MEET OUR STAFF - Mike Adkins
Staff Name: Mike Adkins
Why did you learn to dive?
I had been wanting to dive for as long as I’ve been able to swim (from the age of 4). However, it wasn’t until I was looking for a new hobby after finishing my PhD that I finally took the plunge (pardon the pun) around the age of 28. I very much came to diving wanting to explore wrecks, particularly in cold water. It has very much become a major passion and a big part of my life. And in almost a decade of diving I’ve been very fortunate in being able to do this in multiple countries organised through the dive centre from the far north of Scotland to Malta, Northern Egypt to the borders of Sudan, and as far south as South Africa and Mozambique. Hopefully if finances ever allow in the next few years (a big ‘if’) I’ll be able to add Norway, countries surrounding the Baltic Sea, and North America - possibly Bell Island and the Great Lakes. Diving encourages you to travel, to go out and meet new people, and to constantly challenge yourself.
What is the favourite course you have done?
I’ve enjoyed most of the courses I’ve done, but the Rescue Diver course stands out in that it challenges you to think more about other people than just yourself. More recently, probably my open circuit full cave and my rebreather course, although none of those would have been possible without developing a solid range of diving skills through the Open Water to Divemaster and the open-circuit technical courses I've completed over the years with Vini and his team.
What is your favourite course to teach?
Believe it or not, the one course I never personally took - Discover Scuba Diving. This is the first chance anyone gets to turn someone’s initial curiosity about the sport into a potential lifelong passion and on a cold winter’s day being in a lovely 30 degree heated pool definitely appeals!
Do you have a favourite piece of dive kit?
Without a doubt my JJ Closed Circuit Rebreather, but prior to that my open-circuit twinset/doubles rig. With suitable planning, preparation and training, I’ve been privileged to be able to spend significantly more time exploring dive sites than would ever have been possible with a single cylinder set up.
What was a memorable dive for you?
There are too many to choose from. Recreationally, it’s probably between Treaddur Bay, Criccieth and Pentewan as the interplay between the light filtering down and the colours of the shallow reef, as well as schooling fish, crabs and nudibranchs was stunning. I’ve also loved diving with seals in the Farnes and in Lundy. Wreck diving wise it’s definitely between the Salsette in Lyme bay and the Markgraf in Orkney. The lines of the Salsette are breathtaking and on the right day with the right visibility make for a fascinating dive, while the Margraf for its razor sharp bow and intimidating guns is quite a sight. Finally, for caves it has to be Emergence du Ressel in France. You enter via a big hole in the Cele River bed and are met with twisting tunnels with exquisite colours, scalloped limestone, boulders the size of cars and breathtaking drop offs. With a team, the right training and the right lights it is like you are flying through canyons.
SEE YOU IN THE WATER SOON!