Words, Images, Water, Adventure and Passion

By Ty Sawyer

In 1983, I got my first subscription to Skin Diver. After doing my certification dives in the frigid waters off Rhode Island, in February no less, I set out on a path directed by the images and words in this magazine. I took all my leave time (I was a punk kid in the Navy then) and island-hopped from Puerto Rico to Aruba for 42 days.

I wanted to live life adventurously, like the divers and writers I'd read about. I did everything I could to stay wet. I even traded work for free dives. In between, I swapped tales with other divers, and at night I dreamed of blue worlds, some of which I've yet to see. In its simplest terms, this is what Skin Diver is all about. Connecting divers to the near and far corners of our rapidly shrinking dive world, and inspiring them to go there. Even if "there" is just around the corner, involves digging a hole through ice in the winter or evading cows to get to. Wet is wet. And dive adventure is everywhere. It's just a matter of how passionate you are about diving.

As proof, contributing writer, Barb Roy, took her drysuit, heated socks and bear-proof food canister and actually headed north from her Vancouver, Canada, home for some raw Alaska-style adventure. Photojournalist Michael Lawrence, seemingly the more sensible, headed south from landlocked Indiana to the placid world of the Cayman Islands. Problem is he and Lenny (the hurricane) arrived at the same time. But, despite more rain than the locals could remember, he had a great adventure, went diving nearly every day and even scouted out some "new" sites. The point is it doesn't have to be perfect to be perfect. Or to inspire.

The world has changed a lot since 1983. Even the loneliest of outposts is accessible to the everyday diver. But for the essence and heart of Skin Diver it hasn't changed a bit since the firs
t issue. It's still about the power of words, and the majesty of images, water, adventure and passion.