Cary, Detmon and Valerie Taylor
Dreams do come true, as Cary Yanny relives the day she met her diving hero, Valerie Taylor. Valerie and Ron Taylor are award-winning film makers and divers from Australia.
"When I was seven, I sat in front of my TV riveted by what I was watching. Valerie & Ron Taylor underwater with tropical reef fish and sharks. This glamorous couple travelled around the world scuba diving and showing us what the underwater world has to offer. I was hooked! I wanted to do that! That summer my Mum couldn't move me away from the TV when their show came on.
Fast-forward thirty eight years and I have lived that dream. With centres in the Red Sea, I spent many years diving with dolphins, turtles and sharks. Then we moved to North Sulawesi and a whole different entertainment engaged me - weird and wonderful critters that I had never seen before. This is my ideal life. I am living the dream I watched years ago.
So when I got a text from Jim asking - rather tongue in cheek -, "Do you know who Valerie Taylor is?" you can guess what my response was. The next text was even better, "She would like to go diving with you tomorrow!" I thought he was joking.
That morning when Val arrived I realised, thankfully, that it was not a joke. Val really wanted to see octopus, mimic octopus, and thank goodness they're around at the moment. We dropped in the sea and within five minutes there was a mimic putting on a display just for us! Val had seen one for a fleeting moment 20 years earlier in Indonesia and she was happy, happy. We then proceeded to see coconut octopus, Ambon scorpion fish, frog fish, ghost pipefish and squid laying eggs. What a dive!
Back on the boat, Val thrilled us with stories of her and husband Ron's adventures. All too soon the day was over. I went home with a huge smile on my face having met the woman who inspired me to dive. Valerie & Ron are still extremely active with their shark conservation work. Take a look and see the good work that they are doing on www.ronvaltaylor.com."