In 1963, I saw one of Cousteau’s undersea movies and was hooked. I got trained during the Summer of 1964 by an ex-Navy frogman, who offered a 14-day course through a country club in Medford, Oregon. The course offered basic scuba instruction as well as training in running up and down stairs wearing full dive gear, one of the skills for which I have found no use. Oddly, the course was not approved by any recognized agency. I did not receive a certification card. Indeed, PADI would not be formed until two years later, in 1966.
Nonetheless, I bought equipment from a mail order store in New York City and the local fire department filled my single tank during the next several years as I dived the rivers and lakes of Northeastern Oregon. I read and studied everything I could find about diving. I acquired additional equipment, including a custom-made wetsuit, and I even replaced the puny fins and the dorky knife I had in the picture to the right.
I dove infrequently during the years after 1967, when I graduated from high school and entered college. I got married and then quickly divorced; earned a BA in Mathematics; moved to Utah and became a ski bum; then became a law student and finally a lawyer, working for the US Treasury and Justice Departments. I quit Government service in 1988 to spend two years sailing through the Caribbean, transiting the Panama Canal in 1989 and opening my own law practice in Seattle in late-1990.
I left the practice of law in 2005 and moved to Fort Lauderdale, where I bought a small crew hotel which is now called The Hotel Cordova and Hostel. Come and see us sometime. I also enrolled in TD van Niekerk’s Open Water Diver course, worked my way through the PADI curriculum and earned my Divemaster certification in October of 2006.
I took the IDC from Arilton Pavan at Dixie Divers and successfully sat for the PADI Instructor’s Exam in February of 2007. I also got certified to offer the Diver’s Alert Network courses and the Emergency First Response CPR and 1st Aid courses.
I am now a Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT) with PADI. I have logged over 3,600 dives since getting certified, most of them off the Fort Lauderdale beaches and many of them solo dives. In the Summer of 2014, I earned my Solo Diver certification from SDI. I dive often and take lots of underwater photographs, which I post on what is now called Google+. Stop by the website, look at my pictures and imagine yourself in them, then email me at email@example.com and put yourself there!