diving with children

Diving with Children

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Ranelle Ivens

SITE AUTHOR

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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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lots of sharks

Logbook Entry #2 White Tip Reef Sharks Everywhere!

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A few days ago my dear friend Bobbie Jo called me up to see if I could help her out with a trip to the Catalinas. My immediate reaction was ‘hell yeah!’ Not only is this lovely lady on of my favorite dive buddies for 11 years, but the Catalinas are gorgeous! Little did I know there would be sharks everywhere!

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Here in Guanacaste Costa Rica we have a grouping of islands called the Catalinas, or the Cats, for short. These islands host a great number of cleaning stations and so are a great place to see the gigantic Manta ray. It is also home to a lot of white tip reef sharks.

While out there we dove 3 tanks at 3 different sites, and each dive was wonderful. On the 1hr boat ride out we ran into a couple if whales who sang to us, and a pair of mating turtles!

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The wall

The wall is one of the two most popular dive sites in the Cats and also our first dive site. One if the main features of this dive site is that it contains many channels where the sharks like to hang out. There is one channel in particular that we don’t often get to enter due to conditions. However we were able to go in today!

During our dive we came across many schools of fish and over 8 individual sharks. Like I said, sharks everywhere. This included a baby white tip of about 2ft. He’s super cute and one of my favorite shark pictures I’ve ever taken is of this baby shark!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids=”1044,1043,1042″ gallery_captions=”there where shark everywhere and here’s one of them,Swimming through the big channel in the wall,the reef life here in Catalinas is so pretty” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ fullwidth=”on” background_layout=”dark” text_orientation=”right” max_width=”75%” module_alignment=”center”]

 

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Arcoiris

Also known as rainbow in English is a dive site loved by many local guides. The reason why is simple: sharks!!  Sharks everywhere! In Arcoiris we came around the corner into the main shark bed and came upon around 12 white tips! The sharks calmly swam around waiting for us to move on so they could settle back down into their beds. To their dismay we stuck around for a few extra minutes, and even doubled back later, to enjoy their beauty.  I don’t think they minded too much but I’m sure they are glad when we got out of their space.

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Near the end of the dive a large school of grunts came to play with us for a few minutes before we needed to surface. Grunts are always a fun treat as they will allow some people to swim in their schools. Then, after surfacing, we ate fresh made sandwiches put together by Bobbie Jo!

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Button Hole

For some reason every time we introduce this dive site people think we call it butt hole. It usually gives us a giggle. On this dive we didn’t see any sharks but we did find, lobsters an eagle ray and a large turtle. If i had to guess the turtle was a black pacific due to its size and coloring.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids=”1037,1036,1035″ gallery_captions=”these guys can be so mesmerizing!,A fellow sirena looking for life under rocks,unfortunately the turtle wasn’t interested in getting to close, but I still got a quik snap” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ fullwidth=”on” background_layout=”dark” max_width=”75%” module_alignment=”center”]

 

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Many colorful fish danced about us the whole dive giving splashes of yellows, blues, and purples to the already captivating surroundings. Then, just before it was time to surface one of our divers spotted a pile of lead dive weights. Lead is a bad pollutant when left in the ocean and is also useful for diving so we were taking it all up! When we get to the surface we counted about 20lbs of weights, woo whoo! Talk about a score! It made for the cherry on top of an already great day!

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Luxury Diving with Sharks Everywhere

Okay, so I can’t guarantee there will be sharks everywhere but I can almost make sure you definitely see one. If you are interested in diving with Bobbie Jo and I, we can make that happen! I offer luxury dive tours through Bobbie Jo’s company Sirena’s Diving. If you book through me it costs you no extra, but does help me out! Plus, you get to dive with me as your personal guide!

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Open water course hover

Entry #1: A New Diver in the family!

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This Week turned out a beautiful set of dives, a new diver and some great new photos. It started back in December 2017 when I did a DSD for a family member. He was a natural in the water and was lucky enough to see a manta on his first dive. Who the hell gets that lucky!! I was a little jealous even. On his recent return to the country he decided that Scuba Diving was going to be a new hobby and we got in touch.

The course went very smooth, and it didn’t take us long to get through the pool sessions. It was here that I saw very quickly that my student was gonna make a great new diver. Next, off to the ocean we went to complete the course! We enjoyed 3 days diving out of Playa Hermosa. Two for the course and one extra day of fun diving. Over 6 dives we visited 5 different sites and saw a whole bunch of awesome critters! I even got to dive with my Grandfather who joined us for dive days 1 and 3.

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Dive Day 1: The Ocean

We started off the course at a local dive site called monkey head. As usual, the site was loaded with fish and rays! The colours there are so brilliant and with all the different species of fish it is difficult to decide were to look. We were often visited by eagle rays soaring past or gently gliding past  to take a better look at us. The water was warm and clear and the current very mild. After the dive we visited a local white sand beach for our surface interval.

