I took a big step and broke through the glass surface below me. I felt the warm Fijian water rush into my shorty wetsuit, my heart pounding of pure excitement. I was eager to glide beneath the surface and enter this new world. As I started my descent all noises disappeared and, it all became so quiet. All thoughts floated to the surface with each exhaled bubble. With each fin kick, I glided weightlessly through the water. I watched the most amazing paintings made by soft corals, the colors were incredible, I never imagined that it could be this beautiful. Bright reef fish were dancing in the blue water and reef sharks, the reason why I came here in the first place, swam by, moving effortlessly.
I once again was back at the surface after my first dive, but I wasn’t the same person that ventured beneath the ocean forty-three minutes earlier. After that dive, I knew what I wanted to do with my life.
I am from Denmark. Before this experience, I was working in electronics engineering, making sure that the robots and machines were running at all times. It was very satisfying to be handed a piece of broken electronic no one knew what was wrong with, and work on it, to watch it come back to life.
I worked with electronics at home in my free time and built a system that could control the temperature in an old fridge for brewing beer. I could and still can repair almost anything with circuits in it.
I had friends, a loving family, I loved working out, playing my guitars and listening to vintage vinyl records, it was a good and easy life. But I always felt as if something was missing.
I had some vacation time coming up and I always wanted to travel.
I started researching where to go, and I found a shark conservation project in Fiji.
I had always been fascinated by sharks but never thought that working with them was a career possibility.
I knew that the project was something I had to do.
A couple of months later I was one my way to Fiji for three months, a trip that would change my life as I knew it.
Every dive I tried to surface just a little bit better than when I entered the water, I knew I wanted to be a diving professional, and knew I had to work on my skills. I watched the instructors and divemasters, how they glided through the water effortlessly and tried to imitate their movements.
Dive by dive I became better, I started reading books to improve my knowledge.
Three months and sixty-seven dives later I was on the plane back to Denmark. I had gone from never diving to rescue diver level, I had witnessed amazing wrecks, more reef fish than I could count, turtles, stingrays, manta rays, and eight different species of sharks.
Eager to embark, in this life that felt so right for me, I started researching my next step.
Not even a month later I left everything to become a diving professional and boarded a plane to Grand Bahama Island in The Bahamas, to fuel my new found passion and love for diving and the sharks.
On the Island, I met Cristina Zenato, who fueled my love for the sharks even more, and unknown to me at the time, opened my eyes to the world of cave diving. If diving was the reason why I changed my life, caves became the reason why I was certain of this choice.