10 Badass Female Scuba Divers to Follow for Inspiration
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Please see my disclosure.
Last Updated on
On Saturday, July 20, 2019, PADI is honoring female scuba divers by hosting a Women’s Dive Day across the world. This is an annual event hosting thousands of scuba divers of all genders, ages, and experience levels for a celebration of shared adventure and passion.
In a male-dominated field where 68% of scuba divers are male and 74% of core divers (eight or more years of experience) are male, women scuba diving is something I definitely want to see increase more and more. Also, even as a new diver, I’m already feeling the thought of why don’t they make larger women’s wetsuits? That would be real cool.
Unfortunately, I live in Tennessee and am already committed to another land-locked state at the time so I was feeling a little bit of FOMO on missing out on what would be my first chance at participating in Women’s Dive Day. I wanted to participate in some way though so I thought I’d round up my favorite female scuba divers that I’ve found since getting certified.
After getting my open water certification in Costa Rica earlier this year, I became instantly obsessed. While diving still absolutely terrifies, I can’t deny that I’m hooked. I started immediately finding other divers to follow for inspiration and motivation to keep doing something I loved but was still nervous to do. I found Madison pretty quickly and fell in love with her mission.
Madison is an Australian scuba diver, filmmaker, and is on a strong-willed path to replace shark fishing with tourism via Project Hiu in Indonesia.
These trips are not just a way for you to see the shark fin trade first hand, but facilitate real change and be a part of a movement to save sharks with direct action, and at the same time engage in helping the community and the next generation. We will look for shark nurseries in the area, explore new sites, get comfortable on shark fishing boats. As well as visits to see the shark market where they fin and process sharks, you will see some of the most amazing and healthy reef. You will get to explore a part of the island barely witnessed by tourists, all from shark fishing boats.
The dates didn’t work out for me at all this year but I’m determined to make it on one next year.
Sarah, also known as Scuba Sarah, is a French Canadian and scuba instructor is making history by diving all seven continents in just five months to bring awareness to ocean conservation. Since water is everywhere and pollution is everywhere, she sees this as a great way to increase people’s awareness and passion not only for the ocean but the entire planet.
Jenn is a dear friend of mine who deserves a call out nonetheless but even more so because she, along with her husband Ed, literally coached me through my open water certification. I was in Costa Rica and they in Florida and I constantly was sending panicked messages, questions upon questions, and then elated messages after my successful open water dives.
Jenn is one part of Coleman Concierge – one of my favorite couple bloggers. They share amazing adventures for active professional adult travelers with many of these adventures being scuba diving. Jenn is an Advanced Open Water Diver who get this – was (is?) afraid of fish.
Jillian is a marine biologist, shark conservationist, the Founder of Shark Education, an author, a photographer, and last but not least – a fellow pitbull mom.
Shark Education, or Sharks 4 Kids, is creating the next generation of shark advocates through education, outreach & adventure. I find this amazing as I think, unfortunately, one of the best ways to change the planet is to start by educating children. The youth is our future literally and figuratively.
View this post on Instagram
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” . . Thanks @caymanjason for capturing one of those moments. Just hanging out with Atlas the great hammerhead #sharklife #bimini #freediving #girlsthatfreedive #awesome #epic #sharkdiving #hammerhead #hammerheadshark #saltlife #onebreath #marinelife #mondaymotivation
I’ve always had a thirst for knowledge and while being in the ocean and just seeing all the beautiful and shiny things would be enough, I think it’s pretty amazing to actually learn a thing or two while you’re there. Knowledge turns to passion, my friends.
That’s why I was pretty stoked to find Caitlin on Instagram. She is a research diver, a graduate of Marine Science, and an eco-conscious diver. I love how she gives the scientific name of species and dives into all sorts of details that you didn’t even know you wanted to know.
