Adapting Your Travel Plans

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What locations are open, and what do you have to anticipate whenever you get there?

Photograph Credit score: DAVID FLEETHAM/OCEANWIDEIMAGES

Q: What added security precautions can I anticipate to find dive outlets taking with rental gear and on boats in the course of the pandemic?

A: Put together for it to range. I’ve been diving in Florida and Portugal because the pandemic began and have seen totally different practices—from divers and crew masked up on dive boats till the second they prepare to slide on their scuba masks and enter the water to individuals not sporting face coverings in any respect as soon as they’re outdoors within the recent air. Most dive outlets are taking additional sanitizing and cleansing measures with their rental gear. I’ve seen rental regulators wrapped in plastic earlier than use and have additionally been requested to purchase a $10 plastic mouthpiece for a rental regulator to keep away from reuse. Normally, anticipate dive boats to be working at decrease capacities to encourage social distancing.

Measures will differ at places around the globe, so it’s sensible to name or e-mail the dive operator you’re heading out with forward of time to deal with any considerations and get an concept for what to anticipate.

“Divers ought to be asking concerning the cleansing processes [of the boats and gear] and about what’s going to be anticipated of them—whether or not they’re boarding a constitution boat in Florida or going to Cozumel,” says Ken Scarbrough, president of Final Dive Journey. “If individuals aren’t sporting a masks on the boat, you’re asking for hassle,” he says. “We’re doing it to guard our fellow divers.”

Q: My winter cruise to the Caribbean was canceled. The place’s an excellent land-based spot for diving within the area proper now?

A: Many common scuba diving locations within the Caribbean are again open to vacationers—together with Grenada, the Bahamas, Barbados and Antigua, amongst others—with totally different entry necessities with regards to quarantining and COVID-19 testing. However for land-based diving with out testing to get in, you may need to look to mainland North and Central America. “Mexico and Costa Rica are locations you possibly can go with-out any testing in any respect proper now,” says Scarbrough, including that the majority of his shoppers who're presently touring have been choosing dive journeys to Cozumel. “It’s fast and straightforward, and also you don’t have to spend so much of time on a aircraft.”

Q: With Mexico open, are whale shark excursions being provided as regular?

A: Mexico is among the greatest locations on the earth to get within the water with whale sharks. You possibly can snorkel with them year-round right here. Whale shark season in Baja often runs from November to Might, whereas mid-Might to mid-September are peak months for seeing them within the waters round Cancun. Divers typically encounter whale sharks whereas diving within the waters round La Paz in Baja, however organized encounters to their feeding grounds are for snorkeling solely. With most boats operating at half capability today as a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions, be sure you guide prematurely. 

Stacey Burton of Trip Connection and Dive with Martin Scuba Cozumel has one other tip: “Bounce within the water heading the identical course because the whale sharks—in any other case, a few tail wags they usually have left you behind.”


BY TERRY WARD

Concerning the writer: Florida-based journey author TERRY WARD obtained her PADI Open Water certification within the Florida springs as a university elective and has since explored underwater on each continent besides Antarctica.


A model of this text initially appeared in Scuba Diving magazine

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