"Something I can only describe as pure magic happens during a close encounter when a humpback whale and I not only make eye contact, but lock in."
When and why did you start diving?
Like so many of my generation, two of my childhood heroes were actor Mike Nelson (Lloyd Bridges), the lead in the hit television series Sea Hunt of the late 1950s and early 60s, and legendary underwater explorer Captain Jacques Cousteau. I wanted to “be like Mike” long before I became a fan of basketballer Michael Jordon. My childhood days preceded cable television by several decades, and in those days watching prime time “Cousteau Specials” on a major network was assigned homework. I think my attendance record was perfect for those shows. I also read all the Cousteau books I could get my hands on.
My interest in becoming a diver centered around the fascination with all types of marine life I developed as a kid, and the allure of the adventures to be had while exploring the world’s oceans. In my childhood head, I had a lot of visions of Mike Nelson and me helping good guys make the world a safer place, and making all kinds of discoveries while diving with Captain Cousteau. I got both of them out of some tough spots. Not bad for a kid that grew up in landlocked Little Rock, Arkansas!