Why You Should Make Diving a Family Affair in 2022


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Welcome to 2022! With the flip of the calendar, we frequently really feel like there’s an opportunity for a recent begin and new adventures. So, how about some with household and diving?

Right here at PADI, we’re targeted on scuba diving as a good way to learn, bond, explore and get outdoors in nature with your loved ones in 2022. Subsequently, I invite you to get to know three of my favourite diving households from the Florida Keys

Cortney and Justin Benson: Siblings that Dive and Work Collectively

Two divers smile near a dock at sunset
Cortney Benson and her brother, Justin, have labored collectively in dive outlets around the globe and luxuriate in diving collectively for enjoyable. Justin Benson

Meet Cortney and Justin Benson. Cortney is the Operations Supervisor and Marine Conservation Coordinator at Key Dives in Islamorada, FL, in addition to an MSDT Teacher. Her older brother, Justin, later joined the store as a PADI Employees Teacher and a U.S.C.G. 100-ton Grasp Captain. It's a ton of enjoyable seeing them work together with one another and shoppers. 

Justin truly earned his Open Water Certification in Cairns, Australia with Professional Dive in 2012. Later, when Cortney visited him, she snorkeled above as he dove the Nice Barrier Reef. 

“It was one of the most jealous moments of my life,” she shares, and, due to that, she determined to get licensed, too. Now, they share this ardour and work and dive collectively commonly around the globe. 

Two divers use lift bags to bring up marine debris.
Cortney and Justin Benson spearhead a PADI Conscious Dive Towards Particles with Key Dives in Islamorada, FL. Kurt Tidd

Having Every Different’s Again

“I completely love diving with household,” says Cortney. “Diving with my brother, there’s no dive buddy on the planet I’d really feel safer with.” 

Justin agrees, including, “Whether or not it’s working collectively or planning dive journeys, the reminiscences and experiences made are unforgettable.” 

Beforehand, additionally they labored collectively in Utila, the place Justin managed Bay Islands School of Diving and the place Cortney acquired all her certifications from Superior Open Water by means of Instructor. He says, “Seeing relations’ progress in and pleasure for diving improve is actually superb!”

Justin lately moved to Key West to work as a ship captain, so the pair not work collectively. Nevertheless, he says their experiences have impressed them to plan much more adventures and dive locations collectively. The duo even shares a dream of ultimately proudly owning a conservation-focused dive shop collectively.

“I feel our ardour for the ocean and sharing that have with others could make a distinction in the way forward for our beloved ocean,” Justin says.

Two divers hold up a sign for PADI Aware while floating in the water column
Cortney and Justin Benson hope to ultimately personal a dive store collectively that's targeted on conservation practices and coaching. Kurt Tidd

Kurt and Jackie Tidd: a Shared Father-Daughter Sport

Jackie and Kurt Tidd smile on a dive boat with the ocean in the background
Jackie Tidd and her father, Kurt, volunteer collectively on a Dive Towards Particles with Key Dives within the Florida Keys. The daddy-daughter pair typically dive collectively for enjoyable and to assist the native reefs. Tiffany Duong

PADI Divemaster Kurt Tidd first discovered to dive in 1974 as a Midshipman within the U.S. Naval Academy. He beloved it and even certified as an Teacher in June 1978, however stopped diving a couple of years after his commencement from the Academy. 

“Life has a means of interfering with an excellent dive schedule,” he jokes, recalling the beginning of his Navy profession and a number of deployments and strikes across the nation. “I steadily stopped diving altogether.”

That was, till his daughter Jackie was “fairly matter-of-fact” with him. She had earned her PADI Open Water, Superior Open Water, and some specialty certifications by means of a summer time program and requested her dad why he not went diving. 

Rekindling Previous Passions

“Nice query and nice motivation for me,” Kurt admits. To refresh his expertise and to acquaint himself with how the game had modified within the many years since he’d taken an enormous stride, Kurt “began over from scratch” with Rainbow Reef in Key Largo, FL.

Two divers take a selfie underwater
Jackie Tidd and her dad, Kurt, take an underwater selfie whereas diving collectively within the Florida Keys. Kurt Tidd

“After a few dives, I noticed that my long-suppressed love of diving was again in full bloom, and I used to be hooked once more, perhaps even more durable this time,” he admits. “I merely adore it. I really feel like I’m making up for many years of misplaced time.”

Now, Kurt finds any excuse to get within the water and cherishes the time that he and Jackie spend collectively on and beneath the water. He beams as solely a proud dad can speaking about her ardour for the marine surroundings, her expertise as a diver and Coast Guard Officer and, in fact, his gratitude for a way she obtained him again into the water.

