Key contacts you may need with travel visa and help, once I’m off grid-

Beth or anyone in the office at All Star Liveaboards- 954-734-7111 (Florida time zone, FYI)

Contact info at Ministry of Tourism in Bahamas:

Travel Compliance Unit
Tel. +1 (242) 604-7200 | +1 (242) 502-0829 (BAH #)
Tel. +1 (786) 471-5898 (USA #)
Email: healthvisa@bahamas.com

Travel safe!

Jim

COVID TESTING UPDATE 1-5-21

Testing Requirements 

Please Note: Effective 27 December, 2021, any person presenting test results older than three days (72 hours) will not be allowed entry into The Bahamas.

VACCINATED TRAVELLERS 

  • Effective 27 December, 2021, fully vaccinated persons travelling to The Bahamas from other countries will be required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test (either a Rapid Antigen Test or RT-PCR), taken no more than three days (72 hours) prior to the date of arrival to The Bahamas.
  • Please Note: The Bahamas has suspended the mandatory RT-PCR testing requirement for vaccinated travellers, which was expected to take effect on 7 January 2022. Rapid Antigen tests will continue to be accepted for fully vaccinated persons.
  • Effective 27 December, 2021, fully vaccinated persons travelling inter-island (domestic) within The Bahamas from New Providence (Nassau), Paradise IslandGrand Bahama Island (Freeport), Eleuthera or Inagua are required to obtain a negative COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test or COVID-19 RT-PCR Test, taken no more than three days (72 hours) prior to the date of travel.

UNVACCINATED TRAVELLERS

  • Effective 27 December, 2021, unvaccinated travellers, ages 12 and older, entering The Bahamas must obtain a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR Test (including PCR, NAA, NAAT, TMA or RNA) test taken no more than three days (72 hours) prior to the date of arrival.
  • Effective 27 December, 2021, children between the ages of 2 and 11 are required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test (either a Rapid Antigen Test or RT-PCR Test), taken no more than three days (72 hours) prior to the date of arrival to The Bahamas.
  • Please Note: The Bahamas has suspended the mandatory RT-PCR testing requirement for children ages 2-11, which was expected to take effect on 7 January 2022. Rapid Antigen tests will continue to be accepted for this age group.
  • Children under the age of 2 are exempt from any testing requirements
  • Effective 27 December, 2021, non-vaccinated persons travelling inter-island within The Bahamas from New Providence (Nassau), Paradise IslandGrand Bahama Island (Freeport), Eleuthera or Inagua are required to obtain a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test, taken no more than three days (72 hours) prior to the date of travel, and present to the operator of the airline or vessel on which they are travelling.

BIG UPDATE Dec 24th, 2021:

Because of the recent resurgence with caronvirus, the Bahamas has updated travel info:

ALL travelers, regardless of vaccination status, must now get a PCR test, and instead of 5 days before, it must be 3 days before ARRIVAL IN BAHAMAS. The day of travel does not count as one of those days, so for those flying out thursday, Monday still works. UPDATE NO IT DOESN’T – Super important to get the test 3 days before you land in the bahamas, or they’ll decline your health and travel visa. BIG DEAL HERE- PLEASE NOTE!

Lastly, at this point, MAKE SURE you have filled out your trip app and your bahamas health travel visa.

Also, because many are right in the timeline of getting vaccine boosters, we have confirmed that when they say you must be fully vaccinated 14 days before going down there, they mean from the second shot. A booster does not reset your 14 days.

Thanks, and see you all soon down in paradise!

Jim

———————————

Portland (PDX)5:17pmflight toLos Angeles (LAX)7:45pm
Cabin: Economy / Coach (K)
2h 28m duration
 4h 14m stop Los Angeles (LAX)
American Airlines 340
Los Angeles (LAX)11:59pmflight toMiami (MIA)7:39am +1 dayArrives on Jan 7, 2022
Cabin: Economy / Coach (K)
4h 40m duration
 1h 25m stop Miami (MIA)
American Airlines 4007 operated by SUBSIDIARY/FRANCHISE
Miami (MIA)9:04amflight toNassau (NAS)10:08amTerminal: B
Cabin: Economy / Coach (K)
1h 4m duration
Total duration
13h 51m
 Return Sat, Jan 22
American Airlines 4277 operated by SUBSIDIARY/FRANCHISE
Nassau (NAS)1:12pmTerminal: Cflight toMiami (MIA)2:20pm
Cabin: Economy / Coach (M)
1h 8m duration
 1h 15m stop Miami (MIA)
American Airlines 1091
Miami (MIA)3:35pmflight toDallas (DFW)5:56pm
Cabin: Economy / Coach (M)
3h 21m duration
 59m stop Dallas (DFW)
American Airlines 2501
Dallas (DFW)6:55pmflight toPortland (PDX)9:12pm
Cabin: Economy / Coach (M)
4h 17m duration
Total duration
11h

