I am Corinne Bourbeillon and you are here on my personal blog, a diving blog entitled Bubbles Underwater & Beyond. I publish my underwater photos and videos, and tell my adventures beneath the wave. In this way, I hope to raise awareness among divers (and also people who never put their head under water) about the beauty and fragility of marine life...
I live in Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine) in Brittany, where I am a staff journalist for Ouest-France. Before that, I also worked for various magazines and publishing houses in Paris. I have also been literary translator (English → French).
When I'm not at work, I take pictures underwater... As a result, some colleagues nicknamed me "Coco the Fins" or, more elegantly, "the Naiad". It is this double passion for diving and underwater photography that I share here.
This blog is my personal site, a small land of web that I cultivate for pleasure, in all independence, on my free time. What I publish here has most of the time nothing to do with my "real work" and my "real life". But I always look better in the water than in the office...
2. How I became a dive blogger
I started publishing my first blog posts in 2006, at first a simple vacation hobby to give news to my family and friends, during my travels and dives at the end of the world. Over the years, the blog has become a bit of a diary for me, and then its audience has grown beyond the private circle and has become incredibly large!
I keep this blog out of passion, I don't make a living with it. Nevertheless, it has become a kind of "showcase" of my underwater adventures, which is why I am regularly solicited by the media, books and magazines, for underwater reports and photos.
Above: in 4 columns on the front page in Ouest-FranceOn June 8, 2022, for the World Ocean Day, one of my pictures, taken in the "blue mangrove" of Raja Ampat. The occasion to evoke in an article the work of the association The Sea People.
3. My experience as a diver (with bubbles and sometimes without)
I have been scuba diving (with a tank) for more than twenty years. I made my very first bubbles underwater during a vacation in Thailand... A revelation. Now, every time I go back under the surface, I feel the same immense and intense happiness!
To date, I have more than 1,100 scuba dives and my level is that of a PA40 (autonomous diver to a depth of 40 meters). I did my "recreational" diving training a little bit with the FFESSM and a lot with PADI to the level Rescue Diver with the Deep Diver + Enriched Air Diver (Nitrox) specialties. I also hold an Hyperbaric aptitude certificate (CAH) Class 1 mention B (up to 30 meters) and I have been initiated to freediving (level AIDA 2).
I am a great chiller and prefer warm tropical seas to cold Brittany waters... But in 2020 (thank you Covid), I started wearing a dry suit, which allowed me to go back to explore the Channel seabed near my home without fearing the cold. Long live the local bubbles underwater!!! 😂 Quite a change of atmosphere from the Indo-Pacific archipelagos (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines), in the heart of the fabulous Coral Triangle, where I had the chance to dive often.
4. My passion, the underwater image
The beauty of the aquatic world never ceases to amaze me and underwater photography has become my great passion.I started in 2005, self-taught, during my travels with backpack in Southeast Asia, equipped at the time with a modest digital compact camera.
In 2010, I switched to SLR, with the Canon Eos 7D that I took underwater in a suitable watertight container. It then accompanied me on all my dives!
In 2023, I change for a hybrid device, Canon Eos R7. Ditto, I had to find a waterproof case for this new "toy", an indispensable companion for my underwater adventures.
I strive to encourage as responsible a practice of scuba diving as possible. I have been diving regularly for a long time, and I tell myself that I am lucky to have been able to observe so many species in their natural environment... This may not be the case for the next generations, who may only see coral and live fish in an aquarium.
I am already seeing the impact of overfishing, pollution and climate change, the impact on fish density and coral ecosystems has changed in only a few years. The impact of tourism, too...
This brings me back to my own contradictions. I am much more aware than I used to be of the huge carbon footprint of my air travel. Now, after years of travel, I question myself, with a little help from the Covid pandemic.To continue to make bubbles, I started to dive in France again. But I will certainly not fly as often as before.
When I travel, I love to go alone, it's really freedom. Those who have never tried the experience do not realize it, but solo travel is rarely synonymous with solitude. You never meet as many people as when you are unaccompanied. This is even more true when you practice an activity like diving, which allows you to "socialize" easily around a common passion. I already talked about it in this post → Travelling solo.
I like my independence and the internet makes it easy. If I don't travel anymore in "backpack" mode like when I was 20 years old, I still organize most of my little diving expeditions by myself, without necessarily going through an agency or a tour operator. In general, a few e-mails are enough to book my accommodations and dives. And then, preparing a trip is already traveling...
7. A bubble of freedom and getaway
This blog is my bubble of freedom, my bubble of getaway! I feed it on my free time, without constraint, according to my inspiration, my desires, my destinations... I enjoy telling here my escapades for scuba diving, live or recorded. To discuss with those of you who leave me a comment. But I can go long periods without publishing anything too, and the site continues to live its life!
As I often published articles between two trips, even under the Britton drizzle, some people mistook me for a full-time globe-trotting diver. I confess, I would have loved to travel permanently. But quietly, with a long stay in some places, without flying back and forth at the beginning and at the end of the vacations and without a huge carbon footprint...
8. Photos and copyrights
Unless otherwise indicated, I am the author of the photos published on Bubbles Underwater & Beyond. These images are not free of rights and it is forbidden to use them without my consent.
I generally authorize the use of an image for a mention or a short quote, providing that my name, Corinne Bourbeillon, appears as a credit, with a link to the source. For any other request of use of photos, do not hesitate to contact me!