I have always loved the water and been fascinated by the animals that lived there. My parents tell the story of me being caught in the Seychelles aged two with a pocketful of baby turtles that I had "liberated" from the conservation program nearby (to whom they were speedily returned). I spent my childhood holidays exploring rivers and oceans with a mask and snorkel and when I went to university the first activity I signed up for was the scuba diving club.
I learnt to dive in a freezing quarry, in the North of England, in winter, and I loved it so much I went on to volunteer and instruct in subsequent winters. 11 years, several hundred dives and 9 countries later I am still as hooked as I was that first weekend in murky English waters as the hull of the HMS Podsnap loomed out at me like the opening scene of Titanic.
Through scuba diving I have forged friendships, become involved in conservation programs and been inspired to try new sports. When I moved countries it could have been an intimidating prospect but the joy of this sport is the community it builds. My great passion is showing people that diving doesn't have to be a 'holidays only' hobby. The diversity available on your doorstep, here in Sydney or back in the UK, is mind blowing once you start to learn about it and there is always something new to find.
Follow me at @charlieunderwater
Want to learn how to dive but head buzzing with questions? Charlie Elliott addresses some FAQs on the She Went Wild blog.
Frequently spoken about as one of the best dive sites in the world, Sipadan is likely to end up on your scuba bucket list! However, due to political turmoil, travel to Sipadan is advised against. So is it worth the risk?
It's hard to be a scuba diver and not be interested in protecting the environment we love to explore. Here are my tips for picking a liveaboard or dive safari that will reflect your values.
A BCD (buoyancy compensator or buoyancy control device) or stab jacket is one of the three key pieces of equipment that make up the basic scuba equipment. Here are some things to consider when purchasing one!
This tasty sultana cake is the perfect recipe to provide a sugar boost mid-hike or during a scuba diving surface interval, as tried + tested by our Ambassador and diving enthusiast, Charlie Elliott.
So you got your qualification.
If you learn to dive on a weekend course or on holiday, it can be difficult to know where to begin with diving regularly. Here are some tips to turn what could just stay as a one-off experience into a lifestyle:
Ever wondered about what'd it be like to dive with sharks? Always been curious but not you've been riddled with questions and not sure where or how to start? Look no further, She Went Wild ambassador and scuba diving master Charlie Elliott shares all there is to know to get planning on your next diving adventure
Dive computers have revolutionised the dive industry in recent years to the extent that you can now take a PADI course which teaches you to dive using a computer, without reference to the dreaded decompression tables!