Generations of Diving
by Holly Houser, Ocean Reef Press Editorial Assistant
When the Coronavirus derailed summer plans, Alice and Trig Horton’s grandchildren, like many others around the country, wondered how they were going to spend their summer. With camps, jobs and internships canceled, Alice and her two daughters, Legacy Members Laura Virkle and Ashley Freedman, decided it was a great time to fulfill something they had talked about doing for years – getting their children dive certified. They called The Dive Shop at Ocean Reef and scheduled a private dive certification course for the five grandchildren, all ranging in age from 10 to 17.
“Trig and I did this same thing with our own children when they were in high school,” said Alice. “We scheduled a private certification course in an indoor pool and then took the whole family to Grand Cayman for the certification dive. That’s how my daughters had the idea to inquire about doing a private class with The Dive Shop.
It’s been years now since any of the adults have gone diving so we are way past the point of being able to go without doing a refresher course. But my grandchildren’s course was so successful, I’m thinking the adults may do something similar the next time we can all be together at Ocean Reef again.”
Alice and her family were impressed by The Dive Shop’s flexible certification process. Before arriving at Ocean Reef, the children each completed an 18-hour online course and exam from their North Carolina homes. When the in-person instruction began, they were able to host the pool swims in the Horton’s own backyard pool. After two pool sessions, the junior divers were ready to take their newly-developed skills to Carysfort Reef for their open water certification dive, ultimately declaring them official PADI Junior Open Water Scuba Divers.
“The Dive Shop was great and instructor Shawna made it fun, convenient and safe,” said Alice. “It was wonderful to hear all five grandchildren say it was the best thing they’d ever done. For a fairly large age range, that’s impressive!”
No plans are set (“I don’t know how anybody makes definite plans right now!” Alice said), but the family may have a diving trip to the British Virgin Islands in their future.