We were delighted to get the opportunity to attend the recent ‘Go Diving Show’ in Stoneleigh, Coventry. The dream team at the Midlands Diving Chamber supported our visit and published some of our most recent articles in the newest edition of ‘Tanked Up’ magazine. We were enormously grateful to them, especially Victoria Brown who had invited us along. It had felt like an age since we had mingled en-masse with other divers and there was a real buzz in the air. The weekend kicked off with the trades event on the Friday. Having time to catch up and chat with dive center staff, equipment brand reps and stall holders was a breath of fresh air after so long.
These events not only give you the opportunity to grab some dive kit and trip bargains but for us allowed us to say hello to some old friends. We caught up with Ruth James from PADI who we actually met way back in Iceland on a dive at Silfra. She is great and it was a real pleasure to see her again. We also bagged a bargain of a deal on a new camera, a Paralenz Vaquita which was an unexpected plus with a chap I had met years back when working with the guys at Andark in Swanwick. We picked this up from the guys at the Scuba Dive Store who were extremely helpful. We also lucked out by making some new friends at the industry curry night. No table could have been better to join that the Tobago and British Virgin Island table with a later addition of the crew from the Midlands Dive Chamber. There was rum and dive chat and it was great!
The event was really well organised and thousands of people flooded through the doors over the weekend. With equipment demonstrations and trials in the pool and really interesting talks and presentations throughout both days. There was loads to be enjoyed. Keynote speakers including Monty Halls, Steve Backshall, Andy Torbet and Alex Mustard were a must listen too of course but we also found ourselves lost in talks held by Alphamarine Photography Ltd who taught us a thing or two about getting our underwater photos right and key tips to tweaking our camera gear. A massive thanks to them for their help and advice.
A real highlight for me was meeting the guys from Wakatobi. I had worked out in Indonesia for several years in a row on a conservation project teaching diving. I had always sailed passed their boat totally jealous at how lavish it looked with some of the most exceptional dive sites at its fingertips. It was great to meet them and see things back up and running post Covid. A company we would love to do work with in the future.
That post covid point is a really key point. For me and I am sure many other attendees of the weekend it was a good way to feel part of the dive community again, much of which is a really social relationship. Nothing will ever beat a days diving followed by a few beers at sunset and most people in that event hall could completely relate to that.
Our motivation to get out to some new dive sites over the next year or so seemed closer now after chatting to the guys at the Barbados stand. I mean who doesn’t want to go to Barbados right! I was full of nostalgia after spotting companies like, Mike Ball Dive expeditions and Red Sea College who I had dived with in previous years and had an absolute blast with.
The weekend was a must for myself and Senior Photographer, Radoslaw. We had remained as big a part of the dive community as we could for the passed few years despite travel restrictions and were excited to start planning again with friends.
A massive thankyou to the oragnisers. It was fantastic to be there. We cant wait for the next one!