In Missouri I was certified as an Open Water Diver in the early 1980s and lucky to get stationed in California while serving in the Navy. There are pristine dive locations all over the west coast. Lajolla, Catalina Island, Channel Islands, and Leguna Beach come to mind. I was stationed at a naval hospital in Oakland and a group of us divers use to head to Monterey for an occasional weekend of diving. We had access to a Zodiac Inflatable boat and dove off shore near Pebble Beach. There was four of us and we would pair up. Dive partners are important and it is good to have a dependable, reliable partner. I was new to diving and this was not fresh water but salt water with surge. Big difference. I was a little self conscious and hoped I would make a good impression. The group I was with were all experienced, veteran ocean divers. When they heard I was certified in Missouri they laughed, “Lot of great diving in Missouri is there?” Compared to the California diving scene the ribbing and sarcasm was noted.
I paired up with Becky. We worked together in the neonatal unit at Oakland Naval hospital. The zodiac was owned by one of the residents in the unit and he was a avid diver. He paired up with a diver friend of his. They dove this location often.
I was a little nervous in this company, at first, but confident in the skills I had acquired. They must have accepted me because I was invited for many trips with this group.
Becky never said much after our dives so I figured no news was good news. I was in. After one of our dives she handed me a piece of paper that put a smile on my face when I read it 32 years ago. I ran across it the other day. Smiled again.
The world of late seems angry, and rushed, with way too much emphasis on career and materialism. Maybe it is time for another 50 foot dive. Now where is my old regulator and has anyone seen my car keys. Bet they are next to my coffee…somewhere.