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I'm hanging it up.

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
3,669
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I had a hard time deciding which forum to post this in, or if I should post it at all. My diving has included periods of spearing, shell collecting, photography and sight seeing, but it started with spearfishing and ended with it, so it's in the Spearo Board.

I started diving when I was maybe 13 in Florida and am 85 now, so I guess that's about 72 years. After I graduated from college I spent 20 years as a USMC pilot and that gave me the opportunity to dive in the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Hawaii, Okinawa, California, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Mexico, and even Guantanamo Bay Cuba once. I was also stationed in places like Mississippi and Vietnam where diving was not possible but those periods were blessedly short. Since retiring from the USMC I've lived in California.

It's not easy deciding when to quit but it had to be sometimes so it's now. My buddies have had to help me get into my booties and wet suit for three years. I had four injections to my spine recently and they didn't help. If there is much current, I have to choose between swimming against it or diving, but not both. I could keep diving a bit, but I don't want to put some guys the age of my grandsons in the position of having to save my old ass. I just spent two weeks selling every bit of my diving gear, so now it's too late to go back. I still have to find a buyer for the boat, but I won't be tempted to use it without any diving gear. I've been diving, thinking about diving, reading about diving, etc. for so long that it's going to be hard to figure out what to do when I grow up. I'll still be checking this place every day out of habit and will probably post now and then, but I'm not a spearo. I'm a has been spearo.
 
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Most people of your age are already dead, let alone diving... What you have accomplished is amazing. But there is always snorkeling on the surface that beats the hell out of everything else! My dad was 82 when we went to Bonaire together and he saw some cool stuff underwater. He practically could not dive. Dementia took him at 85 but he was swimming at the pool at 84. So you should feel accomplished - you have an enviable biography!
 
Most people of your age are already dead, let alone diving... What you have accomplished is amazing. But there is always snorkeling on the surface that beats the hell out of everything else! My dad was 82 when we went to Bonaire together and he saw some cool stuff underwater. He practically could not dive. Dementia took him at 85 but he was swimming at the pool at 84. So you should feel accomplished - you have an enviable biography!
Thanks
 
Ah, sorry you had to make that decision! But I understand why. When I read your posts I always know that it will be "Truth" coming from decades of experience. Hope to keep hearing from you!
 
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I had a hard time deciding which forum to post this in, or if I should post it at all. My diving has included periods of spearing, shell collecting, photography and sight seeing, but it started with spearfishing and ended with it, so it's in the Spearo Board.

I started diving when I was maybe 13 in Florida and am 85 now, so I guess that's about 72 years. After I graduated from college I spent 20 years as a USMC pilot and that gave me the opportunity to dive in the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Hawaii, Okinawa, California, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Mexico, and even Guantanamo Bay Cuba once. I was also stationed in places like Mississippi and Vietnam where diving was not possible but those periods were blessedly short. Since retiring from the USMC I've lived in California.

It's not easy deciding when to quit but it had to be sometimes so it's now. My buddies have had to help me get into my booties and wet suit for three years. I had four injections to my spine recently and they didn't help. If there is much current, I have to choose between swimming against it or diving, but not both. I could keep diving a bit, but I don't want to put some guys the age of my grandsons in the position of having to save my old ass. I just spent two weeks selling every bit of my diving gear, so now it's too late to go back. I still have to find a buyer for the boat, but I won't be tempted to use it without any diving gear. I've been diving, thinking about diving, reading about diving, etc. for so long that it's going to be hard to figure out what to do when I grow up. I'll still be checking this place every day out of habit and will probably post now and then, but I'm not a spearo. I'm a has been spearo.
I knew you had been chewing on a difficult decision. Sorry to hear its final.

"has been spearo"s are still very valuable people. I hope to hear from you frequently.

Go with God, my friend.
 
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I hope you can still stay active, on land, by exercising still or finding new activities. That's awesome you've had opportunities to dive in so many places and I bet you've seen a lot of things and sights most haven't. Hopefully you have pictures to show and brag about.
 
Sad to read Bill, we sure will miss you , or will you (please) stay on the forum?? [Just re-read your message, and you say that you expect to keep checking in, that's good :) ] You've been a good friend and a great mentor to all of us.

Odd, I was thinking about you just last week, wondering how long you could keep doing all this! My father-in-law is 85 now, still driving but recently it has been getting harder.

Well done Bill! Thanks for all the help and wisdom you've so generously shared with us over the years :). And please keep coming back here ;) .
 
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Sad to read Bill, we sure will miss you , or will you (please) stay on the forum?? [Just re-read your message, and you say that you expect to keep checking in, that's good :) ] You've been a good friend and a great mentor to all of us.

Odd, I was thinking about you just last week, wondering how long you could keep doing all this! My father-in-law is 85 now, still driving but recently it has been getting harder.

