Loves to be narc'd.
You know that part of dive training where they teach you what could happen if you get Nitrogen Narcosis? In our shop, he is the example that the instructors always point out. Funny thing, he enjoys being narc'd and can't wait for his next experience. Next time you see him though, ask how good the shark pics come out when you have a full-tilt-boogy case of Rapture Of The Deep. He'll tell you (in his best stoner imitation)... "they come out all dark and messed up dude". The dive was in the Great Blue Hole in Belize. 135 feet. He had such a satisfied look on his face, clicking away with his camera. After 40 minutes in the water, back on board the boat, when everyone was comparing air. When the question turned to Don, he was as surprised as the rest to discover that he had 1700 lbs. left. We wanted to know if he was even breathing! He does love to be narc'd.
I've got your back.
Don will go head to head to get a good photo of almost anything. For the past several dive trips, we've really enjoyed pointing out big, sharp teethed stuff, in small holes to him. Why? Because dopey will crawl camera first into the hole to take a photo! We are all secretly running a pole on what bites him first. We thought we had him two trips ago when he was frantically pulling the strobe off of his camera to use it to distract a charging eel so that he could get a closer shot. Nice photo by the way. Oh and the eel followed him away from it's den and he didn't even know it! We told him about it when we got back on the boat.
Why do they call him chum?
One time we had found a rather large nurse shark, all tucked in and nappy. It was well below our planned profile, but he was diving computer and we could all see him. He signaled that he was going to go get the photo. He circled around this little grotto and crawled in. He was now nose to nose with the shark. Cool. So he tries to snap the photo but the camera doesn't fire. He carefully crawls out of the hole and you can't imagine how funny it is to see a diver beating the crap out of $4000.00 worth of camera! The shark is getting nervous, so Jan drops down to help... she sticks her fins in the sand behind the shark, cutting it off from a backwards retreat. In goes Don... no shark. He looks up and the thing is making a bee-line for his face. He snaps a picture and ducks to avoid the collision. This hugh bubble comes out of him and as it trails past us we can hear the screaming! We thought the pool was going to pay off then too!
Rule Number 3
Around our group we have little rules. Like for the softball team, rule 1 is "Don't Suck", which we do anyway. Rule 2 is never drink before a yard sale... don't ask. Don added rule 3 to our little book of truth. Rule 3 is "Never Jump From A Moving Parade Float". Yep, you guessed it! He had been messing with some of his buds as one of our parade floats was being towed back to the staging area. When they went to repay his kindness (yeah, whatever) he just jumped from the float. That boy is slow... he went down like a sack of flour. We call him skid because he didn't even roll, he just slid up the street. He hopped up and did that I meant to do that act, but we all know. No brain, no pain!
When using a porta-john...
The porta-johns at Circleville are not typically an entertaining place. Don, on the other hand can sometimes provide amusement just by being Don. One morning we're out there setting up for certification dives. Don is doing the usual fix this, provide that answer this question routine. He needed to offload the coffee and water he'd been drinking all morning. With his head turned he just pulled open the door to one of the pots. Now Pat had been using it and was about ready to reach for the door to leave, so when it opened and he saw Don, and saw that Don wasn't paying any attention, he just yelled! Oh man, you should have seen Don... he jumped back like a scalded cat. He was so embarrassed and we were all in tears laughing at his fast reaction. Good one Pat.
Who's got my camera?
We had rented a jeep and were packing dive gear into it to head down to Hotel Barracude in Cozumel for a little shallow night relaxation and photo dive. Nice place to take night shots. Don sets his camera down and starts cramming gear into the confines of the jeep. Then he, Jan and their friend Jon pile in and head down to the Hotel. They drive past the hotel, make a U Turn and come back and park. Don gets out and says, "Who's got the cam... oh Sh_t!!!". Jon hops out of the jeep and says "You didn't.". Oh yeah... he had put a $4000.00 camera on the roof of jeep and then madly pilots the thing to a dive site. His gaurdian angel had to call for backup on that one... the camera was still there. Amazingly he is very careful with it now. Who says you can't teach an old dog a new trick?
Attack of the killer sea cucumber.
No one knew that Don had a thing about worms, some strange psychological quirk that makes him think worms are gross. Snakes, spiders, and all sorts of sea creatures fine, worms, no way! Now at that same little night dive spot, there seems to be a large number of those juvinile sea cucumbers. The ones that look like brown and clear jelly balls with 6 or 8 tentacles where it's mouth ought to be. So picture this. There's Don, on the reef avoiding these cute little critters like the plague. Jan, Jon and Don finish their dive and are standing about waist deep in water, talking about what they've seen when Don raises his left arm out of the water to illustrate a point. We all notice at the same time that one of those little babies has attached itself to his arm. It' head is on this dive glove and it's tail is above his elbow. What happened next is a matter of some conjecture, but Jon swears that Don screamed like a school-girl and trashed his arm in and out of the water, fast enough to create the sensation of a hot tub! The very next night Don armed with bigger and brighter strobes goes hunting the baby cuc... he likes to tell us that when those strobes fired that cuc practically turned inside out. Revenge is sweet.
Newest member of the Deco Club
While on a recent trip to Belize, Don became the newest member of the Discover Diving Deco Club. But not just once... Don started the "frequent flyer" sub-chapter of the club! That particular weekend he and his dive buddy made 3 dives, two of which Don got to see his dive computer go into deco. Of course he followed the computers instructions and made safe deco stops, but upon climbing onto the boat after the second dive was heard to say, "I'm throwing this computer away and getting one that isn't as conservative". Now there's a rocket scientist for ya'!
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Don is the third and final member of the group of ding-a-lings known as the Three Amigos. He's very proud to be a member of the gang... but wouldn't want to fight like a lion.
He is a member in good standing of the tank banger club. In fact, even though he was not the first in recorded history to perform the tank-bang, he was the one that was most instrumental in coercing his buds into doing it too. He started the club. The sad fact is though that he didn't start it as a mark of heroism, he just didn't want to be the only dummy around. Afterall, misery loves company. And if you don't believe it hurts, just check in with any tank banger member and they'll help initiate you into the club. Good Luck