Saturday, December 31, 2011

Feliz Año Nuevo 2012 From Cozumel!

Feliz Año Nuevo 2012! to all our friends and family. We'll be in downtown San Miguel, Cozumel tonight ringing in the new year. Have a safe New Year's Eve and we hope 2012 brings you much joy, success & happiness!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas in Cozumel - The Gifts Are Underwater!


Palancar Reef is Cozumel’s most famous diving attraction with massive housed-sized coral buttresses. Palancar’s reef structure is comprised of a three and a half mile long stretch of patch reefs, sand channels, impressive drop-offs and towering coral ramparts, the peaks of which rise to within 60 to 100 feet of the surface.  The walls of these monolithic edifices are honeycombed with tunnels, ballroom-sized caverns and passageways.  Look over the edge of Palancar’s abyssal drop-off and you will be gazing at the Undersea Temple of the Mayan Gods, the 3,000 foot ocean trench that separates Cozumel from the Yucatan Peninsula.
 Juvenile Spotted Drum - They're a bitch to photograph!
Nassau Grouper - famed underwater photographer, Stephen Frink, kindly commented on this image: "Outstanding composition, Jett. Makes you want to be there."
 Palancar Reef
 Splendid Toadfsh - they are indigenous to Cozumel and not easy to find.
 Kathryn's photo of Jett at work.
 Kathryn diving Palancar Reef.
 Kathryn diving Palancar Reef.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Eve in Cozumel - Midnight Mass.

Cozumel, Mexico: December 24, 2011: The alter at the beautiful Cathedral of Corpus Christi in San Miguel, Cozumel. I took the family here for Midnight Mass. Though the service was entirely in Spanish, everyone enjoyed the once in a lifetime experience. The church was beautifully decorated and there were children dressed for their Christmas pageant, with little Mary, Joseph and Angels & Shepherds.


Feliz Navidad! - Christmas In Cozumel 2011

As I was taking this picture of my mom and Kathryn on Christmas Eve with one of the local police officers on Cozumel's main street, I was thinking, "Yup, if I had an Uzi submachine gun, I'd hang it over my chest for all the world to see too!"

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One Of Our Images Used For A Puzzle!


Majestic Puzzles, in Kansas City, Missouri, used one of my images for one of their puzzles about this time last year. I only came across this photo of the puzzle while doing a random Google search. Photo was taken while diving with the Wakatobi Dive Resort, Indonesia.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

"Vancouver, My Name Is Prince. Are You Ready For Me?" Apparently, We're NOT!!!

While many in the audience were deliriously excited with what Prince was delivering on stage at Rogers Arena last night, I gotta say he fell well short of our expectations. And, I know, I'm not alone in that opinion given the negative reviews voiced by others during his "Welcome 2 Canada" Tour.

What a disappointing performance from someone of his caliber. I would highly recommend that Prince takes in a Taylor Swift concert as soon as possible to witness a true star who respects and appreciates their fans. Miss Swift puts on a show that WILL BLOW YOU AWAY. Regretfully, last night was my first... and LAST... Prince concert.

Absolute highlight of the evening last night was having a pre-show dinner with Kathryn at the Black & Blue Restaurant on Alberni Street. Great food, wonderful atmosphere, and the prettiest view of all, my darling wife!

Prince, here's what I'm ready for. I'm ready for you to reimburse us $123 Canadian dollars for having to witness the PRETENTIOUS train wreck you were trying to sell at Rogers Arena last night. Dinner with my wife is happily on me.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

BC Association Of Travel Writers - Director At Large.

"Congratulation!" to my wife, Kathryn, who is now serving as Director at Large for the BC Association of Travel Writers.

The BC Association of Travel Writers (BCATW) is a non profit association duly constituted under the British Columbia Societies Act. Presenting a platform for BC-Based travel journalists to network together in the common cause of promoting the profession. As a group, and through travel industry contact, to support members in marketing their work.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Continuous Lighting in Underwater Still Photography.


An excellent article on Continuous Lighting in Underwater Still Photography by fellow underwater photographers, Andy Sallmon and Allison Vitsky, is posted on the DIVE PHOTO GUIDE website. Their story features Light & Motion’s Sola Lights which are awesome!

Broughton Islands Cruising Guide: A New Book By Peter Vassilopoulos.


