Galapagos Family Adventure poems

GALAPAGOS Poems

The Stookey Bunch (to the Brady Bunch theme)

This is a story
Of a family named Stookey
That was sailing with five very crazy kids
Christian and Nelson were so frightened
Until the KSC staff walked in
The kids were whining-
Putting on their thick wet suits
And the water was choppy, rough and cold
But when the sharks, rays and dolphins swam by
It was all worth while
Then the whale shark
Took our breath away
As he silently glided by
Then much too quickly the dive was over
And the strong panga guys arrived
Back to the ship for coco and snacks
We’ll  need to add more weights to our belts
But it’s all worth it to dive at Darwin
We wish it would never end
This is the end of our story
But not the end of our diving adventures.
Teaching our children to love the oceans
So they can protect it!     The End
By  Ken. Michele, Izzy Stookey

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The Quest

We came to Darwin’s Arch from far and wide
Hoping to see a whale shark, but so far been deprived.
The current is strong,
Our wait has been long.
We’ve seen eels, hammerheads. Tuna and even an eagle ray,
But our quest has been held at bay
Our parents promised us at least one
Before our trip to the Galapagos was done.
Nelson’s videos are awesome but not enough,
We want the real stuff!
We will listen closely for Christian’s shaker,
Only that won’t be a faker.
Tomorrow will for sure be the day
That  whale sharks did pass in the blue and made us say     HOORAY!!!!
By John Coniff, (12)  & Vanessa Clark

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The Galapagos
A long time dream
Finally enjoyed
With my kid
and all the members Of the friendly crew
Are showing us the wonders of this beautiful sea.
Hammers, “Galapagos” turtles and seals, dancing with the dolphins’
Surrounding me!!
And coming out of the blue, here is what we see,
A whale shark  for me.
By  Cristina & Carlos Castello

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Grand Moon
Grand moon
Beacon in the night
Bright
Cold
Alone
Mother Moon
Matron with the light
Bring  the whale shark home.

Yap with Manta Ray Bay Kids Sea Camp Family Week

 Dive Into Your Imagination it’s a Kids Sea Camp Sealife Week week in Yap at Manta Ray Bay!

Although I love scuba diving with adults, taking photos, producing, writing…and everything else we do at Dive Into Your Imagination to bring the ocean into the hearts and minds of kids, there is nothing more powerful than introducing a child to the unbelievable underwater world. I’m in Yap, an island in Micronesia, with Kids Sea Camp, a company founded by Margo Peyton designed with families in mind! The family camps run all summer long and throughout the year during holidays. This week we are at Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers. The family camps are the most amazing family holidays I have ever experienced. During the course of the week parents dive with parents and kids dive with other kids their own age. The teens that joined Kids Sea Camp this year in Yap all have SEALIFE cameras. We have been scuba diving together and I am training them to use their underwater camera systems, which can take both photos and video. On the first night we had an orientation and by the next day every family and all the kids had cameras in their hands. We had SEALIFE video lights and strobes to go with their cameras. In order to take great photos, you need to have excellent buoyancy. Before everyone went diving with their cameras, we did a buoyancy workshop to become more familiar with the equipment and the feeling of diving. When scuba diving we are weightless underwater and the more we are comfortable with the “feeling” of scuba diving, the better divers we become. Shooting photos and video on land can be challenging, taking the equipment underwater adds an entire new dimension to the experience.

The past two days we have been non-stop. After finishing a couple of boat dives with the families, I worked with three 9 year old kids to become SEAL team kids. PADI has a program in which kids 8 years old and up can start learning how to scuba dive. Scallywag Spencer, Captain Nick, and Tiger Shark Tionna took to the air tanks and scuba equipment like seasoned pros. We have successfully completed missions 1, 2, and 3 so the kids are already becoming familiar with their equipment. They have learned how to take the regulators out of their mouths, clear their mask and breathe from an alternate air source in case of any emergencies. The kids will go on to do the Master Seal program in Palau in which they will get to go on a scuba dive in the ocean.

Yap is the first country to become a manta ray sanctuary. Scientists believe shark and ray populations around the world are being threatened and many are endangered. Manta rays are in the same family as stingrays, but they have no stingers for protection. Manta rays only self-defense is speed and they cannot escape fishing nets. Both sharks and rays are targeted species by fisheries, yet if we do not create a moratorium on shark and ray fishing, there might not be any left. During the next two weeks we will be diving with sharks and rays. While learning about their biology, we will also be discussing what we can do to help protect them. Public awareness is the first step in corporate and policy change. I’m helping the kids get great photos and video, write stories, and discuss ways they believe they can share what they are learning with their friends and family. We want the entire world to have a Blue Heart Ocean Soul!


Keep Diving Into Your Imagination!

Ocean Annie
aka Annie Crawley

The most amazing 7 days of my life

Kids Sea Camp

 Palau

The wake up call pings in my ear, I slowly turn over to answer it, and it’s then I realize that this will be the beginning of the most amazing 7 days I’ve ever spent as a diver. I’m in Palau, Micronesia- the eight wonder of the world!

Although exhausted from the flight over from the west coast, through Honolulu, past Guam, Yap and finally after some 26 plus hours we all arrive. Upon arrival, the tired guests are met with a warm welcome in the airport and are then shuttled over to the hotel and they all check in and go straight to bed.

