My Uncle introduced me to SCUBA diving when I was very young. That was the days of double hose regulators, no BC’s, no SPG’s and steel 72 cf cylinders. Finally got certified in 1968. You went from there on your own initiative.
Joined the US Navy in 1972. I passed the screening test for BUD/S. Completed BUD/S in December 1972. Joined Underwater Demolition Team 21 after BUD/S. We dove both double hose and single hose Open Circuit regulator kit, mixed gas rebreather kit, and Oxygen rebreather kit. Gear setup and maintenance was the operator’s responsibility. Had the opportunity to work with the Naval Experimental Diving Unit on rebreather research as a test diver. Learned much from the USN Master Diver and the Officer in Charge of the Naval Special Warfare section of NEDU.
In1976 I earned my Assistant Instructor credentials. Stayed at this level through the ’80s and ’90s. 2002 after a quarter of a century in finance I started earning my instructor credentials and technical diving qualifications. I am currently an Instructor Trainer with SSI and DAN. I am additionally an instructor with SDI and Diveheart. The courses, I teach, include Open Water Diver, Full Face Mask Diver, Diver Propulsion Vehicle Diver, Cavern Diver, and XR Trimix Diver.
I like to know how my kit works. I have taken the manufacturers’ repair technician classes for more than a dozen brands. This includes some rebreathers. That experience back in the Navy has paid off. Gas Blender and Visual Inspection Procedures are courses I teach.
I enjoy cavern diving, with Eagle’s Nest being one of my favorite sites. But the best part of diving is all the amazing people I have met in the sport.
Note: To date, Mark has made over 6000 dives and will be working with us as a Tech, Cavern Diving Instructor, and Chief Repair Technician. Mark is a walking encyclopedia on diving. We are privileged to have him joining us in this venture.