Discovering Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is a sport I have always been interested in. I am delighted to be a certified scuba diver; initially my PADI open water and now my PADI Advanced and PADI Enriched Air or Nitrox. As a woman scuba diver I get to be at one with nature, travel, meet interesting people and have wonderful adventures.

I am a woman scuba diving in my fifties

A scuba woman I started Empty Nest Diver blog to share my journey, the challenges, accomplishments and shear pleasure of scuba. If I can become a woman scuba diver at fifty-five almost anyone can. I am reaching out to all those who want to be female scuba divers and to women already diving. To all the woman who have reached a “certain age” and want to embrace something new. I am not one of the “cool kids” but I fit in.


A SCUBA WOMAN  with large potato cod The Cod Hole Ribbon Reefs EMPTY NEST DIVER
The Cod Hole Ribbon Reefs

Many women in their fifties are where I am

We all travel through lives differently. Taking different paths with different priorities.  Many women in their 50’s are where I am.  We have raised families, pursued careers, accumulated “things”, had health challenges, dealt with family crises and then we arrive here. Mid 50’s with a moment to breathe and knowing ourselves slightly better than we did at 18.  We know ourselves but sometimes it’s hard to know where we fit.  We are wanting healthier bodies, to have more fun, to challenge and stretch our boundaries. We are wanting to be ourselves not just someone’s mother, wife, teacher, employee, boss.  Finding that space can be difficult but I have found it in diving. I have found it in the exhale.

That first moment as I breathe out and slowly descend not just underwater but also deeper within.  I have found me in that release. Found me in the first inhale as I transition to another world; free of the weight of gravity and my daily responsibilities.  I have found space in that pause between breaths, where I move neither up nor down, neutrally buoyant, still, complete.


Dwarf Minke Whale Ribbon Reefs EMPTY NEST DIVER
Dwarf Minke Whale

PADI training  

We all receive the same training; have to perfect the same skills and then we all continue to learn.  Diving with the PADI centres connects you to a wide range of people – different shapes, sizes, ages, genders and ethnicities. I have made some great long-term friends and sometimes just friends for the day.  Inclusivity for all. PADI traing provides an even playing field….and buddies!

A scuba woman

I never ask anybody what they do for a living because they are out and away from their lives for the day and it really doesn’t matter what they do. Conversations flow around dive sites, food, travel destinations, skills for diving, funny anecdotes and ensuring everyone is ok. The diving community is inclusivity.  A love of the environment and the euphoria of experiencing such diversity underwater unites us and allows us to celebrate its splendor.  I am privileged to be able to engage with complex beautiful ecosystems and humans, that are at times just spectacular.


Woman diver on a boat with an island in the background EMPTY NEST DIVER
Being on the water and in the water makes me feel good

Women scuba diving

The inclusivity of diving is one of the reasons, I love the sport.  As a middle-aged woman I have been made to feel insignificant, self-conscious and embarrassed about my body. For someone who is not an athletic person, is uncoordinated and not strong; sporting activities can be quite daunting and I often feel small, stupid and inconsequential.  I can honestly say I have never been made to feel that way diving. The PADI diving community have been supportive, generous, uplifting and empowering. I feel I have been embraced – cellulite and all.


Woman diver by huge coral fans, Cracker Jack dive site, the Ribbon Reefs
Cracker Jack The Ribbon Reefs photo courtesy Mike Ball Dive Expeditions

A scuba woman embraced

It can be challenging at times, equalizing, definitely fun; awe inspiring, something I can do alone but never be alone.

I am part of a growing number of women around the world starting their dive adventures later in life. Hopefully I can inspire woman my age to step out of their comfort zone, challenge themselves, have fun, be themselves, makes great friends interact with nature and welcome the inclusivity of scuba diving. I hope you find your niche because I have found mine.

Woman in wetsuit on a boat
It’s never too late….TAKE THE DIVE WITH TANYA

It’s an inclusive niche. It’s diverse, wonderful, unique, challenging and calming. It’s a nice little niche.  It’s all embracing. It’s scuba diving.

Thanks Amy Stevens for cover photo Instagram #beyond_amy

It’s never too late – TAKE THE DIVE WITH TANYA

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Published by emptynestdiver

Learning to dive in my fifties has been a great adventure, I am a senior scuba diver but young at heart.

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