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Surfer to diver in 3 days!


Congratulations to Bridget from Coastalwatch for gaining her Open Water Diver certification! It was my pleasure to teach Bridget to dive last weekend as part of a joint project between Project AWARE, PADI and Coastalwatch.

Coastalwatch provides a great resource for Australian surfers by placing web cams at popular breaks and reporting on surf conditions. But more than this, Coastalwatch works with scientists to monitor beach erosion, supports surf-based charities and volunteer organisations, and promotes effective and sustainable management of our coastlines.

Coastalwatch has a great idea to make a series of videos informing Aussie surfers of the wonders that can be found under their surfboards. The series will look at the many benefits of marine parks and how surfers can enjoy the ocean by diving when no surf can be found.

But before Bridget can make the films she must first learn to dive. Bridget took to diving as easily as any dive instructor would expect from a life-long surfer. Right from the first pool session Bridget had great body position and strong fin kicks (except for that turtle moment - well even pros get dumped!) 

We completed our training dives at Shelley Beach in Manly, a location well known to Aussie surfers.  A big thank you to the team at Dive Centre Manly for providing us with equipment and access to their pool for Bridget's course!!

Bridget's first underwater experience was in the Cabbage Tree Bay, an area that has been a no-take zone since 2002. Port Jackson sharks came to check out the new diver and circling blue gropers were always close to hand. Cabbage Tree Bay is a testament to the benefits of protecting areas of our coast from extractive activities. 

Follow the progress of this great initiative on the Coastalwatch My Ocean page:

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