Two Harbors native Ruby Walsberg has been scuba diving since she was 14 years old. Her whole family earned their open-water certification through Lake Superior Divers in Duluth and started going on diving trips.
"It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen," said Walsberg, a 2016 Two Harbors High School graduate. "Being under the water and seeing all the insanely beautiful reefs and creatures, it's something you can't even imagine until you do it."
But when she started as a teenager, she didn't know she'd one day be able to call herself a certified dive master.
Walsberg recently completed a six-week divemaster certification course through Anthony's Key Resort in Roatan, an island just off the coast of Honduras. To qualify as a divemaster, Walsberg needed to complete 60 logged dives, be CPR-certified and be a rescue diver.
"It was mostly in water training," Walsberg said. "For the rescue course, we practiced different ways of rescuing divers who were tired or unconscious, how to tow them properly, etc. We ran through it so many times so that you would be comfortable with every part of it if/when it happened."
After earning her rescue diver certification, Walsberg started interning on the resort where she'd be part of a dive team. The team would take brand new divers on basic dives and assist them along the way.
"We'd teach them the basics in the shallow water and then take them out on their first real dives," Walsberg said. "It's a lot of work for us because we have to carry all of their tanks and set up all their gear, test it all, make sure it's safe. So they're kind of in our hands for this dive."
But in the end, Walsberg said, most divers would be "really happy."
"They'd have these huge smiles on their faces," Walsberg said. "I get it, I remember my first dives. It's something you can't really imagine before you do it. It feels like flying down there and you feel so good for taking that new chance."
Walsberg spent about eight hours a day, six days a week with her dive team. Her favorite parts of the experience was a tie between diving with sharks and getting to meet people.
"I was a scared to go down there on my own, but I think it can really change your life," Walsberg said. "And there's no real reason why I did it. I don't have to become a divemaster as my career. But I don't want to look back on my life and regret not trying something. And that's why I went."
Walsberg recently graduated with an associate degree from Vermilion Community College. She took the fall semester off to have time for the dive training and is considering going to school to become a dental hygienist next fall.
"I'm not really sure right now. But I'm glad I had the time to do this. It was something I'll never forget," Walsberg said.