Archive for the ‘Junior Open Water’ Category

Scuba Cat Diving presents our First Ever Guest Blogger Carlton Grooms

Posted on July 22nd, 2011 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  No Comments »

For more almost twenty years I coveted my Scuba certification.  Justifying a new hobby, especially one such as scuba diving, is impossible without including my wife.  Unfortunately she was uncomfortable in the water, let alone under it.  Add children to the mix and it becomes impossible right?  Not so fast.

I did gain my Open Water certification as did my wife, 11 year old daughter and 10 year old son.  Together we gained a new way to experience the beauty of life and the sea achieving it all with Scuba Cat Diving in Phuket, Thailand. I can’t say this would have come to fruition without Sarah, and the support of the entire professional staff.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Family Fun

Deb, Connor and Alexa

My wife, Deborah and I took our children, Alexa and Connor, out of school in the U.S. and embarked on a one year trip around the world.  Deborah is a professional portrait photographer and I a travel writer and filmmaker (http://www.coastlines-tanlines.com).  Together we set out to create a book of fine art, which we recently published called, “Portraits of Our World” (http://www.portraitsofourworld.com).

We wanted to avoid Europe and the typical destinations, instead focusing on Southern Africa, the Middle East, India, SE Asia and Australia.  We home schooled each step of the way using our daily life as the laboratory.  The value of the scientific education our kids received while completing the course of study at Scuba Cat Diving was unparalleled for their age.

We began our research as the phase of our trip that would take us to Phuket, Thailand  drew closer.  Sitting in a hotel room in the hills of Kerala, India I suggested we consider all getting our Scuba Diving qualifications.  My wife laughed, neither of the kids knew how to swim!  Oh yes, that swim problem…

Choosing the right company to do your certification with can be daunting.  We used our slow internet connection in India and were more confused then when we started.  Undeterred we came up with a short list, deciding to visit each once in Phuket.

Our first order of business after arriving in Phuket was to find a home to rent.  This minor detail dispatched we headed into town to sign up with one of the companies on our list.  We were immediately impressed with Scuba Cat Diving.  The staff was welcoming, the facilities were clean, the instructors professional and they showed great willingness to certify the kids seeing them as a wonderful challenge, not a burden.

We were never concerned with the classroom work for the kids.  They were doing extremely well in school, which is what allowed us to take them out in the first place.  We studied with them in the evenings after a spicy Thai meal and ensured they paid attention in class.  They completed all of their exams on their own, as required, with no issues.  There was still that swimming problem…

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  Junior Open Water

"like an elephant’s skin on a mouse"

Classroom complete and with the pool work next, Sarah gave complete focus on ensuring that the kids succeeded.  What patience and perseverance she had!  We had problems all around.  My son at 10 was no larger than most 7 year olds. With no fat on his body he would quickly become to cold to proceed.  The wetsuits were not small enough for him so we combined two at a time.  He looked like a miniature Michelin man.  Both my daughter and my wife struggled with the underwater mask clearing drill, to the point of both almost walking away.  Eventually my son did walk away, with one day to go, my hear sank.  He had no problem with the water, he was just too cold and fed up with it.  Keeping me in check, Sarah let him walk.  The next day she cajoled him into trying again, he agreed and ultimately passed the pool phase.  There was still that swimming problem…

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Scuba Diving for all the family

Will you be my buddy?

Once the pool is complete the open water work begins.  One must pass a swim test in order to enter this last phase.  Ours was to swim around the dive boat one time.  We could no longer put off that swimming problem.  Let me tell you what motivation can do for a soul.  We had the good fortune to rent a very nice home while living in Phuket, one with a large pool.  Every day after dive school, the kids would practice swimming in this pool.  When the big day came to swim around the dive boat they did with no problem.  My kids were ecstatic, my wife and I proud and Sarah relieved (that all her hard work had not been for naught).

The remainder of the dive course went without a hitch and the whole family gained their qualifications.  The kids were limited to depth for a few years thereafter due to their age but every operator we dove with honored their credentials.  I was so impressed with Scuba Cat I personally continued on to get my Advanced Open Water, Deep Diver Specialty, Wreck Diver and Enriched Air Specialty.  The only reason I did not gain more education was that my time in Phuket had come to an end.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Scuba Diving for kids

Certification complete - Smiles all around

Since their training Connor and Alexa have had the great fortune to dive on The Great Barrier Reef near Herron Island.  They also got their first night dive in Kona, Hawaii watching manta rays swoop over their heads.  The ray’s mouths were bigger than the kids.  Most recently they dove near Coiba Island in Panama, which is the northern most island in the Galapagos chain.

We are quite proud of our children’s accomplishments and experiences diving.  None of which would have been possible without the professional attention of Scuba Cat and most especially Sarah.  I recommend that if you are looking to learn to dive, refresh your skills or increase your certification you do it with Scuba Cat.  All I ask is when you are done diving for the day, you lift a cold Singha and mention me in a toast.

Scubacat Daytrip Diving in Phuket

Posted on July 12th, 2011 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  No Comments »

Scuba Cat Diving, Phuket, Thailand was renamed Scuba Kitten for the day !

Posted on July 11th, 2011 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  No Comments »

Yesterday the New divers on board MV Scuba Cat made all us instructors feel old!

Congratulations to our new New (Jr) Open Water Divers,

Ignatio J Moro Nieto, Spain age 13
David C Moro Nieto, Spain Age 15
Oscar Martinsson, Sweden Age 14
Patrik D Mitelski, Sweden Age 13

And not forgetting Ally O’Kearney who completed a Discover Scuba Diving with Scuba Cat for the 4th year, quite an achievement when you think she is only Age 12!

Thanks again to the instructors, Hielke , Claus and Francois for safely certifying the Next generation of divers

 Junior Open Water Course Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand

Scuba Kittens