I started diving many moons ago…when I was 18 years old. Since then it is only really in the last 4 years that I have had the time and ability to take up this sport in earnest. Joining my Totnes BSAC club I have loved exploring the Devonshire and Cornish coast with my dive buddies. I have never been disappointed with British diving. It might be inconsistent thanks to UK weather and issues with visibility and plankton blooms but I love it all the same. It always provides interesting scenes, new species that I haven’t seen before and a great community to share your experiences with.
Last year I had the chance to head to Madeira. The vis was an impressive 20m, the seas were filled with octopus, Grouper and lovely species which I don’t see in my home waters. I got the bug to explore other seas and more tropical waters…but still love UK seas!
This year, next week in fact, I have the chance to have many firsts. I will be on my first liveaboard boat trip with Blue O Two, my first coral reef diving experience, my first time I have dived the Red Sea and hopefully the first time I dive with sharks. I am a little bit excited!!
As a mum it’s not always easy to justify a trip like this and so it hasn’t happened in previous years as family holidays were needed to cater for everyone. But this year, I am taking a week to explore the Red Sea with my good marine biologist buddy Dr Emma Sheehan. She has experience of the Chagos archipelago, Australia’s coral reefs and is far more diver travelled than I. It’ll be interesting to see how she rates her experience compared to me as a reef virgin!
I can’t deny that I’m not a little apprehensive. The sharks that we hope to see live in currents of waters I’ve not dived in before. I am sure that I will get in to my diving groove and love it but it’s nice to have some sense of anticipation to heighten the experience with a little endorphins.
The boat will also have shark expert Dr Elke Bojanowski marine biologist and expert diver guide as educator and guide. I am sure that we are in for a treat and will come back better informed and with some amazing experiences!
I’m really interested to see how other divers on the boat feel about conservation and the role of educators like Elke on dive trips. It seems like a knowledgable shark expert on board a diving holiday is a great opportunity to learn a little more about the aquatic world that us divers love to explore and make us become more conscientious, conservation-minded divers.
So I have packed…what do you take on a trip like this? …not very much other than dive kit! I’m going for my semi-dry Othree wetsuit & hood which will keep me more than toasty at depth when contrasting on photography. My simple but effective Sony RX100 with Recsea housing, my trusty Aqua-lung BCD & reg set, SMB, Hollis fins & mask, Suunto dive computer that I probably should update at some point and a few bikinis, shorts & vests. I think I have it covered…SPF 50 too!
I will be reporting back on my experience so watch this space to hear about what I might see and check out my twitter feed @mayaplass for some over-excited exclamations about what I’ve seen…
…let the adventure begin!