As a child I was not as fond of the sea as I am now. I always had the idea that big wild scary animals would bite my feet off if I walked into the sea. And to be honest I was also afraid of the deep part of the pool after seeing 'the killer whale' a fantastic movie about the revenge of an orca. Anyway, I'm pretty much over my fears now as I'm at sea full-time and like to explore the depths where I've never seen such a scary beast as my fantasy showed me when I was a little girl. Yet I still have the feeling that we are being watched and occasionally I meet the spy myself.
Author: anke westerlaken
Sooner or later we all play with the question: is it perhaps better to stop diving? I myself have been a big fan of this sport for over 20 years, but sometimes life doesn't turn out the way you expect and you may not feel fit enough to dive like you always did. So is Sue, a fantastic lady I met on the liveaboard trip from this week. With a lot of young people on board Sue is a relatively mature lady, I don't know her exact age, but it's obvious that she belongs to the seniors. During our trip to the 'golden triangle' of the Red Sea (Brother Islands, Daedalus reef and Elphinstone) Sue realizes that these kinds of trips might be a thing of the past and she even considers stopping altogether.
The manta barrel
I was asked to come and help on a liveaboard in the Maldives for a few months because the current cruise directors had to disembark with a medical emergency. The head office in England indicated that I should not only take over their work, but asked me to examine the organization on site and improve it where possible. What a super challenge and all that on a dive ship in the Maldives, well as if I would say no to that, haha. And so I flew at short notice to Male from Egypt on my way to a new adventure and then boarded via domestic flights deep in the south of the Maldives.
Don’t worry, be happy
Finally we can go out again after the pandemic. I'm going on the day boat from Voodoo and we have a super nice family on board that regularly make me pee my pants from laughter as they are doo funny and joyful. I am therefore very surprised to see the always smiling daughter Eva with tears on our aft deck. What is going on? She can no longer equalize het ears.
Like a king
Despite the fact that I do a lot of diving, there are a number of diving moments that stay with me and amung them my first encounter with the blue ringed octopus. We are at a fantastic dive site appropriately named Mayhem in Raja Ampat Indonesia. Fitting because every time the current picks up the dive site becomes a madhouse, the quantities as well as the different species are absolutely astonishing, even after 100 dives. The current sours around us as soon as we roll into the water from the zodiac and from the first moment I try to hang as aerodynamically as possible. Nose down and into the current while holding my ass up, a trick I copied from sharks. And even though the current tries to blow me off the reef, I manage to stay in one place and I take the time to look around me quietly.
When I first started as a dive guide I was amazed at the disrespectful and inconsiderate behavior of many divers on board. It cannot be the case that divers travel to special places to see nature and then just destroy everything during the dive. And really as a guide you see the most amazing things, as I recently dived with Michael, a relatively experienced diver who travels to all corners of the world.
An unforgettable experience
We all need help from time to time and it is not always easy to ask for help. And sometimes as a dive guide I get a completely unexpected request for help, I mean it's my job to help everyone above and below the water but I just don't expect it from everyone and ask … Continue reading An unforgettable experience
Time to enjoy
My love for diving is driven by the versatility, the adventure, a wonderful world and above all because diving is likemeditation. The dry world melts like snow in the sun with every meter I descend. Wonderful 'bimbling' in shallowwaters where the sun rays plays, discovering and exploring a wreck, peering through my lens in search of the perfect shot, descending to great depths in seeking sharks. Yes, diving is amazing and very immersive and relaxing. Now, as a dive guide, I meet a lot of divers and see how much and in what ways people can enjoy themselves. And every time I see such a joyful moment I have to smile at the recognition and it is seldom that I am surprised, yet Nasam succeeded.
Lets get acquainted before we shoot
On board we unfortunately hear and see it with some regularity. Nice people who look at their own photos after a fantastic dive and are disappointed. A fish that is only half on it or how about just a tail and all that while they thought they had the best shot during the dive. We all tend to take a quick snapshot and then continue divingjust a little too quickly. Often being led by the feeling of not wanting to be a burden to others, but the funny thing is that others often don't have the idea that you are working on a photo for too long and eventually when you have a fantastic photo everyone wants a copy as a keepsake. And if you do want to shoot something quickly, that fish doesn't agree and shoots away into a hole or dives around the corner behind a coral block.