Diving in Hyères means discovering all the richness of a national marine park between Hyères and the Golden Islands: Porquerolles, Port-Cros, Le Levant. more than 40 dive sites to enter the wonderful world of silence! Discovering its wrecks, nautical trails, …

Your baptism or exploration must be supervised by professionals who have made their passion a profession!! Today, come and discover one of our favorite professionals Florent Verrier from Saphir diving

Interview with Florent VERRIER – Scuba diving enthusiast and creator of Saphir Plongée

During this article discover Florent VERRIER, this scuba diving enthusiast, French instructor , Padi since 2015 and director of the Saphir Plongée spot.

Portrait of Florent

Diving Florent Verier SpotyrideCan you introduce yourself quickly?

My name is Florent, 41 years old, former police officer in the Paris region. I have 2 children and I now live in the Var, to practice my profession after having traveled quite a bit to gain experience.

When and where did you start diving?

I discovered diving during a baptism in Tahiti at the end of 2013 when I visited a friend and colleague. I was at the time in burn-out mode on my job at the time and needed to take a step back. We had done this experience together and it was just wow!! I still remember the Tahitian instructor Teki who gave us our baptism in the lagoon on the “aquarium” site, that is to say! And what better place to start diving?!

Why did you turn your passion into a job?

I believe this is something that needed to mature, and to explain the why, you have to understand the how and the story:

When I got back on the boat at the end of the baptism, talking with Teki and my friend, when I saw the relaxed atmosphere, the idyllic setting and the crazy good it did me being under the water in the middle of the fish, what Teki had brought us, that was a real revelation for me : I said “hey guys, is that your job? I want to do the same! »

I can say today that since then, this first day of diving has radically changed my life, and for the better! That’s what I want to give too.

I really realized it when I was back in France (back to the harsh Parisian reality); I therefore started at the beginning of 2014 to take lessons in the pit with open water. The objective was clear!: Get to the monitor and quickly!

A dream, a reality

So I did a series of training courses and obtained a transfer to Nice to continue this professional retraining project! In parallel with my work which has become “food” I have chained dives and training at CIP Nice. I left for the Dominican Republic after obtaining the Divemaster to gain experience in supervision and then returned to France to pass the instructor in Cannes, IT College: so I obtained my PADI instructor certificate on August 31, 2015!! Mission accomplished, Proud as a rooster!

From there the ideas were more than clear: teach diving while traveling the world and long live freedom! I filed my resignation from my job as a police officer and created my company as an independent monitor. It was not a “health walk”, far from it; I have traveled to several countries to gain my teaching experience. France still does not allow Padi instructors to work.

I even practiced in Polynesia (Tahiti and Bora) after obtaining the Polynesian pro patent in 2018 (year of its creation) and had baptisms done at the very place where I was. -even baptized, I found it enormous!!

 Diving 2It wasn’t always easy…

Both financially and for family life, butI have never regretted this choice (even if I sometimes had moments of doubt). Today I can say that I have succeeded in my (2nd) career because I love my job, what I do! To bring happiness to people, to teach, to make people discover and pass on what I love, to meet lots of great people and make new friends, to travel to various countries, to see the smiles of children and people who are new to diving, to enjoy the sun and from the sea…it’s priceless!! This is still true today.

In my 40s, it was time to settle down anyway: I finally passed the DEJEPS State diploma to be able to practice my profession in France: I did it for my partner (with his unfailing support at all levels!) and my children. I was given a position of responsibility as an operations manager shortly after obtaining this diploma (in parallel with my own company Saphir Plongée< /a>) and it continues today with new projects.

Moral:

I would like to tell everyone with this testimony that nothing is impossible if you really want it! That it is necessary to manage to go beyond our fears to get out of our comfort zone and move forward: It was not such an easy decision to give up a “comfortable” status the hardest part of being a civil servant is to take the first step and never look back, except to say to yourself: “I’m glad I did it!” Listen to your heart and your intuition, not the people who try to discourage you in your projects!

Ocean Banner - Diving Sapphire

How long does a dive last?

It is quite variable depending on the people and the service offered. It can range from 20 minutes for a baptism to more than an hour for an exploration depending on the depth, the diver or the equipment used. We can estimate an average of 45 min.

 Diving 3Where are your different spots and the particularity of each?

