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July 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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What Happens to Those Aging Dive Guides?

the Lahaina Divers 35th reunion

from the July, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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I once wrote a story entitled "Getting Wet after Forty," in which I mused that for divers of any age, diving was a great lifestyle, but for many dive guides who were in their 20s, I hoped eventually they would either own their dive store or find another occupation. From my perspective, schlepping tanks with bad backs and wobbly knees for tourists, and getting low wages for it (nobody tipped them back then), would be no way to live out the years.

When I wrote that, I was thinking about people I had dived with on Grand Cayman, Bonaire and, of course, Hawaii, which I visited frequently in the 70s because it was the only tropical Pacific/Indian Ocean dive destination we Americans visited. Fiji was a dream and Indonesia wasn't even a consideration. In clear Hawaiian waters, I would see white-tip reef sharks, cowrie shells the size of my fist, and creatures not found in the Caribbean, at least not then (such as lionfish). The guides were great, and I loved Lahaina, a small, friendly town on the island of Maui, before the tourist onslaught had yet to start. (You might enjoy reading about diving in Maui then, so with this online issue, I'm including a copy of the 1977 print issue.)...


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