That time I went diving in the world’s deepest swimming pool

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OK, not quite the deepest. The record has just been beaten, in fact, by a new pool in Italy. But Nemo 33 in Brussels, Belgium, was the world’s deepest swimming pool for 10 years, at 34.5m deep. And it was pretty spectacular.

Along with my diving club, we travelled to Brussels for our Christmas “party” weekend. I was really excited because just a few months earlier, I’d received these:

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Getting my Advanced Open Water is really exciting, because it’s the key to doing deeper dives – up to 30m. Imagine descending in a symphony of bubbles in water as warm as a bath, the light above you shrinking to a tiny circle as the pressure and darkness of that much water begins to dim your vision; your breath gets shorter as your lungs compress, you fall faster and faster, and you cling to your buddy with the thrill of being so far down. That’s what it’s like at the bottom of Nemo 33.

Here was us trying and failing to take a selfie:

Here was me impersonating a starfish:

And here was us emerging after the dive:

This is my buddy Alex and I at the very deepest part of the pool (yes, it was that dark!)

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It’s obviously worth mentioning that Brussels (my first time there) was absolutely beautiful. Cute Christmas markets, a brisk chill in the air, and streets thronging with families and couples. We spent our spare time wandering between the tall gilded buildings, letting the atmosphere settle like snowflakes on our shoulders.

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