And now for something completely different. My tattoo was published in the October 2013 issue of Canada’s Diver Magazine. It was part of larger feature story about divers who have tattoos. This photo request was by far one of the strangest requests I have ever received from a diving magazine editor.
Getting a tattoo was the furthest thing from my mind when I stepped off the plane in Rarotonga, Cook Islands in April 2003. The original tribal body art design that adorns my right bicep depicts stylized whale tails breaking the ocean’s surface. While the tattoo was being applied, the tattoo artist and I discussed where I was from. Upon learning I lived in British Columbia he asked, “You have Orcas there, right?” He added an Orca’s fin to the final design. My tattoo artist was “T” (Tetini Pekopo) of T’s Tattoos on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. He is native and does mainly traditional Cook Island tattoo designs but also creates some interesting contemporary patterns using traditional Polynesian motifs. His studio is extremely busy so one must book an appointment. “T” is known throughout Polynesia as a traditional artist and tattooist who is extremely talented, possessing incredible knowledge and skill. Overall, a rather spontaneous decision on my part that I have never regretted.