Advice for Your Upcoming Excursion
by Christina Owens
Read and Review All Paperwork
You should always know what you're signing! Whether it’s the deposit form for your adventure or the refund policies, take time to read through the forms. Always call if you have a question about paperwork. Also, keep a copy of your paperwork on file.
Check your passport!
Make sure it’s valid for the dates of your trip. Most United States passports for adults are valid for ten years. Children under 16 are usually issued five-year passports. Many countries will require your passport to be valid for at least six more months from the date you arrive. To learn how to apply for a passport, click here.
Make a List and Check It Twice
The open ocean isn’t the place to realize you've left something behind - especially for critically important items such as medications, camera equipment, contacts/eyeglasses, and your passport. Envision your day and then walk through it, making certain you have the things you need and aren’t wasting space with things you don’t. (Click here for sample travel lists.)
Space is often at a premium on a dive trip. Keeping your gear organized in a gear bag throughout the trip is one of the best things guests can do to help things run smoothly. For Guadalupe, remember that the weather can vary from mid-70’s during the day to mid-50’s at night, so pack comfortable, practical layers. Click here for sample packing lists.
Start Your Seasickness Meds Early
Every time someone tells me “I never get seasick,” I cringe. While it may be true for some people, it's also the mantra which was recited by many guests who later found themselves getting sick at the sight of a mere dinner roll. Since most seasickness medications are only effective if you start them prior to becoming ill, start taking them at least 12 hours prior to boarding the boat. Our recommendations are Bonine, Scolpamine (seasickness patches) and Zofran (nausea), however, you should see your doctor for medical advice. Click here for more information on seasickness solutions.
Take Cash for Incidentals and Crew Tip
You may want to purchase souvenirs on the boat at the end of your trip. Hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts and other clothing are often available, and can range from $18 to $80. Regarding tips, an industry standard for a crew working hard to make you comfortable is usually 10% of the cost of your trip. Another reason to have cash handy is for alcohol, beer, and wine. (While alcohol is included in the price of many trips, some of the boats do charge for it. Check your trip information to verify.)
Bring a Garbage Bag or Large Ziplock
Although bags to transport your wet items are often available on the boat, it’s just easier if you have the right-sized bag tucked away in your luggage. That way, when you’re ready to pack you simply have to put your wet stuff in the wet bag, throw everything else in, and you’re good to go.
Be in the Moment
You've wanted to dive with great white sharks for a long time. So don't forget to put down your cell phone or camera and take time to appreciate where you are and what you're doing. And if it’s not sharky at that very moment, take a look around and appreciate everything else the ocean has to offer. You’re doing something others only dream about. Make your time at Isla Guadalupe or the Farallons count!
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Shark cage diving is a unique experience, and it generates many questions. Some may seem major, like "Is shark diving safe?" Others may feel trivial, such as "Should I take my own snacks?" But trust me - if you’re thinking it, you should ask it! We want you to feel confident and educated and will spend as much time as you want talking sharks. (And no, you don’t need to take snacks. Plenty will be provided for you.)