FAQ

Here's a list of our most frequently asked questions.  Just click on the PLUS sign to view the answer.  If you don't see the question you're thinking of, just contact us, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
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What should I bring on my Dive Trip?

What To Bring On Your Dive Trip

Your Blue Iguana charter on the “M/V KATE” provides tanks, weights, weight belts, and unlimited air. Bed linens, pillows and two towels per passenger.  Also provided are toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner and body wash.

This is a checklist used by one of our customers for several trips on the Kate. While no warranties are expressed or implied about its fitness for your use, you might find it a good place to start packing. See below for things not to bring.

A MUST for ALL SHARK DIVING TRIPS: Hood, Gloves and full wetsuit required for  trip.  No bright colors, black is the preferred color.

Diving gear bag:

  • BC Vest
  • Safety Sausage
  • business card
  • compass
  • depth gauge
  • dive computer
  • dive tables
  • dive watch
  • fins
  • flashlight (optional)
  • gloves (optional)
  • knife
  • log book and pen
  • mask
  • octopus
  • pressure gauge
  • regulator
  • slate + pencil (optional)
  • snorkel w/snorkel keeper
  • spare bulb (optional)
  • spare hoses (hi/lo pressure) (optional)
  • spare light batteries (optional)
  • spare mask/fin/knife straps (optional)
  • spare mouthpiece (optional)
  • spare o-rings (optional)
  • spare snorkel keeper (optional)
  • suntan lotion
  • swim suit
  • thermometer (optional)
  • towel(s)
  • wetsuit boots
  • wetsuit jacket
  • wetsuit powder (optional)
  • whistle

Clothing:

  • light jacket
  • pants (one pair is more than enough)
  • shirts (only need a few)
  • shoes (for boat, for sand, for travel)
  • shorts (one pair might be enough)
  • socks (optional)
  • underwear as appropriate
  • warm clothing (if nec.)

Miscellaneous:

  • certification card
  • money
  • passport
  • pillow (optional)
  • towels
  • slide show materials (optional)
  • tickets
  • toiletries
What shouldn't I bring on my Dive Trip?

What Not to Bring

Some items are inappropriate or illegal on our dive trips. Here’s a list:

  • Illegal drugs
Do I need a Wreck Medallion for the Keys?
Medallions are required for all trips on the “M/V KATE” in the Florida Keys

Update…..As spring 2015 the Chamber has decided not to purchase medallions for 2015.  We will keep you posted of any changes…

The Key Largo Chamber of Commerce, under the auspices of the Upper Keys Artificial Reef Foundation, reduces the debt on the sinking of the Spiegel Grove by giving annual dive medallions for a $10 donation, a gorgeous bronze medallion for a $250 donation.

Those who receive the lifetime medallion will have their name (or the name of their choice) inscribed on a bronze plaque that is affixed to the Spiegel Grove. Only 1,000 lifetime medallions will be given away; the foundation is in the process of filling the final plaque.

For more information on the medallion program, write to president@keylargochamber.org or call 1-800-822-1088.

Can I bring my own scuba tanks?

Sure, its best to let us know ahead of time, but you are more than welcome to bring your own tanks. Our standard tanks are Alm 80’s. We also have some steel 100’s and 117’s. Let us know if you would like to a tank other than a standard Alm 80, and we will make sure we have what you need on board.

Do I need a passport to travel to the Bahamas?
Yes, you will need your passport. Please make sure your passport is valid. 1. Valid U.S. passport for all U.S. based citizens. 2. Foreign visitor’s passports and visas if necessary-what ever is needed to get you into the U.S. will get you into the Bahamas. *No expedition refunds for forgotten or misplaced I.Ds.
What do I need for Shark Diving?

