Mermaid Monday; Underwater Laura
1. What inspired you to become a Mermaid Instructor?
Am I allowed to say H2O: Just Add Water?!
I’ve always loved being around the ocean, it just gives me a wonderful sense of joy and peace. I’ve been a SCUBA diver since I was 8 years old, from a little water-baby in the PADI Seal Team right through to Divemaster. I’m also a freediver and a dancer. When I heard about mermaiding, it just felt like the perfect combination of so many things that I am passionate about – body positivity, movement, creativity, and taking care of ourselves, our planet and our beautiful oceans. Plus, it’s just so much fun!
2. What do you love MOST about Mermaiding?
My favourite aspect is reminding people of the wonder and magic of play. It can be easy for life to feel so busy and frenetic all the time, and it is so good for us to remember to let go occasionally. Mermaiding is a great way to reduce stress, experience joy and express ourselves creatively – for no other reason than because we want to and it’s FUN!
3. Where has been your favourite place to Mermaid swim? Where has been your least favourite?
My favourite so far has been Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday islands – dreamy clear water, white sand, beautiful sunshine… it was paradise!
Least favourite – um, nowhere so far! Every time I put a tail on, I just have such a good time!
4. What PADI Mermaid courses do you offer and who are they for?
First things first – PADI Mermaid courses are for everyone!!! You don’t need any prior dive experience at all – just a sense of play and adventure. I’ve partnered with Abyss Scuba Diving in Sydney’s south to teach PADI Mermaid courses. They’re a wonderful family-run dive shop and have been part of the Sydney dive scene for many years. We offer courses for adults, kids, and people of all genders, including:
- Discover Mermaid Experience – a simple way to try out the feeling of mermaid swimming, in a safe and fun environment
- Mermaid Course – this 1-day course combines theory learning and practical elements to teach you about mermaid equipment, skills and safety, plus lots of fun in-water tricks!
- Advanced Mermaid Course – take your mermaiding to the next level in the open water! Advanced Mermaids learn the necessary skills for mermaiding in the ocean, including managing varied conditions, freediving techniques, and safety and rescue skills
I can also take private bookings for merfolk who want something in particular, such as Mermaid Wellness sessions, Parent-and-Bub Mer Experiences (min. age 6 years old), or small group bookings. Whether you want underwater tricks and games, fun costumes and glamorous photos, or to learn about breathwork, relaxation techniques and stretching in a wellness-focused session, mermaiding has something for everyone!
5. What are three things you cannot be a Mermaid without?
Easy – imagination, a sense of adventure, and a smile! Obviously a tail helps, but you don’t NEED one to experience the mermaid magic. Just believe in yourself and the rest will follow!
6. What’s the funniest or weirdest thing that has ever happened to you while Mermaiding?
I have a favourite game to play when I’m mermaiding in the ocean! When I see a snorkeler, I love to dive down where they can’t see me and then swim underneath them – they’re always so surprised to see a real-life mermaid among the fish schools!
7. So you have any favourite Mermaids you follow?
So many! My beautiful friend Amy, The Sustainable Mermaid at @for.earth.mermaids, for her tirelessly spreading the message about protecting our oceans. I’m inspired by Charlotte Towne @themermaidlawyer because I’m also a working lawyer! And, though she’s not a tail-wearing mermaid, I really admire Ocean Ramsey for all her amazing awareness-raising about shark conservation.
8. What advice would you give to others who want to be Mermaids?
My best advice is – be yourself, and have fun. Mermaiding is so many things to many people, and the community is big and diverse. Only you get to decide exactly what kind of mer you want to be, whether that’s a performer, entertainer, teacher, or just a free spirit and lover of the ocean. Just get out there and be your best mer-self!
9. What’s next for you? Any big Mermaid plans?
You bet – I want to mermaid all over the world! In the meantime though, my plans for the next little while are to keep spreading the word about this awesome sport in Sydney, sharing the joy and love, and turning people into bold and powerful merfolk. After that, who knows? I might become the Aussie Traveling Mermaid, coming soon to a pool or beach near you!
10. Where can people find you? (website/socials)
At the moment, you can sea me on Instagram at @underwater.laura – and I’ll have a new website live soon! Or if you have questions about courses, equipment, general mer-trivia, or want to book a private course, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Course information and dates is available from Abyss Scuba Diving at https://www.abyss.com.au/en/how-to-become-a-mermaid-with-padi-mermaid-course-options, or www.abyss.bz/Mermaid!
And if you want to spot me in real life? Keep an eye on the beaches around Sydney’s east… You might see something magic!