I was born in Vancouver, Canada but shortly after moved to Africa and then Indonesia. While growing up in the tropics I spent every moment I could exploring the warm, shallow reefs teeming with exotic life.
This passion endured once back in Canada. Since returning home I have traveled to some of the most extreme ocean coasts in the world.
Australias iconic Great Barrier Reef was a journey unbelievable. Traveling on a
live-aboard sailboat while diving on distant reef islands with fellow enthusiasts was a pinnacle moment in the year-long adventure.
Belize has the world's second-largest barrier reef and a dive site so abundant it's called "The Aquarium".
Their Blue Hole is a surreal experience. You float slowly down into the cave surrounded by deep, dark caverns and a near never-ending blackness beneath you.
Look upwards and you'll see the sharks silhouetted against the sky as they patrol the entrance.
The second time around back to Africa was to the South to see the Great Whites. Famous for their violent attacks on seals by coming up from the depths with tremendous power and then breaching through the surface with their prey.
Witnessing the Great Whites hunt in person and having one bite down and attack my cage was the closest I imagine to a real-life Jurrasic experience. Unforgettable.
Photo by Olaf Colin Johansen
The second half of that journey to Africa was diving in Mozambique over bright sandy stretches spotted with beautiful coral reefs. Encountering hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and sea turtles along the way.
I finished with a solo, open-water swim along the coast, eye to eye with an extremely friendly whale shark.
Recently my wife and I traveled to Bali and followed the coast diving in varied locations, eventually making it out to the islands. The reefs are not in the same shape as I remember. As an adult, I have traveled and dove each location once planning never to return after I have taken my experience. Perhaps one day with my daughter I will go again but I'm worried about what I might find.
My aquariums are havens for the animals within. We go to great lengths to ensure compatibility between the species and to create an ideal environment for them to thrive. Sourcing tank-born species and aquacultured corals our tanks are inspirations for a hopeful future.