new diver to think that they will automatically get a seasoned vet/pro unless of course if they arrange for it. Sometimes it happens naturally but you would be disappointed if you banked on it and it didn't happen.

3. As our members have mentioned...Roatan, Curacao, Bonaire, Cozumel and other destinations are great for new/newer divers.

4. Traveling...I do it several times a month. I usually put my regs in my checked bag and I have never had anything stolen. (Guess its a good thing I don't travel via Florida that often where they know good scuba gear.) I do however ALWAYS hand carry those things that are difficult or impossible to replace at the destination like masks, computers etc. And yes I SHOULD hand carry my regs. ALSO...I never travel with real divebags...instead I use a cheap suitcase which makes my stuff look ordinary and unappealing. I think flying with divebags screams...SCUBAGEAR...STEAL ME. Just my 2psi as we like to say.

5. Trip Insurance vs Dive Insurance. You MUST HAVE DIVE INSURANCE which you can get from DiversAlertNetwork.org or DiveAssure.com. Others offer it as well I believe and its not very expensive but will pay for airvacs off remote or not so remote destinations, chamber fees (other countries do not have to administer care UNLESS YOU PAY FIRST.

Trip insurance covers lost luggage, missed/delayed flights or missed liveaboards etc INCLUDING HURRICANE evacuations. DAN has some LIMITED trip insurance that you get as part of their $99 plan but it only covers say lost diving due to illness...not lost diving due to missing the boat or missing flights etc.

You'll find a link to several carriers that we use at the end of every trip posting.

6. Specific questions on trips...always ask in the trip thread about a specific trip...others are ALWAYS happy to help or I will reply as soon as I can. By doing this others get to learn from your questions and you from theirs.

I'm glad you have opted for the Roatan trip...it or Curcao will be perfect for you! kamala

Contact me directly at Kamala@SingleDivers.com for your private or group travel needs or 864-557-6079 AND don't miss SD's 2018-2021 Trips! ....here! Most are once in a lifetime opportunities...don't miss the chance to go!!
SD Forms & Documents.... here !

Click here TO PAY for Merchandise, Membership, or Travel
"Imitation is the sincerest flattery." - Gandhi
"Imitation is proof that originality is rare." - ScubaHawk
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Kamala Shadduck c/o SingleDivers.com LLC
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864-557-6079 tel/celfone/office or tollfree fax 888-480-0906

#17 ScubaPunk

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 02:54 PM

ok thank you everyone i am going to try to get a passport in time for roatan


You can request an expedited passport. You'll need to act fast, not many spots left on the Roatan trip.

#18 Itsa

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 10:51 AM

I know that this is an old thread, but I have a general question about group trips:

I'm much more concerned about getting more experience under the waves right now than I am about buying my own equipment. Is it possible to rent gear on most SD trips?

Thanks!
Brenda

#19 Landlocked Dive Nut

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 11:48 AM

Typically, you CAN rent any & all gear you need. If you have your own mask, fins & snorkel I suggest you bring your own, as finding a good fit for a mask & fins is not always possible in some remote areas. Also, if it's a liveaboard trip, you should make arrangements to rent the gear up front, so the boat knows to have it aboard for you.

I notice you wear glasses....if you have a prescription mask, bring it. It's not easy to find a decent Rx mask in most places for rent, and let's face it -- you want to see all the cool critters clearly!
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#20 WreckWench

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 11:54 AM

Yes you can rent gear and Tammy nailed it perfectly as to what to rent and what to bring. If you dive with SD we always have 3-4 dive computers you can use for FREE in exchg for doing some DAN research. And SD also offers it members GREAT unpublished discounts on buying your own gear you can't find elsewhere. :cool1:

Contact me directly at Kamala@SingleDivers.com for your private or group travel needs or 864-557-6079 AND don't miss SD's 2018-2021 Trips! ....here! Most are once in a lifetime opportunities...don't miss the chance to go!!
SD Forms & Documents.... here !

Click here TO PAY for Merchandise, Membership, or Travel
"Imitation is the sincerest flattery." - Gandhi
"Imitation is proof that originality is rare." - ScubaHawk
SingleDivers.com...often imitated...never duplicated!

Kamala Shadduck c/o SingleDivers.com LLC
2234 North Federal Hwy, #1010 Boca Raton, FL 33431
formerly...
710 Dive Buddy Lane; Salem, SC 29676
864-557-6079 tel/celfone/office or tollfree fax 888-480-0906

#21 scubaski

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 11:55 AM

Also you can rent from your local dive store in Boston area, I can suggest a couple, of course you have to lug it around for entire trip but that's what most of us do.
MADRE FELIZ DIA MAMÁ

#22 Itsa

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 01:35 PM

Thanks again everyone! I don't think I'll be able to join an SD trip until next summer, but I'm already imagining all of the possibilities! I bought a mask, snorkel, and fins earlier this summer, so I'll have those at least, and I hope to slowly add to my gear over time.