For our second dive we dropped down into Merows, a personal favourite. This dive site is not used by too many dive centers, and it boggles my mind. The site is a bit a shallow reaching a max depth of 40ft but not all dives need to be deep. While swimming about we found 2 seahorses, 5 frogfish, a number of eels octopus and other reef dwellers.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids=”972,971,969,963,962″ gallery_captions=”This octopus was poised perfectly on top this rock blending in seamlessly.,Close up of an octopus eye,the cute little jeweled eel swam up to check us out while taking photos of the yellow seahorse,A cute and ugly couple,This yellow seahorse kept posing for my camera! ” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ fullwidth=”on” background_layout=”dark” hover_icon=”%%75%%” title_font=”||||||||” max_width=”85%” module_alignment=”center”]

 

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Dive Day 2: We have a new diver!

On day two we decided to dive Virador first. This dive site, like monkey head, has a large population of fish. It’s also great for rays of all kinds, turtles and sometimes sharks. We didn’t see any sharks on this dive  but we did see a big ol’Greenback turtle. the thing was huge, and quite majestic as he sat there posing for the camera. He even let my student get in on his photo shoot before he decided he’d had enough. Through out the rest of the dive we saw a number of rays as well.

Once again we returned to Merows for our second dive. However, this time to switch things up we went looking for a wreck. This dive site once has an old sail boat at 60ft that many turtles call home. The only problem is that it was destroyed by a shrimper who was trolling illegally. Since then no one likes to visit the wreck, even though the turtles haven’t left. Unfortunately, we were unable to find the boat as the visibility dropped as we headed deeper. Despite not finding the wreck the we had a great dive and saw many more seahorses and frogfish. Not to mention that after the dive my student was a Certified Diver!! WHOOP WHOOP!

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids=”970,966,965,967,968″ gallery_captions=”We were able to find this little seahorse again on day 2 of merows! ,Can you spot this tough turtles spunky little sidekick?,My Diver saw a HUGE turtle and we got pictures so i definitely counts!,This turtle didn’t mind at all as I got up close for an awesome photo,Spiderfish spider fish does what ever a spiderfish does. ” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ fullwidth=”on” background_layout=”dark” max_width=”85%” module_alignment=”center” pagination_font=”||||||||”]

 

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Day 3: The Fun dive

Our fist dive we dove at Tortuga. Tortuga is a local favourite and home to many white tip reef sharks. My student had told me he was a bit afraid of sharks, so we decided it was time for him to face his fears. As a new diver I couldn’t let him go home fearing sharks! On this dive we visited a pair of resident clown shrimp, a baby white tip and eventually Rusty II (an old wrecked fishing boat) where we fsaw a second white tip (a large female). On the dive my student got to see 2 sharks, and after we surfaced he decided that maybe they weren’t so bad. In fact, he told me he wished they’d gotten closer!

On the second dive we decided to go to another personal favourite, Corridas. This dive site is home to many species of ray and is usually a bed of nudibranchs and seahorses. On the dive we found a number of stingrays including one that was over a meter wide which is huge! And though we didn’t find any seahorses we did find 2 more frogfish and a tiny nudibranch!

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids=”975,974,973,961,960″ gallery_captions=”Checkout the beard on this frogfsh! I wonder when the last time he shaved was?,The deep plum purple of this frogifish makes me so happy,This bright orange swirly is a christmas tree anemone I’ve been trying to get a shot of these tricky devils for a while now!,This itsy bity nudibrank was no more than a couple of milimeters tall! ,Hanging out with my new diver on his safety stop” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ fullwidth=”on” background_layout=”dark” max_width=”85%” module_alignment=”center” pagination_font=”||||||||”]

 

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An Awesome Week

I couldn’t have asked for a better week! The diving was awesome the company was great and I got to spend time with family! Plus, I got to see seahorses and frogfish, two of my favorite little creatures. No to mention we have a new diver in the family! My favorite part of this week though is when we student said “I wish the shark had come closer.” So many people have a misunderstanding of these animals it is feels so amazing when I can help them over come that. Sharks have become so endangered due to shark finning that changing even one persons mind about sharks makes a difference.

Wanna Learn too?

If you want to learn to dive I have got a step by step by step guide on how to get started. The guide will help you decide on how to get started and which course option is best for you. Or, if you want to learn with me you can check out my services page, or even go ahead and contact me directly.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Image (author photo – square image)” align=”center” module_class=”dd-author-image” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ border_radii=”on|50px|50px|50px|50px” border_width_all=”3px” border_color_all=”#61e8a6″ max_width=”96px” custom_margin=”-50px|||” custom_css_main_element=”border-radius: 50%;” use_border_color=”on” saved_tabs=”all” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” force_fullwidth=”off” show_bottom_space=”on” global_module=”511″ src=”https://seareinascall.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IMG_5052.jpg&#8221; /][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.92″ background_layout=”light” background_color=”rgba(8,68,81,0.53)” custom_padding=”25px||25px|” text_orientation=”center”]

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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