You know that old expression, “A family that plays together, stays together?” Well, with a tween and teen who both surpassed me in athletic skill in toddlerhood and a husband whose favourite thing in the world is playing any sport with our kids, I sometimes find myself needing to be a bit creative on how I can participate. I am OK being the cheerleader from the sidelines or the Queen of Boardgames but sometimes I want to try something new and exciting with my kids that we can experience together.
That was our goal this year when we decided, as a family, to check out scuba diving family vacations. This was something that was new to all of us – grown-ups and kids – so we were all on an equal playing field. We decided that the best bet for us was to start with a first step, the resort certification, to see what we thought before committing to the full certification process.
We did some research and found that there are a number of all-inclusives that offer resort specific certification programs. What this means is that, once certified, you are able to use this certification at any of the affiliated resorts without further training. We felt very comfortable with the PADI resort certification offered by Beaches and Sandals Resorts and knew that we would be back again to one of these locations in the future so it made sense. Plus, they offered two complimentary dives every day for those with full certification or a Beaches/Sandals resort certification. At the other resorts we researched there was an additional (and often significant) additional cost to dive.
So, after booking our vacation to Beaches Turks and Caicos we filled out the necessary paperwork and planned to schedule ourselves in early in our trip at just $90 per person. We also chatted with friends who were already certified to better understand what to expect and look out for.
I admit it, out of the whole family I was the most keen. I love snorkeling and am a strong swimmer. My teenage son was also all over it. My tween daughter and husband were less convinced but decided to do the certification and see how they felt.
After a half-day in the pool we were all certified and ready to hit the surf. We were pumped!
Here’s where the warning comes in; pool scuba diving is not the same thing as diving in the ocean. We had one down before we even hit the water. It was a very windy day and the waves made my daughter seasick on the boat. She was out. What a disappointment.
But she didn’t want us to miss out so the rest of us dove in what an adventure!
Although I don’t see myself as a scuba regular I am really proud of what we did. It felt great to try something new and do it together as a family. We can add it to our list of family firsts like zip lining, paddle boarding and surfing. What should we try out next? Because, we all know that a family that plays together, stays together.