Ornate ghost pipefish by Zebedee Wakely

KSC Spotlight on the Philippines with Zebedee Wakely.  A young boy with a passion for photography, he has been traveling with Kids Sea Camp every summer.  This year, Zebedee went with us to the Philippines, diving with Sea Explorers to Amun ini, Cabilao and Malapascua.  Zebedee decided to enter his Ornate ghost pipefish photo in the RSPCA photo competition.  He chose this Ornate ghost pipefish taken at Amun ini Beach Resort in Ando Philippines.  He won the 12-15 category of the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2016. Zeb has been traveling with KSC since he was 5, joined by his sister Holly and parents Dave and Cathy. Congrats, again!  They are featured in our 2016 and 2017 catalog.  We are proud to inspire, educate and connect children and their families from around the world.  Thank you Zebedee for sharing your adventures and passion with the world.  Young photographer of the year

Zebedee told his mom and dad, that he had submitted one of his photos for a photo contest, they had no idea how big a deal this really was.  Zeb has been shooting since he was 9.  Zebedee was inspired to start shooting underwater photography when he started attending Kids Sea Camp weeks with his family.   Zebedee has been to Yap and Palau, the Cayman islands, Bonaire, St. Lucia, Curacao just to name few of his Kids Sea Camp trips.  He started his own shark foundation at 11 years old in Bermuda where he lives after learning that 100 million sharks a year are killed for their fins.  Zebedee has a passion and a purpose, that drives him not only to shoot, but to make a statement.   He at a young age, captures, color, texture and design in nature that not everyone else can see.  Zebedee is 14 this year and he was our young photographer for the entire Philippines Kids Sea Camp trip.  More of his photos can be seen with #kidsseacamp on Face book as well as in our photo gallery on the www.familydivers.com site. Zebedee has a sister named Holly who is on the cover of our 2017 brochure and her story is located just inside.  Two amazing kids!  Kids Sea Camp provides Sealife HD 2.0 cameras for the kids and families to use throughout their trips.

Photo gallery:

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Diving Scholarships

Our 2017 Scholarships and Training Grants are now open for application. Deadline for submission is November 18, 2016 at midnight, U.S. Eastern standard time.
We are offering thirty-three scholarships and training grants in these categories:
• New This Year: Instructor Advanced Education
• New This Year: Scuba Leadership Training
• Marine Conservation
• Undergraduate Marine Research
• Underwater Archaeology
• Journalism, Graphic Arts, or Photography
• Marine or Underwater Education
• Public Safety Diving
• Dive Medicine
• Underwater Photography
• Basic Dive Training(Kids Sea Camp)
• Advanced Dive Training(Kids Sea Camp)
• Hardhat Dive Training
• Diver Medic Training
• Disabled Diver Training
• Dive Training for Students in ROTC, JROTC, Military Academy, or Sea Cadets
 
Please share the press release attached and/or the website link:  http://www.wdhof.org/scholarships/scholarships.shtml
Share it with other dive industry professionals, educational institutions, dive stores, dive buddies — any and all ocean minded individuals you may know.

How Kids Sea Camp has changed my life

How Kids Sea Camp has enriched my life: By James Devinney

Kids Sea Camp is one of the greatest program I have ever been a part of.  It is a  wonderful event that is like nothing else I have ever seen  I thoroughly enjoy seeing young kids learn to dive right next to their parents and siblings.  It has enriched my life greatly because through Kids sea Camp, I have been able to learn amazing skills, meet new friends and grow closer to my own family.

The first reason Kids Sea Camp has enriched my life is through all of the skills I have learned through each camp week.  My first trip was Grand Cayman I learned proper diving techniques, and how important underwater conservation is.  I learned underwater photography and first aid skills.   In 2016 I became a Dive Master at Buddy Dive Bonaire Kids Sea Camp week with Woody Tinsley. I learned about the science behind diving, what people look for in a leader, how to deal with people in distress and I learned so many new skills and how to teach them.  The knowledge I have gained at Kids Sea Camp has definitely enriched my life.

