Why not try… scuba diving?
A life-changing event prompted Jane Osborne to fulfil her childhood dream of donning fins and taking up diving
Several feet below the surface, surrounded by vast, unending water, Jane Osborne feels transported to another world, miles away from her ordinary life. Whether she’s doing regular training sessions diving in her local pool or plunging down into open waters in the UK and abroad, she says it’s such a privilege to explore this underwater space that so few people get to see.
Jane had always dreamt of scuba diving since she was a child and watched the iconic documentaries of legendary diver Jacques Cousteau. But life got in the way and she never got round to doing it. Then in 2007 her partner tragically died very suddenly. It made her realise that she should make the most of every moment of her life. A year later, having seen someone with a pair of fins at her local pool, she decided to take the plunge and immediately signed up with the Worthing branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) who hold training sessions for divers of all abilities. “I just knew I had to do this now and as soon as I started, I wished I’d done it sooner,” says Jane (55). “In the first few sessions we learned about the kit – most of which they lent me initially – and how to breathe properly. We also learnt safety, how to plan a dive and how to work with a buddy in the water. All this set me off on working towards a diving qualification where I did a mixture of practical and theory sessions, including a dive outdoors which I did in Lanzarote while on holiday.” Since then, Jane has dived in expanses of open water and special diving quarries in the UK, as well as abroad, including Egypt. “Every time you dive in open water you see something completely different as the sea changes constantly. But one of my favourite diving moments was in the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland where I was able to dive with seals. We were only a few metres down but I could feel the warmth of them as they swam past and some even starting nibbling at my thigh. “Diving is great exercise, too, as you have to keep fit to be able to move your kit around and swim a bit but divers really do come in all different shapes and sizes. “We have about 70 members in our club – as well as doing diving sessions with local Brownies and Scout groups – and I’ve made so many friends through doing this.
“Nothing beats the feeling of being down in the water; it’s so special to have access to this other world and whenever I don’t dive for a while, I’m always desperate to get back in the water.”
■ You can book a taster session called a Try Dive with a BSAC club in a local pool. To find your nearest diving club call 01513 506200 or visit www.bsac.com
‘Every time you dive in open water you see something completely different as the sea changes constantly’
Kitted out in her scuba gear, Jane learnt to dive at her local pool
Jane says nothing beats being under water