Robert Osborne has always been passionate about two things, story telling and scuba diving. He’s fulfilled the first of these passions through his work as a journalist. For 29 years he’s worked for every major network in Canada as a producer and reporter. For the last 17 years Robert has been the Senior Field Producer for the CTV documentary program W5. As part of that job he’s travelled around the world filming stories that have taken him from the depths of Conception Bay to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, from Haiti’s slums to Rodeo Drive. He’s met mob bosses and movie stars, rubbed elbows with the famous and infamous.
Along the way he’s indulged in his second passion—scuba diving. That began in 1971 when he was 16 years old when he checked a book out of the local library called “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.” Within months of reading that book he’d certified as a NAUI open water diver with the Lahr Sub Aqua Club in West Germany. To add gravy to the whole experience, his certification took place in Bandol, France, the very place where Cousteau tested his self contained underwater breathing apparatus.
Nine years ago, Robert decided to start to combine his two passions. So he began to write magazine articles for diving magazines. Since then he’s been a regular contributor to Diver Magazine, Scuba Diving Magazine, Diver UK, AOL Travel, Xray-magazine, as well as newspapers like The Globe and Mail. Robert has also managed to direct, write and host several underwater documentaries. One of those projects was “Pirates of Newfoundland.”
Robert first came on that story while researching material for a CTV documentary. He’s since written an article about the same adventure for Diver Magazine. During the course of that work Robert has managed five trips to dive the Bell Island Wrecks and surrounding waters, which he considers to arguably be among the best cold-water dives in the world.
Robert is currently working for Dam Builder Productions on a documentary for The Nature of Things, is an Associate Editor for Xray Magazine and still writes articles for Diver Magazine.
Pirates of the East Coast
It’s not every day that you get an invitation to go hunting for pirates. And not the kind who jump in speedboats off the coast of Somalia and hijack super tankers, but the real kind: the ones who used to drink rum, sail the Spanish Main and steal gold doubloons. And I wasn’t being asked to fly to the Caribbean for this adventure—in fact I was being told to fly to St. Johns, Newfoundland. It all seemed a little surreal.
Rick Stanley was the person issuing the invitation. Now I’ve been on some adventures with Ocean Quest before, but this proposal seemed to have a real quixotic side to it. He was proposing that we search for the remains of a 17th century pirate ship somewhere around the Avalon Peninsula.
How could I say no? And so I found myself flying off to St. John’s with a TV crew in tow and a week to accomplish my goal. During the next seven days I would discover an astonishing and unknown page of Canadian history, a page that revealed Canada was home to arguably two of the most successful pirates of all time. How successful were we? You’ll have to attend Shipwrecks 2013 to find out.