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Do something EXTRAORDINARY

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A few years ago, I saw a BBC documentary that prompted a life reinvention. The documentary was about two marine biologists living in Tofo, Mozambique, studying Manta Rays and Whale Sharks.  I was captivated by the Mantas… I had never seen one while diving or snorkeling before, only through binoculars on the surface of the water.  Having already had some experience with Whale Sharks, I was also extremely interested in their ecology.  The scientists, Dr. Andrea Marshall (aka Queen of Mantas) and Dr. Simon Pierce, were studying these species which at that time were so abundant in Mozambique waters (Sadly, the populations are now significantly impacted by unsustainable fishing practices). Their organization is Marine Megafauna Foundation (marinemegafauna.org).

I began searching for dive trips where I could do some volunteer work, even to just do fish counts. All Out Africa (www.alloutafrica.com) had a program working with Whale Shark Identifications and fish population counting in Tofo, Mozambique… helping with the whale shark program I had seen on the documentary!  I thought, why can’t I do that?  It was for adults, not a high school or college program or a gap year, but for adults.  My family had a few reasons they did not want me traipsing off to Africa by myself, and I suppose there were some good reasons among them, but I made the decision to go.  I booked my trip.

Tam A

It appears crazy, absolutely nuts, to pick up and head off to Africa for 6 weeks by yourself, to live in an unpopulated area where there are no doctors, and the closest thing to a town, Inhambane, was at least an hour away.  Was there a Decompression chamber in case of getting “the bends”, or decompression sickness?  No. The closest one was in Johannesburg.  Not a hop skip and a jump away.  The message? Don’t get sick.

So off I went, a midlife woman with a passion for diving and animals, off on my very own adventure. It was the best gift I ever gave myself.  I was tested physically (I’ve had two back surgeries and a few other physical limitations), and I was tested mentally… the experience empowered me, and helped me appreciate my abilities in an entirely new way. The trip was challenging, the environment both exhilarating and disturbing, and certainly the living standard was not what I was used to.

Diving in rough water was a new experience because the currents and surges off of Mozambique are strong. The water is cold.  It took me a few dives to get comfortable, and truthfully, my first two dives were pretty awful.  But, I adapted. I learned. I stayed in a house of volunteers, sharing a bathroom with the house and a bedroom with a roommate, and ended up with some close friendships even though I was the oldest one there, most of the volunteers being Europeans in their twenties. I have seen these friends since the trip, we keep in touch, and we have enjoyed diving together in other locales. I also went on another “citizen science” trip just this year, to Ecuador. I can’t wait for the next one. There will be more “citizen science” trips in the future, count on it.

Tam D

Have you ever wanted to do something you thought was “out there”?  Do you have a desire to get out into the world and make a difference?  There are volunteer programs all over the world for adults.  Most of them have nothing to do with scuba, and there are plenty of them on all continents. I have some advice for you:  be bold. Why not look into it?  Eco-tourism, volunteer tourism, will take you to places you’ve only dreamed of.

Let’s face it:  if you dream of doing something, you’d better do it now. Tomorrow is promised to no one, and in midlife who knows what is coming next?  Do something Extraordinary for yourself, you won’t believe how empowered it will make you feel!

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!

News

Nauticam announce NA-A7C Housing for Sony a7C Camera

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Sony’s latest full frame mirrorless camera, the a7C offers the underwater image maker one of the most compact and travel friendly full frame systems available on the market today.  The a7C features Sony’s latest stellar autofocus and a much improved battery life thanks to its use of the larger Z series battery. The BIONZ X processor delivers superb low-light performance and faster image processing. For video shooters, the a7C features internal UHD 4K capture in the wide-dynamic range HLG image profile at up to 30p.

Nauticam has housed more mirrorless cameras, and more Sony E Mount cameras than any other housing manufacturer. This experience results in the most evolved housing line with broadest range of accessories available today.

Pioneering optical accessories elevate performance to a new level. Magnifying viewfinders, the sharpest super macro accessory lenses ever made, and now the highest quality water contact wide angle lenses (the WWL-1B and WACP-1) combine with the NA-A7C housing to form a complete imaging system.

Nauticam is known for ergonomics, and an unmatched experience. Key controls are placed at the photographer’s fingertips. The housing and accessories are light weight, and easy to assemble. The camera drops in without any control presetting, and lens port changes are effortless.

NA-A7C features an integrated handle system. This ergonomic style provides exceptional control access, even with thick gloves, with ideal placement of the shutter release and a thumb-lever to actuate the AF-ON button from the right handle.

Nauticam build quality is well known by underwater photographers around the globe. The housing is machined from a solid block of aluminum, then hard anodized making it impervious to salt water corrosion. Marine grade stainless and plastic parts complete the housing, and it is backed by a two year warranty against manufacturing defects.

For more information in the UK visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

For more information in the USA visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

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BLUE EARTH – Future Frogmen Podcast Series – The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

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A series of conservation educational podcasts from Future Frogmen, introduced by Jeff Goodman.

The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

We have a new host, Dr. Colleen Bielitz, and today we’ll be interviewing a recent college graduate as part of our once-a-month episode that focuses on students: the next generation of conservationists, researchers, and activists.

What are the next generation of ocean stewards doing to protect our Blue Earth? Join us as we find out by speaking to Lauren Brideau, a recent graduate of Southern Connecticut State University. Lauren started as an undeclared major but soon found her calling, now she is part of a research team conserving life below water.  She is a prime example that if you want to defend our oceans and the creatures that depend on the sea to survive, now is the time to become part of the solution.


Richard E Hyman Bio

Richard is the Chairman and President of Future Frogmen.

Born from mentoring and love of the ocean, Richard is developing an impactful non-profit organization. His memoir, FROGMEN, details expeditions aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s famed ship Calypso.

Future Frogmen, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and public charity that works to improve ocean health by deepening the connection between people and nature. They foster ocean ambassadors and future leaders to protect the ocean by accomplishing five objectives.


You can find more episodes and information at www.futurefrogmen.org and on most social platforms @futurefrogmen.

 

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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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