Dreams Do Come True

By Al Hornsby

Once upon a time, a 12 year old boy moved to the island of Guam, in the Western Pacific. He soon discovered the magical world beneath the tropical ocean. First as a deep water freediver, then finally as a scuba diver, his days and nights were filled with the excitement of discovering the sea's exotic mysteries. He soon came to realize that whatever his future held in store, diving and the ocean would be at the center of it.

Then, his parents transferred back to the U.S. mainland and for several years the ocean and diving were but a poignant memory. As time passed and he entered college, however, he began finding ways to regain that treasured experience of his youth. One summer was spent living on a remote beach on the Kona Coast of Hawaii, diving every day; another, spearing fish with local fishermen in The Bahamas; another, diving the walls of Cayman and Cozumel.

After graduation, it was time for a decision: Was he really going to become a diver as he had always said? And, if so, what exactly was he to do?

It happened the pages of his favorite dive magazine held the answer. There were two people living the diving experience of which he had dreamed: Jack McKenney and Paul Tzimoulis, Editor and Publisher, respectively, of Skin Diver. The seeking out of the world's most exciting diving, then sharing it with others; that seemed the ultimate expression he had always imagined. He began taking pictures, pursued creative writing and, finally, loaded his belongings into his car and drove to Los Angeles, hoping to find work in the dive industry.

Over the next couple of years, he became an instructor, then the marketing manager for a small diving manufacturer. He finally landed at PADI, where he was part of the management team for 20 years.

Through it all, he kept diving and taking pictures and submitting articles to dive magazines. The thrill of finding that special dive, that special encounter with one of the ocean's majestic denizens, of capturing it all on film and of sharing it with others, grew, unabated.

And then, one day, someone from his favorite magazine called; a voice that he knew well by then. It was Paul Tzimoulis, Executive Publisher of Skin Diver, one of the very people who had provided him the inspiration and direction in the very beginning, saying, "We'd like to have you with us at Skin Diver."As much as this sounds like a fairy tale, it's not. It's a true story and the lucky young boy was me.

I've shared all this for a couple of reasons. First, I want to communicate what a special thrill it is for me to be writing my first editorial for Skin Diver. Second, it's because that experience will shape what I'll seek to contribute here.

We divers share an experience that is unimaginable to those who haven't yet slipped beneath the surface of a teeming, life filled sea. We read magazines such as Skin Diver because we want to be reminded of the glow of good feeling from that experience or for information about diving. We may find some great new product or become inspired to take some big steps that may put us a little closer to our own private versions of the diving dream.

I hope I'll be able to participate with you in all of these. With the rest of the staff, we'll seek out the world's most exciting dive experiences to tantalize your fantasies. We'll work to provide you with top notch writing and diving's best photography and we'll work to give you the most accurate, most useful information we can, to help you find the products and destinations that will help you make the most of your diving experience.

And, for those of who find themselves thinking about diving more and more, who realize there's a dream building, you can bet we'll do our best to help you find the ways to get closer to that dream, through training, dive shows, environmental projects, photographic opportunities, diving and, ultimately, moving on to becoming a diving professional. I can promise-that dream can come true.

Thanks for reading and I'll look forward to sharing our sport with you in the months to come. Good diving, and care for your ocean.