Instructor Interviews – Dan La Due

Dan’s interview started out a bit differently than Grady’s interview did. After I was finished interviewing Grady at the October Dive Club Meeting I set my notes up on the counter when it was time to eat. Dan saw my notebook and was teasing me about the colors being psychedelic. Grady said that I had been interviewing him and they discussed that I was working on blog posts and I spouted off that I stumped Grady with one question. Then Grady asked Dan if he could come up with a comical dive experience. Dan said absolutely and so Dan’s interview commenced.

How did you get started diving? You know, what made you want to jump in?

I didn’t.<cue confused look on my face>My Brother-in-law had us at the lake and we were down around 15 feet and I was breathing off his regulator. I didn’t like it; I couldn’t see anything. Then he took Danielle to swim in the pool. Before we went to Hawaii Danielle wanted to get certified and Carlene said one of us would be getting certified with Danielle and she wasn’t doing it.

How long have you been diving?

10 years 5 months (certified in August 2003)

How many dives do you make in a typical year?

160. Also, I have made one dive every month since I have been certified.

What led you to become an instructor?

I like helping people. I like the look on student’s faces the first time they come out of the open water and knowing they’ll make it. Pay attention next time, you’ll see that look. You even had it.

What other hobbies do you have besides diving?

Newton County Search and Rescue, Dive Training, Football Games {Go Chiefs}

What is the best advice you can give to someone considering Scuba Diving?

Do it!

What advice can you give to a beginning diver?

Relax and enjoy. Keep diving. The more you dive, the more comfortable you will get.

Where is your favorite place to dive?


What is your most comical dive experience?

{This was the one that started the whole interview}

The Debbie Train. Deb pulled 5 divers through the most of the dive down in Cozumel. You hook your dive reel string around the first stage regulator and the diver can pull you along. We hooked up 5 deep to Deb and she pulled us all through most of the dive. She wasn’t real happy about that though.

Another was taking a student down for their open water certification. I had 2 students with me. You know that when you’re diving you see something a bit strange so you check it out. Well, I found one of the gorillas that hadn’t been found during the Gorilla hunt one year. I grabbed it and hooked it into my bc and kept on swimming. One of the students kept veering away from me. I’d look at her and tell her to buddy up. This went on for the rest of the trip. So finally we got to the surface and I asked her what was wrong. She told me she thought I picked up a dead cat and was carrying it with me and she wanted to get away from it. We all laughed and laughed.

And the last question: What would you recommend for a beginning divers first dive trip?


So what have we learned from this? I think we all definitely need to plan a trip to Cozumel!  Oh and one more thing, you all need to go wish Dan a Happy Birthday on Friday.  I happen to hear this from a little birdy and decided I needed to pass it along

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