Mysterious Fathoms Below

9th June, 2015

The ocean has always been a therapeutic place for me. From Montauk to Miami, it’s hard to keep me away from the sea. So when we received an invitation from La Mer to join Dr. Sylvia Earle and an all-star team of National Geographic explorers on a 3 day dive off the coast of Key Largo in celebration of World Oceans Day, there was no way I could refuse!

Growing up I was on the neighborhood swim team, and every summer our family took snorkeling trips to Florida or Grand Cayman. I watched The Little Mermaid at least 100 times as a kid (to this day I can still sing every song from it word for word), and for years I planned to grow up and become a marine biologist. It’s no accident I end up underwater at some point in all our travel videos! The ocean is my meditation and I find sea life to be ferociously fascinating, but until this trip I had never before been diving. What a way to start.

The adventure began on a Friday afternoon in late April, when we packed our sunhats and wetsuits into the trunk of a 1957 Chevy Bel Air and cruised from Miami down to Key Largo. I was exploding with excitement!
KeyLargo2cWEARING| Janessa Leone hat, Oxydo sunnies, DVF dress, Prada sandals  DRIVING| a 1957 Chevy Bel Air  BELOW| Polaroid photos from the road, shot on floral-framed Impossible filmKeyLargo3 KeyLargo4ABOVE| wearing Janessa Leone hat, Gucci sunnies, Lisa Marie Fernandez wetsuit, Y3 pants and Havaianas sandals

My first morning in Key Largo was dedicated to dive training in the pool of The Ocean Reef Club. I practiced strapping on my pack, checking my air levels and breathing underwater. I was determined to be an exemplary pupil, simply because I was itching to get out of the boring old pool and into the open ocean.KeyLargo5That afternoon I finally had the chance. I zipped myself into a cherry red wetsuit in hyperactive anticipation (special occasions demand special outfits, even underwater).KeyLargo6ABOVE| wearing Janessa Leone hat, Fendi sunglasses, Lisa Marie Fernandez wetsuit, Thakoon Addition dress (tied at waist), Havaianas sandalsKeyLargo7 KeyLargo8ABOVE| my out-to-sea essentials: La Mer Broad Spectrum SPF 50 UV Protecting Fluid, Face and Body Gradual Tan (my favorite!), Reparative Body Lotion and Reparative Face Sun Lotion; Oxydo sunglasses  

BELOW| heading out to sea for my first-ever dive, wearing Janessa Leone hatFendi sunglassesLisa Marie Fernandez wetsuit, and Thakoon Addition dress (tied at waist) // Polaroid shot on floral-framed Impossible filmKeyLargo9 KeyLargo10MY FIRST OPEN WATER DIVE!!!! Zach’s been diving since he was 15, so he held my hand sweetly as we made our initial descent into the deep. Admittedly, I was a little concerned (what if I got seasick underwater?!) and also a tiny bit scared (what if I just totally panicked down there?!). But more than anything else I was ridiculously, preemptively victorious (I’ve been planning to grow up to become the Little Mermaid since I was 6 years old, so this was the realization of a lot of childhood life goals). Never give up on your dreams, kids.KeyLargo11Beginners luck was seriously on my side. On that first dip in we saw incredible coral sculptures, a school of eagle rays, several barracudas, a friendly sea turtle and a mind-blowingly massive hermit crab (who makes a very cool cameo in our GoPro video diary at the end of this post). I took to diving literally like a fish to water!KeyLargo12Back on dry land that evening, I was walking on sunshine. My first dive was absolutely exhilerating. The fish! The fins! The feeling of freedom!KeyLargo13ABOVE + BELOW| wearing Gucci sunnies and Issa dressKeyLargo14Dr. Sylvia Earle had arrived while we were underwater that afternoon, meaning the next day’s dive would be led by Her Deepness. I was relieved to have had a little practice before the big moment! We had dinner with her that evening on the beach, and as the sun set fiery red over the water, she regaled us with tales of her life spent at sea. Happy as a clam, I soaked up her wit and her wisdom and silently renewed a promise to myself that like her I will never, ever stop adventuring.KeyLargo15 KeyLargo16
BELOW| check out our GoPro video diary from the Blue Heart World Ocean’s Day Dive!

TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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