In the lagoon of Maupiti, Polynesia, October 2012. (Photo by Marie Toumit)
In the lagoon of Maupiti, Polynesia, October 2012. (Photo by Marie Toumit)

But who is behind this blog? About Corinne Bourbeillon

  Between Two Journeys

I'm Corinne Bourbeillon and you're on my personal blog Bubbles Underwater & Beyond. I publish here my underwater photos and videos, my stories of diving trips. My goal? To share the wonder I feel in front of the ocean.

Through my pictures, I hope to raise awareness of the beauty and fragility of marine life, not only for divers but also for those who never get their head under water. Few people are aware of it, but our survival on Earth depends on this other world hidden beneath the waves, still so unknown...

Bubbles Underwater & Beyond in a Nutshell
Start of the blog : 2006
Author: Corinne Bourbeillon
Subject: scuba diving and travel
Destinations : most likely where the water is warm

1. Who I am in "real life"

I live in Rennes, Brittany (North-West of France), where I'm a journalist for Ouest-France daily newspaper, for over twenty years now. I am currently on duty at the digital evening edition , one of the newspaper's Internet services. Before that, I also worked for various magazines and publishing houses in Paris. I have also been a literary translator (English → French) for about ten years.

When I'm not working, I go underwater to take pictures... Some of my colleagues at the office have nicknamed me "Coco the Fins" or, more elegantly, "the Naiad". It is this double passion for scuba diving and underwater photography that I share here.

Bubbles Underwater & Beyond is my personal blog, a small patch of the internet that I run for pleasure, in total independence. What I publish here has nothing to do with the media that employs me or my "real life". Note by the way that I always look much better in the water than in the office...

Corinne Bourbeillon, journalist, West France
In my office at the newsroom of Ouest-France in Rennes in 2012. (Photo by Jean-Michel Niester)
Corinne Bourbeillon, Maupiti lagoon, French Polynesia
In the lagoon of Maupiti, Polynesia (October 2012). (Photo by Marie Toumit)

2. How I became a dive blogger

I started publishing my first blog posts in 2006, as a holiday hobby, to give news to my family and friends, during my trips and my dives at the end of the world. And then the blog has become my logbook over the years. In the meantime, the audience of Bubbles Underwater & Beyond has taken on an incredible magnitude! Without realizing it, I became a "scuba diving and travel blogger"...

→ See all my diving trips

This blog is neither my livelihood nor a business. But it is still a sort of "showcase" for my underwater adventures, which has also allowed me to publish underwater stories and photos in various media, books and magazines.

Not a little proud... My photo of a freediver facing the mantas of Komodo in Indonesia (above left) has been published in this National Geographic book, entitled 100 Dives of A Lifetime (2019).

Report by Corinne Bourbeillon on the Tara Pacific expedition in the magazine Plongez ! (n°15, May-June 2018)
My story on the Tara Pacific expedition in Plongez ! (a French dive magazine) (n°15, May-June 2018)

3. My experience as a diver (with bubbles and sometimes without)

I have been scuba diving (with a tank) for more than twenty years. My very first underwater bubbles date back to a vacation in Thailand in 1999. A revelation! Since then, every time I go back under the surface, it's a renewed, immense, intense happiness!

I have over 1,000 scuba dives to date and my level is that of an autonomous scuba diver to a depth of 40 metres. I did my recreational diving training a little bit with the FFESSM and a lot with PADI up to the Rescue Diver level with the Deep Diver + Enriched Air Diver (Nitrox) specialties. On the professional level I am a holder of a Certificate of Aptitude for Hyperbaric Activities (CAH) Class 1 mention B (to 30 meters deep). I have also learned a little bit about freediving (level AIDA 2).

I am a great chiller and prefer warm tropical seas to cold Brittany waters (but I've recently switched to the dry suit, which gives me new perspectives). My favourite spots? The Indo-Pacific archipelagos (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines) in the heart of the fabulous Coral Triangle.

Corinne Bourbeillon, scuba diving
I passed my camera to my guide, and for once, I'm the one posing! (Indonesia, 2015)

4. My passion, underwater photography

The beauty of the aquatic world never ceases to amaze me and underwater photography has become my great passion. I started in 2005, as a self-taught, during my trips as a backpacker in Southeast Asia, equipped at the time with a basic digital compact camera.

In 2010, I switched to DSLR, with the Canon Eos 7D which I take underwater in an appropriate waterproof housing. It now accompanies me on all my dives! I also talk about it here on my other website:

→ About Corinne Bourbeillon, underwater photographer

Corinne Bourbeillon, underwater photographer
Yeah, I don't really look like a mermaid with all my underwater photographic junk! (Philippines, May 2018, photo by Steven Weinberg)

5. My goal: to protect the ocean

Through my pictures and stories, I try to show the beauty and fragility of the underwater world, on which all life on Earth depends: 50 % of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean! "We love what amazed us, we protect what we love..." This quote attributed to Cousteau sums up what should animate diving tourists.

More to read → Diving and protecting the ocean

I therefore strive to encourage responsible scuba diving practice, as environmentally friendly as possible. I have been diving in the sea for a long time and I think I am very lucky to have been able to watch so many species underwater, in their natural environment... This may not be the case for the next generations, who may only see coral and live fish in aquariums.

I am already witnessing, in the space of a few years, on my own modest scale, the impact of overfishing, pollution and global warming on fish density and coral ecosystems. The impact of tourism, too. Which brings me back to my own contradictions on each of my far-flung journeys. I'm well aware of my excessive carbon footprint when I fly...

Acropora, Tubbataha, Philippines, May 2018
The splendor of Tubbataha Reefs. (Philippines, May 2018, photo by Corinne Bourbeillon)

6. I like to travel solo

I love travelling on my own, it's really freedom. Those who have never tried it before don't realize it, but a solo trip is rarely synonymous with loneliness. 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 have already talked about it at length in this post → Travelling solo.

I like my independence and the internet makes it easy. Although I no longer travel in backpack mode as I did when I was 20 years old, I still organize most of my small diving expeditions on my own as well, without necessarily going through an agency or a tour operator. Usually, a few exchanges of e-mails are enough to book my accommodation and dive reservations. And then, preparing a trip is already traveling...

Of course, with the Covid-19 pandemic, everything changed... I don't know yet when and how I will organize my next diving trips. I will probably look into the possibility of cancellation, and whether or not special coronavirus insurance is included. Perhaps it will be safer to go through an agency or a tour operator before incurring costs? To be continued...

A Garuda plane, on the tarmac of Makassar airport. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, January 2015)
A plane from Garuda, the Indonesian national airline, on the tarmac of Makassar airport. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, January 2015, photo by Corinne Bourbeillon)

7. My bubble of freedom and escape

This blog is my bubble of freedom, my bubble of escape!  I update it in my free time, without any obligation, according to my inspiration, my desires, my destinations... I like to tell here my getaways at the far end of the world to scuba dive, live or recorded. To chat with those of you who leave me a comment.

As I continue to blog between trips, even under the Brittany drizzle, some people take me for a full-time globe-trotting diver. I love this idea and I maintain the myth.

Between dives, somewhere off Sumbawa, Indonesia (July 2018).
Between dives, somewhere off Sumbawa, Indonesia (July 2018).

8. Photos and copyright

Unless otherwise stated, 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 one image for a mention or a short quote, provided my name, Corinne Bourbeillon, is on credit, with a link to the source. For any other request for use of photos do not hesitate to contact me!

→ Contact page

  Between Two Journeys