Nine students from North Side Primary School spent a day last week enjoying water sports activities with White Sands Water Sports operators at the Reef Hotel in East End.
The Year 6 class were being reward for special efforts in completing primary school and their move to Clifton Hunter High School.
“The school thought it would be a wonderful treat for the students’” said teacher Valarie Lindo. “It was limited to five students at first, but because the class was so small we asked if they could accommodate the 10 students.”
At the beach students showed they were not only competent in the classroom but, masters in sea sport activities as well. Hanging onto a long, inflated, bright yellow tube seating 5 to 8 people on top and pulled through the water by a driver in a motor boat, the children screamed in delight from a banana boat.
Before the boat ride students had enjoyed a snorkelling trip along the barrier reef where they saw fish, coral and plant life.
“I have been swimming and snorkelling with my daddy and mommy before, it is great fun and I love it,” said Tiona Miller, 11. “I expected to see sharks but only nurse sharks, the coral reef and plenty fishes.”
When asked if she was scared of the water Tiona said she was scared a little bit, but was excited about the trip.
Keiron Ebanks said he likes to fish, dive amongst the coral and watch the lionfish mate. “I like to dive because you can see lots of plants and sea creatures. I love to explore and I am excited about the trip to see lots of fish,” said student Aaron Miller.
Before the students ventured out to see White Sands operators Alan Correia and Dave Lawson, freestyle diver “Apollo 13” went through some snorkelling signals, symbols and safety instructions with the students.
One student quickly piped up, “Are there sharks out there,” “yes, there are sharks out there,” Mr. Correia said. “Everyone has a bad impression that sharks are really bad, but we have respect for them because they are predators, the most dangerous thing out there is the water itself” he said, quickly adding they would not be hunting sharks.
The group were also warned not to touch the reef which could harm them or the coral.
“We took the children on a snorkelling trip to the barrier reef where there was not too much current, fairly shallow water and not too much waves so they could snorkel and enjoy themselves,” Mr. Correia said. “In that area if some of the kids were not comfortable we could help them out, show them how to snorkel properly without having to worry about breathing, keeping their mask clean and making it fit properly.”
After the sea activities the children participated in a tie-dye art class and enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs on the beach.