Blog | a New Life in the Sea

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Since 2008, this Blog has been a communications priority providing shorts, op-eds, and bramblings that communicate our evolution to ‘a new life in the sea’.

Browse recent posts to the right or navigate through our major themes below.

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Primary Themes from our Blog

a case for oxygen-only rebreathers in our past, present, and future

Some legs of the journey are predictable, and others just aren’t. I first got the deep diving bug almost 20 years ago, and at that time (circa start of the 21st century) deep diving for the masses meant suffering through nitrogen narcosis, and severely limited bottom times given only open-circuit tech being in the mainstream. For the fortunate few who were ahead of the game, helium was accessible, though far from commonplace. Even further from the day to day was the use of mixed-gas rebreathers. Sure, there were a few early adopters, and those more elite individuals and groups just starting to push the limits of this technology, but they were far from commonplace. At that time, those very few out there doing exploration with rebreathers were able to very easily generate a public appeal for the technology given their solving the two aforementioned issues with deep diving – narcosis...
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10Bar mask with flip frame | a review

Living through years and perhaps decades of stagnation in any real innovation coming out of the underwater world, what’s become increasingly clear is that progress may best be made with the little things – after all, the devil’s in the details and it’s those details that we are all striving to perfect to improve our interaction with and within the sea. I’m one to make an incremental change or adjustment on every dive – be it as an experiment, or an evolution towards an improved configuration or tool set. When many of us make these types of incremental changes in parallel, it can be difficult to arrive at anything standardized and the result is overwhelming confusion with mixed bags of parts and pieces. This is true of accessory items, right on up through full life support systems. Like does tend to find like however, and so I was fortunate to...
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Narwhals – saved through pop-culture conservation

Rewind 30-40 years and we hardly recognized that a narwhal was a real animal. Sure, it may have surfaced in a random kids book about whales, but it was hardly dinner table conversation. My how things have changed…in that short amount of time, the narwhal has emerged as a pop-culture icon, and the species owes a great many thanks to our good friend, Buddy the Elf. Narwhals live in the arctic, largely out of site from the masses, but maintain a threatened status primarily due to human activity.  In 2003, the narwhal’s fate changed entirely given its newly emerged significance with Mr. Narwhal’s appearance in the movie ‘Elf’. This goofy randomness, in true Will Ferrell form, put a spotlight on the narwhal which is now unquestionably among the most well-recognized arctic species, and particularly now during the holiday season – a critter right up there in daily discussions with unicorns,...
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Creatures of Light | a Review

When you’re living it, it’s hard to embrace or even recognize how much staying power any given theme or related product will have, particularly when it’s your job to consistently produce – always on the go, and always on to the next. A few things seem come up routinely in discussion – the deep sea, sharks, taking photos, and so on. Recently, I’ve noticed the topic of bioluminescence and biofluorescence or ‘Creatures of Light’ come up in rather casual conversation and it’s pretty exciting to see that this may have some staying power in the ocean conversation. That’s thanks to a few decades of interesting scientific discoveries being made, some tools developed for amateur light seeking enthusiasts, and a recent media push which includes the PBS NOVA film, Creatures of Light. My first exposure to the world of underwater fluorescence was while working with Dr. Charlie Mazel, the founder of...
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How Dare You…?

Like it or not, the little girl has a good point. Greta Thunberg’s recent United Nations address was strong, clear, and consistent. Some elder folk are probably hearing her soapbox speech and the response is an ‘aww isn’t she cute’, and that’s exactly what’s wrong – ‘how dare you’ is exactly right. It’s easy to take life as a ticket to ride out three quarter of a century or so until whatever comes next and dismiss the unbalance here on Earth as someone’s else’s problem. The fact is that ALL of it IS our problem. A sustainable humanity should be our purpose – that means to leave this place just a little bit better for the next. So, what are the problems? I’m not going to harp on climate change per se so as to avoid highly opinionated rebuttals. An undeniable truth however is that humans are part of our...
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#filltheboot for Muscular Dystrophy

Today was our local fire department’s ‘Fill the Boot’ day to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research, awareness, and community support. As I dropped in my handful of cruddy change from the cup holder in my truck I couldn’t help but reflect back on our work with Matt Johnston and his Diving a Dream project to help realize his dream of becoming the world’s first ventilator dependent diver. At the time of Matt’s journey kicking off – about 15 years ago – his dreams of overcoming the challenges of Muscular Dystrophy to submerge underwater were all pie in the sky stuff…to say it was a ‘dream’ is an understatement. But he did it… And today, 15 years since kick-off, his achievements still stand alone. That speaks to just how pioneering the project was, and is, and should tell us all that there is so much more for us all to...
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who’s in the dive team?

I’ve had to switch gears in between diving modes quite a bit as of late, so am re-hashing this post (originally from 2013) to keep some fresh perspective out there on the subject of dive team composition… The overwhelming majority of dives I have made have been alone  – or at least I’m alone in the water. I first started solo diving at age 16, very soon after first learning to dive, and out of necessity as I was quickly cast into a summer job cleaning boats, recovering lost items, changing chains, and so on. These light commercial activities don’t warrant a major OSHA compliant diving operation – though of course we wharf rats are working completely under the radar. This is cash and carry, no standards of practice, insurance, risk managers, and so on. Needless to say, just a small handful of hairy situations were cause for learning very...
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In Oceans Deep | a review

Bill Streever’s “In Oceans Deep” hits the nail on the head, referencing from the very beginning that the book tackles “humanity’s presence beneath the waves”, and later concluding that “…a key role remains for manned expeditions…inspiration”. Embodied within those two sentiments is a chronicle of several pivotal moments in human intervention’s history and across various modes of diving – free-diving, manned submersibles, saturation diving, undersea habitation, atmospheric suits, and robotics as human proxies. Albeit unfortunate, the aquatic world is not full to the brim with writers, particularly those who can convey elements of historical fact through storytelling that is interwoven with personal experience. All too often, diving related books recount an experience, expedition, or some harrowing event – while certainly entertaining, they often miss the broader context that is needed for the non-diver to fully appreciate the material. Streever’s background in commercial diving and marine science helps seamlessly weave together...
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Happy Birthday Blog to Me

For those following my various blogs and bramblings, yes, I am still very much on a Blog hiatus, though felt compelled to make a few short key strokes today…seeing as it’s my birthday and I do love to write, I may as well write. As many of my days go, it was spent on on and underwater, grinding it out to make a decent living and with the very fortunate perspective of experiencing our planet in a unique way for the bulk of the day. The day started with me jumping in my boat and seeing a very shiny object in the water with what appeared to be long tentacles – a closer look revealed that it was not a rogue tropical jellyfish here in New England…it was a Mylar balloon. Seeing as this fooled me from 20 feet away, it was very obvious how these things can fool animals...
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New Book : Closed Circuit, Open Sourced

During my recent Blogging hiatus, I shifted my time allocated towards writing to bottom out a long overdue book project., and am pleased to share here that ‘Closed Circuit | Open Sourced’  is now published and available on I’ve been diving closed circuit rebreathers for almost 20 years, having realized the strong potential for the technology to open new doors for humans operating beneath the sea. I’ve been somewhat fortunate to be what they call ‘an early adopter’, having moved toward their use at the start of the 21st century during a time when the technology was still considered taboo, at least for the masses. A lot has changed, both for the better, and perhaps for the worse. On the positive side, we’re starting to see more widespread use and through that, have a better handle on how to mitigate liability, quality control/quality assurance issues, and refine techniques. On...
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