This past week I had the opportunity to enhance my dive skills with the 2005 Sea Rovers intern Rick Simon! I stayed with Rick and his wife Erin on their farm in the quaint town of Coventry, Connecticut. In addition to diving, I was also able to help care for their horses, dogs, cows, and chickens; this was a fascinating experience considering that I had never lived on a farm before. I was even able to help pick up their new horse for Erin’s stable during my stay!
Rick served as a phenomenal mentor throughout the week because of his sincere willingness to help me refine my dive skills and prepare for the summer ahead! While it rained profusely for the first two days, I was able to work on my Nitrox certification and learn more about the operations behind Manta Industries. Rick is the proud owner of Manta Industries, a dive manufacturing company that produces high quality and American made dive products. I sincerely enjoyed learning more about the operations behind a dive manufacturing business and hearing about Rick’s dive experience. Both Rick and his father are proficient cave, wreck and technical divers so I enjoyed hearing their fascinating stories!
On the first day of diving we went to a reservoir in Essex to practice my skills and get more comfortable in the water. After setting up all of my gear, I slipped into my brand new DUI Dry Suit that Faith Ortins fitted me for at the Sea Rovers Clinic in March! The dry suit was custom made and sent all the way from San Diego to Boston! I am extremely impressed with durability and quality of the suit and I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful piece of dive equipment. Thank you to Faith and everyone at DUI for your very generous donation to the internship!
Once we completed our dive we headed to Divers Cove where Rick teaches as a Dive Instructor. It was there that I met Ed and Chris Rosacker who run the dive shop and specialize in dry suit repair. Ed showed me around his shop and generously donated a dive bag to me for the internship! He also briefed me on the history of diving in the area and helped me learn more about how to care for my excellent DUI dry suit!
The next day Rick took me to his fathers boat Simon Says… to go on our first ocean dive! Eric Simon was incredibly helpful and genuine throughout the entire week and was kind enough to take me out on his boat to go diving with Rick. We dove at the Stonington bottle dump, which is an area along the coast of Stonington,CT where the bottom is littered with old bottles and trash from the late 1800s. After jumping into the water we descended to the bottom where we began feeling for bottles in the sand under the kelp. After a few tries, we began finding bottles in the sand and Rick found an old Whiskey bottle and I found a glass ink bottle. That evening, we returned to Divers Cove to fill our tanks and Rick taught a dive class that I was able to listen in on.
On my last day in Connecticut, I worked with Rick on my Nitrox class and said goodbye to everyone before heading home for my internship at the aquarium tomorrow! Thank you very much to Rick, Eric and Erin for being so welcoming and pleasant during my stay in Connecticut!