Discover the Alien World Underwater with Scuba Jess
When Scuba Jess moves to Seattle and discovers a passion for the mysterious underwater world, she sets out to explore it, facing danger and unexpected challenges along the way in her quest to become a 'trekkie' of the sea.
I feel like scuba diving was the passion that I was missing in my life or my purpose. - Scuba Jess
My special guest is Scuba Jess
Meet Scuba Jess, an avid underwater photographer with a passion for exploring the marine life in Washington State. Born in New York and raised in Utah, Jess moved to Bellevue, Washington in 2008, where she discovered her love for scuba diving. Since then, she has accumulated over 1300 dives, exploring her favorite dive locations and capturing stunning photographs of the local sea creatures. A self-proclaimed Trekkie and coffee enthusiast, Jess has turned her underwater adventures into a lifestyle, sharing her knowledge and love for diving with fellow enthusiasts.
This is Scuba Jess's story:
Scuba Jess, was living in Utah, made the journey to Bellevue, Washington in pursuit of adventure and a newfound passion – scuba diving. Born Jessica Alexanderson, she quickly adopted the moniker "Scuba Jess" as her enthusiasm for diving grew. Her love for nature, the ocean, and underwater photography blossomed as she immersed herself in the vibrant marine life of the Pacific Northwest. Scuba Jess's first dive in cold water opened a whole new world for her, and she began to see herself as an underwater explorer, embarking on countless adventures with her fellow divers. Over the years, she has developed a deep appreciation for the local marine critters, such as the Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker and hermit crabs. Scuba Jess's dedication to capturing the beauty of underwater life has not only made her a part of a tight-knit diving community but also an advocate for marine conservation.
In this episode, you will be able to:
Dive into captivating scuba diving experiences in Puget Sound and Vancouver Island. Recognize the vital role of ocean conservation, pollution reduction, and cleanup dives in preserving marine ecosystems. Grasp essential scuba equipment, safety measures, and useful diving tips for novice adventurers. Uncover the enchanting world of underwater photography, marine life, and top dive locations on the planet. Explore Scuba Jess's personal interests, hobbies, and how Star Trek shaped her passion for the underwater realm.
Scuba Diving in Puget Sound. Good scuba diving in Puget Sound requires proper planning due to its strong currents and the presence of ferry lanes. By staying aware of these challenges, divers can experience an incredible underwater world filled with fascinating marine life. However, divers must remain cautious and follow safety guidelines to avoid dangerous situations.
Scuba Jess emphasizes the importance of being mindful of the currents and ferry lanes when diving in Puget Sound. During the podcast, she describes her experiences overcoming these difficulties to access breathtaking dive sites. She notes that divers who manage to navigate these hazards can witness an amazing underwater environment teeming with life.
The resources mentioned in this episode are:
Try scuba diving in Puget Sound to experience the amazing sea creatures and beautiful underwater landscapes. Join the local diving community and participate in group activities such as Thursday night diving at Redondo Beach in Federal Way, Washington.
Invest in a dry suit and warm undergarments like the Weasel Extreme Plus for comfortable diving experiences in cold water.
Use a guidebook to identify and learn about the unique marine life found in the Pacific Northwest, such as the Pacific Spinny Lumpsucker.
Attend Star Trek conventions and immerse yourself in the world of sci-fi and underwater exploration. Support and protect local marine life by raising awareness about the unique sea creatures in the area.
Experiment with underwater photography to capture the beauty and diversity of marine life in the Pacific Northwest.
Connect with other divers who share a passion for coffee and explore coffee shops in the Seattle area together. Consider inventing an underwater coffee device for those who want to enjoy their favorite beverage while diving.
Follow Scuba Jess on social media and her blog to stay updated on her diving adventures and experiences in Washington State.
Timestamped summary of this episode:
00:12:58 - Scuba Diving in Puget Sound, Scuba Jess discusses the benefits of diving in Puget Sound and the feeling of being hugged by the water while diving. She mentions the warm undergarments she wears and the peace and tranquility of being underwater.
00:14:34 - Preparing for a Dive at Redondo Beach, Scuba Jess talks about the preparation required to go diving at Redondo Beach, including filling tanks, setting up gear, and putting on dry suits. She also mentions the importance of checking the air pressure in tanks and making sure everything is functioning correctly.
00:16:22 - Why Use Nitrox?, Scuba Jess explains the benefits of using nitrox, which has a higher level of oxygen and less nitrogen, allowing for longer dives at deeper depths. She also mentions the added energy it provides and the importance of using it for repetitive diving.
