Donna Loudon

PADI Divemaster Sept 1, 2016 - York, PA
PADI Rescue Diver Apr 4, 2008 - Naples, Italy
PADI AOW/EAN Jul 29, 2001 - Honolulu, HI
SDI Open Water Scuba Diver Feb 19, 2001 - Honolulu, HI

PADI Equipment Specialist Mar 17, 2012 - York, PA
PADI Drysuit Diver May 15, 2011 - York, PA
PADI Coral Restoration Diver Mar 1, 2018 - Kralendijk, Bonaire

I took the plunge into scuba diving because my family had the opportunity to live in Hawaii for 6 years. It took 18 months of living and snorkeling on the beautiful island of Oahu before I worked up the courage to take the open water scuba course. On day two of certification dives, I was hooked! In the 4 1/2 years that followed I did 525 dives all over the Hawaiian islands, Okinawa, and Australia. After Hawaii, we moved to Naples Italy for 4 years. Diving slowed a bit until I became involved with the NATO Sub-aqua Club. With the club, we dived regularly in the bays of Naples and Pozzuoli, on antiquated ruins from the Roman era, as well as the islands of Ischia and Procida. Further afield, my family traveled to Zakynthos, Greece and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt for amazing dive trips! In June 2009, my family moved back home to Maryland. Where is an avid diver to find warm, clear water to dive in Maryland? The National Aquarium, of course. I immediately applied to try out for the Volunteer Dive Program. After a written test, in water test, and presentation/interview I was accepted into the program! My team at the aquarium included 3 intructors from York Divers and the rest is history!

Since then, I've had the opportunity to travel to Curacao, Bonaire, Utila, Roatan, North Carolina, South Carolina and the Florida Keys to quench my thirst for warm, clear water, ocean diving. I've learned that diving at the local quarry is pretty cool....literally and figuratively!

Some of my favorite underwater things....humpback songs so loud that the sound reverberates in your chest, one tiny octopus tentacle reaching out to touch your finger after waiting outside it's lair for what felt like an eternity, and then another! The sound of dolphin chattering nearby and not seeing them, and then seeing a pod of over 100 cruising by! An Hawaiian monk seal just as fascinated by you as you are by it! Getting into the water with pygmy pilot whales, in snorkel gear, on your way to a dive site and having them hang out with you for 15 minutes! Columns of fresh, cold water seeping through volcanic rock making the view all shimmery. Tiny damsel fish ready to fight because you swam too close to their patch algae! Lobster hunting! The back wall of Molokini Crater! Nudibranchs! Sharks...all of them, but especially sand tiger sharks, black tip reef sharks, zebra sharks, white tip reef sharks, nurse sharks, and one very curious Tiger Shark! The list goes on and on, but one of my very favorite things is to share all this with new divers!