Scubadive West’s ‘Make Me A Diver’ competition is now finished. The level of entries was fantastic, and we are delighted that the future of Ireland’s diving is in such safe hands. Winner of the competition is Siobhan Stella from the east coast. Siobhan wins her PADI Openwater Diver course at Scubadive West, as well as her accommodation and food for the duration of her course, courtesy of the ‘Bard’s Den’ hostel in Letterfrack.
Below is Siobhan’s story as to why she deserves to be Ireland’s newest diver!
I’ve had a fascination with water since as far back as I can remember. I’m only seventeen, so that’s not an awfully long time, but even so, some of my first memories are of splashing around in the sea, going as far out as I was allowed, taking off the armbands and attempting that perilous first stroke.
I was fascinated by fish. Creatures that could live and function without air. How was something like that even possible? To me, under the sea is a whole other world, a completely different reality to anything you will experience on land. Any documentary or film I have ever watched involving the ocean has justified that to me. The colours, the animals – everything seems to have a surreal quality, an untouched beauty for the sake of sounding corny. It intrigues me.
However, it wasn’t just what was to be found underwater that drew my attention; it was the untameable force of the sea, its power. I remember before the stones were placed on Bray beach, whenever the sea was choppy my guardian would bring me down to watch the waves crash over the promenade and then get sucked back into the ocean only to come rushing back again. One word will suffice to describe it, beautiful.
I’ve tried surfing, though I admit to being useless at it, the whole staying on the board without falling on my face was too much of a challenge it seems. I’ve tried canoeing as well, and I love it, and while I’ve never done it before, I love watching people water-ski, it looks like magic.
What really intrigues me most though, in a way that I can’t even put into words, is shipwrecks. They have a sort of eerie, mysterious aura about them that is almost hypnotic. (I confess it was The Little Mermaid that first twigged my interest) I would like to do underwater archaeology when I’m in college, however it seems that’s not a standard course in most universities, and when I asked around at universities about it I got vague replies about “no direct route” and “not exactly a science” while the poor professor looked around, silently begging someone to ask a question he could actually answer.
The more elusive the answers get, the more determined I become. I’m difficult like that. So that is why I applied, because there are some things in life you know you have to do, experiences you have to have. I seem to be drawn to the more dangerous experiences in life, now that may be my youth, as many believe, but I think it’s more than that. If you ask me, my desire to dive has nothing to do with my age, neither does my love of rock climbing or sky diving. It’s my personality, something that is ever evolving but also unchanging. You cannot change your nature. My nature has always been taken with the sea, its beauty and strength, and that it why I would really like to do this course, because it would mean something, a thirst quenched, a task fulfilled, a dream come true.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to try,
Siobhan Stella 🙂 x