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Some of the band members and a few of the crew and staff from the Grateful Dead flew to Kauai right after the 1987/88 New Years shows for a vacation. Jerry said it was his first in 20 something years. He was easily talked in to doing an intro (introductory scuba dive), so I found a dive shop that had the time and space that we could have the boat to ourselves and we headed to the west side where the calmest waters are found during the winter.

Jerry "Lookin' Good" on his first ocean
dive. It's not easy to look good on
your first dive with renta gear and
the newness of it all.

Bobby, though not
certified at that time, had
done a bit of diving in
Mexico and Big Steve
had done two intros a couple
of years before when
he and his wife came to visit
me on the Big Island. So
along with an instructor
from Fathom 5, Bobby,
Big Steve and myself, Jerry
had good backup. There
is just nothing else on
the planet like the
weightlessness and
feelings of freedom
of the ocean's
Needless to say,
he loved it!
As he told me how
much he would like to
return to do more diving
when he got a chance, I
was skeptical. I'd known
these guys for years and
"time off" was a rarity.

Much to my pleasant surprise, after they returned to the mainland several of them began their dive certifications with Marin Skindivers and then came to the Big Island of Hawaii that summer for two days of Open Water Check-Outs and several days of fun diving with instructors, Jeff and Teri, at Jack's Diving Locker.

This is a good way to go if one prefers to have more time for fun dives during their stay in the tropics. The lectures, the book reading and the written test are all out of the way; and the skills have all been practiced and mastered in a swimming pool.

jerry and kidd

Kidd and Jerry


Jerry and Big Steve

On the return trip to complete their certifications they were joined by the drummers, Billy and Mickey, and additional crew members, Big Steve, Ramrod, Kidd and Robbie Taylor and their families. Jerry's affinity for the underwater inhabitants was just amazing, as well as theirs for him. He had a great eye for finding all sorts of critters obscured to most divers by their camoflauge abilities.

Jer & Miss Piggy

Garcia meets Miss Piggy

Jerry, Billy and Kidd never seemed to get enough. Jerry began to return about every 6 months; some days doing 4 dives. Kidd made frequent return trips became an avid U/W photographer and helped us with the installation of the permanent mooring buoys which has helped tremendously in preserving the reefs. The Jerry Garcia Band did a benefit in Hilo to help raise funds for this cause and $10,000 came from the Grateful Dead's Rex Foundation.

Billy K

Billy with his 1st u/w video camera

After many dive trips in Hawaii, Billy went on to dive around the world documenting his trips on film. He and Bobby helped found Coral Forest, a reef conservation agency, which later merged with Reef Relief.


Bobby and baby octopus

Bobby and his sister, Wendy, are involved with such environmental causes as Reef Relief and co-wrote some wonderful childrens books to promote conservation to all age groups. I have included links to some of the above mentioned enterprises at the bottom of this page.

BG Jer RR Me & Steve

Jeff Leicher took this picture of Jerry and Steve and Ramrod at the bottom plus divemasters BG Johnson and myself.

handcrafted boxes Photo Order Info email

The photographs shown on this page as well as others may be purchased by emailing me. Use the link above for more information.

Dolphin Boxesmarine life

reef relief Reef Relief
A non-profit membership organization dedicated to preserving & protecting living coral reef ecosystems through local, regional & global efforts.
Ocean Spirit logoOcean Spirit
The Ocean Spirit expedition lead by Bill Kreutzmann with filmmakers Jeffrey Haupt and Wes Skiles, recorded the expedition and produced a video cassette. The adventure involved a 3,000 mile ocean voyage from San Francisco to the remote islands called the Rivillagigedos, 400+ miles South West of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
An "Ocean Spirit Tease" QuickTime movie link can be found on this site.
Bill Kreutzmann's amazing computer art site. "He explores fine art in the same fashion he plays music - to express his innermost feelings."

malama kaiMalama Kai Foundation
Malama Kai Foundation is a non profit organization that was formed in 1990 with a $10,000 donation from the Greatful Dead's Jerry Garcia. The foundation is best known for their effort in getting day-use moorings installed on all the State's popular dive sites.

OS.netHawaiian Mooring System
A very basic history of how Jerry helped to save the reefs through music, donation and testifying before government officials when they came to fine dive shop operators for installing permanent mooring buoys.

OS.netOcean Planet
This site has the story of Bob and Wendy Weir's adventure in the Great Barrier Reef that led them to write the wonderful children's book, Baru Bay.

GD.netGrateful Dead Official Site
For more info on the many important causes still being supported by the Grateful Dead go to their Official Site and link from there to the Rex Foundation.


...or go directly to The Rex Foundation and see what they're doing toward the preservation of the environment and the arts, and what you can do to help!

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