Full Name: Natascha Jutzi
Working For: I live in Germany and I work for the UK’s first live and interactive e-learning platform, Learned.Live – And also at Iboih Dive Centre Pulau Weh, Indonesia/ Sumatra
Diver Qualifications: Open Water Scuba & Emergency First Response Instructor
The 12 Questions
When and where did you start diving?
I started diving on the 8th of November way back in 2008 at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Why did you start diving?
For as long as I can remember, water has been my element; my place where I can unwind and be completely relaxed. Water is my meditation; I find peace in it and it gives me an incredible feeling of space and openness. When I went on a 6-week trip to Australia in 2008, it was immediately clear to me that I would be diving here for the first time. It gave me a chance to get remarkably close to the underwater world. My passion for diving quickly became an addiction and subsequently my vocation.
What made you choose to become a dive professional?
Quitting the 9 to 5 job to follow my dream to become a diving instructor was so far, the best decision and I wouldn’t change it. I travel the world, meet amazing people, make unforgettable dives, learn about new cultures and feel completely free doing it.
Since my very first encounter with diving, I wanted to know and experience more about this beautiful underwater world we have. I soon realised that diving could really open myself up. I am lucky to have a very satisfying and fulfilling job. I can take people’s fear of the ocean away and change their attitude towards nature, and that’s hugely powerful. Introducing someone to the underwater world for the first time is a privilege for me. I stay in contact with many of my students and some of them are now changing their lives to pursue something they’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been a part of that change, and that’s very special to me.
Which is your favourite dive site and why?
Pulau Weh, Indonesia – The hidden paradise!
I’ve dived a lot around SEA and Central America, but Pulau Weh really has something special. It has the most incredible visibility underwater and the most amazing marine life, ranging from small creatures to big pelagics. The variety and quantity of marine species you can see there is amazing. Some of the most colourful species are found here including the Juvenile Emperor Angel Fish, one of the cutes little creatures of the ocean. The big creatures of the sea are also at home here: schools of Mobulas, Manta Rays can easily be spotted together with slender Black Tip reef sharks. Pumping currents flow around the island making for good drift dives, deep wrecks (Sophie Rickmers) are great for technical diving and an underwater volcano is something different for even the most experienced diver.
What has been the most memorable dive of your life and why?
The most memorable for me certainly was on a liveaboard trip to the Philippines back in 2017. We wanted to see Hammerhead Sharks, so we jumped into the water at 6:30 am and descended to almost 50 metres. Unfortunately, the sharks had decided not to be in their usual place. After a short look around, we decided to slowly make our way up and inspect the steep wall closely. The wall was full of morays, corals, ferns, sponges, mussels, snails and nudibranchs. The colourful hustle and bustle completely captivated me, and so the sharks were quickly forgotten. The breath-taking sight of the steep wall and how it plunges into the depths was a very special spectacle. When we had already reached 55 minutes of diving time and right before our safety stop, I took another look down into the depths. And there it was, gliding slowly, quietly, and almost unnoticed underneath us – a whale shark! What a blast!
If you would come back as a marine life form in your next life, what would that be?
I love batfishes! So, I would hope I can come back as a batfish. Because as they meet others, they form groups that stay together for the rest of their lives! Imagine that! You have buddies around all the time. And besides, batfish are so curious and super relaxed and chilled, not shy, and always soooooooooooo lovely, calm and friendly.
Who is your dream dive buddy?
Even after all these years and countless dives, I am always overwhelmed by the beauty and diversity of the underwater world. Every time I go diving, I am delighted and still amazed by things I have already seen umpteen times. I just don’t get bored, and I am a tireless enthusiast. I communicate a lot – also under water. I want my dive buddy to share these qualities and passion. Because diving is twice as fun when the experience is shared.
What dive locations are on your dream “bucket list” and why?
One day I want to go to the reserved gem of the archipelagos of the Galapagos Islands. Some of the rarest and most fascinating sea creatures on the planet can be found there. I want to enjoy exploring waters that are virtually the same as they were in prehistoric times.
What is on your bedside table right now?
Ha! I don’t have a bedside table!
What is your favourite piece of diving equipment and why?
I always bring a magnifying glass with me! I always love looking for macro life on my dives so now I bring one with me so I can show divers the wonders of tiny creatures. I used to get mega excited if I spotted something and would often turn to my fellow divers and start pointing and ask if they could see what I could see. I’d get an OK sign back, but it was usually too quick. I soon realised that they hadn’t seen anything. So, I now bring a magnifying glass and now no one misses out on anything when they dive with me, which is great.
If you were to launch a campaign to raise awareness on a specific issue that affects divers, the oceans or marine life, what issue would you target and why?
Maybe lots of people are bit bored of the topic, but for me, still, it´s a super important one – Coral bleaching! Most people on this planet are not even aware of the extent of this or that it even exists. Everyone knows about the rainforest and campaigns against its clearing, it’s a widely covered in the media. Everyone knows about trees and forests. We learn about these issues at an early age. But the underwater world is completely unknown to most people. Tragically, no one really knows that coral reefs are the lungs of the planet and one of the largest and most diverse ecosystems on Earth. In addition to marine housing, coral reefs are living organisms themselves and little is taught about them. Essentially, they affect all life on Earth.
Where will you be in 10 years and what will you be doing?
I’d like to preserve and protect nature and learn to live in harmony with it and not sit in a spaceship in 10 years’ time and tell people how beautiful and worth living it was on Earth, how deeply we could all breathe there, but missed out on taking care of its preservation. I don’t want to look back on what we had. I want to be able to have done something about it.
It’s a difficult question to answer. The last few years of my life have shown me that I’m constantly changing. If someone had said to me 10 years ago that I’d give up my well-paid bank job to travel the world and become a scuba diving instructor, I wouldn’t have believed them. If someone had told me 2 years ago there’d be a pandemic and that my life would change again, I would have laughed. Life isn’t a long-term plan. Its dynamic, exciting, and evolving all the time. It’s like diving – I plan a dive, realise on the dive that the conditions are different than I expected, so I react. I find a new way and maybe drift with the current or hold on for a moment. Just like life!