Well done Bill! Thanks for all the help and wisdom you've so generously shared with us over the years :). And please keep coming back here ;) .
"My father-in-law is 85 now, still driving" Driving or diving?
 
"My father-in-law is 85 now, still driving" Driving or diving?
:D. I noticed that too but decided not to edit my post yet again! Driving not diving. Although he did often come to the beach with me when I dived, he usually fished from shore (angling with a rod and reel) or went for a walk.

I know of no other diver to match or even come close to Bill's impressive longevity :)

I did once see a very competent 106 year old woman car driver on TV. Impressive.
 
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:D. I noticed that too but decided not to edit my post yet again! Driving not diving. Although he did often come to the beach with me when I dived, he usually fished from shore (angling with a rod and reel) or went for a walk.

I know of no other diver to match or even come close to Bill's impressive longevity :)

I did once see a very competent 106 year old woman car driver on TV once. Impressive.
Judging by your avatar photo is your father's-in-law name Q by any chance?
 
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Though I'm relatively new to the sport and the forum, I truly appreciate the insights you've left online over the last 2 decades. Whether you know it or not, your messages and posts will be an inspiring beacon of knowledge and passion that future generations, including my own, will stumble upon when learning about this sport we all love.

Hope to keep seeing you pop in every now and then and if you ever want to get in the water again, I'm sure there will be plenty who would be honored to go out with you. Thanks Bill!
 
I can only imagine the difficulty in making that decision. I hope you find joy in hanging around and sharing your wisdom with the rest of us. Good luck.
 
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Bill, it is only a spearfishing. It is good to do something else for a change. Fly RC planes! Or bench rest. Or ham radio.

Welcome to the rest of a big world.
 
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@Bill McIntyre well what can I say - you are a legend and been helpful and guided so many of members on here (and other spearo forums). Thank you for being amazing and hopefully you will still hang around and join in the discussions?
 
@Bill McIntyre well what can I say - you are a legend and been helpful and guided so many of members on here (and other spearo forums). Thank you for being amazing and hopefully you will still hang around and join in the discussions?
Thanks Stephen, and thanks to all who have been so kind. I think maybe I'll postpone my retirement until next year so people will say nice things about me again. :) I'm sure I'll hang around and join in discussions. I haven't figured out what else to do. I still find myself checking marine weather, fish reports etc. just as if they mattered to me.
 
It makes me very sad to know about your retirement, Bill. You have been an inspiration for me and I want to be like you when I grow up :)

It has been an honor meeting you on the web. You are one of those persons that inspire confidence even without knowing you personally.

Please stay around giving your precious advices to the youngsters.

All the best.
 
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Bill, since you are still around, I thought I would share. I saw one fella having a load of fun spearfishing in shallows. It was in Greece, on Crete actually. I was getting back to shore from long and exhaustive spearfishing session and then I saw this guy. He was well-equipped, obviously not new to spearfishing. He had a few fishes on a string, but what surprised me how easy and pleasant it seemed. There was no breath holding at all. Sunny day, when ripples on a surface create those sparkles of light on the bottom. There was fish all around, and fella was taking shots from the surface.

What I am getting at, it seemed like a lot of fun. Maybe we don’t need taking those hard decisions, you know, maybe change of style will do? This shallow water spearfishing seemed like something I would definitely do until my heart stops from old age. I would be ok if someone had to rake my floating body from shallows around beach somewhere.
 
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Maybe if I could get to Crete, but it's not much like that in SoCal. The vis near shore is almost always poor and I wouldn't see fish, much less the bottom. And there is usually some surf to get through. For a few years my back has been so still that may buddies have to help get my fin socks on. To get my fins on I have to sit on the stern and cross my legs. It would be about impossible to get them on and off getting through the surf.

I appreciate you thinking of me but I'm afraid my diving is over. I've sold all my equipment except the boat. Yesterday I thought I had it sold but then the buyer's wife put her foot down and he unfriended me and blocked me on FB. It's a jungle out there. :)
 
Bill, since you are still around, I thought I would share. I saw one fella having a load of fun spearfishing in shallows. It was in Greece, on Crete actually. I was getting back to shore from long and exhaustive spearfishing session and then I saw this guy. He was well-equipped, obviously not new to spearfishing. He had a few fishes on a string, but what surprised me how easy and pleasant it seemed. There was no breath holding at all. Sunny day, when ripples on a surface create those sparkles of light on the bottom. There was fish all around, and fella was taking shots from the surface.

What I am getting at, it seemed like a lot of fun. Maybe we don’t need taking those hard decisions, you know, maybe change of style will do? This shallow water spearfishing seemed like something I would definitely do until my heart stops from old age. I would be ok if someone had to rake my floating body from shallows around beach somewhere.
There are plenty of fish that can be taken without diving. Mahi-mahi never goes down, amberjacks come to the surface... Yes you reduce your chances but still much better than to sit at home :)
 
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