Desirée Grancagnolo

Marine Biologist & Scuba instructor

I spent the first years of my life in Aci Trezza, a small fishing village in Catania area on the Ionian Sea. I remember the attraction towards the salty smell and the columnar basalts of the faraglioni that emerge from the surface of the sea. With my father's old mares mask on my face, I tried to reach them observing the seabed from above. I spent the summer of my 11 years on Favignana island, discovering the freedom of a life away from the city and in contact with the water, the road I traveled the most was the one that led me to the beach of the town where I observed and tried to understand the life of all those "snails" that populated the coast. My apneas never lasted long enough and so my father met Sara, a marine biologist, diving instructor and globetrotter. With her I wore a wetsuit for the first time, I carried a bigger and heavier tank than me on my back and I breathed air from a regulator at a depth of 5 meters. I had understood that as an observer I wanted a portion of the sea more exclusive than the surface, I wanted to explore the seabed. I decided to enroll at the University of Palermo in the degree course in natural and environmental sciences, and after having achieved the title with 110 cum laude I began my career as a guide and diving instructor on Tenerife island. Mediterranean’s calling was too strong and therefore I decided to return to an appointment postponed too long: Egadi Islands. My two-year professional adventure began in Marettimo, on the Martina. The passage is decisive, I am no longer an observer, living on a boat I become a component of the sea. Today I study marine biology in Palermo and I live in my sailboat, at the end in all that time observing "snails" I have learnt to build my shell too.

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