It all started on a chilly weekend in March 2002, where I braved the elements to complete the PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course. Four days of cold water and territorial spider crabs did nothing to put me off the sport. In fact, I loved lying on my tummy under the pier on the sand, breathing in cool oxygen and watching tompot blennies and cuckoo wrasse going busily to and fro. The underwater world enraptured me with a powerful fascination. Amazing, beautiful and sometimes very odd looking creatures filled me with awe and wonder. I saw fish that walked along on little feet, lobsters scuttling along looking for their next meal and cuttlefish hovering effortlessly in the water. I was hooked.
It was a different world. A world where I could take a moment and relax, watching the underwater world go by in a symphony of colours, sounds and sensations. It was cool and peaceful and although the practical tasks were at times quite tough (e.g. taking the weight belt and mask off and putting them back on again underwater unaided), it was a experience that makde a deep and lasting impression.