At a time when headlines are dominated by rising prices and other negativity, it is refreshing to see someone take the bull by the horns and open up a brand-new dive centre – welcome, Blue Fin Diving.
Jamie Smith is the man behind Blue Fin Diving, which is based in Sidcup. The centre is both a diving school – running pool sessions every Wednesday in Lewisham for DSDs, Re-activates and Open Water Diver confined sessions, and using Wraysbury, Leybourne and Stoney Cove for open-water lake dives – and a shop, offering customers the opportunity to buy in-store, or via their online marketplace. They sell many major brands, including Shearwater, Fourth Element, Suunto, XDEEP, Ammonite and Beuchat.
Jamie explained: “The more I enjoyed teaching, the clearer it became that my ultimate goal would be to have my own dive school. I wanted to offer the full range of courses both for beginners in recreational diving, and for the experienced diver delving into the technical world, so Blue Fin Diving is a PADI and TDI centre.
“My focus is providing the ultimate client experience and outstanding teaching standards. The whole team at Blue Fin Diving are passionate about sharing our love of the underwater world, and are proud to produce confident and skilled students about to enjoy the thrill and adventure of diving.”
Jamie continued: “We also have an active Dive Club who love to meet up for monthly socials and regular dive trips all over the UK and abroad. We encourage our dive club members to dive as much as they like and support continued education and progression of their dive skills. We look after our club members with discounts, free pool sessions, five free air fills and much more. We love that we have created a dive community in our local area and are connecting divers from all over the South and beyond.
“Blue Fin Diving also specialises in diving holidays to all of the locations on your bucket list! We are thrilled to be going to Truk Lagoon in 2023 and Bikini Atoll in 2024, with more destinations coming soon.”
Blue Fin Diving – Jamie Smith background
“I started diving over ten years ago on holiday in Australia. I thought I may as well give it a go, of all the places to try diving, the Great Barrier Reef had to be one of the best places! I had no idea the path it would lead me down.
“I continued my dive education as soon as I got back to the UK, jumping straight into advanced and rescue courses and within two years I was Divemaster, with my sights set on technical diving.
“I had the bug, working during the week to dive every weekend. I trained hard with Dave Gration of Rebreather Pro Training and was soon full cave and closed-circuit rebreather qualified. It was at this point 26-year-old me was living the dream one dive at a time, so I decided to sell my car to buy my first rebreather!
“In September 2017 I spent five weeks working for Malta University and their Underwater Heritage programme completing underwater excavation on a 2,700-year-old shipwreck. A fantastic project to be part of and one that really expanded my experience as a diver. I completed my instructor training after returning from Malta, and although it wasn’t originally in my plan to become an instructor, I found a real passion for teaching and sharing my experience with new divers. For the next six years I continued working as a recreational and technical instructor alongside my diving for Malta University and my own personal diving, including caves in Florida and France, before taking the plunge with Blue Fin Diving this year.”