Just as the beauty of Devil’s Den unfolds each time I have the opportunity to dive it so does the marvel of making new friends in the world of SCUBA diving. Many of you are saying that just isn’t a reality but in my experiences it is and let me take a few minutes to explain.
While Precious Cargo Diving has an annual migration to the Florida Springs, each February, they continue to get better and better. This year I had the opportunity to meet a couple of DiveBuddy.com regulars Michael and DeAnn and while we worked long and hard to pull together our planned night dive we developed more than just a business relationship. I learned much about both Michael and DeAnn and they in turn learned about Precious Cargo Diving, my wife and partner Debbe and me. Upon meeting Michael and DeAnn it was instant recognition, of course the photos on DB help. But it was more than that the air about them, the relaxed attitude and general ease with which they approached us. I really enjoyed getting to meet Michael & DeAnn as well as introducing them to my DM Candidates, Jamie & Bill, AKA Sherpa and Chef, but that is another story and the rest of our dive group.
Let me rewind a bit, with the number of folks that I had coming on this trip and those needing either refresher training or final check dives it would have stressed me to the max. Enter a very good friend of mine and fellow instructor Brad. Brad runs his own show in Houston Texas and volunteered to come to Florida to assist with our dives. Money can’t buy that kind of friendship and without his assistance it would have been a much more intense weekend for me. It also helps to have someone with you that has the same base of experience so working together is a seamless operation.
I also had the fantastic opportunity to meet Mr. Buck Buchanan, for those of you that don’t know Buck he is a bit of a legend and well respected within the dive community worldwide. Getting to speak to Buck for close to an hour provided me with a much greater understanding and appreciation for several issues that I have dealt with. I will also have the good fortune of being a student for Buck’s presentation at the Aeris University being held at Blue Stone Resort in April.
How could I forget about the fantastic Rowena at Devil’s Den, after many phone calls to Rowena to ensure she was up to date on our plans we finally settled on the date, number of divers and the plan of having a night dive. Without a doubt Ms. Rowena was instrumental in the success of our Devil’s Den experience!
Our next day had us at Blue Grotto guests of the Paradiso’s and what can I say again they treated us like old friends not just another dollar in the cash register. While the weather wasn’t super and we faced some major issues at least our divers got to experience the Grotto. While at the Grotto we prepared for lunch only to find that the bread had been forgotten at the motel! That wasn’t a good thing but undaunted our divers gleefully said ’Finger Food’ almost in unison. Upon hearing that the divers that were staged in an RV next to our cover volunteered their buns as they wouldn’t need it. This is another example of someone doing something where there is no return on investment or ROI. But there is as Brad and Jamie always say you ’Pay Forward’!
Don at the Williston Motor Inn worked with me to make certain that we had the number and type of rooms we needed. With the number of customers that Don has over the year it is very refreshing for him to remember our group and to be able to tell me the number of rooms we used and when we were there last.
Ok, I have rambled long enough I guess what I am saying is that divers are great people for the most part and can be counted on.
Thank you all for helping to make this trip a success and thanks for coming to dive with us on our night dive Porsche, it was great getting to meet you!