Ever wondered if your kids would like scuba diving? Divya Nichani shares her personal experience as she introduces her son to this amazing activity.
My nine year old son Vivaan has been keen on trying scuba diving for a few years now. Last week, whilst on holiday in Maldives we finally felt he was ready to give it a try. We booked a dive through our close friend, Nitish Chengappa who runs a company called the Fleet Foot Adventures. Not only would it be his first time, he would be diving with his Dad and this made it very special for Vivaan.
We and a group of fellow enthusiasts flew to Male via Colombo. From here we flew to Dharavandoo Island, which has been declared by the UNESCO as a snorkeling centre for spotting Manta rays. Needless to say, we were very excited.
On the island, we stayed at the Avelya resort. The rooms were simple and we were pleased with the accommodation. After a quick check in, we went to the dive centre where we tried out the gear and equipment. We managed three snorkeling sessions with the mantas. Vivaan was thrilled with this and described the experience as akin to swimming in a beautiful aquarium!
The next day we flew back to Male where we took a speed boat to another island called Maafushi. This was a small, quaint island with a local population of approximately 1000. Since he was 9 years old, Vivaan qualified for the “Bubble Maker”course. This is a PADI certified course for children.
As expected, Vivaan was fired up but a little nervous about the dive. With a quick, comprehensive briefing, his dive instructor, Mahey calmed him down and after “trimming” his buoyancy belt, Vivaan was ready for his FIRST dive!! The dive lasted forty five minutes and he dove down to a depth of 6 feet. He returned to the boat totally exhilarated, full of tales of the underwater sea life he had seen.
The following day, after a little water sport activity, we sailed out to a dive site called Alimata. Here we dove at night with torches! We saw Giant Sting rays and at one point were surrounded by 60-70 nurse sharks! The experience was surreal. Vivaan even felt one of the sharks brush past him!!
It was now very obvious to me that my son was indefinitely hooked on scuba diving! This vacation was by far the most memorable one for my family!
If you’re passionate about scuba diving and you’ve got kids, there’s a good chance that you can’t wait to share the underwater world with them. Young divers can complete their first underwater experiences from the age of 8 years on the PADI Bubblemaker Course, while older kids and teens can embark on ‘Junior Open Water Diver Courses’ and beyond.
What is it?
The PADI Bubblemaker is an introduction to the world of scuba diving for children of 8 to 9 years old. They will get to have a go in the pool with full scuba gear under the direct supervision of one of their instructors.
Who can take part?
Children of 8 and 9 years old can complete the Bubblemaker experience. From 10 they can complete the “Discover Scuba Diving” taster session.
What does the course involve?
Kids get a chance to:
- Experience what scuba diving is like under the direct care and supervision of PADI Instructors
- Take their first breath underwater
- Learn about and use scuba diving equipment
- They will complete a few basic scuba skills, but the emphasis of the session is definitely on fun.