Environmental Ocean Jambalaya

Ocean JumbalayaAugust 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

Underwater environmental show on earth!

Rest a day, then do it all over again.

Bonaire's own Environmental Ocean Jambalaya!

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