Derick's Underwater Adventures


The US Navy provided me with my first taste of the underwater world for which I will be forever grateful. Following my naval service, I became a SCUBA instructor, sanctioned by the YMCA. I certified several hundred students as SCUBA divers and loved every minute of it. I also held certification as an U/W Photography instructor and attended several specialized schools.

During my time as an active diver, I enjoyed U/W photography and wreck diving. I took every opportunity to take pictures of my experiences, both in the Caribbean and off the NC coast.

Age takes its toll. My last dive was in 1983. Recently, I began to look through the 4,000+ photos I have taken over the years. Some of the early pictures I took were with an old SLR camera and a home-made camera and flash housing. It was a little bulky and unwieldy. Nevertheless, I was able to take some mediocre pictures of ship wrecks off the North Carolina Coast. Eventually, I was able to upgrade to a Nikonos I (Nikon's first U/W self-contained camera.) I kept pace with technology and used later Nikonos improvements, along with newer lenses and strobe flash equipment. I was on the leading edge in my time.

Today, U/W photography has made a quantum leap in technique and technology. What was considered leading edge technology in my time is passť today. Nevertheless, I would like to share the visions I experienced 25 years ago. Several of these photos received prizes in international U/W photo competition. There is no way they would ever be considered in today's high-tech world but to me, they are memories of the wonderful times I had in the fantastic underwater world.

I guess the highlight of my U/W efforts was reflected in a cover photo.
One of my favorite dives was on the wreck of the steamer SS Frascate, a steamer that came to ruin on the reefs of San Salvador, Bahamas in 1902. I shot two rolls of film (Ektachrome) on this spectacularly visual wreck. On of these appeared on the cover of
Skin Diver magazine, April, 1977.

<click for enlarged pic>

Some of the other pictures I took at "San Sal":

I was so impressed with the experience that I returned to San Salvador and enrolled in an U/W photo course taught by Paul Tsimolous, Skin Diver Editor.