Equipment Checklist for Shark Diving

Cage and shark diving is relatively basic in nature, so your equipment needs will be far fewer than a typical live aboard dive trip. If you follow this list, your expedition will provide you with the maximum reward for the least amount of effort. Due to the nature of the animals we encounter, we ask that divers do NOT arrive with brightly colored wetsuits or dive gear. Bold yellow stripes and half suits are not allowed in the shark diving areas. Basic black, or dark colors are mandatory while at Tiger Beach.  No pink fins….

Diving Gear

1. Proper fitting wetsuit (3-5 mm full wetsuit, black is sufficient) No Bright Colors
2. Mask, gloves, booties, fins, hood, safety sausage

3. BCD, regulators, night lights, air depth gauges, Dive Computer (rental gear is not available)

4. Cameras, video and still, dry housings

Personal Gear

1. Cameras, video, extra memory cards

2. Overnight personal kits, 2-4 towels

3. Special sleeping pillows (optional)

4. Sunscreen

5. Warm jackets, thermal fleece jackets

6. Sunglasses

7. Wide brim hat

8. Rx drugs

9. Hawaiian shirts

Do NOT Bring

1. Weight belt – if you normally use a special weight harness please bring it along

2. Non Rx drugs

Identification

1. Valid U.S. passport for all U.S. based citizens.
2. Foreign visitor’s passports and visas if necessary-what ever is needed to get you into the U.S. will get you into the Bahamas. No expedition refunds for forgotten or misplaced I.Ds.

3.  Remember when clearing Bahamas customs they will ask you what hotel you are staying at.  Put M/V KATE as the name of hotel.

Liquor

Passengers may bring their own alcohol onboard, but all alcohol must be reported to the Captain. If you over indulge and delay dive times for other passengers, you automatically forfeit your right to dive for the remainder of the day. We also have the option of terminating your passage, if we feel you have harmed other passengers, or caused accidents and other problems due to drinking alcohol. So please be responsible.  No bottle beer allowed, cans beer only.

Illegal Substances

Use of any illegal substances will immediately terminate a diver’s expedition. Passenger(s) indulging in illegal substances will pay own way home from wherever passage is terminated.

Diving Regulations

Divers dive at their own risk. They do their own dive planning and table calculations. Log books are required. In addition, all divers will need a recognized certification card or should obtain one from an insured instructor during the trip.

Insurance

All divers are required to have dive insurance prior to boarding with us. Check your insurance policies for medical coverage. Diving accidents are expensive. The U.S. Coast Guard does not answer “all-calls” anymore. Since we will be operating 50 miles off shore, evacuation can cost up to $5000 per person. Be prepared for care wherever you are. D.A.N. insurance is acceptable in Bahamas, for more information call (919) 684-2948.

Extras and Special Requests

Feel free to contact us at anytime prior to your Tiger Shark expedition if you have any questions, or would like to request anything (vegan diets, birthdays, et al) that might make your shark diving adventure even more exceptional.

Traveling to MV Kate

The M/V Kate is located at Old Bahama Bay Marina, Bahamas. You should Google Map this marina from the Freeport airport.

By Air: The nearest airport is Freeport International with major airline flights.
By Cab: Once you have arrived at Freeport, join us at the Marina with a short cab ride.

Call the MV Kate if you get lost 561.797.2540. Again, boarding time is between 5:00- 7:00pm.

Overview

The Bahamas Tiger Shark experience is exciting to say the least. However it is not without its hazards. Please be advised that divers must be open-water certified and comfortable with their dive gear in and around large animals. Also due to the nature of these animals, we cannot predict exactly when a Tiger Shark may (or may not) arrive. Nature is truly wild at this site and nothing should be taken for granted. We’ve had days when the waters surrounding the vessel can be commonly described as a “shark soup” and days when one or two sharks arrive to thrill our divers. We are at the right place at the right time, with the right gear to encounter sharks. So stay alert while at the Tiger Shark site…you never know who is going to show up, or when!

