Getting Back Into Diving After A Break

Looking at getting back into diving after a break? Read all about Carrie’s own experiences of returning to diving after having a family.

  • A few months after I started working at Oonasdivers back in 2002, Alison and Emma (my bosses and directors of the company) sat me down and asked whether I wanted to go and spend a week in Egypt to do my PADI Open Water Course. Of course the answer was a definite yes, a few weeks later I was out at the Oonas Dive Club in Sharm and successfully completed my course (after a few attempts at mask removal which was definitely my least favourite part). This is how my diving journey began and discovering the beautiful underwater world remains to be one of the best things that I have ever done.

    Over the next few years I was extremely lucky to experience diving at the stunning southern villages of Marsa Shagra, Marsa Nakari and Wadi Lahami, Malta & Gozo, El Hierro in the Canary Islands, and Sharks Bay Umbi Village, plus somewhere in between all this I completed my Advanced Open Water Course onboard MY Juliet in the northern Red Sea.

  • Then what happened? Well in 2006 I had my eldest daughter Emily and went on maternity leave. Upon my return to work I managed a couple of short trips but it wasn’t quite so easy to get away any more. Then in 2009 my youngest daughter Charlotte was born and it was even more difficult to get away, though I did manage a long weekend at the lovely Sharks Bay Umbi Village to do a couple of dives.

    Over the last few years, since we have been offering our holidays to Tobago, I have often though how brilliant it would be if myself and my husband could get out there. It looked ideal as my husband is a non-diver and there is plenty to do topside as well as underwater, plus I knew he would really enjoy the laid back, relaxed attitude, the beautiful beaches and the delicious food.

    So at the end of the last year, I decided to go for it, get booked in and surprised my husband, Chris on Christmas Day. We have both been really looking forward to it ever since, not only do we get to spend a week in this stunning location, but we also get our first child free week so we are super excited (not that we won’t miss them of course!).

    Mixed with the excitement I was feeling pretty nervous about the diving. My last dive was back in 2012 and before then it was a bit patchy since my eldest daughter came along. I didn’t really want to wait until we got to Tobago to do my Scuba Review as I knew I would be really nervous by then, so I decided to book myself in with our local dive centre, Sovereign Aqua Trek.

  • So about a month ago I made my way down to the pool and was greeted warmly by Graham Orridge and the rest of the Aqua Trek team. A little bit of theory and it was time to get into the water to have a go at the skills. It really built my confidence being taken through everything step by step, from setting up the equipment, buddy checks and being underwater, in a fairly familiar environment. An hour or so later, skills completed (including mask removal), we had a bit of time left so I had a good swim around and got myself used to being in the water and the feel of the equipment again.

    It was time to get out all too soon. A quick change and I sat down to do the theory test, aargh, some of this stuff I hadn’t looked at since I did my open water course back in 2002! Well I did better than I thought, managing 17 out of 20, and Graham explained the ones that I had got wrong.

    At the end of the evening I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, I’d done it! Most of it came back to me but the bits that didn’t were explained and I was taken through them again, it did me a world of good. Graham very kindly invited me to their next dive night in a couple of weeks so I could have a bit more time in the pool fine-tuning my buoyancy and practising a few skills again.

    I really, really enjoyed the next dive night. It was great just swimming around, experimenting with my buoyancy and really getting comfortable being underwater again. I’ve got the bug again (she says with a massive smile on her face!), and I can’t wait to get into the water in Tobago.

    And it turns out I don’t have to wait long as we are off tomorrow! Our first 2 nights we are booked to stay at Toucan Inn, Pigeon Point and I will be diving with Undersea Tobago, then it’s up to Blue Waters Inn and diving with Blue Waters Dive’N for the remainder of our trip.

    Recent sightings include Spotted Eagle Ray, Hawksbill Turtle, Dolphins and large Tarpon. Let's hope they stick around for the next week!

    Keep an eye on the website to read the second instalment of my return to diving!

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