UPDATED COVID TRAVEL INFORMATION: 11-8-21

Things have changed. I’ve included the instructions for traveling to the Bahamas as it stands today.  I doubt it will change for January much if at all. 

I recommend getting the test locally- mail delivery is AWFUL now and you can’t count on mail in test results.  For vaccinated individuals, an antigen is fine which you get back really fast.  Let me know if any questions on this process. We are pros at it now. 

Hello,

First, we hope you are safe and well. We know you have been looking forward to this much needed dive vacation. Your diving vacation will be on our private liveaboard. We have safe transfers from the airport to the dock available with prior arrangements. We highly recommend you use this service.  https://allstarliveaboards.com/ground-transfers/

New Updates:

  • Vaccinated travelers may take a Rapid Antigen Test within 5 days prior to travel to enter the Bahamas. 
  • Unvaccined travelers now need to obtain negative test results within 24 hours of their return flight to the US.
  • Passengers returning to Canada (or any other travelers who need a PCR test) may substitute the test offered at the end of the trip with a PCR test for $150, paid in cash directly to the lab.

There are three options/status for traveling to the Bahamas.

  1. Fully vaccinated individuals (completed vaccination at least two weeks prior to arrival)
  2. Recently COVID positive individuals (less than 90 days and more than 14 days from arrival)
  3. All others (meaning you have had COVID more than 90 days from arrival and/or not fully vaccinated)

You’ll find all three below.  Scroll down to your category and follow the directions!  Any questions feel free to call our offices and we’ll assist you through the process.  

FULLY VACCINATED TRAVELERS FOLLOW THESE STEPS:

As of August 6th, Fully vaccinated travelers (WITH AT LEAST 14 DAYS FROM FINAL VACCINE TO ARRIVAL DATE). You will need to obtain negative results for a Rapid Antigen Test (or PCR, if you prefer) taken within 5 days prior to arrival. Youwill be required to upload proof of vaccination as well as negative COVID test results to obtain your health visa for entry to the Bahamas.

Create a health visa account profile. You can complete this part as early as you’d like.  https://travel.gov.bs/international  

For this, you will need a scanned copy of your photo and information page of your passport, and your vaccine records. 

If you are traveling with a minor, they must be added to you profile. Children under 2 are not required to be tested for COVID in order to travel to the Bahamas.

Under Covid 19 Vaccine Information:

Covid 19 file type:  pull down and choose COVID 19 vaccine

Vaccine Type: choose your type, there are four. 

COVID 19 final vaccination date:  

Your final vaccine dose must be 14 days prior to your travel start date.  

Choose your final dose date- calendar option to do so.

Laboratory name: for your vaccination

Laboratory address, city, postal code and country (pull down) and phone number

Click to upload vaccine file. Upload a copy of your vaccine card in .jpg, . png or .pdf format

Countries you have visited in the past 6 weeks- list all applicable.  

Get tested 5 days prior to arrival. If you are flying on Saturday, you can test no earlier than Monday. Once you get your negative results, you must add a trip to your profile. Don’t delay this step.

If you are traveling with a minor over age 2, a separate trip is created with their name under your profile. Follow directions based on their option/status. You will pay for each visa separately.

When adding a trip to the health application

Type of Travel: “Airline”

Arrival Information:

                Mode of travel arrival: “Air”

                Port of arrival: “New Providence – Lynden Pindling International Airport”

Departure Information:

                Mode of travel departure: “Air”

                Port of Departure: “New Providence – Lynden Pindling International Airport”

Purpose for this trip: “Vacation”

Accommodation type: “Vessel”

Destination address line 1 is the marina address.

                For Aqua Cat: Bay Street Marina, Easy Bay Street

                For Blackbeard’s/Cat Ppalu: Nassau Harbor Club Marina, East Bay Street

Destination address line 2 is the boat name.

