Diver Exploits: Joel Takes Underwater Experience to Premium Levels

Joel The Underwater Centre
Photo property of The Underwater Centre

I grew up on central London. When I say “central,” I mean between Tower Bridge and London Bridge. I can see the London Eye and The Shard from my bedroom window, it’s ace and it’s still home today!

In September 2012, I traveled¬†to study at Keele University which is somewhere between Manchester and Birmingham. I’m currently in my third and last year of study here.

Scuba Adventures Across the Planet

I learnt scuba diving in January of 2012 on a marine conservation project in Fiji. Ever since I was a young boy, the ocean fascinated me. I remember watching David Attenborough, and I would stare¬†transfixed by the amazing marine life and environment. I remember kneeling down on the sandy bottom of the remote bay the project was based in and the water passing over my mask thinking, “I can do this..!”

All of my assumptions were correct – I loved it!

Since then, I’ve dived in the Cook Islands, Egypt, South Africa and I’m about to add Truk Lagoon in Micronesia to that list this Christmas. I love traveling, it’s addictive.

A Suggestion that Changed My Life Course

Joel Training Underwater Centre
Photo property of The Underwater Centre

Someone, a long time before I learnt to dive, suggested I might like commercial diving as a career. But at the time, I didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t mentioned at any careers fair I went to, in fact had that person not suggested it, I’d bet I wouldn’t be writing this today.

It soon became clear after¬†looking into commercial diving that it complimented many of my passions. I mean, who wouldn’t want to work on the ocean floor? Traveling and adventure are probably the most motivating reasons behind my choice to train for¬†a career in commercial diving. I learnt a long time ago that working underwater just¬†because it¬†pays well gets boring/unbearable very¬†fast,¬†though¬†a good salary is definitely a bonus.

I do sometimes wonder how many people would aspire to be commercial divers if the pay wasn’t so great?! I think it’s always healthy to ask yourself why it is you’re doing what you’re doing. I remember really enjoying surveying reef systems and generally working underwater during my time in Fiji.

Learning the Ropes & Answered Questions

Experience-wise, I won’t lie.

I changed my first car tire in September of this year in South Africa on my girlfriend’s car. I have no welding or other mechanical experience; whether that’s good or bad remains to be seen. I do intend on completing a full premium package when I eventually get to The Underwater Centre. That way I cover all my bases, and while it will take me¬†far longer than two¬†weeks to become a good welder, I can’t think of a better place to start that process.

A lot of my questions were answered at the Introduction to Commercial Diving day I attended at The Underwater Centre. I do plan on working in this field: Where and for how long are answers that I don’t have right now.

It’s a blessing that I know what I want to do; so many people turn up to university to earn a degree and expect a job. My expectations are different, this is largely due to my experience before university. My first underwater experience had me hooked so my degree has always been “just another arrow” in my quiver, which has taken a lot of pressure off.

 

Joel is 22-years-old and will be training as a student diver at The Underwater Centre. He is passionate about all things diving related and is working toward a professional career in this field.