|By john irle on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 10:33 pm:|
First time to Bonaire this May. Could someone advise me on the best way to pack dive gear.....soft side dive bag with regs and computers in carry-on?.....or gear packed in regular suitcases? Thanks.
|By Linnea Wimberly on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 11:10 pm:|
I have a huge hard-side that I use. It holds my BC, fins, second camera setup with strobes, clothes and everything but the kitchen sink. I lock it, tape over the locks, and use luggage straps that I tie together. I also put bathtub anti-slick stickers and craft paint on for easy spotting. I once caught someone trying to walk away with my suitcase and was able to spot them from 50 feet away because of the markings, that one was a softside that died after 3 years. Also, I have to go thru LAX and LAX is famous for having luggage rifled thru by the baggage handlers and I have seen how luggage is tossed around by the handlers at various airports. Soft luggage is very easy for them to cut open or squash the contents. I just replaced the hardside one I got in '87 and hauled over the world. I also pack all of my smaller items in plastic boxes, this makes it easier to repack the bag if customs decides to look thru everyting. I use plastic boxes in my semi-softsided carry-on for the same reason. I do carry my primary reg. setup and mask (corrective lens) along with my first camera setup (without the bars and arms), a change of clothes and a bathing suit as carry-ons.
|By Meryl Virga on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 11:56 pm:|
john,,,we will be there in May too...I bring a carry on (airline regulation size) that holds my BC,fins, mask,wet suit and bathing suit and one set of change of clothes. I also carry a regulator bag that I use as a handbag (or lie that it is a handbag!) that the regulator will be safe in. In this bag I also put toiletries/magazines/medications for the plane ride...bug spray and tickets and such....this way you can at least make it through a day if your luggage gets lost....but how often can that happen?
|By Cecil Berry on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 11:07 am:|
John, I've always used a soft sided bag for my dive gear, I put the fragile stuff in the middle and then stuff the outside with clothes and less fragile stuff (eg fins, U/W flashilight, duct tape). One thing I've heard over and over is do not mark the bags as dive equipment, this will get it stolen (worse case), or a extra baggage charge by the the airlines (best case). This leaves only my camera equipment and a change of clothes in my carry-on, I'm not particular about my mask, regulators or BCD. I don't want to lose mine but if worse comes to worse I can always rent. YMMV.
|By Dave Flook on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 11:29 am:|
|By Jim Stackhouse on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 1:14 pm:|
But, of course, half of the bags carried into Bonaire by the airlines are full of dive equipment, so anyone intent on rummaging through them would have a pretty good batting average anyway. Just as you don't have to run faster than a bear in the North Carolina mountains (just faster than at least one of your companions), I suspect the real goal is not to be too obvious, and not to make it easy.
|By Dave Flook on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 1:50 pm:|
JIm is right in both counts. Do not look make your dive stuff obvious and the stuff, I beleive, goes missing in places like Miami.
|By Ernie Bauer on Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 6:20 pm:|
Among the great suggestions already I would add a few new requirements. You will likely be required to unpack your checked and carry-on bags for inspection a couple times. Don't pack too tight or it will be difficult to repack after they rummage through your gear. It seems that batteries are now a major red flag. Be sure to remove batteries from dive lights, etc. Your friendly inspector will otherwise disassemble your equipment and hand you all the parts. As far as your fragile equipment, make sure your regs are in a very small carry-on. On the turboprops that AA flies for example, they will require you to check at the gate anything over about fifteen pounds. They go by weight but decide whether or not to weigh it by the size. Our bag with regs was only 18x12x6 inches but had to be checked. It's best to carry-on your fragile dive equipment but, be prepared to explain it to security on the numerous times your likely to be searched. (They say it's random but I get selected almost every time)
|By Glen Reem on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 11:29 am:|
'Random' includes those passegers 'fitting the likely terrorist profile'.
|By Sarah on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 1:30 pm:|
Oh yes, we have experienced the "random" check thing many, many times!
|By Freddie Hughes on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 1:40 pm:|
In Dec. when we visited Bonaire we travelled Air Jamaica from JFK. There we waited on line outside to go through security. They scanned everything and then did a search of our luggage(they didn't know what a regulator was??) We were ESCORTED to the ticket counter, of which there was a sizable line of irrate people, and ticketed before everyone else. When asked why this had happened they told us we were a security risk(like we were going to take our regs out and strangle someone). Now wouldn't you like to sit next to us on the plane???
|By Chris Gianos on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 3:25 pm:|
They lost our gear bag so I was REALLY glad we brought our masks and regs carry on.
|By thomas brossard on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 8:17 pm:|
Man! Lot's of negative MIA sentiment here. As a South Floridian I heartily concur. If it looks valuable you don't want it going through MIA - The most corrupt and inept airport in the USA!
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