Travel to the Hindu Khush (and everything in between) during my gap year decided me on archaeology as a career. I studied archaeology, ancient history and anthropology at Durham, and having started diving at a young age I eventually realised I could put archaeology and diving together. The opportunity to do this arose immediately I graduated: The investigation of Henry VIII's Mary Rose was seeking archaeologists who could dive (not a common breed at that time) and so I joined, initially as a volunteer but later becoming one of Margaret Rule's two Deputy Archaeological Directors. Having obtained professional diving qualifications by then I also co-superintended the Mary Rose Trust salvage diving team, the ship being recovered in 1982.
After Mary Rose I worked for a series of charities, Govt., departments, museums and universities, including some North Sea diving (to boost the rather meagre salaries of the heritage sector) intentionally building up a portfolio of experience and publication. During this time I also did my DPhil at Stockholm University leading eventually to outreach work with the Nautical Archaeology Society and a Visiting Lectureship at Southampton. Student approval of the courses I taught as well as the support of the Department convinced the University to create a maritime post for which I was selected in 1994. Southampton's waterfront location, the presence of the National Oceanography Centre, the School of Engineering (Ship Science) as well as the Departments of History and Geography, provided the obvious university location in the UK for the research and teaching of maritime archaeology. I launched the MA/MSc in Maritime Archaeology in 1995 which is still running and has seen c. 500 students graduate. The University also supported the Department's creation of our Centre for Maritime Archaeology (CMA) in 1997. The CMA is the focus for our teaching and a series of internationally significant research projects that have comprised the material for highly successful Impact Case Studies in the last two REFs. Since 1995 the CMA has grown into a prominent element within the Department of Archaeology, with ten members of affiliated staff, including four post-doctoral research fellows. Like them I teach at undergraduate and Masters level and currently supervise seven PhD researchers.