Ocean Rockstars | Underwater Inspirations
When we started Deep Trekker Inc. in 2010, I knew that I would learn a great deal about a wide variety of topics in business, infrastructure, and my customers’ industries. What I didn’t anticipate was the vast amount of inspirational people who would come into my circle of consciousness as articles passed through my daily reading about the underwater world. Below are some of the coolest people involved in underwater work that I’ve gotten to learn a bit about, and would like to some day buy a beer.
Captain Paul Watson
A fellow Canadian, born in Toronto, Canada, Captain Watson has for over 35 years fought ruthlessly, aggressively, and without tire for the rights and protection of marine wildlife through his organization, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The society is a continuation in a life of activism that saw Watson co-found Greenpeace in the early 70’s. Over his life he has endured seemingly insurmountable odds, including fierce opposition, seizure of assets and vessels, imprisonment, torture, and so much more. Read (some of) the story here: http://www.seashepherd.org/who-we-are/our-history.html
Ok so this one is a bit of a fib, because I have had the chance to meet Don, but it was brief. We did not, however, have a beer together. Don is one of the original sub-sea visionaries. Co-founder (with his Son, Jesse) of Seabotix, world renowned experts in subsea Remotely Operated Vehicles, Don began his career with at least one foot (more often more than that!) in the water. Enthralled as a young man with the wonders of the deep, Don began manufacturing some of his own SCUBA equipment while in ship in the Navy. In his Navy diving career, Don amassed some impressive skills and feats, including setting the world deep-dive record at 1010 feet, and becoming the first dive team to penetrate the Andria Doria wreck. After many inventions and developments in diving, Don got involved with Hydrovision, where he was involved with the Hyball, the first production built ROV. In 1999, Seabotix was born in Don’s garage, and today there are over 1000 units around the world.
No brainer, right? The man is a legend in filmmaking, and now a legend in subsea exploration. The mass appeal of Cameron’s exploits and subsequent movies is bringing to light, literally, a world never before seen by humans. Forget the work on the Titanic (and those are big words from a shipwreck junky like me), the man got in a submarine and went 7 MILES to under the sea. All the CGI in the world cannot match true experience, and Mr. Cameron proves it. On his on third movie, The Abyss: “I’ve been to the real abyss, and it’s much cooler than what we saw in that film” No doubt…
At 19, Boyan has shown more focus, drive and ingenuity than most of us will in our entire lives. Founder of the OceanCleanup, Mr. Slat has invented an ocean based array that studies show could remove at least half the floating plastics in our oceans in only 10 years. While still in secondary school, he decided to dedicate half a year of research to understand plastic pollution and the problems associated with cleaning it up. This ultimately led to the passive cleanup concept, which he presented at a TEDx conference in 2012. As I travel the world with Deep Trekker, one constant, no matter which body of water I am exploring, is plastic trash. It is everywhere. And it is affecting us in ways we know, and in ways we can only hypothesize, and hope we are wrong. Read more about this important initiative at The Ocean Cleanup
These are just a small few of the many folks I hope someday to tip pints with. I’ll share more inspirational stories!