Ocean Minds presents Sam Lungari
Profession: Dive Instructor
Organisation: Ocean Frontiers ltd
Sam's calm and professional manner when teaching new divers is inspiring. Her love of the ocean and her passion for creating a world where divers and marine life coexist is incredible. She encouraged me to gain my Divemaster qualification, which I will forever be thankful for!
1. How did we meet?
We met in Utila, Honduras in 2015 when we were both doing research with Operation Wallacea. I was a research assistant and you were working on your dissertation. The second summer, 2016, was when we both went back to become divermasters and this is when we truly got to know each other.
2. What is one memorable ocean moment from our time together?
There are so many! When we were doing research together our second summer we were really efficient at transects and it felt good to get so much done in a time crunch. Another was when we did our equipment exchange in our DMT. You helped me to remain calm and I was so thankful to you for that!
3. What encouraged you to purse a career as a dive professional?
After completing my divemaster course and assisting instructors I found a passion for teaching. I thought I was going to head down the oath of research diving but was lucky to learn how much I enjoyed teaching. I knew I had to follow that feeling so I furthered my career in diving and truly enjoy working.
4. How did you land your current job?
I got my current job through some friends actually. I worked for Opwall as a divemaster in Fiji in 2017 where I met Matt and Lisa. We became really close and stayed in contact after leaving Fiji. A few months after leaving they began to work at Ocean Frontiers and Lisa let me know when there was a job opening and the rest is history.
5. What is it about your role that makes you feel like you are truly making a difference?
When teaching new divers seeing their confidence grow throughout the course is extremely rewarding. I also work on our coral nursery at Ocean Frontiers so I still get the scientific aspect as well. I also get to lead a kids camp and teach them about the marine world here in Grand Cayman. We talk about what marine life can be found, what is being done to protect the ocean, what they can do when they grow up, among other topics.
6. What advice would you give to aspiring ocean warriors?
Don’t give up on your dreams and don’t be afraid to change your path. Try all the internships that you can and its ok not to like one, there is something for everyone. And most importantly do not be afraid ask questions about a future career. A great place to start is in those Facebook pages like women in science, diving careers, dive jobs world wide, someone will always answer.
7. What has been your most unforgettable experience in the ocean and why?
One unforgettable moment was when I was a research assistant for Opwall and was getting better at transects specifically counting sea urchins. I got the exact same count as Nat, it was her project, and from then I was able to count the urchins on my own and I felt very accomplished. Another memorable moment happened a year ago when I saw my first hammerhead and it was just so awesome and exciting.
8. Who has inspired you to achieve your goals?
I was inspired by two teachers growing up who always made me feel confident and helped grow my passion for science which put me on the path to my current career. Ms. Ross and Ms. Diamond were truly amazing teachers and I am so lucky I got to have them shape my love for science. My parents also always supported my love for the ocean and always pushed me to follow my dream. They gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams.
9. What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I want to keep instructing for years to come but I would like to get back into the scientific side of my passion. I’m not sure when or how just yet but I do miss the research.
A message from Sam
Getting to go to work every day and dive makes me feel so lucky, the ocean brings me a sense of calm and always has. I have also been lucky enough to be able to travel to places like Honduras and Fiji and now living in Grand Cayman is something I never imagined I would be doing. Throughout all of this I have met so many incredible people from all over the world. If not for the career path I chose I would not have met them otherwise and I truly value their friendships!