Tuesday, July 17, 2007

An Explanation

I am going to pull my blog entry about the Tritan Trumpets just as soon as I post this entry, but lest the rumors start flying as to why I did, and whether I was trying to hide anything or shamed into it by another blogger, I thought I would give an explanation. First let me make perfectly clear that it has nothing to do with the flap over what another certain blogger said about me or that entry. If I was going to pull it for that reason, I never would have posted her comment in the first place, and I wouldn't have waited all day to do it.

I got a call today from Mike Tripp, someone that I have respected from afar for a while now. I know Mike to say hi to him if I see him in public, and we occasionally run into each other either going in or coming out of a dive. But we have never really sat down and talked and gotten to know each other. He said he wanted to talk about my blog entry today, so I knew it had something to do with the controversial Tritan Trumpet blog, someone else's reaction to it, and my response to their attack. We talked about generalities for a while, then got down to the reason we were having this face to face chat. I don't know how long Mike has been diving, but I assume it's quite a while, since he is a dive instructor now. You will find that different divers have different points of view on what is acceptable and what is not, just as 3 different attorney's will give you 3 different perspectives on laws if you ask them. That's ok, most people understand there are other points of view out there, and maintain a live and let live attitude for the sake of harmony. Even when you don't agree and feel strongly about it, there are ways to get your point across that are acceptable and others that will just make the other person bristle and alienate you as a result.

I got certified to dive way back in 1974, and things were vastly different back then. Part of the certification course actually had a section on spearfishing with scuba. It was just considered a way to put a meal on the table back then and nobody thought anything about it. Mike and I discussed this for a while and I admitted I'm a diving dinosaur in many respects. I have had to learn many things since I became certified, since attitudes have changed over the years, and so much more is known about the environment now and various impacts on it. I have talked to various dive shop owners about taking some of the new courses and learning all the latest techniques, but it always seems to come down to them wanting thousands of dollars for a bunch of different courses, and then they want me to be a Dive Master and take their tourists out for them. They don't want to pay me anything for it, but have offered to give me free air fills for it. Thanks but no thanks. Mike told me that's why many people refer to PADI, the Professional Association of Dive Instructors as "Put Another Dollar In". I can totally understand that since that seems to be the only attitude I've ever gotten from any of them. So needless to say, I've never taken any newer courses. It's not like I need to be reminded how to dive, since I dive as much as many of the instructors and dive guides.

Anyway, Mike gently said that he also had concerns when he read my entry on the Tritan Trumpets, although not necessarily the same one that was mentioned in the other blog. He said he was concerned that some youngsters or other people who might get into diving might think that because of my story it is ok to take any shell they wanted and would use me as a benchmark or role model. He also said that because of my position he felt that there are a certain number of people out there who may look to me as a sort of authority on diving since I talk about it so much and have posted so many pictures and stories. Mike said that he also felt my radio presense played into it as I have many people listening to me and following whatever I say. He said that with such a privilege also comes a responsibility to make sure that I'm not letting anyone get the wrong idea. What he said made total sense to me, and I told him that I hadn't thought of that aspect of it, and would pull my blog entry as a result. Amazing what you can accomplish talking over a glass of wine like two reasonable, civilized people.

I did read the references in the other blog that was attacking me, and I'll admit I learned a lot from them. But if you are truly trying to educate and not just castigate, you take Mike's approach, not the other blogger's approach. She was trying to humiliate me and make an example out of me. And in spite of a lame apology, she continued to drag it through the mud instead of just letting it quietly go away. I am a reasonable person, and if you try talking to me and expressing your concerns or educating me in a polite manner, you will get favorable results. But if you steal my pictures and publicly attack and attempt to humiliate me, you will be cut off and ignored from that point forward.

So thanks Mike, I truly appreciate your taking the time to call me and then meet to discuss things face to face. And with that, the previous post will now disappear once and for all.

As for resuming my blog, at this point my heart still really isn't in it. I appreciate all of your comments and encouragement and they turned a totally crappy day into something salvagable. To Shazam, I feel bad about not posting the fish ball pictures here, but you can still see them if you go to my smugmug site. www.saipandiver.smugmug.com go to the underwater gallery and then click on dive pics. Just look through a page or two until you see them, they should be fairly close to the top.

I'll still be diving, but for now I think the dives are going to have to stay in my memory banks. I may eventually change my mind, but it will have to wait until my heart is back in it again. Thanks for your understanding.


Angelo Villagomez said...

Harry, your blog is one of the best on the island. It would be a shame if you stopped posting your pictures and stories of diving.

Your so called controversial post got a lot of people talking about blogging ethics, diving, and so on.

I think those are good conversations to have.

I wouldn't delete that post; Leave it up. Write about your reactions to that post.

That makes for a good read.

On a side note, although you claim that you no longer want to blog, a few of us noticed that you've still managed to write four posts today.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Harry, I am really sorry to hear about all the slack you took from one of your latest posts. I must say that I have thoroughley enjoyed your posts these past few days. I have looked at your pictures and they are amazing, congratulations on such beutiful work! You really capture the ocean and its beauty for those of us that don't get to see it everyday. I love the ocean and regret that I have not made the effort to return. I will keep checking your blog site in hopes that some day you will return to it. However, if you do not, I understand! Even though you may not mean to be controversial, and try to do everything by the "book" somebody is always out there looking to get you! It is a shame, but that is just the way things are. I thank you for sharing your passion for the ocean with others like me who once enjoyed it! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Mike...thank you for treating Harry with both the dignity and the respect that he deserves a fellow member of the human race.

scubatripp said...

I've added my two cents to the public discussion. It didn't take me all day but 25 minutes, well I've got a long way to go!

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Please put the crab blog back up, Harry. I didn't get a chance to download the pictures. (:-))

Hey, a guy's gotta work hard to keep that Worst Human title.