Feb 12, 2009


KOROR, Palau – The rain washed all the gunk from the air, just in time for my hour-long helicopter tour. Pilot Matt stripped the doors off the Hughes 500, so I could shoot photographs of the dive sites and Rock Islands.

Days like this, it's hard not to believe the hype – that I have the world's second best job, right behind "rock star". So April 25th, I'll share the career love at the Northwest Dive Expo in Tacoma, talking to tweens n' teens about all things travel writerly.

From an "experience scuba" tank to geek-chic rebreather test models, this expo explores the underside of the Salish Sea. Discover why Jacques Cousteau considered this region's waters among the world's best cold-water dive sites.

Other highlights of the weekend-long event include:

  • Mystery critters: marine-life-encyclopedia author Andy Lamb fields queries. 4/25, 12pm.
  • Alien life: Vancouver Aquarium's Donnie Reid talks about microbial structures, once considered "fresh water coral" – and what BC's Pavilion Lake teaches us about Earth's past and possible life on other planets. 4/25, 1pm.
  • Introduction to underwater video with Truxton Terkla. 4/25, 3pm.
  • Giant Pacific Octopuses: Marine biologist Jim Cosgrove discusses the world's largest octopus species – and why it grow biggest in NW waters. 4/25, 4pm.
  • Saving Puget Sound: Mike Sato of People for Puget Sound explores the health of our ecosystem. 4/26, 10am.
  • Rebreather seminar. Jeff Bozanic, author of Mastering Rebreathers, details tips for tech divers. 4/26, 1–3pm, $30.
  • Underwater composition. Oregon-based photographers Jack and Sue Drafahl detail lighting, focus, framing, point of view, cropping, and eye flow. 4/26, 2pm.
  • Six gill sharks: Biologist Jeff Christiansen explains the Seattle Aquarium's research into the world's third largest predatory sharks. 4/26, 4pm.
  • Drysuit 101. The founder of Seasoft reveals the basics of staying warm in the cool waters here. 4/26, 4pm.

My small slice of this excitement unfolds April 25, from 10am–2pm. At Deep Ambitions, kids aged 12-18 can try scuba for free, make pointillist sand and stone art with Rogest and vote on who has the coolest job.

Just wait until I tell them about our lift-off from a six-story apartment building...

Tickets are $10, available at the door. More info here.

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