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Old 01-30-2008, 11:21 PM   #60
Guacamole
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 121
Re: Welcome Lurkers!

Enough lookin', time to say hello.. Same post I just put in the General area.. Nice website. After taking our 14 year old son to get certified in scuba this summer in Key West, I have become enamored with all things undersea. Oh and that's our son Eric and pit bull Lucy in the picture.

Live in New Mexico, half the time in the mountains the last 25 years and spent much of the first half of life in and around water. My son and I made 8 dives on the barrier reef off Key West last summer and look forward to going back around spring or summer again. We were fortunate to have an up close encounter with one large hammerhead and 10 other smaller sharks, some rays etc. For my son it was especially great since it was his first time undersea with all the fascination of youth. Let alone all the great food in Key West and the change of climate from the high country we live in. Anyone ever have that fresh coconut bread at Kelly's? WoW..

Stumbled upon Marlin Stepaneks free dive website. It’s like some kind of hypnotism has over me. Lots of dreaming about undersea adventure especially after seeing your website. Hopefully I’ll see more of the underwater world off Florida once again soon. Had a great experience in the 70’s while sailing around Florida on a boat I worked on out of Tampa. Fondly remember rounding Key West one late afternoon in early June 1978 lounging on the bow watching a lone spotted dolphin and seeing the shadow of the boat run across the bottom in very clear water. Then suddenly running back to the depth sounder after seeing the reef in what looked like 10 feet of water, it registered 85 feet. Whoa! Was the water that much clearer in 1978? We stopped over a flat area and did some free diving in 65 feet of water and were able to come up with a handful of sand. It was very cool at the time; I was a kid from Wisconsin 21 years old and full of energy. As fate had it that summer we broke our rudder just south of Miami.

We anchored somewhere north of what was stilt city and I had another very cool free dive, simply going down the anchor rode to the bottom that was still fairly clear and full of life. I’m sure that’s changed by now. But still it was like I’d died and gone to heaven. Later that day we limped into Miami marina and had to stay a few days getting the rudder fixed with some stainless steel plates and a welder bought from Sears loaded into a local taxi. None of us really knew a whole lot about welding. It worked! The dock experience in Miami Marina was a very cool memory of an eclectic crowd. DEA Confiscated cigarette boats, racing sailboats with mostly female crews that made it hard to concentrate and some just re-finished workboats that had way more money than regular work allows?? The last night there we were walking around the area and stumbled upon the band Little Feat playing in an old local theater. What a night that was. What a place back then! 51 now and wondering how to spend more time below the sea and in Florida. That was one great summer thanks to a great man in Tampa St Pete that paid us to take a replica Spanish Galleon up the east coast and into the Great Lakes stopping a lot along the way.

Ah but the Reef off Key West was still beautiful this last summer. I’m glad my son got to see it. Thanks for this website! I like the mountains and the desert out here but you all got it good down there! My son and I do a lot of back packing here in New Mexico, there’s a lot less people and many wilderness areas to explore, yet somehow the oceans are calling me again. Looking forward to learning more here on this great website.

Thanks,



Ray
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