Saturday, March 18, 2017

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Jacques Yves Cousteau

It began in Puerto Rico. On a family vacation in Rincon, we went to Playa Tres Palmas (Steps Beach), featuring one of the biggest elkhorn coral reefs in the Caribbean. Suited up with snorkels and fins, we floated the days away, and Number One Son (#1S) was enthralled.  If snorkeling had this much to offer, wouldn’t it be cool to scuba? 

#1S turned 13 the next April (the age required for dives greater than 60 feet), and we began the dive certification process.  It culminated with our open water certification in the balmy waters of the White Star Quarry near Toledo, Ohio.  Throughout the process, I kept reminding myself about something our classroom instructor said on our first day: “under the water, you will see more wildlife in the first 10 minutes than you are ever going to see on a 20-mile hike through the woods.”  I needed that quote to get me through the trickier parts of the certification, such as underwater mask removal and replacement, and navigating with the compass.

It took more than the quote to get us through our first open water diving, on Caye Caulker in Belize; it was God watching over us.  Drift diving from a small boat in strong current and low visibility; it is amazing that we ever attempted it again.  But, never ones to be put off by a challenge, we learned from the experience to choose a different environment and outfitter for our next dive trip.

Enter Living the Dream Divers and Grand Cayman.  (The name alone would inspire you to choose this dive company.  Number One Daughter keeps going back for the Rice Krispie treats.)  This March marks our fifth trip to Grand Cayman, and we have been thrilled with every aspect of our dive experiences.

Accompanying this post is just a handful of pictures that Spousal Unit has taken during our dives. 
(I still think the dive instructor was generous with my grade on the compass since I ended up on the bank of the quarry by myself.)
Yellow Tube Sponge

Loggerhead turtle
French Angelfish
Queen Angelfish

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