I like the idea of the ocean; I like fish, crustaceans and especially the larger animals that live in the sea. On going on holiday, the aquarium is pretty much a go to place for a good day out. There’s something deeply, deeply peaceful about watching sharks swim.
My motivation for learning how to scuba dive (item six on my list) is that – seeing these water animals in their natural habitat, and gaining an appreciation for the world that they inhabit. My parents used to scuba dive, and my Dad has some absolutely astonishing photos from their trips. Less large animals, actually, and more incredibly beautiful tiny creatures – nudibranch, anemones, starfish and a wonderfully ugly eel. I would love to see these in real life, so signed up for a scuba diving course with BSAC.
Last weekend was my qualifying dive; I’d passed the written test and had to go into open water and do my exercises in real live conditions. They’re mainly variations on saving your buddy’s life if anything were to go wrong. I am so good at underwater life saving.
We went to Capernwray, a quarry in Lancaster. There were a lot of other trainees there, and they’d made it interesting by submerging wrecks of planes and ships, and statues. It was successful, and I am now a qualified ocean diver. Which is great! The thing is, I realised that scuba diving doesn’t actually come all that naturally to me. I’m glad I did it and intend to continue with the club – but I didn’t enjoy the diving as such. But, by the end of the weekend and with five dives under my belt, I felt like I could control the overwhelming panic that I felt on first submerging into that freezing water. Hey – baby steps.
Photos from the weekend – courtesy of Gethin and his excellent GoPro. Definitely considering an investment, once I master my crippling diving anxiety.
This is me, looking suitably terrified and uncomfortable in all my gear.
Whilst I wasn’t all that blown away by the act of diving, I had a great time hanging out with the club. Lovely people.