Meet The Scuba Leeds Dive Team – Mike Chatwood
Meet the Dive Team – Mike Chatwood aka Iron Mike because of his love for anything metal underwater. So tell us…..
When did you start diving?
I did my open water course in 2002 doing my Pool and Theory in Leeds, followed by my open water dives in Capernwray, just like many of our own students do.
What made you start diving?
I was on an escorted camping tour around the Yucatan, Belize and Guatemala, some of the group went diving in the Belize Blue Hole and dived the Dos Ojos cenote, I thought that looks cool and as usual with me something to do with water, before diving I had rafted the entire length of the Grand Canyon a couple of times, three days after returning I had signed up for my open water course.
Where and when was your last logged dive?
My last logged dive was teaching Open Water in Capernwray, something I never get tired of doing, whilst it may be a regular dive to me, I never forget it’s the first time the students has ever dived that site.
My last logged wreck dive was The Heian Maru in Truk lagoon in Micronesia, a 163m long passenger liner, which had been converted by the Japaneese navy into a submarine tender / support vessel
I’m a metal head. Wrecks are very much my thing, the scale of a big ship is amazing, when you see an engine room with cylinders a meter across, I can’t help but think how did this work ?
Last year was a fantastic year, my second trip to Truk lagoon and Scapa Flow, and both major fleets from the first and second world wars.
In the future, it’s a long list
Coron bay in the Philippines
The wrecks of the Great lakes in the US
Cenote ‘s in the Yucatan
The Zenobia in Cyprus
What keeps you diving and how do you keep the passion?
Apart from rusty metal, teaching I get a huge buzz when a student passes and conquers their problems. I needed three attempts at my open water before I passed.
Favourite dive site?
Has to be the Giannis D in Egypt, a divers playground with a great engine room and should you get bored of the ship, like many wrecks in Egypt there is a reef next to her full of life, the reason she sank in the first place.
Favourite piece of dive equipment?
Has to be one my newest bits of kit, a Finn Sub 3000 lumen torch. Perfect for the darker corners of an engine room.