In 2013 I took a bit of a break from diving. Issues at work & at home were taking too much of my time and effort, and I’d achieved all that I initially set out to do. I’d become an Open Water Instructor, was qualified to dive with mixed gases & rebreathers, and had swam with a 3 metre Porbeagle shark over the wreck of HMS Audacious in Malin Head.
It was time for a break.
My brother had bought me a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) gift voucher about 18 months earlier, so I hastily arranged to take it and got my first taste of motorbiking. It says something for the guys at Probike in Chester that I went from having never ridden a bike to driving down the dual carriageway at 70mph within the space of half a day! I was hooked, I signed up for the Direct Access training scheme and a few months later had my full bike license.
Riding bikes was a bit of a shock, I’d taken to diving instantly and was pretty good at it – riding a bike was hard work and it took me a while to pick it up and feel comfortable on a bike – but that’s a story on it’s own!
A whole year or so later, I found myself at a place called Dorothea. The abandoned slate quarry was one of my favourite dive sites. I was taking a few less experienced people in for a guided dive, my first in many months. The first dive was a write-off. One of the guys had issues with his kit and I had to accompany him to the surface and make sure he was safe and well. The second dive found me at 35m looking out over a ledge into the darkness below. I just wanted to be down there. I needed to be down there!
The enthusiasm came flooding back, and plans for the year ahead started to take shape…