View this post on Instagram
One of my favorite times diving in my whole life 💫. As my parents and I dove the Great Barrier Reef, we had an amazing moment swimming with this turtle. 🐢He was so sweet and curious. 🙌🏻This was one of those moments that I will never forget, and I’m so thankful I got to spend with my parents. ☺️😊⠀ ⠀ •This is a beautiful Hawksbill Sea Turtle.🐢 Scientific name: Eretmochelys imbricata 🤓⠀ ⠀ IUCN Status: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED 🚨 ⠀ ⠀ LIFE: 30 to 50 years.⠀ SIZE: 24 to 45 in⠀ WEIGHT: 100 to 150 lbs⠀ ⠀ •They are normally found near reefs rich in the sponges they like to feed on. Hawksbills are omnivorous and will also eat mollusks, marine algae, crustaceans, sea urchins, fish, and jellyfish. Their hard shells protect them from many predators, but they still fall prey to large fish, sharks, crocodiles, octopuses, and humans.⠀ ⠀ •Like other sea turtles, hawksbills make incredible migrations in order to move from feeding sites to nesting grounds, normally on tropical beaches. Mating occurs every two to three years and normally takes place in shallow waters close to the shore.⠀ ⠀ •Threats to Survival: ⠀ Like many sea turtles, hawksbills are a critically endangered species due mostly to human impact. 😢 Hawksbill eggs 🥚 are still eaten around the world despite the turtle’s international protected status, and they are often killed for their flesh and their stunning shells. 😭 These graceful sea turtles are also threatened by accidental capture in fishing nets. 🎣 ⠀ ⠀ #divepro #marinebiology #girlsthatscuba #girlzinoceanscience #greatbarrierreef #gbr #australia #oz #coralreef #turtle #hawksbillseaturtle #natgeowild #natgeoadventure #tusadive #cairns #oceanconservation #scubadiving
Janiel is another friend of mine and blogger over at Culture Trekking. Janiel is a fantastic storyteller, creates a Youtube video for every single blog post (you don’t know how much work that is, fo real), and inspired me during my journey towards my certification whether she realizes it or not. Living in Utah, Janiel understands the despair of being landlocked and this snippet is from her first ocean dive. I love the realness.
I had just mastered my first dive successfully with a compliment from a Master Diver that was more of the quiet type, yet he congratulated me. I was indeed proud of myself, despite the concerned looks that friends gave me when I said I wanted to do diving. The kind, but doubtful way that people often look at me because of my size – with the unsaid words of ‘difficult diver’, ‘burden’ ‘too big to fit and all the other self-depreciating, anxiety driven encounters and moments along the way the last 4-5 months of diving….I had done it, and I had not just completed it, I was SUCCESSFUL at it.
Sarah is a travel blogger at Coffee with A Slice of Life and Founder of Girls That Scuba – a little well-known group you may know – and her new website A Waste Free World dedicated to a plastic-free, zero-waste world.
Girls That Scuba is the world’s largest female scuba divers community.
View this post on Instagram
Humans kill nearly 200,000,000 sharks a year 🔪 WHY? It’s not even because of their misunderstood label of human killers anymore ( sharks kill as little as 6 people a year). It’s for their fins, their meat and their cartilage 🦈 Yet, their fins are tasteless, their meat contains such high levels of mercury that it’s unsafe to eat, and its cartilage is sold so cheap companies buy it and pretend it’s something else. And the worst thing is you and I have most probably either eaten or bought shark products unintentionally. Shark is in products such as dog food, lipstick, vitamins, sunscreen, deodorant, Imitation crab sticks, Anti-aging cream and so much more. We need to educate ourselves on one of the world’s most brutal (not to mention illegal) industry and stop shark fishing for good. Here’s how you can help. 🦈Read “Warning contains Shark” article online to see which products contain shark 🦈Do not buy any products that contain shark 🦈Knowing the source of your fish – or better yet not consuming fish at all – ensures you are not contributing to the demise of the sharks 🦈Swim with sharks yourself and show the world how beautiful they are 🦈Watch @teamsharkwater or any other shark fishing documentaries – TELL YOUR FRIENDS ALL OF THIS I don’t want to live in a time where I have to tell girls younger than me “when sharks were still alive I got to swim with them” I want to say “let’s go shark diving together” Photo by @valeoceano_liquidjungle With @octaviobullsharkdiving Last photo by @francescaapage
How can you not be cool with a name like that?!
Ocean is a professional scuba instructor, advanced free diver and surfer, shark and marine biologist, conservationist, and dedicates her life to observing and protecting sharks which makes her a pretty candidate for this unofficial badass female scuba divers list I’ve compiled with absolutely no authority whatsoever.