Peter Vassilopoulos, former publisher of Canada’s DIVER Magazine, has released an updated version of “Broughton Islands Cruising Guide”, one of his popular boating guidebooks. To celebrate its arrival, Peter and his wife, Carla, held an informal book launch/social at their home in Tsawwassen today. 
Peter has long been an avid boater and has authored several Pacific Northwest boating guidebooks. I first met Peter & Carla over two decades ago when they added me to DIVER Magazine’s masthead as a contributing editor. Peter & Carla became good friends who always lent support and encouragement as I learned the craft of writing scuba diving magazine editorial. I was happy to contribute three photos to Peter’s latest book and welcomed the opportunity for Kathryn to finally meet them today.
“Broughton Islands Cruising Guide” is available at many local bookstores and Amazon at: www.amazon.com/Cruising-Broughton-Islands-Desolation-Discovery/dp/0919317464

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Our World Underwater 2012: Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin' town!


Just learned that Kathryn and I have been selected to present three seminars at OUR WORLD UNDERWATER in Chicago in February 2012. We're thrilled as this marks the third time we will be participating in this annual consumer dive show. We're also looking forward to dining out at some Chicago's fine Italian restaurants.

The seminars we're presenting are:
Dive with A Pro Seminars:
Shoot Like an Underwater Pro.
Working with U/W Models:  Tips & Tricks for U/W Models & Photographers.
Dive The World Seminars:
Descent into the Maelstrom – British Columbia’s Nakwakto Rapids.
For more information, go to the OUR WORLD UNDERWATER website:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Northwest Dive News - Published Our Nakwakto Rapids Story in December 2011 Edition.


Dive News Network just published our story, “Life in the Fast Lane - Descent into British Columbia's Nakwakto Rapids” in their December 2011 issue of Northwest Dive News.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over!

 
Winning! Today, I got to fondle Canada’s Grey Cup! The Grey Cup is both the name of the championship of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the name of the trophy awarded to the victorious football team each year since 1909.

Monday, November 21, 2011

UASBC Vancouver Meeting "Sea Explorers": Jett & Kathryn Britnell.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christmas At Hycroft Mansion.

 
November 20, 2011: This morning we attended the “Christmas at Hycroft” traditional holiday event (Nov 17 -20). Located in the uber upper class neighbourhood of Vancouver’s Shaughnessy district, the magnificent Edwardian Hycroft Mansion is a 20,000 square foot, 30 room manor that was built for politician and war hero General Alexander Duncan McRae in the early 1900′s. In it’s heyday, the parties held at Hycroft were legendary, especially the New Year's Eve masquerade balls. The guest book at Hycroft read like a Who's Who of the 20's and 30's; it contained names of visiting royalty, well-known business associates, politicians and the social elite of Vancouver. It was said to be an honour and a delight to be invited to Hycroft. 

Today, the mansion is owned by “University Women's Club of Vancouver” of which my lovely wife happens to be a member. The University Women’s Club holds this annual fundraiser to support its many scholarship and bursary programs and a number of charity and advocacy groups locally, nationally and internationally. The Club is also responsible for maintaining the stewardship of the grounds and buildings of Hycroft – a designated Heritage House.

Evening With the Authors & Artists - Dive Industry Association of BC.

 
Kathryn and I attended the Dive Industry Association of British Columbia’s “Evening With the Authors and Artisans” fundraiser last night. Local diving legend, Neil McDaniel, gave an entertaining presentation on his 2003 Bowie Seamount Expedition. In keeping with the evening’s theme, several authors and artists were signing and selling their crafts. We came away with a few of the silent auction items, so a great evening with friends and local dive industry folks. Congratulations to the event organizers for pulling together this exciting event!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Civil Wars at The Vogue: Two Voices And One Guitar.


November 13, 2011 - Nashville-based country-folk duo “The Civil Wars” (Joy Williams and John Paul White) owned the stage at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver last night. The fact that it was my birthday didn’t matter, Kathryn and I wanted to see this dynamic duo who are on the rising curve to stardom. Touring in support of their latest release "Barton Hollow", the Vogue Theatre provided an intimate setting for Joy & John Paul’s exceptionally haunting vocals, sweet harmonies and exceptional songwriting.
The opening act, “Milo Greene” was a real surprise too! Delightfully entertaining, there was not a bad song in their set. Anyway, if The Civil Wars are performing on any stage in your town, go see them!  They are quite simply, AMAZING!

"With their playful banter and exquisite harmonies,
they create music that is as haunting as a nocturne,
soothing as a lullaby."
-USA Today- 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"The Civil Wars" - The Best Of What's Next!

