Two sponge crabs, Manado, Indonesia
If you are not already there, take a moment and think about your life at 71 years old. If you’re envisioning retirement, maybe a few grandchildren vying for your attention, a chance to catch up on a life spent in sleep depravation, and perhaps a few scenic trips a year with your partner—you wouldn’t be alone in your plans. For my part, not even halfway to 71, the catching up on sleep part sounds glorious. Ah, but if I could aspire to rally the sort of energy that this week’s Photographer of the Week Patricia Jordan seemingly has in spades, I think life would be, for the long haul, a tremendously wonderful journey.
Coconut octopus, Manado, Indonesia
Patricia, or rather PJ as her friends call her, didn’t even begin diving until she was in her 30s. Now, at 71, and with 40 years of experience under her belt, she has seen and observed changes in some of the most pristine and extraordinary destinations around the globe. A retired physical education teacher, PJ’s active spirit has her continuously on the go, and having just spent a week with her recently at Murex Resort in Bangka, I know for a fact that, in between spending time with her grandchildren, her travel schedule and drive exceeds most full-time assignment photographers that I know.
Pontohi pygmy seahorse, Bangka, Indonesia
From sea kayaking Antarctica and Greenland, to summiting Mount Kinabalu on her 50th birthday, to being a regular at a salsa club in East Harlem for 20 years, to driving her own team of six Siberian huskies on a five-day dogsled trip in Alaska, PJ challenges my 71-year-old self—or the current me for that matter—to be half as ambitious and sprightly as she is.
Horned sea pen shrimp, Manado, Indonesia
But adventure aside, her work speaks volumes. Over the course of her diving career, she has published in numerous publications, given lectures, won awards, and has participated in conservation projects. Prone to macro and a lover of shrimps and crabs, she is still actively shooting, and if anything, has figured out how to adapt and adjust with the changing will of her body. But with her prescription mask and ankle weights, she levels the playing field, and will likely outshoot most who come knocking for a challenge!
Commensal crinoid shrimp, Manado, Indonesia
Sponge crab with eggs, Manado, Indonesia
Translucent sponge crab, Manado, Indonesia
Queen conch eyes, Turks and Caicos Islands
Soft coral crab, Manado, Indonesia
PJ and her grandsons after the Olympic bobsled experience, Lake Placid, February 2014
To see more of PJ's work, check out her website www.pjdives.com.