Scuba Diving

Episode 125: Dr Enric Sala

Dr Enric Sala -- National Geographic explorer, scientist, ocean protector, author

** Interview episode 125 **

Dr Enric Sala grew up in Spain along Costa Brava where at a young age he found passion for the undersea world by watching Jacques Cousteau’s Undersea World television series (like so many of us did). Pursuing a life of research and conservation to help protect all of the oceans Dr Sala came to the US and spent years as a tenured professor and researcher with Scripps Institute. We hear the story of his epiphany that his research felt more like writing an obituary of the sea rather than inspiring protection.

This took Dr Sala to creating the Pristine Seas Project with National Geographic that for the past 12 years has taken him around the world documenting over 30 remote and untouched areas of marine life with the goal to inspire decision makers in all countries to take strong action to protect their waters. He shares stories of still unspoiled areas of the ocean and stories of areas like the Galapagos struggling to heal themselves from human impacts such as overfishing. Through them all, Dr Sala has used his stories to write an amazing new book, The Nature of Nature, that helps all of us understand the importance of biodiversity and how the health of our planet is fundamental to human health, wellbeing, economic prosperity, and so much more. I really love the final chapter tying COVID pandemic to our general disconnect from the natural world.

So definitely go check out the Pristine Seas Project and Dr Sala’s book, The Nature of Nature, for a dose of inspiration that we together can help our oceans truly return to the clean, healthy, and vibrant places that we all dream about.

This Ocean Life Podcast Enric Sala

Episode 116: Francesca Trotman

Francesca Trotman -- protecting waters and wildlife of Mozambique, alternatives to shark finning

** Interview episode 116 **

Francesca Trotman has dedicated her life to preserving the marine life of Mozambique. As a British scholar and marine biologist, Francesca formed a deep connection to the ocean animals in this part of Africa during her university field work and has since planted roots in the country, working with local governments and communities on a number of fronts to help preserve their ocean waters. From setting up marine protected areas to engaging on numerous scientific studies, educating local school children and more, Francesca’s non-profit foundation, Love The Oceans, is her legacy for protecting the ocean in that area of the African continent. Today, we hear her story, filled with inspiration, compassion, and dedication to doing something great for the ocean and another culture outside of her own. 

What I love so much about Francesca’a story today is her dedication to helping an emerging country, Mozambique, figure out how to best preserve and protect their wonderfual ocean waters and the animals that live in them. While these waters may be thousands of miles away from most of us, the whales, sharks, mantas, and dolphins know no boundaries and need all the support and protection that we can give them.
 

 

Imagine donating a mere $10 to Love The Oceans today and feeling good about helping to protect these species we’re hearing about in Mozambique, giving them a better chance to thrive in the waters around a developing continent and greatly increasing the chance that our own grandchildren will be able to swim with them in the future. Visit LoveTheOceans.org and see the various ways you can contribute. With Earth Day 2020 happening this week, it makes good sense to to get involved… And check out Francesca’s photography available for purchase on her website https://francescatrotman.co.uk/
This Ocean Life Podcast Francesca Trotman

Stoked Grom Stories: Cooper Sisters

Stoked Grom Stories: Cooper Sisters -- sailing South Pacific, surfing, diving, life afloat

** Stoked Grom Stories Episode 7 **

Growing up in my hometown of Santa Cruz, CA, The Cooper Sisters, 9 year old Isla and 12 year old Malia, left it all behind with their parents for life at sea. Since January 2019, the entire family has been living in the South Pacific aboard sailing vessel Renegade where the girls have transformed personally, spiritually, and athletically.

With daily life of surfing, diving, fishing, and sailing both Malia and Isla have chosen unique paths in the ocean, developing strength and confidence extremely unique for their age — from surfing hollow waves to diving with sharks. With frequent visits to the outer Fijian Islands, the girls have developed strong understanding and respect for the customs of tribal culture and have made friends with villagers, attended local school, and developed their own strong sense of self-confidence.

 

To see more about the Cooper Family, visit their website at http://www.sailingwithrenegade.com/. You can also find fun stuff on the ThisOceanLife.TV websiteInstagram, and Facebook, and Twitter. Host: Josh Pederson, @surfpaddletailgate  

Episode 109: Guy Harvey

Guy Harvey -- blending art and science of the ocean, spokesman of marine life

** Interview episode 109 **

Raised in the waters of Jamaica, educated in England, from his earliest days Guy Harvey has had a strong connection to the ocean that has manifested into a lifelong career of art, science, and business.  With a doctorate in marine biology and incredible natural gift for drawing and painting, Guy has pursued his passion for the ocean and the pelagic fish and sharks that make it home to build one of the first apparel brands focused on the ocean. Decades later, Guy has grown his brand into a thriving, sustainable company that funds ocean research projects that deliver new insights into highly migratory animals and raises awareness of their strong value to ecotourism. Stories, perspectives, inspiration — we hear it all today with Guy Harvey. Enjoy.

