We’ve spent the last two days in the water with Peter (age 12) getting his PADI Open Water Jr. Certification. Getting a scuba divers license has become one of the "rites of passage" in our family, and Peter is now our fifth diver. Peter did all the pool and classroom work ahead of time in Ottawa at Divers Wearhouse, which meant that all he had to do here were the final four dives of his certification.

We chose Scuba Cancun to do the final dives with. On March 14th, all seven of us went along to a shallow reef off the north shore of Cancun called Chitales. Peter did his two skills dives there, while the rest of us snorkelled the surface. Chitales is just 30ft deep, with most of the coral visible in 15 feet or so of water. The water was a little rough, but Scuba Cancun was fantastic. They provided a guide who towed my two youngest boys around on a lifeguards torpedo buoy and pointed stuff out for them, which let the rest of us snorkel around them without having to worry about whether the young ones were okay.

March 15th I went back with Peter for his final two dives, and dove with him. We went to Santa Remedio, and then back to Chitales. Both were shallow dives, which meant we could stay down for over 40 minutes each time. Peter’s a lucky guy. The animals you can see here are magnificent. On the second dive, for example, we spotted a 6 foot long reef shark, and a huge stingray. When I did my certification dives in Puget Sound off Seattle, the most thrilling things I saw were dungeness crab, not sharks and stingrays.