Win Swint was a diver’s diver, A US Navy Seal, Abalone and Urchin Diver. I had the chance to know Win as a friend and his tender, diving for abalone off San Miguel Island. Like the endless wind’s that flow down the sand dunes of San Miguel, Win’s research can live on with the photographs he allowed me to take with my 35mm Nikon camera.
Win and Gary Johnson were California Sea Farms. In 1978 they received permission from Chevron to hang their habitats designed to grow red abalone below Platform Hope. Platform Hope was one of the first platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel to be decommissioned in 1997. Win’s habitats were made of glass. They were undersea aquariums. Their transparency allowed sunlight to seed algae to passively feed the juvenile abalone.
Win and I shared many more undersea adventures: A project for Industrias Pesquaras Paraestatales del Noroeste (IPPN) to conduct an abalone resource survey and rehabilitation project at Bahia Tortugas, Baja California. We’ll write about these later…….