Listening to a podcast like this with stories from the ocean can help keep us energized and inspired to do great things in the ocean. So can wearing some good looking gear with your favorite underwater scenes and animals from the ocean — especially when it’s sustainably made and directly benefits research and protection. Guy Harvey’s brand is just that — it looks great and does good for the ocean. So check out his art and apparel at guyharvey.com where you can also learn more about his ocean foundation and all of the science we’re getting into today.
This Ocean Life Podcast Guy Harvey

Episode 100: John Kowitz

John Kowitz -- underwater photography, world travel, ocean conservation

John Kowitz left the cold, fresh waters of Michigan to find his calling in warm, tropical waters around the world. As an underwater photographer John has captured stunning shots of people, animals, and scenes in places like Hawaii, Bahamas, Costa Rica, and more. While developing his strength as a free diver, John has developed a deep respect for ocean conservation and along with stories of swimming with hammerheads, mantas, and pilot whales, shares his perspective on protecting our oceans and the animals we all love. If you can, take a look at John’s photography on Instagram @j.kowitz while you listen to his stories — his work is epic.
 
If you hate using the plastic bags at grocery stores for your produce, hit Google for ‘washable produce bags’ and pick up a set of the reusables. It makes a ton of sense.
 
Thanks for sharing John’s ocean life with us. Be sure to check him out on Instagram and dive into his photography website
 
Additional parts of our conversation:

 

  • Splitting time between career as a travel nurse and photography
  • Grew up in Michigan
  • Evolution of photography and camera gear
  • Guiding spearfishing trips on Maui with Maui Spearfishing Academy and Bobby Twitchell (past guest)
  • Guiding whale and shark freediving tours on the Kona coast
  • Animals — pilot whales, ocean white tips, hammerhead sharks, mantas
  • intricacies of diving and photographing hammerhaed and pilot whales
  • Cocos Island trip with SharkWatch
  • Observing Hammerhead Shark cleaning station where small reef fish pick parasites off of the sharks
  • Working and training with world-class athletes and special forces at XPT with Laird Hamilton
This Ocean Life Podcast John Kowitz

Episode 98: Greg Lewandowski

Greg Lewandowski -- boat captain, scuba instructor, freediver, fisherman, photographer

Born in Poland and raised in the cold ocean waters of Maine, Greg Lewandowski began scuba diving at age 9, running boats, and developing a strong love for being in the ocean at a young age. Today he takes us through his stories of living and working across the Caribbean, running scuba diving charters, fishing, and freediving on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, his artistic approach to photography, and memorable moments with whales, sharks, manta rays, monk seals, and much more. You can find Greg on Instagram by his handle @seafeverh2o. And we can all cut way down on our plastic usage to help protect the environment and some of our favorite ocean animals we hear about today.

More highlights of our conversation:

  • First experienced tropical water at age 15 in Honduras setting him on a path of travel throughout the Caribbean serving as scuba divemaster and instructor before landing on the south shore of Kauai where Greg lives today.
  • Shares perspective on the spirit of Kauai and the ability for the island to either accept or reject people who move there.
  • Greg talks about running scuba tours for Fathom Five Divers, the amazing diving in the water around Niihau and the animals found there.
  • Most memorable experience underwater floating eye-to-eye with a juvenile hump back whale in the Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Spending time in the water with Hawaiian Monk Seal, local sharks, mantas, spinner dolphins
  • Operating tour boats in the unpredictable waters of Kauai
  • Fishing for the pelagic game fish in the Hawaiian waters — tunas, ono
  • Artistry that goes into making lures from scratch
  • Photography, favorite photo of a model on the beach just before a wave breaks around her
  • Evolution of freediving as another way to interact in the ocean
  • The abstract nature of bodybuilding relative to diving and being in the ocean (hint, wetsuits don’t fit so well but you need less weight to dive 🙂

Thanks for sharing Greg’s ocean life with us. Be sure to check him out on Instagram .

