Sedna Epic Expedition

April 15, 2016
Very exciting news I’d like to share this week! I am thrilled to announce I have joined the all-women Sedna Epic team and will be traveling in late July with them to Baffin Island, in the Canadian Territory of Nunavut. Sedna’s educational outreach program will work with Inuit communities and in particular young women to deliver an educational outreach program focused on ocean conservation and climate change.

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The Plan:

Snorkel the Northwest Passage for Climate Change

Over the next three summers the team will snorkel the Canadian Arctic’s 3,000 km Northwest Passage from Pond Inlet to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories.
The all-female team of scientists, explorers, educators, and artists will be the first to attempt the voyage. By completing this journey we hope to bring worldwide attention to disappearing sea ice and climate change.

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Bringing the Ocean to Eye Level:

Throughout the journey Team Sedna will work with ten Inuit communities to deliver educational outreach programs focused on ocean conservation and climate change. These programs will consist of using ROV’s (remotely operated vehicles/underwater robots) equipped with videcameras, mobile aquariums, and snorkel safari’s to enable the local community to explore the biodiversity of the underwater world in their very own backyards.

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Combining Aboriginal and Scientific Knowledge to Mitigate Global Warming

Via Sedna’s social media channels and various media coverage, we hope to give the Inuit community a platform to express their knowledge, experience, and perspectives on the changing Arctic climate.

In late July, the Sedna Epic team will travel to Iqaluit, Nunavat (Baffin Island) where we will deliver an educational ocean outreach program with the local Inuit community. The outreach program will focus on educating, inspiring, and empowering young Inuit girls to pursue careers in the sciences.

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Empowering Women and Girls

The sea women will provide mentorship to Inuit youth, introducing them to the possibility of careers in marine biology, fisheries management, seafood harvesting, ocean engineering, remotely operated vehicle pilots, marine archaeology, climate science, movie-making and photography, and as dive masters and dive instructors in the nascent dive and snorkel tourism industry in Nunavut.

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Image of Sedna by Anthony Galbraith

In Inuit mythology, Sedna is the goddess/mother of the sea and all of its creatures.

 

Investing in the Future of the Arctic:

The Arctic is quite an expensive place, but with your support I hope to offset some of the costs involved. The costs associated with just this leg of the journey could easily exceed $18,000.

Any bit of support would be most appreciated and would go a long way. No contribution is too small!

For your support, I’ve compiled a range of rewards:

For $20, I will send an email update to you from the expedition.

For $35, I will send you or a loved one a postcard from the Arctic.

For $50, you will receive an 11×14 print of your choice from either my website, blog, or social media channels (or your choice of any of the preceding).

For $75, you will receive a 16×20 print of your choice from my website (or your choice of any of the preceding).

For $100, you will receive a 20×30 print from my website (or your choice of any of the preceding).

For $250, you will either receive a one hour pool portrait session in the Greater NYC area or a one hour skype session on underwater photography tips and tricks (or your choice of any of the preceding).

For $500, book an hour-long Remote Speaking Engagement via Skype on either the July Sedna Expedtion or conservation photography (or your choice of any of the preceding).

For $1,000, book a Speaking Engagement in New England (or your choice of any of the preceding).

For 2,500, book a Speaking Engagement in the continental United States (or your choice of any of the preceding).

If you are interested in donating please visit: www.gofundme.com/jlentini

Questions, ideas, or shared passions? Please feel free to contact me!

Nakurmiik! (Thank you in Inuktitut)

World Photography Day

August 20, 2015
Arctic fox pup

Arctic fox pup in Svalbard

 I’ve had a passion for fascinating images of wildlife and wild places for as long as I can remember. I can recall my angry parents walking into my childhood bedroom while I zealously stapled wildlife photos from magazines and calendars across an entire wall, floor to ceiling. I only wish I had an image from my old bedroom to share.

Before I had my own camera I quietly watched and admired my father as he meticulously lined up every shot with his 35 mm Minolta; albeit to the aggravation of the rest of the family. Long before I had my own first camera, the idea of being able to freeze a moment in time became an obsession for me. I began to use both fingers and thumbs to create a viewfinder and could be found squinting with one eye open clucking my tongue to mimic the shutter. I was quite a sight I’m sure.

