by B. N. Sullivan
I have just returned home from a week-long trip. (Did you miss me?) I went to the reunion of a dive club I belonged to many years ago.
Earlier, I briefly mentioned the club when I wrote about our training as divers. I first learned to dive through classes offered by the club. That was in 1970.
Members of that dive club were my first dive instructors, and my first dive companions. Several of them appear in the photo at right, also taken in 1970.
At the time we met one another, all of the members of this particular dive club resided in Athens, Greece and its suburbs. While the membership included a handful of Greek nationals, most of us were foreigners living and working in Greece. We were a diverse lot in terms of nationalities and occupations, but we all loved the sea and the outdoors. That was our commonality.
Although we could not have known it when we joined, the club would become a central focus of our lives for years, and its members would form close, enduring friendships. We dived together, went on camping trips together, and groups of us traveled to other countries together.
We all were young then -- in our 20s and 30s -- and most of us were married and had infants or small children. Far away from our homelands and our families, we became one another's support group. We celebrated holidays together, and our children played with one another. We behaved like a large extended family.
We've lost track of some of the people who were members of that dive club. Others have passed away. But remarkably, quite a few members of that old dive club have remained in touch all these years. Our children now have children of their own, but many of them still stay in touch with one another, too.
We are quite literally scattered around the globe these days, but a number of us still come together periodically for a reunion. During our most recent get-together this past week, I proposed that the story of this remarkable group be set forth in The Right Blue, and everyone in attendance agreed. As we reminisced, we prompted one another for half-forgotten details of our past adventures, and I made notes. Everyone agreed to contribute old photos from our dive trips and other gatherings, too.
We're going to relish recounting our tales here, and we hope that readers of The Right Blue will indulge us while we do just that. Stay tuned...