Diving into learning: Seaside Neighborhood School, ScubaTech, Vortex Spring team up

Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 05:04 PM.

After Tropical Storm Isaac closed Walton County schools for two days in August, all mentoring class sessions were postponed one week. For ScubaTech this complicated their original plan to hold the open water dives at the Destin jetties. The schedule of tides that day prohibited diving at the jetties during school hours.

Enter Vortex Spring in Ponce de Leon.  When contacted to see if the dive resort would accommodate the students, the folks at Vortex readily agreed to the visit.  They further offered to waive all entry fees for the group — very welcome news to all, as no such costs had been included in the course fee.

Conditions on the final dive day were ideal, with clear skies and temperatures in the 70s. Vortex’s clear spring waters are a frigid 68 degrees year round. Thick wetsuits and pleasant surface weather contributed to a very comfortable dive experience, so essential for young students new to the sport.

The youngest member of the class, a 6th grader, had to overcome a rather traumatic yellow jacket sting upon arrival at Vortex. After swelling subsided and it became clear there were no allergy concerns, the determined diver persevered and completed the entire regimen of exercises.

Several students expressed interest in continuing their education to the next level — Junior Open Water Diver.  At age 15 they can become certified as adults by completing a little more course work and several additional dives.  Until then they must dive in the company of a certified instructor or divemaster.



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