August 04, 2015
Brinkley Davies | Waterbaby
21 year old Brinkley Davies is a 'lady of the ocean', passionate about ocean awareness, conservation, surfing and travel. Currently based in Hawaii; the model, pro surfer, REEF ambassador, marine biologist and ocean conservationist; shares with us a little about her most spontaneous moments, swimming with the great white sharks & SALT LIVING in South Australia
SL: Brinkley, how are you? Tell us about growing up by the sea in rugged south Australia? What is the average day like for you?
BD: Hi! I’m great thanks. Well, living in South Australia is something that is definitely unique, I feel pretty lucky to call this place home. My life on a general basis is more often than not completely weather dependent! My work, and my life depend on the swell, water clarity, wind and wind direction. If I am not out on the boats, ill go up the coast with my boyfriend Ty, and depending on the swell and wind we will either surf or go for a dive, or camp for a few days.
SL: Explain a few details about where you grew up? Set the scene for us...What were you fav’ things to do as a grom?
BD: I grew up on a property an hour south of Adelaide, but still near the coast. We have a holiday house on the Yorke Peninsula, which is like a second home to me, so going in between that made for an awesome childhood. My favourite things to do were obviously surfing with my dad,mum, and brother all the time, and going on surfing and camping trips with my family. On the property was so much fun as well, we used to make slip and slides with huge tarps, and ride around motorbikes, we didn’t watch TV much that’s for sure.
SL: Your connection to the ocean is strong, how did this come about?
BD: A lot of things growing up contributed to this, surfing in South Australia surrounded by raw open ocean, big pods of dolphins and sea lions definitely motivated me to want to learn more about them. My parents influence, and also working in animal rescue opened up my eyes to how naïve millions of people are with the way they are contributing to having negative impacts on the ocean.
I decided a long time ago I wanted to be a part of the solution, by lessening my impact, professionally learning about it and actively sharing my knowledge through everything I do.
SL: As a marine biologist, working with multiple sea creatures and often swimming with the great white sharks, tell us about your career ambitions in this field; what are your marine passions?
BD: My marine passions are endless haha, it is hard to pinpoint. My immediate career ambitions are to continue contributing to conservation both physically and by raising awareness, in all aspects and for as many campaigns I can. Some of my goals are to contribute as a scientist to learning more about Great White Sharks, especially in South Australia it is so necessary for us to learn more about them, to co exist for the futures to come, it is a necessity. My biggest passion aside from sharks is definitely working with Orca, I have endless respect and awe for these animals, something so intelligent and beautiful that is the top apex predator in the ocean, I am looking into going into Bio Acoustics, in the years to come I look forward to spending a lot of time with these animals, and promoting the fact that they 100% belong in the wild, not in SeaWorld.
SL: As a vegan, how do you balance your lifestyle?
BD: To be honest, it’s a lot easier than what people make it out to be. I have been vegan since I was 16 years old, and basically I just eat things closest to their natural state. I keep it simple, I eat a lot of fruit and veggies, and make a lot of curries with my boyfriend. I am obsessed with fruit, so going vegan really wasn’t hard, I have never liked meat, and eating animal products simply because they are available isn’t morally correct to me. If I one day am living on a desert island and have to catch fish to survive and am part of the food chain, then I will eat fish again, but right now where I am, I am perfectly healthy as a plant based human, and enjoy my life knowing that I am not supporting many commercial mass producing industries, which to me, are modern day torture chambers for animals.
SL: Who or what inspires you?
BD: I'm inspired by people who are pro active, and are filled with positive energy. I’m inspired by Jane Goodall, her efforts with Great Apes and her morals in conservation. I’m inspired by the rewards I feel when I experience amazing things in the natural world, animals inspire me a lot.
SL: What are your thoughts on body image for young women? Do you actively consider this issue and the way it affects young people?
BD: I am a strong believer in health, and I have always focused on that over body image. It is impossible to please everyone; people will always be judgmental, critical, and mean in this world about body image. I eat healthily, and I exercise because it makes me feel good, if you feel healthy and are happy then all is well.
Some people can do nothing and have a 6 pack, and some people can try their hardest and never have one, be glad with what you have and what you are and be confident within yourself, always.
SL: Tells us about your love for free diving... How does it help you connect your mind, body and spirit?
BD: It relaxes me, it allows me to focus 100% on the connection between my mind and my body, to be in the ocean is my happiest place. It is where I feel the most connected to everything, and feel as though I am a part of something so much bigger than myself, and the whole society we live in, it brings me back down to nature.
SL: Where is next on the list for your dive travels?
BD: Hawaii! We will be doing a tonne of diving and exploring, surfing and I will be helping out where I can with any kind of marine biology work. My partner Tyron will be coming with me and we will most likely go to Fiji from there.
SL: Yoga/Surf/Run/Swim which one do you prefer?
BD: Surfing is always number 1, if there I waves I will surf! Yoga is something I do everyday, I have to stretch otherwise I feel like I am not doing anything at 100%, and my body always needs it. I run when the weather is not great or if I haven’t done any other exercise, it clears my mind. And I swim as much as I can when its not 12 degrees in winter in South Australia, ill be in the water everyday in Hawaii and I can't wait!
SL: What intimidates you?
BD: Climate change, and the fact that many people think it is a myth. The Earth has shaken off entire species before, and the way the human race lives is so unsustainable that already it is predicted we would need another 7 earths just to sustain what we are doing today, in 2015. It both amazes me and intimidates me that at any time we can be totally wiped out, and absolutely nothing will matter, hence why I spend my money and my time on new experiences, with people I love and doing things I am passionate about. Because basically, no one is going to care if you own a Ferrari, when there is a tsunami hitting your house.
SL: Describe your dream trip away?
BD: Surfing, freediving, surrounded by animals, with my best friends, my family and Tyron, somewhere warm , and clear, where there is lots of fruit.
Interview and images by Claire Leuenberger for Salt Living.