Melissa Hobson: scuba diving writer – examples of my work

July 24, 2023

I've been a certified scuba diver for longer than I've been in the world of work (if you don't count Saturday jobs in retail and hospitality while I was at school and university). When I started writing professionally, as a side hustle outside my role as a PR consultant, it was natural that I'd write about scuba diving (and, here and there, a bit of freediving). Today, I tend to write about the ocean and marine conservation more widely but often it does come back to my roots as a scuba diving writer.

Pregnant manta rays - National Geographic

I love how new scientific and technological developments are helping us push conservation efforts forward. A great example of this was my Nat Geo article on the Manta Trust's study whiched used contactless ultrasound scanners to more accurately determine pregnancy and maturity in manta rays. The paper confirms scientists have been underestimating the number of mature females in the population, meaning they're more vulnerable than we previously thought.

Leaky shipwrecks - Daily Beast

What's the scariest thing you can think of under the sea? Sharks? Sea monsters? Haunted pirate ships?! How about slowly degrading WWII shipwrecks that could be on the brink of leaking oil and devastating the ocean ecosystem? I wrote about these ticking time bombs a while back for the Daily Beast.

Fluorescence diving - Diver

If you can imagine the wild bright colours and UV-vibe of a rave, add a dash of Avatar and then put that whole picture underwater at night, you've got a pretty good idea of what it's like to go on a fluo dive. If this sounds utterly bonkers and you can't imagine it at all, check out my Diver magazine article about going on a fluo dive in Madagascar.

Triple-amputee Rescue Diver - Diver

“I’m down in a black wetsuit”. I’m four foot six because I’ve got no legs on. I look like a seal. Well, what do sharks eat? Seals. That’s what’s going through my head.” What a great opening quote from Josh Boggi who I interviewed back in 2019 when he became the world’s first triple-amputee Rescue Diver. The rest of the article doesn't disappoint either - enjoy!

Mafia Island - Diver

Here's a piece I wrote for Diver magazine in 2020 about my visit to Tanzania's stunning Mafia Island and the amazing critters (big and small) I found under the waves...

Freediving with sharks - Sidetracked

The cool thing about my work is that I get to chat to cool conservationists doing exciting things like freediving with sharks, which is exactly what I did for this Sidetracked magazine article.

Jet propelled midwives - Diver

If the headline 'Meet the jet propelled midwives' isn't enough to intrigue you to read my old Diver article from 2019, I don't know what is!

Where the whale sharks are - Diver

Back in 2018, I wrote this piece exploring where the whale sharks are and how one woman is dedicating her life to protecting them. Fast forward to today and I'm still protecting the Madagascar Whale Shark Project Foundation (and Stella is still smashing it with her conservation work).

Conservation in Mozambique - Family Traveller

People often ask how I got into marine conservation and I usually say "I couldn't help myself". But it also involved quitting my job and relocating to Mozambique for a bit. I wrote about it for Family Traveller.

Whale sharks - Oceanographic

For Oceanographic, I wrote up an interview with the Madagascar Whale Shark Project Foundation's Stella Diamant about her important conservation work.

Galapagos whale sharks - Oceanographic

Again for Oceanographic, I covered the mysteries of pregnancy in the world's largest fish.

Dive holiday booking guide - inews

When flights to Sharm El Sheikh returned, I did a roundup of scuba trips for inews.

Tobago - Diver

Is the diving in Tobago better on the East side than the West side? The only way to find out... dive both! I wrote a review of the island's underwater world for Diver magazine.

Japan - Diver

If I told you I did some great scuba dives in Japan, you'd probably assume I'd visited Okinawa (right?). But did you know there are some great critters to be found off the coast of mainland Japan? I visited Wakayama to check out its macro delights and wrote a destination review for Diver magazine.

Malapascua, Philippines - Diver

I've never been a fan of an early morning BUT if there's a chance of shark sightings before breakfast, you can probably persuade me! That's exactly what I was lucky enough to experience in Malapascua, the Philippines, which I wrote about for Diver magazine. And I still remember those dives vividly today.

Black eyes - Diver

"Isn't it dangerous?" is a question I get a lot when people find out I'm a scuba diver. Yes, it has its risks (but that's why we learn what to do in case something goes wrong). When there have been mishaps underwater, the instructors' responses have always made me feel safer - if you're with a good dive shop, their dive professionals really know what they're doing! But there wasn't much I could do when I accidentally gave myself a double black eye while diving in the Caribbean. I wrote about it for Diver magazine.

The bends at Aliwal Shoal - Diver

My first ever published article was all about sharks, seasickness and the bends in South Africa - it even made the magazine's front cover!

Shark freediving - Diver

Let's be honest, sharks can get a pretty bad rap. So it's always cool to hear about people like Lukas, who I wrote about for Diver magazine, who are working to protect these magnificent creatures.

Mafia Island - Ecophiles

In this travel piece for Ecophiles, I highlighted the great things you can do on Mafia Island, Tanzania - including swimming with whale sharks and scuba diving.

Sharks - AFAR

In this piece for AFAR, I spoke to a range of scientists for their tips on the best places around the world where you can see sharks (responsibly).

Reducing marine litter - PADI

I wrote this article for PADI to help educate dive professionals around the actions they can take to reduce marine litter and why it's important.

Artificial reefs - Ecophiles

In this piece, I wrote a roundup of interesting artificial reefs that divers and snorkellers can visit.

Diving and conservation - Ecophiles

I wrote an article for Ecophiles about the pristine dive spots which are focused on protecting the marine ecosystem.

Protecting the ocean - Ecophiles

As a scuba diver, I'm passionate about protecting the ocean. But you don't need to be a diver to make a difference. In this article, I share a few ways you can make a difference even if you're not a diver.

If you're looking for a scuba diving writer to tell your story, or write an article for you, feel free to get in touch. I promise I won't make rookie errors like talking about going underwater with my 'oxygen tank' (groan...)!

Ready to chat?

Hello!

Great to hear you're interested in working together - I'm always keen to hear about exciting new stories from marine conservationists, potential commissions from editors and suitable briefs from prospective clients.

So, let's chat. You can send me an email (I aim to respond within three working days, usually sooner) or book a call below. I look forward to hearing from you.

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