Justin: [00:00:00] I could see the beauty of it right away. I had experienced some coldish water diving in Southern California. Yeah. I understood the, the beauty of not coral reefs, just rocks with stuff, growing on them.
it was just getting used to the temperature luckily. The shop was super busy and there was lots of courses to teach. it was, sink or swim or adjust or don't
Nic: [00:00:21] trial by ice.
Justin: [00:00:23] Trial by ice. And that was it, you know? it's episode 27 of dive in the podcast.
Welcome to dive in the podcast. Your favorite podcast, about all types of diving, scuba tech, free diving, and more. We cover it all every week. On Monday, we post new episodes filled with diving news. Interesting dive topics, ocean advocacy, and much more.
Hi everyone. I'm Justin.
Nic: [00:00:51] I'm Nic
Amit: [00:00:51] I'm Amit
April: [00:00:53] And I'm April.
Justin: [00:00:54] And we're the hosts of dive in the podcast tonight. We're speaking to a diver whose roots area in the desert of all places. He's led dives all over the world and taught hundreds of students in the city of lights tonight. We're speaking to me. Nick and emit and April will be interviewing me about my diet of history to give our listeners a better idea of, uh, of who I am and, and ultimately in the future who we are as divers and our background , in the future, we'll also have a chance to speak to Nick and April to find out about them. We already chatted with the mint back in episode nine, but who knows, who may talk to him again? You never know what'll happen. This podcast is crazy. Nick has I think blue segment and admit chats with us about side Mount diving. Let's get started.
I guess for anyone listening, paying attention, at home or on, on their device would realize that a friend's wall was supposed to be on this week.
But if you didn't know where we are here in Atlanta, Canada, we had a hurricane blow through yesterday and we weren't quite sure that it was going to work. So, uh, we rescheduled Francoise for next week. so we got this week as a, uh, as a bi-week. So, so we can help you guys learn more about us.
April: [00:01:57] I'm excited. I have all these questions. I've been dying desk just in my whole life and now they finally get answered.
Justin: [00:02:05] And it's going to be crazy.
April: [00:02:07] It's going to be crazy.
Justin: [00:02:09] last week we chatted with Sergeant Jay white and, uh, that was pretty, uh, pretty insightful. I didn't know what I expected to learn about the underwater recovery team and their dive training, but I think it turned out to be a little bit more supportive and positive than I expected it to be. and J man, he has a real passion.
Amit: [00:02:25] Yeah, that's definitely a guy, I would say without question, the second you bump into him and you mentioned the word diving, it's kind of like that kid where the lights go off again. And, and I think it takes them right back to that initial passion. And it comes through in all of his chats, really about diving.
I've never heard him, uh, you know, being down about diving and I've never heard them like, complain about it. So he's just one of these guys that I think it's just, it's literally in his DNA.
Justin: [00:02:49] Yeah. And also he's got some great, great diving connections too. So hopefully we can, uh, we can use those connections to get some really neat interviews in the future
Amit: [00:02:58] that sounds like a great plan.
Justin: [00:03:00] So before we get into the, in depth, hard hitting interview with me, uh, we should chat about this week's news segment. so air is a free diving competition. A CMASS SI MAs, a free diving European cup was held, uh, this last week in Greece. And for new free diving world records were set, which was pretty awesome.
Um, in the constant weight by fins women's record, uh, Ilanka arsenic set, 94 meter world record. And then. Arnold, Gerard set, 112 meter record in the men's version of the constant weight by fins. Should also say that drawer is 112 meter dives for past world record holder, Alexi Mulkin offs record that he said just a couple of days ahead of time, he had 111 meter dive and then a, then Gerard came up and beat him by that one meter.
Nic: [00:03:56] it's pretty amazing that there's been some world record said this year, uh, given everything with COVID is restricted traveling pretty much canceled every major free diving competition in the world.
Um, so it's nice to see you, you know, towards the end of the year, getting close to the end of the year here that we still have a couple of world records to the chair on. And, um, yeah, that's kind of nice to watch.
