The price we have to pay

I have just booked my flight to the DEMA Show—the world’s largest dive show and industry event. When I made my reservation, I selected Scandinavian Airlines because they now offer travellers the option of purchasing sustainable biofuel as part of the flight ticket, so one can fly with lower CO2 emissions. I also opted to pay for a full carbon offset of my trip. It hurt my wallet, but it lifted the ache I had in my tummy. Being a transatlantic trip, it did not come cheap, but I do not see that one has a choice any longer.

I am therefore I think. Because I think, justice should also be extended to me?

Justice for All Sentient Beings?

Most of us will agree that we should not be cruel to animals but treat them nicely. We have animal welfare laws in place, for example, and pet owners will testify that their animals—often considered members of the family—have personalities and feelings. It is also widely accepted that a number of wild animals possess considerable intelligence and social skills, such as primates, marine animals, and some birds, to name a few.

Getting all the wiser

I have done a fair deal of dive training over the years—mostly out of simple curiosity, professional interest, a desire to acquire more skills, and to be all the wiser.

Most of the acquired skills, I never or rarely use in regular diving, most of which is the plain vanilla variety anyway—that is, no-decompression, open circuit and no fancy gasses, except for the occasional use of nitrox. Keeping it simple has its virtues.

Competence & Confidence

Diving is a relatively safe activity and pastime. At least, it ranks low in statistics regarding injuries compared to many other sport disciplines. Certainly, we would not have dive programmes and certifications for young kids under eight years old if it was unsafe or risky.

But low risk is not equal to no risk, and whatever is considered an acceptable level of risk under various circumstances can always be lowered further—perhaps just in small increments, but it all adds up over time.

Other species also think and feel to some degree, even small critters

Respect for other life forms

Progressing age does not come with many positives except perhaps that one gains some perspective.

I live in the present and feel like the same usual me day to day, so I do not frequently think about the past. But, on occasion, something reminds me of how things used to be. Much to my own astonishment, it has already been 35 years since I started diving. When I look at old photographs, I usually have the same two initial reactions.

Underwater Photography: In Competition

Is it possible to compete in underwater photography? I find that question difficult to answer! What is a good picture? Is it an image of an unusual animal? Nice colours on a nudibranch? Capturing the incredible light on a wreck? An image in which I can see that there has been a lot of planning and work behind it? Or just an image of a diver, on some interesting dive site, where I get the feeling that I also want to dive there?


Penning these editorials is frequently a struggle.

Coming up with new topics or pressing matters to address can often be a real challenge. Sometimes I simply do not have anything new to add to what I have already said before, and on a few occasions, I suffer plainly from writer’s block.

But this time, I have struggled for a different reason.

This little fellah is trying to tell you something. Do you know what? That posture is a signal

The Search for Extraterrestial Intelligence

Every time I look up into the starry night sky, I cannot help but wonder what other worlds are out there and whether there is life among all those twinkling stars.  Are we alone in the universe?  

I guess I am just like most people—haven't we all reflected on this most fundamental existential question at some point?

Making it despite hardship.
Making it despite of dire circumstances

We carry on

Over the holidays, as 2021 drew to a close, the media once again began to overflow with retrospections on the year that has gone by, and heads of state, prime ministers and royalty gave reflective New Year’s speeches on national radio and television.

As always, I heard or read the usual fair share of speeches, but this time, it made me pensive, and I began to ponder—just as a thought experiment—what I would have said if I had to give such a speech. To whom would my thoughts have gone? Whom would I have thanked and what hopes would I have expressed?