Sunday, July 10, 2011

Beach Bum's Amphibious Kids

Way back in the ancient 1980's your truly was flush with money stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado while serving in the United States Army. At the time I was living in the barracks and when my fellow peacetime soldiers and I were not on some field exercise preparing for the Soviet invasion of western Europe we were looking for something to do. While I had more than my share of embarrassing escapades involving the fairer sex I did try and participate in a  few constructive activities. One of them was getting a PADI open water SCUBA certification, yes after living most of my life on the coast of South Carolina it took me moving to the middle of the North American continent to learn to scuba dive.  Life being what it is after leaving the active army, and no longer flush with money, I fell out of scuba diving but now with the kiddies getting a little older I'm looking to get back into it. Today both Darth Spoilboy and the newly minted Sith Lord Darth Wiggles took a "Discover SCUBA" class at a local pool. The above picture is Spoilboy with his gear on and getting ready to follow the instructor underwater. He is the one actually old enough for a formal certification and in a few months both of us will be in the open water class, for me it will be a refresher but I have not dived since 1992. I am so stoked right now I cannot describe it.      
As I mentioned Wiggles is quickly coming of age and I went ahead and awarded her the Sith title of Darth Wiggles. Her recent behavior has been "questionable" with me about ready a few times to go screaming off into the night over how frustrating she can be at the age of eight, God help me when she becomes a teenager. I actually believe she enjoyed the scuba class a little more than Spoilboy but she has to wait one more year before she can even begin to take lessons and even then she will be greatly restricted as to when and where she can dive.

I was actually rather surprised at how well both performed in the small class, Wiggles had some trouble with water entering her mask but cleared it underwater without any help, now that was rather spooky but she has always been a fish having learned to swim underwater before on the surface.  Spoilboy has a strong gag reflex like me but had no problem with keeping the regulator in his mouth. His one problem were the fins provided by the local scuba shop, they were a bit small for him. Needless to say I am already looking forward to some scuba trips down to Key West and other places, its going to be a blast!
video

18 comments:

Mike Williams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Williams said...

I recommend a light sabre and a return to the dark side O'B Bum. Seriously this is cool that you're getting your kids involved in this. I've spent almost all my life within a mile or two of an ocean. But I never learned diving or sailing and I don't fish. I did surf. But so much I missed. And my Kids too. Way cool.

Pixel Peeper said...

It does change your relationship with your kids when you discover something that you enjoy doing together!

Many of my coworkers are into scuba diving and tell me interesting stories. Not sure if it would be for me...I'd have to get one of those really expensive underwater cameras then.

Lowandslow said...

That looks like great fun. I'd love to try it myself, but all we have around here are muddy 'ol lakes. I understand your longing for some adventure....today K and I went and looked at kayaks. :)

S

Mr. Charleston said...

Sounds like fun. Back in the day when I did a little SCUBA you didn't take classes or get a certification. You just strapped on the gear and jumped in. A really fun place to dive is the Florida springs.

Sherry said...

Not much of a scuba diving fan. I'd actually have to go underwater for that and I have a slight problem with that since nearly drowning at the age of 4. There is a part of me that envies those who can dive because it must be beautiful down there.

Windsmoke. said...

There's not much call for scuba diving in my neck of the woods but it does look fun all the same. When ever my kids were near any beach, creek or dam we coudn't get them out of the water to go home, real water babies :-).

Liberality said...

Hey Beach! Nice pictures of the kids here and it does sound like a fun adventure and a nice way to bond with the them while you still can.

I have lived through two kids becoming teens and there were times when I thought I wasn't going to make it and be sane but we all survived and now my adult children are actually really nice people.

lime said...

glad it was a good experience for the kids. looks like you guys can have a great time together. mr. lime was certified years ago when we lived in trinidad. he wanted me to learn too but i gotta tell ya the whole idea of relying on that tank of air and the regulator scares the crap outta me.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Anything that Jane Russell would do an entire movie about ("Underwater") has to be at least pretty cool. I just wish that they would jig it to accommodate us dumb nose breathers.

Randal Graves said...

This is going to come in handy when, post-apocalypse, we'll have to scrounge the ocean floor for food & barter-worthy trinkets.

Pearl said...

What great opportunities for the kids!

Pearl

Akelamalu said...

One of my biggest regrets is that I didn't take the opportunity to scuba dive when we were in the Maldives - I often kick myself over it!

Bella said...

never been scuba diving, I really like to keep my head above the water if possible, I don't even like the shower...

Beach Bum said...

Mike: I'll do just about anything to break up the boring life here in the Midlands. Especially after a week of near slave labor working in and around the house.

Pixel: Scuba diving is a blast, its really a whole other world down there.

LowandSlow: Lake Murray, which is very close by, for years had WW2 bomber that crash landed in the lake that divers use to go see until the brought the thing back up. Can't honestly say any body of fresh water has my interest, I usually feel dirty after swimming in them.

Mr. Charleston: I'm looking into trips down to the Keys as soon as my son and I are certified.

Sherry: Have you tried any of the glass bottom boats? Back when the kids were small and could not do anything extreme we rode in a few and they were nice.

Windsmoke: My mom had that problem with me as a kids, we would go to the beach and when it came time to go I would run back into the water so we could stay longer.

Liberality: Had to award my daughter the Sith title, she was been a huge pain lately demanding much but not really helping out. In fact while we were trying to paint the rails on the backyard deck last week she had such a terrible fit to help out we let her just so we could try and finish before the day was out. As for her painting she got more on the deck than the rails, but we expected that.

Lime: When I had my own gear my regulator jammed open once but I just switched over to the spare on my assembly and slowly surfaced before the tank ran out.

Will: Not that I have ever used them but they have masks that cover the entire face.

Randal: Plus, we can go in the salvage business after the melting ice caps flood the coastal cities.

Pearl: It really is fun.

Akelamalu: Its never to late to go back and try.

Bella: My wife is the same way, she doesn't like the water.

R W Rawles said...

It's good to hear your kids are still wet behind the ears, Beach!

fourdinners said...

Only tried scuba diving once...I think I frightened the fish..;-)

Darth Wiggles eh? Like it!

Glen said...

I tried diving while serving on a NATO base out in Italy. Frankly Naples Harbor wasn't the best choice of intro into the world below the water line. I can't say I could see the appeal :-)