As head of diving, my task is to have all the diving equipment ready, set and above all, safe for a productive dive.
On deck the work is always a bit more stressful and requires a lot of concentration and organization pre- and post-dive. As we make our way to the diving area, with the help of Cristina Urien (my right hand), we set about getting ready for the pre-dive. We finished filling up the bottles and prepared the equipment so everybody had everything they needed in the shortest amount of time possible. We then checked that the scooters and underwater torches had adequate battery life and that the buoys, boards, sampling tubes and the rest were all there.
When the divers came back up we started with the post-dive work: rinsing down the equipment with fresh water, battery and bottle charging, data gathering from the dive (position and dimensions of the caves found), logbook filling etc.
We do all of this in as little time as possible which is why it can get stressful, but it’s true that once in the water submerged in silence with nothing but your breathing to be heard, all that pre- and post-work gets left behind. You concentrate on getting your breathing right, on your fellow divers and above all, on admiring the beautiful scenery around you.
All this while you keep on thinking that this job that you’re doing is to ultimately protect the oceans and the life it holds within, and that, is priceless!