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July 10, 2018

This years Nationals were held in Clearwater Florida and hosted by the Florida Skin Divers Association. It was relatively close to home with familiar fish and conditions. The National Championship moves around the country each year on a 4 - 5 year regional rotation depending on which clubs are willing to put in the massive effort to host them. It was last hosted by FSDA back in 2015, where I competed and finished 5th individual.  I was both excited and nervous to be back in “home” waters again. This year, I was diving with my girlfriend, Sam Mase, as my partner in the mixed division. The 2018 event presented some new challenges and some very welcome advantages.

I was coming fresh off a very unexpected first place win in 2017 in Northern California. Something about winning once makes anything less than a first place finish just another loss. I had a lot of pressure on me this year. Not really from sponsors, family, or friends but really only put there from myself. Even though it was held...

March 27, 2018

Slow, deep diaphragm inhale, long, slow diaphragm exhale. Pshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. The sound of the passive exhale through my teeth and into my snorkel calms me. I relax, doing a breath-up cycle I've done a thousand times before. I am floating in the Mediterranean. The water is crystal clear, the sea is completely glass, the current is totally still. It's a sunny warm afternoon and I'm less than 30 feet offshore from a sheer cliff. Conditions are ideal. There are over 70 dives on my watch. I am in the zone doing exactly what I do best. I have a golden grouper stuck in a hole at 42 meters (137 feet) and I’m preparing for extraction. It is well known that rocked up groupers are one of the most dangerous situations a diver can encounter. I do my last sequence of breaths followed by a peak inhalation and a well practiced entry. I effortlessly sink below the surface as I begin my dive. My hands are relaxed laying by my side as I equalize and slowly overcome my bodies positive buo...