A sub-aquatic scuba girl lovin’ life beneath the waves…
I fell in love with the ocean at a very early age on Swanage beach. Rhythmic and unexpected waves breaking over my head made me squeal with delight and feel free and alive, a feeling I have never forgotten. Thirty years on, I still leave the sea feeling ten years younger and any worries vanish into the sea air as ocean minerals penetrate my skin. The overall feeling of health and wonder I experience in the water holds me now as it did then; firmly under its salty spell.
I enjoy many water sport activities including snorkelling, kayaking, body-boarding, jet-skiing and swimming but my real passion is underwater photography; its many sea creatures being the true ‘jewels of the ocean’ for me. Add a fifteen-litre scuba tank, a wetsuit and some jet-fins and how could a girl not get hooked?
So here I am; a dedicated ambassador of the ocean, with a passion for underwater photography and burning desire to continue my underwater adventures. I hope you’ll join me for a while and dive in.
My passions are varied and include everything from drone racing to feeling the sun on my back but here are some of my favourites.
It all began on Swanage Pier when I signed up for the PADI Open Water Course during a cold week in April
PADI Open Water Diver
Divers Down, Swanage Pier, UK
I learned to use basic scuba gear, including mask, snorkel, fins, regulator, buoyancy control device and air cylinder, I learned the basic theory of scuba diving and practiced the techniques to a competent level on four open water dives.
Emergency First Response Diver
Coast 2 Coast Scuba Diving, Poole, UK
I learned Primary Care (CPR), Secondary Care (First Aid), Care for Children, CPR, AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and First Aid at Work. Every 24 months I complete a refresher to focusing on key skills to keep me up to date and ready to lend a hand in real life emergency situations.
PADI Master Scuba Diver
Coast 2 Coast Scuba Diving, Poole, UK
To qualify as a Master Scuba Diver, I needed to have completed the Open Water Diver Certification, the Advanced Open Water Diver, the PADI Rescue Diver, five PADI Speciality Diver Certifications and logged a minimum of fifty dives. It is the highest level attainable in recreational scuba diving and a pre-requisite to becoming a professional diver.
RYA Power Boat Level One and Two
The Dive College, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote
The courses includes launching and recovery, safety equipment, pre-start checks, buoyancy, boat handling and manoeuvres, using the kill cord, steering, being towed, rope work, anchoring, propellor controls, speed, weather checks and taking emergency action.
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
Dive College, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote
This course built confidence and expanded upon my scuba skills through completing five different adventure dives including navigation, deep dive, boat dive, peak performance buoyancy control and underwater photography.
PADI Rescue Diver
Coast 2 Coast Scuba Diving, Poole, UK
This course prepared me to deal with dive emergencies, using a variety of techniques. During practice scenarios I put into practice the knowledge and skills I had learned including self rescue, managing stress, emergency equipment and rescuing panicked and unresponsive divers.
PADI Dive Master in Training
Coast 2 Coast Scuba Diving / Ocean Turtle, UK
The Dive Master Course is a Professional Diving Qualification. Through knowledge development sessions, waterskills exercises, workshops and a hands on practical assessment I am learning to develop the skills to organise and direct a number of scuba activities in a professional capacity and to help me attain the skills to become an pro underwater photographer.
Digital Underwater Instructor Course (Mar 18)
Ocean Turtle, Basingstoke, UK
My dream come true! During this course to become a photography instructor I will be covering standards and procedures, supervision, site depths and timings, training considerations, equipment requirements and safety and helping students achieve photographic mastery.
PADI courses are a great way to learn new skills and have enabled me to build my knowledge, practical skills and experience over time.
Digital Underwater Photographer
Using the PADI SEA (Shoot, Examine, Adjust) method of photography, I learned the principles for composition of underwater images and practical techniques to obtain photos using a digital camera and photo editing.
Peak Performance Buoyancy
I learned how to determine the exact weight needed, so I’m not too light or too heavy, streamline my body to save energy, use air more efficiently, move more smoothly through the water and hover effortlessly in any position.
