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Doc Radawski, final ascent

Discussion in 'Bay Islands' started by Doc, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    On June 11, 2018

    Doc (James) Radawski passed while at his home on Roatan, the Bay Islands of Honduras.


    I always thought that if he had the same publicity machine, he would have been as well known as JYC. Instead, Doc first appeared on most of our radar screens in 1972 when he showed up in the far East end of Roatan in the still-today remote town of Port Royal. Now we have Doc's Dive and his friends including Newman, Calvin, Albert and Mary... all dive sites.

    He relates some stories of that time during his network TV appearance on the "Crystal Skull" series, where he dealt with modern day pirates, brigands and Indiana Jones types.

    A great piece by Dennis Foster: Doc of the Bay <LINK

    Doc's beginnings and history trace variously through his college days in Northern Michigan, Maine, Colorado (where else would a diver likely live?) and lately in his second adoptive home of New Orleans and environs, but always coming back to Roatan.

    A true feeling for the time: What I Like about Roatan <LINK

    His entre' and existence was keeping compressors running, through the years of the 70's and today, still no minor feat on Roatan! In these last ten years, those of us who were smart enough to take a moment to gather 'round, he would hold sway with a weekly Island History lecturette at CoCo View, then a weekly Naturalist Talk as well.

    It was his island, it was his life endeavor. He sat at the table when that 60fpm silliness came to life. He watched over Mary's Place when it was closed, he lived on the island just North of the site.

    Like many old divers, he had long ago lost accounting of that "number of dives" thing, but it was easily estimated to be in the 10,000 range. I will most remember his quiet and accepting demeanor, yet also the welling in his eyes when confronted with the undeniable degradation of our Ocean reef systems. I shared his distress.

    About 1990 or so, I returned from a night dive after spotting a critter that the world would have to wait until 2005 for the National Geographic Society to "also discover". I excitedly described this massive worm to Doc as he sat at the CCV bar, he listened silently and finally said,

    "It's a big Ocean out there"

    We enjoyed the dive, Doc.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  2. grantwiscour

    grantwiscour Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kona Coast, Big Island of Hawaii
  3. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
  4. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
    Thanks for sharing. I will be there next month and was looking forward to meeting him. Condolences.
  5. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: New Jersey
    One of my most treasured people. I brought him a bottle of his favorite red wine a few months ago; We chatted many times at the bar. I remember finding a batfish on a night-dive a few years back. I was so excited. Brought a picture for him to see. He took a quick glance and without even blinking said: “I see you met Charlie”.

    His lectures were legendary. “No see-ums are the best defense we have against pesky tourists”. CCV won’t be the same without him.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    CajunDiva and grantwiscour like this.
  6. Bratface

    Bratface Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: South Florida
    I was in Roatan last week at Cocoview and had the pleasure of sitting in on one of his lectures. I am thankful to have met such an interesting man. Sweet dreams Doc.
    Trailboss123 likes this.
  7. Steelyeyes

    Steelyeyes Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kralendijk, Bonaire
  8. parrotheaddiver

    parrotheaddiver Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Southeast of Disorder...and San Marcos, Texas
    an extraordinary man who led an extraordinary life. RIP please tell Mr Bill and Miss Ev hello.
  9. Dee

    Dee ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: near Houston, Texas
    I thoroughly enjoyed my yearly visit with Doc a few weeks ago, I'm sorry it was my last.

    Rest in Peace, Doc.....we've lost a true legend.
    parrotheaddiver likes this.
  10. BDSC

    BDSC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    Very sad. Doc was the knower of all thing Roatan. Always enjoyed his insights.

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