S2 EP1 – Caitlyn Webster – Exploring the icy underworld through the eyes of a polar expedition diver

Southern California-based Caitlyn Webster is an “Undersea Specialist” who interprets the natural history of everything and anything under the sea. Through stunning videography, she’s able to bring the underworld to the surface and share it with others.

Photo by Brett Monroe Garner


As an experienced dry suit diver, she is simply blown away by being able to breathe underwater and has been able to develop a truly unique career in marine biology and ocean exploration. Her background as a kelp forest monitor recording ecological aspects and key species in places like Africa and the South Pacific led her to her current position with Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic.

Photo by Michael Nolan


In this episode, she regales us with stories of coming eye to eye with a Leopard seal underwater and exploring kelp beds amongst diving guillemots at Alkefjellet in Svalbard, while emphasizing the importance of keeping calm, being present and trusting in your dive partner.

Sea Angel in Greenlandic waters


This is a must-listen for anyone who is fascinated by diving and by the undersea world. Let us know what you think in the comments!



4:00 Caitlyn details how she got her start in dry suit diving and was offered her first job diving in the polar regions

9:05 What is an “Undersea Specialist?”

12:40 The extensive precautions and preparations you have to take when diving in really cold water

19:25 The “sheer bliss” of the first 6 minutes and how to mentally manage the remainder of the dive as the freeze sets in

26:35 A “surreal” and harrowing first polar dive at Alkefjellet in Svalbard

45:30 The key differences between diving in the Arctic vs the Antarctic

51:20 A breathtaking encounter with a Leopard seal underwater in Antarctica

1:03:07 What Caitlyn wants everyone to understand about our world’s coldest seas

1:06:35 Why the “sea angel” is Caitlyn’s favourite creature she’s encountered in the polar oceans


Caitlyn on Instagram: @sea_webster

Caitlyn’s website: caitlynwebster.com



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