This Ocean Life Podcast Greg Lewandowski

Episode 96: Hayley-Jo Carr

Hayley-Jo Carr -- scuba diving, coral restoration, Bahamas

In episode 96 I spend time with Hayley-Jo Carr, a woman dedicated to marine conservation in the Bahamas. Hayley-Jo takes us through her youth on the coast of England to finding her passion for scuba diving and undersea life on vacation in the Whitsunday Islands of Australia.

We hear of Hayley-Jo’s pursuit of her passion for diving and marine conservation over the years leading to the Bahamas where today she focuses on coral restoration. Hayley-Jo talks about her role as PADI Course Director, training the local dive shops to teach their scuba students how to contribute to coral restoration, and her role as coordinator of the Reef Rescue Network, working with NGOs and planning dive operations to expand the network of coral reef nurseries.

Hayley-Jo provides great perspective on these coral nurseries, the importance of volunteer science and restoration efforts to support them, the health of the Bahamas shark populations, her love of underwater fashion modeling, impacts of the recent Hurricane Dorian, and more. 

 

Thanks for sharing Hayley-Jo’s ocean life with us. Be sure to check her out on Instagram and dive into the Reef Rescue Network.

This Ocean Life Podcast Hayley-Jo Carr

Episode 81: Patrick Webster

Patrick Webster -- underwater photography, conservation through story telling

In episode 81 we speak with Patrick Webster, an incredible underwater photographer with an artistic flair for capturing ocean scenes within the Monterey Bay and beyond. Patrick takes us through his transition from underwater video to photography and the community of local photographers he has around him in the Monterey area. We hear how Patrick’s background with the UC Santa Cruz Marine Science program has influenced his photography and his focus on telling stories of the scenes and animals he photographs to inspire others. Patrick shares his perspective on developing social media content for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a world leader in ocean education and conservation, and the importance of relating the ocean world to the everyday lives of people to help them understand and connect. We also hear about the amazing success story of Cabo Pulmo, a marine protected area near Cabo San Lucas, where Patrick has spent time photographing the amazing ocean life there.

Thanks for sharing Patrick’s ocean life with us. Be sure to check out photos and videos of Patrick on Instagram.

This Ocean Life Patrick Webster

Episode 77: Mellisa Altenburger

Mellisa Altenburger - living afloat in Bahamas, free diving, scuba, ocean protection

In episode 77 we hear stories from Mellisa Altenburger, a woman of the water who has spent the last 6 years in the Bahamas. Mel takes us through her journey from South Africa to the Bahamas where she crews on a 100-ft cruising yacht and found her passion for being underwater. We hear of Mel’s evolution with scuba and free diving, the wealth of wrecks and animals she regularly experiences in the Bahamas, and her amazing (and heart wrenching) story of working to save a green turtle who swallowed a fishing hook. Mel takes us through her strong passion for ocean conservation with trash cleanups, her work to capture the beauty of the Bahamian waters through underwater photography, and gives a great perspective on her love for the ocean — something we can all identify with.

Thanks for sharing Mel’s ocean life with us. Be sure to check out her amazing photos and videos on Instagram. Photo credit: Pia Oyarzun.

This Ocean Life Podcast Mellisa Altenburger

Episode 74: Ryan Levinson – Pt 2

Ryan Levinson Part 2 - muscular dystrophy at sea, living afloat in French Polynesia, rediscovering the bodyboard

In Episode 74 we check back in Ryan Levinson, a hard charging man of the water living with Muscular Dystrophy in the waters of French Polynesia. Ryan recaps the past 6 months living on a sail catamaran in Tahitian waters with wife Nicole. We hear of them making the move to their new catamaran after being passed by that boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean en route from Mexico and the learning curve to life on a new, larger boat. Ryan shares the day to day routine of life in the Tahitian Islands, scuba diving, kite boarding, sailing, and the relationships they’ve made with other cruisers. Ryan shares perspective on riding waves with the bodyboard in the heavy Tahitian surf as his continued loss of muscle makes it more and more challenging to ride waves. We hear about a perfect paradise island that he and Nicole have found with incredible surf and amazing local people (which Ryan is keeping secret — I’m going to get it out of him :)).

Thanks for sharing Ryan’s ocean life with us. You can find pictures and video of Ryan and Nicole on their Facebook page, Instagram page and epic YouTube Channel, Two Afloat.

Please also check out the adaptive sports organizations that Ryan works with:

https://www.challengedathletes.org

https://stokeforlife.org/

This Ocean Life Podcast Ryan Levinson