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Diving and island vacation while tattoo in progress

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I am going on a vacation diving 3 times a day in a wetsuit and hanging on the beach for a week in June. I'm in the middle of a big back piece, and for scheduling sessions, asked my tattooer how long I should wait between a session and the vacation. He said at least 3 weeks, and to wear a UV rash guard AND sunscreen. His explanation was that any change in the existing work would cause problems matching colors going forward. So, it seems like I have to care for the tattoo even more conservatively because it's in progress.

Any tattooers out there have additional advice? Is 3 weeks really enough? Anything else I should consider? This vacation is booked (thank you for the surprise, honey) and I *will* be diving, but I want to do all I can not to screw up the tattoo. Should I reschedule my upcoming sessions for a longer interval before the trip?

I dive in a wetsuit *all the time* because I get cold doing multiple dives a day even in the Caribbean. Wetsuits are SPF 2 million. I'm guessing I also need the rash guard under the wetsuit for friction protection?

I also see sunscreen that is specific for tattoos like this one - are these a gimmick? http://www.amazon.com/Ed-Hardy-Protect-Sunscreen-Resistant/dp/B0083HTG84/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1396707872&sr=1-2-catcorr&keywords=sunscreen+tattoo

Oops, SORRY, should have included the ones for GIRLS! http://www.amazon.com/Hardy-Shield-Tattoo-Protection-Uva-uvb/dp/B004HZPKWM/ref=pd_sbs_bt_7?ie=UTF8&refRID=08GEN411DEP2NCF7MX37. So how does it know? :-)

Is there any hope for me getting to show off the work-in-progress at all? (sniff sniff). I've got 24 hours on this piece so far, and I can't show my underwater diving back tattoo to other divers?!? ::gasps in despair, stamping feet on the kitchen floor like a 3 year old::

Below are a couple threads I found and putting here for reference/completeness, but I'm asking a little different question - the piece is "in progress," and I'll be in the water 3 hours a day wearing a wetsuit. I'll actually NOT be laying on the beach on my stomach falling asleep. I generally don't try to go out and get a tan, except on my legs a little because my skin is sooo white.

Here's a thread about vacationing with tattoos: http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/tattoo-advice/2678-going-hawaii-right-before-tattoo-concerns.html

Here's some posts dealing with new tattoos and water/sun: http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/initiation/4369-1st-tat-page4.html#post72754.

Thanks, all.

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Where are you going diving ?

Are you planning another session between now and the trip ? Maybe reschedule it to after the trip to be safe.

Utila, Honduras, even though it's not the best season for whale sharks there. But they see them pretty regularly, so if there's a sighting, they'll run us over in a fast boat. I have 4 sessions before the trip, about every other week, with the 4th one 3 weeks before the trip. I'd rather not kill the momentum I've got going.

(Hey @scubaron - do you realize your 100th post is about diving? :D)

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The longer your tattoo has to heal before you "stress" it the better it will be.

Breaking the momentum, versus not taking chances on a big investment seems like an easy choice to me.

Have fun in the water!

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Utila, Honduras, even though it's not the best season for whale sharks there. But they see them pretty regularly, so if there's a sighting, they'll run us over in a fast boat. I have 4 sessions before the trip, about every other week, with the 4th one 3 weeks before the trip. I'd rather not kill the momentum I've got going.

4 sessions every other week. That's an aggressive schedule. Kudos to you for being able to keep up with it. The healing/recovery and all. I don't think I could do that kind of schedule all in one area. Curious, how long are your sessions.

I really enjoyed the diving in Roatan. Very healthy reef/corals and macro life. Utila should be similar.

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Every other week. That's an aggressive schedule. Kudos to you for being able to keep up with it. The healing/recovery and all. I don't think I could do that kind of schedule all in one area. Curious, how long are your sessions.

It's more like every 2-3 weeks. My tattooer wants to keep up the momentum - I think because he only does custom work and is in the middle of a lot of projects and wants to make sure people actually finish them in a reasonable period of time. I started in February and have had 4 sessions. They have ranged from 4.5-8 hours, with breaks. I could see this stretching years if we got lazy about scheduling only a session or 2 at a time. It's hard to keep up with it, but I decided to bite the bullet and make this one of my higher priorities for the time being and just knock it out. The kids are out of the house to I don't have major demands on my free time, except for 3 high maintenance cats.

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I think if your tattooer says 3 weeks is OK, then you should be fine. Just keep it out of the sun at all costs and don't go overboard with the diving (no pun intended), rest up and whatnot when you can so you're body isn't stressed out.

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It's more like every 2-3 weeks. My tattooer wants to keep up the momentum - I think because he only does custom work and is in the middle of a lot of projects and wants to make sure people actually finish them in a reasonable period of time. I started in February and have had 4 sessions. They have ranged from 4.5-8 hours, with breaks. I could see this stretching years if we got lazy about scheduling only a session or 2 at a time. It's hard to keep up with it, but I decided to bite the bullet and make this one of my higher priorities for the time being and just knock it out. The kids are out of the house to I don't have major demands on my free time, except for 3 high maintenance cats.

Makes sense, especially with big work.

You will have fun showing off what you have to divers. While others might like the artistry, only another diver will truly understand and appreciate it.

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Makes sense, especially with big work.

You will have fun showing off what you have to divers. While others might like the artistry, only another diver will truly understand and appreciate it.

Yeah, you're right. I'm looking forward to that! And they'll be the only people who know that the Moray eel is really a Leopard Moray or that the reddish fish is a squirrel fish (yes, I have 2 squirrel fish. Long story).

Anyway, oe of the elements my tattooer sketched into the plan is the mast of a WWII wreck in Truk Lagoon - the Nippo Maru - it has interesting 3-post mast and it's pretty eerie the way the wreck sits about 25 degrees off center. It's supposed to be shadowed off in the blue, but I'm not sure there will be room for it. But THAT would be a neat wreck identification test for divers :D Have you been to Truk? Do you like wreck diving?

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Leopard Moray is on my list. I think snake tattoos look cool, but I don't feel any connection to snakes. An eel is perfect though and the spots on a Leopard Moray are perfect for contrast in a tattoo.

I've never been to Truk, but hear it is amazing. Not just the quality of the diving, but the history.

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