They did it! I never thought that much of the significance of Tristan and Lexi getting their SCUBA certification - I’ve always loved stuff like that and they are always game for doing new things (which I love!) They are also incredibly comfortable in the water- swimming and snorkeling. Two of my favorite pictures and memories to date are them diving down 8 or 10 feet when they were five or six years old and then kicking back to the surface. It's just such a cool sight.
However, as we approached the book work for their PADI Jr. Open Water dive certification, I started having some doubts. I had forgotten the scientific and technical nature of diving and what you need to know. I also didn’t know if they would take it serious enough- they didn’t understand yet why they needed to do the reading. I started to realize the magnitude of what they were undertaking. There is an age limit for scuba certification, with a simpler certification starting at 10, but 12 still seemed super young. I mean how many of this reading audience are well steeped in Boyle’s Law, and Nitrogen Narcosis? I was excited about their undertaking but certainly apprehensive as well. I also remembered that Kava did this around this age.
|Two pros checking out, and setting up, their gear|
We actually sent business to both Scuba shops in Zihuantanejo, and I was super happy with Luis “Poto” Pelayo at Zihuatanejo Dive Center- he connected really well with the kids, had a fun energetic attitude and was very accommodating around our schedule. I also took a free diving class with Poto and the shop the weekend before. The kids spent a day in class, and then they invited me to join them for the ocean dives. I was hesitant to get in the way, but Tristan insisted, and I am so glad I went- it was a blast to see them doing there skills demonstrations underwater. The dive shops’ boat (and captain “Chompy”) came and picked us up at our boat every day and we headed out of the bay to various spots. I’ll let the kids provide their own color below, but as a parent… pretty damn awesome. SCUBA itself is pretty surreal if you haven’t done it, or haven’t done it in a while, and then watching your kids learning and demonstrating skills they have just learned underwater is on another level. They dont have nearly the same anxious thoughts as most adults and are open to learning without questioning, or overthinking.
|"Hold your mask and regulator"|
Instructor Luis loved the kids and was really impressed with them- their easy going nature, their comfort level underwater and with different skills, and their comedic jousting as a pretty tight brother and sister pair. He was very patient with them, although he often didn’t see them doing somersaults behind his back, or pulling each others’ masks off! We went as deep as 60 feet but most of the diving was around 40 feet, and while the visibility wasn’t great on any of the dives, Luis helped us see all sort of wildlife! They are now certified to dive with an instructor, or their parent, up to 60 feet, and with the 4 tanks and compressor we have on board- I hope we will get some great diving in, as we are going to some of the top dive locations in the world over the next 16 months.
I asked Tristan and Lexi to pen a few thoughts and will let that, and a few photos, finish the story! Chris
This week I got scuba certified and it was awesome because my dive instructor was awesome because he was very funny and cool. When my sister and I first joined the class my sister was worried about how much English he understood, but he ended up speaking great English. The first day we went to the shop and watched videos, but after we had lunch we went to the pool and practiced our skills such as taking the gear off underwater and putting it back on, and finding your regulator. The next day we went to the ocean and went over some more skills above water and then we went diving, and one of the first things we saw around coral was a seahorse. Later we saw a lot of eels and fish. On the next dive we went to a cove and probably saw 150 sting rays and electric rays. We only did two dives a day but they were amazing, such as on the next dive we saw spotted eagle rays flying over us and saw tons of pufferfish and stone fish. On the next dive we saw an octopus and eels and something called a nakerjodiceo, or something like that. This week was really fun and I am very excited about getting scuba certified.
LEXI Scuba diving
|Lexi coming through the Rock Bridge|
Scuba diving has been a great experience and I was glad I got certified for it. I’m most excited for when I get to be able to go deep down on the rocks and not worry about not being able to hold my breath long enough (Which is pretty convenient saying as the most important rule of diving is "never stop breathing"), or getting too cold down deeper. I thought getting scuba certified would be hard but it was easy. You watch a couple of videos and do as couple of dives and then take a test and then it’s pretty easy. But it was very exciting, you get to see all kinds of different animals that you would never see snorkeling because they hang out on the bottom like sting rays or seahorses and we even saw three eagle rays and Uno octopus. My favorite moment in the classes was when me and my brother got to just play in the water was (and trust me it’s different doing back flips in the water when you don’t have to worry about air supply and you are 60feet deep). I'm mostly excited about diving different ship wrecks and being able to go inside the holes in the wrecks.