#23 uwfan

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 04:36 PM

Sounds like you've got a good start! My first SD trip was my fourth dive trip, and my second trip after 12 years out of the water. I had a prescription mask, wetsuit, fins and booties, and snorkel. The mask, fins, boots, and snorkel were what called to me those 12 years reminding me that I wanted to "someday" get back in the water. On my first SD trip, I rented gear from my local diveshop and used one of the computers for DAN research, so it's very doable - either via your local shop or through the boat or land-based operator. Hope to see you on one of the trips in the summer... there are some great trips then. :)

#24 WreckWench

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 02:05 AM

Thanks again everyone! I don't think I'll be able to join an SD trip until next summer, but I'm already imagining all of the possibilities! I bought a mask, snorkel, and fins earlier this summer, so I'll have those at least, and I hope to slowly add to my gear over time.



Please as you slowly add to your personal gear let us help you with purchase decisions. We have some great deals on very good equipment and its priced better than you'll find elsewhere. But you don't have to rush to buy any of this which is great!

Contact me directly at Kamala@SingleDivers.com for your private or group travel needs or 864-557-6079 AND don't miss SD's 2018-2021 Trips! ....here! Most are once in a lifetime opportunities...don't miss the chance to go!!
SD Forms & Documents.... here !

Click here TO PAY for Merchandise, Membership, or Travel
"Imitation is the sincerest flattery." - Gandhi
"Imitation is proof that originality is rare." - ScubaHawk
SingleDivers.com...often imitated...never duplicated!

Kamala Shadduck c/o SingleDivers.com LLC
2234 North Federal Hwy, #1010 Boca Raton, FL 33431
formerly...
710 Dive Buddy Lane; Salem, SC 29676
864-557-6079 tel/celfone/office or tollfree fax 888-480-0906

#25 Greg@ihpil

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 07:08 AM

Brenda,
Just.02 of advise.What might help you with your equipment decisions is to go to one of the Dive Shows.Thats where you can touch & ask questions to the Manufacturers.It's a Divers Toyland!! From what I hear, Boston is the Creme da La Creme of a Dive Expo.. Take a deep Breath & Enjoy your shop quest.

Greg
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#26

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 08:52 AM

I would concur with the others who say to hold off on buying everything at one time. The shop will push for that but it is in their best interest. Mask and fins are terribly personal items that may give a very bad experience if you try to rent them. The mask for certain should be purchased and when you find one that you like... buy a spare. Fins are tougher to buy when you are a new diver. I would rent fins until you know exactly what you want. Most people go through several sets of fins before settling on ones that work for them. Also asking about fins will yield vastly different and sometimes confrontational answers so that is a thing you will probably struggle with. People feel very strongly about fins and recommendations are generally heavily slanted towards who is doing the recommending.

I think fins are the one piece of gear that people completely overlook when buying gear. That one piece of gear can give a remarkably different experience in the water, probably more so than anything else short of a leaky mask. Try out, preferably in the water, at least 5 or 6 different types before buying. Not just sizes but types. There are blades, splits, paddles, and a bunch of new radical designs. There will be one type that works best for you and that is what you want. Your preference may be different than for anyone else so it is best to try out as many as you can first. That one may take some time to find.


What is really best is joining a local club and "trying out" gear from other members. Most divers have no issue with this since we have all struggled trying to figure out what to buy. Each shop only offers a few items and they generally don't let you use them before buying so a local group can be invaluable.

As for renting for trip, go for it. I suggest renting local and bringing it. Its a hassle but you have the peace of mind of knowing what gear you will use on the trip BEFORE leaving. In some locations gear choices are very limited so it is nice to bring something that fits correctly with you. Fitting is generally the issue with rental gear. Poorly fitting gear can turn you off of diving quickly. Try going to various shops before you leave and see what they have for rental. I personally think that is a great idea. You can buy after a few trips and have a much more informed buying experience, unlike most of us.

Also wetsuits are a good one to buy early on. They need to fit right and rentals never do.






#27 WreckWench

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 12:04 PM

A few more rental thoughts and buying thoughts:

1. If you rent fins in the caribbean they will 99% of the time be full foot fins which are not practical in most diving venues. You should get booties to prevent blisters and protect the feet when coming up a ladder or on a boat or walking on rough ground.

2. Always ask your booking agent (or SD) if good rental gear is available. Sometimes you'll want to be sure of a good fit and do not wat to pay extra bag fees if you do not need too. Many places we go have first class rental gear. Some places I would tell you to rent locally.

3. Going to a dive show is a good idea if you are not worried about information overload. If you want the straight scoop then look at places like this website. For example MANY of our newer divers have bought gear from several suppliers who help SD. Others have offered but we also want suppliers to have really good gear that is durable and will get the job done as well as be a good price. There are lots of gimmicks out there and lots of people selling TOO MUCH gear for the number of divers buying it. Some gear is really better than others and its not always the all the gear from the same company. Sometimes it is just one bc or one reg and the rest have been 'improved so many times they are no longer as good as they originally were'.

