Diving with Children

Log Book

Ranelle Ivens

SITE AUTHOR

Ranelle’s addiction to SCUBA started in 2004. From a young age she has been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures living within it. Her Ultimate dive dream is to swim with Orcas and to dive the world. Ranelle is a certified PADI Specialty Instructor and spent 3 years in university studying Science and Biology.

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You would think that teaching or diving with children would be difficult and scary. When I first became an instructor it was definitely something I was nervous about but it really isn’t that bad. In fact, more often than  not, diving with children is so much more fun. And Teaching them? Usually a total breeze!

This week I was able to teach two bubble makers and an advanced course to an adolescent boy. I had a great time hanging out with the kids and it was all thanks to my great friend and fellow mermaid Bobbie Jo. Bobbie Jo was having a busy week and called me up to give her a hand with the little ones which led to these amazing adventures.

The Bubblemakers

The week began in the pool with two excited youngsters who were ready to try SCUBA diving. We had a blast doing all kinds of fun tricks like helicopter spins, mermaid kicks, and hand stands! Both children really seemed to enjoy them selves in the pool and it wasn’t long after surfacing that they were asking about  the ocean.

Thanks to Bobbie Jo at Sirenas Diving for the extra photos!

After loading up the boat the children and I went snorkeling while the divers were diving. We saw many colorful fish and some big ole eels before it was time to head in. During the surface interval we went to a favorite beach of mine, Playa Jicaro for or bubble makes. This beach is calm, clear,and shallow with lots of corals and sea grass. A perfect location for little bubble makers. The kids did great and the older sister was especially enthusiast. By the end of our adventure the was already wanting to get certified!

The Advanced course

The advanced course is by far my favorite class to teach. With all the electives the course is always a little different from the last time so it never feels repetitive. Another reason I love this class is because people who sign up for this certification are people who love to SCUBA dive.

PPB

Was an absolute BLAST! We both had so much fun on the first three dives I didn’t know if tomorrow could ever compete! Dive one was the Peak Performance Buoyancy dive. While diving mastering buoyancy is such an important skill. This is exactly why I recommend this adventure dive to my advanced students. Before the dive was over this little guy  was doing the moonwalk, front flipping, and hovering upside down like a seasoned diver. In between skills we were graced by a friendly eagle ray. Watch the video below to see just how friendly he was! Shortly afterwards we found a small turtle who was just as friendly! He even let us take a selfie or two. The little guy just sat there noming away on the blue tunicates while we marveled at him jaws agape.

Navigation

Our  second dive was the Navigation dive at Tortuga where we practiced compass use and basic search patterns. The kid flew through the skills with ease and then we were off exploring the dive site. On this dive we ran into many sharks. However the big highlight was at the very end of the dive where wee ran into another turtle! This one was quite a bit bigger but didn’t mind the entourage of divers one bit. We all took photos and videos of the turtle before we had to shallow up for our safety stop. Then, to our surprise, the turtle actually swam to the area we were doing our safety stop in and continued to dine on his lunch among all the divers!

Underwater Naturalist

After two great dives I was starting to wonder how the third was going to end up. To my surprise it was just as bountiful as the others. I must have been running high on luck that day as we got into the waters at chilliguaro dive site. We began the dive with lots of fish, a few nudibranchs, and a seahorse! Soon after we ended up in the sand beds. The sand beds are a great place to find stingrays and we were in no way disappointed. After the rays we took a lazy gander through what I like to call the gardens. It was there that we found not one but two frog fish! Suffice to say we found all kinds of vertebrate, invertebrates and plants for our underwater naturalist dive!

Day 2

We were off to the Catalina Islands! On our way out to the sites A baby humpback whale caught everyone off guard when it suddenly preformed a full breach! The splash it left behind was huge! We slowed the boat in hopes that we could catch another jump on camera. The whale did not jump again but it did give us a wave and let us admire it’s pretty tail.

The Deep Dive

We preformed the deep dive at the wall. This dive site is a Catalina favorite of many as it has many sharks and good chances for the giant manta ray. We preformed our deep dive skills at 82ft. We were able to observe the difference in depth gauge readings as well as a significant loss of color! after our skills were completed we enjoyed the rest of our dive swimming among sharks and schools of fish. We also saw some giant dogtooth snappers!

Shark Aware Adventure Dive

While diving at dive site Arcoiris there is no better adventure dive to do that Shark Aware! This dive site has a large sand bed where you can find as many as 14 sharks at one time! It always so nice to see so many sharks in one place with the dangers they face. We were able to get within a respectable distance to the sharks allowing us to take not of individual markings, and genders. We also found a number of octopus on this dive that out exploring the reef!

What it’s like diving with children

Diving with children is a very rewarding experience. For me it is a great opportunity to act silly and be extra goofy. Something that I love but am not always able to do. I believe it is very important to stop being an adult sometimes and let yourself be a kid. It so important to play and have fun, and children are great teachers!

If there is a downside to diving with children would say that it is the stress that comes with safety. Safety is very important especially when diving, and even more so with precious young lives. As safe as diving can be it can also be dangerous. This is why I always strictly follow the standards laid out by my diving institution. However, you never know what your students are going to be like and some listen better than others. Luckily,in most circumstances, the children understand that they need to follow the rules when it comes to diving.

Would you ever take your child SCUBA diving?

Have you ever been diving with children?

What were your advanced course electives?

Other thoughts, questions or comments? Speak up in the comment section Below!

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