This month OSC’s Member Spotlight is shining on Keenan Booher. Keenan was introduced to our club by Jim Stuart about three months ago. Please welcome Keenan the next time you see him at a club meeting or at a club dive/event.
What made you want to be a diver?
I’ve wanted to learn to scuba dive for the past 20 years, but never made the time to do it. In 2012, my family & I spent a week in Cozumel…snorkeling, swimming & and just having a blast. My boys & I took an introductory scuba course & I was hooked! When we got back to Oregon, we signed up for an Open Water class straight away.
How long have you been diving?
Like I said, I started my Open Water class in March of 2012, but didn’t complete it due to some severe anxiety issues. My two boys got certified though & my oldest was perplexed at my inability to cope. Well, I wasn’t going to roll over that easily! My pride was at stake. I spent about 5 months learning about anxiety and panic attacks and how to overcome my fears. I’m happy to say that I completed my Open Water in December of 2012!
What is your level of certification?
After completing my Open Water certification, I drove away from Hoodsport vowing to not go any further. By the time I got home though, I had changed my mind. I completed my Advanced Open Water in February 2013 & my Rescue Diver certification in May of 2013. I’m currently a volunteer diver for the Oregon Coast Aquarium as well.
How did you hear about Oregon Scuba Club?
A diver friend I meet at The Oregon Coast Aquarium, Jim Stuart, invited me to an Oregon Scuba Club meeting about 3 months ago. I said yes & joined that very evening. Been to every meeting since & also dove with the club at Salt Creek a few weeks ago. What a blast!
What is your favorite dive spot cold water?
Salt Creek was awesome! All the sea urchins, kelp & surge made for fascinating dives. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to dive with my youngest son on the Knuckle at Flagpole Point in Lilliwaup, Wa. Again…absolutely amazing! Same salt water, but way different scenery! These two places have been the most memorable.
I’ve only had one real warm water dive…Cozumel, Mexico. Everything else has been PNW cold, except for 3 dives I did at NEMO 33 in Brussels, Belgium. This is, or possibly was, the deepest indoor diving pool in the world. The first 2 dives to 113’ with lots of other people & then a night (I mean ‘pitch black’ dive) to 113” for my last dive. Hope to go back to Cozumel next year.
What is the one piece of dive equipment you could not live without?
That would have to be my air cylinder / regulator combo. I wouldn’t go ‘down-under’ without it.
Tell us your favorite dive story (the one that got away):
After deciding to try getting Open Water Certified the second time, I almost threw in the towel again. Leaky mask, wet regulator, cold, murk’d out water, etc., I was ready to give up. My divemaster, Kristin Seabury, told me to relax and take a break. Fifteen minutes later, just the two of us went out for a fun, relaxing dive…no stress, no worries…just fun. And we did just exactly that! She did knock my regulator out of my mouth at 45’, but even that was fun! If it wasn’t for the sincere attention that Kristin gave me, I probably wouldn’t be diving today. Thanks Kristin…you rock!
Non-dive related stuff about you (what you do for a living, how big is your family, pets, who is your hero)?
I’ve been happily married to the same wonderful woman for the past 25 years, this July. I have 2 sons, Ian (22) & Lucas (16)…both certified divers. I have a mutt named Bleu & work as a Technical Training Instructor for a semiconductor manufacturing company called Lam Research in Tualatin, Oregon. I help people from all over the world ‘Get It’, with regards to working on our equipment. Who’s my hero? That would be folks who give away their lives in the selfless service to others, without expecting anything in return.