Alica Hermosillo

Ten Questions with Alica Hermosillo
Q. When / where did you start diving? A. I was first certified in 1995 in Tenacatita, Jalisco, Pacific coast of Mexico Q. What motivated you to become a diver? A. I always liked the ocean. My family and I lived in Mazatlan, Sinaloa for a few years, our house was 1 block from the ocean, so we used to go swimming and snorkeling every day after school. I began diving after I graduated from college and had my first job. Q. Where have you been, where are you going? A. I consider myself very lucky. I have had the opportunity to see amazing places and to take part in really interesting and relevant projects. I have done most of my diving in what I consider my “backyard” meaning Puerto Vallarta and the coasts of Nayarit, Jalisco and Colima. I have also done some diving in the oceanic islands of Mexico: Revillagigedo, Guadalupe, Rocas Alijos and Isla de Cedros, as well as the Gulf of California. Other places I have been to and loved: California, Alaska, British Columbia, Indonesia, Australia, Palau, Costa Rica, Panama, the Gulf of Mexico and Mexican Caribbean. Next year I am going to Clipperton Island and I want to return to Indonesia some time in the near future. Q. What diving accomplishment are you most proud of? A. I have had the opportunity to participate in very interesting projects. I have done biodiversity surveys in parts of my country where no previous research had been done. I did the critter hunt for a biochemical project to find cures for 3rd world diseases out of natural sources, that was specially gratifying. I treasure memories of very unusual circumstances and new species that I have found. I will never forget the first dive I did in the Revillagigedo islands where I dropped down and the first thing I saw was a nudibranch that I knew right away was new, I looked up and saw a hammerhead go by. I thought I would die a happy person right there. Q. Has your research been published? A. Yes...I guess I forgot to mention two of my biggest accomplishments, which are my books. So among the things I am most proud of is: to have been invited to co-author the Eastern Pacific Nudibranchs book with Dave Behrens and a Mexican government grant that I received to publish a book in Spanish: Opistobranquios de Mexico. Q. What will the sport of diving be like 20 years from now? A. I hope that the sport of diving will be available to more and more people. The development of better and simpler equipment will be a key factor in this. I believe that awareness and diving can contribute greatly to the preservation of our world marine resources.. fish, sharks, reefs, shells… all to be considered more valuable alive and in their natural environment as opposed to on our plates, shelves or aquariums. Q. Who do you admire in the diving community? A. There are world class photographers I will always admire. A few I know personally (not only their work), all of them are great people as well: Mark Conlin, Constantinos Petrinos, Steve Drogin. Q. Do you have any pre-dive, dive, or deco rituals? A. Not really, even though I took some technical diving courses a few years ago, most of my dives are very easy and shallow, so I do not really have a ritual. I am the joke among my diving friends that if they ever need a reference point to where the dive began, they have me, since I will usually stay in the same spot for hours on end. Q. Do you have any advice for a new drysuit diver? A. First of all, consider your new drysuit as the key that will open the door to a whole new diving experience. Do enroll in a recognized dry suit diver training programs and do not try self learning; an instructor will give you the tools and the tips necessary for a good start. It will take you a few dives to have complete control of the suit, but once past that, it becomes second nature. Think outside the box for your next diving vacation, your dry suit will let you visit places you could not visit before. Q. Do you know any good dive / fish jokes? A. " Cual es el pez mas oloroso? El pestilente " Q. Where can people find out more about you, your photography, and films? A. You can find my nudibranch books at www.seachallengers.com, learn more about Puerto Vallarta at www.vallartech.com or contact me with any nudibranch question or find at alicia_hg@prodigy.net.mx Alica Hermosillo Alica Hermosillo Alica Hermosillo