S.E.A. Aquarium’s Discover Scuba Diving programme allows newbie divers to dive in its spectacular Open Ocean Habitat. We caught up with this daddy-daughter duo to find out how their first ever dive went.
Aspiring divers rejoice – S.E.A. Aquarium has a diving programme designed specially for non-divers aged 10 and above. Discover Scuba Diving is a two-hour diving programme that takes place within the Aquarium, and ends with a first dive into the Open Ocean Habitat. We can’t think of a more ideal way to start your diving journey: safe within a controlled environment, under the guidance of professional diving instructors.
This was how Harold and Ellie Tan got their first taste of diving
The father-daughter duo loves the ocean: Harold has always been drawn to the ocean and its mysteries; whereas 11-year-old Ellie adores marine animals. Naturally, both of them jumped at the chance to experience Discover Scuba Diving when it launched. Harold also mentioned that the prospect of diving together with his daughter motivated him to sign up for it. “Being able to be there with her, to give her courage to accomplish something out of her comfort zone, was another reason we signed up for this programme,” he said.
Participants were briefed and guided on basic techniques
Ellie recalled feeling very excited and nervous at the same time on the day of the dive. “I assured her that the whole experience will be enjoyable and safe, as we’ll be guided by professionals,” her dad said.
Participants of the programme are guided by experienced PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) instructors throughout the session. The instructors are there to teach all participants basic theory, introduction to diving equipment, as well as essential skills like air monitoring and equalisation techniques. Ellie said, “I found the briefing very helpful. By the end of it, I understood what to do when we entered the water.”
Aside from that, this breath-taking experience is limited to four participants per session to ensure a safe experience for all.
It’s time to go underwater!
After the theory introduction as well as knowledge review of all essential diving concepts and skills, it’s time to take the plunge! Harold and Ellie were brought to the Open Ocean Habitat, which is home to 120 different marine species. We’re talking manta ray, giant grouper, silvery barracudas, and more!
Together with the PADI instructor, Harold and Ellie entered the water from the shallow area of the confined open water (a pool-like environment of the habitat, as adhering to PADI requirements) to practise their newly acquired skills before being brought to deeper waters. “I felt a little scared before going down, but got super excited when I was surrounded by marine animals. Our instructor was always beside my dad and me, and taught us how to use the equipment and how to equalise,” Ellie said.
Harold remarked that he was able to quickly feel comfortable underwater, and even felt that the dive was too short. Overall, he was happy to be able to experience their first dive together as father and daughter. “She didn’t have to leave my side for her first dive, and I’m grateful to see her safely enjoying the dive,” he said.
A once-in-a-lifetime experience
Whether you’re a marine life enthusiast, or just someone keen on picking up scuba diving – S.E.A. Aquarium’s Discover Scuba Diving is a worthy experience. It’s one of very few diving programmes that allows non-divers a taste of scuba diving in a controlled environment that resembles the open ocean. What’s more, you’ll earn bragging rights to say that you’ve dived in one of the largest aquariums in the world!
“I would not have been so assured to dive with my daughter for the first time if the dive was conducted elsewhere,” Harold said, impressed with the attention to detail and safety that the instructors afforded them.
When asked for tips that she could share with other kids who are interested in diving, Ellie said, “Pay attention to your instructor during the briefing session as the safety briefing is extremely important. And most of all, have fun!”
Here is a little trivia: the word “scuba” is in fact an acronym for ‘self-contained underwater breathing apparatus’! Scuba diving is therefore different from free diving where there’s no apparatus involved, and each dive is made on a single held breath.
Ready to dive in? Discover Scuba Diving is open for booking on Tuesdays to Fridays, 10am-12pm or 2-4pm. Each session is $318 per pax, which includes a booklet, certificate of completion, the dive, and the necessary equipment. Do check out the programme’s advisory before booking your experience.
But wait – there are diving programmes for experienced divers too!
That’s right – S.E.A. Aquarium welcomes certified divers to explore its exciting underwater world as well. You can dive in the Open Ocean Habitat, or get up close and personal with sharks in the recently launched AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty Course. There’s a dive programme for divers of any level at S.E.A. Aquarium.
See you under the sea!
This post is in partnership with S.E.A. Aquarium.