KO OLINA (KHNL) - It's a popular past time, taking pictures of our waters. But an Oahu man who likes to see life through the eyes of a camera, is doing more than just coming away with scenic shots.
He hopes he is bringing our ocean environment to the world, to make a difference for the future.
It's a day of play for dozens of visitors and locals on board this Ocean Joy Cruise.
But for Ray Hollowell, its another day at the office. This island videographer spends every chance he can get in the water filming Hawaii's abundant waterlife.
"When I'm in the water, I'm at peace. I love interacting with ocean animals, I have a pretty good bond with them," said Hollowell.
But Ray's ocean experiences haven't always been so peaceful. While shooting surfers at Pipeline in the winter, he got caught by a huge set and almost didn't survive. After being revived on the beach, and a painful year long recovery to mend numerous broken bones and injuries, Ray emerged a changed man.
"My near death experience helped shift my focus to all educational ocean stuff for children"
Ray now shoots video in the waters around Hawaii, that airs on international programming he helped create called PlanSea.
This program is shown to millions of school kids through public broadcasting channels. Teaching them not only about the ocean and its inhabitants but what our next generation can do to protect this precious resource. And while the message is an important one, it's the images that Ray gathers underwater that captivates audiences. Showing why it is so important to protect this unspoiled environment.
Ray's passion for the ocean keeps bringing him back into the water, and thanks to a second chance at life, he's able to take kids along for an inspiring lesson as well.
"I feel blessed that I can get these images and share them with the children of the world," added Hollowell.
Because PlanSea is still ramping up operations and productions, Ray finds he spends a lot of time out of the ocean editing segments for the show. But he hopes to increase his water time in the future.