Imagine turning up to your second day of work and your boss tells you to do an unprepared presentation to 1.8 million people. Sounds pretty ridiculous right?
Well, welcome to day 2 of the diveLIVE adventure.
Thinking back to my first day, meeting new colleagues who were soon to become my Caymanian family, it’s hard to grasp how much I have learnt in just a few weeks. After working in the Red Sea and Mozambican Channel, the underwater life in the Caribbean proved completely different. From 6am to 9pm, I was panic-reading every identification book I could get my hands on, surely there was no way I could be perfect enough to name all the fish in the sea! That’s when the WildEarth team came to my aid, their relaxed and positive nature helping me realise I had the knowledge, and passion, to share the underwater realm with everyone. The constant support from my newly made friends as well as the absolutely positive comments from our avid backers, has changed my entire outlook on scientific communication and what we can achieve with this project.
When leaving my hometown of Sydney, I wouldn’t have been able to point Cayman Islands out on a map. Through our work we met multiple characters on the island and have learnt why the Caymanian people were voted the happiest on Earth! It’s not only their vibrant disposition, the many ‘carnivale’ style festivals show the Caribbean spirit is well and truly alive and they welcomed us into their festivities! Forever quoting care-free slogans such as ‘Every Hallelujah got amen’, it’s hard to not feel relaxed when things are going wrong. Through technical challenges and wild weather, the locals around us are always providing support, ideas and hospitality as nights of sleep are lost to the gremlins.
Coming into this project, I thought my role would be to be a TV presenter and marine expert with pre-prepared scripts and sections of LIVE footage. Never in my wildest imaginations did I think I could communicate what I was seeing in real time to people across the globe and have them speak back to me! To read everyone’s comments, questions and joys as they experience the wonders of the world as I do is like having friends on the same adventure. For a very long time diving was a solo experience for me, with silence and an odd shrimp snapping its claws. I’ve been in the industry and sport long enough to know that what is happening here is profound.
Pulling myself back to the jitters of the second day when Graham told us we’re going LIVE to PADI’s 1.8 million followers, I am humbled by the fear that took hold of me. Now, the possibilities of what we may see, who we may meet and who will join me on my explorations, electrifies me.
Written By: Simone Harrmannsen