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Bryan
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Allan Klauda

Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:34 am

A couple of years ago I tried a featured diver section but the response was not as good as it is today from you guys...Allan was previously featured but I asked him to brush up his bio and be on here again. He has been such a pivotal member of the community and has contributed so much to us that I thought the new folks here would enjoy reading more about him.


Vintage divers could be described as divers who use vintage equipment, divers who are vintage in age, or both. As a former high school Earth Science teacher, the best selection would be all of the above, or at least for me. As one of the first post-war baby boomers, early television influenced my life-long interests and avocations. Walt Disney’s Davy Crockett and his flintlock rifle and Mike Nelson’s Sea Hunt gave rise to my passions.

After years of badgering, my parents allowed me to take diving lessons from the YMCA in Adrian, Michigan in 1962. Floyd Guy, Jr. was my instructor and excelled in underwater harassment. He was also owned the Aquatic Diving Service in Adrian and sold me my first dive gear.

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With my meager funds I could afford a USD Hydro-Lung Supreme, a yellow 71.2 cu ft tank with J-valve and the first USD “dog bone” backpack. My first fins were Cressi Rondine and my mask was a Scubapro that I later had Leonard Maggorie put corrective lenses in.

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My dive buddies included FD Ricker who used a USD Aquamatic regulator, probably one of the worst breathing regs I ever tried. Tom Kohler and his sister Pat dived Dacor Dial-a-breath double hose regulators. They were also hard breather regulators although I am not sure it was just the gear that took my breath away.

During high school we dove many of the inland lakes of southern Michigan. Tom had a habit of turning off your air, a “prank” that reinforced your “blow and go” skills, today known as a CESA. FD pulled my sorry butt out of the muddy lake bottom as I had attempted to turnover a sunken row boat, only to sink shoulder deep in the goop.

I continued to dive throughout college in the late 1960’s. Diving was slowly catching on in Michigan during those years with almost every sporting goods store selling dive gear. My college dive buddy Jim Mettinga and I did a dive in Gull Lake and both experienced CO poisoning. An analysis of the air in our tanks confirmed our dizziness and bright-red lips symptoms. The sporting goods store that filled our tanks closed not long after.

In 1970 my young family and I moved to New York State as I began my career of a high school science teacher. My diving activities ceased and I turned to another life-long passion of living history. For the next two decades I built and shot firearms and reenacted many activities of the 1760-1870 eras.

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In the mid 1990’s my wife Debbie wanted to start boating. Obviously the diving passion reemerged, this time taking me through the steps of PADI training. It wasn’t until dive master did this training come close to the rigors and demands of the YMCA program of 30 years earlier.

My retirement from teaching occurred in 2002. I continued to sub for 3 more years feeding my growing vintage equipment addiction. My main goal was and is to collect and use all the dive gear that was available in 1962, the year I began this life-long obsession.

Recently I have begun to recreate original style harnesses, mostly because originals were hard to acquire and I love to make stuff. VSS, VDH and NAVED have given me a market for this meager piece of diving history.

My happiest accomplishment in recent vintage diving was the organization and management of the 2008 Sea Hunt 50 Celebration and the 2011 Sea Hunt Live! shows at Silver Springs, Florida. To see divers dive as we did in the early years without the use of BCs or wings or "Turbo-Rocket-Jet-Zoom" fins was to me a reality check that many of us used to call vintage. Alas, a new world today.

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In 1962 I wanted a DA Aqua-Master in the worst way. But I could not afford the $90.00 price. I settled for a Hydro-Lung Supreme for $50.00. But it wasn’t the gear that began this life-long adventure. It was the exhilaration that I experienced underwater that has kept me so engrossed. The vintage community now provides more gratification to my passion. So if a vintage diver is described as an old guy using old dive equipment, than I guess I am one.

Now, too much stuff:

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Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

Scuba Cowboy
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Re: Allan Klauda

Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:07 pm

Very cool writeup Allan, and I'm just a little bit jealous of your scuba room.
Dale Swift

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8dust
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Re: Allan Klauda

Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:20 pm

Nice write-up Allan, and that's quite a regulator and fin collection.

That getting stuck in the lake muck is no joke. It's happened to me here and I got kinda concerned at the time. Not the way I want to go, for sure.
Freddo
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Aileron
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Re: Allan Klauda

Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:27 pm

Great write up Allan! And I need a drool bucket looking at your collection.

