Dive and travel advice

Q & A: Palau and Philippines for a family of 4, all divers.

Thank for your interest in Kids Sea Camp.
Your question in regard to your two children just being certified and possibly not wanting to do allot of diving is a great concern and good question.
First off, all of our weeks include many other activities outside of diving and we are happy to customize as much as we can with individual families as needed.
We charter the resorts and their dives staff around the world to suit our curriculum and educational and cultural wants and needs.
We do have families with family members that do not dive and understand that some new divers are not always wanting to just dive. Most kids and even some adults are not avid divers and do maybe one trip or two a year and that is often with Kids Sea Camp. Our first couple days of diving are generally refreshing for the kids what they need to remember.  We go over gear, how to set up and use, and also buoyancy, navigation, signals underwater and any concerns.   As the week progresses, we move on to having fun and improving confidence and diving.   We can and will do the same as a refresher for adults when requested.
Each of our destinations has the same core programs, we offer SASY, Seal Team, certification classes and even DSD is most land based destinations.  For kids that are already certified, we can do digital photography, Fish ID, Adventure Diver and even Advanced Open Water certifications as well as many other specialties and depending on the destination, different courses are offered or available.  We also have family time together and apart with cultural activities, presentations, and tours in all locations around the world we operate.
In the Philippines, we have village tours, spa, daily volley ball and basket ball, zip line, snorkeling with whale sharks, photography presentations, other land tours to see chocolate hills and the monkeys etc.  Of course some of the best diving in the world as far as I am concerned.  There are options to both snorkel or dive with the whale sharks and this is a major highlight for the kids as well as the adults.  The resorts in Dumaguete and Cabilao are 5 stars and have great food and service.  Wifi is available and free, we have a large pool and gym in Dumaguete and so much to do top side.  There is a mountain school adventure towards the end of the week before we head off to Cabilao.
The rates are based on your choice of the room really. All meals are included along with transfers, tours, and diving.
In the Philippines at Dumaguete we use Pura Vida Homes, we have 2 bedroom luxury villas that have large ocean view balconies, one room with 2  beds and one room with a king bed, large living area, fully furnished with large spacious bathrooms, and kitchen.  These run$3100 pp x 4 persons, plus tax.   So your savings with our early booking would be $310 pp a total of $1240.  Dumaguete is a 7-night stay arriving July 10 into DGT Dumaguete. I believe you would need to go through Manila from most international destinations, and we do have a meet and greet arranged and ready for arrivals in Manila that will escort you through to Dumaguete.  I feel it’s best to fly on Philippine airlines if possible as they will not charge an additional baggage fee from MNL to DGT.  There are less expensive rooms at the Pura Vida Resort, that are not the Villas.  They would be the regular rooms and the rate would be $2900 pp.  The rooms would be two separate rooms but would be next to each other.  That is just a less expensive option.  We have a room block to keep the Kids Sea Campb families together using the villas.
In Palau we have added, other island tours such as Peleliu and Babeldoab that are more geared to history and WW1 and WW11 artifacts, tours, etc.  We have Rock Island kayaking tours, beach fun, snorkeling, city tours, Marine life presentations and arts and crafts daily.  The diving here for both kids and adults in exceptional.  There is a manta dive in 30ft of water, there are sunken wrecks for the kids to do and amazing walls etc.  The marine life is abundant and the kids are generally very excited to be diving and do not wish to miss out at all.  We have daily private beach lunches in between diving so kids and their parents meet up and share adventures, a lunch time beach game of volley ball takes place on most days and we are back in time to relax and get ready for dinner and presentations.
I think either of those locations would be very well suited for your family.  We are offering a 10% discount until Aug 31st.
Palau rates: Here you have more choices of rooms as we use the Palau Royal Resort.  Our block is with the Ocean View or Harbour View rooms.  Both are the same size, have great views, can’t go wrong with either, their harbor is the Rock Islands.  They have a beautiful beach and lagoon and huge salt and fresh water pools.  These rooms have a big bathroom and either 2 queen beds or a king bed.  Both have the ability to be connecting forming 2 bedrooms.   So the rates reflect the choice of one or two bedrooms.  For the sake of your request, I will quote you for the 2 bedrooms for the family of 4.   There are also suites.  These are very nice and quite large.  They are considerably more expensive but have a large living area and a private bedroom with 2 queens or king bed and private bathroom with both a tub and a shower.  There is a TV in the living area and the bedroom and two balconies off each room.  This is called the Premier suite and can fit a family of 4 but is better suited for a family of 3.  The couches in the living room can be made up as a bed, but they are not as wide as a single bed would be.  Our rates page has the rates for the rooms.   The adult’s rates are different from the kids and again for Palau, you have a choice of 10 days or 2 weeks.  Please let us know which you prefer.  They both include diving, meals, tours, juices, tea, and coffee as well as all dive rental gear for kids.
Deluxe ocean views 2 rooms $4932 per diver 10 nights.  Premier suite 2 adults would pay $5825each diver rate and kids would pay rate below.  You would deduct $490pp or $582 pp for the early booking discount.  Again huge saving.  The two week rates are slightly more, and you can click on the rates link to see the difference or just email me and I will happily provide you the information.
Certified Kid Divers (ages 10-17): $2,500 -10 nights    $2,900- 14 days
 
