Adam and Christine grew up in very different areas of the United States. Adam was raised far from the ocean in a ranching community in Kearney, Nebraska. Christine is from a small town on Washington’s Puget Sound called Mukilteo. Adam got started scuba diving professionally after he moved to Kona, Hawaii, where the clear, tropical fish-filled waters beckoned to him immediately after arriving. Christine started scuba diving while living in Thailand, and then worked as an Instructor and divemaster in over 23 countries. They both got started scuba diving out of an adventurous curiosity to see more of what was around them and were overwhelmed by emotions from the experience. Fear, excitement, and the need to do and see more were only some of the feelings. Scuba diving was life changing. After working as divemasters and scuba instructors for several years, adding cold-water diving was the greatest modification to their already varied portfolio. Working together diving on a project in Alaska opened their eyes wide to documenting undersea life in extraordinarily different environments from the warm waters where they began.
Whether at home in Kona, Hawaii, or on locations around the world working, we are now guided by a passion for conservation and education about the ocean. For so many people, the ocean’s magic ends on top of the waves, with very little knowledge of what exists below those ripples on the surface of the sea. Over years and thousands of dives, we have seen changes in the health of life underwater that needs to be addressed. We believe opening up the stories of life in the ocean and making strong connections between individuals and marine life will help excite and empower people to protect the seas. We both work as Undersea Specialists for Lindblad-National Geographic, diving and filming around the globe to educate on small expedition ships about the importance of learning about our changing ocean. Filming short documentaries while onboard, we have an opportunity to use underwater videography to record and share the state of places that few on Earth will ever see, such as in the Russian Far East, French Polynesia, Iceland and Alaska. With that great opportunity comes a large responsibility and drive to share and teach what we see year-round. For us, being underwater is a deeply powerful and emotional experience. Every glimpse holds potential for surprises. The stories are always changing. As underwater explorers, we can observe marine mammals, fish, plankton, coral, algae, and invertebrates opening their lives to us. Human impacts are undeniable and have become part of the ocean’s narrative as well. We want to share these special feelings and stories as they evolve. The weightless freedom, the healing silence, entering into another world … we believe it engulfs you in feelings felt nowhere else on the planet.
Christine: After obtaining my BA from the University of Washington, I decided to pursue my love of travel and the ocean to live on a Greek island. I started scuba diving while living in Thailand and became a PADI scuba instructor in 2006.
Adam: After I moved to Kona, Hawaii, I began a career as a naturalist interpretive guide and divemaster. I also began working with Manta Advocates of Hawaii. I was certified as a PADI scuba instructor in 2016.
Our projects have been heavily influenced by the narratives of great explorers throughout time. Most recently, we have been inspired by stories of astronauts at NASA and the International Space Station program. We both respect and admire risk-taking for discovery and feel connections exploring remote places that have never been seen. This year we were thrilled to have a chance to participate in dive training at the Houston NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab, an astronaut training facility pool. We both believe that part of the excitement of diving around the world, especially in cold water in areas such as the Russian Arctic, Alaska, Iceland and Antarctica, is documenting parts of the ocean that have in the past been too remote to visit.
We have a hard time sitting still. The projects and travel never end — and we wouldn’t have it any other way. As U.S. Coast Guard licensed captains, we are often driving boats in various places around the world, observing and photographing whales and other marine mammals. High on our list right now of free-time activities is also spending more time with friends in remote areas on land through backpacking and kayak camping.
The piece of Cressi equipment that changed our lives are our Cressi Desert drysuits. Our first dives in cold water in Alaska surrounded by floating glacial ice chunks and kelp were made in these drysuits. We have since spent hours in recently deglaciated lagoons and bays diving areas filled with moon snails, hooded nudibranchs, orange cup coral, northern sea otters, Steller sea lions and killer whales.
Being asked to be a Cressi Ambassador was a significant honor for us. Cressi is a brand we trust and had used professionally for scuba and freediving gear, so being asked to represent the company and join the Cressi family was an easy and resounding “yes.” We love helping others get into scuba diving and helping them do it safely, which is something Cressi believes in.