Underwater images - Margriet Tilstra

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In my childhood I was not a water rat. In elementary school I had swimming lessons and I earned my swimming certificate A. For the B-certificate I failed. Swimming under water was not the problem, it was the subsequent 75-meter breaststroke when I ran out of breath and I had to be fished out of the water in a panic. Fortunately, the A-diploma was sufficient to be able to swim in the deep.

My 12th year I practiced all kinds of flips backwards and forwards from the three-meter board. Not Olympic level, but I still always had attention with my highdive arts. In the same year the famous movie Jaws came out, and I hardly dared to swim in the sea. I remember well that I was pedaling on the Mediterranean with my parents in 1977 in Mallorca, after 100 meters I was terrified and I expected every moment an attack by a great white shark. No, give me a pool instead of dark seawater.

In 1997, this changed. In the Maldives Willem and I got our PADI diving qualification. It was not without a struggle. The exercises in the lagoon were not so difficult, but I had to overcome my fear on the first open water dive.

With a traditional dhoni we were at the dive site Cocoa, where I had to go into the water with a giant stride. At that moment, in my mind, I saw dozens of hungry sharks swimming below waiting for me. For that fear a fancy term exists: Selachophobia. With tears in my eyes I plucked up courage and made the big step. During the first dive I continuously scanned the area on dangerous sharks, but they were no where insight. Later I discovered that sharks are more afraid of me than I of them.

After Open Water certification Willem and I completed the courses Advanced Open Water, Nitrox and Rescue Diver and I even went on to become a Divemaster.

In 2001 I started underwater photography when I got a Sea & Sea Motormarine II for my birthday. Most of the pictures failed: blurry, underexposed, poor composition, you name it. The analog era I left behind in 2007 with the purchase of a Nikon D80 with Ikelite housing. My skills have greatly improved with that camera.

In 2004 I founded an association named i-dive for all (under)water lovers at my work. In seven years, the association organized 44 wet and dry events with 900 participants in total.

Meanwhile I have over 1500 dives in 30 countries and is diving the main activity during our holidays. The nice thing about this hobby is that magnificent coral reefs can be found in the most beautiful places on earth. In this way we have traveled almost around the world, only the section between Fakarava (French Polynesia) and Fiji is missing in our travel experience (see also: My dive locations).

With this website I would like visitors to share my wonderful hobby. I hope the pictures and movies are viewed as enthusiastically as the fun I have had in making this site.


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