Member Spotlight – Diana Schmitt

This month OSC’s Member Spotlight is shining on Diana Schmitt.

Please say hi to Diana at the next meeting.

What made you want to be a diver?

Well this is the question that is the hardest for me…Jacques Cousteau for a start and all the wonderful film about the underwater world.  Then I started to travel to Mexico and other destinations in the Caribbean, I started to eve’s drop on scuba conversations and became very curious.  I had to decide whether or not to get certified in cold water, one very interesting person that I talked with said:  “If you have the opportunity to certify in cold water, then that is what you should do!”.  I took this to heart, getting certified at Mike’s Beach.  I couldn’t stop!  I loved it! Even the cold water (I certified in a dry suit) and never looked back.

How long have you been diving?

I have been diving since May 2001…I currently have 1181 logged dives…Yes I log all my dives!

What is your level of certification?

My highest level is SSI Dive Control Specialist.  I spent four years assisting with instruction in the pool and on open water certification dives.  I did many Discover Scuba dives and a refresher course.

How did you hear about Oregon Scuba Club?

One of my instructors was a member and invited me.  My first meeting was right after I was certified.

What is your favorite dive spot cold water?

I think that I love the Campbell River area the best, I participated in a REEF fish id class with Janna  Nichols.  Those dives were amazing!

Warm water?

Right now I am still in love with the Philippines…Dumaguete, Tubbataha, Puerto Galera, Balacasag to  name only a few of the areas.  I also really like Indonesia, Lembeh Strait is the macro heaven for muck diving with a close second only to Anilao, Philippines.  I also have spent a lot of time in the Cayman Islands.  I like the Caymans for wideangle photography.

What is the one piece of dive equipment you could not live without?

My computer.  It tells me everything!  But all the rest of the regular stuff is important too.  I would never rent anything including camera equipment unless I had a gear failure (heaven  forbid)!

Tell us your favorite dive story (the one that got away):

Another hard story but the one that didn’t get away was the wonderful image of the green turtle that I made at Apo Island last October.  I was moving slowly toward the turtle so I wouldn’t scare it away.  I clicked and clicked and crept and crept and finally I was right in front of the turtle!  It looked straight at the camera moving it’s head side to side.  At that moment I felt I had connected to it, then I realized it was seeing it’s reflection in my dome port, silly me, but that image is so happy!  I have had many incredible encounters with marine animals over the years. And on my last trip we had a turtle out in the blue who was eating a jelly fish!  I love being underwater, the happiest place in the world for me.

Non-dive related stuff about you (what you do for a living, how big is your family, pets, who is your hero)?

I have been retired from project management at OHSU for two years.  Now I plan and make dive trips for myself and friends who want to join me on my adventures.  I have a lovely daughter and son-in-law, a beautiful 14 year old granddaughter who will be a freshman at Tigard High in the fall and a member of the varsity cheerleading team – go Tigard!  My handsome grandson will be a senior at Tigard this year and he swims for the varsity swim team, is a computer expert and now is a courtesy checker at Albertsons.  He may get certified soon so I have a built in dive buddy if his busy schedule allows.  I do not have any pets.  My heros are the many gifted and world renowned underwater photographers that I have been blessed to meet, who work tirelessly for ocean conservation.

About the Member Spotlight:

Each month we will host a club member on the Member Spotlight page. Our idea is to get peoples names and faces out there for everyone to get to know each other, and potentially make new friends. We would like to post a picture of our ‘club member of the month’ along with a little bit of information they provide about themselves. This is one more way to make new friends and meet new people.