Sep 302011
 
The one that got away: Diving with sea lions and seals of Anacapa

A sea lion comes in for a closer look I was SCUBA diving in the bracing waters off of Anacapa in the Channel Islands, receiving a stern lecture via vigorous pantomime.  Words aren’t an option when both parties are submerged 30 feet underwater.  It was clear to me, despite our lack of words, that my […]

Mar 302011
 
The Underwater Gardener: Restoring Staghorn Coral in Key Largo, Florida

If you’ve ever tried tending a garden, you might be able to imagine the complexities of planting and maintaining a nursery located twenty feet under the sea.  I got just a taste of what it takes to be an underwater gardener when I joined a trip, organized by Captain Don Voss of Marine Cleanup Initiative, […]

Mar 042011
 
Penguins I have known: Half Moon Island, Cuverville, and Neko Harbour

Finally, Antarctica proper. Time for penguins! Our first landfall in Antarctica was at Half Moon Island, a crescent-shaped, rocky island with chinstrap penguin colonies and a small Argentinian research station.  (Technically Half Moon Island is part of the South Shetland Islands, not the Antarctic Peninsula, but there was ice and there were penguins, so I’m […]

Oct 272010
 
That Choked Up Feeling

It’s not that I’ve been in a slump, but it’s good to get a little inspirational jolt from time to time.  Last night, I attended a screening at Adventure 16 of 180° South, a film about Jeff Johnson’s Patagonian journey, inspired by the 1968 epic adventure of Patagonia and North Face founders, Yvon Choinard and Doug Tompkins. […]

Aug 072010
 
The Wide View: Diving the Channel Islands with the Olympus E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds Camera

Looking up a five story kelp bed off of San Clemente Island In July, I took advantage of the warmer surface temperatures to schedule two separate diving trips off the coast of southern California.  My objective was to test out my Olympus E-PL1 micro four thirds camera system and my Olympus PT-EP01 underwater housing.  This […]

Apr 252010
 
Camera Review: Olympus E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds Camera with Olympus PT-EP01 Underwater Housing

Earlier this week I received my long-anticipated underwater housing for my Olympus micro four thirds camera (Olympus Pen E-PL1).  It was delivered via express mail by Optical Ocean Sales–the first shop that I could find that had the housing in-stock.  (Jack Connick at Optical Ocean Sales was very helpful during this process.)  I received the […]

Nov 082009
 
Humpback Whales in Tonga (Part II: Singing and Swimming)

The most thrilling experience of our trip to Tonga was the opportunity to swim in the water with the humpback whales.  Surprisingly, in the presence of such large creatures, I didn’t feel scared.  The whales were so graceful and in control and aware of our presence, that I never felt like I might get accidentally […]

Oct 262009
 
Advice for Prospective Whale Swimmers

So if I’ve convinced you to book your next trip to Tonga, congratulations!  It’s surprisingly easy to research and book online, and yes, they will eventually return your emails.  Just give them a few days. Here I’ve put together some advice for prospective swimmers: [Click on title for full story]Every day out on the water […]

Oct 082009
 
Swimming with Humpback Whales in Tonga (Part I: All About Humpbacks)

Just last week, I returned from a trip to Tonga, an island kingdom located in the Pacific Ocean, about a thousand miles (1,600 km) northeast of New Zealand. Tonga is one of the few places in the world that you are allowed to swim with whales. It was an awe-inspiring experience. These are pictures from […]