Dive grasp Curt Christiansen shares his experiences of over 30 years of scuba diving in an alternate actuality


BYU – Hawaii College students Diving.

Picture by Curt Christiansen

Curt Christiansen, the BYU – Hawaii Dive Membership advisor for 16 years, stated his first encounter with diving was when he was 15. Now, after over 30 years of diving expertise, he seems to be again on his underwater adventures and says the most effective a part of diving is experiencing it alongside another person.

The place it began

Christiansen stated when he was a 15-year-old Boy Scout he traveled to Camp Lemhi in Idaho the place he noticed a person arrange his scuba gear on the dock of a small lake.

He shared, “I used to be ready to begin my canoe advantage badge and watching him put his gear collectively. Then I noticed him mild the tank and requested him about it. Christiansen stated the stranger advised him he was checking all his gear was working and invited him to strive it out.

Christiansen stated: “We entered shallow water and he opened his scuba tank.” He stated the scuba tank had two mouthpieces: the backup, which is the one he used, and the regulator, which the opposite man used.

“I used to be underwater and I used to be standing on the facet of the dock of the boat. Trying round I may see fish underwater. I may see issues that I usually could not see after I was kayaking or swimming, ”he stated.

The expertise was one he would keep in mind and that day Christiansen stated he advised himself he would in the future do it for actual.

In 1988, Christiansen stated he moved to Hawaii as a scholar and obtained a scuba diving certificates in Oahu. He stated he needed to be taught to be comfy with the water first. Actions like snorkeling and spearfishing helped him higher perceive the ocean, he added.


Christiansen smiling underwater wearing snorkel gear with rocks behind him.

Picture by Curt Christiansen

The underwater world

Whereas describing what it is wish to scuba dive, Christiansen stated, “Generally you are underwater and also you overlook you are underwater. You lookup and see the floor of the water… and it reminds you. I’m on this setting. I’m clear right here underwater. I do not fear in regards to the respiration as a result of every part is about up. I’ve no concern or panic to return again to the floor as a result of every part is ok right here.

It is cool to lookup and see the floor of the water, he says. “It is nearly like a ceiling above you, and also you’re separated from the air world,” Christiansen stated. “You’re locked in a world of water and there’s a entire different world there.”

Christiansen stated diving is like dwelling in a modified actuality the place animals breathe on their very own underwater and also you expertise them with them. “You’re over there doing one thing that’s not regular to do with out gear. … It is higher than going to the films. ”

Earlier than the pandemic, Christiansen had stated he scuba dived half a dozen instances a 12 months. One of many locations he likes to go is Lanai Lookout, a complicated dive that is not for rookies, he stated.

“Scuba diving on the island is like browsing. It is seasonal, ”Christiansen stated. In winter, there are huge waves on the North Shore, so individuals go to the south shore or the west facet to dive, he defined.

In the course of the summer time, it will be the other, he added.

“You possibly can dive all 12 months spherical so long as you are able to go the place it is calm… as a result of the waves change on both facet of the island each six months,” he stated.


A diver underwater looking for a spotted eagle ray by swimming

Diving with a noticed eagle ray.

Picture by Curt Christiansen

BYUH diving membership

Christiansen stated he turned the advisor for BYUH’s dive membership about 16 years in the past. “Within the dive membership we get individuals licensed Open Water Diver, the fundamental degree, after which they will go on and change into an Superior Scuba Diver or change into a Dive Grasp, the very best rank earlier than the trainer.” He has been a Dive Grasp for about 30 years, he stated.

“A fundamental diver should have his personal masks, fins, snorkel [and] slippers, ”he shared. The scuba gear consists of a buoyancy management machine (BCD), which is the vest, tank, weight belt, regulator and wetsuit, he stated. “Part of the [club] the price for scuba diving is a rental of [this] gear, ”he defined.

Diving teaches individuals handle the setting and the way what individuals do impacts it, he stated.

