When Scuba Diving In The Caribbean - You Need A Passport To Get Home!

by Paula
(California)

We always use the hotel safe when traveling on dive trips - in fact, we even stick our dive computers in there when we leave the room - so I am not sure how my passport "went missing" from our room. When did I discover this? Well, the taxi to the airport for our flight home was outside. Okay, from Grand Trurks to Provo to Miami to San Francisco. Think I could just adopt a Texan drawl and immigration would deem me an "American" citizen? I don't think so.

I was panicked - miss our flight? pay flight change charges? get jailed in Miami? get stuck in some back room being grilled?

What saved the day? I keep a scanned copy of my passport in the Cloud (thank you DropBox) which I quickly printed in the hotel office. At the airport, the airline counter fellow called the American embassy in the Bahamas after I gave him my scanned passport copy and driver's license number and I was cleared to go. Though I had to explain all along the way...in Miami when Immigration scanned the passport copy, my info came up in his computer. He called a supervisor who looked at everything and said "Welcome home." At midnight, that was the best thing I could hear!

BTW, as I left I saw another passenger who had lost his passport - and had no copy - being led off to the little back room. Never did find out what happened to him. Maybe he is still there.

Moral of the story - keep scanned documentation (passport, DL, airline, car and hotel confirmations, DAN membership, and travel insurance douments) in a Cloud that can be accessed even WITHOUT internet access! Oh, and cancel your passport when you get home. Lucky for me, my travel insurance will even cover the cost of the new passport application!

Now, when is that new passport coming so I can go diving??

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