Shark Wrangler, Dive Instructor, Olympic Swimmer. These are just a few of the ways you might describe Liz Parkinson of Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas. The beauty from South Africa is not just a siren of the deep, she’s also in charge of all of the underwater film productions that take place at Stuart Cove’s and this year PADI was also fortunate enough to recruit her as one of their Ambassadivers.
At the beginning of 2016 Liz had an idea for a fun way to incorporate her love of diving, sharks and admiration for all her fellow female instructors at Stuart Cove’s (who make up nearly half of all of their dive instructors). The ladies all agreed that they would accept a challenge to become one with their aquatic environment, strip down to the bare essentials and model as “calendar girls” in their natural habitat, and through the process strive to increase awareness of the need for care & attention to the underwater ecosystems that not only supports their lifestyles but is necessary for all future survival.
The calendar includes stunning underwater images of the 11 amazing women who are dive instructors and shark-feeders at Stuart Cove’s. What’s more, all of the photos were taken by two of the featured instructors, Katie Storr of the Bahamas as the lead photographer and Pia Venegas of Chile. Even more impressive is the fact that each image captured of the women in various striking poses with sharks, on reefs or underwater wrecks showcases the women’s apnea ability as every one of the women were modelling on breath-hold.
“The preservation of our fragile ocean environment encompasses a deep level of concern and passion for me,” said Liz. “Working everyday alongside a group of people engaged in the conservation of our blue planet inspires the work I do, the images captured for this project, but more importantly the huge level of responsibility that comes with educating the public about ocean issues that affect us all.”