Night dives, wreck dives, and alternate diving are at the group’s discretion. We may elect to spend more than the allotted days at the Tiger Shark site, or we may decide to move on to other sites. The schedule is very flexible and we ask that you be flexible as well.

The M/V Kate is a 65-foot United States  passenger vessel designed for research and exploration. She is equipped with state-of-the-art safety gear, electronic equipment, and air compressors. Designed to sleep 12 guests and four crew in air-conditioned comfort, each intimate berth is equipped with basic amenities, 300 thread-count sheets, and mattress pads. Two bathroom/showers are shared along with the common areas that include salon, entertainment center, galley, and outside deck areas.

Our dive operations will allow for at least three full days at Tiger Beach. We have additional plans to dive a few wrecks and some wall dives away from Tiger Beach. All dive plans are subject to weather and to the group’s wishes. If you want to spend more time at one spot over another, we’ll be more than happy to accommodate you and the group.

Let’s go shark diving!

What's it like in the ocean?

It’s The Ocean, Not A Swimming Pool

The ocean is a vast wilderness, home to thousands of awesome and wonderful wild creatures, and when you visit the beach this summer, you are a guest in their environment. Like swimming in a swimming pool, you need to be aware of potential dangers and some precautions to ensure your safety. Just like in a swimming pool, the biggest danger to humans who swim and dive in the ocean is the potential for drowning.

Many of the same precautions you should take to prevent drowning in a swimming pool also apply to swimming in the ocean. However, the ocean is wild, and other potential dangers exist there — like getting caught in a riptide, getting knocked over by a large wave, getting stung by a jellyfish, cutting a foot on a shell, or getting bitten by a shark — that do not exist in a swimming pool.

The majority of ocean creatures are harmless to people, but some animals can and occasionally do injure humans. Usually, when an ocean animal hurts a person, it is a defense behavior — like the jellyfish that stings or the crab that pinches — because the animal perceives the human as a threat. When a shark bites a human, it is usually mistaken identity — the shark thinks the person is a fish and takes a bite expecting to have dinner. When the shark realizes that the person is not a tasty fish, it lets go and swims away. This is why most shark “attacks” are hit-and-run incidents and often only result in cuts and bruises, which may require stitches but are not considered serious injuries. But this is not always the case. Sometimes shark bites can cause serious injuries and can rarely even be fatal.

There are precautions you can take to reduce your risk of encountering a shark and reducing your risk of a shark attack. Blue Iguana Charters encourages everyone to “dive smart.” Remember that when you swim or dive in the ocean you are a guest in a wild habitat, and you should respect that habitat and its creatures, much like you would if you were camping at Glacier National Park where wild grizzly bears live. And just like putting on sunscreen when swimming in a swimming pool and storing food wisely when camping in grizzly bear territory, taking precautions to ensure your health and safety in the ocean is the best way to enjoy your time on the ocean.

Should I bring Dive Computer Batteries?

Dive Computer Batteries

Today’s Trip Tip….. Batteries……..What’s the number one thing people forget on a liveaboard trip? Its batteries for their dive computer. It happens all the time. Customers show up for a week long trip, and their dive computer battery is dead on the first day of the trip. I know some of you are laughing right now, but this happens to at least one person almost every trip. We try to stock the most popular ones on board because of this. Guys you are paying us a lot of money to take you diving, check your equipment before the trip and spend $5 for a spare set of batteries for your dive computer.

What are the on board sleeping arrangements?

Sleeping accommodations are in two spacious cabins.  The bow cabin has two double and four single beds while the side cabin has four single beds.  The beds are upper/lower bunk-style with privacy curtains and individual reading lights. Although there is ample room for guests, please be considerate and pack light.

Is Nitrox available?

Florida Keys Trips

Yes it is available for a extra charge.  We use a blending stick so we can mix from 28% to 36% directly into our fill system.

Tiger Beach Trips

No, at tiger beach the dives are only at a 20 foot average so Nitrox is not needed.