When I met up with Dave and Pat in the parking lot of Stage Forte Park, I knew it was going to be an exciting day. From the first moment that I saw my new dry suit I was in awe. I still cannot believe that it is mine to use for the internship. During the Boston Sea Rovers 51st Clinic, when Faith fit my suit I had no idea how perfect it was going to be. Faith cut my neck and wrist seals so that my suit would fit like a glove. Next she showed me how to properly take care of a dry suit.
Vin and I then suited up for my first dive in my new suit and to check out all that Stage Forte Park had to offer. I was greeted when I got out of the water by Patrick Scalli who was there checking up on me. Patrick was pleased to know that all was going well. It was nice to get out of the water and still be totally dry. Soon after exiting the water, I changed out of my dry suit, and had the opportunity to enjoy lunch with the many volunteers and guests at the DUI DOG Days event.
I woke up with an excitement and a sadness that the weekend was coming to a close. The alarm clock was screaming and I knew if I didn’t get out of bed I would be late for Kate’s presentation. After hearing Kate’s presentation and seeing the high standards she has set I knew I had my work cut out for me to raise the bar even higher for next year. I went to see some more presentations then off to lunch with Dave and Pat Morton. We discussed the internship and most importantly diving. After getting fitted by Faith for a new DUI Dry Suit I didn’t think my day could get any better. Once again I was mistaken.
Before I left Pat and Dave asked me to stop up at the suite. When I arrived Dave emerged from the room and presented me with the dive gear I would be using during my internship. I couldn’t find the words to express what I was feeling. I slowly opened the bag Pat exclaimed that it was Christmas for me. As I packed my bags and prepared to leave I still could not get over the weekends events. The ride back to Connecticut went by quickly. Before I knew it I was back home to catch up on some well needed rest.
I woke up bright and early to get ready for the 51st Clinic. The presentations that I attended were outstanding. My only disappointment was that I could not be in two rooms at the same time. I took a quick break to go out to lunch with my friends from the Gillmen and Innerspace Explorers. I could not wait to get back to the Fairmont to attend the afternoon program. Before I knew what was happening I was back into my suit and heading to dinner with the Sea Rovers.
At dinner I sat with Ernie Brooks II on one side of me and Dave Morton on the other. The other people at my table were Kate Douglas, the 2004 Intern, Al Giddings, and Mike DeGruy. Looking around the table I could not believe the wealth of dive history and knowledge I was surrounded by. It seemed impossible but every event that I had attended seemed to out do the one before. I could not imagine how this evening could be any better. Little did I know what was in store for me that evening at the Film Festival.
Walking into the John Hancock Hall through the sea of people was incredible. I took my seat in the front row anticipating the events to come. Before I knew it Patrick Scalli was at the podium speaking about his father’s love of diving and desire to inspire young people to discover the underwater world. As I hung onto Pat’s every word I heard my cue and walked onto the stage. As I went to head back to my seat Dave Morton pulled me back stage and had me wait. Ernie Brooks II was next up to speak. I was so intent on listening to his message that I almost didn’t hear him call me onto the stage. He presented me with a copy of his book, inscribed with a personal message. His love of diving and compassion for people make him a truly remarkable person. He made an evening that was already special even more memorable.
The ride from Coventry Connecticut to Boston Massachusetts, while only two hours long, seemed to take forever. Navigating the Boston streets was no easy task. After finally locating the hotel, I took a moment to gather my thoughts and prepare for an extraordinary weekend. I had no idea what was in store for me. As I rushed into the Fairmont Copley Hotel, I was momentarily taken aback by my surroundings. I took my seat in COMS (Career Opportunities in Marine Sciences) and began my journey as the 2005 Frank Scalli Summer Intern.
Time seemed to fly by and the next thing I remember is getting ready for the Pre-Clinic reception. My heart was pounding the entire ride to Gamble Mansion. I must have had 500 names and faces swimming in my head. I don’t know what I would have done without Cynthia Butts as my evening guide. She introduced me to many of the distinguished Sea Rovers and divers in attendance that evening.
What stands out the most during the evening was meeting the Scalli family and hearing about Frank Scalli during the evening tribute. He was indeed a remarkable man who had an impact on both the diving and non-diving community. I was left overwhelmed and speechless, something that does not happen often, by all the wonderful people that I met that evening. It seemed to take forever to fall asleep that night as the days events played back in my head.