MEET A KIWI LEGEND
Competitive triathlete and traumatic brain injury survivor Natasha grew up in Auckland, around the water her entire life. She set her sights on learning to dive recently and hasn't looked back!
My parents and other siblings began diving before me, but it took a while for me to because I was so scared of sharks.
I then suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury) in 2020 and so had to delay my diving to recover from this!
This summer I have been able to finally get rolling with it, and it has not had any adverse consequences for my head!
I have always been fascinated by how free divers train their bodies to go so deep and enjoy learning the techniques to do this and slowly pushing how deep I can go.
For scuba I love how relaxing it feels once you are down with the fish, and it feels special that it is something I can do with my whole family.
On what inspired her to dive..
After my brother had first got his certification I was on the boat when he pulled up his first crayfish. It was extremely undersize, but he was wrapped with it and the look on his face was priceless. This made me want to get down and get myself one.
I was inspired to free dive from following kiwi legend William Trubridge’s journey, and wanted to get to a level where I could experience what a “free fall” felt like.
On how diving impacts her life today..
I race competitively for triathlon and feel that I often put a lot of pressure on myself for this and a lot of the time I have to take it quite seriously. It is also very consuming of my time.
I have been able to treat diving less seriously where I can totally enjoy the sport with no pressure. I decided when I first started diving that I would only ever dive in places I felt totally comfortable, so that I could really enjoy my experiences.
It has given me something I can share with everyone in my family, and when I look back on the past year a lot of my highlights have been around my diving adventures!
When I was learning all the instructors were so helpful and gave me so much confidence which made me realise how awesome the diving community is in New Zealand and around the world.
I hope to be able to continue diving in New Zealand as well as heading overseas for some missions as the world opens back up over the coming years!
I saw a quote recently that the world is 75% water, which means divers live on a much bigger planet. It’s pretty awesome to think I am seeing a totally different part of our world that not everyone is lucky enough to see!
Natasha's favourite dive site..
When I first started I had no idea how to get my weight correct (mostly for freediving) and I would either be stuck out somewhere unable to sink, or struggling to keep my head up because I had way too much weight. It’s funny looking back at how second nature it all seems now, but always a major debacle of dramatics at the time.
Every summer my family camps at the place in the Bay of Islands called Bland Bay.
Around the corner from where we camp is a dive site called Home Point. It is the site I first started learning at when I was younger, because the water was so clear and had shallow sports.
After I had got my certification it was where I did my first dives, and I had such awesome experiences with the sea life at the site.
It felt like I was on a tropical island because of how close the fish came and how clear the water was. There was a massive range of fish as well! I didn’t want to get out!