WOMEN IN DIVING
swim back. In the late afternoon light, the boat crew might have difficulty spotting me. Yet just as I began to worry, I realised we were back at the boat’s anchor line. The ray had taken me full circle and was depositing me where we’d started!
It’s difficult to explain what I felt during those moments. Awe, trust, exhilaration, tranquillity – these words are barely adequate.
For several days following my removal of the net from the giant manta, Grand Dad (as he became known to us) returned to the seamount. Before the trip’s end he’d taken each of us for a “ride” and Howard had added a manta ray segment to the film’s storyline. Grand Dad and I had also inspired a new story for Peter, which became his novel, The Girl of the Sea of Cortez.
More than 10 years passed before I made such adventures my new career. But clearly, from the moment I settled on Grand Dad’s back, my life was altered. When I remember the girl I was, growing up in Midwest cities, and the relatively simple plans I’d had for my future, it’s hard to believe where life has taken me.
HEEDING THE CALL
Howard and I were married in 1981. In 1991 I left the security of my 19-year nursing career and – quite literally – dived into the unpredictable life of natural history film production.
Seven months later I went on my first expedition as a full-time natural history filmmaker. I was Associate Producer for “Shadows in a Desert Sea”, an episode of the of PBS series Nature about the marine wildlife in the Sea of Cortez. Howard was the producer and primary cinematographer.
I remember lying in my bunk late one night, reading Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. I came across a passage that Stan Waterman often quotes from this children’s classic. “Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! ‘Tis but