Craig began his passion for diving as a very young boy with the help and guidance of his aunt. She was fifteen and he was six when she started him free diving, called much more commonly back then “skin diving”. The diving all began innocently enough, with a rudimentary mask and snorkel borrowed from his aunt, diving for coins in the deep end of the pool. Note that the diving well end of the pool was often 15-20 feet deep back then since many pools had high diving boards. Craig’s mother was not too happy when she discovered what he and his aunt where up to, that is until she found out that he often found enough money on the bottom of the pool to buy an afternoon ice cream bar and she didn’t have to pay for them. Craig also had an intense interest for many TV shows and movies featuring underwater themes which sparked his interest for underwater adventure, but probably no show as much as Sea Hunt, starring Lloyd Bridges. He was a big fan of watching the weekly underwater adventures of Mike Nelson in his SCUBA gear ready to tackle all kinds of challenging situations during the run of the Sea Hunt series.
Then in 1971 while in High School physics class, one of Craig’s classmates, Chuck, inquired if he would be interested in learning to SCUBA dive? His dad, a former Navy diver, was starting a SCUBA class in a few nights and had some openings available. Well yes, of course Craig was interested as well as a few other classmates! This was the big opportunity that Craig was really primed for after all the years of free diving, combined with watching shows and reading about how to stay under water for a longer time with SCUBA and he could learn and do it with his friends too. After all, a steel 72 tank held a lot more air then just a pair of lungs did. So, his first SCUBA certification came in the early summer of 1972 in the chilly and rather desolate water of Carter Lake with the International Association of Scuba Instructors, Inc. You may never heard of this association before; well neither had a lot of other people back then. Not many of the SCUBA agencies started by former Navy divers survived their startup phase and IASI was one that did not. The training was good, but the business model was not. Over the next ten years Craig became very tired of having to always prove his diving abilities whenever he went somewhere new to dive, so he decided in 1982 to recertify under a little more recognized agency, known as the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, PADI, certifying with PADI at that time both as an Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver. Craig discovered the hard way that having a well recognized worldwide certifying agency is a very big asset to have in your pocket; makes life so much easier!
Over all the years and the immense enjoyment SCUBA diving has provided Craig, he still thoroughly enjoys, to this day, going back to his original roots of free diving. As far as he is concerned, “There is nothing in the world better and more enjoyable than diving.” To which a diving partner on the dive boat very quickly replied, with a great big smile on her face; “Yes, and it lasts longer too!”
Craig’s diving adventures have taken him to various bodies of water in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, Florida, California, Hawaii, Mexico, Bahamas and various points in the Caribbean.
Craig wife is also an SSI Advanced Open Water diver and interestingly enough, holds the PADI Wreck Diver Specialty in which Craig does not have. His oldest son and daughter are also PADI Advanced Open Water Divers and both are flying officers in the Air Force.
Teaching individuals how to dive and opening up a whole new world for people to explore has been a very rewarding avocation for Craig. Craig sums it up by saying that; “The tranquil serenity of free or SCUBA diving just cannot be beat by anything else. The ability to immerse yourself underwater, get away from it all and to float freely is nirvana found.” Everyone is always welcome to gain this experience by learning how to dive with Craig. He always extends a very warm welcome to all who believes they want to experience the same thing by offering them to come learn to dive with him.
Over the years Craig has earned the following ratings:
PADI Rescue Diver in 1994
PADI Divemaster in 1995
SDI Open Water Scuba Diver Instructor in 2007
PADI Open Water Instructor in 2007
PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer in 2010
Craig is qualified to instruct the following PADI Specialties:
Aware Fish Identification
Digital Underwater Photographer
Dry Suit Diver
In addition to the above, Craig is also certified as a SDI Solo Diver and a Nitrox Diver with TDI.
Some of Craig’s other accomplishments and activities in his life: earning his Eagle rank in the Boy Scouts of America and being a Scoutmaster for thirteen years as well as various other scout leader positions with the local District Council and is a SCUBA merit badge counselor. He earned his Horsemanship Teaching Certificate from Colorado State University during his undergraduate studies at CSU. Craig served fifteen years in the Colorado Air National Guard. He holds a Masters in Business Administration and is employed with Agland, Inc. as the Credit Manager. He loves to travel and has a strong fondness for most outdoor adventure activities, way too numerous to mention here, but always enjoys engaging in a lively conversation with anyone about any outdoor activity.