by Anna DeLoach

The idea for Sensational Seas had been rumbling inside my head since the fall of 2002 when my husband Ned and I sat in the salon of the live-aboard Don Jose with mouths-agape watching spellbinding video of a cormorant fishing underwater. The amazing images were shot in the Sea of Cortez by our dive guide and amateur videographer Peter Schalkwijk. A pattern was unfolding: each time we traveled to a dive destination, someone always seemed to have some astounding footage to share. Sometimes rare, sometimes outrageous, sometimes funny, it was always something so extraordinary that we felt that it should be seen by fellow divers.

I envisioned an anthology of exceptional underwater images from both established professionals and talented amateurs, always with the intent of conveying the joy and adventure inherent in diving and the fun and heady satisfaction we have in doing what we do.

Hoping they would be willing to participate, I discussed the project with legendary filmmakers Michele and Howard Hall, and it was Michele who suggested donating the proceeds to charity. Howard graciously contributed a favorite piece from his preeminent nature library, and we had the first installment of our anthology! During a trip to Indonesia, Annie Crawley showed us a heartwarming segment of courting dolphins shot in Belize, half a world away. Friends from Scuba West Virginia told us about Dan Graham's "must see" behavior of a hunting moray eel. At a party in Fort Lauderdale, Simon Christopher showed us Scubazoo's latest work. Wonderful images were everywhere and each person I asked generously donated his or her work to the project. I only wish there had been room for more.

We are very much indebted to friend, noted art critic and author William Warmus, who gave up much of his dive time to serve as scriptwriter and art director. A special thanks to Stan Waterman and Cat Holloway, our narrators, who epitomize the very best in diving.

All proceeds from the sale of Sensational Seas go to REEF, the Reef Environmental Education Foundation, a corps of volunteer divers who monitor reef fish population trends.