Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands


UofW Friday Harbor Labs

UofW Friday Harbor Labs

Once upon a time I was the Deputy Diving Safety Officer at the Labs, which meant I was here, and the Diving Safety Officer was in Seattle. I was a marine technician at the Labs, and the Powers that Be decided I should also look after the divers who routinely went underwater in the course of their studies.

Having been a SCUBA diver since I was a young teenager, this was about as good as it gets, living on the island, using my college degree working at the Labs, and having a job that involved the underwater realm.

I also gave tours to visitors, a job similar to the one I had held at OSU’s Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. That was just after getting my degree in Marine/Oceanographic Technology, and just before moving to the islands. To be honest, I actually enjoyed that part of the work more than the science, being able to introduce people to the underwater world I love so much.

Consequently, having run the public aquarium in Newport, I aspired to run one here. I tried to talk the Port of Friday Harbor into using the old Jackson’s Cannery as an aquarium, but nothing even came of that. Thoreau said that as young men we gather the materials to build castles in the air, and as old men we use them to build woodsheds! Been there, done that…a couple of times!


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