Once upon a time, there were two romantic twenty-somethings with a love of the outdoors, music, dance, literature and travel. Their enjoyment of the water led to their initial SCUBA training by Underwater Demolition Team divers from the Experimental Diving Team at the Potomac River Naval Command. This, in turn, introduced them to Larry and Jo Ann Westhaver and the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Jo Ann is a graphic artist and Larry a brilliant engineer, whose talents have since brought him honors and work all over the globe. In those days, Larry admired the Pedersons' film Village Beneath the Sea and decided to advance those color techniques. In partnership with Tuck, he patented the automatic aperture control he designed and built. Together with Alice they later patented the AquacolorÒ filters. Tuck and Alice had grown up with a conservation ethic and set out to make films that show the colorful beauty and value of the underwater world.
Tuck and Alice
The Ketch ODYSSEY
"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
The married, now thirty-somethings, moved to Annapolis and finished building the clipper-bowed steel ketch that became their home, office, laboratory, workshop and dive-platform. They set sail to promote stewardship of this planet, our island home in space. Their motto: Take only pictures, leave only bubbles. They were charter members of The Cousteau Society and of The International Oceanographic Foundation. Key Largo, Florida, became their homeport.
Tuck with AquacolorÒ
Leave Only Bubbles
Christ of the Abyss
Key Largo, Florida
|Since 1971 they have testified and made presentations with slides and videos before county, state and federal committees and hearings. Movie and slide lectures in the local schools, in museums, universities, churches, civic and conservation organizations, and in Europe, as well as TV appearances in the U.S., rebroadcast throughout the world, have all focused on the beauty, the biological importance, the economic value, the productivity and the fragile nature of living coral reefs. "Enjoy, but don't destroy." "For our use, but not abuse."||SMPTE 1983|
Alice teaches at the Mianus River Gorge
In February of 1985, they chartered the Coral Reef Community Foundation, which they created to promote appreciation of the environmental and economic and sociological value of healthy coral reefs. The clear waters and living reefs are the foundation for the community of businesses and happy people in the Florida Keys. The C.R.C.F. advisory board included university professors and a college president, local county officials, environmental experts, and local business folk. The C.R.C.F. raised the money for installation of the first 92 mooring buoys at the popular and most used dive sites in the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary. The mooring buoys have prevented further anchoring damage to the coral reefs. John Halas' buoy system continues to be installed in marine preserves all over the world. The C.R.C.F. created thousands of educational and environmental action bumper stickers for boats and cars and trucks.
Along the watery way, the two conservationists researched and developed a variety of equipment to improve filmmaking beneath the surface. Working with Denny Breese, they built wireless underwater communications systems. They built buoyancy control systems before BCDs became standard SCUBA gear. They continued to test their developments, documenting life and death on the reefs with their evolving camera systems. Various honors and awards over the years provided encouragement during the tough times. Pioneers inevitably experience some rough going.
Caribbean Reef Shark
Tuck with Amphibico video housing with
They were privileged from the beginning to see the underwater world in full color through their SLR 250-frame housed Nikon with its internal multiple filter wheels and its Westhaver automatic aperture control. From the start, they planned eventually to make this colorful experience available to all divers by providing them with the patented Aquacolor filters in affordable dive masks.
Today that goal is a reality.
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