PADI Women's Dive Day
(That Turned Into A Week!)
For the past three years, divers from every corner of the globe have come together for PADI Women’s Dive Day to bond over their love of the ocean and a passion for diving. The Fifth Point jumped at the chance to get involved in 2018!
Did you know that only 35% of all diving certifications are earned by women??
To try and bridge the gap, The Fifth Point decided to turn a one-day celebration into a weeklong event! Of course, all the activities (with the exception of our ladies only snorkel lesson) were open to everyone. Women's Dive Day is about celebrating and empowering women in diving, rather than excluding the boys from the fun!
What We Got Up To...
Monday 16th July - Dive Against Debris Theory Night
Our latest band of eco-divers gathered at the dive centre for the first part of their Project AWARE Dive Against Debris Specialty Course (some from as far afield as Sheffield!). We looked at the messy problem of marine debris and its devastating effect on our environment and we planned our survey dive at Collywell Bay for later in the week.
Tuesday 17th July - Knacker Hole Shore Dive (and impromptu Dive Against Debris Survey), Beadnell
We have been so lucky with the diving conditions in the North East! Beadnell was beautiful - flat calm, 15 deg and a good 10m visibility. We were joined by students and fun divers to make the most of the awesome weather.
Wednesday 18th July - The FUNdamentals of Underwater Photography with BlueDuck
An awesome, informative talk from the guys at BlueDuck Photography. The team have been lucky enough to travel all over the world, taking photos along the way. They are truly passionate about underwater photos and making it accessible to everyone. The audience were stunned by the quality of photos taken on "normal" cameras. It just goes to show that when you know what you're doing, you don't need thousands of pounds worth of gear to get that impressive shot. And now... we know their secrets too!
Friday 20th July - Snorkel Safari at West Bay
Our snorkellers hit the water with our guide and instructor (little) James. Some came from as far as Harrogate to enjoy the tranquil conditions of the waters next to St Mary's Island. After learning the basics in the shallows, the group headed out to explore. They weren't disappointed with ample sightings of crabs, sea hares, flat fish and nudibranchs! Unfortunately the seals weren't interested today, but we did spot them bobbing about in the sunshine from the viewing platform at the lighthouse!
Saturday 21st July - Women's Dive Day, Collywell Bay
What a glorious day to celebrate PADI Women's Dive Day! We set up base at the bottom of Collywell Bay Road and our excited divers kitted up ready to put their Dive Against Debris plan into action. We were even joined by the BBC who came to film our environmental efforts.
It was sweltering on the surface, and everyone was happy to get in the sea and cool off. The viz was awesome and made finding rubbish a breeze! That was until Harry found some tyres that needed digging out... We found our normal haul of plastic bags, discarded fishing gear and drinks cans and as this site isn't often dived, there was quite a lot to pick up!
Once back on shore, we fired up the BBQ and enjoyed some good grub while we sorted, recorded and reported our Dive Against Debris findings for Project AWARE.
Since we opened just over a year ago, one of our main goals was to remove any barriers divers may face when entering the sport - particularly for women and young people. During the research stage of our venture, we asked divers what they wanted from their "dream dive centre". A theme emerged - "friendly, approachable, honest". We know that the UK dive industry is heavily male dominated, and this isn't always the easiest atmosphere to break into as a newbie diver, or even as a seasoned pro looking for somewhere new.
Our week of celebrations served as a culmination of our efforts to change these perceptions. There's still a long journey in front of us, but it's not a difficult one. The Fifth Point will continue to welcome new divers, families, and qualified divers from all agencies. Let's go diving...