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August 2000 Vol. 15, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Should Your Next Trip Be a Live-Aboard?

from the August, 2000 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

So youíve never been on a live-aboard and just thinking about it spooks you? Perhaps we can put your mind to rest.

Yes, the quarters are close, but Iíve always been able to retreat to my bunk, and Iíve always been able to find space to sit, read, or ruminate. And Iím a guy who likes his privacy.

Yes, occasionally thereís a jerk aboard, but within the first 24 hours the group will most likely figure him out and isolate him. If heís a jerk on the live-aboard, heís a jerk everywhere else, and itís the story of his life to be excluded. Jerks help everyone else bond and give them something fun to talk about. Most everyone else will be interesting, some usually humorous, some usually well-traveled, most with plenty of entertaining stories. Thereís bound to be a couple or two among the single divers, not all of whom bring buddies.

You donít have to dive if you donít want to; people sit out every dive. Some will have afternoon cocktails and sit out the night dive. If you want to sit and your buddy wants to go, usually someone will be available to join him. Solo diving is often the preferred style, anyhow.

If you want a sanitized trip to a foreign land, live-aboards are excellent; you donít have to fret about safety, which is why many single women like live-aboards. Once you arrive, youíre in the crewís hands, from airport pickup to drop off for the trip home. But stay in the country a few extra days. Be a traveler, not a tourist, and expand your horizons.

A tropical live-aboard ainít no Carnival cruise. Do not bring hard-sided luggage, more than a few T-shirts and shorts, shoes other than sandals or sneakers for shore visits, and maybe a slicker or sweater depending upon the destination. If youíre traveling elsewhere, pack a second bag, and ask your host ahead to arrange storage.

Yes, you might gain weight ó unless you moderate your food intake. Diving isnít much exercise, and with no place to walk or exercise, itís easy to gain a pound or three.

If you donít want to share a head or a shower, find a live-aboard that has them en suite. If you are sharing, remember others donít necessarily like it, either. Clean up after yourself.

Arrive a day early, not only to reduce jet lag, but to ensure that you donít miss your boat. If you arrive late, they may leave without you.

Yes, you can get seasick, especially if your craft has an open-ocean crossing. Scopolamine, a prescription drug administered by a patch, is nearly foolproof and safe for divers.

Now that weíve taken care of your concerns, you are free to go aboard, and dive, eat, schmooze, and sleep. Have fun.

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