[Coral-List] snorkelers and divers

Billy Causey - NOAA Federal billy.causey at noaa.gov
Tue Sep 20 17:07:28 EDT 2016

Those were fun days when we had to devise our own surface supply of air.  I
once took my two snorkel face plate that had the two snorkel mounts molded
into the rubber mask.  I pulled out the two snorkels (with ping pong balls)
and clamped two 6' sections of garden hose into the snorkel mounts.  It was
after some experimenting that I realized 6' was a little too deep (by 2')
to draw air down the hose.

I went back to the drawing board and tried a car inner tube with a mouth
piece glued over the air stem.  I would fill the tube with air, take the
stem out and quickly jump into the pool trying to get a breath of air while
rolling around and around on the surface with the inner tube, unable to
sink it.  It looked like I was wrestling a sea otter.

Fun times!!

Thank you for sharing your adventures.  Billy

On Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 2:22 PM, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>

> Thanks Steve, I guess I am just stuck in the Pleistocene. I can't
> imagine anyone learning scuba without first learning to swim and
> snorkel. Sounds like learning to run before you learn to walk. Being
> from the Ice age Pleistocene I can remind readers that the word
> snorkeling had not been invented (except for submarines). Snorkels for
> divers had not yet been invented. I made my first flippers from truck
> inner tube rubber and I then bought my first face plate (that's what we
> called them before they became known as dive masks).  The first snorkels
> had Ping-Pong balls in the top and we laughed at those who used them (we
> call those guys lids because of the lid on top). Us old diehards finally
> did adopt snorkels but not those with the lids on top. Even the
> legendary Art Pinder (great White Hunter of the Caribbean) finally
> adopted snorkels. That's when we decided it was ok. Scuba was just
> catching on for those who could afford them. The term SCUBA also had not
> yet been invented. We just called them aqualungs. My first was a fire
> extinguisher bottle fitted with a surplus aircraft oxygen regulator...it
> didn't last long in salt water) And yes, wet suits were just coming in
> but it was several years before I could afford one. I made my first one.
> Before that I painted a pair of long johns with latex paint. I finally
> bought my first Aquamatic single hose regulator from the mother of
> Jordan Klein who ran the only dive shop in Miami. Jordan had not yet
> filmed Creature from the Black Lagoon. Ah the good ole days. No
> certifications necessary. I remember Coppertone Sun Tan Crème but noting
> called sunscreen. We all just learned to accept sunburn until we tanned
> enough to stay in the sun all day.
> So I gather that today divers put on a ton of scuba gear and get in
> water before they snorkel. This is all a blast from the past. Oh I
> forgot to mention the spears made from Ford Model A brake rods we bought
> from the junkyards. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did
> remembering it all. Gene
> --
> --
> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
> ------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
> University of South Florida
> College of Marine Science Room 221A
> 140 Seventh Avenue South
> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
> <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> Tel 727 553-1158
> ---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
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Billy D. Causey, Ph.D.
Regional Director
Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
33 East Quay Road
Key West, Florida 33040

Office:  305 809 4670 (ex 234)
Mobile: 305 395 0150
Fax:     305 293 5011
Email:  Billy.Causey at noaa.gov

Will Our Grandchildren Remember Us For What We Conserved and Protected or
For What We Let Slip Away?

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