Hello and welcome back to another one of my blogs for Sairee Cottage Diving. This time I would like to give you a few you all a few tips on how you can keep diving even when your trip is over. You can also take your diving in different directions that can be far more rewarding than just fun diving in paradise.
So, your trip is over and it was a life changing experience. All of the people you met, places you went and new things that you have tried were so overwhelming and you will never forget them. Going from experiencing such high levels of excitement and adventure for the past few months can leave you restless. I know that all I could think about when I got home from my first trip, many years ago, was scuba diving and exploring new places. Unfortunately, I did not look into all the diving possibilities close to home. Since coming back to Koh Tao, I have realized just how many great diving opportunities were right on my doorstep that I overlooked or just never considered was a possibility.
First of all, there are plenty of dive shops and clubs even in the most unlikely of places. Even my hometown of Kingston-Upon-Thames has a dive club and for around 20 pounds you can have a pool session to practice your skills and stay up to date. You can also join plenty of organized dive trips and courses, many of which are not available in places like Koh Tao, such as dry suite diving. These dive shops and dive clubs can also point you in the right direction for local dive spots. When I first started diving, I didn’t think that the cold British waters would have anything to offer. This is far from the truth. Around the UK you can see seals, dolphins, sharks and even oceanic sunfish. These are high up on any divers list of must see animals. I was so surprised when I checked online as to just how many dive clubs and dive sites there were that I could have visited on weekends if I wished to.
There are also some extremely rewarding dive opportunities that many new divers wouldn’t even realize are available to them. First of all, there are many marine conservation projects all around the world that take on volunteers to help with surveys and clean up dives. You can also try and volunteer at local aquariums by helping to clean the tanks from the inside. I personally disagree with keeping any animals in captivity but you could be helping to make their lives better and help keep them healthy. I, myself, would pick a conservation job over this option.
Possibly the most rewarding way that you can keep up with diving at home is by finding your nearest scuba therapy club. Scuba therapy is most commonly used for wounded soldiers, often who have lost limbs, to regain confidence, independence and speed up recovery time and It has also been proved to help with PTSD. The weightlessness of being submerged in water gives physically injured armed service personal the freedom and ease of movement, which is now limited on land, in a drug free and pain free way. For those with PTSD it offers an exciting new activity to concentrate on whilst also being in a relaxing beautiful new environment. There are many different companies you can contact to get involved with dive therapy. In the UK Dive Heart and Deptherapy are the biggest two but there are many others around the world.
These are just some of the ways you can keep up with diving at home. A quick search on the Internet will bring up all the best options you have in your area and I’m sure you would be pretty surprised at how amazing the diving can be away from the tropics. If you can’t cope with diving in colder water then there are plenty of volunteer programs in tropical paradises’ that help to monitor and save coral reefs and some of the stranger, often harder to find, marine animals. You can help protect Bottlenose dolphins in Greece, monitor Great White Sharks in South Africa or even track Whale migrations in Canada to name just a few. Don’t let your location put an end to your diving life just remember to come back to Sairee Cottage Diving and tell us about it all.