Another reason is the friends I have met each year. Thanks to Kids Sea Camp, I have friends all over the world.  I have met so many amazing people at Kids Sea Camp and made more amazing memories than I can count. I love that there are always other kids my own age and diving with other kids is so much fun.  I not only love making new friends, but I enjoy creating exciting new memories with my family and other adult divers.  An example of that is when I was in Fiji, Tom Peyton and myself were able to keep all the families and kids entertained and having fun by me playing the guitar and him singing.  We also played volley ball every afternoon.   One of my favorite Kids Sea Camp Instructors is Woody Tinsley, he is Hilarious and so much fun.  Woody teaches the Zombie Apocalypse PADI course and also was my Instructor for my PADI Dive Master Course.  He made sure that I learned every skill perfectly.  He is the kind of instructor I hope to be like one day.   He is only one of a great team of Instructors at Kids Sea Camp.  I can honestly say some of the greatest people I have ever met, I met through Kids Sea Camp.

The final reason Kids Sea Camp has enriched my life is because it has helped me grow closer to my own family through travel and diving together.  At our first Kids Sea Camp, my sister had never dove before and had no interest in learning.  I was able to convince her to try and overcome any fear she had.  After she was certified, she and I and our whole family love diving and traveling with Kids Sea Camp and Margo & Tom.

What is even more special in my eyes is being able to dive with my little brother Jason.  He has a passion for the sport just like the rest of our family and there is nowhere els in the world I can think of that will teach someone his age to dive.  Jason is currently a PADI Seal and with Kids Sea Camp gets to dive in the ocean.  We would have normally had to split up our family and not been able to include Jason.  At Kids Sea Camp, I get  to dive with my little brother and the whole family together. So Kids Sea Camp has not only enriched my life, but the lives of my entire family.

Any family would clearly see how amazing Kids Sea Camp is. I think its one of the greatest family vacations in the world! It gets families to unplug and reconnect with each other through adventure and fun. It makes me grateful for my family and the smiles and memories that we create with each other.    I wish there were more people like Tom and Margo because they make the world a better place.  Margo has a passion for kids and diving and the ocean and she loves teaching kids and family members to dive and love the ocean from the youngest age of 5.

My life is forever changed and enriched because of Kids Sea Camp and I love to travel and dive and will continue to do so for many more years to come. I hope to become a dive instructor and work for Kids Sea Camp so I can become apart of enriching other people lives too.

James Devinney  Aug 2016

Davinney family Kids Sea Camp Bonaire

Davinney family Kids Sea Camp Bonaire

The new 2016-17 Magalog is available

It’s time to start planning for 2017

KSCMAGCOVER
Every year we produce a magazine/ catalog for the coming year. We call it a “Magalog” — half magazine, half catalog. The KSC “Magalog” this year is over 60 pages with great photos, heart-felt personal stories and a little bit of marketing  — or a whole lot of marketing depending on your point of view.
The Magalog is a little old school and really looks great in the printed form with all the amazing photos from Margo’s SeaLife camera or images we receive from our clients. This year we were very honored to have amazing photos from Brad Holland and Allard Van Der Graaf gracing the pages of the publication. Both are excellent photographers, a big “Thank You” from the entire KSC team to Brad and Allard.
We also have KSC articles from Alyson Herzig, Julie Wettstein and Zebedee Wakely. We love having our clients so inspired by their Kids Sea Camp experiences that they feel a need to sharing with us. It just making doing all the work a little bit easier know our little company is more than a vacation or maybe more than a business.

The Magalog has a major improvement from last year as we have included 2017 dates. We have learned over the year’s that families that dive plan ahead — way ahead. As we are already taking bookings for the Wakatobi (almost sold out) and our new weeks at Dominica with Buddy Dive and Fort Young.

