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Diving for 40 years


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#1 Bentoni

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:23 AM

As of yesterday, I have been a PADI certified diver for 40 years. I still have my original cert. card and it usually generates a few laughs when I show it to other divers. My instructor, John Keene, was 75 years old when I took classes from him. That t means he would have been born in 1897. Now I feel old. He was quite character. Gruff, and impatient, he had a sailor's colorful vocabulary. He also had poor vision and if he was not wearing his thick glasses, he wouldn't always know customers were in his shop. I learned to dive using a manually inflated 'horse collar' bcd, a "J" valve, no octopus, no tank pressure gauge. It's a wonder I'm still alive today

Though I'm sure I haven't set any record here, I thought I'd share this milestone with someone.

Randall

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#2 Panda

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 12:38 PM

Well done. Love the old cert card.

One of my buddies Jan Watson started diving in 1958 and she's still diving every weekend at 83

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#3 Steve Douglas

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 12:52 PM

Mazel Tov
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#4 ATJ

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:01 PM

Congratulations, Randall.

I still have 6 years to go to get to 40. I got my cert through FAUI (Federation of Australian Underwater Instructors) in 1978. I don't think PADI had a presence in Australia back then. We didn't eve use BCDs and we learned to put the right amount of weight on the weight belt depending on the depth of the dive. I bought my first BCD in 1981 and dived without one until then. We learned with J values but did have pressure gauges. I bought my first reg in 1980 (US Divers Aqualung Aquarius) and the second stage is my current octopus.

#5 Timmoranuk

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:49 PM

I learned to dive using a manually inflated 'horse collar' bcd, a "J" valve, no octopus, no tank pressure gauge.


Haha. I remember those old manual ABLJs well. Somehow we cobbled together a life support system out of bits of canvas and leaking, rotten rubber. When I first used one with a direct feed it seemed such a waste of good breathing gas... Incredibly, my third ever dive was a solo to about 100' (no depth gauge of course). Those were the days!

Congrats on the big Four O. Tim
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#6 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:46 PM

That is fantastic. Congratulations.

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#7 adamhanlon

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:57 PM

40 years-congratulations.

That is a fantastic achievement.I hope that I will be able to do the same.

Here's to many more years:)

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#8 DamonA

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:09 PM

Thats a proud smile in the photo-must bring backs lots of fond memories I'd imagine- what a great sport it is, many good years left in you yet!
Congrats Randy! :lol:

Edited by DamonA, 22 May 2012 - 11:10 PM.


#9 davichin

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:35 AM

Congratulations!!! One thing that surprises me is that there were 2000+ PADI instructors at the time...
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#10 Stoo

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:29 AM

Fantastic! I was certified in 1974 so I'm not far behind you. My instructor was NAUI #007. (I think that that was probably 007 in Canada). I remember him holding up this tiny little life-vest and pointing out, with considerable contempt in his voice, that "Some people wear these..." before tossing it aside. It had one of those oh-so-ergonomic inflators that required you to grip the end with your teeth, pull it forward, then blow into it with frozen lips. If all else failed, it had the wee, little CO2 cartridge which rarely worked.

Oh I miss those days when diving required cojones bigger than twin 95s... NOT!

So I trust you went out on a celebratory dive of some sort?

#11 gee13

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 09:51 AM

Congrats Randall so the gold question is have you logged all your dives?

#12 Steve Douglas

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:53 PM

Hey Guys,
Do you remember the Fenzy horse collar? My friends and I used to go to the swap meet and buy them for 5 or 10. Then we would try to make them air tight with a ton of Aqua Seal. Didn't get a real BCD until 88 when I joined the Sheriffs Dive Team and they made me buy a real BC. I still have a couple of Fenzys in the garage with their little tanks as well.
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#13 Bentoni

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 03:50 PM

Congrats Randall so the gold question is have you logged all your dives?


Over the years I have only sporadically tried to log dives. The earliest logbooks are long lost. More recent efforts have gotten water soaked. I really have no idea how many dives I have done. I could only guess. Not as many as you might think. There were several years that I did not dive at all as my two best dive buddies died. In the past twenty years my wife and I take a trip or two each year and that is about it. I wish I could dive more, but I live in Northern California and don't really care for the cold water here. Tropical water is expensive to reach.
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#14 ATJ

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 04:00 PM

Hey Guys,
Do you remember the Fenzy horse collar?

Posted Image

My buddy had one. He was the only person I knew with one.

#15 Stoo

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 06:45 PM

My buddy had one. He was the only person I knew with one.

I still have my Fenzy... It's in mint condition. Incidentally, your buddy has good taste in gear. I had that same mask, in red. The Dacor DM23. I wore out the first one, then found the second one...

#16 DamonA

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:51 PM

I still have my Fenzy... It's in mint condition. Incidentally, your buddy has good taste in gear. I had that same mask, in red. The Dacor DM23. I wore out the first one, then found the second one...


That mask sure keeps ure forehead dry! lol

#17 fotofish

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:41 AM

Congrats on 40 years. I'll be hitting my 42nd year of diving this June.

I think I have a Fenzy in my gear storage along with two Aqualung two hose regs. One is still usable.

I hope you can get another 40 years of diving in
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#18 ehanauer

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 06:23 AM

For me it's 53 years and counting. Never certified as a basic diver. My first certification was instructor.

Went through the LA County instructor program without any type of BC. came from a swimming background, and at the time felt BCs were for sissies.
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#19 Steve Douglas

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:23 AM

Yeah Eric, diving must have been only for toughest back in the 1800's when you first got into the sport. :P
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#20 Steve Williams

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:25 AM

Congrats Randall! I'm celebrating my 44th year playing in the world's oceans this year. It's very hard to imagine what my life would have been like without diving. I stopped logging dives back in the 90's sometime at around 5000. Just don't see the point.

Hey Steve, I'd be careful trying to mess with Eric, you know he can swim your fins off, right? :P

Have fun,
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