It was May of 1974 when a bunch of us newly trained scuba divers were bundled into a school bus in Hamilton, Ontario and transported up to Tobermory to do our one and only checkout dive prior to receiving full certification and the coveted “c-card” meaning, essentially, “certification card”.  We arrived at Big Tub Lodge, lugged our gear down to the dock, got dressed, and entered the water with our buddies and instructors to commence the dive.  We descended right there at the dock, did a leisurely dive across Big Tub, returned, and got out of the water.  That was it!  One dive – open water experience covered – it was all we needed.  Requirements have since increased, changed and improved.

We packed away our gear and stowed it on the bus.  We then went into the restaurant for dinner and a graduation ceremony.  After that, back on the bus and back to Hamilton.  All in a day’s work, or rather play.

The dive was noteworthy in that it actually snowed as we were getting suited up in our wet suits – being May notwithstanding.  The snow had stopped by the time we finished the dive but the layer that had accumulated on the dock made for slippery conditions.  Also noteworthy and ingrained in my mind forever was that my buddy developed a nosebleed while under water which left a pretty gross looking slick in his mask.  It was most noticeable when he arrived back at the surface.  A mask rinse was high on the agenda.

Nosebleeds are rare but not entirely uncommon and essentially indicate a ruptured sinus blood vessel.  They are not particularly dangerous but can be a wee bit disconcerting when witnessed or experienced for the first time.

You’d think this would have turned me off to the Tobermory experience but… no way.  The beauty and majesty of the area as well as the amazing dives that were to follow over subsequent years and decades left an indelible mark on me that would never go away.  Over time, we have accumulated many stories and even more memories.  Pretty much from the get-go we decided that moving to and living in Tobermory would be a great idea.

The “we” that I refer to is my wife and fellow scuba diver/instructor Sandi.  It would be a few years after my first “Big Tub” adventure that I would meet Sandi when she took her basic diver training with our scuba club in Hamilton.  Soon after her certification, we got together and started dating.  How romantic – huh?  Anyway, we fell in love with each other AND with Tobermory.  We returned often, not just for the diving but for the camping, hiking, beach combing, rock climbing, spelunking and horseback riding.  The intent always was to make it our home.  It took a while but we finally did it on July 14.  We finally got here!

A little bit about what we do if I may:  In our recent past, we have been owners of a contract bookkeeping company called The Holst Equation.  Dealing with over a hundred small business clients and their accountants over the years has given us a unique perspective to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to business finances.  After growing The Holst Equation for a dozen years, we sold the company and continued to pursue other interests.  Sandi concentrated mainly on financial consulting for small business and the advanced training of bookkeepers.  My attention was mainly on writing and editing.

With our new company, The Holst Continuum, we will proceed to amalgamate and optimize our efforts for financial consulting, bookkeeper training and contract writing/editing.  With today’s technology and remote access capabilities, a lot of what we do can be done online.  We are able to offer our services across Canada.  This also allows us the luxury of choosing our location.  That’s why we’re here.  Who knows, we might even be able to do business together with many of our new neighbours right here on the Bruce.  We would like that very much.

Imagine, being able to take care of business while at the same time enjoying the wonders and splendor of Tobermory and the Bruce.  I’m sure this comes as no surprise to the current residents.  Across the years, we have come to meet and know many of you.  The friendliness and welcoming embrace of the locals (of which we are now part) has never failed to impress us.  A bit over-the-top, perhaps, but you have to call it as you see it.

In closing, we look forward to meeting many more of our neighbours and participating enthusiastically in the Tobermory experience.  We’re here and, in the immortal words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that.