Author Archives: Drew

About Drew

My passion for the underwater world started when I was very young. I have been swimming since I could walk but I never learned to scuba dive until my late 20’s. I have had an interest in exploration for as long as I can remember and I’ve spent a great deal of time outdoors. I am an avid rock climber, hiker, backpacker and outdoorsman. My passion for scuba diving grew from a week long trip in Puerto Rico where Tina and I camped on a beach called “Playa Flamenco” on the north side of Isle Culebra. There was a beautiful coral reef just a short walk from our camp and we spent hours and hours exploring the reef and the amazing creatures that live there. Once I got home from the trip, I promptly signed up for open water scuba with PADI. From there I have had many adventures learning to be a better diver while exploring the amazing underwater world in lakes, oceans and rivers. My current Certifications are: Tech 1, Cave DPV, GUE Cave 2, Gue Cave 1, GUE DPV 1, GUE-Fundamentals Tech, Padi Open Water, Padi Advanced Open Water

GUE Cave 1 Training-Day 1 and 2, Field Drills and Our First Cavern Dives

Class started on Sunday the 18th at EE,  with Meredith Tanguay as our instructor.   We did the normal morning lectures followed by some gear inspection. There are some slight gear changes for cave diving that we hadn’t done prior to class, but Mer got us all fixed up.  Really not much changes but you will see once you take the… Read more »

Twas the Night Before GUE Cave 1

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If you asked me two years ago if we would be getting ready to do a cave diving class, I’d have said “no way that’s happening!”  In fact I remember when we first met Mer,  she asked us what our goals were in diving.  The subject of cave diving seemed pretty ridiculous to even think about.  But I guess life tends… Read more »

Thinking About Switching to a Back Plate and Wing?

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When I first started diving in 2009,  I didn’t realize there were many many choices for scuba gear.  And I didn’t even realize the back plate and wing existed.   The shop we went through had a good selection of quality recreational gear,  but like most shops they are limited to what agreements they have with manufactures and what makes sense to… Read more »

Halcyon Focus Dive Light-Gear Review

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We have been using the Light Monkey 9W 5.2 canister light for a few years now and it’s been pretty good for what we needed. And what we needed was to have a reliable LED light to dive in the murky Texas lakes,  and on night dives.  We used the 9Ws mainly for communication if we got separated enough that… Read more »

The Big Doubles

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Shortly after Tina got her tech upgrade,  I scheduled a weekend with Mer and also got mine.  It’s still very much a challenge for me  to have the  type of precision in the water needed for the upgrade,  but we have been practicing a lot and I was ready as ever.  The day I went for mine was following a work/training trip to… Read more »

The Great Migration-Moving to Florida

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Tina and I decided that we needed a change to shake things up a bit. We had been tossing around the idea of moving out of Texas for a little while,  but it was always a fleeting discussion.  Let’s face it, moving sucks!  The process is stressful and the comfort of living and working in a familiar area turns into chaos of… Read more »

The Annual February Blue Lagoon CHUM Dive

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Wow what a difference a year makes.  This time last year Tina and I did our last wetsuit dive with the CHUM club at the Blue Lagoon Dive Lake in Huntsville TX.  It was memorable because we had already ordered our drysuits but were just waiting for them to arrive.  The water temp last year was 49° F and we… Read more »

2015 Year In Review

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We find ourselves at the end of another year. Where does the time go?   Since becoming a diver in 2010; this year, above all the previous years has been the craziest.  It’s also a year that we didn’t get to do much fun diving despite having been in the water a lot. The training and gear changes have basically… Read more »

Becoming a GUE Diver Ch 8: The Final Day of Fundamentals

The whole week felt like a total blur at this point.  Tina and I had mixed emotions about  starting  the final day of GUE Fundamentals. We learned so much in such a short amount of time,  and we had made many new friends,  it was definitely sad to know we had to leave soon.   None-the-less we still had one more day of diving.  The last… Read more »

