the Life Aquatic [of the working diver]

the Life Aquatic [of the Working Diver]

Working underwater is just plain hard work – hard on the body, and on the mind. Yet, for centuries, a community has evolved that embraces this work as its own. 

Divers are their own unique breed, with each bringing special skills and expriences into the mix to keep the work moving forward. Day in and day out, their ‘Life Aquatic’ is full of life lessons that are often learned the hard way. Some of the greatest minds in human history have lived this Life Aquatic – from Alexander the Great to Cousteau.

Ocean Opportunity Inc. treats diving itself as a field of study, and embraces the social and cultural challenges that come with this community as its strengths. We work hard to improve the Life Aquatic for all working divers through new technologies, new techniques, and sometimes just simple information exchange to help others learn how to get it done just a little bit easier than the last time.

After all, the work is hard enough, so we may as well be working together.

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Read More about Evolving the Life Aquatic

When the surface is not an option…

What an emotionally exhausting week for all in the dive community, as we, with the rest of the world, awaited the rescue of the 12 boys and their coach from the flooded Thai Tham Luang cave system. First things first – a HUGE applause from the entire world is owed to all of the divers involved, the full rescue team, and of course the Thai SEAL team is owed a debt of tremendous gratitude accepting the sacrifice of one of their own and still moving forward with such a humanitarian act of selflessness. On one hand its unfortunate that it...
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a lesson on the cycle of life and death, to, from, and within the sea

If this image bothers you, well – it shouldn’t. This is the reality of life and death on and beneath the sea. Since the start of May, I’ve averaged about 25 hours per week underwater. That is not my busiest stretch, but certainly a far cry from being a sedentary land-lubber. To do that kind of time, there of course needs to be a purpose or mission, and the time doubles in providing time to find purpose in life while immersed within the world around us. The raw reality of a largely virgin underwater environment lends itself well to finding...
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Bottom feeding, with Mercenaria mercenaria

When the going gets tough, the tough go digging clams – quahogs for we Rhode Islanders that is. The journey of life never ceases to amaze me, and when viewed through that lens, as a journey, it’s amazing what can be taken in stride. Diving as a trade has blessed me with that outlook, and as challenging as swimming across the ebbs and flows can be at times, nature holds true in that the tide, like life itself, is cyclical. I’ve officially been diving professionally for 21 years this spring. Aside from a very short stint bussing tables and cutting...
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Don’t Sweat the Cold | X-Core Thermal Protection Review

I like to think I’ve aged well with diving. There have been some grueling periods where I know I wreaked havoc on myself physically and physiologically during arduous working dives, but in hindsight, I was always smart enough to take the little things into consideration that I had a hunch would help me prolong my ability to stay in the game. That said, I have some clear issues that have resulted from diving, despite playing it safe, and much of this comes from prolonged exposure to cold. The first problem is my hands. In a pseudo-arthritic/carpel-tunnel-esque way, I have ongoing...
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Advantage of the Undersea Vantage Point

It’s always a matter of perspective. One person’s half full glass is half empty for someone else, and so that is our yin and our yang. This push and pull, good and evil, happiness and sadness, positive and negative is what keeps our wheels turning and humanity evolving. The notion that we might achieve some greater balance amidst the imbalance is always an ideal to strive for, but the reality is that we may never get there. On a global scale, this is scary, as our Blue Planet’s life cycles are very, very long – certainly outliving any single one...
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The Gift of Giving, ’cause its a Cause

I struggle with the Christmas holiday, and have struggled for a significant portion of my adult life, and probably spend a solid month of every holiday season deep in thought about the how and why this is. I wouldn’t say its holiday depression per se, but rather a forced very careful, personal, and intimate reflection of the world around us. While I’m openly not deeply religious, I do believe in the fundamental spirit of Christianity and its root belief system in the Christmas holiday. Where things go wrong  for me for starts with “black Friday” and its resulting mayhem. Yes,...
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Chapter 13 | Ascending from the Trenches

I was struck during a brief conversation with a colleague recently when we stumbled upon the topic that my professional track is viewed as a success by outsiders. Being immersed in my own moving and shaking every day, I’ve struggled to view successes versus failures or any broader perception as such, but rather just keep moving forward and attempting to make progress. Certainly, I’ve been beat up pretty good – 4, 5, or even 6 times now with various ventures gone bust for any variety of reasons; some within my control, and others not within my control. Taking that repeated...
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Lurking in the Shadows of September 11

Today will forever be one of those days where every American will reminisce a bit and contemplate where and how we are moving forward. In my case, today the dive supervisor reminded me that this was the 4th anniversary of Lyle passing away. Lyle Smith was the owner of Coastal Diving in Middletown, RI – the guy that gave me a chance to cut my teeth in commercial diving, and who I then worked with for a solid 15 years; or rather learned many life lessons with for 15 years while out there taking the sea head on day after...
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