Morehead City, North Carolina August 19-25, 2018
This trip is SOLD OUT. If you would like to be notified of any cancellations, please contact Tanya Houppermans at tanya@BlueElementsImaging.com
Thank you for your interest in the Morehead City, NC trip! The waters off of North Carolina are world-renown for their shipwrecks and large animals such as sand tiger sharks, southern stingrays, barracuda, turtles, and the occasional bull shark and sandbar shark. For those of you who are photographers, I am happy to offer tips and techniques to help improve your underwater photography during the trip for no additional charge. If after reading this information sheet you have any questions, or if you would like to make reservations, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be diving with Olympus Dive Center (www.olympusdiving.com), which is the premier dive center of North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. We will be aboard the Midnight Express, which is a large, comfortable 48ft dive boat that holds 18 passengers. She is equipped with a spacious cabin with A/C and heat, a microwave, TV, fridge, drinking fountain, and toaster oven. She also has a sundeck, gear storage lockers, hot/cold freshwater shower, marine head, and dive platform with fins-on ladders. In the July/Aug timeframe off of NC, water temps tend to be warm (with bottom temps around 80°F), with visibility often reaching 80-100+ feet. However, NC is also notorious for its ever-changing conditions. Sometimes the water is smooth as glass, and other times the seas are very choppy. The boat rides are typically around 1.5 hours to reach the dive sites. Even if you are not usually susceptible to seasickness, please take precautions to prevent the onset of seasickness. We are booked for full-day charters, for which Olympus has the following minimum diver requirements that we will adhere to:
- A minimum of 20 logged dives. Advanced Open Water Certification preferred. Experienced divers with Open Water Certification and required dives are accepted.
- At least 1 dive in the ocean to 70 feet or greater.
- At least 2 logged boat dives
- At least 2 dives in the last 12 months. Minimum age for full day charters is 15 years of age.
- In addition to the basic equipment that all divers are aware of, Olympus strongly recommends that each diver dive with a computer, and PLEASE KNOW HOW TO USE IT.
- Minimum safety equipment recommendation is a surface marker buoy suitable for diving in the ocean. Neon yellow is best for this area.
In addition, it is highly recommended that you are Nitrox certified. Most divers use Nitrox to extend their bottom time when diving NC because of the depths involved. We will be doing two dives each day, with a 1-2 hour surface interval between dives. Depending on the dive site, you can expect to be at depths between 50-120 feet. Please be comfortable doing deep dives, and pay close attention to your air consumption and no-decompression (NDL) time limits. We will NOT be doing any decompression diving.
Travel To/From Morehead City
You have several options if you will be traveling by air to Morehead City. The closest airport is Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (airport code: EWN) in New Bern, NC located 39 miles from Morehead City. The next closest airport is Albert J. Ellis Airport (airport code: OAJ) in Jacksonville, NC, located 58 miles away. The closest major airport is Raleigh-Durham International Airport (airport code: RDU), which is 163 miles away.
I highly recommend renting a car to travel to/from the airport, and also to get around Morehead City. The Dive Lodge is within easy walking distance to Olympus Dive Center and the dock where we will be departing from every day, as is the Bask Hotel, but a car is also convenient for getting to and from local grocery stores to stock up on lunches and snacks. In the event that there are any days that we are unable to dive due to weather, there are also plenty of things to see and do in coastal NC that are easily reachable by car.
You have a choice as to whether you would like to stay in the Olympus Dive Center Dive Lodge or The Bask Hotel. The Dive Lodge contains 32 bunk beds in 5 separate rooms. There are separate male and female restrooms and shower facilities, along with a kitchen area and spacious living room. As of this time, the Dive Lodge does not have Wi-Fi, although there are plenty of outlets for any electrical devices you may have. The Dive Lodge is within easy walking distance (about 5 minutes) to Olympus Dive Center and the dive boat. Here is a link for more details on the Dive Lodge: http://www.olympusdiving.com/dive-center/the-lodge/.
The Bask Hotel is located just across the street and half a block away from Olympus Dive Center and the dive boat. Accommodations consist of a one-bedroom suite with queen-size bed; a separate living room with a queen-size pullout sleeper sofa; and a full kitchen with stove, full-size refrigerator, microwave, and cooking and dining utensils. There is complimentary Wi-Fi. Here is a link for more details about the accommodations at the Bask Hotel: http://www.baskhotel.com/rooms/class/1-queen-bedroom-suite-w-living-area-full-kitchen-balcony.htm.
Price and Payment
The price for the Morehead City trip is $950 if you are staying in the Dive Lodge, and $1350 if you are staying at The Bask Hotel (double occupancy). There is a single-occupancy supplement of $510 if you wish to have a room to yourself at The Bask Hotel. There is no single-occupancy supplement for the Dive Lodge.
This price includes:
- Five days of 2-tank shipwreck dives on full-day charters, for a total of 10 dives
- Accommodations at the Olympus Dive Lodge or The Bask Hotel for 6 nights
The price does NOT include the following:
- Tank rentals: The reason tank rentals are not included is that you will have the choice daily as to which tank size you want to use (80s or 100s) and which gas mix (air or Nitrox 30). The price varies depending on the tank size and gas mixture. For tank rental/fill prices, please go to this link: http://www.olympusdiving.com/dive-center/equipment-rental/
- Any additional gear besides dive weights
- Meals: There are several restaurants of varying cuisines and prices within close proximity to both the Dive Lodge and The Bask Hotel. There are also several nearby grocery stores. The Dive Lodge is equipped with a microwave and full-size refrigerator. Each suite at The Bask Hotel contains a kitchen equipped with stove, full size refrigerator, full-size microwave, and plenty of cooking and dining utensils. I will provide large coolers to store your food and drinks while on the boat. Drinking water is always available on the boat.
- Transportation to/from Morehead City
- Crew gratuities
A 50% deposit is due at the time your reservation is made. If you cancel your reservation, the deposit is fully refundable up until 6 months prior to the first day of the trip. After this date, the deposit is nonrefundable. The remaining balance is due 90 days from the first day of the trip.
Payments may be made by check, direct wire transfer, or through PayPal (note: there will be a 3% fee for U.S. payments made through PayPal, 4.4% if the payment is international). If you would like to pay by check or wire transfer please contact me at email@example.com for payment information. Travel insurance is highly recommended to recoup your costs in the event that you must cancel. If any dive days are canceled due to weather or mechanical issues, you will receive a refund for that day equal to the price of one full day charter (currently $120), and also the amount of any tanks/fills/gear you have rented for that day.
What You Will Need To Bring
- Dive certification cards
- All scuba gear except tanks and weights. Most people are comfortable in a 3mm wetsuit this time of year. Gloves are recommended since you will be around shipwrecks that have some sharp points/edges. If you do not want to bring your own gear, you may rent gear through Olympus Dive Center. The prices for gear rentals may be found here: http://www.olympusdiving.com/dive-center/equipment-rental/.
- If you are staying at the Dive Lodge, please bring a pillowcase and blankets and/or sleeping bag. The Dive Lodge contains bunk-style beds with pillows and comfortable mattresses but no linens.
- Towels, both for use on the boat, and for personal use if you are staying at the Dive Lodge.
Please consider obtaining travel insurance for this trip to recoup your costs in the event that you must cancel your reservation. If you are an underwater photographer, I also urge you to insure your photography equipment if you have not already done so. If you would like any recommendations for travel insurance or photography equipment insurance, please feel free to contact me.
If you have any questions, or if you are ready to make your reservation, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you in August 2018!