You are definitely one of the "plank owners" that has helped shape us noobs into what we are today. Some of us are more vintage than others, but we all appreciate the enormous contributions you have made to our small niche in the dive world. Speaking for myself, without you, Bryan, Luis and many others on this board, I most likely would have dropped diving as my primary sport, and eventually lost interest. That couldn't be further from where I am today.

Lisa
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ivan's mermaid
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Re: Allan Klauda

Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:49 pm

Allan thanx for sharing. I consider myself priviledged to have dived with you so many times.
So how far are you from collecting everything that was available in 1962?
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Bryan
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Re: Allan Klauda

Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:04 pm

Want to fill everyone in on the two "Sea Hunt" adventures you so skillfully put together....
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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SurfLung
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Re: Allan Klauda

Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:09 pm

- Hi Allan. Thanks for telling us about yourself. I remember fondly the day you called me at work... I think it was about getting signed up as a hopeful alternate for the Sea Hunt event. Our receptionist was screening calls and mispronounced your name to me, then... "He said it was about vintage diving". "GEEZ!" I said... "What lines he on?!!" I'm glad you didn't get ticked off and hang up because I really enjoyed visiting with you! I love my vintage harness and appreciate the replacement labels you've been offering to make it easy to fix up my regulators. And now that i've seen pictures of your collection, I realize I can collect a heck of a lot more before I'm truly sick... :roll:
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The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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Re: Allan Klauda

Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:14 pm

Very nice writeup on your scuba equipment obsession. Also thanks for opening the window on your black powder firearms collection. I have a few bp percussion cap guns, but sadly no flintlocks, those pictured are sharp.
Too DAAM Many double hoses, It's not a hobby, it's an addiction.

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Re: Allan Klauda

Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:38 pm

Allan, the vintage world really owes you a lot. Talk about being a founding father! It's been a pleasure knowing you and your better half all these years. Thank you for all the work you have done setting up the Sand Dogs and the Sea hunt 50 gigs. Although I haven't been able to attend all the events, the ones I did make were totally awesome!!! great write up!

Jim

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simonbeans
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Re: Allan Klauda

Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:15 pm

Just because Bryan asked:

HOW SILVER SPRINGS SEA HUNT EVENTS CAME TO BE

The adventure of the Sea Hunt shows began in 2006, which I believe was Sand Dog III. One of the dive activities included a drift down the Sliver River with Curt of Paradise Spring. This trip involved meeting at a small county park east of Ocala, loading on to Curt's pontoon boat and riding up stream to Silver Springs Park, the head of the river. The trip in itself was a good time as numerous Florida critters were spotted including monkeys, lost decades ago during the filming of Tarzan at Silver Springs. The ride took us into the basin. Obviously we were ready to start our drift dive, but were told that no one was allowed to dive in the head spring. But wait wasn't this where Sea Hunt was filmed? Yep, but you can't dive here. So back down river we went to do an hour or so drift dive. Gars, bowfins, tons of plecostomus and a gator or two, but that is another story.
Sand Dog IV, another great time, and another ride with Curt. Again I asked why don't we start in the basin, Mike Nelson and all. NO WAY, NO ONE dives in the spring. For those who know me, this big, fat NO is like the preverbal red flag. I WILL dive in Silver Springs! But how? Let's see next year is 2008; wait, didn't Sea Hunt begin its TV run in 1958? Bingo, 50th Anniversary.
That summer, fall, and winter I made millions of phone calls (well, it seemed I did)and as many emails. About early fall I became associated with the public relations/event coordinator at Silver Springs named Steve S. My first phone conversation sort of went like this: "Hello, Silver Springs and Wild Water, Steve S., Event Coordinator".
" Hi Steve, I am Allan K. and I was wondering if you realized this 2008 will be the 50th anniversary of the Sea Hunt TV show filmed in your spring".
"No, I didn't realize that"
"Well, I am the organizer (LIE) of a group of vintage divers who think it would be a great idea for Silver Springs to have an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sea Hunt. Our group enjoys collecting the gear that was used during the years of Sea Hunt's production."
I went on to tell him a little about NAVED and the various Sand Dogs, etc.
"That sounds like a good idea," Steve commented. The next question (now you must realize the conversation so far has been less than a minute) was unbelievable. "Do you think that maybe a few of your group would be willing TO DIVE IN THE SPRING WITH YOUR VINTAGE GEAR FOR THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT VISITORS TO SEE?"
Duh! Ah! I had this great speech written to beg if I had to so that we could dive a bit there, and he was asking us to do it!
In November Rob, Bryan and I journeyed to Florida to meet with Steve and set out our plans. And, of course, we absolutely needed to "check out" the logistics (right!) of the diving in the spring. See Curt, I did dive here, ha! Ha!
The rest of 2007 and through early May of 2008 I assembled as many of divers who were willing to obtain much of the gear of Sea Hunt. (We were a bit lenient that event. )
Suddenly in early May, Silver Springs, under new management, let Steve and our chief logistic man, who had worked at Silver Springs when Sea Hunt was filmed, go. We were now working with a new person by the name of Brooks J. My first conversations were to try to get him up to "speed" on a project, that by best description, would be considered entirely impromptu. But as luck would happen, Brooks gave us complete control. We did whatever we wanted. And SEA HUNT 50 CELEBRATION became a memory that I am sure will be remembered by all who participated for a life time.
Three years later, I emailed Brooks again, told him that 2011 was the 50th anniversary of Sea Hunt's last year of production (1961) and deserved a special event. He simply said, "What would you like to do?"
Again a million more phone calls and emails later I had my cast, crew, staff, photographers and hypertension. This time, the event would be juried, i.e., ALL gear had to be correct, a task which proved to be very difficult to not only determine, but for some to obtain.
The event took place on Memorial Day 2011, three years to the day of the first show. Sea Hunt Live! was better than ever, the result of more careful planning, advertisement, and wonderful people who were involved.
Will there be another Sea Hunt Special Event at Silver Springs? Who knows, I vowed never to do another after 2008. And then you know me, when someone says NO!
Check out my website: www.vintagescubastuff.com

