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Ambivelant Diving With The Guppies


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Posted by seahunt on January 24, 2006 at 21:17:00:

Ambivelence With The Guppies









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The camera was upside down and I missed the shot, but that's how it can be with kids. It was still OK.
A dive report and some thoughts.
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It would have been during the month of my sixteenth birthday that I took a NAUI class to get my Beginning Scuba Diver certification. Looking back I see that it was my visits to Marineland that led me to diving. Life under the sea was intoxicatingly lush. I didn't think about the danger. I only thought about the beauty and excitement, but I was aware that very often only my regulator was keeping me alive. I never much thought about it though. I had no reason to. That was just me.
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After the freediving at Catalina, just about everyone was ready to try scuba. As a matter of fact, Joe was given a certification class for Christmas. In the mean time, he took Brittany to Sport Chalet for something that they call Discover Diving. They put you in the shallow end of the pool with scuba gear and an instructor. You do some drills and putter around the shallow end of the pool with scuba in your mouth. Well, once they got to school Brittany told Marissa and Joey and well what followed seemed inevitable.
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Fine. This here is a PADI sanctioned course. It's only four feet deep in the pool. There is an instructor right there. But these are my kids and Marissa is only 6 years old. Heck, Joey is older at 8, but takes after me and that's a pretty sketchy rep to follow. Well, they both swim excellently and it seemed a little inevitable. I had helped promote snorkeling in the pool and even their first free dive trip to Catalina. That does not mean I'm thrilled with all this. Mothers, please don't let your kids grow up to be dive bums. Well, I was a ski bum and a bike bum and a surf bum and hiking bum, etc., so what's the big difference. Then there is the gas thing. I think deeper diving is bad for people whose bones are still growing. How young do I want my kids diving. I think an adolescent should not go much past 40 feet at most. What controls will I have? Will my opinion matter any? Should I be nervous? Just how nervous?
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Brittany could make one ask how young can a diver be and still be ready to dive?
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We got there with gear. Brittany and Joe are there. The timing is so that Brittany's Grandparents can watch. Marissa is under 8 years, so her BC is going to be filled with foam. Too bad, she's going to be the one that goes for it. The instructor was Karl. He seemed easy going. I told him I was just going to snorkel and take pictures. He didn't mind and I was thinking safety diver. I guess last time when Joe and Brittany went, there were a few more divers and 5 instructors.

We saw a couple movies. Not surprisingly the only real safety point is not to hold your breath. I looked and the kids all seemed to watch closely through the two short instructional videos that showed great scenery and were meant to market the underwater beauty.

We got to the pool and got gear on everyone. Predictably the BC for Marissa was too big, she's very small, and it took some adjusting for it to ride OK. It seemed like a short fat 20 cubic foot tank. It was also predictable that as soon as she had the second stage in her mouth, he was off like a shot.


She's thinks she's ready.

Joey, Brittany and Joe lined up to pay attention to the instructor. Karl had them do some minor skills and then submerge.


Then they went exploring.

Karl was with Joey. They were sending those underwater torpedoes back and forth. Before long Brittany and Joe headed into the deep end of the pool.


Joe and Brittany worked together on skills

I was just alternating taking pictures and doing freediving runs through the deeper part of the pool to stretch my lungs.

After a little while everyone was in the shallow areas. Joey tended to just sit on the bottom looking around so he could disappear behind other divers. Marissa tried to get down with her fins, but it was impossible, so she wanted me to help her down. That's OK, I shoved her down about 2 feet, but since I was holding here down, I had to watch real close if she needed to go up. She seemed fine.


He just looked around and moved across the pool.

Karl then tried to get Joey to go into the deep end. Really Joey should have been swimming, but he was a bit negative and mostly slid across the bottom. I had told Karl that he was the cautious one. As Joey came to the steep drop off into the deep end, he sort of fell off. He did not like that, which I understood. It would feel like you were getting pulled down. Really, I did a blow it here. I should have had him swim to the deep end with me like Joe had taken Brittany.


He wasn't ready to start down that slippery slope.
We were in the water probably an hour. Everyone had a great time. Marissa wanted her float off so that she could free dive. Karl was really good with kids.


She's ready for anything.

After it was over, Deb and I discussed that it was good that they got in some mask and fin time before the vacation since they would be in the ocean a lot. I said that I could easily rig my pony bottle so that they could use it in the pool this summer.


Joe looked comfortable. It was warmer than a kelp bed.

I wasn't 100% comfortable with that. I doubt that they would drown, but there is still that risk of embolism. Finally on Wednesday I told Deb that I couldn't see much positive coming from letting them use scuba in the pool really. She agreed that since it was 4 years before Marissa could even take the most beginner scuba class it could be a problem. We agreed that maybe we should let scuba be forgotten for a while.

The next morning, they asked if we could get them BC's that fit and gear so they could dive in the pool this summer.


Then again I've said that the ultimate diver is a little kid with a mask and a love for the water, because they have the most fun of all divers.


Would you look out!
Enjoy the diving, seahunt
seahunt Diving For The Fun Of It





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