Here is a blog from Vicky Hayes who organised the recent Scuba Blue PADI Women's Dive Day 2019.
Those of you who know me, know that I don’t need any persuasion to jump off a boat and explore the underwater world but this day was particularly special as it was a celebration of the growing numbers of women that are getting into the sport of SCUBA diving.
At Scuba Blue we are really proud of the high number of women that dive with us with many of our trips being a 50/50 male/female split.
After the successful shore diving at Brixham last year, this year we decided to take a trip down to Swanage and head off to explore the Valentine Tanks with ‘Sinbad’ from Swanage Boat Charters. The tanks are WW2 amphibious vehicles that lie at 15m in Poole Bay, 30 minutes out from Swanage.
With ropes off just after midday, the excitement built as we gathered on the pier ready to jump aboard ‘Viper’ and head out to sea. It was great to see so many ladies from last year’s dive day and this year we also had some new faces join us, which is always fantastic.
For a few of the group, this would be their first trip on a dive boat and along with excitement, naturally came some apprehension. Scuba Blue Dive Masters Carla, Jo and myself were on hand to guide, explain the process and build confidence in those who hadn’t boat dived previously.
I love diving on the tanks. It will always be a Swanage favourite for me, as it was my first boat dive 3 years ago when I learnt to dive. I’ve been lucky enough to revisit the dive site several times since, but once again it took my breath away as we descended down the shot line and found ourselves surrounded by vast quantities of shoaling Bib.
The amount of marine life that the Valentine Tanks has to offer is amazing, especially given the limited size of the wrecks. Everywhere we looked we spotted life. Tompot Blennies, leopard-spotted gobies, large Wrasse, Edible Crabs, Velvet Crabs, Common Prawns and Conger Eels were all inhabiting the wrecks.
On the swim between the two tanks (roughly 70 metres - following a rope) we spotted a Dahlia Anemone and there was also a cuttlefish sighting by another buddy pair. We could tell that we were nearing the second tank because once again we found ourselves surrounded by fish.
By the time we had finished the dive the swell had picked up rather a lot, which made for quite an eventful exit for some of us ladies... along with lots of giggles!!
After some light refreshments at the pier cafe, some of us then headed off for a second dive under the pier.
We finished the day off nicely, with fish, chips and ice cream. It was a fabulous day, great company, brilliant diving and loads of laughter.
Last year we had 9 ladies join us on PADI Women’s Dive Day, this year 12... who knows what next year will bring as Scuba Blue has already certified over 25 new women divers this year!!
If you would like to join the next Scuba Blue PADI Women's Dive Day then get in touch with us; check out the Scuba Blue website. If you fancy organising your own trip to Swanage then we can offer advice, contacts and kit hire. Thanks to the fantastic folk at Swanage Boat Charters for looking after us all so well.