Corinne Bourbeillon, underwater photographer.
Back to the surface... (Photo by my buddy)

Travelling to dive and diving locally

#Travel #Climate #Flying #Brittany #Fiji #French Polynesia #Australia #Indonesia

  Fiji + Polynesia + Australia + Indonesia - 2023

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 


December 2023. I've just come back from a long trip, which lasted four months: Fiji, Polynesia, Australia, Indonesia... After three years without travelling, three summers spent diving, mainly in Brittany near my home, I took a long leave of absence to go and blow bubbles in seas warmer than the English Channel... A trip I'd been dreaming of for a long time, long before Covid.

A book on local diving

While I was away, I also finished writing a short guide to diving in Brittany and Pays de la Loire. The book has just been published by Éditions Agitées (it's available in bookshops and can also be ordered online on the publisher's website). In this pages, I suggest underwater tours, often with a "bio" (biology) slant, for all levels, from beginner to advanced diver.

I've enjoyed writing this series of "immersive" stories, and I hope they'll inspire you to discover or rediscover the underwater wonders close to home, like I've been doing since 2020 (after learning to dive in a drysuit, as I'm a great chiller 😅).

Excitement and guilt

I must admit, when I got back on the plane in mid-August 2023, with this not-quite-finished book in my luggage, I wondered: should I continue to write about my dives at the end of the world on this blog? Does it make sense to encourage other divers to follow in my footsteps?

On the one hand, the excitement of exploring new horizons. On the other, the guilt of the disastrous carbon footprint of air travel which contribute to global warming. It's enough to wipe out, on an individual scale, three years of sober travel, of daily "little green gestures" and of local diving...

I flew to the Pacific Ocean with 30 kg hold and a lot of emotion, gripped by a mixture of excitement and guilt. But this time, I didn't chronicle my journey live, as I used to do. I wanted to take a step back and think about the best way to continue (or not) with this blog. I was also less present on social networks, but I did share a few photos, videos and stories on Instagram and Facebook as we go along.

Showcasing the beauty of the underwater world

During this long trip, I dived a lot and devoted most of my time to underwater photography, with my new toys (Canon Eos R7 and Nauticam housing) tested at the beginning of the summer in the Channel, off Saint-Cast-le-Guildo (Côtes-d'Armor).

In Fiji, Polynesia, Australia and Indonesia, I also met a host of fascinating people involved in the protection and study of coral reefs, sharks, manta rays and whales... These four busy months flew by in the blink of an eye!

My new underwater photography equipment since 2023.
My new underwater photography equipment since 2023.

Back in Brittany, I'm more fascinated than ever by the beauty of the underwater world. Whether here or elsewhere. Every time I put my head back underwater, I continue to marvel like a child. When I dive, it's not just to dive. But to bring back images through which I hope to convey a little of that wonder. Most people are unaware of the extraordinary life forms that abound beneath the surface, or of the impact of human activity on the ocean.

➜ Read also: "Divers are the first witnesses of the degradation of the underwater world".

As I never go underwater without my camera, I have thousands of new photos and videos to sort through. Enough to keep me busy during the long winter evenings... I should be able to show you this very soon!

  Fiji + Polynesia + Australia + Indonesia - 2023

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  1. Thank you Corinne for your always fascinating reports.
    I have to say that I look back on this with infinite regret, my diving career (Raja Ampat, Wakatobi, Similan, Ambon) having come to a screeching halt after a dive during an expedition to the Surin Islands that cost my partner an ear. Now, it's all about travel (India, Costa Rica, Panama) and sometimes snorkeling. It's a heartbreak not to dive, but we won't give up travelling, and to clear our consciences, we travel far by plane, but for a long time, and as much as possible on foot (compostelle, for example) or by train or bus ... small arrangements with ourselves, of course ...

    1. @Cathy31: Merci de ton message, je compatis de tout cœur. Moi non plus, je ne me sens pas capable de renoncer aux voyages lointains, mais je partirai moins souvent qu’avant, c’est certain. Chacun « s’arrange » (ou pas) comme il peut, et je suis bien mal placée pour donner des leçons…

  2. After years working in diving, and currently on an indefinite break, I wholeheartedly share this questioning.
    Local diving seems to be one of the best solutions, but not always the easiest either.

    Speaking of documenting the change observed underwater by divers, there's a thread on the new Waterpixel underwater imaging forum (successor to Wetpixel, after the latest tribulations...), dedicated to sharing images on this subject, which I invite you to join to post photo testimonials if you feel like it...
    Here it is: https://waterpixels.net/forums/topic/464-the-oceans-are-changing-lets-document-it/

    See you soon

    Benoit

  3. Hello Corinne,

    To travel or not to travel?
    It's an unresolved dilemma for me.
    So I opted for a middle-of-the-road solution that suits me best: a lot of diving up close. And a little not too far away.
    Belgium and Zeeland all year round
    Air travel, yes, but within reasonable distances (Canaries, Ustica, Algeria).
    And then a Tour de France de la plongée which showed me that there were definitely some marvellous spots close to home.
    This year, we're focusing on local diving and sharing through writing.
    Congratulations on your book ☺️

    1. @ Helen: thank you so much for taking the time to leave a little message, your choices are consistent and, as always, well in the air of the times and concerns of the moment. Congratulations on your book 😉 See you at the Show! Kisses

  4. Il ne faut pas avoir de scrupules en tant que plongeurs pour notre empreinte carbone, autrement nous ne pourrions pratiquer notre passion !
    À titre personnel, je trie tous mes déchets, ai des composteurs et c’est déjà pas mal !
    Je partirai dans un mois aux Maldives la conscience tranquille 😉 …
    Good bubbles, wherever they may be!

    Christophe.

    1. @Christophe: yes, truly responsible, low-impact diving would be freediving in swimming trunks close to home... 😉 But I'm not ready for that yet 😅 As I said above, I'm in no position to set myself up as a giver of lessons. The subject is vast and complex, and it's really in our daily lives that we have to try to reduce our impact. Happy bubbles too!

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