Days away from Fiji (time) and Kids Sea Camp magic

Fiji: The reunion tour 2015!

It has been a while since Margo and I were in Fiji. The last week we were there was 2009 at the wonderful resort of Castaway Island on the Island  of Malolo. Fiji was the start of this grand Kids Sea Camp adventure Margo and I have been on since we meet ten years ago this coming February. It is our honeymoon island.

Margo and Tom Peyton  celebrating their first year in Fiji in 2007 at the Castaway Resort. For Tom a lot less grey and wrinkles eight years ago. Margo, an amazing ageless wonder still looks gorgeous today.

Margo and Tom Peyton celebrating their first year in Fiji in 2007 at the Castaway Resort. For Tom a lot less grey and wrinkles eight years ago. Margo, an amazing ageless wonder still looks gorgeous today.

Fiji is a cherished place for us. A place of deep connectivity to the vast blue vistas and complete centering silence of the islands. It is, indeed,  a special trip for the Peyton’s. It is a place where time seems to slow way down, you stop worrying, you ponder the distance future far less, you enjoy the sunset just a little bit more and you can feel the stress of our normal, crazy everyday life leaving your body. Margo and I call this phenomenon “Fiji Time.”

Margo has also called it “kava time” but that a whole different story.

Fiji is also a smile factory — as the Fijians always seem to be happy, so helpful and incredibly gracious to the vistors that travel to their stunning country. In fact, “welcome home” is a common phrase used by the islanders in their first greetings of the tourists.

“Welcome Home” how many times have you used that phrase when strangers arrive to your abode — probably very not often. And like a “home away from home” it has a habit of creating connecting points that change the “vacation” to something much larger — something deeper. I have lost track how many Kids Sea Camp families have left Fiji with tears in their eyes. Tears of joy of being so welcomed by the Fijian people. Tears of a remembering of how good we all can be — if we try — just a little. It is a special place for our KSC families.

And as the countdown in the office starts for the new Fiji week at Beqa Lagoon Resort this year. I can’t not stop myself from hoping and wondering if “Fiji Time” will sweep over the two KSC weeks and make some more Kids Sea Camp magic.

I know I’m looking forward to it.  See you there. Here’s the past images from Fiji.

The mid-summer Kids Sea Camp diving report

The first ever Kids Sea Camp diving report

Here’s a brief summary how the diving has been on the KSC weeks in Bonaire, St. Lucia, Grand Cayman and Palau this summer.

A beautiful image from Kids Sea Camper, Suellen Girard of a sponge in St. Lucia during the week at Anse Chastanet.

A beautiful image from Kids Sea Camper, Suellen Girard of a sponge in St. Lucia during the week at Anse Chastanet.

Bonaire, Buddy Dive:

Squid swimming by at Buddy Dive's house reef at during our June week.

Squid swimming by at Buddy Dive’s house reef at during our June week.

Strange and stronger than normal currents and lower water temperatures all week. It was the first time in 30 trips to Buddy Dive Resort in Bonaire that we did some “real” drift  diving. Normally the currents are passive and not very strong — this summer Margo and I were surprised by the Un-Bonaire like currents on a few of the dives.
Typical great reefs and excellent diving: Outside the odd ocean conditions the diving was wonderful, spotted eagle ray, loads of turtles, frogfish, squid and seahorses.
Water temps: Ranging from 77 to 80.

St. Lucia, Anse Chastanet:

Our Sealife and ScubaPro rep., Fraser Purdon chasing a photo of the Kids Sea Camp teen divers doing their checkout dive at St. Lucia.

Our Sealife and ScubaPro rep., Fraser Purdon chasing a photo of the Kids Sea Camp teen divers doing their checkout dive at St. Lucia.

The shallow diving was outrageous. I was on the teen boats a lot during the week and the reefs and marine life were abundant and diverse. Numerous sightings (almost every dive) of eels, large seahorses, lionfish (some very large), lobsters and frogfish. A few adults reported a flying gurnard on one of the dives — but no photo proof was provided.
Side note: My fellow Kids Sea Camp divers, including me would also come up on every dive saying,” There are fish down there I’ve never seen before.” Now does that mean there are new species of fish in St. Lucia never before seen — maybe. Or maybe it’s eager divers surrounded by amazing diving that is close to pristine.
Water temps: Ranging from 80 to 83.

Palau, Sam’s Tour:

Great image from Margo Peyton of a clownfish during the KSC week in Palau.

Great image from Margo Peyton of a clownfish during the KSC week in Palau.

Margo is reporting tremendous diving this week in Palau — for Margo, a woman with over 5,000 divers that’s saying a lot. But it’s still just the Palau normal, sharks (did you know there are over 130 species of sharks in Palau) and numerous mantas sightings.  Jelly fish lake was amazing as always.
Water temps: Ranging from 81 to 83.

