Tuesday, April 03, 2007 

Look Honey! It's Diver Jack!

My aquarium dive buddy Tim and I were walking back to our cars after "performing" our feeding show at the Seattle Aquarium today. I worked comms and topside support as I had wanged my eye with a strobe cord yesterday (don't ask), nothing serious, but no diving for a couple of days.

Tired and laden with wet gear I suddenly heard a woman in very excited tones say, "Oh look, it's Diver Jack! Honey, it's Diver Jack. May we take your picture?" Huh? Me??? What'd I do??

Diver Jack is my stage name. We now do feeding shows, talking to the audience, taking questions and showing off the wolf eels and animals when we feed them. The wolfies are my pets and will sit on my head to eat squid. We use full-face Aga masks and comms with surface-supplied air. As part of that, we wave to the crowd, talk to kids, and get people involved, so that we can impart a conservation message.

But I never thought I'd have groupies!

My groupie was cute as a bug, pretty in pink, and about 3 years old. Very excited, Mom asked to take my picture with her daughter Gretchen. I taught Gretchen how to make an "ok" sign. She was so excited she could hardly talk. So was I.

They promised to come to other shows, and it seemed we had both made our afternoons.


The DigiDivers Do Keystone!

I had the great pleasure of finally meeting and diving with Jan Kocian, aka "Honza" at his favorite local spot, Keystone Jetty, where one of the ferries comes in on Whidbey island, here in Puget Sound.

Our club dives there on and off as conditions can be tricky, it is very open to the wind and currents can be strong and un-predictable, even at slack. Even so, it is a very popular state park with great facilities, hot showers even. So I was very surprised when we pulled into the parking lot at 10am and found it completely empty on a Saturday morning. Usually it is jammed up with student divers.

Winds were light and off-shore. Overcast, but no rain. The currents were settling down and as we started to get ready, Jan pulled in and we greeted each other, having had long mutual admiration for each other's work on the various boards including We've traded emails on and off, but never quite connected for a dive.

We looked each other's rigs over and got in the water. Of course the first thing that DigiDivers do is to take pictures. Not of marine-life, but of each other!

Swimming out along the jetty, there was a very slight current pushing us out and then once we kicked through it's back-eddy we were completely out of the current at the end of the jetty. It is usually very strong and can even be somewhat dangerous, as it can sweep un-wary divers around to the other side underneath where the ferry comes in. Not fun, and a long walk back.

I've never seen the conditions so nice and Jan said it had been that way all week. The critters weren't too cooperative, but we shot a few fish and nudis.

All-in-all, a great dive and I enjoyed meeting Jan. I've invited he and his family down for a tour at the Seattle Aquarium and i hope to dive with him again soon!

Here's his commemoration of the event:
The DigiDivers

Here's a link to some of Jan's other work and a bit more about him: REEF - Jan's Creations

More photos: Keystone

About Jack

  • Adventurer, diver, sailor, photographer, writer and sometimes graphic designer. Proprietor of Optical Ocean Sales, LLC. Enjoy the blog, check back and please leave comments!
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