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23 September 2012

Scuba diving in a Cousteau water world

Emily Brennan -

“I’ve always been a water baby,” said Ashlan Gorse, an anchor for “E! News Now.”

But it wasn’t until she met her boyfriend, Philippe Cousteau Jr., a grandson of the oceanography legend Jacques Cousteau, that she took the plunge and learned how to scuba dive.

“To go in the water and stare at a shrimp for three minutes and not think about anything else in the world,” she said, “it’s just euphoric.”

Last month, she dove with great white sharks at Guadalupe Island off Mexico.

Even that she found peaceful. “I thought I’d be scared,” she said, “but there’s a real ease and calmness about them cruising around.”

Below are edited excerpts from a conversation with Ms. Gorse about her favorites spots and tips for scuba and shark diving.

Q. How did you learn how to scuba dive ?

A. I got my certification through PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). It’s recognized everywhere, so you can find classes at any gym or Y.M.C.A. The course work online takes about two weeks, and then I did a couple of lessons in the pool and one in the ocean. But you can also do them in a lake or a rock quarry.

Once you’re certified, you can go diving anywhere in the world.

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