00:18:28 - Waddling into the Ocean with Cameras, Scuba Jess talks about the process of waddling into the ocean with all of her gear, including her camera, which is a Nikon DSLR with a waterproof housing and large strobes for lighting. She also mentions her boyfriend's wide-angle photography and their teamwork in getting the perfect shots.
00:23:50 - Underwater Photography at Redondo Beach, Scuba Jess discusses the group of underwater photographers she dives with at Redondo Beach and their love for comparing cameras and helping each other get the perfect shot. She also emphasizes the added layer of awareness required when handling a camera underwater.
00:25:34 - Scuba Diving at Redondo, Scuba Jess talks about her favorite local dive site at Redondo Beach, the two different dive sites there, and what sea creatures can be found there.
00:28:09 - Post-Dive Rituals, Scuba Jess shares her post-dive ritual, which involves going to an Irish pub after the dive, and sometimes even having a barbecue at the beach.
00:31:50 - Favorite Dive Sites in Washington, Scuba Jess talks about her favorite dive sites in Washington, including Deception Pass, Keystone on Whidbey Island, Salt Creek, and Sekiu.
00:35:47 - Most Overrated Dive Site, Scuba Jess shares her opinion on the most overrated dive site in the area, Cove Two in Alki West Seattle, due to pollution and lack of sea creatures. She also mentions Edmunds as being slightly overrated.
00:37:28 - Fear of Diving, Scuba Jess discusses her fear of being swept into the ferry lane due to too much current. She also shares that she is not afraid of sea creatures but rather lack of sea creatures due to the presence of garbage in the ocean.
00:39:53 - Clean-up Dives, Scuba Jess talks about her clean-up dives and the type of garbage she and her team remove from the ocean. She mentions finding golf balls, plastic, metal, and even fake teeth. She also expresses concern about the tires in Puget Sound and their negative impact on sea creatures.
00:46:40 - Tire Recycling, Scuba Jess shares her team's efforts to get the tires out of the ocean and the challenges they face in finding a tire recycling center that can take them. She also talks about how her team is using underwater technology to locate tire piles in the ocean.
00:44:23 - Cool Finds in the Ocean, Scuba Jess shares some of the interesting items her team has found during their clean-up dives, including burned money, a mermaid statue, and even a broom. She also talks about how her team tries to save any sea creatures they find in the garbage they remove.
00:41:36 - Garbage in the Ocean, Scuba Jess expresses her concern about the amount of garbage in the ocean and its negative impact on sea creatures. She talks about the various types of garbage they find during their clean-up dives, including plastic, metal, and even yard waste.
00:49:39 - Introduction, Scuba Jess talks about her experience working at Evergreen Shipping for 15 years and how it inspired her to start a new company focused on teaching kids about recycling metal.
00:51:04 - The Girl Who Recycled 1 Million Cans, Scuba Jess shares how she and her business partner, Brad, wrote a children's book called The Girl Who Recycled 1 Million Cans, which teaches kids about recycling and the value of the metal.
00:55:17 - Making Recycling Easy, Scuba Jess discusses her idea of having scrap yards bring bins to local elementary schools, making it easier for families to recycle metal and raise money for schools.
00:56:58 - School Recycling Events, Scuba Jess shares her experience setting up metal recycling events at schools and the impact they have had in teaching kids about recycling and helping the planet.
00:59:00 - Concerts and Comedy Shows, Scuba Jess talks about her love for music, particularly rock and seeing bands like Snow Patrol and Willie Nelson in concert, as well as her love for comedy shows and destressing after work.
01:01:00 - Love for Delanos Coffee, Scuba Jess shares her love for Delanos coffee and her experience meeting farmers from Panama and Costa Rica. She prefers organic dark roast coffee and enjoys it with a sweet treat on the side.
01:02:21 - Coffee Drink of Choice, Scott and Scuba Jess discuss their coffee drink preferences. While Scott's go-to is drip coffee or Americano, Scuba Jess prefers iced Americano or nitro cold brew with sweet cream.
01:06:16 - Favorite Star Trek Character, Scuba Jess reveals that her favorite Star Trek character is Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy. She also shares her encounter with the original series cast, including William Shatner and LeVar Burton.
01:08:19 - Vancouver Island Diving, Scuba Jess talks about her favorite dive spots on Vancouver Island, which she describes as the Puget Sound on steroids. She encourages divers to check it out for a more colorful and lively experience.
01:11:44 - Protecting Our Oceans, Scuba Jess emphasizes the importance of protecting our planet and oceans by picking up trash on the beach and near storm drains. She encourages everyone to help each other and our sea creatures.