I have so many! One that stands out for me is a sailing trip out to dive Bassas da India, which lies about halfway between Mozambique (where I lived for 12 years) and Madagascar. Bassas is an uninhabited atoll, formed by a volcano, which rises from the sea bed at 3000 meters to just breaking the surface. It is difficult to find a more remote or more pristine part of the Indian Ocean, the diving was out of this world and the fantastic sense of isolation was surreal.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
I love to experience new locations and cultures and it is great to get into the Caribbean vibe! Carriacou has that lovely old world charm of a bygone age which is hard to find now days. Getting back in to sailing after a bit of a hiatus is my short term goal, the region is awash with boats and boaters!
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
The large number of return students we get speaks volumes for their enjoyment of their time spent here. As I write this we have 1 return student working here as a dive instructor and a couple who have come back for a holiday. It seems like every month we have at least 1 person coming to dive who was previously a student here.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
That would depend on previous diving experience. A qualified diver would want to get straight into marine field work, learn scientific diving techniques and data collection/entry techniques, possibly rounding this off with some higher level diving qualifications. Non divers would want to start with their Open Water dive course before getting into the scientific fieldwork. As our structure allows for both these groups, students just decide where they ''get on'' to the course and how long they want to stay.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
We are a group of passionate divers, conservationists and scientists with incredibly diverse backgrounds and skill sets. For me it is really gratifying to see local staff get enthusiastic about conserving the underwater world and being part of their progression as professional divers, skippers and the conservationists of tomorrow.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Good open and honest communication is vital not just for a company but for daily life. Many problems stem from poor communication, conflict can arise over misunderstandings and no team endeavor can succeed if all members are not clear about objectives and roles.
Scientific research is also of far more importance when the results are in the public domain, enabling people to make informed decisions and policies.