The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Scuba diving 'an awful lot of fun'

 


Every six weeks or so — or anytime he talk someone into joining him — Greg Senn straps on and wriggles into about 75 pounds of gear, “staggers over” to a body of water, and falls in.

On purpose.

He claims it is “an awful lot of fun.”

A professor of art at Eastern New Mexico University, Senn is best known for his sculpting and jewelry-making classes. But for the last 16 years, he has regularly pursued a passion that takes him to a whole new world — diving with scuba gear.

It’s a world he loves sharing, and he’ll be helping teach a class starting July 21 in Portales that will give participants a lifetime certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors.

Senn said interested individuals have until July 13 to reserve one of the 12 spots in the class, which is open to anyone 10 years of age and up with basic swimming skills.

“Once you’re in the water,” he says, “it’s a low exertion activity.”

The first portion of the class is scheduled July 21-23 in Portales. The opening night is spent entirely in the classroom; the second day alternates classroom time with pool time in the ENMU natatorium; and the last day is three hours of classroom time and “pool time until we are finished.”

Two weekends later (on Aug. 5-6), the class meets again for two sessions of open water diving in Santa Rosa’s renowned Blue Hole, an 82-foot sinkhole filled with chilly crystal clear water.

Although Senn encourages new divers to explore additional classes, “this is the only one you will ever need to go diving,” he said.

The official fee is $400, but “I couch that,” Senn said. “I tell people to plan on spending about $550 total, once you include park fees, gasoline, hotel, etc.”

For Senn, diving is an experience like no other.

“The whole world goes away,” he said. “It’s like meditation. Once you’re under water, nothing up here exists.”

Senn is happy to visit with anyone who is interested in learning more. He’ll respond to questions via email at greg_senn@yahoo.com, and can also be contacted on Facebook.

Better yet, “if people want to try it just for fun,” he said, “I’m always willing to meet them in the natatorium and let them give it a try.”

Betty Williamson is trying to decide if she’s brave enough to try this. Reach her at: pepnm@hotmail.com

 

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