On Sunday morning, everyone jumps out of bed like a kid on Christmas morning.  Anticipation is running at an all-time high because today we are going to the world famous Jellyfish Lake. A quick boat ride, then a hike- 20 minutes up hill, 20 minutes downhill and at last, you see it- a beautiful, pristine lake tucked deep away in the Rock Islands- a lake filled with thousands of prehistoric jellyfish who do not sting, but wait patiently to be joined for an afternoon swim. Hundreds of years without any natural predators have enabled these angelic creatures to discard their protective stinging tentacles and live an almost uninterrupted life in Jellyfish Lake. We all don our masks, fins and snorkels and slip into the water. Being surrounded by thousands and thousands of these amazing creatures is truly incredible. There are so many jellyfish surrounding us- all we have to do is reach out our hand and we can feel one swimming by. This is something we will never forget.

Just when we think this day can’t get any better, we are treated to a fantastic snorkel trip at Palau’s famous Milky Way reef. Seeing all the beautiful, tropical fish sends our hearts soaring- this is truly paradise and we are so glad to be here. But the snorkeling isn’t the only cool thing about this spot- the shallowest point is made up of limestone mud, a wonderful fascinating mixture that was once exported to spas and salons all over the world. However, now, due to conservation efforts to protect this beautiful land, one must travel all the way to Palau to take advantage of its wonderful healing effects. We all cover ourselves in the mud and relax while we bake ourselves in the sun. Once the mud hardens we slip off the boat and rinse off asking one another- “Do I look ten years younger?”  After our “mud baths”- we all head over to a beautiful white sandy beach where we enjoy a fantastic lunch and a birthday party. Stefan is turning 12 years old. The afternoon is filled with cake and ice cream, songs and laughter, screams of delight and, of course a dip in the beautiful blue water.

That night everyone we all attended the Opening Ceremony, where we were all in for a wonderful surprise!  The President of Palau, Johnson Toribiong, was in attendance along with the Minister of State, Miniter of tourism, Cheif of Staff and Palau Visitors Association board members. The President gave a wonderful speech and then took the time to come around and visit with each kid! What an honor! How many people every get to say that they met the President? Dinner was fantastic and then we all sat down and watched a great performance by the Ngermid dancers. This trip has already been amazing- and its only the first day!

Monday is our first “dive day” and so everyone is up early to eat breakfast and then those that need to head over to Sam’s Tours to get fitted for their SCUBA PRO rental gear. Everyone sets up their gear and then gets on the boat to listen to their in-depth dive briefing. The adult and teen divers head out to begin their two-tank boat dives. Back at the resort, Sydney and Max are just starting the Jr. Open Water program. The SASY and Seal Team kids were having fun as well- learning skills which will help to make them great divers in the future and having a blast painting.

During the week, everyone gets a chance to paint and has a beautiful masterpiece to take home at the end of the week. Just something to remember the

Sydney and Max were All-Stars passing with flying colors and earning their certification on Thursday. This was extra special because Friday, was Family Day which meant diving with their parents. The SASY and SEAL TEAMS were in full stride learning the beginning stages of becoming a SCUBA diver. Graduating as Master SEALS were Sofia and Cam. Kids Sea Camp had total coverage with Nick and Tom from Sam’s Tours filming and taking pictures. Also flying around was Annie Crawley. Taking pictures, and video of all the families, kids in programs, candid shots and even working on a project of her own, Ocean Annie, “Dive into Your Imagination”.

The week continued to get better as kids graduated, friendships forged, and stories traded. For the divers, this is where heaven fell into the sea. They enjoyed dives at the “German Channel” which was home to Manta Rays, and other large critters. “Blue Corner” housed big sharks, Eagle Rays, and more Manta’s. “The Drop Off” was an incredible wall with Butterfly fish, Wrasses, Angels of all kinds, brilliant colored coral, Moray eels and much more. With each dive the on going mantra was, “that was the best dive ever”.

As the week began to come to a close each moment became increasingly precious. There was marine art throughout the week with Michael Gellinsky, treasure hunts for the SASY and SEAL TEAMS, informative talks with Marc from Sam’s Tours and Ron (  Lei )from Palau. There was movie night for the kids while adults went on a night dive. Friday arrived and the much anticipated Beach Party and Poems were finally here. This is always a wonderful way to wrap up a fun filled week at Kids Sea Camp. These poems are always full of comedic and serious takes on the week’s event and individual antics. Talent is always abundant filled of surprises and laughter. Each family writes a poem about their experience while vying for a DC1200 SeaLife camera as the winning prize for the best poem. This year’s 1st place and the DC1200 SeaLife camera belong to Jennie. 2nd place and a DC Mini to John, and 3rd and 4th place receiving a Body Glove dive bag go to Rainer and Sophia. This contest is always tough to judge for everyone has such a wonderful and unique view of the week. To Kids Sea Camp, all are winners!

Saturday was tour day and for most, a guided kayak tour through the Rock Islands sounded just right. Four hours of incredible sight seeing and exploration was breath taking. The tour ended at Mandarin Lake for some snorkeling. It was a perfect ending to a fabulous day. Saturday night was the closing ceremony at Sam’s Tour’s. Another feast, with awards to the SASY, SEALS and Jr. Open Water grads. Many “thanks” were given to Sam’s Tours and their incredible staff of instructors and crew. To Rogest for leading the trip and to Annie Crawley for all her work in capturing the week on film.

As the night came to a close all the families began to load onto the buses. Tears were shed, long hugs given, emails and phone numbers exchanged. Everyone knew that this   week will never be forgotten, their new friends missed, and their lives forever changed. For tonight they leave Palau, Micronesia.