Down the memory line

General banter about diving and why we love it.
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John Rawlings
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by John Rawlings » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:48 pm

Jan K wrote: I hope this is not boring you, not much diving story in this one ...


On the contrary! Not only is there more than enough diving to be interesting on a dive board, it is also a great reminder to each of us of the freedoms that we have and how we should zealously guard them!

I've found every one of your posts to be fascinating!

- John
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

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Jan K
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by Jan K » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:38 pm

spatman wrote:
airsix wrote:Jan, you have to tell us your stories!!!!!!!

hear, hear! we want details, man, details!


Once upon a time ...:)
I know it sounds corny, but it was the little book called "The Silent World" which is responsible for my
obsession with diving. Unfortunately, growing up behind the Iron Curtain in a country without a single
mile of coastline connected to any sea, it was not exactly the most conductive place to realize dreams
of swimming with sharks, diving wrecks... But I dreamed, we dreamed. There were enough of people
who did not take the disadvantages too seriously and we tried to do as much diving as we could. With
what we had. To give you some idea about availability of dive gear, look to Cuba. Same political system.
Some of the gear is pictured in previous panels. In 1968 there was a brief period of time, when some travel
was possible, and my brother another club member and I got permit to vacation in Yugoslavia. So one
dark night, we put some of our training to use and swam around the border to Italy. We had our wetsuits,
masks, snorkels. The patrol boat's search light was looking for boats, not swimmers, as we went far from
shore. And we made it across. Refugee camp was our new home. The food was not that great, so we
walked down to seashore to spear some fish. That was when a boat run over me and I spent two months
in a hospital ( my jaw was cut by the prop in two places, lost more then half of my teeth). Waiting
for paperwork and recovering, left Italy on passport for refugees, landed in New York in the Land
of the Free at last ! :notworthy:
So that story behind this panel:
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I hope this is not boring you, not much diving story in this one ...

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spatman
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by spatman » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:05 pm

airsix wrote:Jan, you have to tell us your stories!!!!!!!


hear, hear! we want details, man, details!
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Joshua Smith
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by Joshua Smith » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:48 am

Jan, thanks so much for posting this stuff! It's amazing! What terrific adventures you've had!
Maritime Documentation Society

"To venture into the terrible loneliness, one must have something greater than greed. Love. One needs love for life, for intrigue, for mystery."

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Jan K
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by Jan K » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:51 am

Blaiz wrote: To have that written record in later years is invaluable.

Especially when you have a lousy memory like I have :)
The logs helped me to connect some of the old photos with places and dates. Plus it brings back the memories ...
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I even had the Japanese fishermen write in my log .... :grouphug:

ldevore
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by ldevore » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:31 pm

WOW! Thank you so much for sharing! What an incredible story!

Lauri

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Blaiz
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by Blaiz » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:15 pm

I grieve for the loss of your brother, Jan.

Such amazing things you've done. People who can keep diaries and logs always impress me; I've never been able to do that. To have that written record in later years is invaluable.
The student was ready.


it's nice to have low expectations, sometimes - lcf

I said keep going, not start whining -airsix

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LCF
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by LCF » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:24 pm

Jan, you should get weathered in more often . . . :)
"Sometimes, when your world is going sideways, the second best thing to everything working out right, is knowing you are loved..." ljjames

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Jan K
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by Jan K » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:14 pm

John Rawlings wrote:Geez....and I thought that some of MY stuff was "old"!!!!
Is that you on the "Christian Rose" page, between Pavel and Nic? If so, I'd love to hear the story of that voyage!!!
Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Jan!!! - John


John, I am sure you could easily post your own "Memory Line" thread and share with us your memories :rawlings:
One of the reasons I got involved in supplying old clippings and photos for a Dive history in the Czech Republic ,
is that I was the youngest in the club and I kept log all the time, so I got the dates and names. For example most of the
participants in the underwater habitat experiment are now dead and the whole thing will be soon forgotten.
And as for the voyage of the Christian Rose - yes, that is me holding a Mahi mahi which we caught regularly on our trip,
trailing a fishing line.... The sailboat had in character what lacked in comforts. We made lots of friends on that cruise..
I crossed the Pacific Ocean many times since that first trip on vessels with air conditioning and best navigational gear,
but the voyage of Christian Rose will be the most memorable and beautiful of them all :luv:
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The "pale face" with chief from Guadalcanal Island village is me :)

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Jan K
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by Jan K » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:47 pm

H20doctor wrote:thank you for giving us a Look into to your past... Really neat seeing these Pics , my father was also at the atomic testing In the navy and he has pictures of the blast going off... really a cool sight to see

I was not there for the blasts. We supported the clean-up on Enewetak Atoll and took doctors and scientists
to the atolls affected by the radiation from these tests .. :eek:
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pensacoladiver
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by pensacoladiver » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:00 pm

[quote="H20doctor"] my father was also at the atomic testing In the navy and he has pictures of the blast going off... /quote]

Did he have a front row seat?