Justin: [00:04:16] Yeah, definitely. And two other notable records that were said, at that competition in the masters category, CMS has a masters category that, recognizes divers over 50. Mark Lenore set a 57 meter free immersion world record and Xavier Daru set a 60 meter constant weight by masters world record as well.
So four records despite coven and all that. Can't wait to see what next year brings.
Nic: [00:04:41] Yeah, hopefully back to free diving competitions. I mean, I was supposed to go to, you know, the, the competition in Montreal that, uh, first of while usually hosts, um, for the long weekend, the labor day long weekend got canceled cause of COVID. I usually go to that and, November is a blue element in Dominique and I haven't heard official word, but at this point I've pretty much sort of given hope that that's going to happen.
So, yeah, it'd be nice to, to compete again next year.
Justin: [00:05:05] Yeah, I bet. Well, Nick, I think you've got the first question for me. So I'm going to let you take the lead from here.
Nic: [00:05:11] so Justin, can you tell us where you're from?
Justin: [00:05:14] Uh, yeah, I'm a born and raised Los Vegas from Las Vegas, Nevada. I'm actually third generation born and raised in Las Vegas.
Nic: [00:05:22] what is Vegas like for those who haven't been there?
Justin: [00:05:24] well, I think everybody gets that picture of the casinos and all that, but there's a 2 million person city around there. And, uh, it's a, the cool thing about Las Vegas is it's like a hub. So if you think of it as like a spoken wheel, kind of a thing or hub and spoke kind of thing, uh, Vegas is a great starting off point.
You can be skiing in a few hours. You can be in the ocean in a few hours. You can be in the mountains, you know, like red rock mountains in a few hours. It's, uh, there's lots to do in Vegas. So. Growing up there, there was never a lack of things to do. If you were willing to drive a little bit to go do them.
Nic: [00:05:59] so you got so many places to go at some point, you interacted with the ocean or maybe freshwater what's what's your first memory of water?
Justin: [00:06:06] I literally grew up in Lake Mead. Uh, we were there every weekend from the time, you know, my parents were pretty young when they had me and, you know, we didn't, we weren't super fortunate to have lots and lots of crazy things, but we had literally an inflatable boat and we were out there bombing around in Lake Mead all the time.
And, uh, but what really. Struck me, I guess, was later on when I, we made the first trip to California when I had to be like eight or so. And, um, where we actually went to the ocean, we'd been to California. A number of times I probably had seen the ocean, you know, from a distance, but like for whatever reason, my uncle lived in San Diego and we never actually like went to the ocean ocean and went swimming.
And there was like this one time, I just remember going out there into like rolling waves to, uh, you know, to like a nice. Gradual Sandy beach and just going out and just jumping around in the waves and having an amazing time for just hours. What felt like hours and hours and hours. And I'm sure it was like 45 minutes in real life, but, uh, it was just this kind of like almost dreamy.
It's so weird how this memory to me is just so like, you know, it's so yeah, it has that dream quality. I'm sure it pretty, pretty sure it happened.
Amit: [00:07:18] That's, uh, that's pretty neat. I think it's like one of those shared experiences for a lot of folks when they, when they get that first chance to, to jump into the ocean. So, uh, in that vein, I guess, to a degree, uh, with you being a guy that's living in the desert, how do you become a diver?
Justin: [00:07:35] Yeah, honestly. Um, unlike a lot of people, it wasn't on my radar for a number of years. Like there was, you know, diving movies and you know, of course you'd all seen, you know, well, every diving movie and every, everything that had divers in it, but for me, it didn't really spark anything until right after I was in high school.
And I started editing a TV show for a guy who hosted a scuba diving, or he was wanting to host a scuba diving TV show and he called his show scuba views. And it was literally just him and his son going out to the Lake with a camera underwater camera and a housing, and like doing some dives and having a good time.
And occasionally they traveled and I just was the one who. Edited all his footage into a 30 minute television show. And I did that for a couple of, I don't know, four or five episodes. And then like the, his name was bill, the host. He disappeared and I didn't see him for a couple of years. And that whole time I was like, man diving, it looks like so much funny.
