Nature lover, experienced diver and founder of SeaBees, a community of ocean advocates whom are dedicated to helping battle the plastic crisis, Olimpia is one of the many women who constantly inspire us.
Tell us about your connection with the ocean.
I grew up in a coastal town in Southern California, San Clemente. My dad used to surf, and my mom loved the ocean as well, so from an early age, I constantly had my toes in the sand and the sound of the waves in my ears. I have found I am happiest when I’m a quick walk to the beach, no matter where in the world that is.
What is your greatest inspiration and drive to protect mother nature?
From when I was very young, I was in love with all kinds of animals. My parents fostered this and took me to the zoo and aquarium every month, and I loved memorizing animal facts. I was inspired by women like Jane Goodall, whom dedicated themselves to preserving nature. I remember years ago discovering all the species which had become extinct due to human actions - over hunting, restriction of environment, pollution… and it was heartbreaking. I promised to dedicate whatever I could to helping avoid this for the future.
What is your favourite Abysse piece / Why do you love Abysse?
It’s hard to pick one! I love all my Abysse pieces, but my favorite may just be my silver Lotte suit. This was the first suit which I purchased when I started freediving. It made me feel comfortable and confident, and it’s been with me on all of my favorite adventures. I love the women of Abysse and the mission of the brand itself. Abysse was created with the ocean in mind. It honors nature in every way, ensuring that the process for creating the suits is fully sustainable, and always brings awareness back to protecting the marine environment. Those who wear Abysse are at home in the water, and share the beauty of the ocean and the need to protect it.
What characteristics do you think make up an Abysse girl?
An Abysse woman is as multifaceted as the ocean; a mix of depth and strength, along with being gentle and beautiful. She is someone who wants to be in the great outdoors, and relishes her ability to become a part of the underwater world in whichever capacity she chooses. She is someone who enjoys being a visitor and shares her appreciation of nature with others. Women of Abysse are water warriors, guardians of nature, and individuals who dedicate aspects of their life to being ambassadors for Mother Earth.
Tell us about a typical day for you, how do you incorporate the ocean on a daily basis?
I am lucky enough to live a few blocks away from the beach, and go there for a sunrise walk with my Great Dane puppy, Mouse. My job doesn’t include the ocean much, and for that reason, Patrick (my boyfriend) and I spend our weekends having fun underwater. We either pop in for a freedive with friends to take photos and explore our favorite beaches in Sydney, or pack up to spend a couple of nights up or down the coast to dive with seals in Narooma, sharks in Foster or dolphins in Nelsons Bay.
What is a fun fact about the ocean that you love sharing?
My favorite ocean fact is actually a shark fact (love them!), specifically about the worlds’ largest sharkies: Whale Sharks. Whale sharks are incredible gentle giants, and each shark is unique in that they are covered with an individualised pattern of spots, much like a human fingerprint. Due to their size, shark researchers utilise specialised computer software originally designed for star mapping to identify each shark based on their spots. It’s almost as if they are their own mini galaxies! I find that to be so fascinating.
Do you run or have a favourite foundation towards Ocean protection / conservation ? What is your mission?
I founded SeaBees, ocean cleanup, in Sydney 3 years ago. It is a community of ocean advocates whom are dedicated to helping battle the plastic crisis by collecting trash which ends up in the oceans and beaches. We are also dedicated to creating awareness around the global waste problem and what home solutions can be made to help make positive change. Our cleanups combine snorkelers, freedivers, scuba divers, and land focused efforts to tackle trash across each location. We believe that ‘every little bit counts’ - regardless if that is picking up a few pieces of trash wherever it’s found, or making small steps to being more sustainable at home. We are passionate about partnering with brands whom offer sustainable solutions for fashion, household products, cleaning supplies, pet products, furniture and more. Change isn’t about a few people doing things perfectly, it’s about everyone banding together to make changes little by little.
Next project, retreat or travel for this year?
I am excited to be heading on a few fun adventures with Patrick, along with running a couple of retreats this year! Pat and I are going to Sri Lanka to dive with Blue Whales in May. I cannot wait to be in the presence of these awe-inspiring creatures. Later on, I have partnered with my close friend at Immersia Freediving to host 3 weeks’ in beautiful Moorea to swim with Humpbacks in crystal waters. It will be an incredible 2023!
Fav place to dive in the world?
In the Southern Great Barrier Reef is a beautiful island which has taken a special place in my heart: Lady Elliot island. Pat and I travel back every year. It is Australia’s ‘home of the Manta’, and once you land there you feel fully immersed in a natural escape from the normal busyness of the mainland. I have had countless intimate and unforgettable moments there with mantas, turtles, sharks and other marine life. The resort where you stay is an off-grid eco-resort, dedicated to preserving the corals and natural habitat, so is fully sustainable.
Credit Photos @patunderwater