Leave Your Kids With The Dolphins

Leave Your Kids With The Dolphins


Introduce your kids to diving in a weeklong program, May 22 to August 26, combining basic PADI courses and experiential education sessions working with dolphin trainers.

Have you wanted to dive but feel bad leaving the kids behind? Have you dreamed of the day your kids could join you on the dive boat?

Anthony's Key Resort and the Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences (RIMS) offer a weeklong Discovery SCUBA Camp to vacationing kids, 5-14 years old, who want to split their time learning to dive and learning about dolphins while working with dolphin trainers to feed, train, swim with and learn about dolphins.

Discovery SCUBA Camp and RIMS exemplify Anthony's Key Resort's mission to preserve Honduras' natural resources through experiential education and research. During Camp, kids are introduced to the basics of diving and marine biology. Adults and kids rendezvous when all dive boats come in, activities stop and everyone gathers at the Resort to eat.

The Discovery SCUBA Camp package, for kids 5-14 years old, includes 7 nights accommodations at Anthony's Key Resort, three meals daily, all camp activities, equipment and materials for $625 per child, plus 16% hotel tax based on double occupancy for 2005.

Camp will only be conducted for groups of 6-15 kids per scheduled week, Sunday-Friday, May 22-Aug. 26, Nov. 20-25 and Dec. 18-30, 2005.

While equipment is included, it is recommended that kids bring their own mask, snorkel and fins to ensure a more comfortable fit. For details, call 1-800-227-3483 or visit www.anthonyskey.com.

Located 35 mi (56km) off the coast of Honduras on Roatan, Bay Islands, Anthony's Key Resort sits next to the second largest barrier reef system in the world. There are hundreds of dive sites to choose from, 35 sites within 5-30 minutes away, in waters averaging 80 degree or better with 80-100 feet visibility.

The Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences (RIMS), owned and operated by Anthony's Key Resort, is a unique research and educational facility with the only dolphin program in Honduras. Dolphins reside in an unaltered natural lagoon, complete with a living coral reef ecosystem, and leave to be trained in the open ocean.

PADI instructors from the Resort's Scuba School lead four age-appropriate introductory courses for campers: SASY, Bubblemakers, Junior SCUBA Divers, and Junior Open Water Divers.

'In SASY, which is Supplied Air Snorkeling for Youth, kids 5-8 essentially SCUBA on the surface of the water,' says Teri Bolton, RIMS trainer and Discovery SCUBA Camp founder.† 'Kids wear a solid floatation device that looks like a water skiing vest.† A small PONY tank, about the size of a two-liter of pop, allows them to breathe naturally.'

Bubblemakers gives eight to 10 year-olds the chance to SCUBA dive in six feet of water.† Ten year-olds and older, can become Junior SCUBA Divers, diving 40 feet with a PADI professional. Junior Open Water is designed for children ages 10 to 15. Upon completion of this course, kids aged 10 and 11 may descend to no more than 40 feet accompanied by a parent, guardian, or PADI professional. Children aged 12 to 14 will be qualified to dive when accompanied by any open water certified adult.

Discovery SCUBA Camp counselors from RIMS facilitate educational activities, such as learning about the bottlenose dolphin diet and feeding the animals fish with the trainers. Kids also learn hand signals for behaviors in the classroom and then go outside on the key to try them out with trained RIMS dolphins.

Other activities include marine life slide shows, island field trips (often to the Iguana Farm, Bird Park and/or Butterfly Farm), dolphin identification lessons, dolphin evolution, anatomy and physiology lectures and a family beach encounter with the dolphins.

Anthony's Key Resort has been family-owned and operated for 30 years by Julio Galindo, Sr., who at one time served as mayor of Roatan. In 1989, he founded the Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences.

Anthony's Key Resort, a PADI 5-Star Gold Palm Resort, offers the least expensive diver training and PADI certification in the Caribbean and runs a PADI Instructor Development Center. Eleven custom dive boats are available to leave three times daily for reef, wall, wreck dives and two weekly night dives. Outer island excursion day trips are also available. The on-site medical facility, serving residents and visitors, includes a hyperbaric chamber.

Beyond the world-class dive sites, Roatan has much to offer above the surface of the ocean. Canopy tours rush visitors through the treetops, swaying over the island peaks, and down the steep slopes to Tabyana Beach. If high altitude and high speed are too much of a rush, there are horses to ride on the beaches, kayaks to paddle around its shores, fly fishing on the flats and dolphins to play with in the surf. Visitors can also arrange to visit Maya Ruin sites or hike in a cloud forest in the mainland of Honduras.