The Gneisers: Diving is a Household Affair

A family huddles together, smiling with the ocean in the background
Jeff, Finn, Tally and Cynthia Gneiser (Left to Proper) like to benefit from the ocean collectively by boating, scuba diving and adventuring. Gneiser Household

“The primary time I dove, I assumed, ‘That is the best factor ever.’ Truly, I nonetheless assume that!” says Finn Gneiser, 13. 

In 2018, when he was 10, Finn discovered to dive alongside together with his older sister Tally, now 15. The siblings are naturals underwater. In fact, it’s of their blood. Their mother and father, Cynthia and Jeff Gneiser, have a shared 5,000 dives at the very least. Additionally they ran dive boats and expedition corporations collectively around the globe for years. Furthermore, Cynthia’s wedding ceremony band is even engraved “My scuba love bug.”

A woman hoses down a BC while a man looks on in a 1995 ad for a diving company.
Cynthia and Jeff Gneiser labored collectively within the Mediterranean as dive instructors. Right here, they’re proven in a 1995 advert for his or her expedition firm. Gneiser Household

“For me, being underwater is like nothing else we do,” says Jeff. “It’s just like the water envelops you — like the right blanket…. The act of being underwater is like going residence.”

Cynthia finishes his thought: “The ocean is sort of a hug.”

A Mom’s Dream

The pair clearly join deeply to one another and the ocean. Subsequently, they have been thrilled when their youngsters requested to study to dive. 

“On the primary dive I did with the youngsters, Finn needed to be my buddy,” recollects Cynthia. “The entire time, he stayed close to me and stored giving me the ‘I really like you’ hand sign and hugging me, loving his expertise.”

She continues: “Then Tally took my slate and wrote, ‘I reside for this,’ and I simply began to cry as a result of I keep in mind being awake at three:30 a.m. holding my infants. I used to be rocking them and nursing them in the midst of the night time, serious about once I’d take them diving — whispering about how superb the ocean is and the way sometime mama would take them to see the fish. And there we have been, in that second, they usually have been completely in love. It was the second I’d dreamed of.”

A family poses together before a dive adventure in Mexico.
For Cynthia Gneiser’s birthday, her household took a dive trip collectively to the cenotes in Tulum, Mexico. Gneiser Household

Connecting With Household By means of Diving

At present, the Gneisers reside in Key Largo, FL. They're the brand new house owners of the legendary Amoray Dive Resort in Key Largo, FL. They’ve rebranded with a “Peace, Love & Diving!” angle and excel in family-focused dive experiences. 

Furthermore, they really follow what they preach, having fun with being on and under the water collectively as a lot as potential. 

“It’s fairly enjoyable diving with my household,” Finn says. “It’s a fantastic bonding expertise and tremendous enjoyable.” 

To youngsters considering of getting licensed, he says, “Undoubtedly bang it out! When you’re finished, it’s completely value it.” To oldsters, contemplating diving in, too, he encourages, “Go for it!”

Paying It Ahead

General, Jeff and Cynthia know that diving has introduced them nearer as a pair and with their youngsters. Subsequently, they gladly share their experiences with shoppers who come to get licensed as a household. 

“This can be a nice strategy to share the world together with your youngsters,” Cynthia says. “For folks, particularly, this can be a method to join together with your youngsters in a world the place it’s already so arduous to attach.”

“And there’s no screens and no texting,” Jeff provides, winking. “Simply time to actually join over one thing magical.”

A family of divers enjoy a dive together
Diving as a household could be a nice bonding expertise to share.

Recommendation for Households Contemplating Diving Collectively in 2022

Our diving households had some remaining recommendation for individuals hoping to dive extra with their households within the new yr. Right here’s what they needed to say: 

  • Cortney Benson: “Do it! With the ability to share a specific ardour with somebody you're keen on is such a particular factor.”
  • Kurt Tidd: “No single member of the household can pressure another member to like and respect leisure diving. Every wants to seek out their very own ‘why’ for this unimaginable pastime. [But,] as soon as [the sea] grabs you, it grabs you for all times!”
  • Jeff Gneiser: “Don’t push — play! Make it enjoyable. Attempt to not get too hooked up to an end result. Let the youngsters take pleasure in themselves on no matter degree matches for them on the time.”
  • Cynthia Gneiser: “Don’t have an agenda. You don’t need your youngsters feeling like failures about this. In the event that they’re having enjoyable, it’s a hit and also you’re getting your cash’s value.”

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