I have to be brief. I am in service and therefore cannot comply with all your instructions. in that vein is how I came to know Doc. I applied to do a “stint” with PIT, having enjoyed many a shark dive with unexso in grand bahama. With no tertiary education, and only that experience as a link to sharks I extolled the fact I had military service behind me (in those days with the british army) and could work any hours at any times in any conditions, and that I was a team player by definition.
To my joy I was accepted and I underwent my fisrt “tour” at sharklab in 2001.
Doc and Marie were very welcoming, friendly people. Doc had interpersonal skills underpinned with great humility considering his personal life challenges and his position as a world authority on the species. It for me was a real life event when parting from Doc and marries company on the first trip when I shook hands with Doc and said what a priveledge it had been to meet him and work with him. His response was “the priviledge is all mine”. this was typical of Doc. he and marie had welcomed me into their home and enjoyed taking me out for a meal, and going to the cinema (where doc insisted I got a concession on entry due to being in the military). They together made you feel valued. Marie confided in me that it was Docs respect for what I had done in the military world that had opened the door, due to his own early intents for careers, and there I was, in awe of him! but that is one of Docs traits, he can appreciate what others have to offer, and appreciate their experience, in whatever arena.
I enjoyed another trip to sharklab, but thereafter time and circumstances prevented us meeting again, even this year when we were both in Normandy for the D-day commemorations we couldn’t quite “RV”. Hopefully one day I will return the kindness Doc and Marie showed.
for me sharklab was a unique experience. I know many have passed through the labs portals and can recount adventures, but it is still one of my life highlights when explain to friends old and new what I did and with whom all those years ago.
Doc is a fantastic representative for this particular “underdog” of the global eco system, and someone whose commitment to a cause, and enjoyment of life and respect for it deserves the upmost admiration.