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Amazing Women in Diving: Diana Paboojian

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Diana Paboojian

Diana and I met on a dive trip exploring the Socorro Islands (very far south of the Baja) on the Solmar V. She caught my interest early…her camera equipment was obviously “serious”, and her husband, Shannon, was the videographer. I enjoyed viewing her images during the trip as most of us hung out in the dining area categorizing our photography. Her images were, and are, light years ahead of mine. I learned quite a lot from watching her.

Like my family of four, she and her family are all divers, and enjoy dive trips together. Her two sons are now in college, and she and her husband raise quarter horses and are organic Alfalfa/Grass feed farmers who live in the northern part of the Central Valley of California. I’m trying to imagine something better….horses, diving, animals, traveling. Throw a dozen dogs and cats in the mix and that’s pretty close to heaven for me!

Diana Paboojian

A natural in the water, Diana didn’t get certified until her younger son sought dive certification. I would have guessed during the trip to the Socorros that she had been diving far longer than 6 years or so. Photography is tough to do underwater…one needs to be a damned good diver before you add a camera into the mix!

When I asked how she became interested in photography, she told me, “I have been always been interested in photography.  I loved taking my own pictures for my horse business and I am also an excellent sports photographer.  As for under the water, once I mastered my buoyancy, it was a natural progression to take a camera with me.  I started with a point and shoot, then upgraded to a micro 4/3’s camera, and now I shoot with a DSLR.  I have taken many pictures and have had a few great teachers to get me where I am now.”

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I also asked her about her photographic experiences, and which was the most exciting (I know that is a very hard question to answer). She replied, “I have had so many exciting adventures out of the water and in. Gorillas in Rwanda, Lions in Botswana, Leopards in Tanzania, Bull Sharks in Fiji, Mantas and Dolphins in Socorro, Whalesharks in Mexico!  When we were on a safari with Derrick Joubert in Botswana, we were watching two painted dogs sleep.  A herd of elephants with babies walked by.  After the elephants disappeared in the distance, the two painted dogs stood up stretched and started mating.  I took a few pictures, but then just sat and watched.  Derrick was filming the whole time so we stayed as quiet as we could. Every experience has been exciting but the most important advice is to make sure you put your camera down every once in awhile to truly enjoy the experience!”

Diana Paboojian

Diana doesn’t call herself a conservationist or activist, but an educator. She says, “People just do not know what is really happening in our oceans or in Africa.  I want to use my photography and knowledge to educate them to be more caring.  To make a difference.  I always say you can’t un-know what you know so all I can do is get the information out there.  Then we can only hope that the human race can evolve enough to save the world.”

Diana Paboojian

Her photos are amazing, and they make one care about the creatures she photographs. From sea horses no bigger than your pinky finger to gorillas in Africa, the photos keep you interested, and curious about the animal itself.  You can find Diana’s work on Zenfolio, and the link is www.dianapaboojianphotography.zenfolio.com. If you are looking for fantastic wildlife photographs, you won’t have to look any further than Diana’s photos. Her Macro underwater photography is particularly engaging. She captures the tiniest sea creatures in incredibly detailed shots.

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So, what is next for this traveling, empty nest, shutterbug? “Heading back to Indonesia in July.  We will be going to Villa Markisa in Tulumben, Bali to get a little muck diving!  We will then head to Komodo on the Liveaboard Damai.  We will finish off with Cenderawasih Bay to see the Whalesharks!”

There is never a dull moment in Diana’s life… she embraces all experiences. Her son is studying Marine Biology so who knows where that will send her family? I can’t wait to find out…and maybe go along!

I always enjoy following Diana’s travels around the globe, and hope to meet up with her again on a liveaboard somewhere…or a dive resort. Or a safari. She is an inspiring figure, and a great role model for women of all ages. And I love her photography!

For more from Tam, visit www.travelswithtam.com.

Tam Warner Minton is an avid scuba diver, amateur underwater photographer, and adventurer. She encourages "citizen science" diving, whether volunteering with a group or by one's self. For Tam, the unexpected is usually the norm!