There's all these cool spots in Lake Mead that I added the segments for. And then I was production manager of a TV station and bill rolled up out of the blue, wanted to start airing the TV show, literally the same TV show. I edited a few years earlier, uh, on our TV, on our local TV station.
I was like, bill, where have you been these last couple of years? And. And, uh, and immediately, scheduled an open water class for him and two of my coworkers, uh, uh, back in the other Justin and, uh, called Davies. And I guess we still call them Davies. Listen, he's alive. So not in the past tense anyway.
So me back in Davies, uh, we did our open water course and we did our advanced open water and we did our rescue and we were like, bam, bam, bam knocked out those three courses, super fast and them, and, uh, and there was lots of diving in the desert, you know, at Lake Mead, uh, lots to do.
And there was, uh, diving in Catalina Island off Southern California. So we were diving Catalina islands, like. Every chance we had, we would make a, just literally two or three day trip. We would go, um, we can go crash at Beck's grandmother's house and in long beach. And then we would, uh, we'd get on the Catalina express at like six in the morning, go diving, um, stash, a tank in the lockers at the casino point, do a night dive, uh, stay in the hotel that night.
On the Island and then come back the next morning and then, you know, probably go to work, uh, that following morning, you know, after driving back to Vegas. So that was a, that started, uh, what would be a chain of many, many trips to Southern California to go diving.
Amit: [00:10:18] Wow. That sounds incredible.
April: [00:10:20] lived such a cool life. Justin, I love hearing about Vegas days.
Justin: [00:10:25] It was a weird place. It didn't seem weird, but now looking back, it was definitely a weird place.
April: [00:10:29] How, how old were you when you got certified?
Justin: [00:10:32] let's see, I guess I'm probably had to be about 24, 25. Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Yeah,
April: [00:10:38] then what was it like diving for the first time? If you're like 24, 25, you were in a kid
Justin: [00:10:43] no, I wasn't a kid. I was yeah. Full, full grown, not kid or only kind of kid and. I don't know it was, it was fun. Um, you know, diamond Lake Mead was lots of fun. It was, you know, it was like, what you expect is silty bottoms and theirs was sometimes great and sometimes terrible, but like diving in Southern California in those.
Giant kelp forests with all these amazingly bright fish swimming around. And like you would be cruising through these, like, I don't know, little alleys of, of kelp. And you're just, it felt like flying through the rain forest. You know, there's like, there's like light, you know, would come down in these rays.
And if you ever see pictures of kelp forests, um, You'll you'll understand what I'm talking about and there's just this like, cause the kelp sits up top, like a canopy in the rainforest and then you're down below and it's kind of narrower, you know, there's narrower stocks going up to the, to the canopy up top and you'll just be swimming along and there'll be like a little fish nursery and there'll be like a hundred.
You know, juvenile damsel fish, and they're all like orange and purple and like the most intense purple it's like UV almost, you know, or you'll be swimming along and their seals are swimming along and there's a giant sea bass. The size of, you know, like two of me they're just crazy is that's what stuck with me.
Like it was Southern California that really like really made me a diver. Yeah.
April: [00:12:17] like, I'm 22. So when you're my age, you weren't even thinking about diving yet. Wow, crazy. So then you did your dive master away, right? Like you weren't in Vegas when you did your day master
Justin: [00:12:35] Yeah, I had my, I had a buddy who was in the U S army and he was stationed in Honduras doing like anti-drug stuff. I'm sure I can say that. I'm not saying his name. So, um, they, they did, they did like all kinds of things. And so the us army helicopter pilots had to fly over ocean. A certain number of hours a month to like stay certified or whatever.
So they would fly from the mainland of Honduras, to the Island of Roatan and drop all these, like dude's off. And they would go like, you know, party it up on fro tan for the weekend. And then they'd go back to work on Monday or whatever after getting picked up via helicopter again. Or at least that's what.
