Buck Down Under!! Welcome to my SCUBA page !

Self Contained Underwater Breathing Aparatus

 

I took my SCUBA lessons in Bradenton, Florida at the Ocean Pro Dive Shop on Cortez Rd., and was certified under the PADI method on April 30, 1995.

Thanks, Neil and Pete!

Since then, I've gotten into deep dives, drift dives, night dives, and my favorite - wreck diving.
I may not get into space, but I know how to achieve weightlessness!!

 

The pic on the right is me on my 1st deep dive. What a great adventure!! Off the coast of Florida, where the keys start, is Biscayne National Park. We dropped off into about 40' of water then followed our compasses due East to the continental shelf. It was like looking over a cliff, but underwater. We dropped down the wall of coral and tropical fish to a depth of about 110' and explored the ocean floor, difference in colors at
The deeper, the better !!
depth, pressure effects on balloons with air in them and the narcotic effects of a deep dive (which I did not experience, though the experience itself was quite intoxicating and addictive!!)

 

One of my most memorable diving experiences came one fine day in the Gulf of Mexico. Diving a huge sunken barge, I explored the hold with my flashlight from outside the wreck, poking my head and light into the darkness through holes and the open bay doors. Suddenly, a mouth 3 feet wide came out of the darkness about 3 feet from my face!! My heart and breathing raced as I tried to back out of my situation! And out of that hole behind that monstous mouth followed
Now, where did that moray go?
one of the largest, most beautiful fish I've ever seen... a Jewfish. Native to the grouper family, this wondrous, friendly fin-flapper can grow to 400 lbs.!! It can be found only in the Gulf of Mexico and is protected under law from molestation. On subsequent dives I was fortunate enough to encounter more of the species, usually in pairs, always on or near wrecks, where they make their home. If you ever get the chance, don't pass up an opportunity to visit with one of these giants of the Gulf.

 

Certainly the best thing about SCUBA diving is seeing and interacting with the marine life. Some of the most beautiful of these creatures can be found in the Florida Keys. The pic on the right is an angelfish I shot (photographed !!) at a about 40'. These fish can grow to sizes of over a foot in diameter, and have many beautiful colors... The pic doesn't come close to doing it justice. Other beautiful creatures I've seen are
What an angel !!
parrotfish, pipefish, manta and eagle rays, trunkfish, porkfish, blue tang, butterfly fish, blue-striped grunts, stingray, barracuda, moray eels, pufferfish, cowfish, goatfish, conch, turtles, lobster, and many, many others.

Not to be excluded from this list of beautiful marine life are the corals. Brain coral, staghorn, elkhorn, sea fans and more are the life of the reef and are protected under law. It is important to remember that these are living animals, and are very delicate.
It's hard, it's crunchy, it's ALIVE !!
We must be careful not to touch the coral or it can die, setting up a chain reaction throughout the reef's food and social structure.

Well, that's it for now. Like I said, this page is brand new, so look for many changes and additions in the near future. If you've got a diving page or know of a good diving link, just Email it to me and I'll be glad to add it. Oh, and of course, feel free to add my link to your page!!

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