Now, let's talk about me; my name is Vinicio Vasta. I won't go into my childhood, otherwise I'd have to write a series of books. But I will speak about how my passion for the sea began, and especially my love for diving and sailing. I will speak about the sea and not water because since the age of 6 I have spent the most part of my weeks swimming, a habit I have never lost. But coming back to the sea, my passion was ignited when I was 12; I will never stop thanking my parents, because without them I probably wouldn't be here doing what I do, above and below the waves. At that time my folks bought a small apartment by the sea and my dad, who had already retired because at the time it was still possible to retire around 50 years of age, and I would spend the 4 months of my school holidays at the beach. So as not to see me hunting crabs all day long, or maybe just to get me out of the way for a few hours, they asked me if I would like to do a sailing course. From that day onwards I have made the sea my life, both above and below. It was probably in my family's genes because my dad had already spent a lot of time on the sea: during the war he was in the navy, half of it on a warship and the other half on a submarine. Seeing how I was determined to follow him under water too by fishing for mussels and oysters as the water was still clean at that time, I began to combine sailing and diving. I spent all summer long on a strale, a 5m long boat which is part of the 470 regatta category. This type of boat is very reactive and difficult to use but is extremely satisfying to use on all types of sea.

After I finished school, my adventures continued, for the better. I used to work in Elba from May to October as a sailing instructor; 6 months on the sea everyday, and if there was no wind I went diving. In those years the legendary Jacques Mayol was around too, even though I must admit that I didn't see him around very often, the idea that he was diving near me in the same bay filled me with happiness. Over the years I continued to nurture my passion for diving and sailing until I got a nautical licence and bought my own boat and became an instructor for the diving academy. I worked as one of Umberto Pelizzari's instructors during the various courses he organised and was able to make a dream come true, to make my passion my job. On the topic of Umberto, I have a story which I always remember: years ago I was going to Formentera and was at Madrid airport with my flippers in my hand, when i was approached by a local. Even though Umberto is taller than me and we look nothing like each other, i was asked if I was Umberto, I said "I wish" but who knows what he understood. I then forgot all about this until one day in September 2007, when I was thinking back on that day; there I was with Umberto in the same airport, and we were both going to Formentera for a course. Randy Pausch said: if you follow your dreams, then your dreams will come to you; a truer word was never said. Someone once wrote that you become free, you are not born free, and while I agree with them a little, I must say that a small dash of luck is necessary along with a pinch of courage to make this type of choice. If I had to go on talking about myself I could fill a book so it's probably better to talk about something else, like sailing and free-diving, because we should live everyday as if it were our last, and to continue learning as if we were going to live forever.