It was 1989 and I was living in London, working at the Medical Research Council and attending Coventry University. Mum wanted to take my Aunty Iris on holiday as she had recently lost my Uncle Jack. Apparently, having a single room was more expensive than having someone go with them, so I got to go for free! While there, Mum encouraged my Dad and I to do a ‘try dive’. Basically, they kit you up, shove you in the water after some brief instruction, and then take a photo of you. I still have that photo! At that point, both Dad and I were hooked.
Fast forward to that Autumn when I returned to Coventry as a 4th year, and final, student. I joined the BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club) and started training. I loved every minute of it. I ‘inhaled’ what I could about diving from all of my instructors. January saw me taking my first open water dive in a quarry, — Stoney Cove. It was freezing. However, I continued training, and eventually when I went home for the Easter break, Dad was ready to go diving. Our first dive was so much fun — it hailed and filled up the bottom of the boat, but we were having such a good time we didn’t care!
Since then I have dived all over the world, but my favourite dive buddy is still my Dad. I am currently a BSAC Advanced Diver (CMAS 3 star), and Instructor (though I no longer teach).
Red Sea Safari before there were any hotels in the Sinai peninsula. We camped on the beach, the only fresh water we had was for drinking (which was always warm), and we washed in the sea. It was stunning. Sadly, cameras were only for the elite few then, and I have nothing but memories.
Australia on Mike Ball’s boats. A 3 day trip to Lizard Island, then a 7 day trip to the coral sea. Again, no camera, but good memories of that time. I’d love the opportunity to visit again some day.
Grand Cayman, my second home. After a long period of “no, I don’t need a camera, I’m fine how it is”, I finally got my first underwater housing, and now I’m packing something a little more ‘advanced’.