Suzanne began diving at UCSD in 1991 as a natural progression of my love of all things aquatic. At the time I was overwhelmed by the training and became a “challenging student.” Or as Bob likes to say, the student who taught him how to really teach instead of demonstrate. Once I placed the attention required to learn the sport and found a caring and patient instructor I was on my way to enjoying a world perspective few people take the time to pursue. I was fortunate to begin diving at the time when UCSD had access to inflatable boats and weekly dives; and found a group of friends who loved the ocean as much as I do. This afforded me ample opportunity to “just dive.”
Over the past 24 years, I have certified over 300 people to dive. During that time, I have logged over 900 logged dives.
I am awed by the aquatic environment during each and every dive. No matter the location or the topography, I find enjoyment in all of the incredible creatures and their behaviors found under the sea. We are fortunate in San Diego to have easy access to sandy, rocky, wall and wreck diving. In SCUBA diving, you can appreciate the surroundings and the behavior that you just can’t see snorkeling. I have enjoyed playing “hide and seek” with an octopus and a seal. The underwater environment never ceases to enchant me since you can stay in one place long enough to watch the progression of cleaning, mating and feeding behaviors.
After several years of diving, I enrolled in the Dive Master to Instructor program taught by Bert Kobayashi. Bert has gifted so many people with access to the joys of the ocean. When I dive and teach today, I still incorporate elements taught to me by Bert in the leadership program. So it began that in the UCSD Natatorium I learned to SCUBA dive and then in 1994 began teaching others to dive in that same location. It is also the place I first met Bob as my dive instructor and we became engaged underwater in Fiji, four years later. We were married on the cliffs of La Jolla and celebrated at the La Jolla Bridge Club at La Jolla Cove. Gratefully, Bert was able to speak at our wedding and as he said, the only thing missing was a whale swimming by.
Bob and I have continued to teach SCUBA diving at UCSD and share our love of the ocean. I first enjoyed traveling to Baja California to dive off Ensenada, Loreto and Cabo San Lucas. This was one of my first introductions to night diving and I remember being at 80 fsw and looking up to see the moon from underwater. On another dive in Maui, we enjoyed the July 4th firework show from underwater and then floating on the surface at our dive site. We have been fortunate to dive in
- Indonesia: Kungkungan Bay Resort in the Lembeh Strait
- Papua New Guinea: Tawali Resort in Milne Bay
- Fiji: Namale Resort in Savu Savu on Vanua Levu
- Bahamas: The Riding Rock Inn on San Salvador Island
- Belize: The Aggressor Fleet Live Aboard
I now appreciate the earth because of its beauty and travel to locations not before known to me. Until I learned to dive, I looked at the world through geo-political eyes and missed the meditative space offered by locations of extreme beauty and peace.
The underwater environment never ceases to amaze me and I continue to share this love of the ocean with students. I believe it is important to have a solid foundation of skills for safe and fun diving. Since I had to work hard to build my confidence and abilities early on, I feel that I am especially equipped to help students who put limits on their learning. I enjoy celebrating the large and small successes with students as they gain confidence in aspects of diving that they thought they could not do. Now, I can ask how the weather is and how the water is. Let’s Dive!