So keep educating yourself. You can contact me and I can help to cut to the chase. I am not really out to sell you anything. You do not see an online store for gear here nor will you. That way I can recommend what works for me and what I know to work for divers buying gear they never want to replace. And yes there is still gear out there that will last you nearly forever. And some is so time proven they have given up trying to improve it. THAT is the gear you want and the good news is that its not usually the most expensive either...in fact its often the most reasonable because they don't waste a lot of money on promotion.

Drop me an email and I'll help you as you get ready to buy. I will help you know when to rent at home vs the resort and I can help you find good deals. I am happy to help. I have helped MANY divers just like you and will continue to help many others as well. Good luck and thank you for adding to this topic! Your question was great and has shown even more value for a group like ours! kamala

Contact me directly at Kamala@SingleDivers.com for your private or group travel needs or 864-557-6079 AND don't miss SD's 2018-2021 Trips! ....here! Most are once in a lifetime opportunities...don't miss the chance to go!!
SD Forms & Documents.... here !

Click here TO PAY for Merchandise, Membership, or Travel
"Imitation is the sincerest flattery." - Gandhi
"Imitation is proof that originality is rare." - ScubaHawk
SingleDivers.com...often imitated...never duplicated!

Kamala Shadduck c/o SingleDivers.com LLC
2234 North Federal Hwy, #1010 Boca Raton, FL 33431
formerly...
710 Dive Buddy Lane; Salem, SC 29676
864-557-6079 tel/celfone/office or tollfree fax 888-480-0906

#28 Lephenix

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 02:23 PM

Rent-a-buddy program ? Where is the info ? I am merely curious.

#29 scubaski

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 05:04 PM

Copied this from a trip sign up page, explains rent a buddy.

Rent-a-buddy program ? Where is the info ? I am merely curious.

Q. I am new to the single divers website and am interested in getting some more information about your trips. I was looking at this trip. Do you have people from all over and all ages and experience levels that go on these trips?
A. Yes we do. Divers range from about 25 to 55, we average about 40% women…sometimes more on our trips…several have been essentially 'chick trips' with more gals than guys and we have every one from novices with 6 dives to master scuba diving instructors on trips. EVERYONE is welcome and we love new(er) divers. We even offer an innovative program for new divers that is part divebuddy/dive mentor. Its called Rent-A-Buddy and you hire a private DM to be your buddy so you can focus on YOU and YOUR diving and not worry about anything or anyone else. Your buddy will also mentor you providing customized feedback on YOUR diving helping to reinforce GOOD habits or develop GOOD habits right from the start. Everyone who participates in this program RAVES about it. Its quite reasonable…$50 per day or $150 for the week.
MADRE FELIZ DIA MAMÁ

#30 Itsa

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:07 AM

Thanks again for all of the advice! I will definitely check here for opinions before making any purchases. Out of curiosity, I've had the option of taking equipment for demo from ski and tennis shops in the past. Is that also common practice among dive shops?

Take care,
Brenda

A few more rental thoughts and buying thoughts:

1. If you rent fins in the caribbean they will 99% of the time be full foot fins which are not practical in most diving venues. You should get booties to prevent blisters and protect the feet when coming up a ladder or on a boat or walking on rough ground.

2. Always ask your booking agent (or SD) if good rental gear is available. Sometimes you'll want to be sure of a good fit and do not wat to pay extra bag fees if you do not need too. Many places we go have first class rental gear. Some places I would tell you to rent locally.

3. Going to a dive show is a good idea if you are not worried about information overload. If you want the straight scoop then look at places like this website. For example MANY of our newer divers have bought gear from several suppliers who help SD. Others have offered but we also want suppliers to have really good gear that is durable and will get the job done as well as be a good price. There are lots of gimmicks out there and lots of people selling TOO MUCH gear for the number of divers buying it. Some gear is really better than others and its not always the all the gear from the same company. Sometimes it is just one bc or one reg and the rest have been 'improved so many times they are no longer as good as they originally were'.

So keep educating yourself. You can contact me and I can help to cut to the chase. I am not really out to sell you anything. You do not see an online store for gear here nor will you. That way I can recommend what works for me and what I know to work for divers buying gear they never want to replace. And yes there is still gear out there that will last you nearly forever. And some is so time proven they have given up trying to improve it. THAT is the gear you want and the good news is that its not usually the most expensive either...in fact its often the most reasonable because they don't waste a lot of money on promotion.

Drop me an email and I'll help you as you get ready to buy. I will help you know when to rent at home vs the resort and I can help you find good deals. I am happy to help. I have helped MANY divers just like you and will continue to help many others as well. Good luck and thank you for adding to this topic! Your question was great and has shown even more value for a group like ours! kamala






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