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Miscellaneous Blogs

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Underwater Archaeologist Dave Conlin

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Gemma and Ian chat to Dave Conlin.  Dave was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado and knew early on he wanted to be an Underwater Archaeologist.  He is part of the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Centre, diving on shipwrecks in the USA and around the world. Landmark projects include work on the B-29 Superfortress that crashed into Lake Mead in 1948, and work on the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor.  We chat to him about his involvement with the USS Arizona.

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Find more podcast episodes and information at the new www.thebigscuba.com  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

The BiG Scuba Podcast is a UK based podcast, discussing everything to do with diving, other underwater and on the water activities and the ocean. Our hope is to promote scuba diving to more people including women. Ian Last and Gemma Kemp are the “I” and the “G” of The BiG Scuba Podcast. Ian is a PADI Divemaster, with about 300 dives from diving in the UK, Mexico and Red Sea. He works with our local PADI Dive Centre in Norwich, Norfolk and also teaches in the water. Gemma Kemp is a very positive person and makes a good ambassador for new women divers in the sport of scuba. Gemma began her scuba journey in January and continued studying through lockdown and then got some experience in our local rivers snorkelling. Gemma completed her PADI Open Water qualification in July 2020 and now has completed just short of 20 dives. We actively encourage interaction with our listeners and have a Patron page so that anyone with an interest in scuba diving can have a voice at The BiG Scuba Podcast. Take your first breaths with The BiG Scuba at thebigscubapodcast.com

Miscellaneous Blogs

Film Review: Thirteen Lives

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Ron Howard’s recreation of the 2018 rescue of a Thai junior football team is impressive. Even though we know what happens in the end the tension and drama played out is palpable.

On 23 June 2018, 12 members of a Thai junior football team, the Wild Boars, and their coach became trapped deep in the Tham Luang cave system by rising flood water. The film details the incredible international rescue efforts that ensue. And Ron Howard has judged the tone perfectly. There is no Hollywood glitz and glamour and the two leading actors: Colin Farrell and Viggo Mortensen, who play John Volanthen and Rick Stanton respectively, capture the intensity of the situation perfectly.

The diving scenes are claustrophobic in the extreme. Although I suspect that the visibility was even worse than the film depicts as you have to be able to see something in the dramatization! All the way through the film I found myself shaking my head in disbelief at the extraordinary feat these divers pulled off. The skill and bravery required still impresses after watching films, hearing them speak in public and reading about the rescue.

I loved that, whilst the divers took centre stage in the film, the heroic rescue efforts of the water engineer and his team was also given the attention they deserve, as well as the incredible Thai Navy Seals and the thousands of people that flocked to the region to help.

Thirteen Lives is a must watch movie about an incredible cave rescue. It’s sober tone hits the mark. The cinematography is skilled and creates an impressively tense experience. It is available on Amazon Prime right now.

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Miscellaneous Blogs

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Underwater Photographer Elaine Whiteford

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Gemma and Ian chat to Elaine Whiteford. Elaine learned to dive in 2002 and qualified as an Instructor (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) in 2005. She is based in Scotland and dives all year round in the North Sea and the sea lochs of the Scottish west coast. A photographer before she was a diver, taking pictures underwater was a natural development for Elaine, who was awarded a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society with a portfolio of underwater images.

She has had articles published in a range of magazines, both general interest and diving, including Scottish Wildlife, Diver, The Undersea Journal, The Sea, BBC Wildlife and the Scot’s Magazine. Her work has also featured in a number of exhibitions, such as the Royal Photographic Society’s Projected Image Exhibition, the Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography and the Scottish Parliament’s Biodiversity Exhibition. She had a solo exhibition, Scotland’s Waters Brought To Life, in Stirling’s Smith Museum. Her images have appeared in a range of books and she is a contributor to Wild & Temperate Seas, 50 Favourite UK Dives, which was published in November, 2020.

Elaine was shortlisted in the 2020 Scottish Nature Photography Awards and her image appears in the Portfolio Yearbook which was published in the autumn of 2021.

Have a listen here:

Find out more here:


Find more podcast episodes and information at the new www.thebigscuba.com  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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