The National Association of Black Scuba Divers Youth Educational Summit (NABS/YES), returned to Roatan, Honduras June 22-Jul 1, 2017 for its “Sea Roatan Experience II” which proved to be a week of discovery and exciting learning opportunities in marine and environmental sciences. NABS/YES youth participants ranging in ages 13-18 included 4 participants from the United States and 11 Roatan youth. The majority of youth participants attended the 2016 NABS/YES and they returned with enthusiastic smiles and a yearn to learn during the week long adventure. Developing Young Leaders through Marine Sciences” the ongoing theme for NABS/YES was realized through this exceptional group of teens.
This year’s activities kicked-off with water skills evaluations which included a 200 meter swim and 10-minute water tread. Divers completed their check-out dive requirements and non-divers were introduced to “Discover Scuba”. There were daily 2 tank dives for all divers. Snorkelers and divers were introduced to the Reef Fish ID course, all participants did an outstanding job. A big “Thank You” to Mickey Charteris for the Underwater Photography class (NABS/YES has some potential underwater photographers in the making!) The nautical rope tying, navigation skills, introduction to underwater archeology, introduction to coral restoration, an afternoon dive at the coral restoration site, and Lionfish jewelry making classes were all fun learning experiences. Divers were trained in appropriate use of the lift bag with assistance by snorkelers on the water’s surface to the boat. NABS/YES youth were once again introduced to geocaching and the divers had a successful geocache search of the Prince Albert Wreck site. We dove our beautiful NABS Reef and performed maintenance on the geocache site designed, painted and placed on the reef last year by the NABSYES team. A Pangea Boat Tour of Historical Oakridge and the mangroves was a highlight for our group. On the final day of NABS/YES a Freediving class was lead by Carlos Correa and staff from the Roatan Freediving School & Training Center. NABS/YES youth were taught the basics of freediving and rescue maneuvers. Our community service activities consisted of a visit to the Roatan Marine Park followed by a beach clean-up at West End and an afternoon visit to The Beacon Hill Orphanage.
The 2017 NABS/YES was hosted by Turquoise Bay Dive & Beach Resort and Subway Watersports Dive Center. Our Hosts did not disappoint our group. They were again very supportive and accommodating, the food was scrumptious, and we had a FABULOUS time! Maduro Dive Travel assisted with accommodations. A BIG NABS/YES thanks goes out to all who helped and supported our program and participants making the 2017 NABS/YES a Great Success!