Thanks for the welcome - please excuse my tardy reply.
I got my OW back in 1984 when it was still under CMAS? and not PADI, then spent a few years and a few hundred dives before getting my Divemaster in 1995. Was soon put off by the lack of professionalism with PADI and what I perceived as the emphasis on moneymaking.
Have only recently got back into scuba as I have been concentrating more on spearfishing in recent years.
I had a friend over from the UK who was awestruck by the fish he could see at Goat Island so took him out to the Knights for a snorkel.
I got bugged by the crew why I wasn't diving and it kind of grated on me.
Free diving I feel so unencumbered, like the challenge, can often cover a lot of ground, get closer to the fish and comfortably spend a long time in the water but knew that on some level I was missing out.
Fast forward a few weeks later and the reluctant sale of my trusty mtb enabled me to upgrade my 80's gear for some fresh purchases via the net... and some LDS.
Been diving fairly religiously over the last few months, mainly out from Leigh on club dives and out to whatevers going with Goat Is Dive & Apollo.
In the few months I've had some truly awesome dives, orcas buzz me when at the Outpost, 30 m visibility at the Hen & Chicks with huge schools of snapper swimming thru the currents, a few bugs and a couple of interesting boat rides. Some interesting ista buddies.
It's been interesting to see the developments that have happened in the dive industry while I have had my hiatus. Some good , some bad.
Well that's me.
Thanks for putting up a great forum and I look forward to reading more of the many informative & interesting posts.