Cobalt Coast & Divetech, Grand Cayman:

Carolyn and Melissa Guarino are hosting this week and are loving what they are seeing in the warm and clear water of Grand Cayman. Normal excellent Cayman diving, nurse sharks, turtle, peacock flounders, eels and of course lots of rays.
Water temps: Ranging from 81 to 84.

 

Check out more images at our Family Dive Adventures gallery

Fiji weather and water report

We are days away from Kids Sea Camp’s return to FIJI and our company is excited to be traveling back to this South Pacific paradise. It’s winter time in Fiji so I’m including a brief and suspect weather and water conditions forecast.
Weather conditions:  Highs mid 80’s and lows in the upper 60’s
Water temps: Ranging from 75 to 80. (A little chilly, so bring your 5MM if you get cold)
If you have any questions I’m in the office until next Wednesday 1.803.419.2556

The Bonaire Poetry winners

Let it go! Steals the show!

What a first poetry contest of Kids Sea Camp of the KSC summer! We had everything; deep thoughtful, personal and funny poems — and then we had Tanya Conklin.

Kids Sea Camp, Poetry, Buddy Dive, Bonaire

Tanya Conklin enjoys the joys of her families first Kids Sea Camp vacation in Bonaire at Buddy Dive Resort.

Tanya Conklin, the mother of two beautiful daughters was quiet and reserved all week. Pleasant, kind and (well, just a very nice unassuming person). She had a smile on her face all week and said “good morning” at breakfast everytime she saw me.

But on poetry night, Tanya blasted into Frozen’s “Let it Go” with such force everyone was awestruck. Not only was it the best performance of the night, it might well be one of the best performances of the KSC summer. Tanya Conklin really knows how to “Let it go.”

(To the tune of Frozen’s Let it Go)

The wind blows strong on Bonaire tonight
Not a frogfish to be seen
It’s a kingdom of wrasse and blennies
Look, there goes a Queen
The current’s raging like the kids at drop off time
I know they would like it
If only they would try
I must get in
I must go see
Be the good diver I always have to be
No touch, No take
The rules for me
I’m free!
Down Below 
Down Below
Can’t stay topside anymore
Down Below
Down Below
Put my gear on and giant stride
Here I dive in the night or day
Let the boat capsize!
Depth never bothered me anyway.

Tanya Conklin


Sacred Shapes

by Jess Reese

In an arid world, searching for a Golden Mean.
The maple’s triangle, Orion the Hunter’s hourglass,
The river’s sinuous serpentine.
This thirst is only quenched in a drenched domain.
Lost in the labyrinth of boulders.
Transfixed by a jelly’s translucent shoulders.
Ascending the spirals of feathery Christmas trees,
I marvel at the harmony of spheres,
And allow myself to be seduced by the symmetry
Of encrusting creatures.
The perfect circle of the inhale and the exhale.
God’s Geometry.
 
-Jess Reese, 6/25/15
Bonaire; Kids Sea Camp

Vernon White’s Poem:

Cow fish, hog fish

Eels, oh my!

Then it appeared:

Charlie’s giant eye!!

I swam, he swam

I looked, he looked back at me

Two bodies, enjoying the Carribean sea

Thanks Kids Sea Camp!


 

Jackie Horak’s Poem:

New friends, new swims

Scuba = Yes!

Smoothies, parrot fish

Donkeys = Check!

And glass-bottom jellyfish fields =

Let us never forget!

Thank you Kids Sea Camp!


Life Is (by Darrel Reese)

Life is

    a series of splashes

smiles hidden by snorkels and masks

giggles heard only by fish

Life is

    a descent into the unknown

leaving a trail of bubbles

the sorrow of certain ascent

Life is

    the sinuous swim in seeking

a slow paddle of curiosity

dances choreographed in a universal language

Life is

    a feeding frenzy

a spectrum of fleeting apparitions

memories recorded by the circuitry of eye and mind

Life is

   the clink of conversation

classy stories and classless jokes

beacons of light painted on a dark canvas

Life is

    an album of many collections

filled with personal reflections

shared celebrations and disappointments

Life is

the inhale at sunrise

meandering footprints in the sand

the exhale of sunset

Life is fun

    Life is family

Family is life.


Kids Sea Camp in Bonaire

Is my June affair.

Diving first time at age 12 is

Serious fun under the Sun.

Sure we feel we’re on the run,

Early morning after we rise,

Adventure is ahead of us.

Campers we all are,

Adults and kids alike.

Make the best of ourselves,

Pack away fun and experience.

Written by Daniel and Zsolt Orban, read by Daniel