NPR logo 'Ray': One Diver's Rich Life Underwater

'Ray': One Diver's Rich Life Underwater

Amanda Bluglass YouTube

Ray: A Life Underwater is a short documentary made by Amanda Bluglass. It's about Ray Ives, a man who, after a long career as a commercial diver, still sinks into the deep on the hunt for treasure.

"If you get means of lifting the silt and sand from wherever you're looking and you come across something that's shiny, a quiver goes through you and your hair stands up, hoping it's going to be gold," he says. "But very often, it's not."

That doesn't seem to matter to Ray. He says he sees more now than he ever did when he was working, since now he has time to really look.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Bluglass says the managing director of a British marina company asked her if she'd like to make a film about Ray Ives. So she visited him at the shipping container in the marina where he keeps all his finds:

"When I entered Ray's 'museum' of treasure and got to know Ray, I knew I had a sure-fire hit for a film subject on my hands. It was like walking into an Aladdin's cave of artifacts, memorabilia and dive gear. Everywhere you look there is something fascinating, beautiful or just plain weird, and Ray has a lifetime of adventures to tell."

The shots are gorgeous, the water so turquoise and sparkly I almost wanted to join him, even though I'm terrified of diving. The visuals of Ray in his ancient diving suit are almost spooky, but warmed by his wide smile and passion. Recommended.