He told me it was the story who knows what actually happened. But anyway, my buddy, uh, my high school buddy then gets out of the army and he's like, Justin, we have to go to Rodin. And I was like, well, it seems, he's like, let's do our dive master. And I was like, all right. And so we saved up, you know, I don't know, cost us like two grand each.
And we went down, we rented a house for a month. We got our dive master. Uh, we did our dive master a place called pure Ravita, which weirdly is. Costa Rica is like motto pure life, not rote and not Honduras, but anyway, uh, and we made a lot of amazing memories in that month there. And, uh, I came back to the dive master.
April: [00:13:56] Amazing. And when you became a dive master, were you working in like a dive shop or anything at that point? Or were you still just diving for fun?
Justin: [00:14:05] I had just kind of quit doing television and video work, I did lots of TV and stuff. F and M. I cause I was tired of working freelance and chasing paychecks and the guy who taught me bill, how to dive, he opened a dive shop, which he called the same, same thing as his TV show , scuba views.
And yeah. And, uh, so I was the only employee at scuba views and he was the only instructor. Then I became the only dive master as Google views. You know, it was a tiny little shop. And, uh, and so I. He needed a dive master that could become a assistant instructor so that he could get his next Patty rating on the dive shop.
So one thing led to another and I became an instructor for bill.
April: [00:14:47] Amazing.
Amit: [00:14:48] so when, when you say you became an instructor for bill, did you do that, like through his shop or did you have to travel elsewhere for that?
Justin: [00:14:56] Uh, there was the first, uh, first IDC. The shop ran. I was the first assistant instructor of the shop did so that we could get our like five star Patty center. And then I became the first instructor run through, but because there were so few Patty, uh, instructor courses running in Vegas at the time, they didn't send anybody out to Vegas to.
To certify us. I had to actually drive up to this, um, this hole in the ground outside of salt Lake city, Utah, and, and do my I E there. So I had to drive like six hours. Uh, luckily my sister lived in salt Lake. I could stay there. And, uh, and then I drove up to, to this, uh, yeah, literally like.
There's a mound sticking out of the ground and a hole in the top and you see steam coming out. Cause it was like snowing outside and inside. This is called homestead crater and uh, and there's just like 95 degree water on the inside is so hot. Um,
April: [00:15:54] I want to dive there.
Justin: [00:15:56] you like some people just go there and they sit like on the dock that has seats in the water and treat it like a hot tub.
Amit: [00:16:03] Well, yeah, it'd be pretty close.
Justin: [00:16:04] Yeah. And we're scuba diving and they're doing our instructor exam. Uh,
April: [00:16:09] Is there anything to see, like, is it a good dive?
Justin: [00:16:13] no, no, it's terrible.
April: [00:16:14] Oh, it's
Justin: [00:16:15] there's a, there's a granite wall and a sand bottom at like 60 feet. It's super deep and for like a hole in the ground. And, uh, and they like pull trash out of there there's like cars and all kinds of stuff.
People dumped in this crater over the years. And, uh, it was really interesting.
April: [00:16:31] I'm so intrigued at what? A 95 degree, like dive it's like,
Justin: [00:16:36] Brutal is what it is. It's just, it's hard. You're sweating like this you're your body wants to cool off. And, uh, I mean, is, it was, yeah, so weird. And there was a cave in, on one of the walls the day before. So the visibility was about five feet.
April: [00:16:54] So it's like boiling hot water with no visibility.
Justin: [00:16:58] Yeah. Yeah. That's it? Yeah. You, yeah. You would think, uh, you think you'd have better. I was, it was great experience for, for teaching conditions in Lake Mead and sometimes in Nova Scotia.
April: [00:17:11] diving in the hot tub at the public pool.
Justin: [00:17:14] Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Amit: [00:17:17] so you you've traveled quite a bit though, teaching as well though, Justin, is that correct? It wasn't just your teaching. Wasn't just restricted to a Vegas.
Justin: [00:17:26] Well, I taught in Vegas, but I traveled out of Vegas. So there was a, the dive shop ran two or three trips a year. And the good thing was that after like the first trip with bill and Maryland, the husband and wife that owned the shop, they're like, well, you can, you can take the next one, Justin, and we'll just switch off.
