Jilly Wenderlich

A passionate freediver, scuba diver and conservationist

"I remember when I was little I read about women like Sylvia Earle and would get so excited about women who were doing ground-breaking research underwater. The science nerd in me always feels like I’m going for a great expedition every time I suit up."

When and why did did you start diving?

The first time I ever went scuba diving was actually in the pool at my house and I was 8! There weren’t a lot of fish obviously, but I got a taste for how great it was!

What is your spirit fish or mammal?

Ohhhh. I would have to say some sort of Ray! I somehow manage to run into a manta ray, eagle ray or stingray on almost every dive! We just seem to find each other!

How do you approach non-divers to get them excited about learning to dive?

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a very passionate person. When I’m excited about it I think I do more talking with my hands than my mouth! Relaying experiences and encounters that I’ve and seeing how excited I get while storytelling, seems to get people amped.

Dream dive: where and with who?

Oh gosh, that’s such a hard one. It would be a tie between Sylvia Earle and Jacques Cousteau. Both have contributed to so much exploration, knowledge and love about the ocean. I think I would probably go to Palau, or back in time to the Great Barrier Reef.

Favorite piece of Aqualung equipment?

I like the Outlaw BCD. It’s lightweight and comfortable. Easy to maneuver.

Any hidden talents?

I can make dolphin squeaking noises!

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