This Bums Me Out

Joe Strykowski

Joe Strykowski

Joe Strykowski is a name that’s been glued to the back of my mind since the 1970’s.  At the time I first heard of him I was maybe 10 or 12 years old and wanted nothing in life more than to earn SCUBA certification.  I know Joe Strykowski only from the first book about SCUBA that I ever purchased, “Diving for Fun, by Joe Strykowski.”  I carried that book around constantly and read every page easily 100 times.  I’d look at the pictures and dream about being underwater, imagining the day that I would own my own set of gear and be able to dive whenever I wanted.


Diving For Fun, by Joe Strykowski

Today, I learned a little more about the man behind the book.  Unfortunately, I learned it in the context of a series of news pieces about his having been lost at sea sometime in 2009.  I learned that Mr. Strykowski was about the same age as my dad, and that he was a naturalist living in Florida.  It seems that everyone around him loved him and I know, first hand that he influenced many, many lives like that of a young boy dreaming about breathing underwater.

3 thoughts on “This Bums Me Out

  1. Joe, was my dive instructor with Rena Bonem, PhD. Wow, what an awesome guy! He influenced me deeply in regard to ocean conservation, and diving safety. I have not, nor will I ever forget him. I still use the book he gave to me years ago, and smile when I read the note he wrote on the front page.
    Our tragic loss.

  2. Thank you for this post. Joe Strykowski was my Uncle, and my Godfather. Yes, he was loved by many, and influenced many to enjoy life and make a difference. His foundation was called The Starthrower Foundation, to encourage people to do something to help our world.

    I have a picture of him, on the boat, by my computer where I can see him daily. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him.

    • Dear Vicky

      I worked on Curacao from 1981-1984 as a young doctor. I learned to dive and began to photograph the Caribbean underwater world. I learned all the basics from the book: divers&cameras bij Joe Strykowski. I am still grateful for his help. I published a underwater picture book now depicting the reef at that time. In honour of Joe (who died in an accident at sea)I want you to have a copy. Please mail me the adress, so I can send it to you.


      Jos Janssen
      Israelserf 53 8072 JB Nunspeet Netherlands

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