Last week here at Oceans 5 PADI 5 start dive resort we did a Bubblemaker program. Bubblemaker is a PADI program designed for children from eight years and up, as the first step into the wonders of underwater world. As all PADI programs, Bubble maker combines the familiar elements of fun and safety and creates a secure framework for children to enjoy their first moments underwater.
We did the Bubblemaker program with two great Australian kids, Jimmy and her sister Cathy. Jimmy is ten years old and Cathy is eight, both kids were already excellent swimmers and very confident with water.
We started off by watching a video at Oceans 5 dive shop. Together with Richard, the father of the kids we learned a little bit of the techniques, equipment and safety issues related to diving. Soon it was time to move into the swimming pool. In the Ocean 5´s 25 meter long swimming pool we first got into our gear. The kids were wearing a full scuba kit with children´s size wetsuits, BCD¨s, fins and masks. Then it was time to start practicing. In the shallow part of the pool the water is only 80 centimeters deep, just enough to kneel down and gently put your face into the water to feel the sensation of breathing under water. This went really well, both Jimmy and Cathy were breathing naturally under water from the first seconds. Children are usually very fast to learn the basic skills of diving.
After a couple of dive skills it was time to move to the next level of the pool, were the depth is 150 cm. Here Jimmy and Cathy started to learn how to swim with scuba unit. We played a game called treasure hunt under the water, swam through hulahoops and enjoyed the weightlesness under water.
Then it was time for the highlight of the day: real dive in the ocean with Nemo, turtles and all kinds of beautiful fishes! For the dive we were accompanied by Gabriel, one of our skilled divemaster trainees. When working with kids the rules are very strict. Depth limit is two meters, and children are always in direct supervision of a certified Scuba Instructor. With Jimmmy and Cathy we did our dive at Turtle city which is a great dive site at the north side of Gili Meno. And what a dive we had! Already before submerging Jimmy spotted our first turtle! Just underneath us was a huge Hawkspill turtle munching corals, minding it´s own business. During the dive we said hi to Nemo, Dori and many other colourful fishes. We watched how the soft corals were waving in the current and how a giant Moray eel was opening and closing its huge, evil looking mouth in a hole between some rocks.
The dive took 30 minutes, after which it was time to go up to the surface and get back to the dive boat. The boat crew helped Jimmy and Cathy back to the boat and then it was time to get back to Oceans five dive resort on Gili Air. At the shore mummy and daddy were already anxiously waiting for their children to come back. They were greeted with huge grins and stories about the fishes, turtles, waves , and everything that they had experienced during the dive. What a day it was!
Both kids were really nice to work with, Listening carefully and following the instructions very well. As a souvenir both Jimmy and Cathy got an amazing Bubblemaker certificate to put on their wall back home.
At Oceans 5 we have a motto “diving for everyone” We love to dive with kids because they are always direct with their feedback, fast learners and their excitement spreads smiles to everybodys face.