WOW, going to see “The Civil Wars” perform on Sunday night! I only discovered their music when they appeared on Letterman two weeks ago. Downloaded their CD and have been listening to it in the car. The buzz is they are “The Best of What’s Next”. Purely by accident while searching for a guitar tab of their mesmerizing hit, “Poison & Wine”, I stumbled across their website. Low & behold, it said they’re playing Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre on November 13th, which coincidentally happens to be my birthday. I said to Katie, ”We’re, going!”
Check them out. http://thecivilwars.com/

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Remembrance Day: In Flanders Fields The Poppies Blow.


In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie 

In Flanders fields. 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918) is remembered for what is probably the single best-known and popular poem from World War I, "In Flanders Fields." On May 3, 1915, Canadian physician, McCrae penned his most famous poem after witnessing the death of his friend, 22-year-old Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, the day before. McCrae was a Canadian physician who fought on the Western Front in 1914, but was then transferred to the medical corps and assigned to a hospital in France. He died of pneumonia while on active duty in 1918. McCrae's rank was Major when he composed “In Flanders Fields.”  He was up for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel when he died in January 1918.
 Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae 
As McCrae wrote his poem, Sergeant-Major Cyril Allinson was delivering mail when he noticed McCrae sitting at the back of an ambulance parked near the dressing station beside the Yser Canal, just a few hundred yards north of Ypres, Belgium. Allinson silently watched as McCrae wrote his poem and later recalled, “His face was very tired but calm as he wrote. He looked around from time to time, his eyes straying to Helmer's grave." Within moments, John McCrae had completed his poem to a fallen friend and when he was done, without a word, McCrae took his mail and handed the poem to Allinson.

Allinson was deeply moved. “In Flanders Fields was an exact description of the battle front. McCrae used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene."  A collection of his poetry, “In Flanders Fields and Other Poems), was published after John McCrae’s death in 1918.On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians pause each year in memory of the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives in military service. Lest We Forget, that in Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row. 
  
Canadian soldiers in Flanders fields.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eat, Drink And Be Scary!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kathryn Britnell: British Columbia Association Of Travel Writers Newest Member!

Kathryn's published travel writing has earned her a membership in the BC Association of Travel Writers. I'm sooooo proud of her!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Congratulations, Kathryn Britnell - You're A Nitrox Diver Now!

Kathryn passed her PADI Enriched Air Nitrox (EAN) Speciality Course this week which will now allow her to dive for a longer time at a given depth without an increased risk of decompression sickness.

Nitrox specifically denotes a gas mixture that has a higher percentage of oxygen than normal air (more than 21% oxygen); it is essentially air that has been "enriched" with additional oxygen. While EANx may contain any percentage of oxygen greater than 21%, the most common mixtures for scuba diving are EANx 32 (NOAA Nitrox 1) and EANx 36 (NOAA Nitrox II) which have 32% and 36% oxygen respectively. Special training and certification and required to dive with EANx.

Way to go, baby!

Friday, October 14, 2011

What's Your Name?, Whose Your Daddy? - The Zombies & Strawbs at the River Rock!

October 13, 2011. Went to see The ZOMBIES & STRAWBS tonight at the River Rock Casino Showroom. The ZOMBIES were a British pop group in the 1960s. Following The Beatles in 1964 as part of "The British Invasion" of the USA, they were the second UK group to score an American #1 hit. Their performance was  impressive and their hits, "She’s Not There”, Tell Her No and Time Of The Season” brought everyone to their feet. Tonight's band featured original members Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent. Jim Rodford(founding member of Argent and longtime member of the Kinks on bass). Guitar: Tom Toomey. Drums: Steve Rodford.





The STRAWBS, formerly a 60s folk and medieval band, became one of the better British progressive music groups during the 70s largely with the influence of Dave Cousins (the heart and soul of this group). I saw STRAWBS perform at the Ottawa Civic Centre during their “Bursting at the Seams Tour” when I was a teenager. Ever since then, I've listened to the Bursting at the Seams album regularly. 
We actually got to meet and speak with Dave Cousins, along with the other band members. Very nice blokes! Mr. Cousins is without any doubt one of the most distinctive, brilliant and enduring talents to emerge out of the mid to late 1960s British folk-progressive rock era. He is a rock icon and true poet. I was "absolutely thrilled" to meet him as I have been a fan of his work since I first saw the STRAWBS perform in Ottawa during the early seventies. What an honor! And I'm sure happy my wife was there with a camera.
Here I am after the show with Dave Cousins (leader, singer and most active songwriter of the STRAWBS since 1967).