Meet the Diver of the Month: Deborah Halley

By OceanFirst on 9/11/18


Deb has shown an incredible amount of motivation to not only become a diver, but to truly learn about the complexities of the ocean environment and further her diving knowledge. Since receiving her open water diver certification in February, she has joined us on a trip to Cozumel and earned specialty certifications for perfect buoyancy, enriched air nitrox, deep diving, navigation, and night/limited visibility – wow! Although she recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest, her constant smile, positive attitude, and eagerness to learn has made her a permanent part of the Ocean First family.

We asked Deb a few questions to get to know her better:

What was your motivation to learn how to dive?

A combination of an explorer’s curiosity and being environmentally conscious lead me to get scuba certified. Back in 2007 while snorkeling on a trip in Maui, I can vividly recall looking down and enjoying my view from the surface but really wanting to go down to be face-to-face with the reef. So I took a deep breath and swam down to only about 5 feet until my ears hurt (I hadn’t learned about the laws of pressure changes!). I surfaced and made it my goal to eventually scuba dive. Fast forward to this past year, while finishing my graduate courses in environmental studies it became apparent that now was the time to see the reef face-to-face and find out how I can help in protecting marine life. So many of my studies were helpful in understanding the complexities of issues facing our oceans today, and diving allows me to further my knowledge first-hand.

How long have you been diving for?

8 months!! :)

Where is your favorite place dive?

The Punta Dalila (Delila Deep) of Cozumel is very scenic and abundant with marine life during both day and night dives. The drift carries you over mounds of coral with plenty of overhangs and crevices to explore.  

Where is your next dive trip?

Key Largo, Florida. I’m looking forward to visiting the attractions of the Dive Capital of the World and understanding the history behind the effort of creating this marine sanctuary.  

What aquatic animal are you most excited to see?

I’m excited, but also nervous, to see the giant Pacific octopus. Octopuses are very intriguing to me: their anatomy, physiology, intelligence, defense mechanisms and more are jam-packed into one incredible animal. I’m hoping to see one soon while living in the Puget Sound Area or during a trip to Monterey Bay, my favorite place to vacation.  

What does the ocean mean to you?

In short, the ocean means the survival of humanity, and a way for humans to discover how to positively co-exist as equals with nature. So much of what we do on the surface is having grave consequences on marine life. As Earth’s last frontier, the ocean has so much to teach us. The ocean means that we (humans) are such a small piece floating inside a world that has yet to be fully discovered, and with great hope, we can make all the difference in preserving this unparalleled world that exists here on this planet - for the present and future.



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