Double the Fun-Our First Dive In Doubles

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We’ve wanted to transition to doubles for a while now; partly because we want to start getting used to them for going further with GUE training and partly due to laziness of not wanting to change tanks between our dives  in these shallow Texas lakes.   Because neither Tina or I have any formal instruction on diving doubles, I read the forums and watch you… Read more »

Becoming A GUE Diver: Ch 7- Fundamentals Day 4 At Manatee Springs

Both Tina and I were  feeling pretty confident and I was definitely on a high note from the day before. My body was sore and my brain was reaching capacity but we had done at least a good enough job at Blue Grotto the previous days, to go to Manitee Springs/Catfish Hotel and work on more skills there.   We all… Read more »

Get rid of the post-dive ear funk with “Ear Beer”

  EAR BEER: 1 Part White Vinegar+1 Part Isopropyl Alcohol=Frothy critter killin’ goodness.  I get a sore ear if I’ve been diving a lot.  I was a swimmer as a kid so I’ve had swimmers ear before and normally for swimmers ear I’d go the pharmacy and get some special drops to make the pain go away. Rarely do I actually… Read more »

Becoming A GUE Diver: Ch 6- The Third Day of Fundies

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  Much like our dive profile from the previous day; our  third day of Fundamentals was going to have some ups and downs, and some awesome ah ha’s.  Mer met us at the Dive house for video review early in the morning and we definitely had some cringe worthy moments. However Mer did a great job showing us that we… Read more »

Becoming A GUE Diver: Ch 5- Fundamentals Day 2

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    We woke up early and got some cereal that Tina was smart enough to bring with us from Texas.   Mer and Stretch were going to meet us at the dive house to go over land drills. She told us to have our BC’s, lights and regs available for drills so that we could do the drills at the dive house to… Read more »

Becoming A GUE Diver: Ch 4- Fundamentals Day 1

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  Finally they day had arrived.  We were about to start our GUE training and we were both beyond excited but also pretty nervous.  Mer had told us that the first day’s schedule would be lecture in the morning then head over to Ginnie Springs for the swim test.  We needed to be at EE at 9am.  The dreaded swim test… Read more »

Becoming A GUE Diver: Ch 3-Heading To Florida

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The week before our trip to Florida was a total blur. I was busy at work with a big project and Tina was making last minute preparations getting the house ready for us to be gone for 7 days. We also were finally able to start doing our homework. The homework is due just a few days before the class and you’re required to… Read more »

Becoming A GUE Diver: Ch 2- Just Keep Swimming

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It was around the beginning of  March before I think Tina actually realized the magnitude of the swim test for GUE.  She had read the requirements way ahead of time but it wasn’t until she attempted to swim laps non stop that it became apparent how difficult it would be for her.  However I started to see big improvements in her technique… Read more »

Becoming a GUE Diver: Ch 1- Getting Ready For GUE Fundamentals

Tina and I had been contemplating doing a GUE Fundamentals or “Fundies” as it’s been known, for quite some time. We actually had contacted Meredith Tanguay  sometime in spring of 2014 and tried to get a Fundies class scheduled for December during Tina’s break from teaching.  Fortunately we decided to hold off for a number of reasons.  A big reason… Read more »

Diving Dry: Chapter 2

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After our last two dives on March 28th 2015 we were able to drop some weight from our rigs.  However it just seemed that we were fighting the weighting issue. Both Tina and I were using about 24 and 26 lbf of ballast respectively.  Our AL80 tanks have  a swing weight of about 6 lbf and end up positive 4lbf…. Read more »

Threatened Sharks On The Menu In Houston

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  I had an opportunity to visit McCormick and Schmick’s sea food restaurant in Town and Country,  (Houston) and discovered that they are serving Mako Shark on the lunch menu.  Don’t eat sharks. First of all, the shark meat often contains high levels of mercury because they are at the top of the food chain.  And it’s just plain bad news… Read more »