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Get moving with the new RAID DPV training programs

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The thrill of speeding through the water behind a diver propulsion vehicle (DPV) is an experience that really gets the blood racing. Using a DPV provides divers both immense fun and the means to achieve goals that would be impossible without their use.

RAID is proud to announce the new two-tier DPV training program with certifications for DPV and Advanced DPV.

Why DPV and why now?
Recreational and technical divers are using DPVs to access sites that would be difficult to reach and explore using traditional propulsion methods; to help propel large amounts of heavy equipment; to increase the safety of dives in areas of strong current; or just for the pure exhilaration of shooting through the water at speed and performing underwater acrobatics.

By extending your capabilities and extending your range, using a DPV opens new vistas for exploration and fun.

DPV
This certification option is aimed at the recreational diver who wishes to learn how to use a DPV to enhance their diving by using mainly natural navigation.

Advanced DPV
This certification option is available to anyone who is familiar with longhose configuration, has logged a minimum of 20 dives and is certified as Navigation specialty divers.

This certification option is aimed at the slightly more experienced diver with preexisting navigational training and diving on a single, twin or sidemount setup with a longhose. Although this level is slightly more challenging, the more advanced navigation exercises provide an important base for more complex types of DPV diving within a team.

PREREQUISITES
You must:

  • Be a minimum of 12 years old.
  • Be certified as RAID Open Water 20, Junior Open Water or equivalent.

Just visit www.diveRAID.com to put some extra dash into your dives.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Beers raise cash for ocean clean-up

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The Driftwood Spars Brewery, a pioneering microbrewery based on the North Cornwall coast, is donating a percentage of all profits from its Cove range of beers to Fathoms Free, a certified charity which actively cleans the ocean around the Cornish peninsula.

Each purchase of the small-batch, craft beers – there are four different canned beers in the Cove range – will help generate funds to purchase a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and fund retrieval dives; every brew will raise the equivalent cost of a fully-funded dive. 

Fathoms Free is a Cornwall-based charity whose day-to-day mission involves dives from their fast-response specialist vessel to recover ghost fishing gear; abandoned nets, pots, angling equipment and other plastic causes severe damage to the marine environment and the death of countless seabirds, seals, dolphins and other sea life.

The campaign to raise funds for an ROV is a new initiative which will take the clean-up work to a new level; the highly manoeuvrable underwater vehicle will be used to scour the seabed, harbours and remote parts of the coastline for abandoned fishing gear and other marine litter.

Project Manager Natallia Paliakova from Fathoms Free said: “Apart from helping us locate ghost gear underwater, the ROV will also be capable of recording underwater video which is always great for raising awareness about marine pollution issues.”

She added: “We are really excited to be partnering with The Driftwood Spars Brewery and appreciate the proactive support of Mike and his team in bringing the purchase of an ROV a step closer to reality.”

Head Brewer Mike Mason personally approached the charity after their work was featured on the BBC 2 documentary, ‘Cornwall with Simon Reeve’.    

He said: “As a keen surfer I am only too aware of the problem of marine litter and had heard about Fathoms Free, but seeing them in action prompted me to find a way of contributing. The scale of the challenge is scary, but the determination of organisations like Fathoms Free is inspiring.”

Photo by Beagle Media Ltd

Photo by Beagle Media Ltd

The Driftwood Spars Brewery was founded in 2000 in Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes; the microbrewery is just a few steps away from it’s co-joined brewpub, The Driftwood Spars; both pub and brewery are well-regarded far beyond the Cornish cove they call home. 

You can hear the waves and taste the salt on the air from the door of both brewery and pub, and the rough seas along the rugged North coast often throw up discarded nets and other detritus; Louise Treseder, Landlady of The Driftwood Spars and a keen sea swimmer, often collects washed up ghost gear on her daily beach excursions.     

Louise commented: “This is a great partnership to support a cause close to our hearts – I know the money we raise will have a positive and lasting impact. The Cove range was inspired by our unique surroundings and the artwork – by local artist Jago Silver – reflects that. Now donations from each purchase will contribute towards the vital ocean clean-up taking place right on our doorstep.”

The Cove range can currently be purchased online here, and is available in good independent bottle shops in Cornwall.

To find out more about Fathoms Free visit their website here.

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This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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