The history of WOWIE began in October 1991 on the Genie Scuba RoundTable, when a group of divers started musing over all the different kinds of scuba nuts...from the super expert "wreck tek-types" to the "busty blonde bimbo babes" who always seemed to be hanging out (no pun intended) on dive boats.
The conversation drifted into a roaring debate over which agency was THE BEST (seems to be a favorite subject when you get a bunch of cyber divers together). The group held all kinds of different agency certifications, but the disCUSSion suddenly escalated into an all out flame war between the NAUI's and the PADI's. Most of these folks were usually fun-loving and friendly, but the flames kept getting bigger (the screen had so much smoke that we could hardly see who was calling whom what in each message!). A NAUI called a PADI a "warm water wimp"! The PADI accused the NAUI of being an underwater "overlord" who refused to believe that any other agency was worth a hoot! Online friends turned into enemies and soon the SSI, YMCA, and NASDS were taking sides. In the middle of this "Battle of the Agencies", Larry "Harris" Taylor [a.k.a. "RiverRat"] suggested that we end the war and form a new agency that we all could join, regardless of certification...and proposed that it be called WOWIE!
Divemaster Tracy asked what WOWIE stood for...and the Rat's reply was that during the discussion, it was pointed out that
PADI=Put Another Dollar In or Patches Available Diving Instruction
so, based on the disCUSSion,
WOWIE=Waterlovers, Overlords and Wimps Information Exchange!
The idea was a hit! Lynn McKamey (a.k.a. ScubaMom) designed the Waterlover, Overlord, and Wimp logo and the Genie cyber group started concocting ridiculous specialty ratings. We plastered all this on t-shirts, put them on sale, and sent bunches to cyber divers all over the world. Here are some of the specialty ratings as they appeared on the back of the shirts:
ScubaMom's disclaimer to all lady divers:
A talented friend of mine, Dan Carey, drew the cartoon logo based on my rough design. Waterlover would have had a larger bikini and smaller appendages, but the guys over-ruled my "tasteful" suggestions! Someday maybe I'll do another shirt and reverse the whole thing... fashionable full divesuit on Waterlover (in pink, of course) with string bikinis on Wimp and Overlord. (heeheehee :-)
P.S. Wowie T-shirts are still available in some sizes. Email ScubaMom for sizes and prices.