All kids sea camp weeks have 1 PADI pro in the water with each 5 kids diving, In the Philipines its 1 with 4 kids diving and with kids age 11 and under, its 1 PADI pro with each 2 kids.   We provide Kids Sea Camp staff on each event as well as fully charter the PADI 5 star staff we host with in each location.  We offer education, instruction, and fun in a very personal way.  We are traveling with you and want your families vacation to be the best you have ever taken.  We have an excellent reputation to date, over 7, 000 youth certification and zero dive accidents.  75 repeat client base. 
 
I hope you will join us this coming summer.   Please keep in mind that we do customize individual family vacations to suit your dates and needs as well.  
Kindest regards
Margo Peyton

____________________________________

Get ready to go diving:  Document your memories with Sealife:

For more information or to place an order, 
please contact: Kids Sea Camp

Call today 803-419-2556

Contact us to place your order for the Sea Dragon Fluoro-Dual Beam! No other Fluoro light creates such an impressive fluorescence emission. See the reef in a whole new light. Reveal amazing, alien-like colors in underwater stills and videos with the new 

In partnership with Fire Dive Gear, SeaLife’s first fluoro light uses CREE blue LED’s and an integrated dichroic filter to create the optimal light frequency to excite underwater life. The versatile Sea Dragon Fluoro-Dual Beam switches from a blue fluoro 65° flood to a white 800 lumen 15° concentrated light beam with a push of a button.
The Sea Dragon Fluoro-Dual Beam can quickly adjust between four light modes: 100% fluoro flood, 50% fluoro flood, 100% white spot, and 50% white spot. Its rechargeable Lithium Ion 7.4V, 3400mAh, 25Wh battery delivers power for a continuous 2 hours at 100% fluoro emission. Depth rated down to 330ft/100m.
Enhance your underwater fluoro-viewing with the two included universal, barrier filters. The face mask filters out the residual presence of blue light emitted by the light. The second filter attaches to any underwater camera with a lens diameter up to 47mm.
Pair the Sea Dragon Fluoro-Dual Beam with the DC2000 or another camera of your choice with the included Flex-Connect™ Single Tray, Grip, and 1″ Ball Joint (SL995).
 
MSRP: $499.95  
Available: April 2017
SeaLife Sea Dragon Fluoro vs. Harmful UV lights

For BEST results and SAFETY reasons, the Sea Dragon Fluoro-Dual Beam uses Cree Royal Blue LED’s combined with a proprietary dichroic filter.  SeaLife NEVER has and never will use Ultraviolet (UV) LED’s.
 

Some companies are selling underwater UV lights claiming the results are better than blue LED’s, and that there is no need for yellow barrier filter over your mask and/or camera. The truth is that UV lights pose a serious safety hazard to the eyes of humans and sea creatures. UV light is invisible, so you don’t realize that your eye is being bombarded with UV rays. It is a proven fact that extended exposure to UV light has been linked to eye damage, including cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae, pterygia and photokeratitis that can cause temporary vision loss.

