Toothpaste and new dive mask

Preparing a new dive mask

ScubaPro, Kids Sea Camp, Tom Peyton, Clear mask, Mask defog

No one wants a foggy mask on a dive — especially in Bonaire. I love seeing where I’m going when I’m underwater.

I had a client buy a new dive mask this week and I told him to make sure to rub toothpaste on both side of the mask lens before you jump into the water. It will help make the lens not fog up.

He then asked a very simple question, “why?”

I had no answer for him — I said it was tradition. He then asked “But why is it tradition?

I smiled and thought to myself how living with a Hall of Famer who really is a diving professor, Professor Margo of the department of Oceanic Adventures — makes me a little dumb at times. I have watched Margo for years put toothpaste in our new dive masks — she even puts the toothpaste in the old masks at the beginning of the summer every year. And the dumb part  — I never once asked why. Not once did I asked why are we are putting something I put on my teeth everyday on an item that has no teeth? I just knew that when she didn’t use the toothpaste my mask would fog up — very quickly — and I hate a foggy mask.

One good thing about myself is once I realize just how stupid I’m acting or thinking, I tend correct my behavior and I do this by gathering information. So here’s why my Oceanic Professor puts toothpaste on the lens of our mask almost every year, at the beginning of our diving season— new or not.

Toothpaste is a mild abrasive

Most of the newer masks, frame, skirt and strap are made of silicone — this silicone creates a film on the lens of the mask. The film on the lens blocks the defog from working properly. In fact, if the silicone residue is not removed no amount of defog with work on the lens.

After the toothpaste

After you have cleaned off the toothpaste and your are heading to the boat make sure to have some defog. There are many brands and with the silicon residue removed most all of them will work. The fact of the matter is all the dive boats have some form of defog — although most of them use a watered down J&J baby shampoo.

Other forms of defog

Spit: Real divers don’t use defog they spent a lot time draining their mouths, building for up a large quantity of salvia and projecting it into their masks. Many divers say this is the best form of defog, but the idea of my eyes breathing in all the wonderful germs from my mouth — just doesn’t work for me.

SeaDrops: Clean, quick and easy to use — few drops on the inside and the outside of the mask has gotten me close to a decade of “no fog” mask. Just remember to wash the drops out right before your jump off the boat. If you don’t clean the drops out of the mask properly, you could experience a severe burning sensation in your eyes — and the eye burn can really ruin a great dive.

Why? Because all defog is a form of soap. That’s why most dive boats and shops use J&J Baby Shampoo  — it’s easier on the eyes.

After the dive

Hit the dunk tank: Make sure you use freshwater to clean of all your dive equipment. Almost all our family of divers dunk their BC’s in the sweet water tub, but I have watch numerous divers forgo a quick rinse of the fins, mask, snorkel and wetsuit. Remember a clean mask doesn’t fog up as much and clean gear last longer.

Hope everyone has a great summer of diving!


Kids Sea Camp Dive Vacation tips

Tips for a better dive vacation!

It’s time — you have been waiting all year for the summer dive vacation. Your so excited, so pump up to head to your tropical vacation that your forget the sunscreen or worst the passport. We have had families forget: Dive computers, cameras, passport and yes even the dates they are traveling.

So take your time and prepare for your dive vacation. Plan a day to pack and make a list of all the important items you need to bring to make your holiday easy and fun.

Over the years, Margo and I have noticed that there are items to remember for a better dive vacation. Some of the items are easy to remember — some are less obvious.

Grand Cayman, diving, coral reefs, Kids Sea camp

Get ready for the adventure of the Kids Sea Camp summer!

These are some of the items

travelers have forgotten on our trips.

  • Check you equipment! Make sure you have it all! We’ve never had anyone forget all their equipment, but a mask, their fins, a dive computer or even their BC. It happens.
  •  Make your equipment yours: Mark your equipment with your name or symbol before your on the boat. It all sort of looks the same once your on the boat and it helps the dive shop to organize your equipment.
  • Don’t forget toothpaste, for your mask.
  • Bring a spare dive computer: All the resorts have dive computers, but they may not match equipment.  So if you have an extra computer — bring it. It is the number one issue we find with our equipment — most of the time its a failing battery. But the dive show may not service your brand equipment.
  • Defog: And just in case get your defog before heading to the island. All the dive boats have some — but we always make sure have the defog with us. A clear mask is a good dive mask.
  • Pack your Cerification Card and log book.
  • Bring the Binky! Meeting new kids or new adults can be stressful for pete’s sake Bring the Binky!
  • Bring your boat items, like sunglasses, rain gear and comfortable boat shoes.
  • Dive insurance: Margo and I carry Dan dive insurance all year round. Diving is a very safe recreational sport — but sometime you just never know. And when it comes to our kids in a foreign country we want the DAN protection.
  • Bring your medical items
  • Passports (Duh — right? Well, Margo and I once got in such a hurry that we forgot our passports.
  • Check your flights the day before. We have a couple families that have forgotten the dates of their flights. The story to get them to the airport is worth a beer or two.
  • Credit cards: Call before you leave and tell the company that you will be in a foreign country.
  • Ziploc bags
  • Baggage limits: Most airlines have a 50 pound weight limit for coach and one bag per person. First class is normally 70 pounds and two bags per person. We’re divers so bringing our equipment is important just double check the weight the surcharge can run into the hundreds of dollars.
  • Passports (in case you have forgotten already)
  • Pack your patience: Expect delays —traveling to any island really is a delay waiting to happen. So have fun, be patience and enjoy your Kids Sea Camp summer.
  • Buy travel insurance: Kids Sea Camp buys DAN travel insurance on every one of our trips. Margo and I both know we have been lucky with great weather over the years —but we also know we don’t control it. Things happen, it’s just that simple. Be prepare. Please note: There are some credit cards that have some very good travel insurance that comes with the card membership.