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Bryan
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Ryan Spence

Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:52 am

I'm posting this a day early as I won't be around tomorrow to do it...Fred please forgive me. :(

I 1st met Ryan at Lake Wazee in 04 I think....His knowledge, collection and reproduction of everything Cousteau is 2nd to none. He has helped the vintage community with a lot of difficult and rarely seen equipment and information that we would not normally have access to. He is also active with the Cousteau Museum doing restoration/documentation/research etc. I only wish he lived closer to Florida so we could get together more often!
I believe he is currently working the the Cousteau Society on some projects but I'll let him elaborate on that further.

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Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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Sea Explorer
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Re: Ryan Spence

Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:11 pm

Hello everyone. I have had the pleasure of meeting and diving with many of the NAVED and Vintage Double Hose community over the years. The community has grown significantly since its beginnings and I look forward to meeting the newer members. For those who don't know I have focused a significant portion of my time on my Flashback Scuba Project http://www.flashbackscuba.com.

What started out as a project to reintroduce a sense of adventure into diving through a combination of vintage equipment and simplified diving techniques has grown in to a historical project and museum. Since 2002 I have been collecting, restoring and diving vintage equipment. I have dove with a wide range of equipment from double hose regs to Mark V heavy gear.

The Flashback Scuba Museum is located in Tacoma, WA. We house a wide range of vintage diving equipment, books, photos, films and other documents relating to diving history. The project is perhaps best known for housing a large selection of original Cousteau equipment, photos and documents.

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I have spent over 10 years working with numerous Cousteau team members as well as many of the Cousteau family.

Image Andre Laban

Over the past year I have participated in a variety of events and projects commemorating Cousteau’s 100th birthday. I had the opportunity to attend the Festival Mondial De L’Image Sous Marine in Marseille, France. In Nov 2010. This was a fantastic event that attracted many former Cousteau team members. I also was treated to a private tour of the Frederic Dumas Museum in Sanary, France.

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I also had the opportunity to visit with Henri Delauze, the founder of COMEX at his home in Marseille and tour his research ship MINIBEX.

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Henri is a true diving pioneer and explorer and worked with Cousteau in the early years.

While in Marseille I met artist and Cousteau team member Dominique Serafini. http://www.dreamwrecks.com. Dominique produced a series of illustrated books for Cousteau based on the teams adventures.. I worked with Dominique to bring his Spirit of Calypso Project to the US.

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http://www.dreamwrecks.com/DreamWrecks/ ... lypso.html

We worked to translate his exhibit for US audiences and it débuted at the Beneath the Sea Show this year. The exhibit then traveled with Celine Cousteau to an event in Washington DC and is now a part of the Flashback Scuba Museum.

Beneath the Sea was gracious enough to invite me to attend the show as guest as part of their celebration of Cousteau. The event was the first time parts of the Cousteau family were together since JYC’s funeral. Guests included: Jean-Michel Cousteau and his children Fabien and Celine as well as Francine Cousteau and her son Pierre-Yves.

If you want to read more: Flashback Scuba was featured in the Journal of Diving History #64 Vol 18 Issue 3 Summer 2010 and Received the Nick Icorn Diving Heritage Award presented by the Historical Diving Society.

As far as the projects I have just returned from the Cousteau Society warehouse in Virginia in support of an on going project to document the lost Cousteau projects. This is an interesting project that has uncovered many interesting uncompleted projects such as Conshelf IV and the Argyronete submersible. This is the most exciting project I have had the opportunity to work on so far.

I will try to post a few more photos. I would be happy to answer your question. Thanks again to all the countless individuals who have supported my projects.

Cheers -Ryan
"A little less conversation a little more action. . ." -Elvis

www.flashbackscuba.com

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Vintagediver
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Re: Ryan Spence

Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:03 pm

Hi Ryan. It's great to hear from you, and I enjoyed reading your post. :D I had the opportunity to meet and dive with you at Wazee back in August 2006, and I'm still in awe and telling people about the great Cousteau presentation that you gave there. 8) Everyone really enjoyed it. Hopefully they will have you at The Legends of Diving event sometime; I'm sure everyone there would enjoy seeing your Cousteau presentation. Keep up the great work, and safe diving to you! Terry
The friendship of many has been inspired and created while together we've explored beneath the waves the wonders of God's creation.

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Re: Ryan Spence

Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:16 pm

Thanks Terry. I hope we can dive together again one of these days. I would love to make it to the Legends of Diving event. I just have not been able to fit it into the schedule. I wish it were a bit closer. It is always a challenge flying with cool dive gear.
-Ryan
"A little less conversation a little more action. . ." -Elvis

www.flashbackscuba.com

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DaleC
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Re: Ryan Spence

Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:14 am

Excellent write up Ryan. I've enjoyed meeting you at the Tacoma show these last couple of years and talking about vintage gear. You've helped me to understand the inner workings of a number of systems and the history behind them. Sounds like you've got some interesting things for us to talk about next year too :)
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JES
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Re: Ryan Spence

Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:03 pm

Ryan,

It's always a pleasure to hear about your work and efforts to keep this incredibly valuable equipnment and the legacy of JYQ alive!

Thanks for the write-up and again for all that you do. 8)
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Ron
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Re: Ryan Spence

Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:42 pm

Ryan,

Can you tell us what originally peaked your interest?
The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed. -JYC

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Re: Ryan Spence

Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:36 pm

Thanks guys. Dale I look forward to visiting with you again in Tacoma. I will have some cool new stuff on display. I have some projects that are flying under the radar but it they pan out it should be great.

As for the question of what peaked my interest in diving it is hard to say since I don't remember not being interested in diving and undersea exploration. It was definitely preschool or earlier. I received my fist dive fins and mask at 4 or 5 I think it was. By Kindergarten I was telling people I wanted to be a marine biologist. I was certified as a diver at 14. My interest in Historical diving is rooted in the images of diving that I discovered as a young kid. I bought my first double hose reg along with a set of twin 40's and a pair of duck feet in 2001. I was hooked.

My interest in Cousteau goes back to my childhood. I remember trying to figure out how I could make a silver helmet like the ones I saw in the Cousteau Society publications. That was in the mid eighties. Collecting Cousteau started about 2002 when I bought a Cousteau team red watch cam and expedition sweater from a former chief diver for the Cousteau Society. As I recall I paid about $70 for the set. I think I was the only bidder. That sparked my interest in finding out what happened to the Cousteau legacy.

Even though Cousteau had only been dead for five years it seemed to me that everything had vanished. No films or books where available. There was no Cousteau Society web page at the time. Nothing readily available. The crew members I contacted couldn't give there items away at that time. There was no market to sell the items and no museums were interested. So I used my one new Cousteau contact as a jumping off point and I never looked back. Now it has truly taken on a life of its own. Once it seems like it is tapering off some new opportunity or contact comes along and it is back to the races. It always takes a lot of time and energy but it also helps to be in the right place at the right time. The best part of the whole adventure has been all the interesting people I have met along the way.

-Ryan
"A little less conversation a little more action. . ." -Elvis

www.flashbackscuba.com

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Bryan
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Re: Ryan Spence

Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:34 pm

Nice article you did on Cousteau's last regulator in the current issue of HDS magazine..Can you re-post it here for those folks who don't get the magazine?
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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