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Posted by SDM on May 31, 2011 at 15:16:28:

A diver's life
60 years ago today May 31, 1951--
65 years of diving
The local news paper is in the process of writing an article on my long term involvement in the underwater world..They asked for a CV to guide the reporter.. this was my response...

65 Years of Spear fishing & SCUBA diving

SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) was developed in France in 1943 and first imported into the US by a NYC company about 1948 reaching the west coast about 2 years later. It was almost immediately acepted by the young sun loving beach going aquatic southern Californians. I was no exception I had been " Goggleing" for a number of years previously.. (about 5 years)

I made my frist SCUBA dive at Divers Cove on May 31 1951 using bowered equipment, clad in the costume of the era, a baggy bathing suit, covered with surplus long underwear, which was inturn held in place by another baggy bathing suit with my torso covered with a wool WW11 kakhi shawl sweater, a pair of green Churchill fins on my feet and a crude oval Sea Net mask covered my face, with the warning "exhale when you come up" I entered the water for my first SCUBA dive and from that time to the present much of my life has been devoted to the underwater world. (>> Instruction, wet suits, SPGs were 4 years away, PFD years in the future)

Some of the highlights of 60 years of Spear fishing SCUBA and over 65 plus years of diving;

LA County Underwater Instructor
** The frist and most prestigous civilian diving program
National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) # 27
**I am the oldest NAUI instructor in California; one of the 5 oldest in the world (age and lenght of membership)
Professional Asociation of Diving Instructors
**(and most of rest of the Instructor alphabet)

Outstanding contributions to Underwater Instruction - 1963
* developed much of the current training programs including Instrutor classification)
Outstanding Underwater instructor of the year - 1969
Over the reef gang
Diving dinasauers
Whos who in SCUBA diving (AMSUR)
SSI Pro 5000 diver ( must have made over 5000 dives-- I have about 7000)
Father of free diving and fishing 2000
* only about 60 honored world wide- a huge honor!
West coast legend of diving
*Frist west coast person to be so honored by the magazine "Dive Chronicles"
Legend of diving *(Scuba Diving and Recreation Center in Northwest Ohio - Portage Quarry)
*First person selected for the honor

I have a complete bound set of "Skin Diver Magazine" (SDM) (1951 to it's demise) including most every diving equipment catalog published and all Underwater Film Festival programs. This is the only set of its kind in existence any where in the world.

In August 1960 appeared on the cover of SDM

In February 1960 selected, featured and honored as the frist guest editor of SDM--Sign post to saftey --The divers flag

I also have a extensive collection of Skin Diver magazine covers inscribed to me by Art Pender, (1954) Ron Merker (1955) Bev Morgan (1961) Jack Prodanovich (1953) Wally Potts (1957) and numerous other diving notables as well as personalities such as singer John Gary movie stars Lloyd Bridges and Tony Francioso ,

All of the famous diving artist John Steel SDM covers have been inscribed to me, I also own several of his pictures, incuding one of me spearing a fish as a young 20 year old at Catalina (John and the picture was featured in SDM)

I also have complete bound sets of “Dive”, “NDA News”, American Scuba Diver”, Aquarius”, "Water World", "Underwater", "Fathom", "Sport Diving”, "Underwater Photographer",” California Diver,” “ Pacific Diver”, “SCUBA PRO Diving and Snorkeling”, “Diving and Snorkeling Quarterly” “Ocean Realm”, all of which are no longer published. Maintain and bind current sets of “Dive Training”, “Sport Diver”, Historical Diver” (USA), “Historical Diving Times” (UK), and “HDS Notizie” (Italy).

Have the only known complete set of “Pacific and Atlantic Underwater News”, published from 1966 to 1971. It was the first newspaper devoted entirely to the underwater world. Appeared in numerous issues of this publication

I also have what is considerd the largest and most complete set of civilian dive training manuals begining with the Spaco manual of 1949 to about 1980.

I also have all the USN diving manuals beginning with the original 1905 "Manual for Divers" to the conversion to electronic format

I have published approximately two hundred articles on sport diving in the NAUI News, Los Angeles County Underwater News, Skin Diver, Dive, Discover Diving, Aqua Corps, Historical Diver, Hawwian Skin Diver, Arizona Diving News, Southwest Diver Magazines, Historical Diving Times (UK), Free Diving and Spear Fishing News (Australia). Surprisingly my first published article in 1964 was a six page-two part article on diving Jade Cove in Monterey County, even though I lived at the time in Orange county over 300 miles south.

From June 1999 to August 2002 I wrote a twice-monthly column “Dive Bubbles” for the five cities Times Press Recorder (TPR) newspaper. It is reported that this column was the first and only regularly scheduled diving newspaper column in California and possibly the United States.

I also had dedicated columns in Discover Diving "The way it was" Historical Diving Journal "Diving facts from Sam's Almanac," Arizona diving news "Our diving heritage," South west diver "Our diving heritage"

I have collected and maintain an extensive 1000 plus volume historical diving library, the majority of which are rare and out of print. Many have been personally inscribed by the authors who were also friends and diving companions,in addition to being noted diving authorities;Leon Lyons, Dr. Bruce Halstead, F.M. Roberts, Bill Royal, John Reseck Jr., Dr. James Dugan, Clint Degn, John D. Craig, Dick Schroeder, two (2) Eugenie Clark, two (2) by Bill Barada & Lloyd Bridges, two (2) by Dr. Terry Mass, two (2) by Francis "Doug" Fane and (6) six by Sir Arthur C.Clarke, six (six) by Dr. Hans Hass, five (5) by Lotte Hass, seven (7) by Clive Cussler and seven (7) by J.Y. Cousteau and many more too numerous to list

I have a bound edition of James Dugan's 1948 "First of the menfish" which introduced J.Y. Cousteau and self contained diving to the US.

My Diving library which conumes an entire room and part of a hall in my home is considered the the worlds largest, most compete, and since I began collecing over fifty years ago the most prestine divng Library by the diving world's leading diving bibliophiles.

In May 1996 I organized and hosted the very first US diving bibliophile meeting in my Pismo Beach home. It was attended by diving bibliophiles from the western US and via telephone from through out the US. The event was covered and featured on the front page of the local news paper.

In 1999 to celebrate the passing of J Y Cousteau I was requested to place a book/equipment display in the local library. This month long display was also featured in front page article in the local news paper complete with a full color picture

Recreational diving
Spear fishing has always been a pasion,

My personal best are;
* Yellow tail 27 pounds
* Halibut 38 pounds ( record)
* White sea bass 49 pounds
* Black Sea Bass 345 pounds ( Now protected)
* Lobster 17 pounds ( On display at local dive shop)

Was an equipment consultant for four major diving equipment manufactures.
Was the official US Divers (Aqua Lung) company Instructor

Professional diving
* Deep Submergence
** I was the Cheif Diving Officer for the Deep Diving Submarine (DDS) "Beaver"
* Apollo program
**I was the Cheif Diving officer for the Apollo testing program

Currently I devote my retirement time to historical research, writing a book and I am involved as a guest lecture and occasional consultant for the SLO County Sheriffs Underwater Search and Rescue team

And the list continues..so many adventures, so many stories......

Now in my eight decade of life I often take time to reflect back to that sunny day in 1951-- 60 years ago-- when I made my first SCUBA dive...

Now you know... just a little about me, but there is a lot more


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