So that started a, uh, a bunch of traveling that I did couple of times to, um, To cause a mil to Ruba to curse out Fiji. I took a trip back to road tan after I went there on my own. Yeah. So I think that's about it. I mean, but there was a lot of diet, a lot of traveling in literally like a three or four year span.
Amit: [00:18:06] Wow, that must've been incredible. Tell me a bit about Fiji.
Justin: [00:18:08] Uh, Fiji was really cool. Um, it was brutal trip, but the diving was cool. I don't know. It's of course it's a story, everything, every diving event with me as a story. So, um, so we, we flew out of LA, uh, out of LA because it was so much cheaper. So I had to drive the trip in a. In a like 15 passenger van with a trailer to LA.
And then we got on a plane and flew overnight to Fiji. And then when we landed at Fiji, like five, the morning we got on a bus and we drove across the Island of Fiji to the other side way from the way, from like where the airport is. And then we got on a boat. And traveled an hour by boat to get to a place called Bengo lagoon.
And Banga lagoon is a, um, there's a small or the resort. There is a small Island and there's like two, uh, indigenous tribes that live on these islands. And they primarily work at the, like at the resort. There's one on the side of the Island where I was, and there was one on the other side of the Island.
so this Australian couple owns this, uh, owned, I assume they still own a pretty incredible resort there, which has everything you would think it would be in Fiji. Um, you know, lots of wood and like FACHE rooves, you know, the straw kind of rooves and stuff and the beautiful sites. But I went in the middle of the quote unquote, dry season.
I didn't take a coat. And I didn't take anything warm and it rained every day, every day I was there. Uh, so we, uh, we, we had the, we had such crazy, terrible luck with the weather, but the diving was so amazing. Like there was so much color, like you go to the Caribbean and it's beautiful. Don't get me wrong.
But like the color is muted compared to like, Fiji. Uh, and I expect even more in like the South Pacific, um, Philippines and those kind of areas where you get more mixing of all those currents from all over the world. Um, and, uh, tell my favorite story from my Fiji trip. And it's a terrible story, but it's a really, really great story.
And I tell it to, to dive master candidates that don't want to wear snorkels and instructors that don't want to wear snorkels. Uh, we were, we finally got, we, we got, we got a chance to do a night dive. And because the weather had been so bad. And, and I guess I should say that this place is like this lagoon.
It's huge. It's a, like a sheltered reef area, but it's not, it's like the size of a city. It's huge takes like an hour to boat across. So that means when there's storms, like the currents are weird and they go every direction because the water is like rushing out of a, the lip of a cup basically, or a bowl.
So the, so the current stone all go just one way. They're just like, you know, sometimes they're going left, sometimes they're going right. And whatever. So they finally say, yeah, we can do a night dive. Let's go do a night dive. And we go to a night dive and. The surface current sucked. We get down, it's workable under water, but Nope, not underwater.
The current starts to pick up. So they, they call the dive. They hit the diver recall, which was the lead weight on the, on the ladder. And we all come, come back and everybody's on board except one person. One person missed the rope, trailing out behind the boat. And, uh, and it was the wife of, one of the, one of my divers.
Her name was Alice and Alice missed the line. Her husband is a retired fire chief of, uh, in Las Vegas. And, uh, we also had on this trip. Another fireman, a paramedic and I think, yeah, two more paramedics. And, uh, so when, when Alice missed the rope in the pitch black and those poor weather, they went into like firemen rescue mode.
And, uh, and they were like started this rescue operation with the, with the boat captain. And, you know, we go and eventually we swing around and pick up Alice. But the funny part is Alice. Is drifting out in the water in the middle of pitch, black with one of the, one of the local dive masters. And he doesn't have a, uh, he doesn't have a snorkel.
And, he keeps like getting water, breaking over his head and all that. he's like, half choking on water. And so, so Alice is like, here, take my Octo and breathe off of it because I have plenty of air left and he's like, are you rescuing me? I came out here to help you.
