When the sea claims you with her charms there is no escape!
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
Jacques Yves Cousteau
In 2008, I was given a “Discover Scuba Diving” experience voucher, which I redeemed with DiveStyle. Nervous, I turned up on the agreed date, along with a group of similarly wary individuals, all clutching towels and swim wear, wondering what was going to happen. We were greeted by a very relaxed and professional team of guys who offered up cups of tea and biscuits and soon had us talking to each other and generally relaxing into the event.
One of the instructors had a T-Shirt, which caught my attention immediately. Printed onto the black, was a white architects drawing of a submarine and the words “I’ve dived the M2”. Sipping on my tea, I asked the question – “So what’s the M2?”. To my utter amazement, I found out that this experimental submarine was the world’s first and last aircraft carrying submarine, which sank with the loss of all hands in 1932 as a result of a training accident. I was genuinely mesmerised. With a secret interest in submarine warfare and some basic flying experience, I had no idea that the two had ever come together. It had my name on it!
Even before I hit the water that day, the wheels were turning. Needless to say, I loved the try dive experience, and once changed and out of the water, I wanted to know more about the M2. Again, over another fresh cup of tea, I was told that it lay on the sea bed off the South Coast, near Portland, in reasonably deep water (32m). Whilst not a difficult dive, you needed to get there by boat and have your wits about you. To get the most out of the dive, I needed to learn the basics, then progress to deep water skills. I’d need to learn to dive in a dry suit and learn about special mixes in my cylinder which would enable me to spend a sensible amount of time on the wreck. It wasn’t going to be a quick to learn, but it was definitely going to be a journey.
I rang and booked my first course with DiveStyle and then the fun really began; as I need to learn to swim – properly. Not the summer holidays, messing about in the water, kind of swimming, but real water skills that would keep me, and others, safe in the water.
Each course with DiveStyle, I added a new set of skills; navigation, deep, wreck, dry suit, enriched air, boat diving. And each year, I travelled to new places and tried out my skills; dive sites in the UK, dive sights abroad.
And then the bug really hit. The more I did, the more I learned. The more I learned, the more I loved what I knew. I became a rescue diver and learned first aid skills. I learned about optimising my buoyancy and how to help with search & recovery projects. By now, I’d become a long distance swimmer and swam weekly!
Did I dive the M2? Of course, but it took two attempts before we found it. Was it everything I wanted it to be? Sort of. By then, I had dived with turtles, all manner of tropical fish, discovering underwater reefs and diving at night. I’d been diving in Europe, the Caribbean and the India Ocean and seen sharks, dolphins and whales. I’d seen natural and artificial wrecks and met the most amazing array of individuals.
And now I’m a Dive Master at DiveStyle and have the privilege and honour to take people on their first diving experience or help them achieve their own diving goals as well as wok with some of what I consider to be the best instructional team in the industry. I do, however, have a huge soft spot for the M2; since without it, I wouldn’t have the friends, the experiences and the memories that come from this amazing unique sport.
If you are ready to start your journey then get in contact, we would love to add you to our aquanauts!