Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

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Bryan
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Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:14 pm

Stephen K Taylor, the Yank Down Under......

I was a ‘navy brat’ and lived in Japan and Morocco before my father retired to Australia. I became interest in diving by watching US Navy helmet divers, and Japanese contract divers in the harbor at Yokosuka, Japan. I started diving in the Australian summer of 1959-1960 with a borrowed British Sea Lion double hose regulator and a single 40 cu ft tank. I bought a Heinke Lung by working after school and on weekends. I began teaching in 1964 with the Associated Divers Academy and the Black Rock Underwater Diving Group. PADI and similar agencies did not exist in Australia and I didn’t get a recognized certification card until 1976. I earned that by teaching a basic scuba course for a YMCA instructor who was too busy to do it himself. In 1965 I worked my passage as a deck hand on a German freighter, to get back from Australia to the USA. I worked my way through college, attending BYU. I was commissioned into the US Army on 29 May 1970. After 12 years of service, I left the army and became a peace officer in Utah I retired after 20 years as a Salt Lake County deputy sheriff. I am widowed and I have a son in graduate school in New Zealand. I am in Australia to care for my mother, who is 89.

I am on the committee of the Historical Diving Society in Australia and I coordinate training courses for vintage scuba and standard dress diving. I am also certified in standard dress diving and rebreathers. I have a US Navy Mark V diving helmet and a Japanese TOA diving helmet. I dive them both and have helped other divers set up similar equipment to dive. Normally, I scuba dive with my Heinke Lung or my Drager LAR 7 rebreather. I use modern equipment only when I need to comply with charter boat requirements.

I cave dived in central Florida in 1974, while I was attending flight school at Fort Rucker. I have dived in New York, Hawaii, Germany, North Carolina, Utah, or wherever I lived. I made one trip to Truk Lagoon and I have dived all along the southern Australian coast and Tasmania. My deepest dive was to 200 feet near Kona, but that was just for bragging rights. I prefer shallow water diving. To promote vintage double hose, I have restored and sold 18 regulators to members of HDS in Australia. I usually take a loss on each regulator. I just do it for the love of vintage diving.

I have a modest collection of vintage equipment which includes early Australian single hose equipment. All of my collection is in working order. I write articles for the HDS SEAP magazine Classic Diver. I wrote a booklet called Diving the Classics. It may be the only modern text on diving in the classic standard dress. Our HDS SEAP website is: http://www.classicdiver.org, and we have a Face Book page.

Steve

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Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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adairrj
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Re: Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:54 pm

Hello Steve,
Enjoyed the read..thanks!!
I have a daughter who was studying last year in Noosa.
I had the opportunity to visit her and to dive in Cairns.
Australia is a wonderful country!
Best wishes from Brazil!! :D
*******Adair*******
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swimjim
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Re: Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:07 pm

Awesome write up Steve!

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8dust
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Re: Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:18 pm

Enjoyed the write-up Steve. Never been to Australia, but it’s on my list. Would really like to check out New Zealand too on the way past as it sounds like everything I love about the Mountain-West here, but x10 or so.

Definitely want to do a hard-hat dive some day if I can keep from getting my giant melon stuck again. :o :roll:

Thanks, Fred
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14020
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Re: Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:07 am

Steve,

Thanks for a great read. Goodon'ya Mate :!: :)

Regards,
Kim,
Ocean Trekker, Dangerous When Wet.
"Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men" Douglas Barder.

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Bryan
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Re: Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:24 pm

Steve would you please elaborate on the Porpoise regulator. You may be one of the few folks left on earth carrying the torch for it. If not properly preserved it will be lost to time.
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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Aileron
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Re: Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:48 am

Great write up Steve! I've never dove a hardhat, too claustrophobic, but admire those that do. I'd also love to hear about your porpoise setup.

Thanks and hopefully I'll get down there someday to dive with ya!

Lisa
The Kids: Royal Mistral, Voit Faux 50 Fathom, Jet Air, PRAM x 2, Snark III Silver, DA, Healthways, DA Non Mag
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YankDownUnder
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Re: Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:43 am

As asked, I have posted information on the Porpoise in the single hose section. I own three Universals and a CA-1. I am selling a CA-2 to my fellow helmet instructor. He is the one who got me started teaching standard dress diving. It remains the only certification course for helmet diving.

When I visited Australia in 1976 I was still in the army and I wanted a Porpoise. Reluctantly the factory sold me one. By that time, they were only being made for the Royal Australian Navy contract. When I moved back to Australia in 2005 to care for my mother, I met Ted Eldred the inventor, and Bob Wallace-Mitchell the distributer. I showed each of them the regulator and told them the story. Being a retired cop, I wanted to see if they had the same opinion, without them hearing the others opinion. They each confirmed that it was the very last Porpoise ever sold to the public. It has thus become my little treasure. I couldn't have the first, but I did manage to get the last, if that means anything.

Some advanced collectors seem to want them, but most collectors are unfamiliar with them or are more interested in double hose regulators, so they are not really very valuable. Steve

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DaleC
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Re: Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:45 pm

Great write up Steve. I've had the pleasure of reading "Fathomeering" by Ivor Howitt which describes some early Aussie diving. One of my goals is to dive a hardhat... perhaps one day. So far the closest I've come is sticking my head inside one at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. It's connected to a hand operated pump and you can experience the sound of the air wooshing in. There is also a Newt Suit made by our own Phil N. but I've not had the chance to climb inside of it (the security guards were too close :) ).
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YankDownUnder
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Re: Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:52 am

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DaleC,

This Bud's for you. The picture is of a friend dressed for Canadian conditions. Notice the water softener in is right hand.

Steve

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YankDownUnder
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Re: Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:01 am

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This one is for Aileron and the Ladies,

This is my dive buddy Gisela. She is the first woman to become sport certified in standard dress. She will be 55 next week. She is a tri-athelete and a member of HDS SEAP. She dives with a double hose and can be seen with a Heinke Mark III and a TOA helmet. After qualifying with a Siebe Gorman helmet, she joined the advanced class and dived at night to 11 meters. Steve

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sitkadiver
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Re: Steve Taylor " The Yank Down Under"

Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:46 pm

Mr. Taylor,

I've visited the classicdiver website in the past and have always enjoyed the expanse of great information.

Thanks for the post and pictures, it's always great seeing the hats used and not just sitting on a shelf.

Best wishes from Alaska.
I do not believe in taking unnecessary risks, but a life without risk is not worth living. - Charles Lindbergh

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