Dive Curacao: Mother and Son Dive Adventure

August 31, 2013

dive curacao

These days, it’s nearly impossible for a mother to find ways to bond with her teenage son that don’t include X-Box, dirt bikes, or soccer. Family vacations are a great time to reconnect, but in planning a family trip to Curacao, I had an epiphany. Why not ask my teenage son to join me while I dive Curacao? Diving could be a great multi-generational activity.

I’m not an expert diver.  I’m a novice – what is commonly known as a non-certified “resort diver.” I love diving and have experienced half a dozen Caribbean reefs and shipwrecks.  I’ve never sought to get certified because I live in New England, and swimming in frigid, ice-cold water with almost no visibility is not my idea of a good time.

But Curacao’s calm east coast beaches offer up to 100 feet of visibility and warm, inviting, reef-laden waters which would lend itself to a perfect first dive.

When I mentioned the idea to my son, Nick, his grin spoke his approval.  Score one for mom and let the bonding begin!

The preparation started before we even set foot outside our snow-encrusted door… I gave Nick a variety of books to read, ranging from “how to” guides about equipment to fictitious stories that involved teen diving adventures.  These books ensured that dive language, breathing technique, undersea situations, equipment function, and safety measures would be somewhat familiar in the forthcoming dive lesson.

scuba instructions

We decided to do the dive about halfway into our visit to Curacao.  After around an hour of instruction by Ollie at Caribbean Sea Sports, at the Marriott Curacao Resort & Emerald Casino, we were cleared for a guided exploration of ocean life at depths of 20 to 40 feet, which is where a good number of tropical fish hang out.

dive curacao

There are many possible ways to begin a dive, but we started with a very non-threatening beach launch which allows you to walk in from the shore and very gradually descend into the depths of the sea – the most perfect way for a first-time diver.

moray eel

As we plunged into the 82-degree Fahrenheit crystal turquoise waters, the ethereal vibe of the sea juxtaposed against myriad coral, sea grasses, and marine life were capable of captivating even the most “I’m-too-cool-for-that” youngster.  Trumpet fish darted from behind brain coral; lionfish splayed their multitude of spire-like fins; and let’s not forget the toothy grin of the moray eel protecting its domain.

dive curacao

What teenage boy can resist such a visual feast?  Certainly not this one; our twin gray-green eyes locked, and I was rewarded with unguarded enthusiasm expressing his wordless approval.

Nick having a great dive

And for me, the dive was unlike any other dive I’d done before.  It all came rushing back to me –  how awed I’d been on my first dive, the sensation of being in a whole other world and feeling so privileged for opportunity to observe sea life on its own terms.  Seeing it anew through the eyes of my offspring, well it just doesn’t get any better than that.

dive curacao

The words came later, as Nick recounted the otherworldly sights and sounds of the sea to the rest of the family at our celebration dinner of Indonesian rijsttafel (numerous meats, seafood and side dishes served in small portions, accompanied by various rice preparations).  We even talked about the possibility of a future trip to the Caribbean to get a PADI certification for deeper dives.

Yup, I was hero for the day.  At least for this day. Dive Curacao was a smashing success!

Mother and son scuba diving adventure, first published March 14, 2012, in The Momiverse

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About the Author

Patti MorrowPatti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of the award-winning international blog Luggage and Lipstick and the southern travel blog Gone to Carolinas. TripAdvisor called her one of the “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials” and she was named one of the “Top 35 Travel Blogs” in the world.

She is also the star of the upcoming TV series “Destination Takeover” which is scheduled to premiere in the next few months.

Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 print and online publications, including The Huffington Post, International Living Magazine, Washington Post Sunday Travel, Travel Girl, Travel Play Live Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal. She has traveled extensively through six continents looking for fabulous destinations, exotic beaches, and adventure activities for her Baby Boomer tribe.

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