If we stay around the Golden Islands and Hyères, the spots are located all around the islands of Port Cros and Porquerolles. The Mediterranean fauna and flora is quite similar throughout the Côte d’Azur with emblematic species such as groupers, corb congers and other moray eels … and in reality thousands of species to observe, all just as beautiful and fascinating. Some spots richer in species and better preserved than others (depending also on exposure to sea currents): the national park of Port Cros is very well preserved because it is protected and rich in varieties and species: It’s a treat, all dives are always different each time on the same spot.

The whole area between Toulon and Saint Tropez is quite rich and varied in wrecks, most of them quite deep and requiring an experienced level. (Mythical Greek Donator Togo or the Ruby). The fauna settles on and around the wrecks which are a real oasis of aquatic life and it is a treat for divers fans of these spots, who do not hesitate to cross the whole country to go dive on these wrecks! It would be a bit like saying “you are not a real diver if you have not done this wreck! to caricature another well-known expression that speaks of a luxury watch.

What is your Top 5 most beautiful scuba diving spots and why?

Difficult to make a real classification but I can mention Polynesia always dear to my heart, the Caribbean with the Dominican Republic for the warm water part , Malta and its many wrecks, Greece… and for the completely different Mediterranean: the famous Gabinière strong> in Port Cros, the wrecks of the Greek ruby ​​donator.

There are so many spots I would like to do again like Thailand, the Red Sea, the cenotes of Mexico, Bali, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia…I hope to have enough of one life to do more some.

 Plunge 4

What equipment do you recommend for divers?

Diving equipment can vary according to the environment (temperature in particular) and the type of practice: depending on whether you are doing so-called “diving”. leisure” or called “technical”; or occasional or professional … it will not be at all the same level of requirement in terms of equipment. It’s a bit on a case-by-case basis and depends on everyone’s preferences (and budget).

For a so-called leisure practice most equipment will do, there are many models and designs in many brands.

Complete “leisure” equipment can range from 600e to 1500e and more. To see depending on the number of dives carried out per year if it is worth buying your own equipment or if it is preferable to rent it. In addition, for traveling divers, the equipment used in warm seas will not be the same as in the Mediterranean or in the quarry (I am thinking of our Belgian or Swiss friends) and can quickly fill a heavy plane’s luggage.

I offer my customers the full range of the SEAC brand: an Italian brand made in Italy with excellent value for money, as well as course+equipment offers. It will therefore be a personalized proposal according to the level of practice and the budget of each of my clients.

Diving and responsible diver: Is supervised diving compatible with respect for the marine environment?

I would say yes: we are also here to show the fragility of the environment and how to protect it to better observe it: Understand to better protect!

Have you ever thought of doing or participating in operations to clean up the sea, lagoons, shores, lakes, etc.?

I invite divers to recover on each dive the few small pieces of waste (plastic cans and others) that they may encounter by lending a small net: it is a way of making people aware of the harmful impact humans on the marine environment and encourage them to pay more attention to selective sorting and gradually change behavior. Everyone should feel concerned.

There are many environmental protection associations such as Project Aware, Longitude 181 and many others: Find them all on

Sea Life Protection Associations .

Logo - Explore & PreserveMore locally in Hyères, the association Explore & Preserve regularly organizes waste collection operations on the seaside, open to all goodwill: Agenda

Is it necessary to get in shape to dive better?

Diving does not require specific physical preparation but it is preferable to maintain a healthy lifestyle: a good diet and practice another regular sporting activity rather to keep in good general shape. Sometimes the sea can be capricious and require greater physical effort (palming in a strong current, helping a friend in difficulty, etc.)

I was able to read on some articles that Yoga had benefits for diving, what do you think?

It’s undeniable! Yoga helps to calm, control your breathing and in fact allows you to consume less and extend your time underwater! Sophrology is also excellent and was the initiative of a specialty (Bathysmed at the initiative of Vincent Meurice and Doctor Coulange from Marseille) aimed at treating certain psychological traumas in the binding to diving. It had great results!

Is there any special physical preparation to do before a diving session?

Sleep well, be rested, eat and hydrate well before and after and above all listen to your body! It will already be good! And do not force yourself to dive if you do not feel it: the mind is also important and the group effect can have a harmful decision-making. Above all, it must remain a pleasure!

Can you tell us how to maintain physical condition throughout the year?

Any sports activity practiced in addition can only be beneficial: Swimming, jogging, tennis, fitness, walking… whatever you like to do!

Do you have any last advice for us?

In diving: continue to dive, explore and discover new spots, train yourself to evolve and keep your knowledge up to date, travel! Have fun! For the rest, do what makes you happy without worrying about the opinion of others; it’s your life!

Thank you for reading me to the end…

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