Picture1.jpg

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H20doctor
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by H20doctor » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:33 pm

thank you for giving us a Look into to your past... Really neat seeing these Pics , my father was also at the atomic testing In the navy and he has pictures of the blast going off... really a cool sight to see
NWDC Rule #2 Pictures Or it didn't Happen

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kat
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by kat » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:06 pm

you are full of surprises, and never cease to amaze.
i had no idea of your history. thank you for the glimpse.
"As long as you get everything tucked into your pants, you are good to go." -wasp7000

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dieseldude
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by dieseldude » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:57 pm

Alas the secrets of the past belong to so few & the youth of today has little or no interest in anything that isnt capable of a download. I'd love to download the images from your brain. In my own short diving career i have seen many more fascinating things than I was ever able to photograph & your expose makes me feel like a small child fresh from the womb.
Thanks for the bit of history. I sincerely hope you have some sort of personal journal or autobiography in the works. Put me down for a copy.
MJ
" What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger"

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Jan K
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by Jan K » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:10 pm

Blaiz wrote:Jan that's amazing!
Did your brother continue with diving the way you did?


Thanks, glad you like it. Unfortunately, my brother was killed in a car accident returning from Cave Diving seminar in Florida back in 1970...He was much better diver then I am.. I sure miss him , this is sort of a tribute to him, he was one of the leading figures in the Czech diving community back then...
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That's him in the wetsuit. I sneaked in a picture of Lake Ann with Mt Shuksan in the background for the show's panel :)
It deals with high altitude diving...

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airsix
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by airsix » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:59 pm

WOW!!!! Jan, you have to tell us your stories!!!!!!! :burntchef:
You now own the TWO most interesting threads ever to grace this board. Bravo!

-Ben
"The place looked like a washing machine full of Josh's carharts. I was not into it." --Sockmonkey

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Blaiz
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by Blaiz » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:42 pm

Jan that's amazing!

Did your brother continue with diving the way you did?
The student was ready.


it's nice to have low expectations, sometimes - lcf

I said keep going, not start whining -airsix

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Jan K
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by Jan K » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:24 pm

Alexitt wrote:That was very cool!!! In a way it kinda makes me glad I didn't start diving 30 yrs ago though... Technology sure does make a difference... Thanks for sharing!!!

Yup, those were the "good ol' days". Looking back, I realize that god looks over certain amount of craziness and lets us to get away with it :rawlings:
What about diving down to 269 feet on 21% - no dive computer, no BC, one regulator per diver etc...
Image

Crawling into old castle wells, hoping to find treasure ? Mud was what we usually did find :)
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John Rawlings
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by John Rawlings » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:39 pm

Geez....and I thought that some of MY stuff was "old"!!!!

Is that you on the "Christian Rose" page, between Pavel and Nic? If so, I'd love to hear the story of that voyage!!!

Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Jan!!!

- John
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

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http://www.advanceddivermagazine.com
http://johnrawlings.smugmug.com/

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Alexitt
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by Alexitt » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:27 pm

That was very cool!!! In a way it kinda makes me glad I didn't start diving 30 yrs ago though... Technology sure does make a difference... Thanks for sharing!!!
-Alex-

"so in the interest of advising something...let's see..."the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!" -Eliseaboo



Image

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Bric Martin
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Re: Down the memory line

Post by Bric Martin » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:24 pm

Very cool! Your pictures and recaps are always great, but this tops them all! Thank you!!!

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Jan K
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Down the memory line

Post by Jan K » Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:25 pm

Since the winds and rain keep me inside, I though I share with you some of the memories.
Diving was little different then, growing up behind the Iron Curtain with no access to "stuff"
we had to improvise and do with what we could make ourselves. There is a exhibit of some of that
"ancient" dive gear in a museum in Czech Republic to which I contributed some photographic panels.
These are not in any order, hopefully it gives you some idea what you looking at.
Enjoy and wonder - how do we survived this ? :eek:
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One of our club member was a fireman/recovery diver, so we had chance to try out what it feels
like to be a hardhat diver. I did not like it a bit....
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Being landlocked country, we did try to keep up with the "Jonesses" (Sealab and Conshelf :rofl: )
and built an underwater habitat. In a flooded quarry, the experiment culminated in two divers
spending 100 hours in depth of 75 feet. It was my brother and his buddy, I was just a young
flunkie delivering food to them in watertight container :)
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We also dabbed in commercial work, since there were no companies which did that kind of
jobs, cutting off steel coffer dams after work on bridge pylons were fixed or build was our
most common work. Dirty and cold water in a river current was the norm..
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With limited diving opportunities, we were drawn to cave diving, since that water was usually clear.
We did not find underwater stalactites, they all were above the water passages, we were tasked to
see if we can find new dry caves so they can be open to public.
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Once I managed to escape the "Worker's Paradise", the options for diving in world's oceans finally
made it possible to realize my life dreams
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From a sailboat to a research vessels with hi-pressure compressor aboard - WOW !! :angelblue:
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and now enjoying the little critters of Whidbey Island, but that is another story :)

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