Posted on Oct 01, 2021

A love letter to Plymouth Sound

Thank you to Georgie Bull for coming to see Aquamarine Medicals for her HSE Diving Medical and writing this blog for us. Georgie is the British and Irish Underwater Photography Champion 2020 and is currently doing a degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology at Plymouth University.

It’s no secret that conditions along the British Isles are highly variable and megafauna sightings are few and far between. But if you ask someone why they enjoy diving on the South Coast, they’ll often detail the beauty and diversity of life found here. Yet the idea that UK waters are somewhat devoid of life persists amongst those uninitiated to its glory.
Since starting my degree at the University of Plymouth, I’ve been lucky enough to explore a range of underwater habitats around Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall. I’ve fallen in love with the colours, the characters, and escapism of local diving. In part this is because I am a marine biologist and enjoy observing marine life in situ, but a large part of my enjoyment comes from taking pictures of what I see and sharing them with others.

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Posted on Sep 15, 2021

Only Wind and Water - Around the World with the Clipper Yacht Race

Thanks to Neil Harvey for coming to Aquamarine Medicals for his ENG1 medical and writing his blog ‘Only Wind and Water’. Neil was a circumnavigator during the Clipper Round the World Race 2017-2018, on board ‘Dare to Lead’. In this year with not much chance for adventure – worth a read of Neil’s transglobal exploits!

Eat. Sleep. Sail. Repeat. …so goes the Clipper organisation’s description of their biennial Round-the-World yacht race. The Clipper Race is claimed by some to be one of the biggest challenges of the natural world and an endurance test like no other …a record breaking 40,000 nautical mile race around the world on a fleet of eleven identical 70-foot ocean racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper to safely guide the crew of circa 20 people. The Clipper Race was devised by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world. Each edition of the Race is divided into eight legs, taking 11 months to complete the full circumnavigation with ‘stop-overs’at key ports. Starting in the UK, the route heads down the Atlantic Ocean and across the equator to South America, then onwards to South Africa. From there, the fleet races down into the Roaring Forties of the Southern Ocean to Australia, before heading northwards again to China. Crossing the stormy North Pacific to North America is a highlight, after which the fleet heads south to traverse the engineering marvel of the Panama Canal and northwards again to the east coast of the USA. Crossing the North Atlantic brings the yachts back to their starting port, via Northern Ireland, and a tumultuous welcome home.

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Posted on Aug 20, 2021

Life as a Saturation Diver

Thank you to John Osborne for coming to see Aquamarine Medicals for his HSE Diving Medical and writing this blog for us. John’s blog shows his perspective on one of the most unique jobs in the world. Making a conscious decision to pursue a progressive career choice as a commercial diver, and becoming a saturation diver, can be a leap of faith. Literally! I should warn you in advance, I will digress on the odd occasion. An aspiring saturation diver must dive a minimum number of hours at a variety of depths within the air range (0-50M). Once the diver has achieved the pre-requisites, he/she then has the ‘minor’ hurdle of paying for and attending a course and then joining other new saturation divers in the pursuit of that first ‘lock out’! There’s an element of good fortune and timing involved in being in the right place at the right time to get into saturation diving. Upon getting the ‘first sat’, the new sat diver will be exposed to a whole different world, literally…!

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Posted on Jul 21, 2021

The Island Trust- Sailing Adventures

Thank you to Peter French, from The Island Trust, for coming to see Aquamarine Medicals for his ENG1 Medical. The Island Trust is a charity that provides sailing activities for young people with special needs, disabilities and those experiencing hardship and deprivation. The Island Trust has many year’s experience of providing character-building sailing expeditions for youth groups, schools and colleges. Our highly trained professional sailing staff will ensure that your group’s residential or day sail is a valuable learning experience as well as an exciting and enjoyable voyage. We have extensive experience of working with groups of young people with special educational needs, moderate learning difficulties and challenging behaviour. We coach sailing to young people with both physical and mental disabilities, and our staff are adept in teaching those with visual and hearing impairment.

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Posted on Jun 10, 2021

1 Virus, 2 Moves and Lots of Thankyou's

Aquamarine Medicals
As we start to see the divers again who were first through for HSE medicals when things opened up last year, this has prompted me to put pen to paper and reflect on the past 12 months. As a doctor, I have been fortunate to continue working. I am not sure how I would have coped with being confined to the house or being furloughed. It has been a tough year for everyone but there has been good stuff as well which I think is good to remember on the rainy days. I thought I would write this as looking back – lots of people have helped us, and where able, we have tried to help other people too. It sounds a bit naff, but keeping an eye out for other folk, rubbing along together in a socially distanced manner and helping others is what is going to help us all get through this.

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Posted on May 12, 2021

Plymouth Sound: The greatest lecture theatre of them all!

Thank you to Tom for coming to see Aquamarine Medicals for his HSE Diving Medical and writing this blog about HSE dive training and studying at Plymouth University. The HSE SCUBA course is offered by Plymouth University as part of a degree course, and Plymouth is the only University to offer this as an option. Tom has been through the HSE SCUBA training and is now helping to teach on the course.

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Posted on Apr 09, 2021

A cry for kelp

Thanks to Dan Smale, from the Marine Biological Association, for coming to see us for his HSE Diving Medical and writing ‘A cry for kelp’ for us. Dan is a marine biologist whose research focusses on understanding how key habitats such as kelp forests and seagrass meadows are affected by environmental changes, including ocean warming and invasive species. His team conduct diving-based fieldwork around the UK and elsewhere to collect valuable information on the ecology of inshore habitats. We hope you enjoy the blog and that Dan’s passion for marine ecosystems comes through!

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Posted on Mar 18, 2021

Finding our fins

Thanks to Kieran, from Diving in Depth, for writing this blog for us and coming to see us at Aquamarine Medicals for his HSE Diving Medical. A little bit about Kieran: Kieran is a professional technical diving instructor, with a particular interest in wreck diving and the stories that accompany those wrecks. Kieran has a focus on teaching closed circuit rebreathers (CCR) and open circuit (OC) technical courses, as well as leading trips and expeditions to locations throughout the world. We hope you enjoy this blog and ‘find your fins, and find some positives post Covid-19’.

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Posted on Mar 02, 2021

The Polar Master

Tim is the Master of the RRS James Clark Ross, a scientific research vessel for the British Antarctic Survey. In February 2021, the RRS James Clark Ross left Rothera Research Station for her last voyage for BAS. We hope you enjoy Tim’s stories and photographs that give us a glimpse into what it is like to work in one of the most unique and remote places on Earth.

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Posted on Feb 03, 2021

A day in the life of a polar dive supervisor

Working on board ships is always great fun, you rapidly become part of the family. People spend months on board working so it’s important to respect the ship as your home.

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