The Women Of Bells
Brinkley took us out on her boat to go diving with Whale Sharks this winter in Exmouth and here´s her story told in-between our dives. . .
Why Marine Biology?
I volunteered as a kid with a few different animal welfare organisations and I gained some experience with marine animals there. I loved working with animals in and around the ocean and my interest kept growing so studying Marine Biology came naturally.
You keep coming back to Exmouth for more, why?
Exmouth is a magical place! I first came up to visit two years ago out of interest in the Whale Shark industry and returned this year to volunteer with Ecocean Whale Shark research as an assistant. My day job is for a dive company and I am a guide on the reef with the Whale Sharks. I hope to come back and work with the Humpbacks next year!
What’s your dream project?
Hmm.. difficult question, because the more I learn, the more my mind and career goals expand. Many of my dream projects have already come true, but I´d like to work with Orca, my favourite animal and in my opinion the most intelligent species on the planet. I have a passion for vocalization and bio-acoustics, everything from bird song to whale song fascinates me, so working on a project in that field is on the list to!
Got some great career advice?
I belief in the power of the mind, so don’t listen to people telling you something isn´t achievable! Marine Biology is an extremely diverse field, some people remain studying at university their whole life, where as some people don’t have degrees but work as Dive Instructors in the most beautiful places on earth. It is 100% up to you.
We know you surf to, when did you get hooked?
I don’t remember ever not being hooked on surfing. I learnt at such a young age, I do remember giving up gymnastics to focus on competing surfing when I was 11 and I loved it!
What’s so special with free diving & surfing?
Both surfing and free diving offer so much freedom. The ocean is always changing, no two waves are ever the same and neither are two dives. It´s my special place.
Can you describe your go to surf break?
Yeah! It´s a fun a-frame reef break with turn and barrel sections and with just a few friends out! I can´t tell you the name =P
Watch Brinkley surf in U&I
What about a special diving spot?
My favourite free dive spot is somewhere with lava tubes to swim through and where I can hear the whales sing! I can think of a few. . .
Can you tell us a secret about yourself?
I sleep walk, and talk a lot! Hahah
What do you have happening in the pipeline?
I´m starting my own research project and organisation, (it’s a bit of a secret until it’s finished being set-up)! Aside from that just the general surfing and looking after Bunji, our little Kangaroo Joey. Oh and some planning and preparing for a few trips I have coming up for the end of the year.
When did you last get in trouble and had to digg yourself out?
Quite literarily I had to dig myself out when my boyfriend and I hit a soft patch of sand on incoming tide in the middle of the Great Australian Bight a month ago. We lost our 1990 Toyota Troop Carrier, our home on wheels. It was an ordeal to say the least, but the good news is we have a new one in the making, and our old one is not in the ocean anymore!
What’s a must in swimwear as a diver and surfer?
Quality and great ability to move freely.. Don’t get me wrong I love tiny swimwear but I do like it when I can surf 6ft waves and not have to worry about them coming off!
How do you find surfing and diving in the U&I swimwear?
Hehe, I see where you´re going! 😉
Awesome! I feel strong, it is great and durable swimwear that makes me feel confident!