I’ve been roofing in Cincinnati, Ohio since 1969; part-time through college and while teaching science which I loved but couldn’t afford, then full-time since 1979. At plenty-nine years old, I’m not as agile as I used to be on the roofs, however as a PADI Rescue Diver, I know I can continue a new career as a PADI instructor and return to my passion of teaching and diving for years to come, evidenced by the fact that one of my mentors in underwater video, Stan Waterman, is still diving in his late 80’s.
After I got certified in 1988, I continued my passion for teaching by assisting the dive instructors from my dive shop in their pool sessions through the 90’s, however since I was running my own roofing company, I couldn’t devote enough time to becoming a dive instructor back then. When the instructors I assisted came across students that needed special one-on-one attention, those students were turned over to me to help them hone the necessary skills because of my teaching ability and empathy for whatever feelings were standing in the way of their success in getting certified.
Despite being landlocked at home, I have logged over a month’s time underwater, and 99.9% of that time has been with a video camera in hand. I’ve earned countless international Filmmaker, Communicator, Videographer, and underwater video awards. I’ve shot for a Discovery Channel program producer, and a short client list includes the U.S. Navy, Aggressor Fleet, Peter Hughes Diving, Inc., Nature Conservancy, Save the Manatee Club, Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Ocean Futures Foundation. I’ve done promo videos for a couple of dive operations in Indonesia, Hawaii, the Red Sea, five operations in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Belize, Nassau, Roatan, and more. Unfortunately, there’s not much of a way to earn a living producing promo videos.
I use my underwater videos to share in schools, senior centers, garden clubs, scuba clubs and scuba shows to share the wonders of the underwater world. People protect what they love and when I can open someone’s eyes to the beauty of innerspace, I know I’ve created another ambassador for the oceans.
In 1998, I founded an international, non-profit underwater photo/video competition and volunteer hundreds of hours each year as its Director (with no remuneration) to promote the mission statement of the Underwater Images Competition, which I wrote to be, “to raise the awareness of the ecological importance of preserving marine habitats that represent Nature’s oldest and most stable living ecosystems. This will create more conscientious diving practices and generate new interests in the realm of marine environmental science and education.”
Becoming a PADI dive instructor in Bali would allow me to continue my zeal of teaching and creating ambassadors for our precious oceans and waterways, as have the beneficiaries of ALL of the proceeds of the Underwater Images Competition. I’m looking forward to this new adventure in my life, becoming a PADI dive instructor in Bali and making a living doing what I love.