Great Lakes ships daily passed the small town where I grew up, triggering an interest that was further fuelled by my grandfather’s stories of his work as wheelsman on the freighters. After he retired, he kept a journal of ships passing by on the way up the system and again on their return trip. One of them, the Edmund Fitzgerald, did not make it back. The ship went down on Nov. 10, 1975, in a storm that featured gale-force winds and waves up to 35 feet high. All 29 crew members perished in the wreck. My interest in the water evolved from what cruises on its surface to include what lies beneath it. When I took up scuba diving, descending to shipwrecks only enhanced my interest in history.
I believe in protecting our oceans, lakes and rivers, as well as their aquatic life. I respect the work of conservation groups such as Save the Sharks and Save the Sea Turtles and believe that the use of plastic bags should be discouraged because too many of them end up in the ocean. I also support Diving for the Disabled, Swimming for the Disabled, Dive Heart and Save Our Wrecks.
As a PADI-certified diver, my interest in diving led to the opening in July 2008 of Kirk Scuba Gear, my online business. My site now offers more than 2,000 products, including freediving, swimming and outdoor equipment. My goal was to make scuba more affordable through good prices and to encourage people to take up the sport. To that end, Scuba Scoop, on Kirk Scuba Gear’s website, features stories about real people who dive.
My website is in memory of my father, Bill Kirk, whose life was taken tragically in a drowning accident in Vero Beach, Florida in 1990. He is my guardian “water baby angel.”
Scuba Gear should only be used by persons trained by a certified diving agency.
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