Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pre-Packing & Final Planning

This is a very busy time of year.  I just returned from a week in New Orleans attending Waste Expo.  Liz is wrapping up the school-year and the kids are taking there last round of tests.  In addition, Austin heads to the City of Austin tomorrow for the Texas State solo competition.

With everything else going on, pre-packing and final-planning for the trip today helps to put everyone into a vacation state of mind:

-  The suitcases are out & ready
-  The take-along food is all purchased (prepared and frozen if necessary)
-  The cashiers check for the balance of the rental has been drawn
-  Notes are made for last minute purchases (i.e. Sudafed)
-  Re-confirmation emails are sent to the rental agency, the cart provided and the dive shop.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

New Fins

We decided that Austin would get Dad's fins, leaving Dad to find replacements.

During a Saturday morning trip to Scuba Toys our scuba-tanks were dropped-off for inspection and fin shopping began.

After comparing of available sizes, travel weight and cost, the winning fins were Mares X-Streams.  These fins were a bit lighter weight than my old fins.  The manufacturer seems to have accomplished this by drilling numerous holes in the foot pocket.

While I'm in mode to reduce weight & bulk, I take a look at the new light-weight travel buoyancy control devices (BCD).  The BCD is kind of a back-pack with an inflatable air bladder and pockets to hold weights.  The back-pack holds the scuba-tank and while diving, air can be added or removed from the bladder to achieve neutral buoyancy.  Depending on the depth of the dive, this process may be repeated throughout the dive.  Since air is more compressed the deeper you dive, air must be released from the bladder as you go up.     

With the help of two helpful sales associates, they dug through their inventory to allow me to try every option before deciding on the first BCD that they showed me.  The winner is the Oceanic Biolite.  Weighing just 5.5 pounds, this BCD is almost 10 pounds lighter than the current BCD.  Liz liked it so much, she got the women's version the very next week.  This will cut about 20 pounds off of our luggage and take up a lot less room in the suitcase.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

GTC Football League!

A recent posting a has passed the news that they are attempting to start a new kids football league on the island and are in need of some supplies including cones, pylons mouth-guards and flag football belts.  It didn't take long for the board to respond to the request.

We will do our part by importing some flag-sets!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

2013 Test Dive

Today we headed down to the Clear Springs Scuba Park near Terrell to do a pre-trip check-out dive in the murky, cold water.
We made a short dive near the old airplane, but the limited visibility and cool water down deep kept us from a longer dive.

The check-out dive was useful.  We discovered that Austin has out-grown his fins in time to shop for replacements before the trip.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sale at the local dive shop!

Our local dive shop was having a 1-day sale to clear out some inventory.  We found wetsuits for Austin & Bridget for $99 each!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from American Airlines

We received our first schedule change notice from American Airlines this morning.  We now depart DFW almost one hour later, now arriving in Miami at 12:25 AM.

The flight to Marsh Harbor was only pushed back by about 20 minutes, but the arrival time is almost unchanged as the schedule now reflects the use of the Embraer regional jet.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Airline Tickets Purchased

After evaluating all of the options, the airline tickets were purchased this weekend.  The prices for the return ticket were holding steady, but we finally saw a little drop in the outbound flight by departing for Miami on Thursday night instead of Friday morning, saving $600. (less the hotel expense.)

We decided not to purchase slightly less expensive tickets via an on-line travel service as they were routing us on multiple airlines wich could create complications if the airlines change flight schedules and the potential for additional baggage fees.

At the time the tickets were purchased, my remaining "gold" status said that we would be allowed 2 free bags per person.  We will need to wait & see if that holds true for the trip.

It seems that American Airlines no longer offers flights into TCB, so we will get to see the new & improved airport & runway at Marsh Harbor.