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I have attached a few reasons why I dive. Travel, new friends and beautiful scenery above and below.


I started diving around 2000. I took a trip to St. John’s and hired a day sail. After snorkeling in the bay and seeing the colorful fish life and clear waters ( I grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast off Bolivar Peninsula and viz was about 6 inches) I came straight home and signed up for lessons.


I had already booked a trip to Cancun before signing up for scuba lessons with a PADI shop in Little Rock, AR, Rick’s Dive and Travel, and became certified before I left. I booked with a cattle boat for my first ocean dive with rented gear. I didn’t know if I was going to love the open ocean or freak out. I jumped into the ocean, put my face in the water and looked down at one of the most beautiful reefs in the world and said to myself  “going down!” as I let the air out of my BC.


I came home from that trip, bought a whole set of gear from a guy that didn’t want to keep diving, signed up for advanced and then Master Diver certification which included rescue and underwater photography. The photography became my passion as well as getting to know the locals, customs and crafts.


I’ve sampled corn smut in a tiny restaurant in a historic building used for fertility ceremonies by the Maya in Cozumel, kava in Fijian ceremonies, sailed in the rum races in the Auckland harbor (we won!) At 79 Bill is still the man to beat (sticking his tongue out) that’s me next to him, blowing bubbles in Fiji and holding up the towel in Fantastic Fiji.


I’ve snorkeled with a whale shark in Utilla (I didn’t take this one, mine cut off his head. This is Ed’s, half of a couple I met and still e-mail)  and taken pictures of a drum protecting her babies, stunning sunsets in Cuacao and green morays in Coz. I dove the big Island in Hawaii and saw the biggest turtle I have ever seen. Looked like a smart car.


Held a mermaids purse and watched garibaldi in Catalina (cold!)  I have also been bent and spent days in a chamber (thank you DAN!), almost lost my tank at 90 feet, had attempts to steal my gear and doofus divers plow me into the sand going into coral tunnels so I’ve become a wiser diver as well.


I started diving in my late forties and I’m 56 this year. Hope my story and these pictures resonate with you and your readers. Bula!


Written by Toni Rose, Texas.