Here’s how I got interested in diving. My experience at a dive and sail camp helped develop a life-long passion for the sport.
It’s a really interesting story how I got involved with diving. Diving is something I started doing with my dad and ended up falling in love with the sport. However, early on, I realized I would need a prescription dive mask on account of my poor eyesight. I found an online dive store called seavenger.com and chose two masks – one called a Hawk Eyes mask by Tilos with gauge reader bifocals, and the other a metal aluminum prescription mask called Synthesis by IST.
One of my best experiences was when I was sixteen I went to a Marine Biology camp called Star C Beach Camp. This was basically a way to introduce divers to research diving. I know that sounds intense for a kid, but I was an intense kid. I spent 30 days out at sea along the Virgin Islands with 12 other kids. I got to sleep out under the stars, although I preferred the cabin because It would rain randomly through the night. I was able to dive every day. This included night dives, which I loved, sunrise dives, and wreck dives. I even experienced getting “narked” for the first time. No, that doesn’t mean I was busted by a narcotics agent. Also known as Nitrogen Narcosis, “narked” is a condition in which divers face feeling very euphoric and is extremely dangerous. It actually felt really good! But it can lead to doing dangerous things.
I had to learn how to live out at sea, which meant no proper shower, collecting rain to wash cloths, washing dishes in the ocean and sharing a small space with so many people, as well as puking my guts out on a rocking boat every day. I had a ball! But learning to sail, diving every day, and getting to climb to the top of a dormant volcano made up for all of that. Plus, I became a research diver affiliated with a marine research organization called NOAA.