The Sea Dragon Fluoro-Dual beam’s Blue LED’s, combined with our exclusive dichroic filter, emits a powerful blue light creating the optimal wavelength to excite underwater organisms. To see the fluorescence effect best, two yellow barrier filters are included – one for your mask and another for your camera. The primary purpose of the yellow filters are to absorb the visible excess blue light, so you only see is the fluorescence effect.

Underwater testing shows that more sea creatures fluoresce when exposed to the Sea Dragon Fluoro-Dual Beam when compared to UV lights. For a detailed scientific explanation regarding Blue LED’s vs. UV, please visitwww.firedivegear.com.

Switchable dual beams features six CREE XT-E Royal Blue LED’s (450-460nm) flood beam and one CREE XP-L LED white spot beam
 
26 watt/mfluoro output and 800 lumens at 100% 
65° fluorescent wide angle beam and 15° white spot beam angle evenly illuminates the subject with no hot spots
One button control for easy operation – one button to power light on/off and select brightness
Four brightness levels100% fluoro flood, 50% fluoro flood, 100% white spot, and 50% white spot
Hidden emergency signal mode: 1 second blink interval and SOS Morse code
120 minute burn time at full power and constant brightness
Depth rated to 330 feet/100 meters
Quick-release button to detach light and aim in crevices and hard to reach areas
Includes integrated dichroic filter and two universal barrier filters for your dive mask and camera for optimal fluoro viewing and photography
Corrosion-proof metal light head for heat dispersion and durability
Removable 25W Li-Ion battery w/ charger and international plug adapters included
Waterproof battery compartment – even if the O-ring seal fails, the battery compartment is isolated so water cannot reach the internal electronics
Universal mounting screw fits SeaLife and other brands of underwater cameras w/ standard ¼-20 tripod mount 
What is stated below, is simply the opinion of Margo Peyton, Scuba Mom, CEO Kids Sea Camp and Family Dive Adventures? This is a compilation of her experiences with adults and kids over the past 25 years of traveling the world and diving.  Your own judgment as a parent and the advice of your dive instructor is suggested and is a big part of any decision making process.  We encourage you to share your tips, advice, and experiences with diving and traveling with your kids.  You can send via email we will review and possibly post here:

Links to:

Passport and Visa information

Airline Watchdog Baggage fees etc

Traveler Tips – know before you go

Traveler advisory

Language Translate

Global Weather

Central Intelligence World Fact book

Interactive world maps

World Clocks

Currency calculation and Conversion.

Currency Converter

 

Gear: Tips for buying gear

Start by going to your local dive shop and get fitted for proper sizing. Their well-trained staff will help you make sure to have a good fit.  For kids this is very important,  If properly fitted, in most cases you can get a few good years out of a mask, computer, BC, and Reg.  Obviously, that is with maintenance and taking care of it.

