Marek Cacaj has been technically diving for over 15 years, including 13 years on various rebreathers. He is the founder of the Born2dive Diving Center in Szczecin, Poland, and a CCR Instructor Trainer and Cave Technical Instructor for the IANTD / TDI / RAID organizations. Marek is also a member of Baltictech, an organization focused on the search and identification of shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea and a member of the SANTI Expedition "Find the Eagle", which is aimed at finding the wreck of the most famous Polish submarine, ORP "Orzeł".
A passionate filmmaker and underwater photographer, Marek specializes in taking photos and films especially in dark, deep and hard-to-reach places such as wrecks, caves and mines. He created movies for the Secrets of the Baltic Shipwreck, a series on National Geographic’s “Discovery and Drain the Oceans”.
Marek chose diving as a profession, and it eventually became a way of life. He is constantly improving his qualifications and following the latest trends in closed-circuit diving. He also has a lot of experience in rebreather services because as a complete perfectionist, he likes to know the equipment from the tiniest screw.
What (or who) persuaded you to become a professional diver?
I am an IT specialist by profession, but I have always been passionate about diving. At one point, I decided to take a big risk and to make a big change from IT to working in my real passion. I became an IANTD instructor and from then on, I was addicted.
Describe your biggest challenge when diving.
Every deep dive in which I am making films or photos is a challenge. I remember when I was filming an episode about the wreck of the German aircraft carrier, Graf Zeppelin, for the Discovery Channel, I had not set the camera focus properly. None of the movies ended up being suitable for watching and that was a huge and expensive lesson for me. Now, I always make sure I am 100% focused and fully prepared for every film and dive.
Which diving achievement are you most proud of?
To be recognized as a technical diving instructor in Poland as well as abroad. I take part in amazing projects, discover new wrecks and enjoy great recognition for my photos and videos. I am also very proud of my students. Many are still great friends and we still spend a lot of time diving together.
What was your first diving experience like?
Even as a child, I loved diving with a mask and a pipe. I was so curious about what was further and deeper. What can I say? I was Born2dive! 😊
Why do you prefer rebreather?
I believe that the rebreather provides me with greater safety during deep and long dives, and due to the size, it significantly facilitates diving in hard-to-reach places. Gas logistics during an expedition is also a great advantage of a closed circuit.
What's your favorite diving gear?
I have to admit that I am a gadget man, and I have a lot of equipment. However, I like my underwater camera the most. Thanks to the spectacular quality of the pictures, I am able to share what I see underwater, and maybe even spread some of my passion for diving.
What's your favorite diving spot?
The Baltic, definitely! For some, it is a cold and unfriendly environment. For me, it's a place where I can move back in time and discover sights that are rarely or never seen and sometimes, I am the first to see them at all.