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Traveling with Friends, Making Memories at the Boston Sea Rovers Show

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The Boston Sea Rovers’ annual show, and film festival highlight the accomplishments of the world’s foremost underwater cinematographers and divers. The Boston Sea Rovers is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation of the marine environment. It is one of the oldest and most distinguished underwater clubs in America.

Article and photos by Gene Peterson

Steve Gatto fortifies relations of our Mid-Atlantic group by organizing an annual road trip to the show. Each year, we look forward to the social tradition travelling and rekindling our friendships. I greeted Mike Dudas, Erik Petkovic, and Tom Packer in the early dawn outside Steve’s house. Steve joined us as we packed his minivan, exchanging welcomes and pleasantries. The little van was jammed with suitcases, and diving personality. Steve Gatto and Tom Packer have been exploring and photographing offshore shipwrecks together for over 30 years, including 19 consecutive years on the Italian ocean liner the Andrea Doria. Erik Petkovic is a well-known Great Lakes technical diver, lecturer, and author of several Great Lakes shipwreck books. Mike Dudas, a charismatic character grew up in the legendary Dudas family, his father, mother and siblings are renowned throughout the diving world. Mike, a part of a new generation is an accomplished north-east wreck diver and videographer in his own right. Anthony Tedeschi lives on our route, so we met him at prearranged commuter spot. There, he joined us for the ride to Boston. Anthony is also included in that new generation. Anthony has been exploring shipwrecks and underwater caves since he was a teenager. An ocean engineer and commercial diving supervisor, Anthony has already contributed in numerous world noted discovery projects.

It was an honor to travel with these accomplished dive friends and share with them the weekend of festivities. The long ride was accented with a variety of conversations, ranging for shipwrecks to car racing. Mercifully, we managed to dodge politics for the entire ride. The trip always includes a stop at Scott Ciardi’s Brass from the Past shop in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Scott is a brass refinishing specialist that has restored numerous recoveries for the east coast wreck diving community. His restorations are considered the best in the world. The group usually picks up or leave projects with Scott. Then we mill around and gawk at his magnificent finished works. He is truly a gifted artisan.

A mad rush is subsequently made to get to our hotel, and the cocktail party, the diving social event of the year. Here you rekindle friendships, and gather, making new friends and getting a great start for a weekend packed with epic footage, stories, and seminars. The Sea Rovers bring forth the best underwater talent in the world in an elegant fashion. It was a great honor to meet Sea Rovers Joe Hohmann, “Diver of the Year”. A true American legend, Joe has been an active club member since 1958 with numerous merits, Joe served as a member of Navy UDT 21, later forming the legendary Seal Team Four in 1983. The main event, the Saturday night film festival was hosted by Erin Quigley, Master of Ceremonies. Erin, an award-winning photographer and member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame charmed the packed theater with her energetic oration. The spellbound audience was thrilled by the amazing footage and captivating presentations of numerous cinematographers and explorers. These incredible artists included the world class talents Kelvin Murray, Erick Higuera, Ryan King, Dustin Adamson, Richard Simon and Joe Mazraani, and Evan Kovacs.

Kudos to the Sea Rovers for another magnificent affair!