When I was 10 a made a big mistake by reading the book Jaws . This mistake was then greatly compounded by later watching the movie. Those two things have kept me out of the water most of my life. The problem is that I absolutely love the ocean, especially the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas. So when we arrived at Club Med and someone suggested Scuba diving my first reaction was not even with a gun to my head. As the week wore on, however, I mentioned the idea to my 11 and 13 year olds and they were totally gung ho, so it was time for dad to cowboy up and get into the water.
Since this was my first experience in open water (made even more fearful by the stories of other guests who had been on the dives and were constantly bragging about seeing sharks that were longer than my car) to say I was nervous is a huge understatement. The water gods were smiling on me however because we got the best scuba instructor out of the whole crew at Seafari and one of the best overall teachers I’ve ever met, Aaron Lee.
Aaron immediately put us ease, made sure we understood how to setup and use our equipment, explained what was going to happen and how we should react and even explained sharks in such a way that I was actually a little excited to see one - maybe.
Since this was an intro to diving class, we went with the snorkeling boat and were only going to go down to about 15 feet. My wife and I had no problem getting down, but our kids were having issues clearing their ears. Aaron was incredible. He held my 11 year old daughter’s hand and attention as he gradually helped her ascend and descend the dive rope. He was like a momma grizzly with a cub, very protective but also very instructional. The kids had such a great time that they now want to get certified.
Aaron joined us for dinner that night and kept us all laughing the entire evening with stories that a writer like Jimmy Buffett could turn into hit songs or a new novel. If the family were to take a vote, I know that Aaron and our dives would win the best part of our vacation award.
About Seafari in general, Jean-Paul runs an outstanding operation. The equipment was in top shape, the dive boat was incredible and the rest of his team were professional s who’s top concern was safety followed closely by a strong desire that everyone have fun. Thanks to Susan for all of her help getting signed up and to Beth who taught my daughter she can do anything she wants in life and do it with a smile.
I can’t wait to go diving again, and yes Aaron did introduce me to my first shark and I am proud to say that rather than using up all of my air screaming into my regulator, my heart rate only went up out of excitement. Thanks Aaron!
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