This is a page of some other things that I like . . .

So many people ask me who am I . . . Amy, what am I all about?  So I decided to make this web page for those of you that want to get to know me better.

Right off, I am a SCUBA diver!  This is an important aspect of my life, and a sport I enjoy immensely.  I am certified with PADI as an Advanced Open Water Diver.  I also hold specialties in altitude diving and coral reef ecology.

A LOT of people ask me, "Where do you dive in Colorado?"  It's really kind of a silly question if you think about it - like most people envolved with a specialized activity such as this, I usually leave Colorado to go diving!  Just like some people leave Florida to come to Colorado for the skiing, I too migrate for my sport.

But I do sometimes dive in Colorado.  Places I have been to include Grand Lake in Granby and Carter Lake in Loveland.  Lake diving is always cold, even in the middle of summer and the visibility is often very poor (paticularly in the middle of summer!), so the next question people usually ask - why do it?  The answer is simple: because you look so damn cool in all that gear!  But seriously, haven't you even looked at the surface of a lake, and wondered just what was down there?  Well, I know!

That is the curiosity of discovery factor.  When you follow your nose into places that people are not naturally meant to go, you find things.  For instance, did you know that there are freshwater sponges living in Grand Lake?  Not many people do!  But I've seen them.  Rather amazing actually . . . Grand Lake is a freshwater mountain lake at an altitude of around 9,000 feet.  There are also lots of critters to observe - there are many species of fish such as TROUT, SALMON, PIKE, PERCH, BASS and CATFISH, and also crustations such as crawdads (crayfish).  I've even seen freshwater clams diving in Nebraska's Lake McConaughy (and they were big - averaging 6" across!)  But different people have different goals, some people are looking for other "stuff".  While I have never see so much as a copper penny at the bottom of a lake or ocean, I have seen cars, planes, boats, pirate cannons, old bottles, beer cans, golf balls, fishing line . . .

One of the funniest dives I was ever on was at Lake McConaughy, where I had such an encounter with a very curious carp - he rather liked my fins . . . for lunch!  But after he decided they were not edible, he moved on, and left me rolling around on the sand laughing so hard I sucked down nearly half a tank of air! How many people can say they were eaten by a carp??  Of course, he scared the bejeesus out of me first.  Here I was, diving along minding my own business, when out of the gloom, he came rocketing along, and THUNK!  Smacked right into my face!  Good thing I had a mask on!  Klutzy carp!  But I scared him as much as he scared me - I'm just surprised that he didn't swim away rather then investigate me and try to eat my fins!

I love just about anything that has to do with the sea, and with water.  I've also kept saltwater fish for over 10 years.  They are not as hard to keep as everyone thinks they are, but they are by no means easy to keep either.

Sharks I think, are the hardest of all to keep alive.  They are so very sensitive to their environment.  I've given up on trying to keep them after a few failed attempts.  Besides, such a creature as a shark doesn't really belong in a glass box, no matter how big it is.  There are so many other much more suitable fish that do just fine, and even thrive in the aquarium environment.

But in the mean time, it was also an excellent lesson learned.  Our oceans world-wide are all one large part of what keeps our planet, and by default us, alive and healthy.  When a sensitive animal such as a shark starts to exhibit signs stress because it's natural environment is becoming toxic, it is a HUGE warning sign to us that we need to stop the things we are doing to cause it.  A little pollution here, a bit of dumping there, may not seem like much at the time, but when some 6+ billion people on the planet are all contributing, it adds up very quickly.





Interesting Related Links:
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NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources
PADI
Marine Mammal Stranding Center
Sharks
Fish Information Service
Caribbean Islands