As a filmmaker, photographer, and waterwoman, Free Fly Ambassador Nicole Gormley has racked up a pretty wild resume—from filming polar bears across the Arctic Circle and putting cameras on great white sharks, to producing an Emmy-nominated food and travel series on Netflix. 
She’s produced and directed projects for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and Patagonia Films. Her work has taken her to over 50 countries and her award-winning films center around people and their relationship to the natural world. Currently based in Hawaii, she calls Southern California home. Here, she reports back on a recent dive trip to the Channel Islands with good friends. 


Dispatch: Channel Islands, CA

From: Nicole Gormley @gromlet


The Channel Islands are often called "the Galapagos of North America” because of the rich biodiversity of plants and wildlife. With over five million years of separation from the mainland, they’ve got plant and animal species you won’t find anywhere else on Earth.



Also home to some of the most spectacular kelp forests around the world, the Channel Islands have become one of my favorite places to dive. They really feel like home to me, and every time I visit, I’m so grateful to have such an abundant wildlife refuge just offshore from the hecticness of Southern California. 

Whenever I’m back in California, my good friend and badass waterwoman, Brooke Basse, has been kind enough to invite me out to spearfish or lobster dive with her, depending on the season. Based in South Los Angeles, Brooke is an underwater stuntwoman, boat captain, and very capable diver who is always down for an adventure.



There’s something that makes me feel more proud of being a woman when it's just the two of us out there—she’s such an encouraging force and one of the most capable captains I know. 

This last trip we invited another friend and photographer, Tyler Shiffman, to join us out on the water for a day of diving and chasing sun. While the dive conditions ended up being subpar because of the winds, Catalina Island was the greenest I have ever seen it.



Despite the low visibility, we still dove through the kelp forests, which is always a unique, otherworldly experience. We finished the day with a hike on Catalina — scrambling over rocks to get to our favorite hidden beach spots. Even without perfect conditions, a day on the water is always worth it. 


Signing off, Nicole


A. Women's Cloudshield Rain Jacket
B. Women's Bamboo Heritage V Neck Tee
C. Women's Bamboo Lightweight Hoodie II
D. Women's Bamboo Motion Racerback Tank
E. Women's Pull-On Breeze Short
F. Women's Pull-On Breeze Jogger
G. Women's All Day Pocket Legging