Saturday, June 11, 2011

First Underwater Photos Published!

I used to want to be a marine biologist but I realized in college that I had more of a knack for languages than lab reports. Still, I have always loved the ocean and I have always loved swimming. The diving I have done these past two years in Indonesia has reignited my love affair with the ocean and has shown me that even though I am not a professional marine biologist, I can can still be passionate about the ocean in other ways. I have done 168 dives to date, I am a certified PADI Rescue Diver and I have also fallen in love with underwater photography. At this point in my life, if you asked me what my absolute dream job would be I would say a freelance travel writer and underwater photographer since this job would combine my loves of writing, traveling, diving and photography. Therefore, it's perhaps no surprise that I consider the publication of my first dive article and underwater photos to be the unofficial highlight of my two-year fellowship in Indonesia.

Rantje first asked me to write an article for 'What's Happening?', the free North Sulawesi tourism magazine, more than a year ago near the end of my first fellowship year in Gorontalo and now it's finally been published in the Spring 2011 edition of the magazine. And he really surprised me by submitting two of my own photographs with the article! I knew there would be the photo of me with the Salavador Dali sponge because we did a special underwater photo shoot for that last year but I had no idea my own photos would be published! I was thrilled when Rantje sent me the hard copies in the mail last week. However, my photos were extremely dark because the publisher got the printing saturation wrong on the first run. Fortunately, this mistake was corrected in subsequent printings and in the online version of my article that you can read here on page 18.

Although I've been fortunate to dive in some pretty spectacular places like Komodo, Nusa Lembongan, Bunaken, Lembeh, and the Togean Islands, Gorontalo will always be my absolute favorite diving destination in Indonesia for all of the reasons that I listed in my article. Since leaving Gorontalo, I've been back twice to dive - once in December with my sister and Mark and once again in March with Megan and Christina. I love diving there, I love diving with Rantje and the gang and I love introducing Gorontalo to other divers. That's why I was thrilled once again when Rantje unveiled Miguel's Diving's new t-shirt design:

Miguel's Diving t-shirt
The diver with the wavy blond hair admiring a Salvador Dali sponge while a whale shark passes overhead? That's me!!

My diving days in Gorontalo have come to an end (for now) but I find it beyond fitting that my departure from Indonesia is marked by the publication of my article about diving in Gorontalo and the introduction of the new Gorontalo t-shirts with my likeness!

I hear there will be a new ELF in Gorontalo next year. I really hope that person is a diver too so he or she can enjoy Gorontalo's hidden paradise! 


  1. Beautiful T-shirt design! I love it! Inspiring post, indeed.
    Banny/Colleen, a happy diver