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An Unforgettable Dive: From Chemical Streaks to Clean Oceans

Stream2Sea founder Autumn Blum creates products that are healthy for humans, fish and other marine life.

Stream2Sea founder Autumn Blum creates products that are healthy for humans, fish and other marine life.

Autumn Blum

As scuba divers, we’re privileged to explore, enjoy and play beneath the surface — something the vast majority of people on the planet will never experience. While it’s hard to pick a favorite, each of us certainly has a dive we’ll never forget. Whether it’s crossing something off our scuba diving bucket list, making eye contact with a humpback whale, or simply enjoying a perfect day underwater with our favorite dive buddies – we love to share these dive stories with other aquaholics.

To celebrate the beauty, variety and joy that this sport brings, we’re sharing some truly unforgettable dives from around the world, as told by the divers who lived them first-hand. We hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we do!

Autumn Blum cradles a golden jellyfish in Palau during the trip that inspired her to create Stream2Sea.

Autumn Blum cradles a golden jellyfish in Palau during the trip that inspired her to create Stream2Sea.

Courtesy Autumn Blum

Name: Autumn Blum

Certification: Certified in 1989 in the Florida Keys as a junior diver

Current: Cosmetic chemist, entrepreneur, avid scuba diver and ocean advocate. Founder of Stream2Sea and Scuba Girls. 2022 Inductee into Women Divers Hall of Fame.

Follow:

Instagram: @Stream2Sea @AutumnS2S, Facebook: stream2sea

My ‘Must Have’ On Any Dive Trip

Only one??? I’ve played mad chemist to create products that help me solve some of my most persistent challenges as a diver.

I am the foggiest diver you have ever met, or at least I was. It didn’t matter what mask I used, whether I was diving open circuit or closed, how much I scrubbed, flamed, spit and sprayed–I always fogged. So, I decided to make a Stream2Sea Mask Defog and it works amazing, if I do say so myself! The key for me is to not rinse it all out, leaving just a trace of bubbles in the mask, and I haven’t fogged since. Other people must agree since it has become our number one seller.

My Unforgettable Dive: Palau

Let me breathe underwater, and I am a happy woman! There is one particular dive in Palau, however, that completely changed my life. I had sold my first skincare company and was rekindling my passion to dive. Before that trip, I had dove throughout the Caribbean, but it was my first time in the Pacific, and I was blown away by the coral diversity, sharks, and general health of the reefs there. It was the first time I had seen clownfish, giant clams and lettuce coral.

Stream2Sea founder Autumn Blum is happiest underwater and has dedicated her career to creating safe products for humans and the sea.

Stream2Sea founder Autumn Blum is happiest underwater and has dedicated her career to creating safe products for humans and the sea.

Courtesy Autumn Blum

We were coming up to our safety stop after a particularly beautiful dive when I noticed a rainbow on the surface. How lovely, I thought! As I got closer, my heart sank when I realized it wasn’t a rainbow, but rather a chemical sheen coming off a group of snorkelers. I grabbed the nearest bottle of sunscreen when I got back on board and read the ingredients.

I had spent the last 15 years of my life developing personal care products for the natural products industry. Not a single sunscreen on board that ship would have been allowed in any health food store (not even mine, because I foolishly didn’t wear sunscreen at that stage of my life).

Related Reading: How to Take Care of Your Skin During a Dive Trip

I started paying attention to every personal care product around me, but using a more discerning lens. The shampoo used on the dive deck left pearlescent, fragrant suds running right overboard. My toothpaste contained common surfactants that are toxic in water–to the point where one or two drops can kill an entire tankful of fish. The mask defog, even baby shampoo, also contained toxic ingredients.

I was wrecked, and soon became obsessed. I had spent the first part of my career making therapeutic skincare: products that were safe for people with even the most sensitive skin. But I had never once thought about how these products might impact our aquatic environment.

By the time I came home from Palau, I had drafted my business plan for Stream2Sea. I resigned from my current job and began formulating a product line that would be not only safe for humans but also safe for our precious aquatic environment. The rest is history!