Sunday, July 22, 2007

Returnig to the Ocean - James D. Watt Memorial Service

In order to make his wish come true, Jim Watt's close friends and family members took a boat ride out of Keauhou harbor, and scattered his ashes into the ocean in the morning on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007.

Jim Watt returned to the ocean where he belonged.

close friends and families scattering ashes of marine wildlife photographer James D. Watt, who died of lung cancer on July 19th, 2007, from 46' sailing catamaran, Hokuhele, James D. Watt Funeral held on July 22nd, 2007, off Keauhou, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, Pacific Ocean, Model Not Released - No MR

Many familiar faces were there to see him off. We tried to keep our faces smiley to celebrate his glorious life throughout the event, but we all burst into tears soon after we started to pay tribute to his life while grabbing each other's hands in a circle. It was an emotional ride for everybody, and all of us cried out loud when his ashes finally went into the ocean.

We threw many Hawaiian flowers with prayers and tears as the boat circled him several times. I brought a bottle of rum and poured it into the ocean along with my tears. Rum & Coke was his favorite drink, and we spent much time over that brown cocktail talking about our next adventures and marine wildlife photography.

It will be very strange and perhaps awkward not to see him physically off Kona Coast any longer, but the time may eventually resolve such awkwardness, and I know that he lives forever in my heart and that of others whose lives were also touched by him.

I can "feel" him everyday when I see the ocean, smell the sea breeze, and taste the salt water... fortunately for me those are daily events in Kona, Hawaii.

marine wildlife photographer, James D. Watt, photographing pygmy killer whale, Feresa attenuata, Kona, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, Pacific Ocean, Model Released - MR#: 000044

I am extremely lucky to have met him. It was a great honor and a privilege to have spent nine years of my life with such inspiring photographer like Jim Watt in this paradise-like place.

As we were approaching the harbor with our heads down after we were emotionally drained offshore, something magical happened. Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins suddenly showed up by our boat and escorted us to the Keauhou Harbor. We all felt that it was Jim cheering us up and saying final goodbye to us.

Thanks for the great memories, Jim. I'll see you out there, buddy.

Masa Ushioda

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