And she's like, well, if you would have brought your snorkel and he was like, Oh, so yeah, That's my favorite story of Fiji, which has absolutely nothing to do with me, but, uh, it's a good story.
April: [00:22:50] That's a good straight, you could have used that for like the safety tip. Bring a snorkel.
Amit: [00:22:56] There you go.
Justin: [00:22:56] a snorkel.
April: [00:22:57] Good job.
Justin: [00:22:58] I hate to tell you guys we're right at about the time for our first commercial break. So let's take a break and then, uh, you guys can come back and wrap up your, , interview with me.
April: [00:23:18] Welcome back. And tonight we are speaking with our hosts, Justin Miller. So Justin, I'm going to take us here to Canada. From Vegas. So you started working for torpedo race in Halifax, Nova Scotia from Vegas. How did you do that? How'd you start working for a dive shop at Halifax coming from Vegas.
It seems like a really big change.
Justin: [00:23:45] Yeah, I, um, I moved up here with my, with my now ex wife. And, um, before we moved here, I was like, I got to get a job. We're going to line up a job. And I started Googling around and I was like, As far as I can tell, there's basically like one dive shop in Vegas. They're in Vegas, in Halifax and it's this torpedo Ray's place.
Okay. So I start emailing Jason, the owner for Peter rays and I'm like, I need a job. And he does this thing that I see them do to people all the time now. Well, it's the off season. We don't really need anybody right now. And I'm like, well, I'm going to be up there in October. How about I come by and chat, you know?
And then, uh, you know, it'll be up there to visit prior to me moving there and see if, you know, if you want to do anything. Luckily after me harassing him enough, he interviewed me when I was up there in October of, I think that was 2011. And then when I moved here and I actually landed as a permanent resident in Canada in February of 2012, uh, thank God he hired me as a full time employee.
Cause otherwise I would have really been out of luck.
April: [00:24:52] That's
Amit: [00:24:53] I think he might've lucked out on that one, too.
April: [00:24:55] I think he looked out
Justin: [00:24:56] I like to think he did, but you know,
April: [00:24:58] what did he ask you in October? What were the questions? What did you say? How did you sell yourself?
Justin: [00:25:05] you know, it was, uh, Jason's not like one of those crazy interviewers. He just, you know, he has a couple of questions. He asks, uh, anybody and it's like, you know, what kind of gear do you have? Have you ever dove in cold water? what kind of scuba do you like to do? And then, you know, talk about like, are you experienced in, in dive shop operation? And I just happened to be extremely experienced in the point of sale system that we, um, that we run at torpedo res, which is this thing called Eve, um, which is a point of sale made specifically for scuba and all of it's.
It's got about 10 zillion features and I know them all pretty well. Um, and I probably knew them better than Jason at that point. So I think he kind of saw some, uh, you know, saw some ability to yeah. Get, get some things upgraded or whatever. So he knew at least if he hired me on, they probably get some good work out of me for a while doing some stuff.
And then if it didn't work out, you know, no, no hard feelings or something.
April: [00:25:59] done. What did you think of the shop when you showed up? Like, what did you think of it at Halifax dive shop? Like, especially cause most of your diving was warm water. So
Justin: [00:26:09] I mean, it was, it was night and day for me. Um, the shop experience goes, I went from this little shop that was me, the owner, his wife, and usually like one other kind of part time person working in some variation. Usually there's two or three people there. Um, But it was not, it wasn't anything too crazy. It was, it was a small shop.
It was maybe 1200 square feet or something. And then I go into Peter raises his huge shop with all this gear, all this cold water gear and class, you know, big classrooms are really nice set up. And I was just like, this place was pretty sweet, you know? And I get that. I still get that from customers when they come in today.
And they're like, you know, you guys have a really nice dive shop here and. it's grown, but it's still that, you know, still pretty impressive dive shop if, uh, for anybody that's ever in Halifax, you know, pop in. Cause there's a, there's a lot of cool stuff in there.
Nic: [00:27:01] So had you been cold water diving before coming to Canada? Cause that's kind of part of the territory, right?
