Wow! What a week!
Earlier on this year I received some awesome news... I was being awarded the Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) Diver Medic Training Grant sponsored by Chantelle Taylor-Newman of The Diver Medic / Code Blue Education. I was invited to the Beneath the Sea expo just outside New York City in Seacaucus. This was an opportunity that I just couldn’t turn down!
WDHOF members span the forefront of all aspects of diving; science, exploration, education, military diving, medical research and training, photography, filmmaking, art, marine advocacy and conservation. I was welcomed into the WDHOF group with open arms and had the opportunity to chat to many about their love for diving.
As a 2017 award winner, I received associate membership to WDHOF. I look forward to learning as much as I can from such an inspirational group of women. I hope we meet again soon!
I was really impressed by the efforts made by the diving community to engage and inspire young people. The Marine Careers Day held for high school and early college students would be a fantastic thing to organise here in the UK.
Whilst at the Beneath the Sea conference I attended seminars by Emory Kristoff, Laurent Ballesta, Renee Power, Nancy McGee, Dr. Jeff Bozanic, CDR Joseph Dituri and Andrea Zaferes. Highlights for me included a seminar by Dr. Jeff Bozanic on rebreather testing in Antarctica. I was extremely fortunate to chat with him about ocean biogeochemistry, subglacial research and rebreather use in polar environments afterwards. It was also brilliant to finally hear Renee Power, of Women Underwater (co-authored with Jill Heinerth) speak about 'Women in Diving'.
The Saturday night Film Festival showcase was mind boggling – the stills from Laurent Ballesta (Diver of the Year for Arts) from his Gombessa III trip to Antarctica were a personal highlight. The beautiful images he took really inspired me to get better with my own camera. I look forward to seeing the results of his next project with sharks!
I was lucky to be able to sandwich the expo with a few days either side exploring NYC. The city was amazing - expect another post about it all soon! It was a busy trip and I have come back to Bristol with lots of new ideas. I’m now looking forward to getting going with my work here asap. Most importantly, I can’t wait to go diving!
A big thankyou to WDHOF and Beneath the Sea for being so welcoming. Thankyou also to Sandy Shaw, part of The Diver Medic team for showing me around and helping make my trip so fun - I had an awesome time!
“I change timezones more than I change my underwear. You just gotta suck it up and get on with it.” – Dr. Jeff Bozanic
I guess I better get a move on then!