On an unremarkable evening in July 2016, Sarah Richard created a Facebook group called “Girls that Scuba,” and then promptly shut her laptop and went to sleep. On waking up to over 100 members she considered her work done; she had one hundred new women to chat about diving with, which was a welcome contrast to the all-male crew she worked alongside on a liveaboard.
If you’d told her then that three-and-a-bit years later the group would have 40,000 members, and that she would be leading groups of ocean-loving women on scuba adventures around the world, she might have been somewhat disbelieving. Yet here they are – those humble beginnings have spawned an incredible community of 40,000 members on Facebook.
As well as developing core groups to include Girls that Scuba, Girls that Freedive, and Girls that Tech Dive, the GTS team has expanded to a network of seventeen groups across numerous platforms! Other groups include Girls that Scuba Together, Mums that Scuba, the GTS Book Club, and so much more.
Sarah’s original vision for the group was a place for women to discuss the specifics of being a female in the diving world, away from the comments (and sometimes criticisms) of on-looking men. With that in mind, the group has become a safe space for female divers to speak openly, and often for difficult topics to be discussed.
With the community flourishing through online connections, more and more GTS members were sharing stories of meeting other Girls that Scuba in all corners of the globe. This was partly in thanks to spotting other women sporting GTS merchandise, which came into existence purely because members asked for it. Yet the demand went deeper than just requesting mask straps and t-shirts – they wanted a more structured way to meet other Girls that Scuba and so came the ever-popular GTS events.
May 2018 saw the first of these more organised GTS events, with the first ever Girls that Scuba Day held on Gili Trawangan, Indonesia. We returned in May 2019 and then headed to Komodo to host the first ever group trip. Since the success of this initial trip GTS now host over ten trips per year; in 2020 they will be journeying to destinations including French Polynesia, Tonga, Cocos Islands, and the Maldives.
There’s no community without YOU!
Without the incredible women of this community, and the empowering, friendly Facebook group which sits at its’ core, GTS wouldn’t be here celebrating the fact that there’s now 40,000 members – and sharing all of the awesome things they’ve done along the way.
Now Girls that Scuba want to know what your highlights have been from the last three years…
“It is the journey some take to become divers. The inspiration this group gives them. The obstacles that they overcome are so inspiring. The many accomplishments we see on a daily basis. The sheer beauty of the many stories we read. The amazing photos and videos we do have the honour to see. None of that would be possible if this group did not exist. Completely humbling.”
Monica Ciobanu via Facebook
Photo Gallery: Dive Fest Barbados
In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they reflect on their visits to the Caribbean Island of Barbados for the annual Dive Fest celebrations.
Dive Fest Barbados is a week of celebrating the marine life, diving and snorkeling this idyllic island has to offer. There are activities organised each day for all those that attend that include wreck diving, marine conservation, learning to dive, snorkeling and one an unusual dive for us – riding a submarine to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea! Dive Fest Barbados allows divers to get the very best out of a trip here, with plenty of diving, but also to sample the unique atmosphere, mouth-watering food and drink, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.
For more images from Barbados and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.
Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)
Introduced by Jeff Goodman
Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.
A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.
CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.
Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts
Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.
During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!
Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.
For more information about the CCMI click here.
WIN a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive...
WIN a Tovatec T3500S Rechargeable Dive Light!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at CPS Partnership to give away a Tovatec T3500S Rechargeable Dive Light...
WIN a Fourth Element Arctic Hoodie!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at fourth element to give away one of their NEW Arctic...
WIN a Northern Diver NDB5 Holdall Bag!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Northern Diver to give away one of their NDB5 Holdall...
Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.More Less
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