Perfectly at home above or below the ice, Alban pushes the limits of technical cold water diving
"We all have a treasure deep inside us that just wants to be exploited. My treasure, my passion is diving"
When and why did you start diving?
I started diving in 1988 at the age of 11. Nobody was diving into my family and I was already cutting magazine pages when I saw pictures of divers. I also looked at the time, Cousteau's shows that made me dream. I did not live at the seaside and so I started diving in the pool and I immediately liked this feeling of weightlessness. I felt good and I loved to discover another universe. I then decided that I will do my job. I think that's passion, something we do not control and that attracts us.
Most memorable dive experience?
I have tons of memorable stories. But if I have to keep one, I remember this polar bear crossing back from a dive in Greenland. I saw him doing several apneas and found myself facing him under the water. Then, at the exit of the water, I thought he was gone and he arrived and stopped at 3 meters from me. We were in the water, and we watched each other for several seconds intensely. He then turned around. It was a magical and unique moment. I have other amazing dives where I also had the chance to dive with the Greenland shark. A rare and mythical species
How do you approach non-divers to get them excited about learning to dive?
I developed a technique to take people who have never been under ice. Each time, I talk to them about the underwater well being and the discovery of another world. I also like to show them pictures of what they are going to discover. Often they underestimate this life or this beautiful atmosphere that can be discovered under water.
Favorite piece of Aqualung equipment?
My favorite Aqualung gear is without a doubt the Glacia regulator. I used it all over the world in extreme environments. Antarctica, Arctic, Siberia and Greenland. It is a reliable and solid regulator that takes the toughest conditions for dives in very cold waters. I use it even regularly in temperate waters because I'm used to this regulator that I particularly like.
Dream dive: where and with who?
A dive that I would really like to achieve is with children that suffer from "moon disease". They can not stay in the sun and are destined to live only in hiding or in the middle of the night. I would like to take them to the Arctic during the polar night to dive under the ice. I like to bring crazy experiences to people and bring happiness through diving.