Tomorrow is Jacque Yves Cousteau’s birthday. Captain Cousteau would have been 104 years old. He was my hero for ocean and conservation. I remember as a kid growing up near Detroit, surrounded by the Great Lakes watching The Undersea World of Jacque Cousteau every Sunday. Cousteau shaped who I am today. He also inspired a generation to see the fragile ocean and man’s impact on its future.
A few decades ago, Jacque Cousteau lived in an underwater habitat in Key Largo, where I now live, in the Florida Keys. Today, his grandson Fabien Cousteau is spending a record 31 days living under the sea in the Aquarius habitat. A few months ago I had a chance to dive the Aquarius with him and he explained his desire to live for 31 days under the ocean and share the science and research with people throughout the world on the conditions of our water world.
To celebrate Captain Cousteau’s life, I am going to dive the Aquarius again on Saturday and on the second dive, I’m going to paint an underwater canvas, featuring Jacque Cousteau and the Aquarius undersea scene with Fabien swimming nearby. I know this sounds impossible, but it’s totally doable… I think! This should be an amazing challenge and one I have prepared for diving our world’s ocean for the last 30 years. Hopefully it will be the first of many underwater paintings that I will create in the future. I couldn’t think of a better first one, for a better ocean icon.