Look for an updated version of the Magalog in mid May as we are adding two new clients in 2017.
  1. Mexico: Liveaboards, the Quino El Guardian and the Rocio Del Mar to our family-friendly diving companies for FDA and Kids Sea Camp. We are working on adding the weeks as we speak.
  2. Dominica: Buddy Dive has teamed up with Fort Young in Dominica and we are headed to this tropical paradise in Spring Break and one summer week.
  3. Sallie: We will be adding a wonderful story written by Liam Sallie about the impact Fiji had on him last year.
  4. Grenada: We are sending a special KSC team to check out True Blue Bay Resort in Grenada. Expect news about KSC adding Grenada in 2017 or 2018.

Here’s the PDF’ for your viewing enjoyment

2016KSCMAG

 


 

Family Trippin in Micronesia with Kids Sea Camp

Yap and Palau: Divers paradise and whole-family eco-adventure must sees

Story and photos By Brad Holland

Manta Ray Bay Resort, Yap. 2016
Yap

Yap and Palau have the strongest cultural bonds in Micronesia, are geographically next door to
each other and both offer unique family travel opportunities. Come here for the natural beauty,
island culture and iconic diving in marine sanctuaries on an eco-adventure.
The Micronesia experience is embodied in nature, culture and conservation. Yap and Palau put
an exclamation point on your family’s trip with something for everybody, divers and non-divers
alike, in a traditional or developed setting.

 

Although these destinations have a lot of advanced diver allure, they come with special cultural
and land-based opportunities for every traveler — nothing says bring the whole family more
than non-diver adventures that rival the experiences of Vertigo, Blue Corner or an Oolong
Channel drift.

 

Each day of a Family Divers package has eco-activities for small children, teen and adult non-
divers — In Yap and Palau that means kayaking through the rock islands or a rich mangrove
forest, taking a WWII history tour or visiting a traditional village, being “local” for a day – learning
about village life or a traditional skills and engaging people on a unique cultural excursion –
enjoying a private beach, snorkeling with manta rays, reef sharks, chambered nautilus and giant
clams, discover scuba diving and blue water fishing, to name a few.

 

Yap will help you forget about bling and the busy world. Here you’ll find a mix of fellow
adventure travelers relaxing in the natural energy that comes with visiting an undeveloped
island. Your world shrinks down to 38 square miles of mangroves and gold sand beaches with a
rainforest backdrop speckled in coconut trees, and your front yard is an glass lagoon. It won’t
take long until nature’s rhythm dominates and you’ll notice your body feeling the tide changes
and the afternoon sun falling behind the island.

 

Yap and Palau offer our modern lifestyle some counterbalance – busyness and our multi-tasking
world gives way to the moment and you might find yourself feeling and trying something new to
you – after all, that’s why we travel, to learn something, engage ourselves and embrace the
world we live in.

 

This is where family time includes understanding our eco-system, what threatens it and what we
can do to change that – then diving or snorkeling with protected animals. Yap and Palau have
taken big steps in marine conservation through locally grown island initiatives. Yap established
the world’s first government-backed manta ray sanctuary that now includes shark and turtle
protection, legislation that leads to these animals safely interacting in uber close proximity of
divers everyday.

 

Kids Sea Camp safely mixes kids and sharks through education and adventure via local marine
mammal experts and professional dive guides in Yap. “Vertigo” is a blue water classroom where
divers of all levels safely interact with schools of reef sharks on a wall dive. Before entering the
water divers and snorkelers learn about the site, shark behavior and how to safely observe and
photograph these animals, as a family.

 

Get some blue sky and clear water “me time” through careful activity planning. Parents dive on
a private boat and dive plan, kids dive with extra guides on their own boats at different sites and
non-divers begin their adventure right after breakfast – paradise for all ages, in and out of the
water, all day.

 

Mixing it up brings the family together in the middle of the adventure. See your kids in a village
on their surface interval and they might tell you that they just swam with a whale shark, while
you show them a local craft that you made at the village center.

