#27 on the adult's Bucket list in the Cook Islands - Scuba Diving
Who paid for the trip? Wait, that's not fair because the 14 year old did help pay her way (equal opportunity employer, here). I got no ammo except for the fact that I don't want to go with said teenager to learn scuba diving (snorkeling, I'm all over that one, but I know how to do it).
So it is the second to last day on the island of Rarotonga before heading out to Aitutaki. Along the West Coast we make a wild turn at a sign we see - Cook Island Divers . Not knowing what we are doing, we drove up and inquired about going scuba diving. Scratch that. Just her (pointing to the teenager) going scuba diving. No problem, Ian said. He took here then and there, started fitting her with the suit and mask. My husband and I were off to walk with Tom at the Takitumu Conservation Area and wouldn't be back until wedidn'tknowwhen. No problem, said Ian. He could either drop our daughter off at the resort or, with our permission, if she wanted, head out further to open seas. We gave our permission that if she loved it, have at it. You're not in the Cooks for long and it's a long flight to get there.
Off we went.
Our daughter got suited, learned how to blow water out of her mask and off they went. That fast. To be fair; she is an incredibly strong swimmer (it's what you get when you get thrown in the water at four months - sink or swim, baby - just kidding on the throw part, I was in the water with her) and she's a straight A student in school. So, best of both worlds, this kid was livin' her dream of scuba diving and taking it very seriously. Plus there wasn't a parent in SIGHT!
Bottom line - we created a monster. This kid loved it so much that every time we went snorkeling after the scuba trip, she would dive to the bottom, touch whatever she wasn't supposed too (within reason; she knew better than to touch fire coral or the pretty insides of the clams) and resurface lamenting that she wasn't scuba diving.
I blame Ian.
|I know it looks pretty, but DON'T TOUCH IT! It hurts and burns. And then hurts some more.|
|Giant Clams. The insides were beautiful. Just don't stick your finger in there. You won't get your finger back.|
And he took fantastic photos, burned them onto a CD and drove them to a resort. We did try to get hooked up with a company in Aitutaki, but there wasn't enough people to fill a boat.
Reason #248 to go back!
They run seven days a week. Find the big blue sign on the side of the road on the West side of the island, follow the road a ways and take a left where the sign tells you. It sounds like I'm all mixed up, but this time I'm not. You really do drive AWAY from the ocean to get there. Prices start at NZD$40 and go up from there. We did a half day getyourfeetwet for NZD$90 and bought the CD. BUY THE CD! It's worth it!
All photos courtesy of Cook Island Divers.