When and why were you first drawn to the underwater world?
When I was one years old, my parents took me to the beach for the first time. As soon as my feet touched the sand I was already heading to the ocean. It was a connection that I felt from the introduction and I have been hooked ever since. Growing up my mom played wave sounds on my sound machine so that I could fall asleep at night. I always dreamed of being able to breathe underwater and was thrilled to learn that my dream could meet reality. When I am underwater, I am at peace surrounded by the underwater world and I feel the same way I did growing up.
What has been your most memorable moment underwater (keep it clean please!)
My most memorable moment underwater was my first night dive. The same site I had dove seemingly countless times appeared completely foreign to me and I felt as though we were on another planet. The nightlife was both fascinating and memorable making night dives my absolute favorite.
If you could be any ocean creature, what would it be and why?
If I could be an ocean creature I would have to pick a humpback whale. Their grace expressed through slow movements through the water is something I highly respect and am reminded to slow down in an otherwise hectic lifestyle. These sacred beings exemplify time slowing down and their size and sounds are truly humbling.
What is your favorite thing to teach others about scuba diving?
My favorite thing to teach others about scuba diving is the importance of appreciating the ocean. We can get so caught up in teaching and learning skills underwater that it is often too easy to never take a moment to look around at the underwater world surrounding us. The ocean feels more like a home than on land does and I find it important to educate other divers on the importance of both appreciating and respecting the sea. We are dependent on the ocean and it is so important to remember that.
What has surprised you most about teaching/guiding?
If you had asked me at the beginning of my divemaster course if I wanted to teach/guide I would have immediately shot back a “no” reply. The idea terrified me and I had this idea that teaching took away the fun of scuba diving. As I became more comfortable in the water and assisted instructors in teaching new divers how to dive, I realized how incredible it is to introduce new people to the underwater world I love so much. Guiding people and being able to show them the ocean I am so close to as well as educate them on taking care of it is my absolute dream job.
What piece of your personal scuba equipment can you not live without?
As a girl, I cannot live without my slap strap on my mask. You can only endure so many dives and so many hair pulls before you realize you got to make a change. My slap strap allows me to remove my mask without pulling out my hair every time. It is honestly a life saver.
What do you think is next for you?
The golden question. I am thankful for the opportunity to get my PADI Divemaster here and be surrounded by so many inspiring women. They have positively impacted me as both a woman and a diver in the scuba world. With that said I am ready to take this education and be able to give back. I am planning to work on various ocean conservation projects including coral restoration projects and inspire others to get involved as well. It would be great to also use this scuba certification to further my career in environmental science. And obviously to just dive as much as possible.