Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Who hears the fishes when they cry?" - Henry David Thoreau (1839).

Today on WET PIXEL,, Adam Hanlon posted a link to a story that Australian Geographic has online about the state of the World's oceans.  It's a worthwhile read.

Here's the link to the Australian Geographic story: Australian Geographic State of our Oceans

Friday, April 29, 2011

"Ice Ice Baby" - It's Totally On!

For our upcoming diving editorial assignment Kathryn will be putting her brand spanking new “Whites Fusion Drysuit” through its paces diving in ... ALASKA! “Nautilus Swell”... it won’t be long till we’re there!  Hmmm, I wonder if we can see Russia from there?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Words To Live By.

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self."
~ Ernest Hemingway

Afternoon Tea At Chicago’s Famed Drake Hotel.

Ahhhh… one of life’s guilty pleasures is savoring traditional English afternoon tea with scrumptious finger sandwiches, fruit breads, scones, and French pastries with my beautiful wife & Tea Sommelier-in-waiting, Kathryn.  Hence, during our recent trip to Chicago, the Drake Hotel’s high tea service was on our hit list. Kathryn enjoyed the service so much she proclaimed The Drake was "one of the finest places I have ever dined."

A Chicago landmark, the Italian Renaissance-styled Drake hotel was founded in 1920. If only these hotel walls could speak as Queen Elizabeth enjoyed high tea at The Drake in 1958 and other notable hotel guests include Winston Churchill, Prince Charles, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Hugh Hefner, Frank Sinatra, and the Empress of Japan. Diana, Princess of Wales was a guest here during her only visit to Chicago in 1996, one year before her untimely death.  Baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and Hollywood screen legend, Marilyn Monroe, carved their initials into the wooden bar of the Drake’s Cape Cod Room.
Afternoon Tea takes place daily in The Drake’s traditional “Palm Court” Tea Lobby, and features live harp music performed 365 days a year. There are several seatings per day from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Each seating lasts approximately an hour and a half and reservations are recommended.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Queen Of Gems And The Gem Of Queens - Philippines Pearl Market.

"Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow; he who would search for pearls must dive below."
  John Dryden (1631–1700) All for Love. Prologue. 

Well, there's truly no need to dive to great depths anymore because you can shop till ya drop and find pearls galore at the famed Philippines Pearl Market located at the Greenhills Mall in Manila. Definitely a "must see" when in the Philippines.  If you dare to take your spouse or significant other, be sure to bring a pocketful of pesos.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Seeing Underwater - Custom Prescription Scuba Masks.


For the past six years whenever I have needed a prescription dive mask, I have ordered mine from Rob Hamilton at “Ozbob Custom Face Masks”.
Located in Sydney Australia, with an office in Kuala Lumpur, they have been making custom made Prescription Scuba Masks for over 30 years. Manufacturing time is approximately 2 to 3 weeks Their lenses are made to the highest quality standards and  custom made to suit your Optical Prescription, With over 30 years experience you can have confidence in dealing with people who know what they are doing! If off the shelf lenses are not suitable then custom made is right for you. Best of all, Ozbob will ship anywhere in the world!

I recently ordered my third prescription dive mask from Ozbob and Rob has always provided me with exactly what I needed. No fuss & no bother. I highly recommend Ozbob's products and services.
For more information:

Nothing Says “I Really Don’t Care How I Look Anymore” Like A Pair Of Crocs On Your Feet.

Arguably the ugliest shoes on Earth, Crocs serve as an excellent idiot barometer as you can tell a lot about people who actually are so brazen as to wear them in public. For example, suggest products that other customers have purchased based on the item you're shopping for. Here are the suggestions for Crocs:

A picture is worth a thousand words. Fortunately for me, my gorgeous wife always looks Über sexy wearing her black stiletto pumps!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Red Balloon Florist In Oshawa Ontario Is Amazing!

For those in Ontario who may be in need of the services of a first class florist , Kathryn & I would highly recommend "The Red Balloon Florist!"  Fresh flowers and balloon bouquets delivered daily. Easy online orders and payment methods 24/7! Daily flower and balloon specials.  Satisfaction guaranteed! We're very impressed with the quality of their arrangements and customer service.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

SLS Photography Knows All About Diving In The Philippines!

After many, many, years of successfully organizing and guiding scuba diving photo tours to the Philippines, SLS Photography (Stewart Sy) is now officially endorsed by the Philippine Department of Tourism!
SLS Photography is also an authorized dealer for Aquatica, TLC, ULCS and Ultramax. You can find SLS Photography on Facebook at:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Losing Nemo? - Species and climate change

Climate change is set to be one of the major drivers of species extinctions in the 21st century: approximately 20 to 30 per cent of plant and animal species are likely to be at increasingly high risk as global mean temperatures rise. Clownfish are one of the species they have highlighted.
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.

