Snorkelling and Scuba Diving for the Family
There has been a significant growth in snorkelling and scuba diving as part of a family holiday to warm and exotic lands. There is something magical and surreal about snorkelling, or diving, with sting rays, swimming with dolphins or chilling on reefs swarming with colourful fish and other sea life. There is an increasing awareness of environmental issues and nature all around us. From a nature and wildlife experience snorkelling and scuba diving are at the top of that list!
If you’re thinking about teaching your kids to snorkel or dive, here are my top 5 tips
1. Start getting kids used to the water and swimming from a young age in your local pool.
2. Buy your own basic kit (mask, snorkel and fins) as it will be more comfortable, better quality and give you and your kids chance to get used to it.
3. Practice in the pool before taking your new kit out into the open water.
4. Be aware of temperature and research your holiday destination. You may find a wet suit a surprisingly inexpensive buy that allows for a lot more exploration and time in the water.
5. Whilst dive training is available in most warm water holiday destinations it is also available at most indoor pools in the UK through local diving clubs. It is often better to get a taster and train at your own pace well before your holiday.
Furness Diving Club affiliated to the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) offers Try Dives and Dive training at Barrow Leisure Centre throughout the year. We can introduce scuba diving to children as young as 10 within a pool or shallow water environment however, scuba diving equipment is bulky and heavy so we like to wait until children are 13 or 14 depending on their physique offering snorkelling courses before then.
The club currently have five 13–15-year-olds in training. Four initially undertook a Try Dive with at least one of their parents and then subsequently joined the club to begin their initial ‘Ocean Diver training.
Most of them have completed their theory lessons along with their initial pool training and have undertaken their first dives in open water at Capenwray or Coniston which is an exciting and major milestone. As soon as the water and weather warm up a little bit as spring arrives training will continue and they all should gain their first qualification.
Every novice diver is nervous before their first open water dive as they kit up wearing, probably for the first time, a dry suit. One of our trainees reported she was very, very nervous. “I was so nervous that I couldn’t even talk. I thought I was going to be sick with nerves and I was overheating in my dry suit too! My instructor talked to me about what we were going to do. We got all kitted-up and headed for my first ever open water dive. I was amazed at how much there was to see. Once in the water, everything we had talked about started to make sense. We saw fish such as sturgeon and trout, two small sunken boats – which was amazing – and two metal horses. I sat on one which was so fun, but I ended up tumbling forward! I think I also got a little too excited and used up far too much air. What a fantastic day one I will always remember !”
Another 15-year-old has already completed his Ocean Diver course and is gaining valuable experience diving in various locations before starting on the next step the Sports Diver course.
Furness Diving Club is a family friendly club, welcoming anyone interested in diving as a hobby. We dive locally in the Lake District, off Roa Island and further afield in Scotland and abroad.
We have animal medics who take a keen interest in the welfare of seals, dolphins and whales in the area and provide rescue services in case of a stranding or injury. Members also participate in biological surveys locally monitoring and recording for the Marine Conservation Society.
Whatever your interests they will be encouraged and supported through club activities.