At university I explored other avenues and while my interest in photography and wildlife always lingered, I found myself in job roles that numbed my soul. Ultimately, and very fortunately, I have come full circle to find myself fully immersed in what I love the most. Today I spoke with a man who referred to scuba diving as his religion. While I feel very strongly about scuba diving and the oceans and definitely agree with his statement, I feel compelled to expand on it a bit to include the rest of the natural world as well. Wilderness is my religion. I feel at peace there. It is what fills me with joy. And photography is the medium I use to convey my love for it.

Happy Photo Day!

Elysium Artists for the Arctic: Raffle for the Last Team Member

May 2, 2015

Exciting news everyone! Ocean Geographic has decided to raffle off the final spot on the 3-week long Elysium Artists for the Arctic expedition (8/29-9/16) for only $50 a ticket. All money raised goes towards making the journey carbon neutral, and one lucky winner will get to go on the trip of a lifetime for only $50! Runner up goes to Cuba with OG early next year. Enter now for your chance to join the Elysium Team: https://rallyup.com/1e5430 Who’s coming with us??

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Gozo: The Isle of Calypso

April 29, 2015
Inland Sea | Gozo, Malta

Inland Sea

      A couple of weeks ago I finally got a chance to make it to the island of Gozo for some diving. For those unfamiliar with Gozo, it is one of the three inhabited Maltese Islands, which are situated in the southern Mediterranean Sea 300km north of Africa. Only accessible from the main island by ferry, Gozo has avoided overdevelopment and retained a lot more of its natural beauty both above and below sea level than it’s parent island, Malta.
Boat at Inland Sea Tunnel, Inland Sea | Gozo, Malta

Inland Sea Tunnel

The islands have been home to many feature films such as Gladiator, Troy, and Alexander; as well as scenes from the T.V. series Game of Thrones. Furthermore, it was exciting to learn that recently Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were filming the movie, By the Sea, in the same picturesque bay, Mgarr ix-Xini, that I explored underwater.

Snorkeler at the Blue Hole | Gozo, Malta

Snorkeler at Blue Hole

The geography topside consists of a hilly, terraced landscape which in April is littered with a colourful array of wildflowers. Olive, citrus, and pine trees thrive on the rocky, limestone earth. Grape vines also seem to fare well here as the sun can be relied on to shine 300 days of the year. Vast cave systems can be explored topside as well as underwater. And as you can see from the images the topography is rather magnificent. Diving through the many underwater tunnels was certainly a highlight for me.

Xlendi Tunnel, Xlendi Bay | Gozo, Malta

Xlendi Tunnel, Xlendi Bay

My partner and I arrived in Gozo during the second week of April with the plan to spend the next seven days becoming familiar with our new dry suits.  We positioned ourselves in the charming nook of Xlendi Bay, just ten minutes from the capital, Victoria. Xlendi Bay is the type of place I could easily find myself relocating to one day. It’s quaint yet visually stunning, intimate yet breathtakingly expansive. In fact, that’s exactly how Neil and Sally, the owners of Utina Diving College felt when they took over their dive shop in this seaside town.

Xlendi Tunnel, Xlendi Bay | Gozo, Malta

My Zen Place | Xlendi Tunnel

We couldn’t have been more pleased with the time we spent diving with Utina, and were certainly very well looked after while we got acclimated to our new Santi dry suits. Learning to dive in a drysuit truly is like learning to dive all over again and they were more than patient with us. Adding my camera to the mix after only three dives certainly increased the learning curve. While I am happy with the shots I took I know they could have been a whole lot better had I felt more confident diving. I suppose good old fashioned practice is the only way to improve! With diving plans for cold water lakes in Austria and Norway, and open water dives in Iceland, the practice will certainly need to continue to re-master the art of buoyancy control to the point of instinct.

Exit of Xlendi Tunnel, Xlendi Bay | Gozo, Malta

Xlendi Tunnel, Xlendi Bay

Mggar-ix-Xini | Gozo, Malta

Mggar-ix-Xini | The movie, By the Sea, was Shot in this Bay

Octopus | Gozo, Malta

On the Last Dive of the Trip, and Moments Away from Surfacing this Huge Octopus Appeared out of Nowhere in Front of Me

Note: I should point out that while we wore our drysuits for our personal and training reasons, others managed with 5-7mm wetsuits. The Spring in Malta is a little chilly underwater although temperatures only ranged between 15 and 18 degrees centigrade while we were there. Not too bad! Of course with the strength of the sun the water warms quite quickly and only a few weeks from now most divers will be wearing wetsuits.

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