Saturday, June 7, 2014

Rough Waters and Scuba

Gear ready!

Our St. Maarten excursion off the Disney Fantasy was the first ocean dive for Oldest Son and Youngest Son. We were quite excited about the two-tank dive. However, this inaugural outing did not go exactly as planned.

Our dive master prepared us for the dive and also gave instructions on the best place to get sick off the small boat (interesting call out.) Our first dive was at a depth of 60 feet and around a ship that had sunk during Hurricane Luis in 1995. We geared up, took a giant step off the back of the boat and descended. It was a wonderful underwater experience where we encountered a hiding nurse shark, circling reef sharks and a large eagle-spotted ray. Along with lots of tropical fish, we saw a barracuda with a hook and line hanging from its mouth! We saw a resting turtle up close and two frolicking (very Disney) turtles swimming around each other. Our dive master also took us through a short corridor of the ship where we saw the porcelain god; the boys thought that “sunken treasure“ rather humorous. We ascended with a three minute safety stop and climbed back up on the boat to move to the next dive site.

The sea was really, really rough. Youngest Son, who is prone to motion sickness, started hurling over the side. We do not tend to coddle the boys too much so we assured Youngest Son he would feel better when back in the water. Commuter Husband also explained to him what to do if he vomited in his regulator (breathing device) under water. We strapped on our tanks and reentered the ocean for the second dive. Youngest Son was not going down far so I went back up to help him. He could not clear his ears and equalize to make the 45 foot dive. Commuter Husband surfaced too and helped Youngest Son back to boat. Meanwhile, Oldest Son and I completed another terrific dive. By the time we got back in the boat, BOTH Commuter Husband and Youngest Son were extremely seasick. Thankfully we were back to dry land soon after and they recovered quickly.

Lesson learned: Youngest Son must take meds before entering small boats on rough seas. 

Our first stop when we got back on cruise ship! This container is "help yourself" at the health center.

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