Owner & PADI MSDT
I fell in love with water at an early age and can’t remember a time when I couldn’t swim. When “Sea Hunt” made its debut on TV, I knew that scuba diving was going to be part of my life. The nearest I came was snorkeling at Cape May along the New Jersey coast while on summer vacation.
In 1990, I got a scuba course for a birthday present, and once I was certified, diving took over all my spare time. If I wasn't diving, I was reading about it. I wanted to share my new passion with the world, so I became an instructor. Diving is an important part of my life, and training good divers is the most important aspect of it.
PADI Open Water Instructor 1992/ PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer 1995/ PADI Specialty Instructor (14 Specialties)/ NASE Open Water Instructor 2010/ Medic 1st Aid Instructor 1997/ Emergency First Responder Instructor 2003/ DAN O2 Instructor 1997/ DSAT Gas Blender Instructor/ NSS-CDS, NACD Certified Full Cave Diver 1999/ Member of the Safety Review Board Homeland Security Underwater Evidence Recovery Team New Orleans/ 3000+ logged dives.
I became associated with Coral Reef Dive Shop in 2014, and since then, I have traveled the world with my guardians Rick Sutton and Walt Morris as the Coral Reef Goodwill Ambassador. I love diving, but on most trips, I sleep in, grab some sun in the afternoon, socialize at dinner, and party late into the night. I am always the center of attention and have hundreds of friends around the world.
When not traveling, I watch over Coral Reef and keep Staniel Pig in line (he had a short-lived career as Coral Reef’s mascot but could not compete with my good looks and personality). So, the next time you visit Coral Reef, head over to my shelf and say hello. You’ll love the experience.
My love of being on the water began in the late ‘50s with family boating trips on the Ohio River in southwestern Indiana. My obsession with being under the water came from watching Sea Hunt in the early ‘60s, and Mike Nelson replaced Paladin as my TV action hero. Living in landlocked Indiana, it wasn’t until my college years in Florida that I had my first scuba experience in the Florida Keys. I became an official scuba diver in 1989, and since I have logged over 2,200 dives. I started diving with Rick Sutton in 1990, and my association with Coral Reef Dive Shop stretches back to its beginning in 1994. As I approached retirement, Rick offered me the opportunity to become the Travel Manager at Coral Reef, and I began a new career in April 2020.
As a travel manager, my responsibilities encompass booking, organizing, and leading our customers on trips that provide fantastic diving, great accommodations, excellent meals, and loads of fun. My goal is to provide a calendar that includes return trips to “old” favorites as well as new and unexplored destinations. Over the years, my dive travels have taken me to the Caribbean, Central America, South America, the Eastern Pacific, Southeastern Asia, and Micronesia, and I use what I learned from these experiences in setting up our trips. When looking to add new destinations, I am committed to visiting and diving with the operators prior to recommending our customers’ book trips.
Meet you at 60’.
I grew up in Slidell, went to Salmen High School, and then traveled to Missouri to college. I was a "late bloomer" to SCUBA and got certified in 2007, and the warm blue salt water got into my DNA. After being convinced to teach, I was rated as a Master Scuba Diver Trainer in 2009. I teach most PADI specialties, with Wreck and Night Diver being my favorite. I have traveled extensively across the Caribbean area and have traveled more internationally, with the Egypt side of the Red Sea being one of my favorite places. I love seeing smiles on faces when students and divers learn and master new skills.
Come let us show you the other two-thirds of the world! I promise you won't be disappointed. It may really change your life for the better!
My underwater adventures started in 1982 under the auspices of the locally famous Harry Caldwell, his dive shop, and the YMCA Scuba program. Those early years opened opportunities for me to investigate, explore, spearfish, lobster hunt, hone my Scuba skills, and meet a bunch of great people along the rigs, wrecks, reefs, and springs of the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Keys.
In the early 2000s, I recertified under PADI alongside my boys and several of their friends as part of a new Boy Scout program that officially adopted Scuba as a high adventure event.
By the mid-2000s, I earned my PADI Divemaster, Instructor, Master Scuba Trainer, and Specialty Instructor chits and started a long Scuba Instructor affiliation with Dave and Sunday Delger of the Caribbean Dive Shop in Metairie, LA. After Dave and Sunday retired in 2017, I have had the privilege of serving as an instructor and working with Rick at Coral Reef Dive Shop.
Also, around the mid-2000s, I qualified with a certification in large dive boat operations and actively began working/volunteering as a Divemaster on the M/V Spree and M/V Fling— a large dive boat operation doing sport/recreational/research charters to the Flower Gardens Marine Sanctuary and other areas in the Gulf of Mexico.
Along the way, I've also qualified as a DAN O2, EFR/CPR, Solo Diver instructor, and an American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) diver, and I'm currently working towards a 100-ton USCG Master's license. When not jumping somewhere in an ocean or spring, I serve as a volunteer diver with the Audubon Aquarium of Americas in New Orleans and have done volunteer research diving with the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.
At Coral Reef, we consider it a privilege to help start your underwater adventure into one of the last largely unexplored regions of the planet. An opportunity that promises to open new vistas, reach new milestones, make new friends, and forge lasting memories. So, start your journey by starting with us at Coral Reef Dive Shop.
Look forward to diving with you.