My blog turns 1 today! It has given me a space to express my opinions, think through some complex concepts and has given me the space that I need to take a hard look at where I want to grow. It has helped me keep sane during unprecedented times. I am writing this blog in the same place I started it — at home. There is one significant exception: I will see (in person) the kiddos I love working with on Tuesday instead of sadly questioning if I will ever see them again.

What have I learned in one year…

“Exciting things are happening” has been my catch phrase these days.

So what are these exciting things?

  1. A really spectacularly special event
  2. A successful Virtual Clean Up and club dive
  3. Skills and training progress and many lessons in managing expectations
  4. Redefining team diving

Phew! Tired? Yeah…me too. I’ve been busy! So let’s start at the beginning. This Thursday my scuba club will be hearing Captain Paul Watson, the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, speak about Sea Shepherd’s latest projects. I am so excited, I can’t even handle it! Captain Watson has been a hero of mine since I…

It is always an interesting phenomenon to hear people discuss their new year resolutions. You begin to see all the people, most of which you’ve never seen before, walking around the neighborhood to chase their “new year, new me” goals.

Not to say that there is anything wrong with resolutions, no matter when you make them. I am seeking something more sustainable. I’ve been focusing on what I can really focus on and nurture rather than attempting to get rid of things. I like the challenge of nurturing positive traits or behaviors.

Well, nothing like ripping the bandaid off right…

I find myself wanting to share my thoughts but not knowing exactly what to say.

I had the opportunity to watch My Octopus Teacher on Netflix. If you have not watched it, I highly recommend it. M-Fish recommended it to S-Fish and I and I was left dumb founded. Truly profound film. I found myself bubbling over in self reflection after watching it.

The ocean is a chaotic place. It is changing second by second, full of predators and every single day is a fight to stay alive for the creatures that call it home. As humans, we enjoy feeling…

Greetings beautiful bubbly buddies,

Recently, there has been an uptick in the progress of my divemaster program. I took and passed my written exam! Woohoo! I have also been focusing on chasing my next goal, preparing for GUE Fundamentals. The tie that binds these two goals is proficiency. The biggest take away that I am left with comes from an article the S-Fish found entitled, “Blueprint for Survival 2.0 — Technical Diving” by Michael Menduno & Billy Deans. It summarizes some important facts in an acronym: AKTEE

A — Attitude

Proper attitude is essential, particularly an attitude that focuses on conservatism.

In evaluating…

Redondo Beach June 25, 2020 Photo: Me :)

I would like to start this post by noting that I am solidly not a mental health professional. these are my opinions and experiences. This is the first time I am really sharing this on a public platform. If you know me well, you know about my struggles. If you do not…well…Surprise!

I have struggled most of my life, with significant and immobilizing worsening in my 20s, with High Functioning Anxiety Disorder. Now, this is not recognized by the DSM-V, so officially, I struggle with ‘generalized’ anxiety. The difference being that High Functioning Anxiety Disorder presents a little differently. Rather…

Happy World Oceans Day!

Today, we celebrate all the things that make the ocean special and bring awareness to how we can protect and help our oceans. This goes far beyond recycling. This includes conservation. Conservation of marine life. Conservation of marine habitats. Conservation of marine food sources.

Does recycling help? Absolutely. We put, according to a 2018 USA Today article, 242 million pounds of plastic trash into the oceans annually. We also leave a lot of “stuff” in the ocean. Ocean Defenders Alliance, one of my favorite groups, addresses ghost fishing gear. Follow the link below and check them…

I have been quiet for a little while. I needed some time to work on some other projects. I am thrilled to report it was a fruitful silence!

First, I took some time to get deeper into my reading for scuba. Most recently, I have been studying The Six Skills and Other Discussions by Steve Lewis. I have been pouring over his discussion on breathing as a separate and distinctive skill.

I won’t pontificate here, I’ll cut to the quick: breathing is complicated! While this seems counterintuitive, it really isn’t. Depending on the application, the way you breathe could be…

Day 40.

I have been in quarantine for 40 days.

I miss my job. I miss my students. I miss my coworkers. I miss my friends. I miss shopping.

Most of all, I miss diving.

Summer 2019. Picture by the S-Fish

It’s not just the activity that is diving. I miss post dive meals and drinks with dive buddies. I miss the smell of neoprene. I miss the giddy excitement of gearing up. I miss doing my gear up routine. I miss running gas management calculations. …

While my dive club can’t meet in person this month (the virus strikes again!), we are still posting our monthly Pro-Tip. This month we focused on hand signals.

In working on the Pro-Tip, I got to thinking about communication in diving and life in general. We hear about how important communication is from all sorts of different sources. It feels constant. At the same time, it is hard to find the desire to communicate in a world where anyone and everyone is so easily offended.

Communication is an interesting and complex topic as a whole.

In the context of the…

Catherine McWilliams

Lover of all things scuba diving and ocean. PADI Divemaster Candidate writing to keep sane and share the love of scuba.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store