Today is PADI Women’s Day – a day celebrating women in diving. We chatted with Tersia Greenstone, our PADI Dive School Coordinator, about scuba diving at the Two Oceans Aquarium!
When and where did you learn to dive?
When I was a volunteer at the Aquarium 14 years ago, I did a Discover Scuba Diving experience and the bug bit me! I went on to obtain a Level 4 Commercial Diving license, which I obtained through the University of Cape Town. I found a job at the Aquarium as an Aquarist and later, completed my PADI Open Water Scuba Diver Instructors course so I could teach at Aquarium’s new PADI Dive School, which opened in 2021. I also completed a PADI Freediving Instructors course to enhance the Dive School!
What is your favourite part of diving?
Diving has so many benefits: stress relief, improved physical fitness, increased mindfulness, and a closer connection with nature are just a few. It is a great way to discover and learn about marine life, and it’s an avenue for adventure and exploration.
What’s it like teaching diving in an Aquarium?
Teaching diving inside the Aquarium is a unique and rewarding experience. It provides the advantage of a controlled and predictable environment. Unlike open water diving (diving in the ocean), the conditions in the Aquarium are usually stable, with clear visibility, calm waters, and controlled water temperature.
The controlled environment inside the Aquarium facilitates enhanced learning opportunities, as students can focus on their diving skills and techniques without distractions or concerns about changing conditions. Instructors can guide students through specific tasks, such as buoyancy control, navigation, and underwater communication, in a more controlled and structured manner.
The Aquarium houses a diverse range of marine life and other fascinating creatures. Teaching diving in this setting allows students to have up-close encounters with marine species they might not encounter in open water. It is a unique opportunity to observe and learn about marine ecosystems in a controlled environment.
Teaching diving in an Aquarium setting also allows for integrating educational components. Instructors can provide information about marine life on display, highlighting their characteristics, behaviours, and ecological importance. This can enrich the diving experience, providing a deeper understanding of the underwater world and fostering a sense of environmental stewardship.
The Aquarium Dive School prioritises safety, which is reassuring for both instructors and students. We typically have safety protocols, emergency response systems, and experienced staff on hand to ensure divers' well-being. Diving in the Aquarium combines the thrill of diving with the captivating world of underwater ecosystems on display while providing a safe and controlled environment.
Which is your favourite Aquarium exhibit to dive in?
My favourite exhibit would be the Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Exhibit.
Do you have any advice for women in diving?
- Seek proper training and enrol in a reputable diving certification course from organisations like PADI. Quality training is crucial to ensure you learn essential skills and safety procedures and gain the confidence to dive independently.
- Look for a dive centre that fosters a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for divers of all genders. Research and read reviews to find a centre that values diversity and promotes a safe and inclusive diving community.
- Invest in well-fitting diving equipment designed for women. This includes a properly fitted wetsuit, mask, fins, and a buoyancy control device (BCD). Diving equipment that fits well enhances comfort, manoeuvrability, and overall diving experience.
- Always dive with a buddy, regardless of your gender. The buddy system enhances safety and provides extra support and assistance underwater. Ensure clear communication and establish a plan before each dive.
- Engage in regular physical activity and maintain good overall fitness. Diving can require physical strength, endurance, and flexibility. Strengthening core muscles and improving cardiovascular health will enhance your diving abilities.
- Believe in yourself and cultivate a positive mindset. Diving may present new challenges, but you can overcome them with proper training and experience. Be patient, trust your skills, and embrace the adventure and learning opportunities that diving offers.
- Join online forums, social media groups, and local diving clubs to connect with other divers. Networking with experienced divers can provide valuable insights, advice, and potential dive buddies.
- As a woman in diving, you can inspire and empower others to explore the underwater world. Share your experiences, encourage fellow women to try diving, and support initiatives that promote inclusivity and diversity in the diving community.
- Develop a strong sense of environmental responsibility. Follow good diving practices, such as proper buoyancy control, and not touching or damaging marine life. Act as an advocate for marine conservation and spread awareness about the importance of protecting our oceans.
- Diving is a remarkable adventure that allows you to explore breathtaking underwater environments. Embrace the underwater world's joy, wonder, and beauty while diving. Remember to savour each dive and create lasting memories.
Keen to start your own diving journey?Go to: DIVE SCHOOL
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