From the depths of the oceans to the world's highest peaks, Manuel is always ready for adventure
"What I enjoy most about diving is the connection it provides me with the underwater world. After all 70% of our planet is covered with water."
What is your spirit fish or mamal?
Perhaps my spirit mammal is a dolphin. They are very social animals, like me. I only wish I could scuba dive with the same grace as a dolphin.
How do you approach non-divers to get them excited about learning to dive?
I talk to them about the beauty and vastness of our underwater ecosystems. In any coral reef around the world you can find more variety and complexity of life than the one found in the Amazon forest.
Most memorable dive experience?
I’ve got two. One in the Great Barrier Reef in a place called (I guess you have already heard this name in other places) ’the fish bowl’. It was, literally. The reef was steaming with life as I have hardly ever seen anywhere else. The second one was in Roatan, in a wreck that lies at 60m below the surface. Since it is outside recreational limits, we dove at 7 am. The light at those early hours of the day and the solitude of the wreck at that depth made it a memorable dive.
Dream dive: where and with who?
I would love to dive in Antartica with Paul Nicklen. He's a Sea Legacy co-founder. Please be sure to check out his work, it's extremely insipiring.
Favorite piece of Aqualung equipment?
Hmm..it's hard to choose one. Perhaps the Axiom i3 BCD. I have tried dozen of BCD's from Aqualung and other brands. This one remains my favorite due to the i3 system and how comfortable it is.
What steps are you taking to improve the health of our oceans?
I work with Project Aware in almost every scuba destination I visit. Above all, I'm constantly educating myself about ocean issues by talking to scientists about the current state of our oceans. WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) is doing great work. I recommend visiting their website to learn more.
Any hidden talents?
I have six wonderful nephews. I'm doing my best to be an awesome uncle for them and hopefully introduce them to scuba diving in the near future.