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My interests are many, but my love for the sea is the strongest and started way back when I was 4 (a couple of years ago). We lived right on Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island, out in the Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand. 'A couple of years later' I find myself back home again, having just returned to Auckland, and I'm happy.
Like many people I found school a chore, with teachers that just didn't understand me, and subjects that I simply wasn't interested in. Things finally picked up when I got to University, starting in 1984 and doing the standard stuff - the BSc (1988), MSc (1990), and PhD (1999) [all from the University of Auckland] (the PhD took forever as I was also working at the time - not something I would recommend if you can help it).
Between 1985 and 1991 I made a living as a marine biological consultant in Auckland, with my basic role being one of collecting and identifying marine invertebrates in coastal intertidal and subtidal environmental impact assessments. I wasn't really happy doing this sort of work, as it was painfully obvious that the results always favoured the client rather than the environment; I saw some shocking things happen (I wasn't the one making the decisions). Some time in 1987 I met some commercial deep-sea fishermen in a bar (I don't know how I ended up there of course) and had some marvellous sessions (a truly great bunch of people), and was soon invited out to sea in order to experience some of this weird and wonderful deep-sea life that he was fanatical about (it turns out the fishermen thought I was nuts)...
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