Van Alphen Çapkin

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“ When we make plans in life our ambitions lead us in different directions, and when we arrive to those destinations we realize the journey has been more fruitful than the destination, and our plans have changed for the better. Our strong choices made today, lead the way for a better future. I feel that applies individually and collectively.”

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Çapkin ran a family-owned dive school in Noosa, Queensland, Australia. His father was a combat diver who dove with Jacques-Yves Cousteau on the Grand Congloué expedition.

In 1986, his father and he guided the Calypso around the great barrier reef with Riquet Goiran and Yves Goiran. Çapkin was 18 years old at that time and made several dives with the team, meeting with the crew and “La Bergere”, Simone Cousteau.

After this experience, he returned to the family business, became an archeological diver and joined the Queensland Museum’s Pandora expedition. In 1989, Mike Sullivan recommended him to the Cousteau team, and Çapkin sent in his application. He received a rapid reply inviting him to join the Cousteau expedition on the Alcyone in Tasmania.

Çapkin remained on the Alcyone for three years taking part in expeditions to Australia, Indonesia, Flores Islands, Nauru, Fiji and Ocean Island, as well as in the flying missions to California to tag whales and dolphins and to the Caribbean (Turks and Caicos).

Çapkin left the team in 1993, moved to New York and worked as a nightclub manager, actor, glassblower and DJ, while continuing to practice free diving all along. Eager to return to the ocean, he obtained a captain’s license and worked in the commercial offshore oil and gas industry for 2 years, disheartened by the effects of this industry on the oceans he decided to reconvert as captain of luxury yachts in the Mediterranean for another 2 years.
He has now returned to the underwater world as photographer/videographer working towards the protection and conservation of our planet and it's oceans through various organizations.

“ When we make plans in life our ambitions lead us in different directions, and when we arrive to those destinations we realize the journey has been more fruitful than the destination, and our plans have changed for the better. Our strong choices made today, lead the way for a better future. I feel that applies individually and collectively.”
Today, Çapkin is the proud father of Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s first great-grandson, Felix, and he is the man in the silver wetsuit in many of the Cousteau Society’s archive images.


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