Justin: [00:27:07] Yeah, I thought I had, um, so like, you know, like many people who think cold water means I don't know, 14, 15 degrees Celsius. So like it's cold water. Right. And, you know, like, Turns out, not so much. Cause I thought, I thought cold water diving was, you know, like 12 to 14 degrees is what I experienced in Southern California and the like colder sections of Southern Califor.
And um, you know, and I, the bottom of Lake meatier around was maybe a little warm around 14 degrees or so. And so I thought I was, you know, I thought it was. Pretty experienced and, uh, boy was I wrong? Uh, I w I shadowed a, an open water course or something out in Patty said, and, uh, and I was like, wow, this water is F and cold.
Uh, I'm glad I have this dry suit on, but I need better undergarments. Cause I just had like, I don't know, a couple of layers and it was nothing too amazing. And uh, yeah, very first thing I bought from torpedo res life almost certain was a weasel extreme.
Nic: [00:28:09] So what I mean, what is, what is that transition like? Cause I mean, yeah, you get, you get in there, it's cold and you go like it's miserable. But I mean, I, you know, I come from the Caribbean and you know, it took me probably a couple of winter seasons to sort of embrace and then, you know, start enjoying like that cold water diving.
What was it like for you?
Justin: [00:28:27] Yeah, definitely. I definitely echo those sentiments, you know, it was, I could see the beauty of it right away. You know, I had kind of experienced some coldish water diving in Southern California. Yeah. And so like I understood the, the beauty of like, not coral reefs, you know, just rocks with stuff, growing on them.
Uh, it was just getting used to the, uh, uh, getting used to the temperature and luckily. The shop was super busy and there was lots of courses to teach. So it was, you know, I was in the water, you know, pretty much, most weekends I'd say, or many, many weeks of the year I was in the water diving or teaching or whatever.
So it was a, it was, you know, sink or swim or adjust or don't
Nic: [00:29:12] trial by ice.
Justin: [00:29:14] Trial by ice. And that was it, you
April: [00:29:16] dive in Nova Scotia shadowing a course. So did you just have to play cool? Like you're like, Holy fuck. This water is gold, but
Nic: [00:29:24] Play it. Cool. Right. I
see what you did
April: [00:29:26] fine. Everything's fine. Don't look at me, students. Everything's okay.
Justin: [00:29:30] Yeah, You know, don't, uh, don't pay too much attention to me and I'm just gonna see what these guys are doing. And, uh, and hopefully I don't freeze to death in the next, you know, 30 to 45 minutes before we end this dive.
April: [00:29:43] if you came in February, it was, were you shadowing of course in February too?
was it like
Justin: [00:29:50] It had to be March. I don't remember there being a lot of snow on the ground,
April: [00:29:54] you
Justin: [00:29:55] maybe it was, maybe it was a little late. It was definitely dry. I was in a dry suit. I came with a dry suit. I had, I had a really terrible trial lamb dry suit that I brought with me from Vegas that I bought to get quote, unquote, get experience with before moving here and, uh, But I told it in Vegas with nothing on underneath.
And just is like diving in the pool with your dry suit, just to get experience with it. And then it was essentially equal to no experience.
April: [00:30:25] then you come shadow of course, in your dry suit with like probably a pair of sweatpants on under it for underwear. And then pretend that everything's fine.
Justin: [00:30:37] it pretend that that's the motto of Las Vegas is fake it until you make it. So I just took that, took that experience I had and pretended everything was fine and eventually it was fine.
April: [00:30:48] That's awesome.
Amit: [00:30:50] So Justin, there's been a lot of laughing and, and stuff going on during this interview, which I enjoy, but, uh, I going to have to bring something over here, uh, and put a little bit of a spin on things. And just wondering, is there anything that you can think about that maybe brings a tear to your eye surrounding gear that you might've lost?
Could you tell a story about that by chance?
