Destination: Top Dive Scuba, French Polynesia
Date: August 2013
Activity: Scuba Diving with Kids
One of the most unexpectant thrills for me during our trip to French Polynesia was having the opportunity to dive with my little kids. I mentioned one of their dives in an earlier post but didn’t have a chance to elaborate on what a great dive it was for me.
The first dive they went on I had thrown out my neck earlier that day and so only Trent took them on the dive. Though I was legitimately injured I was glad I hadn’t been able to go on the dive because I think my kids turn into big babies when I am around. Not all of the time, but during moments like these when they are doing something that takes a lot of courage it is better for Dad to be the parent on hand. Believe me I don’t baby any of them, but they all still can turn the tears on for me much quicker than they would ever do for their father.
However, since Trent had had such a good experience with them he wanted me to have the same. We scheduled a dive for Clayton, Lexi, Leah, Bailey, Trent and I. We would bring Bella with us to hang out on the boat and wait for us while we made our dive. Right away the three little kids started acting like pros. Since they had already dove before they knew what to expect and wanted to show me they were little professionals. I was just excited they were getting their goggles on without my help!
We got out in the water to a place that is known for the eels. When we jumped into the water I went first and turned to watch Lexi kind of slip right into the water, then Clay with a big splashy step and of course Leah my dare devil with her big jump. They all had their BC’s filled a little so they could float with their tanks on their back and they each got their goggles on and soon their regulators in their mouths. I was expecting trouble when I saw Leah fussing with her goggles but soon her dive master pulled her ponytails in awkward positions and she was set with just the right amount of suction on her goggles.
All six of us met at the front of the boat with our two dive masters that would follow us down. They had given the kids a refresher on the hand signs in the boat and so they were ready to get started. They had all three little kids hold onto the buoy rope to pull themselves down to the ocean floor. Instantly we were being swarmed by fish. All kinds of multi-colored fish were surrounding the kids. They were in heaven. Lexi quickly reached out to try and catch one only to have it swim away before she even got close.
Under the water I became the dive photographer. They couldn’t complain to me about anything and they all had their dive masters checking on every thing. Leah and Clay were alright from the get go but Lexi had problems regulating her ears. We were only diving down to twenty feet but the dive masters had them stop every five to check their ears and make sure their goggles were on good. Finally Lexis ears regulated and she was as free as the others. Our little family minus Colton and Bella were free under the water. The dive masters held onto Lexi and Leah’s hands but Clay was excited that he got to have more freedom with Trent and I in the back of the group.
Our dive masters were great with the kids and showed them everything they could on the ocean floor. We saw one of the biggest eels I have ever seen in real life. It was wrapped up in some coral that had holes like Swiss cheese and we could see his body interwoven throughout the coral. It was an amazing sight. One of our dive masters padded the ocean floor just in front of the coral opening to see the big eel stick out his head and open his massive jaws. He was about twelve inches in diameter!
From the sea anemone, oysters, sand fish, and all the different colored fish we saw a lot of marine life. It was way better than any day at any amazing aquarium. We were right there up close and personal. For me it was amazing because I got to see my children see something new. As a mother it is one of the most amazing experiences we have. Watching our kids discover something for the first time. I was so proud of their little scuba tanks swimming all around me. I couldn’t get out of my head that out of all the places I’ve dove in countries all over the world here I was in twenty feet of water experiencing the best dive of my life. The only thing that could have made it any better is if Colton had been there with us. Unfortunately he had already had to fly home to Texas to attend football training for his Senior Year of High School.
It was just an introductory dive for Lexi, Leah and Clay but it has turned them onto the world of diving. They are so excited to turn twelve when the can get their junior PADI card certificates. For now little dives like these will have to suffice but I’m so glad they all enjoyed it and we could have such a fun family day under the water.
When we all returned to the boat at the end of the dive we had a shell we had picked up for Bella who was up there waiting patiently for our return with some of the other divers and the boat captain. We told her we had bought it at Ariels store under the sea. She was so grateful we had thought of her and was so precious thinking that we may have actually met Ariel, the Little Mermaid. When we got done taking off all of our equipment and started talking about our dive Lexi said, “This is the best family activity ever! We should just do this when ever we get bored.” If only it was that easy!!
Safe and Happy Travels!