Environmental Ocean Jambalaya
22nd of 1975 saw the birth of an innovation by Aquaventure
presented to the diving world of that time. Bruce Bowker and
myself were the engines of one of the wildest island ongoing
programs ever to hit the U/W Caribbean
Utilizing our existing talents that were in
use daily, we simply invented a few more fun ideas and created
the people to present them and a schedule to make them work.
Excerpts from a news release, May 15, 1975:
Captain Don's newest project is Bonaire Scubafest
One, which is officially scheduled to begin August 22nd and
close September 19th. Four consecutive weeks of Scuba Fun.
Each week a repeat of the one before, the month divided into
four 7-day periods that will be crammed to the brim with Scuba
happenings from breakfast to night cap.
On the opening day, Aquaventure will be at the Flamingo
Airport to hand over the Symbol of SOD (Sage of the Deep,
the savior of the reefs), a sort of Dac Savage or Flash
Gordon. The new arriving host will be one of the four renowned
diving celebrities invited to host each of the one-week
period--Bert Kilbridge, John Englander, for example, and
others.We wanted working dive leaders such as oursevles
to be an active part of this program.
The symbol being a twig of black coral representative of
the island of Bonaire and its ecology-minded people. Black
coral flourishes in the reefs as shallow as 45 feet. A few
of the events: Extensive lecturing programs, several show
and tell nights, special camera handling by Bruce Bowker,
the island camera pro. E Wowo, the Caribbean's wildest discotheque
has special parties. The Gimmick Fair, which will display
products from major manufacturers, and which can be borrowed
for a test dive. Even Hertz is adding on extra cars to accommodate
the expected divers.
This is the way it was...........and it worked.
It can still happen again, only this
time bigger and better because we have more material
to work with.
Programming and designing fun things for the kind of folks
that love sailing, diving, and being with nature is Captain
Don's cup of tea. Don has been designing parties and fun vacations
since the early 1950s: The regatta parties, for example. When
he was actively windjamming Catalina Island with the Schooner
Valerie Queen, there was daily excitement. San Francisco 1958:
Pirate parties for kids. The Captain says, "I'm a party
looking for a place to happen."
Older but unchanged, he still says there is a party here
to sell. Our own Dive Festivals, One through Six, were great.
BUT why does it ever have to come to an end?
Big monies paid to host, for only a few days. Celebrities
costing beyond our means. Compare our festivals with a carnival.
A circus. A Broadway show. We have more live aboard talent
on this island than anywhere in the Caribbean.
However, we require orchestrating. A professional choreographer
to tune us, a Stephen Spielberg to direct us, and Bonaire
could put on a six months' show, a Jamboree, a Jambalaya
of fun, and for each week we put on the greatest
show on earth!
Rest a day, then do it all over again.
Bonaire's own Environmental