 

At the end of the day, photography lights up the dinner table on the backs of SeaLife cameras,
smart phones with GoPro footage or tablets being passed around, while only fragments of the
stories can be heard through the excitement. Parents, kids, divers, non-divers… everyone gets
their adventure, whether you went to the reef, eco-touring, fishing or got your zen on at the spa.
Yap and Palau; do them both and get two countries, two islands, two cultures… in one vacation.
kids-sea-camp-scuba-diving kids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-manta-rayskids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-whalekids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-shark

 

YAP Wow is all I can think right now.

kids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-

Kids Sea Camp Yap & Palau

kids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-whale

An amazing Whale shark in Yap on the surface with very happy Kids Sea Campers.

kids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap

Julie Wettstein

Wow is all I can think right now.

We are a family of five, submerged in the beautiful turquoise waters of Yap: a tiny island, off the beaten path for sure, located in the Micronesia. You see, we live in Hawaii, so when I contacted Margo Peyton with Kids Sea Camp the bar was set pretty high for taking a family vacation. Margo guided us through a magical family adventure that we will, like her tag line said, remember forever.
I am surrounded by a pristine reef and schools of fish, many of which are large and pelagic. On the list in Yap was sailfish, reef sharks, manta rays and a whale shark. As I descend with my family into the sea below a euphoric feeling overcomes me. But what really is on my mind is the fact that all of my daughters are getting this experience along with my husband and myself together. It is amazing to have us all be experiencing this amazing, beautiful, untouched, unspoiled, majestic destination together.
Moments to remember forever: My youngest daughter, Emma, floats above my head and dives down for a high-five as she is only 7 right now and is still dreaming of the day she can officially dive with us. For now she is snorkeling with sharks and learning about the ocean. The view she is getting is fantastic. She is being circled by schools of fish and small white tip reef sharks. She shoots me a huge smile and a great big Shaka from the surface and an OK signal. She is totally stoked to be part of this!
Sierra is out in the blue, following in her dad’s footsteps with her camera just waiting for that chance to log the perfect shot. She is in the zone: perfectly focused and ready for the shot. She signals me a huge OK and I know all is good. Her wish is granted as a juvenile whale shark poses inches from her lens and she has the shot.
Jos is busy being Brad Holland’s photo model. The perfect fit: a teen diver that has her buoyancy and diving down like a master diver. She is so into the dive that she doesn’t even notice all of the attention she is getting from the photographer. During the one-hour time frame that she gets to spend with the loves of her life, manta rays and sharks she is in heaven. She’s soaking in the experience. These moments at Kids Sea Camp are magical.
Jeff is taking the opportunity to spruce up his photography skills and is loving it as well. He has been spoiled by having a professional photographer spend a week with him, sharing tips of the trade. He is stoked to be using his newly found skills, and I even have a few photos of him taking photos which is rare since he is always the one shooting the photos (thank Brad for that).
And me, I’m just thrilled to share this unforgettable journey to Yap and Palau with my family. This type of experience cannot be purchased in a store or found in some prepackaged deal online. It’s not going to be on a cruise ship or in a theme park. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity created and personally hosted by Kids Sea Camp for us to all connect and embrace the majesty of the underwater world. We don’t have to say a single word, we just look at each other and smile when we surface. We all know what each other feels, it’s written all over our faces.
This is the perfect family experience and one of many Kids Sea Camp offers. A trip of a lifetime. Thanks so much.

 


 

The peace of Kids Sea Camp

Even a non-diving mom loves Kids Sea Camp all year round

Allie Martin splashing in the surf on the shores of Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia.

Allie Martin splashing in the surf on the shores of Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia.

Article by Janet Martin, two-time Kids Sea Camp family and a non-diver

So, I wanted to tell you about two things that happened to me today that reminded me of Kids Sea Camp.  In fact, to be truthful there is really not a day that goes by that someone in our family doesn’t speak of Kids Sea Camp. 

It is now August 15, this morning when I woke up and went downstairs to the kitchen to make coffee, I looked out the window and what I saw were the subtle changes of the season.  The color of the water was different, the wind was blowing the trees differently and when I opened the door the air had a crispness to it and it smelled different — it smelled like fall! Ahh! I love fall, but, it means winter is just around the corner.  I am not a fan of winter. I try to embrace it but my thoughts always return to Kids Sea Camp. I think of Kids Sea Camp and I’m a non-diver, that’s how amazing the weeks are.

