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Probie Bradley

Remember way back in December when I applied to volunteer as a member of the Office of Emergency Management’s Emergency Support Unit? Well, I heard from them last week and I’ve been accepted as a probationary member. 6 months and an as yet unknown amount of training, successfully completed, will make me a member of the ESU. I assume at this point that once that is complete I can apply to be a diver on the Search and Rescue team. We’ll see. But so far I’m on track.

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Quick Update

Well, it’s been 4 months since my last post here. That’s in part because it’s the off-season. But not all is dormancy.

First, I recently got re-certified in CPR/First Aid in preparation for my Rescue Diver course. I’m hoping to complete that this Spring or Summer through a local PADI shop.

Second, after much waiting, I got a letter from the Office of Emergency Management here in Nashville acknowledging that I applied for a position with the Emergency Support Unit (a volunteer position – see the previous post). They will review the application and reply within 8 weeks.

The letter is dated Feb 4 but was posted Mar 16, so I don’t know when my 8 weeks started, but this is the government, so I’m going to assume my 8 weeks hasn’t started yet.   :^)

Diving Blind

Recently in the Nashville area there was a report of a body in the Harpeth River. With all the necessary folks on the scene, divers went down into the river to retrieve the body, only to discover it was a beaver. A very large beaver.

A week later, the man sitting next to me at Starbucks was relating the story, and it was clear he was one of the divers in the water. After his conversation partner left, I introduced myself and said as a diver, I’ve been interested in getting involved in volunteer rescue and recovery diving for the city. It turns out, he’s the captain/director/man-in-charge of the program. They’re expanding from 10 to 20 divers and he encouraged me to apply. So I did!

The diving is year round and much of the local diving is in water with extremely limited visibility (zero?). So the training and experience I’ll get if they bring me into the program will be substantial. It should significantly increase my safety and confidence as a recreational diver.

I’ll keep this post updated with my progress in the application process, assuming they follow up on my application.

Diver Down!

This is the first post* on a new blog that will serve as a sort of digital dive log.

As of now, I’m certified with PADI at the Advanced level, hoping to get my Rescue cert sooner than later and then perhaps progress to Dive Master.

I’ll post photos, dive notes, and announcements of upcoming trips here. I’m also going to try and back log all my previous dives.

I’ve been diving since I was 14 years old. I was certified in 1988 as a member of the Izmir Scuba Club in Izmir, Turkey (a part of the US military’s MWR program). However, I only dove for a year or so before moving and becoming inactive. I picked it up again in 2001 when a seminary professor encouraged me to get back into it. Since then I’ve earned my Advanced cert and dived the Florida Keys, the BVI, and several lakes and quarries in Texas, including an abandoned Nuclear missile silo.

For the past couple of years I’ve just been diving on vacation in the BVI. I moved to Nashville, TN a couple of years ago and am now hoping to get back into more active diving. There are some decent quarries around here and I live 5 minutes from a great dive shop (Blue Water Scuba in Cool Springs near Franklin).

In addition to joining the local scuba club (Cool Springs), I’m trying to find local friends who dive and pull them into a group of sorts to try and do some local diving.

The photo, btw, is of me during my first open water dive in Gumuldur, Turkey in 1988. I’m performing the mask removal drill for my instructor, Mac.

*The two posts below this one were imported from an older blog.

Diving Lake Travis

Well I spent last Friday and Saturday diving with a group of friends in Lake Travis near Austin, TX. We managed to get 4 dives in over a little less than 24 hours. Visibility was only about 10 feet on average, but the deeper we went, the clearer it was. We had one night dive at the dam. I was following Dale at about 25 feet and we went over an underwater limestone cliff that dropped off immediately in front of us. We went spread eagle and more or less free fell into the dark. I turned off my light and watched Dale below me, silhouetted by his light and falling into nothingness before arriving at the bottom about 65 feet down. Experiences like that are quickly becoming one of my favorite things about diving. Saturday morning we dived off Windy Point and found a pecan grove standing in about 80 feet of water. We also found a pocket in the side of a limestone cliff about 55 feet down that we were able to fill with air and stand in and talk to one another. All in all it was a great trip and I look forward to our next outing. The picture above is the four of us at Windy Point after our last dive.

Deca-Diving

In May 2002, Texas Parks and Wildlife published the top ten dive sites in the Great State of Texas. They are the following:

1. Flower Garden Banks
2. Dive Valhalla
3. San Solomon Springs
4. Lake Amistad
5. Gulf Oil Rigs
6. Athens Scuba Park
7. Possum Kingdom Lake
8. The Blue Lagoon
9. Comal River
10. Lake Travis

There is also a website for Texas Divers, Texasdiver.com. This site offers info and reviews of all the above sites and more.

(The above pic is our fearless leader, Dale, during our last dive trip to Athens Scuba Park)

I’m setting the goal of hitting all ten sites in the next several dive seasons. I’ve already dived #2 and #6 and I’ll be diving #10 in a few weeks. So I’m off to a good start. Any friends that dive in Texas are welcome to come along anytime. And if you know of any great dive sites in Texas that didn’t make the list, let me know!