Destination Island: “Nassau, New Providence”

Under “COVID 19 RT PCR OR Antigen Test Information” on the health visa form enter your information.

Exemption Type: “None”

Have you had your test in the last 5 days: “Yes”

COVID 19 Test Date: must match your lab results.

Test Type: choose your type, there are two

Healthcare Professional or Clinic Site Information

Name: Enter the Lab full name as it appears on the results.

Laborartory Address: Enter the address of the lab as it appears on the results. 

Test Results: “Negative”

Click to upload test results: Upload a copy of your lab results in .jpg, . png or .pdf format

Be sure to AGREE to the asterick noted lines which refer to group travel insurance and that you completed this form.  (This will not add to the cost of your Travel Health Visa.)

Hit SUBMIT!  

You will receive an email with PENDING. The body of the letter will tell you about a program for checking in daily or getting fined. IGNORE IT! Vessel vacations are exempt from this as there is no service once you leave the dock.  

Do NOT pay in advance for your return test.

Bring the vaccine card, your negative COVID test results, and the “approved to travel” QR code form from the Bahamas with you – and don’t forget your passport!   Note- you will get an approved email. That is NOT your visa. You must log in to your profile and click on the approved trip box, pay for the visa, which is $40 USD, and then download the PDF with the QR code. It looks like this:

All air passengers traveling to the US, regardless of vaccination status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test. We have antigen testing available at the docks.  

On Cat Ppalu and Blackbeard’s, testing will be done at the dock on Thursday upon return to port. Currently, an outside lab charges a flat fee of $35 in CASH PER PERSON to vaccinated passengers at the dock. This is cheaper than everyone taking cabs to the lab.

On Aqua Cat, the lab technician will come to the boat on Friday upon return to port. For Aqua Cat, the dock is a testing site, so no extra charge for testing there. 

The QR code on your health visa is linked to all test results and an email is sent to you with results within a few hours. You will be able to use digital forms to show them on your mobile device.   

For anyone extending their stay for more than 72 hours beyond Thursday evening or Friday evening (Cat Ppalu/Blackbeard and Aqua Cat respectively), private arrangements can be made to test at one of two local labs. You can skip the test on the boat, but be sure to arrange for a return test within 72 hours prior to your flight to the US.

Children ages 2 to 17 must follow the same testing rules as the adult with whom they are traveling.

                COVID POSITIVE AND CLEARED FOR TRAVEL <90>14 DAYS OF ARRIVAL TO THE BAHAMAS

If you have tested positive and recovered from COVID within 90 days and more than 14 days of traveling to the Bahamas, you do not need a negative test within 5 days of travel. The approval process is different in this situation.  

Two items are required to travel as a COVID recovered patient: 

1.            positive COVID test result document that is more than 14 days and less than 90 days from travel.  

2.            a doctor’s letter of recovery/cleared to travel with your full name, DOB and the doctor’s signature on letterhead that is more than 14 days from date of positive test and date of travel.   

No more than two weeks prior to departure, you must email these two items to  isaiahrolle@bahamas.gov.bs  and CC: healthvisa@bahamas.com   and CC: Beth@allstarliveaboards.com  

                -In the email, note your travel dates and the island you will be visiting:  NEW PROVIDENCE

                -attach both items in one scanned document in PDF form.  JPG images are not acceptable.

Dr. Isaiah Rolle is with the Ministry of Health in the Bahamas. His department will issue an exemption letter and email it to you directly. When you get the exemption letter via email, save the Bahamas exemption letter to file on your computer. 

Create a health visa account profile. You can complete this part as early as you’d like.  https://travel.gov.bs/international   

For this, you will need a scanned copy of your photo and information page of your passport.

If you are traveling with a minor, they must be added to your profile. Children under 2 are not required to be tested for COVID in order to travel to the Bahamas.

Add a trip to your profile 5 days prior to travel. It may take all 5 days for the Bahamas to approve your application, so don’t delay this step. If you are traveling with a minor over age 2, a separate trip is created with their name under your profile. Follow directions based on their option/status. You will pay for each visa separately.    

When adding a trip to the health application

Type of Travel: “Airline”

Arrival Information:

                Mode of travel arrival: “Air”

                Port of arrival: “New Providence – Lynden Pindling International Airport”

Departure Information:

                Mode of travel departure: “Air”

                Port of Departure: “New Providence – Lynden Pindling International Airport”

Purpose for this trip: “Vacation”

Accommodation type: “Vessel”

Destination address line 1 is the marina address.