“Generally once we are diving we see rubbish like a plastic bag or fishing gear that’s left there, and we decide it up in order that the subsequent diver doesn’t should see it and ‘it doesn’t get tangled within the sea. creatures in it.

Divers must handle the setting so that everybody can take pleasure in it extra, he stated.

Brandon Moore, an Alaskan arts training senior and vp of dive membership operations, stated the price to affix the membership this semester is $ 3. If a scholar desires to be licensed, it is going to price them $ 350 as they should pay for the dive information, he shared.

“In contrast to a driver’s license the place it’s important to renew it each two years, when you’re licensed, you are licensed for the remainder of your life,” Moore defined.


Twelve students smiling while wearing snorkel gear with the ocean behind them.

BYUH Dive Membership members go diving.

Picture by Curt Christiansen

Moore stated it took him a number of weeks to get his diving certification. “What you do is you [spend] a number of nights in a classroom the place you watch a bunch of diving movies. [Then] you may have a binder wherein you might be alleged to learn and reply questions, then you’ll meet the trainer in a classroom [where] he’ll undergo all of the questions within the e-book, ”he shared.

After that, Moore stated, the divers make their first dive in a pool, adopted by 4 extra dives within the ocean. “It is actually fairly quick. It is not a course of that takes months, ”stated Moore.

“It is a costlier membership and that is one of many issues we at all times warn individuals about. … However on the subject of the advantages, diving is simply one of many coolest methods to discover the ocean, ”he added. If the dive is from a ship, it is $ 100, and if it is a shore dive, the place divers simply stroll within the water, it is $ 50, he stated.

“You possibly can spend 10 minutes watching [at] a small space of ​​5 by 5 coral and discover every kind of fish, animals [and] Crabs. It’s a lot enjoyable. It is an incredible technique to expertise the ocean that you just actually cannot expertise in any other case, ”commented Moore.

A social sport

When requested what the most effective factor about diving is, Christiansen replied that it’s the interactions with different divers. “It is a buddy system, so that you’re often matched with another person to your security,” he stated. Every pair seems to be at one another throughout the dive, typically inspecting one another’s air and speaking underwater by alerts, he defined.

“You possibly can then have underwater experiences collectively. … You usually level at objects underwater in order that your good friend can see them too, so they do not miss them [what you discovered]. ”

When the divers come out of the water, everyone seems to be completely happy to speak about what they noticed and it is actually enjoyable, he added.

“As a lot as it’s a leisure sport, it’s a social sport,” Christiansen stated. Diving collectively is actually enjoyable, he says.

Christiansen’s spouse, Dr. AnnaMarie Christiansen, Affiliate Professor within the College of Arts and Letters, stated: “We see the ocean, however usually we do not look under. [Diving is] a good way to discover nature in an underwater context.

She echoed her husband when she stated, “It is a social exercise that is enjoyable to do together with your companion and with the group properly. It is enjoyable to change into licensed [by taking] dive membership classes with somebody you hang around with or a few of your mates and work with [through] this course of collectively, ”she shared.


Three divers are at the bottom of the sea watching a sea urchin that one of the divers is holding.

Divers on the lookout for a sea urchin.

Picture by Curt Christiansen

When the 2 acquired engaged, AnnaMarie Christiansen stated her husband robotically enrolled her in scuba diving classes. She stated her husband likes to get individuals involved in diving. Their two daughters are licensed by the BYUH program, she shared.

On one event, whereas they had been each scuba diving, AnnaMarie Christiansen stated {that a} small tiger shark swam. She stated she was scared however her husband intervened in entrance of her to guard her.

“He’s very conscientious and security is essential to him,” she added.

Moore stated Curt Christiansen was one of the vital skilled divers he is aware of. “You probably have any questions on diving Curt has one thing to say about it which is actually cool.” Moore stated he loved speaking to Christiansen about his diving experiences. He can hold speaking about it without end, he shared.

Along with being the Dive Membership Advisor, Curt Christiansen works for BYUH Amenities Administration because the Asset and Key Entry Coordinator.


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