  • Buy gear based on your skill level and type of diving you prefer to do. Most divers are recreational or vacation divers for example.  This would require the basics: fins, mask, snorkel, BCD, Reg, Wet suit.  Additional optional equipment would be; computer (I feel all divers should have a computer but it is an option), hood, weight belt, weights, safety sausage, whistle, dive light for night diving, gear bag, alternate air source, slate for communicating underwater, pencil, dive flag for shore diving and a camera for those magic moments.
  • MASK: When trying on your mask, tilt your head back and make sure there are no gaps, especially under the nose and the smile line. Breath in to create a vacuum to determine if a good seal is possible.  Mask should be soft and comfortable.
  • FINS: I prefer full foot fins, for myself, I actually have a pare of Mares fins I have been using since 1993 and love them.  You will see all the pictures of me underwater with these lime green long fins on and those are my Mares.  I like them because I can keep up with anything from dolphins to kids, they fit like an old pair of comfy slippers and the Neon color is still like new, so the kids always know which diver is me.  This is the only gear I have thats not ScubaPro, but I just have not found anything out there that feels as good yet.  To fit yourself with a good fin, put your foot in and try to step out of the fin by putting your weight on the ball of your foot. If your heel comes out or the fin comes off its too big.  You want a full foot fin to be snug.  Try a few types out with your dive shop, their are wide fins, soft fins, hard fins and spit fins etc.  $45-$190
  • Open Heel fins:  To try this type, you will need to put the front of your foot in the fin with a bootie on and pull the strap out over and around your heel. the strap should fit snug around your heel but you should not struggle to take in off and it should not cut into your ankle.  Price ranges from $45-$190  I prefer the open heel fins for kids as they are growing and you will get the most out of an open heel fin.  Scubapro makes great kids fins and that’s what we use with our event weeks.
  • SNORKEL: A snorkel should be flexible with a purge valve to keep out water, some snorkels even have a float valve to eliminate water entry from the top. Price ranges from $25-$60.
  • BCD (Buoyancy control Device):  These have come a long way from when I was a kid. streamlined with back inflation, pockets with minimal drag, drop down cargo pockets, integrated weights, multiple accessory pockets, and BCD’s that weight less that 5lb. Not to mention the newer materials that include thermo plastic for quick drying time.   I’m a big fan of Scubapro LadyHawk and that is what I have for me and Jen, while Tom and Robbie are in the NightHawk.  I like to be streamlined and have back support, this was important for me to choose for the kids as well.  I bought Jens BCD when she was 10 and now she is 14 and it still fits perfectly with all the adjustable straps etc.  sizes range from xxs to xxL.  BCD’s range from $250-$800.
  • Regulators and octopus:  The ScubaPro makes the best lightweight first stages and the optimal flow design for the second stage. Easy breathing and light weight are my demands for these two.  If you’re a cold water diver, you will need to make sure your reg is suited for both cold and warm water diving.  A dry chamber first stage in the new Subgear divers will appreciate.  A good reg set can run from $300 to $1600.  I personally use the Scubapro titanium set up for my entire family — ease of care and lightweight made my decision.

Sea- Dragon light

What you need to know about regulators, is they have two stages, the first stage attached to the tank valve, breaks the high pressure air down to the intermediate pressure.   The second stage in the divers mouth, reduces the intermediate pressure to the ambient pressure, the exact pressure you need to breathe comfortably underwater.

First Stages are either piston, which is open to the water,or diaphragm, which are closed.  Piston regulators have fewer moving parts, usually making them easier to service and sometimes less expensive to purchase. Diaphragm regs are better for use in very cold or dirty water, which also means they can potentially be serviced less often than piston regs.

Second Stage come in various sizes and configurations.  Make sure yours is appropriate to your diving conditions.  For example have a large purge button if you generally dive in thick gloves.  Second stages can be adjustable with dive/predive settings.  Changing settings allows you to adjust the air flow, preventing it from fee flowing. This is very useful when diving with current.

  • COMPUTERS:  I’m a big fan of ScubaPro and have happily used their equipment for 20+ years. Big screens, clear information and safety guards, makes it perfect for my kids. And as an instructor, the most dependable computer I have seen in all my years of diving.  Why use a computer? It’s will maximize your dive time, logs your dives, keeps your surface time, dive time, calculates levels, water temp, depth, time, compass, and can be adjusted for Nitrox, air and altitude. It’s like asking why drive when you can fly. Dive computers have been around for 30 years. They don’t actually read tables, such as the RDP but use preprogrammed mathematical formulas to continuously evaluate decompression needs based on time.
  • Independent computers are worn on the wrist or attach to a console often with analog compass or pressure gauge.
  • Integrated computers combine with the standard pressure gauge to give a continuous reading of cylinder air pressure and can estimate how much air remains, based on your depth and breathing rate.
  • Hoseless air intergrated computers, “my choice”  read air pressure from a battery-powered transmitter in the high pressure port of the first stage.
  • The Chromis Dive Computer 

    Air & Nitrox Compatible

    • Large, high-visibility numbers
    • Apnea and Gauge mode
    • Nitrox from 21% to 100%
    • ZHL8 ADT MB algorithm
    • Stopwatch works in dive mode
    • Desaturation reset
    • Warning alarms
    • User settable
    • Connects to computer via USB, USB Cradle not included
    • DEPTH: 400 feet / 122 meters
    • COLORS: Black, White, Orange/Black, and Gold/Black
    • FULL MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY