And back to Connecticut we go! Today was more of a “for fun” trip. I headed back to Diver’s Cove for their 30th Anniversary Event. It was kind of like a big open house. There was food, a couple booths, and a bunch of people. Rick had a booth set up for Manta Industries, and was co-hosting everything with Diver’s Cove. At one point Rick gave me an entire, behind the scenes, tour of Ed’s shop, and I got to see where everything happens. Ed and Diver’s Cove are known for their drysuit repairs, and I got to see where it was all done. Ed also has a very impressive collection of old dive gear. It’s like “The Museum of SCUBA” back there! It was really cool to see it all.
Rick also introduced me to Timothy Jencks, the Fire Chief, and SCUBA Rescue Divers Chief at Taftville Fire Department. Tim and the other members of his dive squad showed me the equipment they use, told me how they got started, and shared a lot of stories about past experiences. It was fascinating to listen to them, and I admire them for what they do. Right before I left to speak with another of Rick’s friends, they invited me to come watch, or even participate in their next training day. I really hope that it works-out!
While I was there I also got to talk with Rick’s dad, Eric Simon, and their friend Pete, about the commercial diving industry. I had heard the words together many a time before, but I never really knew what they meant. Boy was I in for one heck of a conversation once I asked. Eric and Pete took turns telling me about all the work that they do checking on the supports of bridges all over the country. Some of the crazy repair jobs that they have been charged to do on the bridges, and some of the mishaps that have, or almost befell them. I think “underwater construction workers” more aptly describes what they do. It sounds like a really intense job. They do all the same things construction workers and bridge builders do, (welding, inspections, directing cement flow, cleaning, etc) only they do it underwater on SCUBA. They had some really great stories too. I feel like every time I talk to people at these events, I discover more and more jobs and ways of using SCUBA diving as more than just a novelty for vacations, than I ever thought about. It’s really exciting, and I can’t wait to find out more. I could have stayed and listened to everyone talk for hours, but today is also the 18th birthday of my brother and sister, so I reluctantly left a bit early. But, I’m sure I will be back in the future! Congratulations to Divers Cove on 30 years, and happy birthday Mason and Megan! 😀