To say that the past few months have gone quickly is an understatement at the least! From my first open water dive, to getting my new dry suit, to EuroTek and my PADI Advanced Open Water course, it's been a busy few weeks!
I think that one of the standout moments for me has to be meeting a particular man - John Womack, creator of some of the best dry suits in the world! He was absolutely amazing, revealing that he was donating not just a tailor made dry suit, but two undersuits as well, clearly proves that his kindness knows no bounds. All made in custom blue and pink of course!
Another of my favourite moments had to be EuroTek 2014! We went to some amazing talks by Sami Paakkarinen, Immi Wallin and Jouni Polkko, Jason Mallinson and Lamar Hires on all things diving! However, an amazing presentation from Evan Kovacs was without a doubt one of the best as his simply beautiful 3D videos transported us halfway across the planet with him - an unforgettable moment! I was also able to collect my dry suit from John, and it didn't take me long to get into it - the next day to be precise!
I was also able to meet some very special divers; Vikki Batten, Mark Powell, Chloe Marechal, Emma Heron, and Immi Wallin were all lovely, and provided me with lots of advice and information about an area of diving I knew very little about. Also, a massive thank you to Mark Powell, who provided me with a signed copy of his book - a bit of light bedtime reading for me!
However, none of this would have been possible if it wasn't for a special woman! If it wasn't for Roz Lunn, who so kindly donated the ticket for me, I wouldn't have been able to have this incredible experience, and meet people who provided me with vast amounts of inspiration. A massive thanks to Roz!
Ferret Fest was also great - being able to meet people and talk about the scholarship to others was a lovely experience! And it was great to see Steve, Lynette and Richard again - especially as I wasn't a dithering wreck!
Finally, time for some actual diving! Diving without my buddies Chloe and George for the first time was quite daunting. It took some getting used to not seeing them by my side! However, I was instead joined by two lovely men, Tom and Ben, who despite being considerably better at navigation than I was, didn't fail to make me feel more than comfortable considering I was both the baby and only girl in the group!
Passing my Advanced Open Water made me truly feel like a diver. We were slowly removed from the comfort of following our instructor like sheep all the time, and we took full responsibility for planning our own dives! However, there had to be some hiccups along the way, including me swimming a little bit too fast on our navigation dive with poor Rich buddying with me! And to say that our deep dive was an experience in itself is the only way I can sum it up; it was a lot darker than I had imagined!
Oh, and not to forget the Immerse School of Diving birthday party! Whilst dressing up in Lederhosen for the night would not have been my immediate choice, it was a great night with friends and family! With Pete winning best dressed for an obvious reason, and Brett not far behind him, it's easy to say that these people have taken me out of my comfort zone to say the least!
It has been an amazing few months, and ones that I'll never forget! Even though everything is slowly getting colder, and I'm piling up on the layers, I've still got loads more to look forward to, including my Emergency First Responder, something I'm particularly excited about!
And yet again, none of this could be done without some very special people - Jo, Tony, Pete, Rich and all of the other divers at Immerse have made my experience truly memorable and I'm lucky to say that I have made some friends for life!
Lois Adams x
Lois is the 2014 Georgia Williams Diving Scholar, and has completed her PADI Open Water Diver and PADI Advanced Open Water Diver courses as part of her Scholarship year. She will now start learning diver rescue with the Emergency First Response and PADI Rescue Diver courses. Keep an eye out for Lois' next blog post to see how she gets on.
The Georgia Wiliams Diving Scholarship is funded by The Georgia Williams Trust and Immerse School of Diving, supported by BBC adventurer Monty Halls, and sponsored by Otter Watersports Drysuits. It is an opportunity for one young person a year to larn to become a PADI Master Scuba Diver, the highest PADI recreationl diving qualification, with Immerse School of Diving in Telford. Want to learn more about The Georgia Williams Diving Scholarship? Check out our website page for further information on our work for The Georgia Williams Trust.