We’re big fans of scuba diving in the Philippines here at Girls that Scuba. With its incredible shark hotspots, awe-inspiring wreck diving, and a multitude of other stunning sites dotted around the country’s 7000 plus islands, what’s not to love?
Luckily for us, one of our fantastic new Girls that Scuba Ambassadors calls the Philippines her home. Jan Salise is a PADI Divemaster currently based in Mandaue, Cebu City, who takes the opportunity to get underwater in Mactan whenever she can escape the city on the weekends.
We caught up with Jan to learn more about the specifics of her underwater passions - read on to learn more about why diving in Mactan is so accessible, why clean-up dives against debris are imperative to the health of her local underwater environment, and why she hopes dives against debris will help more Filipino divers develop a passion for the ocean.
In the wake of a global viral pandemic, what happens to an industry which relies significantly on travel? As a response to the current outbreak of coronavirus, or COVID-19, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising against all travel - a move which we at Girls that Scuba strongly support. Many countries worldwide are rightfully shutting their borders to protect their populations, meaning that the scuba diving industry has found itself ground to something of a halt.
We’d love for that halt to be as temporary as possible, and whilst we can’t do anything about the virus itself, we can certainly help to keep the industry supported so that we can get back in the water as soon as possible once it’s safe to travel again.
With such a huge community of scuba divers at our fingertips, we’re eager to use our impact for good in this tumultuous time - and to spread some positivity whilst were at it. With that in mind, we’re here to encourage you to support our industry in whatever way you can right now; whether you have money to spare or you’re tightening the purse strings, read on for plenty of inspiration on how you can have an impact.
We love dive shows here at Girls that Scuba; they are amazing opportunities to meet more GTS members, see (and try on) new dive equipment, add new destinations to our bucket list and see old dive friends!
It's only a few days into 2020 and we are already planning for our first dive show this year; Go Diving Show UK! In its second year Go Diving is already attracting a younger generation of divers and we are excited to be able to influence them with an amazing line up of female divers talking to on the main stage throughout the weekend.
Use code GTS2020 for buy-on-get-one-free tickets
SCUBA STAR: Mersi, 20, is one of the only Indonesian female Dive Master currently working in Labuan Bajo, Flores Island – more commonly known in the scuba world as Komodo, famous for its crazy currents and magical mantas.
One of our GTS Facebook group moderators, Weeze, first met Mersi on a liveaboard in Komodo last year – her massive smiles, enthusiasm and dancing were infectious – underwater, it’s a great way to pass those safety stop minutes! In a region where scuba diving is dominated by men training to be a Dive Master it was not a usual, or easy path for Mersi to take. Weeze was inspired and humbled talking to her, learning about her journey taking her to where she is today – a confident, friendly, experienced and inspirational dive guide.
Thinking about becoming a marine biologist? Here at GTS we have interviewed a fellow GTS member and marine biologist, Rachel Hale from the UK, to tell us everything there is to know about marine biology a marine biologists salary, the steps to getting the right education to head into marine biology and much more.
Have you always dreamed of owning your only dive centre? Buying a place in an exotic location and taking people out diving every day. Well, just like many other Girls that Scuba Sophie Keningale had the same dream - and managed to make it happen in Gran Canaria just a few years after leaving school! We find out her story here!
The Abingdon Co is the epitome of female empowerment. We met this awesome group of women headed up by Abingdon Welch back at the DEMA show in Las Vegas, Nov 2018 and have been lucky enough to spend the few months since testing out their beautiful dive watches and getting to know more about what they are doing in support of women in STEAM industries.
Here at Girls that Scuba we believe in highlighting women in the scuba dive industry who don't usually get the recognition they deserve. We did a mini series on our Instagram account showing women - who didn't have a big following to constantly recognise them - doing amazing things within the ocean and we've been doing this since the day we launched this website in the form of "Scuba Stars". And we are delighted to feature another bad-ass scuba girl making a difference. Let us introduce to you Flossy Barraud:
Christine Grosart is qualified as a full and sidemount cave diver through the Cave Diving Group (CDG) and IANTD and holds Cave 1 and Trimix certs with GUE. Through her diving career she has supported divers such as Rick Stanton in pushing the limits of caves including the Fontaine de Truffe and the Marche Pied. Chris has also successfully headed up cave diving exploration of her own and currently has the end of the line in two caves in France and has pushed the dry cave beyond sumps* in a third and has the end of the line in a Izvor Licanke, Croatia. In 2009 Chris broke the women’s cave diving depth record from a solo dive in Wookey Hole (UK).
Her day job sees her working as a front-line Paramedic and an Offshore & Dive Medic, regularly taking a helicopter to work on the gas platforms and vessels in the North Sea. She also owns and is cave leader of WetWellies Caving in the UK. In her free time she volunteers as Secretary, Trustee, Underwater Photographer and diver for Ghost Fishing UK.
*Sump: a hollow or depression in which liquid collects, especially one in the floor of a mine or cave.
