A lot of people from my generation were inspired by the TV shows of Jacques Costeau, but my interest in diving came earlier from watching Marine Boy, a cartoon no one else seems to remember. I'm still waiting for the development of Oxygum and rocket boots!
We learnt to dive with Sea Saba on the island of Saba in the Dutch Antilles. The island is an extinct volcano and still has some volcanic activity (or maybe that means it's dormant), it's a nice feeling to be sat on the seabed in warm water and have the sand below you even warmer!
The island is the highest place in the whole of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (not difficult you might think), and if you climb all 872m to the top you can get a certificate from the tourist office.
It's a pity I didn't get any pictures from Saba, because it was incredible. The next times I went diving were in Gozo and in Taormina, Sicily. These photos are from Sicily. They're not that good but that's all I got out of my first attempt, partly from my lack of ability, but also because we saw virtually no fish. I used a Vivitar CruiseCam which was remarkably cheap for a non-disposable UW camera and was OK down to about 30m. In Thailand I used a Minolta Dimage Xg, and in Mexico and Egypt a Canon A610. Now I've got a Canon S90.
I didn't see much marine life in Sicily, just a few small octopuses, moray eels and the smallest lobster I've ever seen (I thought it was a shrimp). I suppose everything else had been eaten.
In Belgium I trained with Poseidon Dive Club in Leuven, and sometimes went diving at Opprebais. It might just be a flooded quarry, but I've seen bigger fish, and more of them there than in the mediterranean.
In London I was a member of North London Scuba, a very friendly club who organise trips most weekends during the season. Usually to the South coast (Portland and Swanage), but also to other sites in the UK. The club also organises two or three overseas trips a year in conjuncion with Dive Force.
In 2004 we went to Thailand, and dived around Phi Phi Island. I managed to get some better pics, they're up here.
In 2008 I went to the Red sea for the first time on a stag trip, Shiry and I went back together later in the year. There are some pictures here."
I'm now a member of the Cambridge University BSAC Branch, CUUEG.