“I have been a National Instructor since 1970 and in May 1979, in order to thank me for my commitments in the training of executives in France, the FFESSM, and Guy POULET then president of the National Technical Commission (CTN), asked me to go to Guadeloupe to set up a course and an examination for auxiliary instructors, what is called today MF1.
I discovered Guadeloupe and fell in love with it instantly. I met the people in charge of the Regional Committee, including Bob Séverin, with whom I became friends. I tell him that if he sees an opportunity for me to move to Guadeloupe, I’m in!
During the auxiliary monitor training course, it is the “Nautilus Club”, created in 1974 by Bob SEVERIN in Abymes and which will move in 1976 to Malendure in a building which will become later the restaurant “Chez Loulouse”, which ensures the logistics while relying on the “Club Med” installed on the rock of Malendure. This is how I discovered this magnificent place.
Nine years later, in May 1987, I was then vice-president of the FFESSM and deputy president of the CTN, I was sent by the federation to answer a request from the Regional Committee of Guadeloupe.
During my stay, Bob Severin, who remembered my request in 1979, put me in touch with Henri CHAULET who wanted to sell a diving structure in a hotel in Gosier. I am not interested in this structure, but I tell Henri CHAULET that I know WHERE and HOW to set up a real diving center that will be superb, envied by all and profitable.
My project :
The place: I know that the infrastructure of the Rocher de Malendure is available since the “Club Med” has closed, and this site makes me dream!
The logistics : since I set up the TIV at the FFESSM with Jean-Pierre MONTAGNON, I have privileged contacts with all the brands of diving equipment, Bauer for the compressors, and I know that I will obtain very interesting conditions.
The originality: the tanks will be equipped with stabs and the regulators with manos. The inflation will be done on board to offer unequalled comfort and still envied to this day.
Promotion: I am known by all the clubs because of my actions in the training of managers and especially the setting up of the TIV.
Very interested, Henri gave me an appointment at the “Route du Rhum” at the marina of Pointe à Pitre the following Saturday to have dinner with his wife Maggy who manages the company “Antilles Plongée”. That’s when the magic happens and I understand how enterprising these people are! After 3 hours of discussions about the project, Henri and Maggy were enthusiastic about my proposal and asked me to draw up the budget.
Obviously, as soon as I came back to France, at the end of May 87, I put all my efforts into the project and it’s Beuchat who commits itself to me by providing me with the complete equipment at a very interesting price. Bauer is seduced by my onboard inflation strategy, they are going to help me. From the start, I know that I need 2 compressors because, given the distance from the mainland, I need to be able to ensure that if one compressor breaks down, I can do it. Moreover, in order to be able to inflate the boats quickly, I need 10 buffer bottles of 50 liters at 350 bars.
To assist me efficiently, I need to find an efficient assistant. I quickly think of Dominique DÉRAMÉ whom I trained in Trébeurden, whom I liked and whom I know that his cooperation contract in Tunisia will not be renewed.
I therefore proposed him to accompany me in this project as assistant director. He told me that he already had a proposal from the CREPS in Antibes and asked me for 15 days to think about it. A week later he responded favorably to my proposal.
In November 1987, I asked Dominique to leave as a precursor in order to start preparing our installation: search for an accommodation with 2 rooms, cleaning and repairing of the premises, installation of the riggings, revision and transfer of the Yaïsa from the Gosier marina to Malendure, installation of a platform at the back of the boat, in short to make the existing operational.
As for me, I have to stay in mainland France until the end of the Boat Show (from December 5 to 14) in order to promote the “Healthy Hours” on the BEUCHAT stand where a booth has been reserved for me. I designed and had printed a superb brochure presenting our center. Marion FAUVEL, a friend who is secretary at the diving center of Trébeurden that I created in 1967, accepts to be our contact in France, which is an asset of major importance.
I joined Dominique on December 16th and I started to design the secure racks for the bottles that would be inflated on board. In addition, I am in charge of the promotion on the island, meeting with the authorities and in particular the departmental director of the tourist office.
As for the accommodation of the clients, individuals or groups, Henri CHAULET puts us in touch with the ROSTANT family who agrees to put at our disposal 8 rooms in a beautiful house and who arranges a very beautiful old hut “L’Espérance” in rooms from 2 to 6 beds.