A FORMER Kinghorn man is living his dream life in New Zealand - diving and taking photographs in exotic locations.
Shane Wasik (29), who attended Kinghorn Primary and Balwearie High Schools, before studying Marine Biology at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, moved half way round the world to follow his lifetime ambition two years ago - and hasn’t regretted a minute since.
His days are spent as an environmental monitor and photo journalist – he has written articles for many water-themed magazines and newspapers – as well as taking underwater photographs and speaking about his travels which have taken him all over the world on diving expeditions to shipwrecks and coral reefs as well as other little explored regions.
Shane lives in Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty with his partner Nikki Limond, who also went to Balwearie High School, where he has plenty of opportunity to dive to nearby wrecks to add to the hundreds of dives he has already made in Scotland, Spain, Tenerife and New Zealand.
He has also just returned from Papua New Guinea where he spent a week in remote parts of the island, diving and exploring its remote jungles. While there he and his friends were given the honour of being the first white men to paddle a ceremonial canoe.
“Living in New Zealand is amazing, it’s very unspoiled here and a diver’s paradise.
“This week we were watching orca (killer whales) chase stingrays in the harbour, then today a 4.5m Great White was spotted up the coast, so for a marine biologist it doesn’t get any better than this. There’s so much to see and do here and it’s also so close to the South Pacific islands – heading to Fiji is the same distance as France back home. It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to come here and I’m loving every minute.”
To see more of Shane’s photographs visit www.shanewasik.com.
Shane’s diving adventures have brought him face to face with danger on a number of occasions, most recently when diving off Pudney Rock in the Bay of Plenty just before Christmas, when he encountered a mako shark cruising in its natural habitat.
“It was quite unusual. I’ve seen others before, but never like this - it was quite exciting.”
He explained that he has had close encounters with many species of shark before, but normally under supervised conditions such as cage dives, and one of his remaining dreams was to see a great white shark - but from a cage!
“People might get a little bit nervous when they see a shark but they should actually think themselves lucky. It’s really not often that you get to see one.”
Shane’s grandmother, Cecilia Wasik, lives in Kirkcaldy and is proud of her grandson’s achievements.
“Since he was very young he has always loved the water and he used to go out in his grandfather’s fishing boat when he was a boy.
“It comes as no surprise that he loves his diving so much, and it is great that he is getting to fulfill his dreams.”