                For Aqua Cat: Bay Street Marina, Easy Bay Street

                For Blackbeard’s/Cat Ppalu: Nassau Harbor Club Marina, East Bay Street

Destination address line 2 is the boat name.

Destination Island: “Nassau, New Providence”

For PCR test, choose negative  (positive will deny you submission of the form!) 

Test date is Monday if flying on Saturday- (must be within 5 days of travel even though you didn’t test at all).  

Use lab info from positive test within 90 days for those fields.

For upload, do not upload PCR test. UPLOAD the exemption letter from the Bahamas.  

You will receive an email with PENDING. The body of the letter will tell you about a program for checking in daily or getting fined. IGNORE IT! Vessel vacations are exempt from this as there is no service once you leave the dock.  

Bring the exemption letter from the Bahamas and the “approved to travel” QR code form from the Bahamas with you and your passport!  Note- you will get an approved email. That is NOT your visa. You must log in to your profile and click on the approved trip box, pay for the visa, which is $60 USD, and then download the PDF with the QR code. It looks like this:

Pack your positive test and letter of recovery from your doctor as you will need it to reenter the US. CDC does not recommend getting tested again in the three months after a positive viral test, as long as you do not have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have had a positive viral test in the past 3 months, and you have met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with documentation of your positive viral test results and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.” 

You will not need an antigen test to reenter the US. You will show your letter of recovery and positive test results to fly to the US upon check in at the airport. 

Children ages 2 to 17 must follow the same testing rules as the adult with whom they are traveling.

FOR ALL OTHERS- NEVER HAD COVID OR RECOVERED MORE THAN 90 DAYS FROM ARRIVAL TO THE BAHAMAS AND/OR NOT FULLY VACCINATED

Prior to traveling, you must test negative for the COVID-19 virus. Travelers can schedule their PCR COVID test no more than 5 days prior to arrival. The test must be a PCR test. This means if you are flying on Saturday of boarding, you must test no earlier than Monday that week. We highly recommend you test on MONDAY to give you sufficient time to complete this process.  

A negative antigen test is required within 24 hours of travel back to the US. The Bahamas health visa includes an antigen test at the end of the cruise so you can meet this requirement easily.  

Create a health visa account profile.  https://travel.gov.bs/international  

For this, you will need a scanned copy of your photo and information page of your passport.

If you are traveling with a minor, they must be added to you profile. Children under 2 are not required to be tested for COVID in order to travel to the Bahamas.

Get tested 5 days prior to arrival. If you are flying on Saturday, you can test no earlier than Monday. Once you get your negative results, you must add a trip to your profile. Don’t delay this step.

If you are traveling with a minor over age 2, a separate trip is created with their name under your profile. Follow directions based on their option/status. You will pay for each visa separately.

When adding a trip to the health application

Type of Travel: “Airline”

Arrival Information:

                Mode of travel arrival: “Air”

                Port of arrival: “New Providence – Lynden Pindling International Airport”

Departure Information:

                Mode of travel departure: “Air”

                Port of Departure: “New Providence – Lynden Pindling International Airport”

Purpose for this trip: “Vacation”

Accommodation type: “Vessel”

Destination address line 1 is the marina address.

                For Aqua Cat: Bay Street Marina, Easy Bay Street

                For Blackbeard’s/Cat Ppalu: Nassau Harbor Club Marina, East Bay Street

Destination address line 2 is the boat name.

Destination Island: “Nassau, New Providence”

Under “COVID 19 VACCINE or RT PCR Test Information” on the health visa form enter your information.

Exemption Type: “None”

Have you had an RT PCR Test in the last 5 days: “Yes”

COVID 19 Test Date: must match your lab results.

Test Type: PCR

Laboratory Name: Enter the Lab full name as it appears on the results.

Laborartory Address: Enter the address of the lab as it appears on the results. 

Test Results: “Negative”

Click to upload test results: Upload a copy of your lab results in .jpg, . png or .pdf format

You will receive an email with PENDING. The body of the letter will tell you about a program for checking in daily or getting fined. IGNORE IT! Vessel vacations are exempt from this as there is no service once you leave the dock.  

