What has been your best cave diving experience till date?
I’ve been to so many different caves and they are all special in their own ways, some because they are aesthetically so beautiful and some because they have an important, historical meaning.
I broke the British female cave diving depth record in Wookey Hole Caves, which is a well-known tourist attraction in the south west of England. It is also the birthplace of British cave diving and many records have been broken there. The underwater cave scenery can be lovely on a good day and likewise the dry caving between flooded sections is impressive.
There are worse places to make such an achievement.
I’m particularly proud of my ongoing exploration project in Croatia. I’ve led a team of divers in exploring a deep, cold, underwater cave, which means literally going where no human has ever been before. We have been mapping it and filming it as we go and it is a super exciting project.
Discovering new parts of the planet that you can call your own is a really amazing feeling and something that once you have done it, nobody can ever take away from you.
You are a source of inspiration for many, who inspires you the most?
I’m particularly inspired by unsung women who are achieving great things but never get the recognition they deserve. There are two women in particular who inspire me to be a generally better person and better diver. They are both diminutive in stature, tough in personality and have worked very hard to achieve to be at the top of their game.
They are high level instructors in cave diving and technical (deep, mixed gas) diving. If I could be even half as good in the water and life as Dorota Czerny and Meredith Tanguay I’d be very happy.
Then there is Su Eun Kim, a Korean technical and cave diver who produces the most incredible underwater images way back into caves that are hard enough to dive, never mind photograph. She is also tiny – you can barely see anything but a pair of small legs beneath all her kit – but she loves it and just gets on with it.
Share the challenges that female divers face. How do you suggest women should deal with them?
I have never really faced any challenges that were directly related to being a female diver. I think there is an assumption out there that there will be challenges. If you go looking for them, you will find them for sure. Just don’t go looking. Get on with what you are doing and if you do come across difficult people, find different ones to hang out with. Don’t waste time on people who try to get in your way.