Meet Kewin Lorenzen
You met Cristina Zenato, Founder of People of the Water, in a prior Shelby Reef Guest Blog, NOW meet Kewin Lorenzen, POW Team Member, Scuba Instructor, Cave Explorer, and Shark Diver!
"10 Questions" with Kewin starts now...
1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you became involved with People of the Water.
"I’m originally from Denmark and three years ago I decided to leave my job as an electronics technician after completing a three months internship in Fiji with Projects Abroad, where I fell in love with diving. In January, 2018 I moved to Freeport, Grand Bahama to work as a professional diving instructor.
Sharks were the initial reason that sparked my decision for the change and I currently work with Caribbean Reef sharks as a feeder, handler, and videographer.
Once in The Bahamas, I discovered a passion for cave diving. After completing my cave diver training with Cristina Zenato in January 2018, I collected hundreds of hours in the local systems. Cristina and I started working on the survey of one of the major cave system when we heard the area was at risk of development, potentially destroying the system.
In January 2019 Cristina founded People of the Water to support more of the exploration and research work she had been conducting for years as she wanted to expand her outreach. It was very easy to become involved with the nonprofit mission as it reflects my passion for diving and conservation of what matter the most, both sharks and caves. As I had already participated in work and projects with Cristina, being part of the more scientific approach that the nonprofit provided us was simply the natural way to continue my work here."
2. Tell us exactly what you do and what drives you.
"My professional work is as a scuba diving instructor, teaching recreational diving at different levels, from open water to dive master, including specialties. No matter the level I teach at, I love introducing people to our incredible underwater world, and seeing their smile when they surface from this magical place.
Part of my work is to be part of the team for shark diving, including being the primary shark handler. It is a privilege to be able to work with these amazing creatures that made me change my life. Introducing people to the sharks and extinguishing their fear and replacing it with knowledge is a great pleasure. My work is fueled by my desire to share knowledge, being able to reach people and show them a new world and a different perspective about this world, especially sharks, with the intent to inspire more protection towards it.
My work is also my passion and I am a trained rebreather cave diver and explorer. On my own time I participate in advanced survey projects creating 3D, interactive and digital maps using new technology. I explore caves, places where no man has ever been before and through my survey, I show exactly where the tunnels go, with the intent to further protect the caves. I am an explorer, a curios mind always in search of new leads; a scientist excited to understand, discover, and answer questions. I have discovered that as long as I keep my mind engaged and my curiosity alive I have fuel to push my passion."
3. What do you like to do in your spare time?
"My work and hobby blend together; it is very normal for me to use my spare time to hike through the island looking for new locations, or going cave diving and being involved in any of the science projects I am part of. When not in the water, I love to spend time with my pups, and exercise. I run in the morning and in the evening I use gymnastic rings, that I can secure to any tree branch. When I am at home I play guitar, listen to music and read."
"Although I come from a Nordic country, I have always wanted to travel to Iceland. I have been interested in Iceland since a young age; it fascinates me with its unique landscapes, the incredible natural phenomenon that range from fire to ice, the wild solitary places and the way humans have made this place home."
5. Do you have a favorite quote?
6. You obviously have an adventurous spirit, what other adventures would you like to experience?
7. Favorite type of music?
9. What is your best advice for someone interested in doing what you do?
10. The quintessential “where do you see yourself in 5 years”?
"What life on this island has taught me in such short period, Hurricane Dorian in September 2019 and COVID world lockdown a few months later, is that we can plan life as much as we want, but life will always find a way to move forward regardless of our plans and all we have left to do is to adapt. My desire in five years is to still be here and to be involved in exploration and scientific work, related especially with caves and shark conservation, and to move away from the recreational diving world as a primary source of income; as such I am working towards that plan, but we will see what life will bring and which detour I might have to take."
Thank you Kewin! You are an amazing individual and we will be watching to see what the future holds for you.
Make sure you follow both Cristina and Kewin on social media. Their posts and photographs are amazing! Shelby Reef supports the work of People of the Water so if you would like to help support the work they are doing make a purchase at Shelby Reef or donate directly at People of the Water!