A little bit about me
Hi!! My name is Dani (although, to make it easy, I usually introduce myself as Danny), and I’m Catalan (although to make it easy I usually say that I’m from Barcelona). I’ve been working in the diving industry for around six years, being this season (2014-15) the fourth in Khao Lak (Similan Islands) and the second working for Big Blue. How did everything begin? I had been dreaming about diving for years, but it wasn’t till a long trip around Middle East and South East Asia that I decided to finally defy gravity and start exploring that other 70 % of the planet. The first course was in the Malay Borneo, where I freaked out spotting my first seahorse and was amazed by my first turtle sighting (and back then I was still under the wrong conception that If We met a shark, it would kill me…damn Spielberg!!…I learnt soon enough that the truth is that they are the prey and we are the murderers).
After a few dives and some more travelling I went for the Advanced Course in Bali. Then in Thailand I got stuck in the Turtle Island where I kept diving and learning, working and teaching for a few years. At some point I decided to jump to the other side of Thailand, to the wonderful world of the Similan and Surin Islands National Parks…. that is still where I spend most of time every year. Although the main reason for me to decide to work as a Dive Instructor was to keep travelling and knowing new places and people, I keep coming back to Thailand and to Khao Lak….the friendliness of the people, the feeling of safety wherever I go, the awesome diving, the paradise islands, the food!!!, the friends I’ve been making along the years…and the fact that the parks are closed for 4 months per year gives the chance to go working somewhere else (for me have been Indonesia, Hawaii or the Costa Brava in the Mediterranean sea) and get really excited for the beginning of every season…which creatures are going to be there? how are going to be the reefs?
We always say that our job is one of the only ones where we spend the money doing the same that we do earning it (when I was a lawyer…yes, I was… tie, suit, briefcase and stuff I would have never gone to an insurance company in another country to pay to deal with claims during my holidays); sounds crazy, but after months of diving non stop, what I want to do is go diving somewhere else; and although is always nice to dive with big creatures and tiny critters, I enjoy diving anywhere; every place has something different, is like traveling, I enjoy the same way walking around a random town lost in the middle of nowhere than visiting a very famous temple.
I’ve been lucky enough to drift (along with sharks, dolphins, manta rays,…) through the amazing Tiputa Pass in French Polynesia, freeze while diving around Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand, go crazy looking for the weirdest animals in Lembeh Strait or exploring unexplored reefs from a sailing boat in the lost atolls of Indonesia. And…which ones are my favorite marine creatures? I get hypnotized as much by frogfishes or ghost pipefishes than by the gentle manta rays or the almost mythical whale sharks. And what is still in my bucket list? hammerhead sharks!!! And…apart from diving?
I love (I think is already clear) backpacking, and I also love writing about my trips and interesting facts, experiences, people that I’ve met along the way. Other things I love to do when I’m not carrying my tank or my backpack: watching movies (and I still have to find a decent movie about diving!), reading, politics, football (obviously, being from Barcelona) and, why not, going out to Happy Snapper with friends every now and then (what? that you don’t know what is Happy Snapper? wait to come to Khao Lak and you’ll know Well, hope to meet you all in the Andaman sea!