Splashing Around the World

Adventure, Experiences, New Place, Different Cultures, Beautiful Cities, Nature... all encompass why I love to travel. I may not be able to conquer it all but I will try my hardest to make it around the world leaving little ripples as I go.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Do What You Love, Love What You Do- Bob Meistrell

Today I lost one of the most important people to me in the world, Uncle Bob. When my grandfather passed away Uncle Bob without hesitation stepped in with an open heart and did everything he could do to fill in. I couldn't have asked for a better 7 years. One thing about Uncle Bob that I will never forget is his love and passion for life. It still amazes me how much zest he had for almost everything that he did no matter how big or small. From running a business to wanting to save the clippings from his succulent plant so that he could pot them and grow more. I think his love for the ocean transpires all of us. Especially our family. We will always be connected to the ocean through my grandpa and Uncle Bob. They taught us to love everything the ocean has to offer us and in return we need to protect it as well. The most important thing that I think that we can learn from both my grandpa and Uncle Bob is to do what you love and love what you do, because if you are not enjoying life then you really aren't living. This last weekend at Catalina with Uncle Bob was one of the best weekends I have had with him. He was in his element and I hope when I think of Uncle Bob I always look back at how happy he was this last weekend.

I have been so lucky to have had some amazing adventures with Uncle Bob. Here are some photos and stories of the great times we have had. There are many more that I want to share but heres a start:

For all of you who know him you will never forget this quote: "If you are smoking on this boat... You had better be on fire." 

This photo was taken right before he went on a dive for his 82nd birthday.  He loved these foam hands so much. He would always use them to wave as boats passed. 

A photo of Uncle Bob and me before his birthday dive. All three generations of Meistrells dove with him this day. It was an effort getting 18 sets of gear on the boat but we did it!!

Uncle Bob with his 82nd Birthday sign :)

Aunt Patty and Uncle Bob at Dive N Surf holding the photo of the family that went on the dive with him that day. 
I love this photo. These are wetsuits that were made in the late 80s early nineties and believe me the rubber was thick and not flexible. My dad, Uncle Bob and I squeezed into these suits and we went on a dive. We called it "Clowning Around."

This is my favorite photo of Uncle Bob. He is holding a picture of my grandpa. Now they are both together. 

This is a trip that I will never forget. Uncle Bob and I went cage shark diving at Guadalupe Island.  When the guide told us we could get out of the cage Uncle Bob was the first to get on top. Each cage got to stay under for about 30 minutes and he said he could have stayed down for hours even though the water was freezing. 

Uncle Bob loved to go and look for whales. This day we had a pod of blue whales that were about 30-40 feet long. Probably one of the coolest days off of Palos Verdes.

This day we went searching for Pilot Whales. I got to use uncle Bobs mask when we dove in the water to check them out. You can see the mask around his neck. He loved that oval face mask. You couldn't get him to wear another one. 

Uncle Bob got a call from a guy one day that had just bought a submarine and invited Uncle Bob to go over to Catalina and go for a ride. The man picked us up in an airplane and we jetted over to Catalina. The man drove the submarine the whole time which drove Uncle Bob crazy because he just wanted to fly through the water but it was an amazing experience. When we flew back the man took us around down town Los Angeles during sunset. I will never forget that ride.

The submarine crew. And boy did Uncle Bob love his submarines. Those of you who know him well I am sure have heard hundreds of his stories of diving in his yellow submarine.

No one lit up a tradeshow booth better than Uncle Bob. I am really going to miss having him there. Here were are a DEMA and took a break from standing on the show floor and went over to the oxygen booth for a little R and R. 

Always a jokster. Here is another R and R moment after dinner at our house. He said he was so content he could just fall asleep at the table... so I brought him a pillow. Couldn't snap the photo before he started laughing though.

Here we are at the Society of Environmental Journalist conference in Miami. Uncle Bob was always dedicated to keep ing the ocean blue. Even if he had to pick up the trash piece by piece in the harbor with his pool net.

Here we are with Jean Michel Cousteau at DEMA. Another effort to bring awareness to the ocean.

Jamie Daley Uncle Bob and I at the breakwall in Redondo.  Nick Meistrell, bobs grandson took the photo. 

Bob holding up the 60 Year Anniversary edition Body Glove SUP board. Pretty remarkable that the business has lasted 60 years. 

Uncle Bob and Aunt Patty came into the office every day. That is what I am going to miss the most. Their smiles as the walked in the door. It would be hard to think of a day of work that Uncle Bob did not stop by. This day was so gorgeous they pulled the chairs out front and decided to soak up some sun. 

Uncle Bob and I doing a little product testing of our winter line. He loved this hat.

Aunt Patty Uncle Bob my dad and I all dressed up at the Hardrock in Vegas. It was jazzed themed and we were rocking out.

This is from the Catalina Classic last August. Uncle Bob had his massive bag of croakies and he was handing them out to all of the paddlers. He loved those croakies and from the smiles it looked like the paddlers did do.

This photo wasn't taken too long ago. It was the real boss sitting in the head chair telling the younguns what to do.

This photo was taken on Friday while we were driving to dinner. Aunt Patty and Uncle Bob were so in love and are a perfect example of a couple that loved each other for so many years. We should all aspire to have a life full of as much love and happiness as they did. 


  1. Lovely post, Jenna. Thank you for sharing your special family memories. He was an amazing man. So many people have been touched by his life.

  2. Jenna, thank you so much for this post. There is a little succulent plant in my living room right now that he gave me 2 weeks ago - a "perfume plant" - he handed a few out to my lucky class members who got to go on the shell tour. In our last conversation, he said he wanted to have a party for everyone we taught this summer in his pool. He was such a gracious host. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him, and I will carry his spirit with me throughout my diving life and in my career protecting the ocean he loved so well. Sending your family love and strength.

  3. Jenna, thanks. He was my best friend, uncle, hero, and more...all rolled into one. Somehow, I think he was the same to everyone else too. Both he and your grandfather Bill were the greatest men I've ever known. We were incredibly fortunate to have known them both.


  4. Thanks Jenna, Bob was loved by us all. It's good to have the memories. I always enjoyed the opportunities to be with all of you on the Disappearance.

  5. Bob and Bill where a large part of my life, for the 10 years i worked at Dive N Surf. I will always look back on that time with fond memories.
    Thank you Jenna for sharing. Matt Smith