View this post on Instagram
I hope she is still alive💙 I hope more people have the opportunity to experience incredible moments with sharks. To me, spending time with sharks is an honor and I am always grateful for my time with them. There is something so special about sharks, being in the presence of such capable predators demands a high level of awareness if you want to have a healthy/enjoyable interaction. While I don’t advise that anyone just jump in with a large shark like a white, tiger, Bull, galapagos, Mako, blue, etc it is one of the most wonderful feelings to spend time observing them if you can do so with an experienced and safe guide. “Grandma Great White” photographed by my ❤️ @juansharks dwarfs me as she glides over to our @oneoceandiving boat, brushing her side and fins along it. White sharks are rare but present in Hawaii, they generally stay 100 meters and deeper in cooler water because this species is warm bodied. Some of the white sharks I have helped tag with small acoustic receivers in Mexico have ventured all the way here around the whale season in our cooler months. Please #helpsavesharks like this from wasteful killing by supporting legislation this next year for better protection and pushing to ban shark killing and shark finning in the part of the world where you live. Shark interactions: deterring a white shark is difficult, it’s important if approached to leverage yourself past their nose or snout by placing a hand 🖐🏼 flat on top of their head and pushing yourself up and over the top, adapting to leverage to stay over in case they roll up at you. This is very rare, this species prefers to ambush predate so you generally wouldn’t see it coming unless you look around constantly. If they are swimming slowly they are likely just curious and they actually tend to investigate before biting things which would explain why so few people are ever bit by a white shark despite how many people go in their home everyday. #apexpredatornotmonster #savesharks #protectsharks #savegreatwhitesharks #grandmagreatwhite @oneoceansharks #hawaii #sharksinhawaii #swimmingwithsharks Tiger shark biomimicry wetsuit by @xcelwetsuits @axisgo @gopro @cressi1946 Photo ©️ @juansharks ❤️🦈
When I first started blogging six years ago, Kristin of Be My Travel Muse was one of the first blogs I followed and I’ve been following her ever since. While she doesn’t blog primarily about diving, I know scuba and freediving are some of her passions. Her photos are beautiful and her website is an excellent resource for female solo travelers, female scuba divers, and off the beaten path adventures.
View this post on Instagram
Like you I have a lot of questions. How can I be sure what the point is? What is living life to the fullest really? Is any of it going to matter in 20 years, 200 years, 2 million years? Are we all just putting one foot in front of the other, walking each other home? All I can do when these questions come up is try to throw love at it. It can always come back to love. Bad day? Love more. The Chargers lost? Love more. Stuck in traffic? Love more. The choice can always be to love more, in any situation almost anything can be solved if we all just put a little bit more love in. Maybe it sounds naïve and silly but every disagreement, If everyone just started to choose love instead, would stop mattering. But all you can really do is clean up your little corner, putting out as much love as you can. Being a light in a dark cave, surrounded by glittering little fish. Today I’ll choose love, tomorrow I hope to choose love again, and when I forget, I trust that someone will love me enough to remind me 💜📸: @karimiliya
A fellow scuba diver and vegan? What more could I ask for? I was excited to find Katt’s account for both of these reasons. She is also a scuba instructor, environmentalist, physicist, and podcaster. Is anyone else seeing a theme about how kickass every single person is on this list?
View this post on Instagram
Can we save the Great Barrier Reef through planting new corals? . . Check out the work @reef_restoration_foundation is doing on the Great Barrier Reef to try and grow resilient corals and outplant them on storm or bleaching damaged reefs. . . We do not exactly know if it will fix the issue, however along with hundreds of other ocean warriors these guys are working hard to do their part. You can help out the cause through donating to keep this project going, or if you are in Cairns becoming a volunteer. . . Thank you for having me on and showing me how tough it is to scrub algae from the coral nursery trees. Photo by Larra larra . . . #oceanpancake #coralreef #coralnursery #coralrestoration #saveourocean #saveourplanet #oceanconservancy #oneocean #volunteering #activecitizen #marinebiology #marinescience #fitzroyisland #ecofriendly #conservation #scubadiving #girlsthatscuba #scubapro #citizenscience #blueplanet #underwaterphoto #underwater_photography
Female Scuba Divers Conclusion
There are so many other female scuba divers out there that I’m sure are doing amazing things and I really want to learn more about them! I’m interested in knowing who your favorite female scuba divers are and I’d love to see a bit of diversity! I’ll be sure to update this list as I find more female scuba divers that inspire me.