BIO

Chi Felton is a TDI and PADI technical diving instructor originally from the UK, and is currently running a technical diving facility in Bunaken National Park, Indonesia.

She did her first dive in Bali in 2014, and then went on to complete her recreational dive training in the Red Sea and the UK. In 2015 she left London to dive full time and pursue technical diving as a career, first beginning her Divemaster and technical dive training in the Maldives and Thailand, then going back to Europe to complete her instructor development course. Since then she has lived in Bali, Sri Lanka, Germany and North Sulawesi working as a dive instructor and resort manager, and eventually qualified as a technical instructor in 2017.

B.D. (before diving), Chi studied Criminolgy and Sociology at Westminster university and worked mostly in sales for seven years, her most recent non-diving occupation being an international luxury property consultant at A&K in Charing Cross.

Her current role in Indonesia has evolved from working as a dive centre consultant to setting up a technical dive centre based at the luxury dive resort Bunaken Oasis. Chi continues her training constantly, is always looking to improve her skills and extend her limits, and is now working on a deep water exploration project in North Sulawesi, while spending her spare time as a dive travel and technical diving consultant.

Chi Felton

CREDENTIALS

PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and EFR Instructor with specialities

Wreck Diver, Nitrox Diver, Deep Diver, UW photography, Night Diver, Self-Reliant Diver

PADI Tec Rec Instructor

Tec 40 Diver, Tec 45 Diver, Tec 50 Diver, Tec Trimix 65 Diver, Tec Trimix Diver

PADI Rebreather Instructor

Rebreather Diver, Advanced Rebreather Diver, Tec 40 Rebreather Diver

SDI/TDI Instructor with specialities

Enriched Air Nitrox, Wreck Diver, Deep Diver, Drysuit Diver, Sidemount Diver, Solo Diver, DPV Diver, Tech DPV Diver

TDI Instructor

Intro to Tech, Advanced Nitrox, Decompression Procedures, Technical Divemaster

TDI Rebreather Instructor

Air Diluent CCR Diver, Air Diluent CCR Decompression Procedures Diver

Disclaimer: The Scuba Mermaid (Chi Felton) and its affiliates do not intend for any information from this entity to replace or substitute an RSTC certified scuba diving course, and at all times advise divers to dive within their certified training limits. Please seek any medical advice from a qualified hyperbaric physician.

EXPLORATION

As a child I used to go for walks and bike rides to the places I wasn’t allowed to go. We always assume that we will be safer around other people, and if anything should happen then we would have a helping hand not too far away. But I always felt safer alone, in a place where life would go on the same without me.

I used to play in the woods, and walk down the abandoned railway tracks, looking for berries or just looking for beauty. I loved to hear the crunch of autumn leaves and smell the dampness on the bottom of tree trunks, where the fungi would grow and the bark would feel so mushy. I loved to watch the squirrels slowly approaching, uncertain if they could trust me or not, until I stayed so still and breathed so shallow that they would suddenly not see me anymore. I realised back then that I loved the natural world just the way it was, but that there seemed to only be small patches of it, here and there, and the trails had already been walked by so many others.

“Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, flitting in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder, am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming I am a man.” – Zhuangzi

Have you ever had that dream, the one where you are on the top of a mountain and you take a deep breath, bend your knees, and float into the sky weightlessly? I would fly every night in my dreams, so vividly, that eventually I could close my eyes whilst sitting at my desk in class and feel the earth dropping away from underneath my feet. I was always a great ‘imaginator’, as I like to call it, and as everyone else calls a dreamer, which doesn’t sound as efficacious to me. Head in the clouds was always much more enjoyable than head on my shoulders. I had high expectations for my life, but I never really knew for sure what those expectations were until I discovered diving.

“The most single revelatory three minutes for me was the first time I put on scuba gear and dived on a coral reef. It’s just the unbelievable fact that you can move in three dimensions.” – David Attenborough

I am sure my story is not one-in-a-million, and that is one of the great things, that we can share this together. I am in such a privileged position now to be able to live out my imagination, and my dreams, and help others do the same. Aside from teaching scuba diving courses, I am living in one of the few diving destinations that hasn’t been fully explored below recreational depths; and since the waters of Bunaken National Park is estimated to go as deep as 1,600m below sea level, I am sure that the iceberg of the park will never be seen by the human eye. Regardless, both of mine will be wide open for the first time in my life. And I know I will see something.

Conservation

“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” – Paulo Coelho

“We are all just a product of society…” I think somebody said once. And of course it makes sense, it gives us a sense of a formed identity, and someone else to blame for our mistakes. Of course we would call them that – “mistakes” – another way of brandishing our lack of responsibility for our actions. I think the reason why we are consistently getting into a deeper climate crisis is probably because we are wasting time on deciding who is to blame, rather than just getting on with fixing it.

“It’s extraordinary how self-obsessed human beings are. There is so much more out there than what connects to us.” – David Attenborough

I suppose we try to deny the fact that we are all intricately connected to each other, not just made from the same building blocks, or sharing the same energy, but that we are the builders, and we are the energy. Every person has to know that they not only may contribute to the climate crisis, but that they can also help reduce or even reverse it. We all have a purpose on this earth, and that purpose is for each other, every living other, and every future living other.

“We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.” – Barack Obama

I am not perfect. I contribute to climate change. I realised this only a few years ago, when I watched Dr Sylvia Earle’s documentary, Mission Blue. Since then, there has been a rush of information regarding the ever-looming creeper – global warming. They no longer even call it global warming because now they have realised that the term limits the scope of the way we understand its effects. The planet isn’t only warming, it’s dying. It’s literally in crisis.

“We’ve seen an astonishing 60% decline in the size of populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians in just over 40 years.” – WWF

Just like we have killed each other, and just like we have killed the animals, we are now killing our only home, and it’s beginning to dawn on us just how pertinent this issue is. As a matter of urgency, we do need to take action, rather than simply saying that we need to take action (I’m aware of the irony of my statement).

Since, as humans, we tend to need a book of text to back up our beliefs, there needed to be time to do the relevant studies, and means to do the research, along with peers to tell us that it was in fact true. What I find difficult to accept is that we always assume that unless we know something, it doesn’t exist. Common sense would have us simply look at the infinite miracle of nature, and know that if it happened, then it was supposed to happen. We must subtract ourselves from the equation of natural law, because we have already done everything in our power to erase it completely. In fact, I think that the best course of action would be to move as close to nature as possible, stop trying to fix symptoms with drugs, and start trying to reverse the diagnosis itself.

I’ve stopped looking for excuses for why I am still contributing to climate change, and instead I’ve began to start looking for ways to reduce my contribution. Not just one way, but as many ways as possible. It’s common to fixate on one avenue, and charge straight ahead in that direction, insisting it is the only way to go, but it just can’t be that simple.

“Plastic straws represent only 0.025% of ocean plastic.” – U.N. Environment

The straw must be the catalyst. It starts with one straw in a turtle’s nose, and will hopefully end with completely organic and biodegradable packaging, toys, and products. Of course, it could end another way, but that thought is too much to bear. Instead I like to hope that individual actions will spark the change that is needed to save humanity from self-destruction. We all know it’s possible, and we all know that what we do when we wake up in the morning is just as important as what our neighbours do.

“I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” – Greta Thunberg

I ask you earnestly, to join me by doing less. Throw away less plastic, burn less fossil fuel, purchase less things, and eat less meat, fish, and dairy. Yes, it takes an effort. Yes, you will need to change some habits. But no, you won’t regret it. Every parent fears for their child because they love them. The most precious gift we have is life itself, and the lives of others that are a part of this (our) world. Let us start acting like it. 

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