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A Curious Story about Shipwrecks, Secrets, and Alluring Scent

A Curious Story about Shipwrecks, Secrets, and Alluring Scent

The sunset bright and red in the horizon; crisp au...

Home, Sweet Home -  Local Diving in Oklahoma and Arkansas

Home, Sweet Home - Local Diving in Oklahoma and Arkansas

They say home is where the heart is. The heart may...

One Breath: A Monterey Bay Experience

One Breath: A Monterey Bay Experience

"The story of this place - this sanctuary - lies h...

Kentucky Blues: Music, Lakes, Quarries, & More

Kentucky Blues: Music, Lakes, Quarries, & More

Kentucky is known for Bluegrass music, Kentucky Fr...

The Colorful World of Georgia’s Gray’s Reef

The Colorful World of Georgia’s Gray’s Reef

Off the shores of Georgia rests a diverse junction...

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island

Offshore Southern California are eight islands, wh...

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Orange Beach Reefs: Alabama’s “Vitamin S…

12-09-2014

Resting on the edge of Alabama’s southeast shores, and west of Pensacola, Florida, Orange Beach, Alabama is a city strongly driven by two key focal points: a strong, bonded community...

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The Natural Wonders of Howe Sound

12-09-2014

Northwest of Vancouver, British Columbia, and resting at the Strait of Georgia, Howe Sound is a diving paradise offering relaxing opportunities for divers interested in scanning the surface and delving...

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Diving in Missouri: Exploring the Ozarks

12-09-2014

Somewhat removed from the main arteries of vacation travel, the varying lakes and waters of the Midwest beckon the observant explorer. Locals understand that these lakes offer the perfect opportunity...

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LIDA Sponsors Harbor School Students on …

12-08-2014

What a difference a year makes!With Sunday, September 28 boasting a bright, sunny sky, warm summer-like weather and perfect diving conditions at Shinnecock Inlet’s Ponquogue Bridge on Long Island, 25...

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All Aboard the Truth!

12-08-2014

The Truth is the original Truth Aquatics boat, and thanks to regular updates and maintenance it remains a world-class liveaboard diving and excursion vessel. It is an ideal entry level...

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A Curious Story about Shipwrecks, Secret…

11-06-2014

The sunset bright and red in the horizon; crisp autumn air chilling; night falling fast; southwest wind leaning into whispers; the Captain, Sinclair,  and first mate, John Virgin, drawing their...

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Home, Sweet Home - Local Diving in Okla…

11-05-2014

They say home is where the heart is. The heart may wander, explore, yearn to try something new; but eventually it returns to the warmth and familiarity it knows and...

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One Breath: A Monterey Bay Experience

11-04-2014

"The story of this place - this sanctuary - lies hidden by time. It's a story of change revealed by context and perspective: a story born of water and dreams;...

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Kentucky Blues: Music, Lakes, Quarries, …

10-06-2014

Kentucky is known for Bluegrass music, Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Harland Sanders, Johnny Depp, Mohammed Ali, Jim Bowie, and Daniel Boone’s adventures exploring, but the one person from this...

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Seattle Scuba Schools: "Brave"ly helping Nemo

Craig Gillespie of Seattle Scuba Schools
Finding Nemo - Copyright Disney/Pixar

By John Tapley

With its long list of blockbuster films (three incarnations of Toy Story, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc., and Ratatouille to list some), it’s not surprising that Pixar remains one of the most creative and successful animation studios in the entire world.  Their newest creation, Brave, continues their legacy of giving audiences an incredible film chock full of memorable characters, stunning 3D-animation, and light-hearted fun for movie-goers young and old.

The sword-and-sorcery story tells the tale of Merida, a Scottish warrior princess who finds herself creating an unfortunate situation, which only she can make right.  Since its opening in June, the enchanted animated adventure has received strong reviews and has grossed over $750 million at the box office.

Pixar’s expert staff of producers, writers, and animators are known for their high-quality, strongly-detailed work and the camaraderie and focus to pull all the creative elements together.  In their work, they often sink deep into the source material used for their films.  In the case of Brave, writers heavily used Scottish and Celtic mythology to provide a background for Merida’s story.

Utilizing these same principles, the company crafted a smash success, Finding Nemo, in 2003.  One of the highest-rated, most prolific animated films of all time, Finding Nemo is the story of a young fish’s journey through the oceans and his own maturation as he struggles against forces both internal and external.  Along the way, the titular character and his protective father discover colorful characters, fearsome foes, and, ultimately, the virtues of trust and responsibility.  For the creation of Nemo, it was fitting, then, for the production team to spend time exploring the underwater world.  


This experience provided a wonderful opportunity to experience the majesty of the waves up close and personal, which granted visual inspiration.  It also ran parallel to the movie’s strong morals: teamwork; trust; responsibility.  To a diver, and a wandering clownfish, these principles aren’t just used to enhance one’s character - they are pivotal to survival.

After searching for many scuba instruction companies, the team at Pixar found one that fit just right: Seattle Scuba Schools.  Instructor Craig Gillespie was chosen to guide the group into their first foray into the world beneath the waves.  Gillespie spent weeks training the team at Pixar Studios, and although the creative crew often had difficulties arranging schedules which fit everyone’s needs, they studied vigorously and inquisitively.  Craig noted the team’s intensity during the PADI Open Water course: they exhibited a level of motivation far surpassing the average student.  And, to Gillespie, they displayed a degree of excitement, which has yet to be surpassed.

After their diligent work, Gillespie took the team out of the classroom and into the pool; their enthusiasm and curiosity followed. It was an exciting adventure to the team, most of which had not even considered scuba diving before the Nemo project.  Despite getting accustomed to the gear, and other foreign aspects of diving, the team soldiered on and offered each other help and encouragement.  The pool experience proved to be a remarkable success: all 27 Pixar members passed the program.

Finally, the crew was ready to plunge into the ocean and begin their search for Nemo. Although the weather at Monterey, California was less than hospitable, the group stayed diligent; their perseverance and dedication shined bright during the inclement conditions. After two days of diving, the team was prepared.  To this day, Gillespie considers this the most exciting and inspiring experience he has enjoyed during his 30 years as an instructor and was honored to use his expertise to invigorate the talented staff.

In a touching, heartfelt move, which perfectly mirrored the parent-child bonds found in Nemo, Gillespie declined an offer from the team to watch the film at an exclusive private screening.  Instead, he decided to enjoy the film for the first time with his daughter.  “The first time I see this movie, there is absolutely no one with whom I want to see it more than with my six year old daughter,” Gillespie stated.
For more information on their services, and how you can find your own “Nemo”, visit their website here.

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