Big diving news from our household. Jake gained his Junior Open Water Certification two weekends ago. We knew Jake had an amazing time at Kids Sea Camp in St Lucia with Callistus Jackson and Keither Prospere participating instructors for Kids Sea Camp PADI Seal Team, but when birthday gifts were on the line would he choose certification training or the latest video game?
Even with the unpredictable times, we are living through, he chose thanks to Kids Sea Camp a PADI diving certification. Birthday gifts in the form of gift cards to our local dive shop Undersea Divers in Danvers, MA came in from friends and family. Being early May we were unsure when the shop would be able to offer certification classes again, but we had hope. Come July classes started back up and Jake was signed up for mid-August pool and ocean dives. The week before the pool sessions Jake tackled the PADI e-learning head-on, with most of it being refreshed from his Seal Teamwork the year prior.
Jake’s dive instructor from Undersea Divers was Larry Bettencourt, who was also my pool instructor the year before (I was fortunate enough to do my ocean checkout dives also with Kids Sea Camp in St. Lucia with Errol Lebrun), so I knew he was in capable hands. Every time Jake suited up there was a certain glow about him, and he seemed to wear a perpetual smile on his face. I’m shocked his jaw didn’t hurt afterward because of it. Then again I don’t blame him for me being poolside thinking, “It’s only the pool. . . but I’d love to suit up too.”
After the successful pool dives, the ocean dives were the following weekend. Even with a 5:30 AM wake up, Jake’s smile would not waver. The dives took place at Back Beach in Rockport, MA in low-tide, calm seas, and “warm” water (warmth is relative in New England). All participants successfully completed their dives, with many proud parents in attendance (five participants were no older than their mid-teens). As Jake exited the water beaming with pride as a newly certified Junior Open Water Diver, I placed a towel on his shoulders and gave him a huge hug. All I could think was that age-old Dr. Seuss classic, “Oh the Places You’ll Go. . . Diving”.
Please feel free to share with the crew at Scuba St. Lucia (I assume you have personal work email addresses for some of them) and we hope they and everyone in the Kids Sea Camp family is doing well and persevering through these times. We shall meet underwater soon enough.
P.S. And yes, Liam is rearing to go for his diving certification. . . in two years. Thank you for his Kids Sea Camp birthday postcard, it brought a smile to his face. Looking forward to diving with you in the future