Take a Dive
Take a Dive
The name is synonymous with bringing ocean awareness and conservation into living rooms. Now, thanks to Paul Gauguin Cruises, a Cousteau can take you to those very waters to explore and learn.
By Clark Norton
Jean-Michel Cousteau got his diving baptism when his father — legendary French ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau — tossed him into the sea at age 7, equipped with an early version of the scuba gear that Jacques helped develop. Jean-Michel, now a vibrant 75, has spent much of his life in the water ever since, exploring the world’s oceans, producing dozens of award-winning films on marine life and environmental issues, and founding the Santa Barbara, California-based Ocean Futures Society, an influential conservation organization.
So in 2009, when Susan and Frank Golino of Bakersfield, California, heard that Cousteau would be leading dives in French Polynesia aboard Paul Gauguin Cruises’ m/s Paul Gauguin, a smaller, 332-passenger ship built to navigate the region’s shallow lagoons, they signed up. The Golinos had cruised on Gauguin several times before — they had first learned to dive on a 2004 voyage aboard the same ship — but this time, Susan says, “We went because Jean-Michel was going to be on it. We grew up following his father on TV, and we told him, ‘You and your family were in our living room!’ We weren’t even sure we’d get to go out diving with him at all, but we ended up doing five or six — we were amazed.”