Justin: [00:31:13] All right. Well, I figured you were going to ask this as on point. Yeah. So I did the world's stupidest thing. I, uh, I left a, um, you know, close to $2,000 worth of gear on the beach and, um, accidentally took a picture of it and, and left it behind. Um, so there was, there was a couple of seasons where I, part of my job was to go out with the sea wolves, the local dive club on Wednesdays and be the, like, you know, the guy there diving.
For the shop I got there late to this dive site, bear Cove, and I, I got the van stuck,
Amit: [00:31:47] That was something else. That was something else.
Justin: [00:31:50] uh, trying to get it down to the close to the beach. Cause I didn't want to walk all the way down with my gear, which is what I should have done. Uh, so I had to get the van on stock and I was just kind of stressed and tired.
And by the time I finally got on the water, I was like, ah, you know, cause you know, you get in the water and kinda everything just eases away. And then I was, but by the time I got out of the water, I was diving side Mount and I was getting pretty tired. So I unclipped my tanks and I just left them on the shore, uh, kind of like leaning up against a rock.
And I went up and chatted with everybody else. Did your normal, like, you know, post dive, chat and get changed and all that. Normally what I would do at that point was just walk back down and grab my tanks and go, and it was this beautiful sunset. And, uh, I took a picture of the sunset. I didn't realize it at the time, but I also took a picture of the tanks.
In that sunset that I left there with my side Mount regs are mounted on my apex. XTX 50 set. And, um, and then, yeah, and then we, uh, and then we drove away, uh, 10 or 15 minutes later and it was, you know, and this is my fault because had I been one of those divers that meticulously washes and cares for their gear immediately after their dive.
Like several people that are on this podcast. Not all, but several, um, I would have noticed right away, but it wasn't, and it was a holiday weekend and I was like, nah, I'm fine. I'll watch the gear on Monday. I'm pretty sure that was a Wednesday. And so, yeah. Cause you know, it was Thanksgiving. Uh, and I was on the way to, um, my, partners, uh, sister's house, which is in parcels Cove, which was close to bear Cove.
And it dawned on me that I didn't have my scuba tanks in the back of my car. And I was all of a sudden, all of my synapses fired and I was like, F my gear's gone. I don't have it. What did I do with it? And I check the picture and I realized what was happening. And, uh, I hurried to the dive site, looked around and I found the rocks and I was like, yep, it's gone.
Somebody must've walked off with it. It's a kind of popular area through the bushes. I checked, I came back, dove the area in case they were under water. It was a whole huge thing. So anyway, if anybody ever runs into a XTX 50 side Mount set. With a hilarious, picture of Donald Trump on the right post and Bernie Sanders on the left post, under the, uh, environmental seal, because I serviced my rigs as being as apex service technician.
I'm sure they're one of a kind, you first see those, you know, them there, they are, uh, my rigs and, uh, I'll, I'll still take them back, you know, I'll,
April: [00:34:44] no questions
Justin: [00:34:45] no questions asked, uh, and I may even tip you if I get them back. So.
April: [00:34:49] What were the tanks? Do you know your, your numbers?
Justin: [00:34:51] They were still 70 twos who knows what their serial numbers were. Honestly.
April: [00:34:57] That's such a funny, but sad story
Justin: [00:35:00] This is hilarious and terrible.
Amit: [00:35:04] well, I appreciate you sharing that with us,
April: [00:35:05] the best part is just like so many things went wrong. It was like, you got the van stuck, you've lost your gear.
Justin: [00:35:14] I know
April: [00:35:14] Few days later, you realize like, uh,
Justin: [00:35:18] Yeah. And then if it wasn't a holiday weekend and it wasn't a, you know, it wasn't like in a hurry to go be with family and do other things. I probably, you know, everything would've been different, but it's just the situation lined up to be one that is really kind of regrettable.
So learn from me.
April: [00:35:35] I always thought that they got like sucked into the ocean. I, but you're probably right.
Justin: [00:35:41] People tell me that they're probably washed away, but I was, I'm fairly certain, they were above the high tide line and, uh, and there's kind of a bowl there. So even if they did go into the, get into the water, they would have been kind of in that little opening area
April: [00:35:55] And a lot of people dive there, so people probably would have found them.