If you want to learn more, download this fact sheet:  fact_sheet_red_list_clownfish_v2.pdf

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Underwater Modeling 101 - My Wife Is An Ocean Goddess!

I happened to be reviewing some underwater images today from the Philippines. Here are a few pictures I made of Kathryn during her first descents after she was certified as an Open Water PADI Diver. As far as underwater modeling goes, she nailed it!  She is truly a natural and the best novice underwater model I've ever had the pleasure to work with. Of course, there are many glorious fringe benefits for an underwater photo pro when your wife happens to be so talented both above and below the ocean depths. Oh my, did I say that out loud? LMAO!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Instant Karma's Gonna Get You. Gonna Knock You Right On The Head."

John Lennon knew.  Deepak Chopra knows it too.
For those who are not in the know, read this & weep...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sold Out!!! - Tacoma Dive & Travel Expo Film Festival

 Tacoma Trade & Convention Center

It was standing room only last Saturday night at the Tacoma Dive Show’s Saturday Evening Film Festival.  Interestingly, out of five presenters, there was only one film about marine life in Puget Sound with the other presenters showing digital images of the Galapagos, Pavilion Lake’s Mars Project, British Columbia & Fiji.

ANNIE CRAWLEY, an award-winning producer, filmmaker, photographer, author, and inspirational speaker specializing in documenting the underwater realm and a Women Divers Hall of Fame member was the Master of Ceremonies for the Film Festival. Annie rocked on stage and worked tirelessly throughout the day to make the show the absolute best it can be. She also makes what is a very hard task look easy. Apart from all this, she is, above all, a truly nice person.

Browning Pass HideAway Dive Lodge crew.

Annie tweaking her presentation just before show time.

 Annie Crawley & Rick Stratton on stage.

Kathryn and I, as usual, had a blast during the show and it was a distinct pleasure to be presenting on the Saturday evening program in front of fellow Pacific Northwest divers! 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

2011 Tacoma Dive & Travel Expo is next weekend!

This is the fourth year for this fabulous Pacific Northwest dive show and also the fourth year we are presenters. During the Saturday Night Dinner & Film Festival, I will be presenting a digital slide show, "Out of British Columbia - Raptures of the Emerald Sea." 

On Saturday morning at 10AM I will be presenting a seminar, "Working With Underwater Models - Tips & Tricks for Underwater Models and Photographers." So, come to the show and say hello to Kathryn and I.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Le Crocodile Restaurant - Our 3rd Wedding Anniversary Dinner!

 OMG!  Kathryn and I just returned home from out wedding anniversary dinner.  This year we wanted to dine at the best French Restaurant in Greater Vancouver we could find. We chose "Le Crocodile," a classy establishment that blends traditional French cooking with innovative West Coast style.

Having dined at many fine restaurants in Vancouver over the past 37 years, I have to say on this romantic occasion my wife and I enjoyed one of the best dining experiences I have ever enjoyed. Kathryn started the evening by ordering a French Martini while I selected the famed James Bond (circa Casino Royale) Vesper martini. The food that followed was nothing less than divine and the service was impeccable! An expensive evening, but worth every penny. 

We shall return!

French Martini
2 oz Vodka
·   ½ oz Chambord
·   2 ½ oz Pineapple Juice
Back a shaker full of ice and add all ingredients. Shake or stir*. Stain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

The Vesper Martini
·   3 oz Gin
·   1 oz Vodka
·   0.5 oz Lillet Blanc
Shake with ice and strain into a wine glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

“Celebrating Our 3rd Wedding Anniversary!”

April 2, 2011:
"Love is . . . born with the pleasure of looking at each other, it is fed with the necessity of seeing each other, it is concluded with the impossibility of separation!"  - Unknown

Wow, three blissful years of holy matrimony!  Seems like it was only yesterday.  Kathryn, you have made my life rich beyond belief. You are the polar opposite of someone who would cheat, steal, defraud or tell lies to others, let alone their own family. Only one who has never felt true love can move on in life saying “There are plenty of other fish in the sea.”  Well, you are figuratively, "the catch of the day" and happen to be the only woman I have ever known with whom I could not imagine living this life without. Indeed, what would life be without you by my side? There are truly no words that can describe what you mean to me, our family and friends. I am living out my dreams with you and savoring every moment... and the moments yet to come. You are, and shall always be, my one true love!

While it has been said that a man has many flowers in his life, there is but only one rose. And you, my darling Kathryn, are a dozen white roses with an expensive bottle of pink champagne!

I Love You & Happy Anniversary!