Bring both the printed negative lab results and the printed “approved to travel” QR code form from the Bahamas with you and your passport! Note- you will get an approved email. That is NOT your visa. You must log in to your profile and click on the approved trip box, pay for the visa which is $60 USD and then download and print the PDF with the QR code. It looks like this:

cidimage001.jpg@01D78861.D93F0470

The US will require a negative antigen test to return. We have antigen testing available at the docks. The cost of this test is included in the price of your Health Visa.

On Cat Ppalu and Blackbeard’s, testing will be done at the dock on Thursday upon return to port. Currently, an outside lab charges a flat fee of $10 in CASH PER PERSON to test everyone at the dock. This is cheaper than everyone taking cabs to the lab. The cost of the antigen test is included in your health visa.  

On Aqua Cat, the lab technician will come to the boat on Friday upon return to port. For Aqua Cat, the dock is a testing site so no extra charge for testing there. The cost of the antigen test is included in your health visa. 

The QR code on your health visa is linked to all test results and an email is sent to you with results within a few hours. You will  be able to use digital forms to show them on your mobile device.   

For anyone extending their stay for more than 24 hours beyond Thursday evening or Friday evening (Cat Ppalu/Blackbeard and Aqua Cat respectively), private arrangements can be made to test again at one of two local labs.

Due to the country’s 5-day test policy, you will need to receive results from the test offered at the end of your trip before visiting public areas in the Bahamas. So, you’ll need to take the test offered on the boat as well as a test within 24 hours prior to traveling back to the US.

Children agese 2 to 17 must follow the same testing rules as the adult with whom they are traveling.

From the Bahamas Travel site:  https://www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening-faq

  
What is included as part of the COVID Health Insurance in the Bahamas health visa? 

Coverage includes: 

o             Medical expenses incurred on-island due to COVID-19, up to $50,000 (USD)

o             Trip interruption/delay for necessary quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19, up to $500 (USD) per day/$7,000 (USD) max

o             Medical evacuation due to COVID-19, and subject to medical necessity, up to $50,000 (USD)

This is a reimbursement policy. In the event you test positive while in the Bahamas, save all receipts for medical and quarantine expenses to file your claim.  

Stay Safe!

Email sent to all divers 11-1-21

Howdy Divers!

Each year when winter starts- when it gets cold or I find myself driving to work in the dark, it’s a huge joy to me to know that BAHAMAS IS COMING! I can’t wait for this trip with you, and I’m looking forward to the amazing group we have going both weeks this January!

So I wanted to make sure that you had seen the coming pool refresher/potluck day – Saturday, November 13th, the shop has the pool rented from 9-12, and divers going on this trip can use the pool that day at no charge- so if you’ve got a new gear you want to test out in the water, if you might need gear serviced before you go, now is the time! It’s totally optional, and I won’t be there myself since I can’t dive yet (recovering from a medical thing).

(If you’ve dove recently, you absolutely don’t need to do this pool day, it’s an optional item that helps some folks feel more ready for the trip) Gear rental fees apply like normal on this day.

After that though, starting at 12:30, we’ll have a potluck at my home- The potluck is so that you can meet others going on the trip, as well as ask any questions about what to expect, what to pack, and we’ll review the process for travel with covid restrictions. If you have any questions at all about the trip, this is the best time to go over those.

5113 Klamath Ct SE
Salem, Oregon, 97306

(pink door end of street)

We’ll also do a Discord call starting at 1pm, for those not local to the salem area, but who’d like to be able to do the Q&A- This way you miss out on the hot dogs, but you don’t miss out on being able to hear what’s coming and get any questions you might have answered.

https://discord.gg/gXnnvY5tPJ

Lastly, please know this trip is all responsible people, so there’s definitely things you need to take care of- hotel bookings, passports, covid protocols, health travel visa, blackbeard’s trip app, etc – and the trip is non-refundable, so make sure you follow through on each item, because there’s always a diver each year who contacts me a week out, having already missed the key deadlines. So if you don’t know what each of those things are, make sure you reach out, or that you’re there for the potluck/discord chat soon, so we can help make sure you’re ready!


Thanks!

Jim
541-971-3328
Jimmynemo2@Gmail.com


Also, flights are still cheap, I highly recommend booking now if you have not already. If you need help picking out flights, feel free to reach out. BUT- I leave PDX on Thursday the 6th, arriving in NAS Friday at 3pm. That gives me a full day on the island to relax, then board the boat between noon and 2pm on Saturday. Likewise, we get off the boat on Friday morning the following week, and I’ll spend all day Friday showing those who’d like around the island- take you to some local hotspots etc. Then I’m staying at a hotel Friday night, to fly home Saturday morning.

