In 2004 six random divers who didn't know each other from Adam got together via the internet and decided to meet up in Orange City Florida to do some double hose diving.
I remember flying into Orlando and driving over to Orange city wondering what I had gotten myself into.......I didn't know any of these guys other than reading their posts on a website message forum....Was this some kind of weird cult or random abduction scenario I was falling into? Would I be paraded down Main Street on a donkey forced to wear a grass skirt with a mask on my forehead proclaiming my love for Mike Nelson while onlookers in the crowd hurled spears at me ???
As it turned out nothing quite like that happened but the weekend was none the less as colorful.
I first met up with Broxton Chuck as he drove slowly though the parking lot of the motel in his vintage Chevy Manta van staring at each person and calling out in his radio announcers voice....Hey are you that Bryan guy on the computer....Hey lets go diving.....Double hoses for everyone......For those of you who know Chuck he is quite a colorful and humorous character although a little unnerving at times.
Shortly Rob, Joe Tom and his wife Cindy joined up with us and we spent the evening just setting around talking about diving, dive gear and the world in general. Turned out to be a great group of people who enjoyed diving and having a good time.
We dove together most of the day in Blue Springs and were fortunate that Tom and Chuck had brought their portable compressors so we had plenty of air on demand.
After a day of diving we did what all other divers do which is set around and tell stories. Chuck was even nice enough to take us to his favorite restaurant in the area.
Next day we ventured over to Alexander Springs which is a great dive site for anyone who is new to double hose diving or has a lot of varied gear they want to check out. The water is amazingly clear and the walk to the water is not too far and you have a lot of room to spread out and socialize.
We all had a great time diving together and getting to meet up with like minded divers.
You might be wondering when I'm going to explain the name Sand Dog......Well that's a story that is better told in person because my horrible writing style wont do it the justice or comedy that it deserves. It actually has nothing to do with this trip, or canines at all but we retrofitted the name anyway.
2015 will be our 12th Sand Dog celebration and previous years have taken us from the Bahamas to The Thousand Islands in New York. We are back at our original site this year and I'd like to invite anyone who dives a double hose or who is interested in diving one or just learning more about them to please come and join us. I think we are a pretty easy group to get along with and even if you don't dive I'm sure you will get a kick out of the characters we have in the group.
See the Message Forum at Vintage Double Hose or the Vintage Double Hose Facebook page for more details on the event and how you can join up with us!