Isaac Martin enjoys his seal program at Kids Sea Camp St. Lucia.

Isaac Martin enjoys his seal program at Kids Sea Camp St. Lucia.

The second thing that happened was with my son.  We went to get the mail and he received an envelope from PADI!  He was beyond excited.  Enclosed was his PADI Seal Team card. His smile will be in my memories forever. He is a PADI Seal because of Kids Sea Camp.  Kids Sea Camp is special to us.  Perhaps that is why we think of it often.  Our children can now explore and experience things in life that before they would not have had the opportunity to do. 

My name is Janet Martin, my husband Tim and our two children Isaac (8) and Allie (5) would like to tell you about our experience with Kids Sea Camp.  It has taken me a long time to focus and figure out what Kids Sea Camp means to me. I have had a lot of thoughts go through my head, but I keep coming back to the word Peace. Kids Sea Camp means Peace to me.  Sort of silly I know, because you would not naturally put these two things together.

Our journey with Kids Sea Camp began with a desired need to get back into traveling.  After the long winters everyone has endured on the North East Coast.  We were looking for a vacation that we would be happy, comfortable, accommodating and of course, Tim has to dive. 

I will often read my husbands dive magazines (being a non-diver) to see what is happening in the dive world. I came across a Kids Sea Camp advertisement and said to Tim, “What do you think about this?  Should we call and see what this is about?”  (Keep this in mind, this is not something we would ever do.)  Curious and desperate to find a solution he called (I believe several times!).  We had a lot of questions.  The Martin’s are thoughtful and practical decision makers; we fail horribly in the “quick decision maker” department. 

So, in July 2013, The Martin’s did something they have a hard time doing — we took a leap of faith and went to Grand Cayman at Cobalt Coast for the Kids Sea Camp experience, in return we got Peace. We finally got Peace. Kids Sea Camp literally changed our lives forever.  It was one of those, “Ah Ha” moments, or for some, one of those handful of moments that has affected them.  Corny, I know, but it’s true. 

When I arrived in the Grand Cayman for the first time, I still remember the feelings I had on the first morning.  I was amazed and in awe.  All that was going through my head was the fact that all of these kids do this with their families, they are happy, they get along and these kids can dive!  I want this for my children.  I want Tim to dive with Isaac and Allie.  I was getting more excited by the moment.

It amazes me still that kids can dive! I wanted this for my children so badly I was somewhat obsessed about it.  I spoke of diving and Kids Sea Camp all year to Tim.  I know he was tired of me talking about it.  But, I felt Isaac and Allie had found their “thing”.  Really, I was so happy.  We live in a small rural area with limited opportunities.  We essentially have to create opportunities for our children and this is an opportunity that I am glad we chose. 

Kids Sea Camp’s goal is to take care of you and everything was taken care of.  They provide a safe diving haven for families.  Everyone at Kids Sea Camp had the same goal for their families, this is something that we really appreciated.  We were so happy about this vacation that went back in 2014 and again to St Lucia in 2015. Tom and Margo Peyton secured the worries, which ultimately led to peace. 

Kids Sea Camp was run like a well-rehearsed orchestra.  I don’t know how else to describe it.  It was a beautiful weeklong masterpiece.  Everything just worked.  Every beat and note was perfectly in place.  Tom and Margo are constantly making sure everything was perfect. 

At the end of Kids Sea Camp in St Lucia at Anse Chastanet, Isaac, only eight, was able to have his first 12-foot dive with his instructor and his father.  WOW!  The thought makes me speechless and happy tears come to my eyes.  Allie was in the SASY unit looking and swimming with the resident reef fish.  Her week in St Lucia allowed her to find her “inner fish” and become even more passionate about animals and sea life.  Her happiness gives us peace. 

Kids Sea Camp has become (in our lives) this thing you do every year.  People need to go to the dentist, eye doctor, hairdresser, get new shoes, the Martins need to go to Kids Sea Camp.

