DAY THREE OF FOUR — Relax and breathe!
That should be the mantra for everyday life but it is what PADI dive instructor Hilary Sutton tells Mel and Catherine and Harry Brigham, here like Mel taking the resort course at Bohio Resort on Grand Turk, before they go out on the boat for their first “real” dive.
Catherine’s sister Emily and her friend Carla Kadzin were enjoying their first recreational dives with them. “It was one big party underwater,” Carla said excitedly after the first dive in the morning. But with diving, like anything else, all doesn’t go as planned. Emily gets a cold and can’t dive the next day; Carla has a problem with her ears.
“The diving is fun but I’m a beach girl,” Emily Needham says. “I need as much time on the beach as underwater.” And at a place like Bohio Resort (www.bohioresort.com) it is easy to accomplish that. Because the dive boat returns in between dives (not possible when dive sites are farther off shore) you can opt for just one rather than two dives.
No one cares that this place isn’t fancy—far from it. Besides you aren’t spending a lot of time in your room,” says Emily Needham. It is the kind of place where the girls chat up the South African chef after the kitchen closes and she invites them out to meet some locals.
John Needham opted to bring his family, two friends and son in law so that they could all share a vacation as well as a sport he has come to love. “As a divorced parent, I don’t have as much day to day interaction with my family,” he explains. “That makes a trip like this all the more special.”
Still, the girls had to commit to the PADI course, spending July “with a textbook instead of a drink in hand,” said Emily Needham. “It was more intense than we thought and that makes it more interesting. If you put a lot of effort, you get a lot of reward,” she said.
“This is a gift we’ll have for the rest of our lives,” Carla added.
For our second dive of the day, we head to the Library, so named because it is directly in front of Grand Turk’s tiny library. We dive along the famous Grand Turk Wall that drops 100 feet. It is marvelous– all varieties of fish and coral. By the end of the dive, holding the dive master’s hand, Emily is hooked and comes up out of the water smiling.
Mel is smiling too when she returned from her second dive and quickly gobbled a lobster quesadilla for lunch. (Did I mention how good the food is here?)
We’ve made friends with dive enthusiasts Lori and John Smithson from Phoenix and Scott and Melissa Flaherty from Richmond, VA. It doesn’t matter that Mel is 19, the Needham girls are a few years older, the Flahertys are in their thirties and the Smithsons in their fifties. Everyone sits around chatting, sharing a drink, comparing what they saw underwater. Pretty soon we’re sharing tables at meals.
The place would be perfect if not for the pesky bugs. I won’t think about them at Yoga.
Next: Meet the newest certified PADI diver