Sea-Changers supporters, Paul and Laura Manfield started diving in 2009 and it has been a life changing experience for them. Paul tells their dive story and how it has led them to want to given back to the oceans they love.
'My wife Laura and I completed our Open Water course in the Maldives in December 2009 on a small atoll called Biyadhoo, during that week’s diving I fell in love with being under water. As we travelled back to the airport on a speed boat I suggested too Laura we should set up a business involving diving and underwater photography and videography, and spread our new found enthusiasm to as wide an audience, as we could. It was a dream I thought would probably never happen, and when we arrived home we went back to our normal lives.It took another four years before I literally took the plunge and booked to do all my courses and exams with a dive centre in Peurto Del Carmen.
I moved to Lanzarote in April 2013 to become a PADI dive instructor, I wanted to change my life big time and this idea came top of my list, to help me achieve that goal. Before that I was an advanced diver with only 30 dives under my belt, so I had plenty to learn.After three months of solid work I qualified and become an instructor and began my dream of having a life in diving. After working for a dive centre in Costa Teguise for a year and gaining experience, I left to start my own business and Adventure Underwater came to life.
My passion in life is to introduce new people to the beautiful underwater world that I see every day. I start the process with a tour of the local aquarium here in Costa Teguise so my clients can see the fish up close and personal, and to educate them a little about the importance of looking after our oceans.After the tour we take them either snorkeling or diving which ever they prefer, and while they are in the water Laura videos them and then edits a short film about 5 minutes long that capture the experience for them. During the time we spend with our clients we discuss marine and conservation projects and try to get them engaged in some way. We take a wide cross section of ages ranging from 10 to 80 years old, in all shapes and sizes, and I love seeing their amazement at how beautiful being in the ocean can be.Our customer base has a 55 – 45% split in favour of the men, we have huge interest from the women which surprised me at the start as I believe the norm in diving would be 80 – 20 % split, men V women.
I am going to do my best to get more people involved in our oceans care. I want others to see and feel like I do about the importance the oceans play in our lives.As we develop our business I want to really work on getting more people involved with marine conservation projects in the UK, after they go home from their holiday here, I don’t just want them to forget their experience with us, I want it to be the start of something for them.'