Two Beneath the Sea surprises
:: Sunday, March 28th, 2010 @ 12:01:11 am
:: Tags: Diving
I had two big surprises today.
The first was meeting Carl Roessler, who came up and introduced himself during tonight’s BTS Caymans party. Yes, this is the Carl that Carl’s Ultimate is named after; while spending 6 days on Carl’s Ultimate out in the Eastern Fields of Papua New Guinea, my esteem for Carl went up and up with every dive — what a man he must be to have such an incredible thing named after him! Meeting him in person did not disappoint.
Meeting Carl Roessler at BTS 2010 (photo: Abi Smigel)
And speaking of diving pioneers, Bret Gilliam went on stage at tonight’s film festival to announce his generous donation of 1250 copies of Diving Pioneers and Innovators to Beneath the Sea attendees. But he started by asking a select group of diving pioneers to come up on stage. He ended the list with… me! I was shocked, and ambled up to the stage in my cargo pants and fleece jacket, looking positively silly next to incredibly distinguished folks, who all were in formal attire: Bret, Stan Waterman, Mike deGruy, Zale Perry, Dr. Phil Nuytten, and others. We proceeded to stand up there for 15-20 minutes as Bret continued his donation speech.
After the film festival, Eli, Abi and I went over to the Caymans afterparty to have a drink. As I went to photograph Bret signing copies of this book, he proceeded to tell everyone that I should also sign the book. Since I’m not actually in the book, this caused some confusion:
“Hi, Eric! Will you sign my book?” (confused look)
“Eric… Cheng? I’ve never seen any of your work, but someone told me that you were going to be… or are… famous..?”
I wrote, “Have a nice summer!” in one woman’s book, but then crossed it out and wrote a real message.
Bret Gilliam signs copies of Diving Pioneers and Innovators
Thank you, Bret — I do indeed owe you. ;)