Why not try… scuba div­ing?

A life-chang­ing event prompted Jane Os­borne to ful­fil her child­hood dream of don­ning fins and tak­ing up div­ing

YOURS (UK) - - Contents - By Katharine Woot­ton

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

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