I was born in a small town in northern California; I have two sisters, and happily married parents. My parents got certified when my sisters and me were relatively young. Once we were all old enough we were able to get certified, I was 14 when I completed my PADI OW certification. This experience began a lifelong love of the ocean and diving. Between when I got certified and graduated high school my diving experience only consisted of family vacations, once a year. During these vacations I was fortunate enough to visit locations like; Hawaii, Fiji, Cozumel, Belize, Key west, Cancun, and San Diego. Between this time I managed to rack up around 75 dives and an Advanced open water certification. After a year of college I found out about a study abroad opportunity that centered on diving. The program was called SEAmester, and it was a 3 month long trip aboard a 88ft schooner, this trip involved learning sailing skills, diving, and hiking around the various islands while studying marine biology and oceanography. The trip offered certifications from open water to dive master, depending on what certification you had at the beginning of the trip. So I decided to take a Rescue diver class at Dolphin Scuba in Sacramento before I left on the trip so I could achieve the dive master certification. During this trip my life became scuba, I began to lead dives and help the newer divers with any problems that they had, and gained my first nickname “Scuba Steve” a little cliché but fun. We had traveled from the British Virgin Islands to Grenada and back over the course of 3 month and dove on every single island. I returned from the trip with my new calling, I moved to Santa Cruz California to be closer to the ocean with hopes of living my dream of diving for work. This dream was soon crushed; Santa Cruz and Monterey are not industries where dive masters are in high demand. So I took the next logical step, I moved to Grand Cayman, began an internship with a dive shop called Divers Down and lived my dream until I could start my Instructor Development Course (IDC). The time spent working in the Caymans was better than I had imagined, 4 to 5 dives a day then drinks at the bar with all of the people that you got to dive with. This happened every day. But all things must come to an end, I was able to pass my Instructor Exam (IE) and received my Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) certification and returned home to Santa Cruz. Once again luck was on my side and I was able to find a job relatively quickly with Adventure Sports Unlimited, the owner Dennis and Ginny were willing to take a chance on the new guy and I am very grateful for that opportunity. I began my professional career with a bevy of hand me down equipment with the exception of a BCD I had purchased before going to the Caymans and a computer my father had purchased me as a present. I found it a pretty big shock to venture into cold water, especially because my first experience was while assisting with a class. But I figured things out relatively quickly, and replaced many of my hand me down pieces of equipment. After 7 years at Adventure Sports and many certification courses taught, unfortunately Ginny passed away due to personal health issues in 2013 the shop soldered on and I was eventually promoted to shop manager in 2015. Two years later in 2017 our fearless leader Dennis passed suddenly to unexpected heart failure. While this rattled me and the others to the core we did our best to adjust, Dennis’ sun took over ownership of the shop and due to differences in vision I decided it would be time to leave Adventure Sports. My next venture was spent working at Dolphin Scuba in Sacramento, one of the larges dive shops in the State of California, while there I was able to take the crossover program and become an SSI instructor, as well as become familiar with many more brands and a higher volume of sales. But my true passion for diving remained in Santa Cruz and this is were I find myself currently after taking the leap, leaving Dolphin and starting a new chapter.
The New Chapter:
June of 2019 I moved back to Santa cruz to assist one of my former students/ coworkers from Adventure Sports open his own dive shop California Ocean Adventures. We are starting small carrying limited brands and focusing on training and providing the best service possible with our small operation and hope to build it into something great in the near future.