Today’s featured diver is Andy Clark from Wigan in the North West of England. We speak to (and listen to) Andy quite often as we are avid listeners and supporters of his Fancy A Brew Podcast, but it is nice to ask him our 12 Questions and learn a little bit more about what makes him tick.
Full Name: Andy Clark
Age: Turning 41 in March – 21 in mind – 61 in body 😉
Live In: Mighty Wigan in the NW of England
Working For: I’ve been self-employed for ten years with Standish Property Maintenance and Pest Control. In the summer of 2020, I started ATND Services Ltd, with the aim to work as a professional diver in the media and scientific industry.
Diver Qualifications: BSAC Advanced Diver, Diver Coxswain, Open Water Instructor. TDI ANDP, CCR MOD1, Joint Services Dive Supervisor. HSE Part 4 Media and Scientific.
When and where did you start diving?
In 2016 I was invited on to a military diving conservation expedition project to Fuerteventura. But I wasn’t a diver, so had to find a local club and learn. The military have a branch called Joint Services Sub Aqua Diving Centre, they hand rail the BSAC training syllabus, so I quickly jumped at all the BSAC courses I could.
Why did you start diving?
What made you choose to become a dive professional?
Since I starting diving, I’ve been so interested in every aspect of the sport. I’ve had such a variety of inspirations and influences, but only in the last 12 months after starting YouTube and my Podcast, did I realise there’s a possibility to take my passion into something more permanent that might pay me for the pleasure.
Which is your favourite dive site and why?
We dive Cable bay in Anglesey that rarely sees 6m in depth, but is very quiet of boat traffic or currents and is teaming with life. Thornback rays, catsharks, smooth hounds, crabs and lobsters etc. A safe, reliable place to dive day or night. I’ve a few videos on my YouTube channel from dives there.
What has been the most memorable dive of your life and why?
I’d say the first on the Um el Farroud in Malta. Not only was this my first big wreck, it was my first expedition I’d lead and I was first and last on the wreck. At the time all I could think about was my lust for rust. There was so much to explore and see – I could dive that wreck every day and not get bored!
If you would come back as a marine life form in your next life, what would that be?
After watching the ‘My Octopus Teacher’ film, that would be my choice, an octopus. Their inquisitive nature, masterful camouflage, means to regenerate body parts and super intelligence – are all astounding.
Who is your dream dive buddy?
Steve Kirkman, they guy who introduced me to diving. He is a fantastic instructor, super enthusiastic about diving and a walking encyclopaedia of knowledge, with an unflappable way about him. Like me he loves to deploy on expeditions and has an infectious enthusiasm that keeps morale high. A diver’s diver, officer and a gentleman.
What dive locations are on your dream “bucket list” and why?
To be the first onto new wreck discovery or a site full of photographic interest that isn’t on the precipice of destruction or overcrowded by tourists.
What is on your bedside table right now?
Top 100 British shore dives by Anita Sherwood and National Geographic – Mysteries of a Virus Feb ‘21. The shore dive book is helping me plan a new UK mainland-based expedition, Nat Geo keeping me up to date with the world better than Sky News does.
What is your favourite piece of diving equipment and why?
If not my camera kit then it has to be my JJ-CCR. Both roughly the same cost, but the JJ hasn’t had enough time under the water yet. I’m feeling a bit dehydrated – like us all.
If you were to launch a campaign to raise awareness on a specific issue that affects divers, the oceans or marine life, what issue would you target and why?
It’d have to be the protection of our inshore waters and the need to replant seagrass in them. The Carbon uptake and O2 production far outweighs that of the rain forest, but typically if it’s not seen it’s not a problem. They’re also nurseries and habitat for many species of marine life.
Where will you be in 10 years and what will you be doing?
I hope somewhere free of stress, virus and it has to be coastal. That way I can dive everyday if I want to and breathe the fresh sea breeze. I wasn’t lucky enough as a kid to have much inspiration or be by the sea for more than a week or two a year. Now I have the chance, I’d love to be involved with the media and scientific sectors and get in front of or behind a camera, go away on interesting expeditions and learn more about the world outside of Wigan.