General Manager at Dive Rite
How long have you been diving ?
My first diving experiences were around age 5. I started out breathing from my dadas long hose while he was debriefing cave students between dives. Soon after that I had my own custom-built harness and my first define of doubleds, AL 13 s. I was cave-trained around 14 and CCR certified at 15.
What was the defining moment that made you want to become a diver ?
Birth! I donat think there was ever a question about it; I was always about to become a diver.
How did diving alter your life ?
Diving didnat necessarily change my life, but it is my life. Growing up in the industry and now working in it full period, diving is what I know. When I was finishing my undergraduate degree, I had to make the decision if I was going to pursue internships and other careers or come back to the family business. Looking at both options there was no question, diving was the only decision. My job is a ton of fun; I help bringing new products to divers, talk diving non-stop, and travel around the world DIVING!
What was it like grown up in such a prominent diving household ?
Growing up in a diving household had its perks. From a young age I always had the newest gear and I was able to advance my educate a bit quicker than the average person.
But looking back on it now, truly the coolest component was being around so many divers all the time. I was able to see how awesome this community is at a very young age. I was also able to soak in a lot of the history of the sport by hearing all the stories that arenat in the textbooks and session many of the pioneers.
What does diving mean to you personally ?
Diving is everything to me. It is my livelihood and how I support my family, but it is also my escape and happy place. As the great Creed Bratton said, aIf I canat scuba, then whatas this all been about? What am I working toward? a
How do you consider diving evolving over the coming years ?
Technology has greatly altered diving over the last few decades, making it easier to go deeper and stay longer. I think that we will continue to see an increase in tech diving amongst divers that stay in our sport.
What can we do to attract a new generation to the sport ?
Make diving cool again !! I think the adventure side of diving had been marginalized when the focus turned to it being a afamily athletic you can do forever.a The new generations prosper on adventure and are drawn to other adventure athletics. I think this is where tech diving comes in because it adds some of that escapade back.
How important are mentors within diving ?
Mentors are extremely important for the next generation of diving. A diver doesnat learn everything from a course, there is so much more that you learn when you get out there on your own. It is great to have a seasoned mentor there to help guide you when you have questions and help push you to
the next level.
aFollow your dreams and donat let negative people hold you back. Doing big dives takes practise and proficiency. Find a good mentor who will help you got to get. a
What is your most memorable marine life encounter ?
One of my most memorable marine life encounters was a shark dive off the Florida coast. It was a big deal for me because I have always been extremely so scared of sharks. On the dive we interacted with a half dozen lemon sharks, swimming all the countries of us. I came away with a new relationship with sharks and I am not nearly as afraid of them if I see them on my normal dives now.
Who is your go-to dive buddy ?
Even though I have induced many friends and new dive buddies over the years, my go-to dive buddy is still my dad. We have travelled all over the world diving together, creating some awesome memories.
What is your favourite dive site ?
Living in North Floridaas aCave Countrya, I am lucky to have many caves within simply a 45 -minute drive. One of my favourites is Little River Springs. It is the closest to my house, merely about 20 mins away. Itas my go-to if I want to squeeze in an early morning dive before work.
Where would you like to dive but havenat ?
Number one on my listing right now is Scapa Flow: World War I wrecks and scotch!
Whatas the craziest thing youave insured underwater ?
The craziest things Iave seen underwater would probably be the formations of the Crystal Caves of Abaco in the Bahamas. Iave never seen anything like it. The rose formations in the Glass Factory of Ralphas Cave are beyond awesome and like nothing else you will see in any other cave.
Favourite dive snack ?
Hands down my favorite dive snack is Cathyas Deco Cookies at Dive Outpost. If youave ever stopped by Dive Outpost while in Cave Country to get gas fills, you know what Iam talking about.
Favourite diving movie ?
Sanctum . It has cave diving and very loosely inspired by a true story.
Proudest diving moment or achievement ?
Becoming an Open Water Instructor. It was a big deal for me at 18 because it was one of the first diving certs I did without any help from my papa. I went through a traditional IDC as any other person would do. My Course Director and ITs didnat hold back because they knew I would be under some scrutiny.
Favourite piece of equipment ?
Just one ?! I have many favourite pieces and they are all tools for different jobs. Short list: my CCR, DPV, and camera.
Whatas next for you ?
Over the next few years, continue to refine my skills and work towards next level teacher certs.