Make sure you’re arranging with your local dive shop any gear rentals, or that you include on your trip app that you need to rent gear. You want to have that decided and arranged since now you’re filling out the trip app. 🙂

Final payments must be RECEIVED no later than Sept 1st. If at this point you’re not fully paid out, please try to wrap that up as we approach the deadline. Thanks. 🙂

Lastly, if you have not filled out the trip app, now is the time to do so.

LINK TO TRIP APP

It’s important in the trip app to put in any food alergies or dietary needs. Don’t wait till you’re on the boat to let them know, because once we’re out at sea, there’s no grocery stores. ALSO, it’s very important you do the part of the trip app where you book a ride from the airport to the boat/hotel and vice versa. If not, the cab rides once on island can be had, but they are far more expensive.

Any questions, just reach out! Can’t wait to take this trip with you all!

Jim

**********************************************************

Howdy Divers! I’m so excited you’ve decided to join me for Blackbeards 2022! Year 9 of this annual trip, and like always, it promises to be a blast!

Here comes a barrage of stuf you need or want to know for your trip with us this November to the Bahama’s. Hope it helps!

General stuff – Our trip is being arranged through Jim Smith (that’s me!), to Nassau Bahama’s to dive off Blackbeard’s Dive Cruises. All checks / deposits need made out to (strong preference of Venmo or cashapp where possible):

Steven Smith
5113 Klamath Ct SE
Salem, Oregon 97306

In case you need to contact me for any reason, my contact info:

541-971-3328
Jimmynemo2@gmail.com

Our boat is a 65 foot sail boat that sleep around 20. Currently our boat is full, so if you’re wishing a dive buddy would join you for this amazing trip, I can start a waiting list, but unless someone has to drop out, we won’t have more room on this year (sold out in only 6 days!). Our boat departs from the Nassau Harbor Club around noon on Saturday, January 8th 2022. We will return to the dock the evening of January 13th, then disembark early Friday morning the 14th. Almost all of the week will be spent on the boat, either diving, eating or motoring from one dive site to the next. Each dive has a pre-dive briefing where they’ll explain all you want to know in order to dive each location safely. Even an average diver in the Northwest is a great diver in that corner of the world because the conditions are simply as easy as it gets- crystal clear water, warm water (80+), less weight to needed to sink, etc. If you have doubts about your dive skills, and you’ve ever dove anywhere other than the Bahama’s, trust me, you’ll do fine. And if you need to dive with a Divemaster, the boat will have one available to you for the first couple dives to help you get oriented.

TRAVEL DATES AND PLANS- As far as travel plans: I will be flying out the evening of the 6th, arriving morning of the 7th giving me a day to relax on the island before we board, so I hit the boat rested and ready to dive. I also will choose my return flight home based on cost- last year, to stay one more day on the island saved me 200$ on airfare, so I stuck around through Saturday. My flight information will be sent to each of you just as soon as I’ve gotten my tickets. Generally I’ll buy them about 10 months ahead of schedule. Each of you are absolutely welcome to join me on the same plane, or to arrange your own travel plans. Either way, you buy your plane tickets directly from the airline or expedia etc. Average airfare prices are around 650 round trip, and bottom out around 550. I won’t be following up with each of you on your airfare, I’ll just assume you have bought your tickets. I don’t recommend waiting till the last minute as prices tend to go up. You should be flying to NASSAU, airport code is NAS. Again, the moment they open up flights, I’ll email this same group with my own flights so you can make even the airport fun in a group if you’d prefer to not travel alone.

PASSPORTS- This trip does fly into another country, and passports are required. Passports take 4-8 weeks, so I highly recommend getting this started early if you need it, as without your passport, your trip simply stops. Get it done early and save yourself the last minute panic of some of our previous divers.

Travel Insurance- Travel insurance is optional. Blackbeard’s will ask if you have gotten it on the trip app, but through companies like DAN, you can ensure that if you can’t make the trip for certain reasons, you get paid back for the cost of the trip and airfare. If this is something you’re interested in, feel free to call me for recommendations or input. Otherwise, it’s on each of us to make that decision if it’s something we need/want.  

