Let's see now....where do I begin. The earliest I can remember thinking about scuba diving was when I was quite young, growing up watching TV shows like 'Sea Hunt' & 'Flipper'.
The bug may have been planted at a very early age, but I didn't do anything about it until I was into my late 30s. I found myself suddenly alone and in need of something to keep me busy. A girlfriend had just gotten her scuba c-card and that re-awakened my thoughts about diving.
Next thing I knew, I was looking up dive shops in the yellow pages. Found a nice looking ad for DiversTwo in Avon so I decided to go for it. I have NEVER regretted it!!!
That was in the late summer of 1991. Here it is, 16+ years & 1,000+ dives later, & I'm still LOVING every minute of it!!!
1991 was when I got my initial PADI Open Water cert. The following year, I did my Advanced OW. (This is the course that really builds confidence). But it was a full 2 years before I was able to shake my heebee-jeebees about the water. I was constantly seasick which didn't help either.
I got my drysuit (DUI CF200) in the spring of 1995 & my logbook quickly began to expand. Now I'm diving all year round, every chance I get.
March 1995 was also the first time I had taken a diving vacation and what a trip it was!! It was a liveaboard (the Nekton Pilot) in the Bahamas. A WHOLE week of nothing but diving & eating & sleeping and more diving and this went on for almost a full week!!! Including my first SHARK dive!!! WHAT A BLAST!!!
I had enjoyed myself so much that first time that I broke the bank the following year by doing it again. It's the ONLY way, IMHO, to do a diving vacation!
Have also done some diving off Delaware and North Carolina.
I got my Nitrox cert from Blue Abyss in Pt. Pleasant in Dec. 1998.
Unfortunately, due to a congenital defect of both ankles, I had to curtail my diving drastically (last dive being in Aug. 2008) due to end stage osteo-arthritis of both ankles with the left one being the more painful of the two. I made the decision to have the ankle replaced and glad that I did. I had the ankle replacement surgery on Oct. 8, 2008 and plan to be back in the water by mid-summer 2009.
So far, so good with the recovery. Pedaling 15-20 miles a day now and should have no problem with climbing dive ladders soon. :-)
I love to hunt for lobsters, spearfish (polespear), search for bottles & artifacts, and my favorite, harvest scallops. I also take u/w digital photos occasionally but am now into u/w videography. You can see videos that I shot this summer (2007) HERE. You will need Quicktime 7 to view the videos. CLICK HERE for QT 7 for Windows and HERE for Macs. I recommend that you download the videos first to your computer for viewing.
My favorite dive spots: ANYTHING that you need a boat to get to. (Not particularly fond of shore diving).
Best catches/finds: a 10 pound 'bug' (lobster), a 12½ pound blackfish (tautog), a 5+ pound black sea bass, a 10 lb 13 oz. pound fluke, 25 pounds of scallops in one dive and artifact-wise, three (3) Danforth sand anchors (not really artifacts) which I sold at the dock (3 separate days), various pieces of dive gear (brand new wrist compass, weight pouches, catch bags, lights, all sorts of dive gear goodies usually found on wrecks that new certs dive), some beautiful old intact bottles, a couple of brass spikes still embedded in wood (now THESE are artifacts!).
That's about it for now. See you underwater!!!