While most of us are getting ready for the approaching blustery cold months, one local woman revels in fresh memories of local lakes, sunny beaches, exotic locales, and deep dives into adventures unknown. Lucky for us, she shares those recollections with all of us, so we, too, can benefit from her amazing experiences.
Some readers may know her as a local volleyball or basketball referee. But a select group of people know her as their Momma Duck, as they follow her through the waters that she guides them through. Linda Maune, of Strafford, is scuba certified, a scuba instructor, a scuba trip leader, and, she lets us in on her journey to get there.
In 2000, Linda was a teacher when she obtained her scuba open water certification. She would go on one scuba trip each summer with another teacher friend. In 2007, she retired from teaching, and was bored. So, Linda took it a step further. In 2009, instead of settling for the unexciting life, she decided to get trained to teach scuba to others. She shares, “A good friend advised me to combine 2 passions! So in 2009 I became a Scuba Instructor, combining my love of scuba with teaching!”
If you are unfamiliar with the world of scuba, getting certified to do so is no small commitment. Short for the equipment needed to do a dive, Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, being scuba certified takes some dedication of both time and energy, entailing classroom study, practice in a pool, and several open water dives.
After becoming an instructor in 2009, she taught scuba at a marine biology camp in the Florida Keys, called Seacamp. She worked in the Keys at a resort as a scuba instructor and guide every summer from 2010 until Hurricane Irma hit in 2017. Every year while at home, she teaches at a shop in Springfield called Diventures. This July, she was a trip leader of a group of divers, through Diventures, to the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Lucia.
A popular class she teaches at Diventures is called Try Scuba, which allows you to try it out yourself, to see if it is a good fit for you. Linda certifies others in scuba, and teaches other specialty classes, including fish identification, navigation, and boat diving, among others. She is one of just a few “Classified Diving Instructors” that teach handicapped individuals to dive.
When asked what the coolest thing she has explored while diving, she says, “Wow!!!! That is a tough question! I love the Keys because it is so easy, and lots of fish. I loved Australia because of the different ocean, so different creatures. Hawaii- I was able to see the Mantas and they are so majestic! In Bali I was able to see the nudibranchs that are so tiny and colorful!!! Lots still to see on my bucket list!!!” In case you are not brushed up on your marine biology, nudibranchs are sea slugs that shed their shells after their larval stage is over.
Linda continues that her favorite thing about scuba diving is “Peaceful underwater and no two dives are EVER the same! You never know what might swim by or be hanging out on the reef! But, as an instructor, watching people take their first breath underwater is PRICELESS!!!”
Linda’s awe-inspiring exploits are cherished memories for her, and for the rest of us, they may evoke the tranquility and peace the ocean can bring. Or, to the contrary, the thought of diving may induce a feeling of anxiousness that escapades into this extreme facet of nature also promises. Either way, immersion into such an environment is definitely a mind expanding event. Stepping into Linda’s world, as she generously shares her experiences, can offer that lovely benefit to us, as well.
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