JD Chiniaeff

JD Chiniaeff grew up on the water, going to the beach or water skiing on the rivers and lakes. “I never knew my dad had gotten certified as a diver in the sixties until I was in my early twenties. He kept asking me when I was going to get certified and I kept saying I don’t know. On my 22nd birthday in 2001 he got me lessons and the rest is history. Then my dad and I both took a Divemaster course together. Who knew, maybe I would travel to some tropical destination and not want to come back and I could be a Divemaster for a dive operation.”

JD grew up all over California. He has lived the last 40 years in Temecula, CA., He and his wife Lisa have two children, Selene & Alex. His day job is an Electrochemical Designer/Corrosion Specialist. He likes to design things and see how they work. In his job he gets to see them from the design and manufactured state back to their natural state of rust. In his “side job”, he is an extremely valuable part of the WAVES Project’s instructional staff. He learned about WAVES from Steve and Barbara Rubin back in 2013. “Steve and I have been friends since I first started diving in 2001. He has certified me in many of my diver specialty courses, including my Assistant Instructor certification.”

His favorite things to do while diving are underwater photography and video. “Who knows what kind of creatures or structures you are going to see while diving.” “When I dive without a camera I sometimes feel like, what do I do with my hands? And what if I see something awesome?” His favorite place to dive is the Bay Islands off Honduras. “The diving is warm and tropical, no wetsuits are needed and the diving is so easy. But diving in California is also very rewarding. With all the varying conditions here I feel I am a better diver and prepared for most dive conditions that I encounter.” His goal in diving is to have fun and always learn something new.

The benefits he receives from SCUBA diving, “Physical fitness. The healing effects of water, total weightlessness and a workout as I move against the natural pressure of the water on my body, with little to no strain on my joints. Breathing underwater is a stress reliever. The relaxed state while I focus on the underwater environment rather than thinking about problems that I am experiencing in my daily life. The social health benefit, I have met many new friends SCUBA diving and we all find a sense of camaraderie among us while enjoying the underwater world.” His advice to others who are thinking about SCUBA diving is “stop thinking and do it! It is so relaxing and calming. All the pressure on your body is relieved, your mind can relax and you will enjoy the underwater world.”

“As a volunteer for WAVES I have seen many veterans, some a little apprehensive about SCUBA diving. As they go through the open water program and do the skills that are sometimes challenging, they overcome them, and suddenly they are like fish all over the place wanting to do more, learn more and see more. That is what I like about WAVES.  They can go as far as they would like.”