May Speaker: Darrell Hejde on Closed-Circuit Rebreathers


Nancy Hejde and Darrell Hejde

Nancy Hejde and Darrell Hejde

What the heck is a closed-circuit re-breather? What’s a semi-closed-circuit re-breather? What does a re-rebreather do differently for a diver? If you’ve ever wondered what those funny looking devices on some dive trips are, then join SFDI on Wednesday, May 1, when our own Darrell Hejde will address these questions. The topics will include: how a re-breather works; how you get re-breather certified; the biggest differences between closed- and open-circuit diving; the reason for extra tanks, and more. There will be a hands-on unit to check out as well.


Darrell Hejde has been diving since 1995 starting with a "Discover Scuba" dive on the Great Barrier Reef. Since then, he's fallen in love with all aspects of the sport…recreational and technical. He’s originally from Oklahoma but, as a military brat and military pilot himself has lived in many, many places and traveled the world extensively. He is currently an international airline pilot but teaches scuba on his “off” time. In 2010, he was trained as an Open Water Instructor and since then has expanded his horizons. He's certified several SFDI members as Dive Masters and other specialties.

As well as being a PADI IDC Staff Instructor (teaches instructors), Darrell teaches PADI Tec Diving. Additionally. as a certified Cave Diver, he also offers the PADI Cavern Diver specialty. Not yet a re-breather instructor, Darrell has a lot of experience diving re-breathers and can answer questions for those interested. Underwater photography is his true passion and his favorite specialty, but he teaches over 21 other PADI specialties. Recently he added SDI and TDI Instructor ratings to his resume if you prefer a non-PADI organization. If you have questions about any aspect of diving…Darrell will try to answer them for you.

April Speaker: Rescue, Rehab, Release of Sea Turtles

SFDI welcomes

David Anderson with Winged Turtle.JPG

David Anderson

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton


On Wednesday, April 3rd, SFDI will learn all about sea turtles from David Anderson and Whitney Crowder of the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton (biographies are below). They will speak about the turtle species that inhabit Florida waters, and how and where sick and injured individuals are found and relocated to turtle rehab. We will learn about threats to sea turtles and common reasons why they might become impaired. Some rehab case studies will be shared, including discussion of wound care and other methods of treatment. The goal is that those turtles can regain their health and be released.


David Anderson with Huge Turtle.JPG

Originally from Alabama, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center’s Sea Turtle Conservation Coordinator David Anderson has a Bachelors Degree in History from Auburn University, a Masters Degree in Physical Geography from the University of Alabama and is presently a PhD student in Coastal and Marine Geography at the University of South Carolina. He has held the STCC post for four years. He conducts beach surveys, identifies and records turtle crawls, marks and monitors nests, evaluates hatchling success, excavates, relocates and protects nests, enters data and performs research regarding nest and hatchling success, gives educational presentations and leads sea turtle night walks and hatchling releases. He also responds to sea turtle stranding events, assists medical staff and provides care for turtles in rehab.

David currently works as an adjunct professor of geography at Broward College. Before that, he worked part-time for an environmental consulting firm. David taught geography at the College of the Bahamas, the University of Alabama, and the University of South Carolina, and was a middle and high school science teacher and coach. He also was a PADI Divemaster for Nassau Scuba Center in Nassau, Bahamas.

David enjoys traveling, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, running, biking, swimming, and all things concerning nature, particularly the beach and ocean. He follows news, politics, and sports closely, especially football and baseball. He is a lifelong fan of the Miami Dolphins, the Atlanta Braves and the Auburn Tigers.


Whitney Crowder is the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Coordinator and Marine Turtle Permit Holder for Gumbo Limbo Nature Center’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility in Boca Raton, Florida. Her career in sea turtle biology began at Sea World as part of their aquarium team in 2002. Continuing her passion for studying sea turtles, she became a field biologist for the University of Central Florida’s Marine Turtle Research Group which included morning nesting surveys, night work including tagging and documenting nesting female sea turtles and nests, and participation in their Indian River Lagoon’s seine netting project. After graduation, she switched gears back to wildlife rehabilitation, managing The Turtle Hospital in Marathon Key, FL for two years. In this position she managed the hospital and all aspects of rehabilitation including all in and out of water sea turtle emergency events for Monroe County. She was a Park Ranger at Long Key State Park and was responsible for all aspects of sea turtle nesting in the park boundaries. In 2010, she worked as a Biological Technician for Florida Wildlife Research Institute in the Florida Keys where she was part of the Restoration Ecology Team which established an in-situ Acropora cervicornis (Staghorn Coral) nursery in the Middle Keys and raised long-spined urchin (Diadema antillarum) as part of the overall reef re-establishment program. She has been involved in many different volunteer organizations over the years including Save-a-Turtle where she was the Nesting Beach Coordinator for Long Key, FL for five consecutive seasons.

March Speaker: Barry Kulick Underwater Photography

Barry Kulick, NEED WE SAY MORE??

On March 6th, our general meeting is not to be missed! Marine life photographer and our dear friend Barry Kulick will wow us once again with another thoroughly entertaining presentation of spectacular and sublime photo images shot in the interesting world destinations that he has visited. Barry returns to SFDI every year and treats us to an evening of beauty, adventure and humor. Get ready to be wow-ed again. To where will Barry take us this year? Well, he has just returned from Fiji! Hmmmm... Come and find out on March 6th!

Thank you, Barry, for your many years of fantastic presentations to SFDI!


Barry Kulick is a professional underwater photographer and cameraman. A long time sport-diver, he sold his guitar making business in 1988, and turned his hobby into a career. During the past twenty-eight years he has had the opportunity to travel the world with his cameras to capture images of a wide variety of marine subjects; ranging in diversity from minute Pygmy Sea Horses, to enormous Great White Sharks, from the murky confines of ancient shipwrecks, to the vibrant color and ceaseless activity of majestic coral reefs.

Although his major focus is the realm of still photography, Barry's cinema and video work has been seen in several films, commercials, training videos, and television shows. Hundreds of his still images have appeared throughout North, South and Central America, Europe, and Australia in books, magazines, advertisements, newspapers, postcards, puzzles, posters, computer software, art galleries, corporate and government publications, and private collections.

Originally from New York City, Barry Kulick now lives in Hollywood Hills, Florida with his wife Miriam.