swimjim
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Re: Allan Klauda

Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:24 pm

No Allan, You definetely cannot do another Sea Hunt event at Silver Springs. Positively out of the question, cannot be done.......... By the way, I am honored to be part of the 2011 cast and would love to do it again!!! :wink:

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Re: Allan Klauda

Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:41 pm

Thanks for the bio Allan. This is becoming one of my more favorite sections. It's great to learn the background of the people on the board, especially for those of us who are far away and will probably (never say never) not get to one of the vintage get togethers.

Digging the scuba room - I may show my wife so she doesn't think I'm the only nut with more fins than feet :)
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captain
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Re: Allan Klauda

Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:16 am

Allen, its been a pleasure diving with you, thanks for all your hard work for the vintage diving community. We have come a long way since that first impromptu Sand Dog thanks to to you and Bryan.
Captain

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Vintagediver
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Re: Allan Klauda

Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:39 am

Hi Allan. I really enjoyed reading your writeup, and could not help but notice as I was reading the very many similarities you and I have as we grew up and progressed through our lives of diving. The ones that really caught my attention were being raised in Michgan, diving Michigans inland lakes, badgering our parents at a young age to convince them to let us dive, your absence from diving for a number of years and how you came about to returning to diving just to mention a few. OH YEAH; and then there's the fact that we're Now both "VINTAGE" DIVERS in more than one way. :lol: :P
Since my own return to diving, and my involvement in vintage diving through such communities as NAVED, VDH, and VSS I've been very fortunate to meet some really great people who I very much look forward to seeing and diving with every year. You Sir are definitely one of them, and I along with all of us in the vintage community owe a very BIG THANK YOU to you for all that you have given of yourself to help make vintage diving what it is today. Being that you're "VINTAGE" :twisted: :P I'm sure you can relate to a tv commercial from many years ago; which had a statement in it that said: "We've come a long way baby"; and that statement sure is true about vintage diving and what it is today from not just too many years ago. One of my proudest moments of diving was when I was contacted by you to be invited to participate in Sea Hunt 2011; which I unfortunately was not able to do; however the memory of that invite meant a great deal to me and always will. Too bad that you can't and never will put together another Sea Hunt event :P :lol: ! Safe Diving To You & Thanks! Terry
The friendship of many has been inspired and created while together we've explored beneath the waves the wonders of God's creation.

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Aileron
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Re: Allan Klauda

Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:41 pm

I wonder why guns and scuba go so well together..... :lol:
The Kids: Royal Mistral, Voit Faux 50 Fathom, Jet Air, PRAM x 2, Snark III Silver, DA, Healthways, DA Non Mag
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