For us, like every one, time is precious.  Vacation time for us is hard to get, so planning a vacation with our precious time is stressful. Kids Sea Camp has given us peace about our time. Peace, for our family, has come on many different levels.  Tim is able to go diving and not have the worry of me or the kids — I’m at peace.  He is under the water to escape from his mind and responsibilities — he’s at peace.  I know where my kids are and who they are with. Tim is diving, food is great, place is great — I’m at peace. The kids can come and go, eat drink, meet new friends, dive, play and learn —  we are all at peace.

Sometimes it is big moments that change our lives — births, deaths and marriages.  Sometimes it is people, weather or situations.  I can honestly say Kids Sea Camp is one of those moments for us.  The people we have met, the experiences all have contributed to the Peace we desired for our precious time.  Peace…it’s important, it will change your life…its good for you.

The Martin family, Tim, Janet and their children daughter Allie and son Isaac.

The Martin family, Tim, Janet and their children daughter Allie and son Isaac.

The Martin’s call their home in Wilsons Beach, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada

Kids Sea Camp: The new normal for family travel

Pondering a New (and Adventurous!) Health and Safety Normal in Family Travel

By Margo Peyton, President of Kids Sea Camp and Family Dive Adventures

Galapagos, Kids Sea Camp, family adventures, family vacations

Kids Sea Camp has been taking families on high adventure vacations like our Galapagos weeks for 15 years.

(This article appears on the the Family Travel Association website.)

The seas of the Galapagos always have a powerful surge and swell. The waves crash against a rough and rugged shoreline. The unbridled brutality of the sweeping volcanic landscape rises up from the rawness of the Atlantic Ocean in this remote part of Ecuador.

With this in view and in mind, I ask “You ready?” to my 16-year-old son. We’re sitting on the edge of a large rubber dinghy in 5mm wetsuits with hoods, gloves and full scuba gear.

“Let’s go!” he responds, his eyes beaming with excitement.

I smile, admiring this fearless kid. Here we are in the middle of heavy seas, 600 miles from the shores of the mainland, and he’s locked and loaded for one of the most exciting shark dives in the world.

With a sweeping gesture at the surrounding ocean, the dive instructor, who has completed his briefing, jocularly shouts “The pool is open!” His instructions are: make a military role off the dinghy, descend slowly to 60 feet and then swim through the heavy current to a rocky pinnacle, where we are to grab hold and wait. Wait for what drew us here – hammerheads and a few Galapagos sharks.

All the family divers on the small craft – parents and kids alike – shove regulators in their mouths, secure their face masks and roll backward into the choppy water. We swim and float down 10 feet, then 20 feet, then deeper to our maximum depth of 60 feet. It is calmer beneath the waves. I can see that my son too is pleased to be off the boat.

We edge over to the pinnacle and do as instructed. And, sure enough, out of the blue abyss they come – first a school of a hundred hammerheads, then, passing just a few feet above our heads, a large Galapagos shark. To cap it all off, as we do our safety stop in 15 feet of water at the end of the dive, a young 25-foot (that’s small!) whale shark glides slowly by, seeming to inspect us as much as we marvel at its grace and ease.

Establishing a New Normal

Some would say that what I’ve just described is terribly dangerous, for adults let alone children. Others might say that asking me to write about keeping children safe and healthy while traveling is, well, almost insane. But, while these kinds of adventurous experiences are fairly normal for my family and others with whom we have traveled, it is no less standard for us to take any child’s welfare and security very, very seriously, whether we’re trying challenging things or traveling to less remote and more sedate vacation destinations, such as Bonaire, Grand Cayman, St. Lucia and more.

And so, while we recognize that mainstream travelers are more preoccupied by (still important) safety and health considerations like how to stay hydrated and fed with reliable food and water, how to secure valuables, where to purchase trustworthy travel insurance and even when to apply sunscreen, we deeply wish that the notion of adventurous family travel – actually, of any kind of family travel – didn’t strike to the heart of their deepest fears.

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