Dive into Excitement
Summer time is around the corner and that means finding things for the kids to do for a whole two months! In todays’ hectic work environment, why not take a moment to share an experience that will remain with kids and parents for a lifetime, and yes I’m speaking about scuba.
I can already hear some of you saying ‘I don’t swim well’ or ‘that’s too dangerous’ or ‘the kids are too young’ or ‘I’m too old’ and none are an adequate excuse, why? Firstly, the ability to swim is only required if you’re participating in a course that earns you a diving certification (or license if you’d like) and is not required for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) SASSY, Bubblemaker or Discover Scuba Diving programs, which are categorized as ‘experiences’, more on that in a bit. Secondly, scuba is a very safe activity once safe diving standards are followed, millions of people participate in scuba training and dives annually with a lower risk of injury than that of traveling in a car, in fact training agencies are now trying to put an edge on scuba diving in order to appeal to todays’ younger generation. Thirdly, we now introduce kids as young as six to scuba through the SASSY program and there is no upper age limit for you older ‘kids’. Lastly, and this is in response to your unvoiced question ‘NO, you will NOT be eaten by a shark!’
I once took an older lady on an introductory Discover Scuba Diving course (which includes a shallow guided dive on a coral reef), she had been snorkeling for years and possessed the ability to free dive to a depth of 25 feet, yet she was ecstatic and bubbling over with excitement upon our return to the surface, overly so in my opinion given her previous in-water experience. When asked, she explained that while she could observe marine life easily in an aquarium it was in an air-conditioned building, through a thick glass wall and the fish were swimming amidst a fiberglass reef. While snorkeling, she was able to observe the fish in their natural environment, but only from above and at a distance and while free diving she was amongst the fish, but limited by the few seconds that she was able to hold her breath. Finally on scuba, she had pushed back that last barrier of time to fully experience the underwater world in the manner that she wished! I felt very privileged to have played a role in the fullfilment of her dream. For others the primary attraction of scuba is the excitement of being somewhere we weren’t designed to be, being somewhere most people haven’t been, being able to breathe underwater, experiencing a weightless environment or visiting a historic shipwreck. Let’s add, an unforgettable shared family experience!
The PADI SASSY program (Surface Air Supplied Snorkeling for Youths) is designed to introduce scuba to kids six and seven and comprises of an instructor presentation, skill development and snorkeling with a specially designed scuba unit which doesn’t allow the child to go underwater. The unit is comprised of a miniature tank in a floatation jacket, breathing regulator and submersible pressure gauge, which provides the experience of using scuba while snorkeling and eliminating the discomfort of water entering a snorkel when least expected.
The PADI Bubblemaker follows the same format of instructor presentation and skill development but includes an actual dive to a maximum of six feet while with the instructor and is designed for kids aged eight and nine. For ‘kids’ ten and older (that includes moms and dads), the PADI Discover Scuba Diver program includes a dive to a nearby coral reef to a maximum depth of 30-40 feet depending on your age.
While being able to swim isn’t a requirement to participate in these introductory programs, being in reasonable health is and you will be asked to complete a medical history statement prior to participation, ask for a copy in advance as there are several medical conditions which may require your physician’s permission.
So now that you’ve made the decision to try scuba this summer, be sure to contact us for your dive into excitement!