Tom Campbell and Beth Davidow
Exploring the underwater world
Globe-trotting underwater cinematographers Beth Davidow and Tom Campbell led exciting lives even long before they met. Tom was a U.S. Navy-qualified diver and member of the Marine Corps’ elite 1st Force Reconnaissance combat dive team who led 20 Vietnamese Special Forces commandos on covert operations organized by the CIA in Vietnam. After his military service, he received a college degree in business and criminal law. He then joined the California Highway Patrol and was selected to be part of President Reagan’s security team. Tom’s next career was shooting videos for TV productions – he pioneered large-format, high-definition (HD) underwater cinematography starting in 1998. His award-winning assignments as a photographer/cinematographer have taken him all over the world, filming for global companies such as the BBC, Continental Airlines, National Geographic, the Discovery and History Channels, Time Life Books, New York and LA Times magazines.
Beth also has enjoyed numerous careers. She earned a Masters in Museum Science and Vertebrate Paleontology at Texas Tech University. She served as a park ranger and naturalist guide in the Petrified Forest, Glacier, and Denali National Parks. After five weeks as a guide in Churchill, Manitoba, with polar bears, Beth worked as a naturalist and photographer aboard expedition ships voyaging to Antarctica, the Arctic, Baja, the Caribbean, and Alaska’s Inside Passage. For over 20 years, she had a successful career as a wildlife and nature photographer and writer. Her images and articles have appeared in many well-known publications such as National Geographic Traveler, National Wildlife, Sierra Club, Audubon, GEO Germany, Outdoor Life, Montana, Nature’s Best, Florida Wildlife, Alaska, WildBird, Ranger Rick, and other magazines, books, calendars, and advertisements worldwide.
Clearly, Beth and Tom are a match made in heaven! They joined forces after meeting at a nature film festival in 2004 and have traveled the globe together creating unforgettable underwater and nature films ever since. Recently, they took delivery of the perfect platform for their art – a new Maritimo M51 motoryacht, which they named Tangaroa after the Maori god known as the “guardian of the sea.” They wanted to keep a connection to New Zealand, where they’ve lived part-time for 17 years. Currently, they are living aboard Tangaroa in the nature-rich Sea of Cortez.
The Tender/To Tangaroa is a Highfield Classic 360 Deluxe RIB that gets a real workout on the couple’s dive and video expeditions. It is their second Highfield – they also had one on their previous boat, a 38′ Caribbean motoryacht they owned in New Zealand.
The perfect tender for the job
“Choosing the right tender for Tangaroa took time and careful consideration,” Beth says. “We wanted a tender that was well-built, lightweight yet strong, and had a center console. It needed to be big enough to carry all of our dive and camera gear and/or another couple. And it had to easily fit on the bow deck. In the end, the combination of weight, quality, features, and customer service put Highfield Boats at the top of the list.”
She continues, “The perfect tender for our needs turned out to be the Highfield Classic 360 Deluxe model. It’s not quite 12 feet in length, a bit shy of 6 feet in width, and weighs 392 pounds. It’s the perfect size to fit on the bow of our Maritimo. These boats offer a wide deck, built-in rear seat and low-profile console, features that not only provide an unbeaten level of comfort and storage capacity but also make a very useful platform for cruising and exploring away from Tangaroa. With the 40hp Yamaha engine, the tender flies across the water while keeping us nice and dry.”