First Splash!

The SEA TURTLE team gathered early in the morning on Sunday in anticipation of their first day at the pool. Everyone was armed with wetsuits, masks, fins, snorkels, and lots of snacks! We quickly headed over to the pool where we would spend the day in the water.

Team SEA TURTLE gets to the pool.

The students broke into three groups for their swim tests. The test was to ensure that each student had a certain level of comfort and confidence in the water. Each student had to swim four laps (using any stroke) followed by a 10 minute tread/float. Each group cheered each other on to victory. It was amazing to see the students already working as a team and offering eachother support.

Kylie and Oriana after their swim test.

After everyone successfully completed their swim test (yay!), we had about 45 minutes before lunch. I asked the group if they wanted to rest a little or if they wanted to get in the pool and do some snorkeling. What do you think the answer was??? Yup, they had their masks, fins, and snorkels on in about a minute flat. I've never seen these teenagers move so fast...

We learned basic skills (like how to clear a snorkel without getting a mouthful of water) and played some games. As each student focused on racing to a seashell and picking it up before their teammates, they forgot to concentrate so hard and voila! They're naturals, swimming like dolphins.

Tori with her new mask and snorkel.

After a well-earned lunch, everyone put on their wetsuits to see how it felt to swim covered with a layer of neoprene. We did some laps with our snorkeling gear on to get used to the feel of it. We also learned how to do a "giant stride" entry into the pool. Next time we'll practice this skill wearing scuba gear:

Ready, set, go! Wait...where did everyone go?

By the end of they day, we were swimming through hoops (literally! we weighed down a few hula hoops at the bottom of the pool).

Swimming through hoops.

I think we have a team of divers forming here.

Peace, love, and wetsuits for all :)

In the upcoming days, you'll hear what two students had to say about their own experiences at the pool.

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