Who has never dreamed of diving in the turquoise Caribbean Sea alongside dolphins, rays and turtles? The world is two-thirds oceans and most of us never get the chance to explore below.
But did you know that you can get there by learning to dive locally?
Amelia Clark, 17 of Twickenham, has a PADI open water qualification.
The PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification in open water is the first level of diving certification.
I asked Amelia how and where she had learned.
“I did theory online, then five training dives in the pool. To complete the course, I completed four qualifying dives at Wraysbury Lake.
But surely it is difficult? “Anyone can learn to dive, the theory is quite long and it takes time, but diving can actually be made very accessible and the instructors are very helpful. Anyone can take the course and learn to dive with time and practice ”.
Where did you go open water diving? “I dived in Portland, Dorset at 3 different sites: we did two wreck dives, one on the Dredger and one on the Countess of Earn which were sunken ships. I also did a drift dive in Balaclava Bay, which is a style of diving where you travel with the current rather than against the current ”.
How was it ? “It was amazing, the visibility was much better than I expected and I saw different types of fish and anemones. It was quite cold anyway!
It doesn’t have to be expensive to learn. Joining a BSAC club (the UK’s national governing body for diving) is the most cost-effective route and usually costs between £ 175 and £ 300 depending on what diving qualification you want to achieve. There are many clubs open locally in London, one being at the Pools On The Park public swimming pool in Richmond Thames. Learning to dive could be an important stepping stone to a dream vacation.