Fathom Spotlight - Steven Blacksmith
Our next Fathom user spotlight is Steven Blacksmith, who most of the time goes by Spike. Spike is a scuba diving instructor/boat captain in Hawaii, where he has lived with his family since 2008. Prior to moving to his current home, he spent a career serving as a police officer in New Jersey where he worked on the dive recovery team and acquired his skills and passion for exploring beneath the waves.
I pointed out to him that going from New Jersey to Hawaii was a pretty big change and asked what the main differences were. He laughed and told me that the pace of life in Hawaii is extremely slow and everyone has a very relaxed mentality. “No one uses their car horns at all!” was an example he shared with me. He also appreciates the nice weather, something I could especially relate to as a midwesterner just now getting to the end of winter.
Spike also really enjoys his new line of work. As a scuba instructor, he is able to meet people from all over the world because Hawaii is such a popular vacation destination. Most days he gives dive-tours, during which he takes a group of tourists out on his 50 ft. catamaran to scenic underwater locations. He also teaches dive classes ranging from introductory to master-level. He plans to use the Fathom One to collect footage of these diving expeditions and believes that the drone will allow him to get close-up views of wildlife due to the lack of bubbles.
As an extremely experienced diver, Spike has a lot of great attachment ideas for the Fathom One. He suggested the excellent idea of a red filter to color-correct the drone’s camera feed. This would essentially be a strip of red-tinted plastic slid over the front cap of the drone which would make the underwater images look a lot better.
When I asked about his favorite underwater experience, he spoke mostly about the awesome animals he has encountered as a diver. He recounted nighttime manta ray dives, which involves throwing a light in the water to attract the rays. He told me about his encounters with sharks, sea turtles, and once, an endangered Hawaiian monk seal. I wasn’t sure what a Hawaiian monk seal looks like so I googled it and they are adorable. Seriously, look it up.
Anyway, thanks to Spike for sharing his story and we look forward to hearing about how he uses the Fathom One!
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