The time has come to share more of my ocean adventures with others, to also impart my knowledge and skills to the next generation of young conservationist. I’m happy about this decision; it excites me and means I will be in the water more often, doing what I love most, travelling, filming and photographing, public speaking and influencing and inspiring others to fight for our oceans and animals, land and sea . And so Lesley Rochat Adventures in partnership with Shark Warrior Adventures is born.
My expeditions and internship programs are unique in many ways, and they will all come with me as teacher and guide. As such I have made a commitment that less is more, that quality is always above quantity. I will therefore only run a few internship courses and expeditions a year given that my time is divided between other commitments.
I will also only take a limited number of people to ensure that the quality of my courses and expeditions remains world class, that my expedition guests (maximum 10) and students (maximum 8) leave having enjoyed an enriching experience that has added value to their lives. I will add additional value to all my expeditions offering at no additional costs, photographic courses. For my internship students, I will nurture them as my own, inviting them to share my beautiful home overlooking False Bay as their base. Transforming, inclusive, and exclusive are key for me.
This year I will be running only one internship program, namely Conservation Wildlife Photography and Environmental Journalism (4 weeks 12 Dec 2015 to 8 Jan 2016) and two expeditions, The Sardine Run (1-9 July) and the Predator Expedition (1-11 December 2015). To find out more about these trips go to Shark Warrior.
Shark Warrior, as some might know is my nickname, given to me years back by the media and so it stuck. Today it is a shark awareness campaign and the Shark Warrior Adventures a self-funding initiative of the AfriOceans Conservation Alliance, the nonprofit I founded and for which I am the CEO. Shark Warrior Adventures is growing and I look forward to sharing more of our exciting initiatives in the new future.
Promoting our new products took me recently to the USA where I attended the Beneath the Sea Dive Show, and at a very special ceremony I received my long overdue Women Divers Hall of Fame pin (I was inducted into WDHOF in 2010). I shared a stall with the USA based Shark Research Institute to which I am affiliated, promoting shark conservation and our new expeditions and internship programs. I met wonderful like-minded people, wonderful students, made fantastic contacts and left feeling inspired.
Carolina was next and the Coastal Carolina University at which I gave a number talks to environmental science and biology students. Prof Dan Abel, my host, goes down as the most inspirational kindred spirit I have met in a long time, a remarkable teacher, mentor, and inspiring environmentalist. Washington DC and the Environmental Filmmaking division was my last stop and there I had the pleasure of presenting and meeting the award winning and renowned environmental filmmaker, Prof Chris Palmer, author of Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker and Shooting in the Wild.
It’s all about relationships is it not? People. We cannot change the world unless we change the people. And we cannot expect them to change unless they understand the importance of conserving our natural heritage, the oceans and sharks, become informed and inspired to do so. Shark Warrior Adventures, with Lesley Rochat will achieve this!
Watch my space!