On the 22nd February 2013 four Lordswood Boys’ CCF Royal Navy and Royal Marine cadets and two staff travelled to Saint Martin in the Caribbean to undertake a Discover Scuba Diving course. This would be an exciting new challenge for the cadets as this was their first time in the water as scuba divers.
On the 24th February, the morning of the dive, we travelled into the Dutch side of the island and parked the car in the dock alongside a huge cruise ship. The owner of the dive shop introduced himself as John, explaining that he was from the UK and he would be leading the dive with another colleague, Jude who was a dive master. The cadets were a little nervous, but wanted to undertake the Discover Scuba Diving programme, so that they can progress to the next level and complete the Ocean Diver course at HMS Raleigh. He then led them out to the boat and showed the cadets the air cylinders and how they attach to the diving equipment. After a short safety briefing it was time to don masks and fins.
Each cadet entered the water individually with a giant stride off the boat. Mask clearing and regulator recovery tasks were completed just under the surface. The cadets then descended to sea bed 3 meters deep. The instructor led the way with the dive master following behind. The sea life came to greet us looking for food, but the cadets’ attention had been drawn to the sunken helicopter and aeroplane cockpit. With the instructor keeping a close eye on activities the cadets finned around these two objects for some time, investigating all areas. The cadets were led to a man made wreck. A large statue of Poseidon met us as we finned across the wreckage. The whole underwater experience lasted forty five minutes and was performed at just four meters. Once back on the boat it was all the cadets could talk about. It was a fantastic days diving, as the photographs will show. There are plans in place to return to Saint Martin in the autumn as qualified divers and complete a week of expedition diving. A huge thank you to the Ulysses Trust for making this trip possible.
2lt P.Bond, Royal Marine CCF