A Real Holiday Adventure
If you’re like most people, you go on holiday for a few basic reasons: to get away from it all, to see and experience a new place and to do things you just don’t or can’t do back home.
If you’ve been on the island for at least a day now, you no doubt realize that St Lucia is a great location to accomplish those goals. And after a few days of sand and sun and modest overindulgence in our restaurants and bars, we’ve got an excellent suggestion for an activity you’ve perhaps never done back home. Your first scuba lesson.
Known as a Resort Course, this initiation to the spectacular underwater world of the Caribbean will have you fulfilling your Jacques Cousteau fantasy in less than two hours. All of the island’s licensed professional dive operators offer the Resort Course, the content of which is set by the international dive governing associations, although some operations include extra amenities such as lunch. For the purposes of gaining first-hand information for this article, I took the Resort Course at Scuba St Lucia, one of the island’s leading dive operations.
The Resort Course begins with viewing two short videos which focus on the safety aspects of diving. Next, you are introduced to the equipment and dive procedures by a qualified instructor. Another nice touch was the fact that the main equipment was all set up and waiting as they ascertain your size when you sign up ahead of time. Details of the required safety skill procedures are explained and rehearsed in preparation for the real thing. At Scuba St Lucia the Resort Course is taught by Victor Antoine, who with 44 years of experience certainly knows his job and holds a world record of most dives ever!.
It should be noted that individuals with certain medical conditions, including breathing and heart-related problems should not attempt diving without first consulting a doctor. Children 12 and over can take the course with parental permission.
Finally, it was time to strap on the equipment and get into the water. It is worth mentioning that in my class there were two average size women who had no difficulty at all handling the weight of the tank while entering from the beach. Once in, with mask and fins in place, the safety skills are practiced in about six feet of water with Victor assisting divers through each skill individually.
Now buoyed with confidence divers then move with the instructor into deeper water to explore the beauty of the colourful reefs which were teeming with thousands of fish. As we were now in their element behaving almost like they do, the fish were amazingly unafraid. As the reefs are explored at up to 30 feet in depth you have the chance to continue to practice the skills you were just taught. Should you find you are hooked on the sport at this point, all that is required to become certified is four more dives with a qualified instructor over the next few days, with the final dive being made in open water from a dive boat.
If you’re looking for adventure and a whole new experience while in St Lucia, why not consider a Resort Dive Course? It is certain to open your eyes to a whole new world with a tranquility you’ve likely never experienced. But please always remember, coral reefs are the most important yet easily damaged habitats in our oceans. Look but don’t touch; swim but don’t stand; take nothing but photos and memories; and leave nothing behind but bubbles.