Friday, July 19, 2013

BIOS Waterstart Program - July 19, 2013

July 19, 2013

Halfway through the summer, there are still many smiling students itching to get into Bermuda's beautiful waters. Surrounded by the ocean every day, they have many questions about what it holds and has to offer as it is part of their everyday lives. Here at BIOS, the Waterstart program allows students to further their scuba diving skills as well as their education and awareness in marine science.

Students shared their experiences of Waterstart with us. A student on a scholarship for the camp, which was generously funded by Montpelier Re wrote, “When I first heard about the camp I was like ‘Cool!’ but at the same time terrified of the thought of scuba diving. Underwater relying on only a tank of air? Shudder."

She then goes on to say how Waterstart has changed her outlook on Bermuda's oceans and how it has changed her attitude towards diving into the deep blue, "However, through this camp I've come to absolutely love it. I've gone from a nervous person who used to run away from water whenever she saw something strange, to a whole different curious person who now dives in and explores. It has definitely changed me for the better."
Waterstart students have been able to observe a diverse range of Bermuda's dive sites and marine life. This has appeared to be an essential component in the students' enjoyment at the camp. "I have learnt a lot of interesting things from JP Skinner about marine life. That's what I like about it, it's not just a scuba diving course, it's an all around marine science course."

When asked what she thought about Waterstart a student gushed, “I really enjoyed learning how to scuba dive with Waterstart. It is really fun and I have learnt so much about Bermuda's ecosystem," while another exclaimed, "I'm definitely coming back next year!"
Students have not only been working toward their scuba certification, but have been learning about Bermuda's ocean and ecosystems and have been made more aware of the problems that our island and the world is facing today. Many of them explained how they had no idea about how the grave impacts of man-made environmental disruptions such as global warming, excessive amounts of trash and plastics, and how overall pollution can effect the ocean's ecosystem as a whole. However, when they came to BIOS for the program they were so much more informed. 
A student added, "I always knew about saving the planet but I never knew what was really going on and how important it was until I came here." A student who had previously scuba dived with a different program explained that she preferred Waterstart as it is more active and well-rounded. From diving for the first time, to having previous experiences, it was unanimous that all the students chose Waterstart as their favourite way to learn about diving as it is, "an environment filled with joy and respect. This is a great place to learn how to scuba dive and have a great time," said a student who was finishing up his first week at the camp.

-Blog by Sophia Collis and Alice Graham-Welton

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