- Last Activity:
- Dec 21, 2018
- Jun 3, 2009
- Likes Received:
- Trophy Points:
- West Virginia
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Solo Diver, Male, from West Virginia
- Paladin was last seen:
- Dec 21, 2018
- West Virginia
- Certification Agencies:
- Dive History:
- Rivers (I live at the confluence of two rivers), lakes, quarries, a couple of shore dives in the Atlantic Ocean at Myrtle Beach, SC.,reef dive in the Gulf of Oman off Fujairah, UAE.
- Certification History:
- Basic Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver
- Certification Level:
- Advanced Open Water
- # of Logged Dives:
- 500 - 999
- Dive Classification:
- Experienced Diver
- Years Certified:
- Ten Or More Years
When I was a boy, way back when, one of my favorite TV shows was SEA HUNT, starring Loyd Bridges. In 1962, at the age of eight, I collected trading stamps (anybody remember those?) to get my first set of Voit snorkeling gear and taught myself how to snorkel. Three years later (1965), a friend of my parents (Harold) learned of my fascination with diving and, during one of our visits to his home, he took me out to his garage and showed me a couple of Aqualung double hose rigs that he'd had for a few years. He had been a Navy Frogman in the 1950s and had brought the rigs home with him. I drooled over the rigs and fingered the two hose regulators (DA Aquamaster). He asked me if I wanted to buy one but I didn't have any money. Then he offered to give me the rig if I would cut and trim the grass on his property for the summer.
- Dive Equipment:
6 US Divers Aqua-Lung Aquarius Regulators
6 US Divers Conshelf XI Regulators
4 US Divers Conshelf XII Regulators
USD Calypso J
2 Conshelf XIV Regulators
US Divers Conshelf 21 Regulator
US Divers Conshelf SE Regulator
OMS 250 first stage w/ Sea Elite RX30 second stage
US Divers DA Aqua-Master Double Hose Regulator (PRAM/HPR)
2 Catalina S80s
2 Catalina S53s (doubles)
8 steel 72s with J valves (Two as doubles)
USD Campac backpack
Healthways CamPac backpack
Sea Elite Horse Collar BC
Aeris EX100 Jacket BC
NeoSport 5mm wetsuit
NeoSport 3mm wetsuit
TommyDSports 3mm wetsuit
Sea Elite 3/2 wetsuit
Classic Oval Mask (3)
Deep Blue Gear VUE Three-Window mask (2)
Aqua-Lung Caravelle ADJ fins
Aqua Lung Deep See Full Foot Rubber Fins
Tusa Liberator X-10 open heel fins
ScubaPro Jet fins
Healthways Capillary Depth Gauge
2 Mares Puck Computers
Every Saturday, I would spend the day working, then go into the garage to look at the Aqualung rig. Then, two weeks before our agreed upon time was up, the rig disappeared from the garage. I asked Harold where it was and he wouldn't tell me. He just told me not to worry about it.
Two weeks later, I finished cutting and trimming his property and went in to close the deal. There, in his kitchen, was the rig. The regulator had been serviced and looked like new. The tank, however, was not the one I had contracted for. In its place was a US Divers 72 that was only a year old. Over in a corner was the other rig. It, too had been refurbished. Although we had not discussed it previously, Harold was including SCUBA instruction in our deal.
Harold took me on a couple of shallow dives in the river then, over the winter, we went over the "head work" of diving. I learned the science of SCUBA, how to read the Navy dive tables, safety procedures, equipment maintenance, etc. In the spring, we went out to the river and I began to learn the skills I would need to dive safely: Emergency ascents, buddy breathing, how to clear the mouthpiece of a two hose regulator, calculating air consumption and timing my dives (we had no SPGs), using the J-valve on my tank, etc.
Harold was not a diving instructor, nor was he certified himself. He taught me what he had learned in the Navy and we filled our tanks from his compressor. I dove with him and some of his buddies for the next eleven years. Then, in 1976, Harold suffered a heart attack and died suddenly. Before I had an opportunity to speak to his widow about his equipment, she disposed of it. Without that compressor, I could not fill my tank.
That same year, I learned of a new dive shop that was opening in my town and went right in to sign up for the certification course. I told the shop owner of my experience and, instead of the usual three week course, he just had me take the written test, then had me go out with his next class to have me demonstrate my skills. After a weekend of diving, he gave me my Basic SCUBA Diver C-card. For Christmas in 1976, my parents gave me a new, vinyl-coated Healthways steel 72 with a Sherwood J valve. I continued to use my old double hose DAAM regulator for a couple more years until I bought a single hose Aqualung Aquarius regulator.
In 1992, I upgraded my certification to Open Water Diver because the parameters of my old certification had changed and Basic no longer meant what it had when I got that first certification.
I stopped diving in 1993 when my first wife and I were divorced. I remarried in 1996 and my new wife had no interest in SCUBA. I returned to diving because my two sons expressed an interest in the sport. My wife now is certified and we dive as a family.
Since 2000, I have earned a BA in English, a BA in Communications and a MA in Media Studies. Over the years I've been a truck driver, armed guard/personal bodyguard, ambulance driver, search and rescue team member, State Forest Ranger/Fire Control Officer, and a few other things that struck my fancy at various times.
Montani Semper Liberi
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