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