I grew up watching “The Undersea World of Jacques-Yves Cousteau” on TV and reading anything associated with his name, from books to encyclopedias. Being a scuba fan in Buenos Aires in the late 70’s and early 80’s was not the best idea. The equipment was unaffordable for middle-class people and good places to dive were far away. However, my friend Claudio and I decided to take our recreational (“first star” as it was called) scuba certification at the “Centro de Actividades Subacuáticas Buenos Aires (CASBA)” in 1983. That same year, our super hero Jacques Cousteau (and his son Jean-Michel) came to town to give a series of lectures and we followed them everywhere (almost rock star craze). This picture was taken at Buenos Aires airport; just minutes before Jacques Cousteau boarded his flight back to France. We stood speechless with our hand painted Calypso logo (by my friend Claudio), but Jacques Cousteau was absolutely charming and even autographed our copies of his books (The Silent World and The Living Sea).
Fifteen years after that magic day (and still proud member of The Cousteau Society), my work brought me to Austin, and for our first wedding anniversary in the US my wife Ida gave me a gift that changed the way I perceived inland Austin (a book called “Diving and Snorkeling Guide to Texas”). So, after several years of skin diving and snorkeling with my “old school” wetsuit, I started to think about doing the Open Water PADI certification. One uneventful Saturday morning I was driving down William Cannon Dr. when I saw the dive flag of the Scubaland south store, and the rest is (fortunate) history.
Fernando’s open water SCUBA instructor was Chris Brame.