When I was 14 my parents were fed up with my whining about not being able to do anything fun while on our trip to Hawaii. I saw a pamphlet at the hotel which was an advertisement for Discover Scuba Diving. I really wanted to try it and said that I would pay for it myself. Hesitantly my parents agreed and sent me off on my trip. Without any pool training I got on the boat, was told 3 basic instructions. To hold on to my mask at the top and breath out with my nose if water got in the mask, to never let go of the instructors hand and that thumbs up meant the end of my dive and not having a good time but "OK" meant things were great.
When I turned 16 my uncle invited me to take a scuba course with his daughters. Grateful for the inclusion I found a strange satisfaction from challenges of both the physical aspects and technical aspects in the training. I found that my excitement for technology and swimming formed an interesting union in scuba diving. I finished my course and was certified as an SSI Scuba Diver in 1998. At the age of 16 I was able to afford little and my parents weren't divers so I rarely had the opportunity to dive. During my work as a beach supervisor I was asked if I wanted to help clean up the beach for the season which included in water cleanup. I was thrilled as after about wading in waist deep it became very difficult to clean up articles off of the bottom. I suggested we rent scuba equipment to do the deeper sections of the beach at Professor's Lake. After a 4 year break from my training I needed a refresher course to rent the equipment and we quickly got to work. I had a great time finding sunglasses and other strange objects that shouldn't have been in the deep end.
After the summer was over and not needing to do any more clean up I once again found it hard to find an opportunity to dive until years later. In 2011, as an adult with kids we took a trip to Hawaii again. This time I had family that were divers and a dive shop down the street. No excuses not to go diving but once again no one wanted to go with me. I said I was going alone if they wouldn't come with me and so I went. I was once again hooked and vowed that this was what I wanted to do on a regular basis. After coming home from that trip, I was convinced that diving locally would be the only way I could do it often. I hated the cold water but was introduced to a wonderful piece of equipment called the "Drysuit". My uncle once again said lets go diving with CANSAC and the rest is history.
I officially joined CANSAC in June of 2014 and began being trained by the stories and mentor-ship of the group at the local bar. Pool time was for practice but every Monday, at the Wild Wing across the street, that where the training happened. Discussions of incidents and proper procedure, trips about shark feeds and living on boats, I had found my group. After years of listening and learning they asked me to help out and I was pleased to accept the position of Safety Director in 2018.