While in Rivera Beach we signed Alice and Ella up for SCUBA lessons on the condition that they did all the bookwork on their own. Fast forward a few weeks and they are nowhere close to having memorized the technical data required for SCUBA certification, this despite a lot of help from Jackie. Since we were ready to move on to the next town, our only option was to ask the SCUBA shop for a refund which they were kind enough to give.

Since the girls don’t yet have the maturity to master the technical requirements of SCUBA, Jackie tracked down a Hookah system on Craigslist. No not the smoking kind of hookah, but rather the alternative to SCUBA, also known as SNUBA. Our particular unit powered by a Honda lawnmower engine provides air to two divers, each with their own 65’ hose. We’ve only had a couple of opportunities to take it out, but it’s been a huge hit!

All three kids took right to it, which isn’t a surprise given the amount of snorkeling and freediving they’ve been doing the last two months. For the first couple of ‘dives’ I didn’t give the kids weight belts, which intentionally limited them to 5-10 feet of depth. Even at that depth we practiced sharing regulators and simulating out of air.

Alice was the first to graduate to a weight belt which allows her to easily stay underwater. She and I spent some 40 minutes diving off the coast of Fort Lauderdale on a small reef where the county had kindly installed mooring buoys where we could anchor A Boat Named Sue while we dived. Alice had a great time in this new underwater world.

After Alice finished, Calvin and I spend another 30 minutes together underwater cleaning the bottom of the boat. I didn’t get any pictures of this, but really every couple of weeks we have to seriously scrub the boat to remove the slime and resulting barnacles. I think the boat is getting due for a fresh coat of bottom paint, but as long as we are in warm waters we’ll just keep scrubbing it clean every few weeks.

Thanks for reading! Hope to get back to a regular posting schedule soon.