Diver Insurance- DAN offers diver insurance, insuring your physical well-being and gear in case of emergency. For only 79 a year you can get yourself covered, and I can’t recommend this enough.

Refresher day and Potluck night! Set aside Saturday November 13th (2021)! On that day, we’ll have the pool to do a refresher for anyone who would like one. If you want to test out that new piece of gear before we leave, or verify that you’re as awesome with your buoyancy as you remember, that’s the morning to do it. Once in the Bahama’s, the first dive is a “check out” dive of sorts, but they’ll determine the weeks’ plans for dive locations based on our skills and comfort in the water. If you want those crazy cool dives on a wall, and drift dives worth writing home about, showing up comfortable helps for sure! (Plus why pay all that money to get around the world and waste a dive getting your calm back when you can dive in a pool right before you leave to lock in and already be chillaxed!) Obviously, if you’re coming from out of town, or this just isn’t do-able for you, no problem, I just like to make sure we all have that option. Also, if you are choosing to get certified on the boat, be aware Salem Scuba’s December class is hit and miss on if we do it or not, so we have a year and a half to get certified before we leave, I’ll encourage you strongly not to wait till the last month or two before we leave. Don’t add that stress to yourself, get certified well ahead of time.

Potluck – Then at noon at Jim’s place on November 13th (2021), we’ll do a potluck lunch after our pool session. I’ll provide the BBQ hot dogs and condiments for everyone, but bring any side dish that sounds good to you, and we’ll hang out and so everyone can meet others from our group before we go! I’d really like for everyone to know the other fine folks that we’ll be diving with that week, so you have more potential dive buddies, as well as just be more comfortable and social on our trip. So please, even if you don’t need the refresher, I’d love to see all of us for the potluck at my place at noon on the Saturday November 13th.

HOTEL- If you’re not flying in on the Saturday the boat departs, and leaving right off the boat to head home, you’ll need a hotel. Two good options would be the Nassau harbor club- it’s low cost, and the back door of the hotel is the dock the boat will be at, so it saves you one cab ride. OR I’ll be staying at the El Greco Hotel – it’s a tiny bit more pricey, but it’s very nice, and has some nice food and beaches right nearby for when you want to relax before or after the boat.

To book at the harbor club, it has to be done by phone or by email- be careful Aggie’s got a strong accent and doesn’t like repeating herself 🙂

Aggie
Nassau Harbour Club
Tel: (242) 393-0771
Email: nhc@nassauharbourclub.com

To book at El Greco, you can find them online on both trip advisor and expedia.

Money stuff- The exchange rate in the Bahama’s is 1:1, and you do NOT need to change your money- all places in the Bahama’s take American dollars and don’t even notice or care. Reminder that the dive industry is a tipping industry. A typical tip for trips such as this is 15%, and since there are no ATM’s on the boat, I recommend bringing minimum 150 in cash for tips. You’ll also want to bring cash for things like: eating on the island, cab ride from and to the airport, and trinkets on the boat and land (the Bahama’s is a hotbed of card theft, so I don’t recommend using your card unless you absolutely need to).

Gear Info- The water temp and topside temp in the Bahama’s is amazing, to that end, I pack zero clothes for warmth. I do pack some long sleeves under-armor type clothes to avoid too much sun. I bring a couple pairs of swim trunks, and some shoes that can get wet. Really pack light, as space is at a premium. As far as dive gear goes, I bring just a 3 mil core-warmer (neoprene vest) which I’ve worn for about 2 dives each year, but it’s nice to have if you decide you want it. If you need a larger tank (anything over an AL80) you just need to ask when you fill out your trip application online.

The trip app is supposed to be filled out when the final payment is due. Make sure you put in any food allergies or special dietary needs when you fill this out. The trip app link I’ll post here when we get closer. For now, here’s a link to the blackbeards page with info about what to bring and what not:

https://allstarliveaboards.com/blackbeards-bahamas-diving-trip-info/

If you have any questions, I want you to reach out to me. My contact info will wrap up this letter, and I’m all about making sure everyone has a great trip, so if you’ve got questions, anything at all, give me a buzz so I can let you know what to expect.

Can’t wait to take the trip of a lifetime with you all, and I’m looking forward to making all the best kind of memories!

Jim Smith
5113 Klamath Ct SE
Salem Oregon 97306
541-971-3328
Jimmynemo2@gmail.com