Whale shark women scuba dive

Let’s make this clear – You don’t have to be a jock or adrenaline junkie to start diving. If you love the ocean, there’s no greater thrill than scooting around the bottom, getting close to stunning wildlife, sliding through clouds of fish or tunnels. It’s no longer a boys club too and, single ladies, you don’t have to know a bunch of women scuba divers or have a bubble blowing boyfriend to start.

It’s a great community – even for land-locked regions. There are dive clubs with events planned year round in lakes and quarries. Many put together their own trips, pooling know-how and experience to find exotic places and the best times to go. Women scuba divers are a big part of the bunch.

Scuba diving is another way to help protect the oceans too. Jacques Cousteau said, “You protect what you love.” Here’s a sweet video about the mission to help the oceans with PADI instructor, Rocio Gajon.

I’m writing this as I prepare for Women’s Diving Day on July 15th. This is the third year that PADI has organized a day dedicated for women scuba divers. More than 700 locations internationally have participated past events designed to grow the dive community. New and expert divers have come together, in all kinds of activities from high tea on the high seas to shark dives and underwater cleanups. I’ll be stepping into the sea with the women scuba divers from Ocean Enterprises in San Diego. You don’t have to be a certified diver to participate but can tag along with your snorkel and fins, get to know the local divers and learn more about diving.

2016 Women’s Diving Day in La Jolla, California:

Want to join the scores of women scuba divers?

Getting certified as a diver is the first step. I’d recommend PADI dive courses and if you can manage it, take an accelerated course over 4 – 5 days in a tropical location. Perhaps you learned how to dive ages ago and need to refresh your skills? There are courses and events for that. Being confident as a scuba diver is freeing. The skill to let go and just enjoy the underwater world comes with regular practice.

I learned in Cozumel and found the dive masters deeply invested in making me comfortable and keeping me safe. The entire PADI course is set up for security and ease. The water in Mexico was deliciously warm and startlingly clear. I was in love from the first descent – while making every mistake I could. Still, it was much easier to do my open water dive from a boat on calm waters rather than walking in, back bent with tank weight, through cold waves as my son did. There are tips for new divers in an earlier post.

Elaine Titanic pose women scuba divers wreck dive

My son Josh, photo bombing my best Titanic pose.

It doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • Check out dive clubs for used equipment, even camera gear, and lights. Someone is always upgrading and happy to get something for their gear.
  • There are annual sales at dive shops and online. You don’t have to get designer gear to begin with or ever. Make sure the sport works for you before investing.
  • Rent gear. Dive shops will happily fit you with the right sizes. They’ll answer questions and find out what is best for your body shape and size. You shouldn’t worry about fins falling off or a suit that chafes.
  • Learn with a friend or as a family. Dive centers often offer discounts.
  • Dive trips don’t have to drain your bank account. Scour magazines for dive specials, ask at local shops, and join dive clubs. Watch for airfare sales too.
Spinner Dolphins at the surface, Kona Coast, Hawaii

Snorkeling with wild Spinner Dolphins, Kona Coast, Hawaii

I never anticipated becoming a scuba diver. I’m not particularly fond of high-tech sports and their expense. However, after snorkeling for decades, I wasn’t about to give up the opportunity to learn to scuba with my guy, a sea-urchin-diver-turned-underwater-photographer. Over the past eight years, I’ve managed a little over 300 dives. It started with me struggling to keep up, carrying his spare camera and sucking my air tanks dry long before he was ready to surface. That’s all in the past as I just invested in my own camera and lights – second hand – and often climb up the dive ladder with air to spare. I adore my dive buddy as well as joining women scuba divers. Legendary diver, Chuck Nicklin, is my model. He’s turning ninety this year and still leading dive trips around the world. I hope to match his record.

Here’s more inspiration about Women Scuba Divers and the groundbreakers who have helped us all become better divers.

Sharing is caring. Pin this and thanks.

PADI Women Divers Day 2017


The joy of jumping. After pulling the raft over on a hot afternoon, my mates splashed into the cool waters of the Colorado River. One of those trips of a lifetime - 3 days rafting through the truly great Grand Canyon.
Lots more to come...

With thanks to the mighty crew and team of @westernriverexpeditions who make navigating rapids seem easy. Their sixty years of experience runs deep.

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A perfect fall night market at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Foodieland swept into town for the weekend with literally hundreds of vendors from across the southland. Best international street eats I`ve had without a passport.

The family-friendly event was crowded, but timed entry made getting around easy. Along with sugar cane, juices, and soda drinks, there were canned adult beverages as well as hard cider or Komucha samples.

Wear your walking shoes and bring wipes, you`ll eat standing - the tables were far from the stalls.

Music: Sunny. Musician:Ikson

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Oslo Sardine Bar keeps morphing. This month, the night unfolded from the street to the interior of @mabelsgonefishing with specialty cocktails and local brews (indoors.) The curated @oslosardinebar menu, taped in panels on the wall, offered cans of sardines, pickled mussels, smoked trout, and more... along with fresh baguettes and half loaves. Of course, Captain Daily tended all with a quick pour or comment while Brady and Chum serenaded everyone.

The passion project has morphed from a shipboard `closet,` to a bread factory, Seaport Village, and on to this beautiful setting with room to breathe.

I have to selfishly admit preferring the smaller, more permanent spaces that Max and friends embellished as only they can. Still, his ubiquitous, turntable meekly spun out ship sounds next to the bar, and calm seas prevailed.

Ahoy, San Diego, give these boys a permanent berth!

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A garden of odd delights - Desert View Tower and Boulder Park, an hour east of San Diego.

They`re one of the last Historic Folk Art Landmarks that remain intact in California. I`ve been past the stone tower dozens of times while driving east along Highway 8 between the desert and San Diego. This was the first time I found it open.

California State Landmark #939 sits in the boulder field just before the land slopes steeply into the desert. As a `station` it`s hosted travelers for hundreds of years. The First People established a stop on routes through the massive stones, then it served stage coach passengers, and in the 1920s, a plank road led across the desert floor to Yuma. The Highway bypassed it in the 1960s.

You need a ticket to climb the Tower stairs or wander Boulder Park. It can be tortuously hot, but luckily, we had cloud cover. Next time I`ll bring a picnic lunch, pause longer to enjoy the eccentric collections inside the Tower, and commune with the numerous carved creatures.

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Sphere has arrived. The Las Vegas phenomenon opens for events within soon, but the exterior show now flows on day through the night.

Bravo, Team Sphere - Creators of the largest globular building in the world.

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Sailing between Egypt`s Temples is glorious, and the smaller ships share the route graciously. Here`s a taste of their dance as we floated towards Aswan.

After years of scuba diving, the sweet fragrance of fresh water mesmerized me.

What a magnificent river.

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Travel Notes & Beyond