Notes about things regarding scuba diving that I have come to know
Our Story of getting into SCUBA diving
As long as I can remember I was fascinated by scuba diving but it always seemed out of reach. Way back then training seemed too tough for a klutz like me, then it was being the father of youngsters and the start-up costs always seemed out of reach. Assuming that my wife would not be interested made it seem selfish to even consider getting into something that I felt could easily become an obsession.
When we started camping as a family back in 1995 we picked up some snorkeling gear. I'd mess around in whatever open water a campground had and a time or 2 per summer I'd catch Maine's warmest seawater. It wasn't much, my wife didn't really care for it but my youngest daughter was a natural and sometimes we'd go together.
Labor Day weekend in 2003 my life began to change. We were well into the hurricane season and my youngest daughter suggested we go body surfing in the big waves. It sounded like fun but I knew she wouldn't last in the ocean water. We stopped by a sporting goods store and bought a pair of 3mm full suits. That September we went skin-diving and body surfing several times and a seed was planted.
The next June the local pond was beckoning. One night after work I went for a skin-dive only to find that the water left me with a major brain freeze. I returned 2 nights latter with a beanie and survived for half an hour.
Over the next 2 weeks I got wet about 6 times and my wife Lorna decided that she wanted to join the fun. So it was off to the LDS (Local Dive Shop) to do it right. We left the shop pretty well outfitted and on our first skin-dive together in the ocean met Poco! That had a big WOW factor and by early November we had logged 90 skin-dives in local waters including many of the popular scuba diving sites. That summer we spent a week skin-diving in and around Acadia National Park "downeast" here in Maine.
There was a dive shop about 1/2 a mile from our house. To put this in perspective I think there are barely a dozen dive shops in the whole state. By now I had begun to lurk around ScubaBoard and was learning enough to be dangerous. Anyhow I had read about making a Discover Dive and decided to put this on my list of "things to do before I die". At least once in my life I would experience what it is like to breathe while underwater. A week latter in August of 2004 I made the dive.
The topic of scuba diving had come up around the house before and after making the discover dive I told my wife that I wanted to get certified for 2005. She said she was in too. A few weeks later she made a discover dive just to prove to herself that "she could do it" before taking the class. All went well.
In February of 2005 we began classroom, then pool work. We had a lull while we waited for the Atlantic to warm up a bit and dealt with some June chaos like the high school graduation of our oldest daughter. On June 25 we both became certified divers. Exactly 20 years to the date after our first date!
On our final certification dives we were 100% in our own gear including cylinders so we hit the ground running (or the water finning) diving together independently and with the local dive shop when my wife could not make it.
Before I knew it I was running an email network of buddies and I ended 2005 with 76 dives and had gone to diving dry in November. In 2006 we kept on diving, never missing a month. It was a busy year with Emergency First Responder and Oxygen Administration Training, AOW, Rescue Diver and Nitrox certifications. All while making113 dives for the year.
2007 is playing out to be a banner year. I broke into the world of vintage diving with a restored and enhanced double hose regulator. We dove at a vintage dive gear gathering at some springs in Florida and spent a week diving on the island of Bonaire. In August we returned to Acadia National Park the site of our 2004 skin-diving adventure to revisit the sites as scuba divers and I wrote a trip report. Ending 2007 with 300 total logged dives is not unlikely.