Life as a Diver. Katy Jane Dives - Seashell Stories.
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"Diving is my medicine and whenever I feel overwhelmed with my life on land, it’s so restorative to gear up and go for a dive"!
Where/How did you get into diving?
In 2016 I moved from England to Thailand to embark on a new job working as a coastal conservation project coordinator for an international volunteer organisation.
Although this programme did not involve diving, I was pulled towards giving it a go and on some down time I travelled over to Koh Tao, an island in the Gulf of Thailand, to complete my Open Water course.
Fast forward several years, and thousands of dives later, I am a qualified scuba instructor, currently taking a bit of time off teaching to focus on my own dive education and interests.
Why do you dive?
I have always been fascinated by the ocean and after that first experience in Thailand, I caught the scuba bug.
Descending beneath the waves into a hidden and alien environment isn’t like any other feeling I know of.
Each dive is different to the last, even when diving the same location. It’s easy to slip into a flow state, a very focused and mindful state of mind, and it’s that what I love about diving and being underneath the surface.
There is an element of breathwork involved too. Deep, slow, constant breathing, and you can hear this – it’s very relaxing. Water is a huge healer, and anyone that spends time by, on or in water knows this.
Diving is my medicine and whenever I feel overwhelmed with my life on land, it’s so restorative to gear up and go for a dive!
Sea, Rivers or Lochs?
Always sea, but I’m quite partial to a fair few quarry dives too!
We have a good number of inland quarries in England and Wales that have been kitted out especially for scuba training, with lots of things to look at, not just different species of freshwater fish, but old airplanes, helicopters, buses and shipwrecks in!
I would love to dive in a river as it will be a completely different environment and it’s on my bucket list to dive in one of Scotland's lochs next time I visit!
Where is your favourite place to dive and why?
That’s a hard one.
The UK is full of underrated dive sites, but we need the perfect environmental conditions to be able to dive these, which can be tricky!
But, I will always have a soft spot for Thailand.
The Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea are fantastic sites to dive, with regular sightings of megafauna such as Manta rays and Whalesharks.
I’ll never forget my first time diving with a whaleshark!
If you had one piece of advice for someone looking into starting diving what would it be?
Find out where your local dive school are and go and chat to them! I had so many questions when I was looking into doing my first course, and a lot of the unanswered questions were what were holding me back for so long.
Once I contacted the dive school and went into speak to them, I immediately felt at ease and everything fell into place. Take it easy, take deep slow breathes and don’t worry if you panic – we’ve all been there!
Where would like to go diving that you have never been before and why?
I would love to go to the Cocos Islands off the coast of Costa Rica. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site with dramatic underwater landscape. It is the perfect place for marine wildlife including schooling Hammerhead sharks…yeah, it’s a dream of mine!
"it is ever-increasingly important to nurture ourselves, whatever way that may be".
What is a fun fact about you?
Aside from my scuba hobby, I’m a Trustee for a UK shark and marine conservation charity called Shark Guardian, work as a project manager for a waterways and wellbeing charity and also run my own blog site which is full of information about diving and lots of equipment reviews – I even snuck in a little review of the Seashell changing robe!
"Seashell Robes have the best robes on the market and they’re growing in popularity."
"Not only do Seashell make waterproof changing robes, but they also have their own community. Seashell practice what they preach and put their products to good use in wild swimming and fitness community events up in Scotland."
In what way is mental health and community important to you?
Living in the fast paced and often stressful world that we do, it is ever-increasingly important to nurture ourselves, whatever way that may be.
I feel that nature has the ability to nurture us, and with us being such social creatures, community is at the centre to this.
We are more resilient together.
That is why I’m such a fan of the community that Seashell are building, and although there are miles between us right now, I’m hoping that one day there will be Seashell events across the UK!
Thank you very much to Katy for her interview. We very much look forward to seeing more of her work and adventures and hope to meet her on one of our UK tours in the future.
Our aim is to share other people's stories. Whether you have a story about mental health, community or why you started wild swimming for example.
If you would like to be featured in our Seashell stories then email us on: email@example.com
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