Born on March 16, 1967 in Sofia

Education: Third Shift High School in Sofia – “I was quite rebellious and changed many schools. In the end I landed in the Third Shift High School where the real men and women went.”

Post-punk period: graduated History of Art


About the first love

Michael Zaimov loves the sea since an early age – he remembers how the older girls took him to the shore and made him swim alongside them. And later, to prove his masculinity, he had to jump from one of the highest cliffs in Sozopol – Palikarito. He admits to having been scared, but the challenge was even greater.


The first dive

When you fall in love, you are invariably tempted to dive into the deepest waters. That’s exactly what happened to him. Michael had been underwater fishing for many years, before venturing to dive for the first time. For a long time he chased fish with a harpoon, but with little success – possibly because there aren’t many fish in the Black Sea. Then a friend found him a diving instructor – Kotse Zhelezoto [Iron Kotse]. He made him dive with Russian oxygen tanks for firemen, for there were no other to be had at the time. “Suddenly, as I was swimming, Kotse threw mud onto my mask. I thought he was mad, but it turned out that he wanted to see whether I would be scared.”


About fear

He is not afraid of the water. In fact, he is even convinced that there is a physico-chemical reaction between man and the sea. However, this reaction does not happen every time, because people harbour countless fears.


About deep waters

He is certain that diving depth is of no particular importance. He says that it is most dangerous between 10 metres and the surface, because that’s where the volume changes are biggest. “People think that a 35-metre depth is more dangerous than a depth of five metres. They are wrong. People can drown even in a glass of brandy. There’s more than one example to prove it. Just take a look around.”


About children

Like any keen diver, he claims that water is a natural environment for man – after all, we all spend our first nine months in one. “And I love going back to where I started from.” However, he does not want his wife to give birth under water some day because “under water I can only answer for myself”. He wants to personally teach his kid to dive, regardless of whether it is a boy or girl. “It is good when parents set a good example for their children to follow. Unfortunately many people nowadays regard children as a burden – they have no time for them.”


About sharks and gold diggers

Besides having no fear of water, Michael Zaimov is not scared of the most fearsome marine predators either – sharks. He has literally swum in a sea of sharks – no matter where he turned, they were all around him. “The belief that sharks attack man is a common fallacy. Actually man is much more dangerous to the sharks. True, there are cases of sharks attacking people, this usually happens in the world’s most industrialised zones, which attract the biggest madcaps – it probably colours off on the sharks. I much more prefer to be in the company of a shark than in that of a lady-gold-digger in a night club.


About sunken ships and dreams come true

Diving for Michael is not merely an underwater trip. He has studied most of the Black sea shipwrecks. Some of them were discovered by BSTD Underwater Explorers - Michael Zaimov, Rossen Zhelyazkov and Vladimir Yavashev. To shatter the illusion that these ships hide great treasures, you would ignore the things you come across there like something you found lying near a garbage can. The biggest trophy that can be discovered is the “heart of the ship” – the bell, as well as the plaque with the serial number, affixed during the construction of the vessel. “When I collect a few more valuable exhibits I will make one of my dreams come true – I will arrange a permanent exhibition in the archaeological museum in Sozopol.”

Besides with the ships and fish, the sea draws him also with the lack of the last generation mobile phones.


About photography

There are thousands of photos from the places he has been. He believes that photos are the quickest and most accurate way of expressing your point of view. According to Michael, today’s technology favours even those who are not particularly well versed in this field. “Soon everybody will be able to take photos like a pro.” This does not particularly worry him because he does not consider himself a competitive person.


About art

As a graduate in the history of art, Michael is convinced that it cannot be explained, it speaks for itself. What makes a fine painting is whether you want to have it hanging in your bedroom or not.


About music

“I lament the discarded vinyl records in the attic, replaced by the aggressive CDs which are waiting their turn to fall into oblivion. The most precious record in his collection is that of the Focus jazz quartet with Simeon Shterev and Milcho Leviev from the late 1960s. Now Michael listens to music mainly on his iPod. He is often asked what nitwit is responsible for the compilation because it contains absolutely everything – from Russian romances to hip-hop. The compilation was made by him.


About success

As his greatest success Michael Zaimov considers his earned right to free time. How he does it? “By grading priorities and delegating rights and responsibilities.”


About foreign languages

He speaks several languages. He likes to joke that this is the only way to read the classics in the original. Then he admits that it is the surest way of remaining invisible abroad. Because he likes to observe, without being watched. He agrees with the old adage that the easiest way to learn a language is in bed.


About cooking

He is a genuine wizard in the kitchen. Perhaps because he knows that the love for himself goes through the stomach. Or perhaps he is simply fond of his stomach. I improvise, measure doses and read cookbooks.” His favourite place in a restaurant is the kitchen. He stays there until the chef with the big knife chases him out. He suffered his biggest culinary failure when he tried to make caramelised asparagus for dessert. His only consolation is the fact that he shares this failure with another great chef  - Uti Buchvarov. And, like a true expert, he is adamant: “I don’t believe that there is aphrodisiac food, I believe there are aphrodisiac thoughts. And regarding them – as Winnie the Pooh says – “the more, the better.”