He didn’t know it at the time, but PADI Diver Greg Dietz was one of the founding members of ScubaEarth. An early adopter of online dive logging, Greg signed on to a website called My PADI Profile back in the early 2000’s and logged more than 100 dives. This site would later become ScubaEarth.
Greg was glad to see the 120 dives from the old site had been retained and has added nearly 150 more since re-joining the site. Greg, a PADI Rescue Diver, now has more than 260 logged dives on ScubaEarth and ranks in the top five for most logged dives on the site.
When asked why he chose to use ScubaEarth, Greg told us: “There are quite a few online dive log sites which have come and gone and I feel that with PADI backing it there’s a sense of permanence. It kind of sucks when you invest hours logging a couple of hundred dives into a site and a few months later it’s gone.”
We asked Greg what inspired him to become a diver. He said, “Growing up I was always fascinated by the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau specials. In 2000 I was at a resort in Bermuda and did a Discover Scuba Dive. I enjoyed it so much I did a second dive a couple of days later.”
Two years later, in Anguilla, Greg finally took the plunge and became a certified diver. “I was fortunate that I had what amounted to private lessons from a patient instructor. I still go down and dive with him every year and we’ve become friends.”
We challenged Greg to pick a favorite out of his many dives. He said it was tough to decide, but narrowed it down to the San Francisco Maru wreck in Chuuk and the manta ray night dive in Kona, Hawai’i. He describes the experience:
“There were over 15 different rays surrounding me. While they have up to a 17ft/5m wingspan and weigh up to 3000 lbs / 1360 k they are extremely graceful. They would come right at you and veer away at the last second. And when they were behind you you could feel the displacement of the water just before they arrived. It’s a definite must do dive.”
“My two favorite sites that I’ve dove multiple times are the A E Vickery in the Thousand Islands region of NY which is a wooden schooner that sank in 1889. What’s nice about this one is that it’s mostly intact and depending on the time of year can be dove in a 5 mil suit though most of the year it requires a drysuit.
My other favorite is the Oosterdiep wreck in Anguilla. It was intentionally sunk and sits upright and intact. What I like about this wreck is there are always turtles around. I recently got an underwater camera so I’ve been trying it out on turtles.”
Greg has done a lot of diving around the world (see map above) so we asked him what are some of the most important skills for a diver to have. He told us awareness.
“By this I mean being aware of your abilities and your limitations. I’ve been on quite a few dives where during the briefing we’re told the max depth will be 70 ft on this dive and then while I’m drifting at 65′ I look down and there’s one person 25′ below me.
Also be aware of where your buddy is. On quite a few dives I’ve seen buddies doing what looked like two completely different dives. Being aware of your air consumption, I’ve seen people never look at their air gauge unless someone asks them. When I dive with someone I don’t know (which is frequently) I always try to find out their experience and comfort levels and plan the dive to match them. I’d rather enjoy a full dive at 50′ than have to deal with an out of air situation at 80′ because the person was nervous and used it up too fast.”
Connect with Greg on ScubaEarth to follow his future adventures. His “to dive” list includes: Scapa Flow, Palau, Galapagos, Iceland, the Oriskany and Vandenburg wrecks, Roatan, Cenotes in Mexico. Still on his critter bucket list: a whale shark, hammerhead, or any type of whale.