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Women in Diving - Brenna

Continuing our 'Women in Diving' Series, in our lead up to PADI's Womens Dive Day on July 20th - Meet Brenna, and her Mom, Mindy (featured next!). Brenna started diving with us about 4 years ago - a high school student with a passion for the ocean and diving! Brenna is a pleasure to have on board - excited after every dive, and particularly passionate about sharks! She even announced her acceptance to college underwater, waiting for just the right photo op with a shark in the back ground! Her love of sharks means she is appalled by barbaric practice of shark finning (read more below) and she hopes that more attention is brought to bring an end to finning worldwide. Watching her grow into a lovely young lady, currently a full time college student, is one of the many pleasures of our job, and we hope she keeps coming back to see us to dive, year in & year out!

Name: Brenna

Day Job: Key Holder at Alex and Ani, but a full time nursing student as well.

Certification Level: Open Water, but hoping to advance it someday.

How many years i’ve been diving: 4

Favorite dive buddy: Mindy and Toby (we always go as a family - Ohana).

Do you own your own dive gear? Yes.

How often do you dive? One a year (approximately 5 dives a trip).

How long have you been a ‘Flamingo Diver’? For 3 years (soon to be 4!).

My Favorite TCI Dive site is: This is a hard one, because they are all beautiful. But I think I have to go with the Gully, or one of the shallow water dives.

My Favorite thing to see on a dive is: Sharks.

Macro or Big Stuff? Both. The macro is so fun to search for and find, but the sharks and rays are pretty cool too.

Top of my marine life bucket list? Hammerhead Shark or Whale Shark (I can’t decide). Been wishing to see a hammerhead with Flamingo Divers for like 2 or 3 years now. They always see them right before I come, but never once I get there… We’ll see this year.

If i had one dive trip to choose anywhere in the world I would go: Either French Polynesia or Australia. I've always wanted to go to Tahiti and I’m sure the diving is beautiful, but Australia has become a bucket list since ive started diving (I wanna cage dive with Great Whites).

Favorite thing about the sport of diving: Being a part of and exploring someone else’s world. Being able to see animals in their natural habitat instead of in an aquarium.

Favorite dive moment to date: My first open water dive, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. Other than the issues with my ears, I was dumbfounded and in awe of what I was seeing.

What marine life environmental cause is near and dear to your heart (ie, plastic garbage, over fishing, captive mammals, whaling, shark finning or?) Shark Finning (and Plastic Garbage)All things involving ocean conservation is close to my heart as the ocean is my quiet place. It is where I am happy and where I am free. But shark finning is one of the closest things that I care about. Sharks are my favorite animal and the fact that people can hunt them just to cut up their fins is absurd. Anything that can save those wonderful creatures would be amazing. But I do know how the ocean is declining for many reasons other than that one, so I want to do anything in my power to save it.

Diving is my happy place because: I love the peace and quiet and relaxation of it. I also love getting to explore and discover all of the different species and fish that we see.

What else can you tell us about your diving journey to date? (any obstacles you’ve over come, what has surprised you, loved, etc): The very first dive I ever had I had a really hard time with my ears. Turns out my ears are super sensitive to the pressure and even to this day I have to start equalizing as soon as I get in the water and almost continuously on the way down. My first dive I got an excruciating stabbing pain in my ears because I thought I could wait until around 10 feet to clear. I am glad I have figured this out because that was not fun and something I will never forget. Though I do remember that after my first dive trip with my parents, when I came back to the states I went to talk to the guy who had taught me how to dive in my class and he asked how I liked it and before I could say anything my mom replies: “I think we have created a monster."

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