You might associate scuba diving with exotic Caribbean destinations, but the truth is that you don’t have to wander too far off from home to join a scuba diving club with the Cardiff Dolphins Sub Aqua Club, arranging wonderful scuba diving immersions for the locals.
Instead of exploring exotic and sunny scuba diving destinations in the tropics where the waters are crystal-clear and the fish colourful and overly inquisitive, this small group of divers in Cardiff take a plunge in the slightly less stunning underwater surroundings of a swimming school in Whitchurch.
Founded in the 60s, the Cardiff Dolphins Sub Aqua Club was one of the earliest scuba diving groups to become part of the UK’s Sub Aqua Association.
On their website, the Dolphins describe their group as being “a small and friendly club” welcoming divers of all ages and skill-level.
There are about 14 or 15 current members that regularly attend our pool sessions, says Les Marsh, the diving officer for the group.
Our youngest diving member is 13 thats actually my daughter! And then my father is the oldest member at 76. ”
The Cardiff Dolphins Sub Aqua Club also offers lessons for those wanting to learn to scuba dive as club members work through the various scuba diving qualifications offered by the SAA, initially joining as an elementary diver trainee if they are completely new to scuba diving.
Club divers are then able to work up their way to higher scuba diving qualifications such as club diver, a qualification that can be obtained by attending lectures and doing a short written exam. This qualification then allows divers to achieve more diving independence and participate in scuba diving immersions and trips, which are naturally a vital aspect of any sub aqua club and for the Dolphins, its no different.
For this club, scuba diving trips away from the school’s swimming pool are normally held in and around the Pembrokeshire coast and the islands close to it. However, some of the club’s divers have travelled further, trespassing the confines of the UK on some occasions by taking exotic scuba diving holidays to the Red Sea, for example.
Our most recent venture as a club was to go diving in the Red Sea. We stayed on a liveaboard and travelled around places like St Johns Island in Southern Egypt. Thats been our most exotic diving trip. – Les revealed.
He added that he and the other members of the club are also eager to open out exciting opportunities and amazing scuba diving holidays such as these to potential new club members.
Anybody can come along to our pool sessions, they dont need any prior experience, he continued. People who are interested are able to contact us via our website or contact me.
We use the pool in Whitchurch High School from 7pm until 9pm on Thursday nights.