Enriched Air Diver
I learned how nitrox allows longer dives and how to manage oxygen exposure. I practiced analysing oxygen content in the scuba tank and how to set my dive computer for diving with enriched air (nitrox).
Emergency Oxygen Provider
I learned about dive injuries, different types of emergency oxygen equipment and safety considerations when using oxygen. I practiced using emergency oxygen equipment and using a mask on a nonbreathing diver.
Delayed Surface Marker Buoy Diver
Surface marker buoys (SMBs) allow divers to mark boundaries for mapping, alert boat traffic, or provide a a visual reference. I learned the proper techniques for deploying marker buoys at the surface and at depth.
This course expanded my knowledge about diving from small to large vessels. I learned diving procedures and terminiology, how to enter and exit the boat, stow my gear, use safety equipment and how to make a distress call on the marine radio.
I learned how to safely conduct shore dives, how to pick dive sites, plan dives, choose equipment, entry and exit points, consider sea conditions and terrain, problem-solve and navigate to confidently conduct shore dives with a buddy.
The course taught me to focus on what I could see in the torch beam, how to control fear and buoyancy by feel, communicate with my buddy, enter and exit the water, navigate in the dark and observe marine behaviour.
During the course I learned different methods to estimate distance under water, navigate using natural clues and by reading a compass, marked a submerged object from the surface and made an underwater map.
PADI Skin Diver
Skin diving is the ability to snorkel at the surface as well as diving down, known as ‘duck-diving’ or ‘skin-diving’. Durinng the course I learned about safety, weighting, snorkelling techniques inc. clearing the snorkel, known as blasting.
Coral AWARE Conservation Diver
I learned how coral reefs function and the complex nature of life on a reef, why coral reefs are so important, why many coral reefs are in serious trouble and what I can do to help prevent further decline.
Shark AWARE Conservation Diver
I learned about the value of sharks and their crucial role in marine eco systems, what is causing the rapid loss of shark populations, how to dive with sharks safely and what to expect when diving with sharks.
Project AWARE Conservation Diver
I learned about environmental issues in the ocean commons and coastal zones, about fisheries challenges and sustainability problems, what’s happening to coral reefs and reef inhabitants and what I can do to help protect marine environments.
I learned about symbiosis, mutual, commensal and parasitic relationships between marine species, the key differences between the terrestrial and aquatic worlds, identification of aquatic plants, invertebrates and vertbrates.
Fish Identification AWARE Diver
I learned how to identify the different characteristics of fish families and species, fish survey techniques and strategies and about Project AWARE activities which can help protect aquatic marine life.
Coral Restoration Diver Distinctive Speciality
I learned about the threats to coral, the coral life cycle, how to clean, remove algae and predators, prune, tie and tag coral fragmentd, hang coral on a nursery tree, transplant mature corals to the reef and conduct a coral survey.
Sea Turtle Awareness Distinctive Speciality
I learned about sea turtle conservation, behaviour, nesting, identifying characteristics, threats to sea turtles and their habitats and how to help. I also learned how to accurately report sea turtle sightings to Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire.
OceanReef Full Face Mask with Communication
Learning to use the full face mask means a greater field of vision whilst diving, no fogging of the mask, no flooding, no jaw fatigue from the regulator and the ability to communicate with my dive buddies underwater. Great fun!
Sea Search Observer Volunteer
I map out various types of sea bed found near the shore, and record what lives in each sea bed which helps Seasearch establish the richest sites for marine life, where problems are and which areas need protecting.
Seahorse Survey Course
During this two day, eight session course I learned how to identify different seahorses, found out what makes them tick, how to find them, why males get pregnant, where they live and how to survey them.
I’m always keen to meet other divers, ocean photographers and kindred spirits. You are very welcome to get in touch; a quick email is the best way to contact me, so we can arrange a convenient time to chat.