After such notable achievements and more than a lifetime’s worth of work, it was high time for Girls That Scuba/Girls that Tech Dive to catch up with Chris for an honest, funny and in-depth interview to get some insider information on trail blazing, realising aspirations and kicking ass in the diving industry.
Girls that Scuba is home to many Mums that Scuba and we wanted to start highlighting more mums that have managed to continue their passion and also turn a business into it. We recently met Laura Tryrrell owner of Cabo Private Guide at our GTS event in Los Cabo who spoke to us about her journey as a mum in the scuba dive industry.
I think I was about 6 weeks pregnant when I found out. Actually, I think I had just come back from feeling particularly nauseous during a deep dive specialty when I decided to take the test. Or 3 tests actually. A few phone calls to family and friends later and I realised my life had changed completely. Of course it was daunting but I was cool with it; I was lucky to be in relationship with a great guy and my 35 year old ovaries had been screaming at me to grow a human for a few years by now.
But I’m a dive pro. What path does my life take now?
Lombok, in Indonesia has been in the news a lot this week, and for something no one ever wants to hear. The magnitude 6.9 earthquake that hit, alongside a smaller (but still huge) one and after-shook has turned lives upside down. There are tons of news stories and social media posts on what happened and the devastation it left, but we are here to concentrate on the positives, and to celebrate and honour the scuba dive community who have literally dropped everything to provide aid and help for locals who have lost homes.
We always knew the scuba dive community had that special spark about it, but how the community over in Lombok have acted and responded is not only admirable but heartwarming. Here we celebrate those making a difference.
Throughout this article we will be sharing multiple GoFundMe pages where you can donate to help everyone on the ground right now rebuild homes and lives. It is imperative we don't stop donating and spreading awareness.
For news and pictures on the actual earthquake please visit here, we are dedicating this article to the scuba dive communities efforts and tireless love and support to islands they call home.
Girls that Scuba has not even celebrated it's 2nd birthday yet and is already attempting to break records all over the world. Through the power of the female community we managed to get 48 women together in Gili T, Indonesia and try and attempt a world record, but mainly, to have as much fun as possible during a day packed full of female scuba power!
Gemma Smith is a female scuba dive role model of our time; a technical diver, caver diver, Elite Instructor, PADI Ambassadiver, expedition leader, and the first woman ever to dive at the world famous Antikythera Shipwreck - which yielded some of the most important ancient sculptures ever to be found on the seabed. At only 27 years old she has achieved more in her diving career than most will in their lives and has been a constant inspiration to all - no more so than the Girls that Scuba community who have followed her expeditions and stories from the beginning.
On March 14th 2018 Gemma was involved in a car accident - without even being in the car - while walking along the road in The Faroe Islands. What happened next changed her life forever.
We speak exclusively to Gemma about her accident, her diving background, the support of the community and what it is like being a female in the technical diving/recreational diving industry.
At Girls that Scuba we aim to encourage and empower more women to start scuba diving and when we heard Belinda's story about getting through hard times by starting to scuba dive we wanted to share it to motivate and EMPOWER. So, that's what we are doing; here's Belinda's story.
On Girls that Scuba we’ve heard it all; stories involving bodily functions, dive boat slip ups, lack of toilets(?!) and many more in between. And because we are a friendly sharing bunch - who knows how to laugh at ourselves - we thought we'd share some of these with you! Before we put you off, please remember, diving makes us incredibly happy! We all agree that the experiences you are about to read are worth it for what we gain in return; our love and passion for scuba diving!
Dear wetsuit manufacturers,
My name is Hannah and I’m a twenty something travel addict who is head over heels in love with scuba diving. I love marine life, I love the relaxing feeling of being totally submerged in the ocean, and I love the comradery with my fellow ocean lovers. My happiest days are gearing up on boats in the middle of Komodo National Park, or off the coastline of Indonesia’s islands and I dream of diving and snorkeling around the world in places like Silfra, Iceland or Manitoba, Canada with the beluga whales. But, with all my scuba destination dreams and goals there’s something that is holding me back.
You see, while I may be like every other diver in terms of my passion for the underwater world, I always stand out. Why? Because I’m bigger. Curvy, voluptuous, plus-size, even fat if that’s how you want to say it. This shouldn’t be a problem. After all, people come in all shapes and sizes. However, in this industry it is; because apparently, in your minds, my ‘above average size’ means that I shouldn’t be diving.
For most people the first breath taken underwater is truly life changing. Whether its experiencing the marine life, overcoming a challenge or doing something that few get to experience; there is something that happens on most people’s first dive that fundamentally changes them as a person. It was exactly the same for me, I was completely hooked after my first DSD and before I had even started my Open Water Course, I was already had my mind set on becoming a Dive Pro.
Nearly every diver I meet has dreams of being an instructor and travelling the world. This is all very well and good but let’s face it, not everyone can or wants to teach. So what else is out there? What other jobs are there where you can work in diving but without the repetition of doing DSD after DSD, OW after OW? Without all the customer service? A mine clearance diver do I hear you say? Sounds interesting; I wanted to find out more!