Susan Long, President of Diving Unlimited International (DUI), talks about what she’s learned about divers from holding her famous DUI DOG Rally and Demo Tour.
1. There are some people in this world that just feel better underwater.
There is a special group of people on this planet who are more comfortable and more alive underwater. Their minds are clear, and their blood pressure goes down. They become more centered beneath the water’s surface.
2. Divers love to talk about diving.
Divers spend a lot more time talking about diving than actually diving — and that’s OK. The DOG Rally is a perfect place to do that. Divers talk about their equipment, air consumption, their last dive vacation, their best photos, the stupid thing their buddy did underwater, what piece of gear they forgot to bring, how much weight they wear, etc!
3. Some of the best diving is nowhere near a coast.
Twelve of the scheduled 2012 DUI DOG Rally and Demo Tour events are at lakes and quarries — one is even held in an aquarium. Divers don’t need salt water to be happy — there are so many amazing locations to dive around the U.S. and around the world. In fact, many of the most enthusiastic divers I have ever met have been in the Midwest, nowhere near an ocean. If you only dive in the ocean, you are missing out on a lot of excitement!
4. Divers eat a lot.
Before each DUI event, we make an estimate of how many people will come. Then we multiply that number by 2 “meat units” to make sure we have enough food. We often run so low after Saturday we have to go shopping Saturday night for more because they just eat so much!
5. Divers like to share.
I see it constantly: New divers are hungry for information, and older divers are happy to share it. Diving is an art form that is passed down generation to generation — you can learn the basics in a book or class, but it is in the water where you perfect your craft. Divers are only too happy to share their experiences and help newbies along.
6. Divers are clever.
At every 10th anniversary event, we hold a “Drysuit Rodeo.” Teams compete in drysuit-based challenges, such a ZipSeal Round Up, where divers must put a ZipSeal on a drysuit behind their back. Another popular challenge involves two people who have to dress another person in a drysuit, without the help the person being dressed. Then they have to take the drysuited person for a surface swim — again, without their help. In these events, we’ve seen some really outrageous ideas to save time, like not bothering with putting the person’s head through a neck seal by having them breath through a snorkel. It’s hilarious, and all for a little star that says first, second or third-place. What divers will do for a little acknowledgement and a piece of acrylic is amazing!
7. I am truly a blessed human being.
I get to meet some of the warmest, friendliest and most fun people on this planet and make it possible for them to do the activity they love most — diving — more often. Plus, I get to help them pick their drysuit colors … when they let me!