Thank You John Rawlings

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Thank You John Rawlings

Post by Tangfish »

It is with a heavy heart and even heavier hands (he's been nudging me to do it for awhile) that I am here to announce that John Rawlings will be leaving the ranks of the Moderators and joining the NWDC Jedi Council.

As many of you may already know, John's illustrious diving career sadly came to an end last year. For those of you who do not yet know him well, suffice it to say that John has been an ambassador of Pacific Northwest diving for many, many years.

As a Photojournalist and Writer for Advanced Diving Magazine and AtlasOmega, his stories and photos have inspired and transfixed countless divers and non-divers from around the Pacific Northwest and the world. John has also made his mark as a technical diver, investigator and underwater explorer, being the diver to discover wreck of the Warren Car in Lake Crescent, solving a 72 year old mystery about a couple that had seemingly vanished into thin air, way back in 1929. That wreck still serves as a dive site for those with the training and ambition to reach it today, including a number of adventurous NWDC members. John Rawlings was also one of the first (*the* first?) Northwest Dive Club member to dive a closed circuit rebreather.

It's one thing to do many incredible and admirable things as a diver and photographer, inspiring others with your actions. It is much, much more to share those things directly with your fellow divers and the local community as a mentor, a role model, and most importantly as a friend.

I still remember a NWDC BBQ I hosted at the Newsvine HQ back during the Summer of 2006. John brought his KISS rebreather unit, underwater camera and some tech diving gear. We were all like little children with oooohs and aaaaahs, as he took the gear apart and explained in detail what each thing did, why and how. That was the day I decided to become a tech diver, set out to learn to dive a CCR and became determined to take my photography to the next level. Can you say copycat?

We've all humped John's leg at one point or another (Josh Smith especially :joshsmith:), and John has only ever been kind and willing to let us. Okay, maybe that was a bad metaphor, but you know what I mean.... the guy has given us so much. He has given me so much. As a young paduon learner/baby tech ccr diver/aspiring photographer I followed in his footsteps. It was both a tremendous milestone and the greatest honor to eventually work alongside John on this story documenting the deep Shipwrecks of Vancouver Island, which we co-authored (both words and photos). That kind of golden opportunity is bit like playing a game of 2-on-2 with Michael Jordan as your partner, while listening to a rap song that you freestyled alongside Snoop Dogg, except that John is much paler and a few inches shorter than either MJ or Snoop. Okay, I'm just babbling now. :calvin:

Please everyone join me in thanking John Rawlings for his many years of service and steady hand as a Northwest Dive Club Moderator, but most importantly as a local hero, ambassador and friend to the Pacific Northwest diving community. I sincerely hope that John continues to visit us here often, as I know that his many friendships and poignant commentary and insights transcend the act diving itself, wholly and completely. We all still have much to learn from him, regardless of whether it's in the water or not. :rawlings:


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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by Jeff Pack »

Good Luck John...

- I got a good squirt in my mouth
- I would imagine that there would be a large amount of involuntary gagging
- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by spatman »

Well said, Calvin.

We'll miss you, John! Hope your next adventures fare thee well.
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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by Scubak »

Well said Calvin.

John, you are a remarkable man and diver. Thank you for all of your contributions.

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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by Penopolypants »

A beautiful send-off for an amazing person. We will miss you in the mod circle, John, but are delighted to have you in the Jedi council!
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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by Grateful Diver »

Great tribute to one of the finest people I've met in scuba diving.

I remember meeting John for the first time in 2003 at a Northwest Sports Divers gathering, where I first heard about the Warren Car. That presentation not only introduced me to a wonderful speaker and gentleman who I came to respect, admire, and really enjoy diving with ... but it left me with a desire to see the Warren Car that was my motivation for getting into tech diving.

As the saying goes, we all stand on the shoulders of the giants who went before us ... thankfully, John's always had big shoulders that have cheerfully supported those of us who he inspired to get out and experience things we otherwise might never have imagined.

Thanks, John ... I'm privileged to know you ...

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by Norris »

Well said Calvin!
John also was the inspiration for my swan dive into the money pit known as technical diving. Sorry to see you leave us as a moderator, but glad to have had you when we did. I consider you a friend and wish you only the best on future adventures.
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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by Bric Martin »

In addition to his his diving credentials John is one of the nicest and most enjoyable people that I have ever met. I will always be thankful to have my Browning Pass memories with John.
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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by selkie »

John is a really nice guy. I took one of my dive buddies who was a novice diver with a new point and shoot camera to a Redondo club dive. John was not diving that day but had showed up to support NWDC. John was amazing as he spent 45 minutes talking to my novice dive buddy about underwater photography and how to get the most out of his point and shoot camera. I think John epitomizes the ideal of mentorship in diving and within NWDC.

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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by mz53480 »

Thanks John!

...I like going to the chamber.. They have great food there, and awsome live music "H20doctor"
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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by LCF »

A very fine and unassuming man. And don't forget that it was his photography that helped inspire the Mukilteo City Council to continue to permit diving at the State Park site. We will miss you, John!
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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by Jan K »

Thank you John, It will be not the same here without you. I hope we will see some of your
wisdom and good advice reappear time to time. Not only as a :rawlings: smilie...

I take photos because I like it, not because I'm good at it. :) by Unknown
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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by YellowEye »

John, thanks for all you've done! :notworthy:
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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by Tom Nic »

Love you, my old friend.

The tributes are awesome and don't cover the half of it.

It is an honor to call you friend.
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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by renoun »

Did John accept the position of Moderator Emeritus and Club Dive Sage? I'm sure it carries the same generous benefits package all the other mods are getting?

I've always enjoyed John's posts, photography, and publications. I hope there will be more conversations in the future.
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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by deep diver »

Best wishes, John for everything you have going on in the future and thanks for all the times you let me pick your brain! Oh... and thanks for my weezle!
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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by Joshua Smith »

I really have no words, here. I count myself very fortunate indeed, to have learned from mentors such as John. And I have had some incredible adventures with him- memories that will last a lifetime. And I'm even luckier, still, that our friendship seems to have lasted beyond his so-called "retirement."

With great love and respect-

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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by seainggreen »

John, your sage wisdom and unassuming presence and wise moderating will be missed.

I can't remember exactly when or how I met John, but I'll always remember the handful of dives I got to do with him. He opened my eyes and taught me to appreciate the tiniest of creatures in the water, among many things. Most important, he taught me that kindness over ego always wins out in the end.

John, thanks for all that you have given to me and to many, many others. You're one of the finest people I've met diving.

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Re: Thank You John Rawlings

Post by John Rawlings »

Sincere, and emotional, thanks to each of you. I miss diving with you more than I can say....
“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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