I started my SCUBA training later than many (at 43 yrs of age) with Melovan Galea in MALTA in 1988. Mel is very well known in the Maltese islands and has introduced a great many people to the wonders of the undersea world. Having had a taste of that world I returned to the UK and searched for a dive school. I found White Horse Diving, run by Mark Horton, in the hamlet of Uffcott just south of Swindon. A dive school on a farm... we did wonder! My son, Simon, and I took the PADI Open Water Diver course during the Easter holidays in 1989. We did it the best way - an intensive, one-week straight run, including Certifying in the world famous (and at that time less-refined) Stoney Cove. I then followed the standard run of PADI courses. Advanced was done in Malta with Meldives. Rescue in the UK and Divemaster too.

To this day I maintain I did it the right way - LOTS of diving between courses to broaden experience. No point in "fast-tracking" just for the paperwork/licence. For the first six years I dived only the UK, apart from 2 trips to Malta. The Red Sea beckoned in 1995 when we went to visit (again - less refined than today) Camel Divers at Sharm. I took my Instructor Course and exams in November 1996 and certified my first OWD students while visiting our ex-White Horse man Bob Cozens at Hurghada in early 1997. Now I teach mainly the PADI Advanced Course, but I am, once again, a student, working my way to BSAC Advanced Diver, and OWI.

The best advice I can give anyone taking up SCUBA diving, with any Agency, is:

GET YOUR BASIC CERTIFICATION, JOIN A LOCAL DIVE CLUB, AND DIVE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN IN AS MANY LOCATIONS AS YOU CAN

When I am not diving, I try to get others to start! I also undertake photography/videography work for good causes.

I have been fortunate enough to dive in the following locations over the years, and some I will revisit one day (I hope):

Vancouver - Antigua - Hurghada - Sharm (Naama Bay) - Marsa Alam - Florida - East Coast Florida - West Coast California -

Malta - Turkey -Altinkum/Bodrum - Scapa Flow - The Lizard in Cornwall - Stoney Cove - Vobster Quay - NDAC Chepstow

Lyme Bay, Plymouth, Beer, Teignmouth, Portsmouth , etc..

The Scilly Isles - Falmouth - Pembrokeshire - Shetlands - The Farne Islands- The Baltic, Red Sea Liveaboard 2018, 19,

Yet to do List: the Similans, Truk Lagoon, St Kilda,

UK DIVING IS GREAT! What may surprise some of you is that UK diving is still my favourite. I like cool water diving!

I remain a life-long member of the Seahorse Dive Club, Wroughton, Wiltshire: now in its 26th year - they encourage a continuing interest in UK diving, with member numbers typically hovering above 75, many of them diving in the UK all year round. I am also a member of the Solstice Branch of BSAC.

The Committee and some of the Members also arrange overseas trips, often in parties of 10 or more. We have a tradition now: the Christmas Dives and Dinner - usually one week before Christmas - where the attendance often exceeds 50% of the membership, whatever the weather - TWO dives followed by an excellent Christmas Dinner. (at NDAC - The View) .

To see plans and a variety of images of dive sites recently visited go here: SDC Website, and select the Archive