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Who We Are

Instructional Staff

 

James | Owner, IDC Staff Instructor

With over 4,000 dives in the books, James has been actively involved in the underwater realm since he got certified in 2008. An IDC Staff Instructor, James is passionate about sharing his love and knowledge of SCUBA with others. Having traveled all over the world to dive, he still finds Monterey diving to far exceed even the most sought after dive sites worldwide. Both above and below water, James enjoys teaching, from instructing our PADI courses to teaching the SCUBA program at San Jose State University. If he isn't underwater, he is likely tinkering at the shop, working to improve daily operations. Once in awhile you will find him away from work - enjoying the quiet of our Central California coastline.

Dane | IDC Staff Instructor & Shop Staff

Dane got SCUBA certified in 2008, becoming an instructor three years later. He has since logged thousands of dives around the world. His diving has taken him all over, including a seven month stint aboard a catamaran in the Caribbean where he was able to teach and spread his love of SCUBA. Here in Monterey, his favorite dive site to frequent for fun is Monastery Beach. While his dive experiences have brought numerous underwater critters right in front of him, his most memorable dive experience is seeing mola molas and thousands of sea nettles at the same time. When he is not underwater, you might find Dane in shop, or out and about with his wife and puppy, Hazy.

 

Denise | MSDT Instructor

A teacher at heart, Denise is often found sharing her love of knowledge with her students. Whether she is in her English classroom teaching college students or underwater with SCUBA students, Denise’s enthusiasm is visible. Since getting certified in 2009, Denise has accumulated over 1,800+ dives, from the Monterey Bay to Socorro to various Marine Archaeology sites around the world. Denise became a Dive Master in 2010 and an instructor in 2013. One of her favorite places to teach in Monterey is Monastery Beach. She “loves taking AOW students to Monastery Beach and helping them learn how to safely dive there. One of the highlights for me teaching is to see their intimidation change to joy and empowerment after a deep dive and a rough exit.”

John-Jack | MSDT Instructor

Certified in 2015, John-Jack has over 1,100 dives under his belt. You’ll often find him out and about teaching classes or leading dive tours in his Nemo hood - eagerly sharing the underwater realm with his students. A dive master for the past three years, and an instructor for the past two, John-Jack’s favorite dive site in Monterey is Whaler’s Cover at Point Lobos. To date, his favorite dive experience has been diving with DPVs where he was able to explore new Metridium fields beyond his usual dive sites.

 

Steve | OWSI Instructor & Service Technician

 

 

 

 

 

Brian B. | OWSI Instructor & Shop Staff

With over 500 dives under his belt, Brian has done a lot of SCUBA diving since he got certified in 2017. When he is not underwater teaching classes, leading dive tours or out diving for fun, you can find him in the shop. Born into a family of marine biologists, Brian has more knowledge of our local marine ecosystems than most. He is our in-house resource for critter identifications and our in on developing local marine science. Some of his favorite dive sites include North Monastery and Butterfly House in Carmel.

Bruce | Course Director

Bruce got certified in 1978 and has since logged over 12,000 dives. A true saltwater aficionado, he has neither a favorite dive site nor dive experience, rather he is in constant appreciation of the overall peace that comes with being underwater, with the only obligation to be present in the moment. When asked what his favorite post dive food is, Bruce replied that he didn’t understand the question since he is never post-dive, just between dives on a surface interval. Bruce has been instructing students since 2004 – and a PADI Course Director since 2018. His love of teaching shines through as he considers witnessing newly certified, confident, divers up there on his list of “coolest things he has seen underwater.” Also included on said list is diving within 10 feet of a humpback, seeing cormorants at 80 feet and being included in a game of tag initiated by a juvenile harbor seal at Point Lobos. Bruce won’t go diving without a steel tank and his trusty fins which have propelled him on over 10,000 dives in search of nudibranchs. When he isn’t teaching students, Bruce can be found in his garden, pondering SCUBA thoughts, or working as a small business financial and strategic consultant. 

 

Dive Masters

Nick G. | Dive Master & Shop Staff

Nick has been certified since 2009 and has been a dive master since 2016 and has just recently acheived his Assistant Instructor rating! With over 500 dives, Nick has spent lots of time exploring both California and Hawaii's underwater ecosystems. Along the way, he has had the chance to dive with seven gill sharks in San Diego and spinner dolphins in Hawaii, making for some of his most memorable SCUBA experiences. His favorite place to take divers in the Monterey Bay is Carmel River State Beach. When he is not diving, Nick is out and about, enjoying the outdoors with friends and family.

 

Ashley | Dive Master & Shop Staff

Ashley got certified at Aquarius in 2015, quickly moving toward her dive master in 2016. A freediver turned SCUBA diver, Ashley has a love for all things ocean - having logged some 600 SCUBA dives over the past 5 years. You'll often find her either in-water leading tours or around the shop. A California native, these cold, nutrient rich waters are her favorite, leading her to many amazing dive experiences from swimming with humpback whales to harbor seals and mola molas. When she is not diving, you can often find Ashley at a local beach, running her and James' overly energetic chocolate lab, Maddie.

Brian D | Dive Master & Shop Staff

One of the two Brians you’ll meet when you walk in the shop, Brian D. has diving since December 2017. Since then, he has spent countless hours exploring the central coast, from Monterey Bay to Big Sur. He has logged 200+ dives - with Butterfly House and North Monastery being some of his favorite sites. While he spends the majority of his time helping to keep the shop running smoothly, you can also catch him leading a tour or assisting with a class as a dive master. Brian is also a beginning jade carver and jade enthusiast - be sure to ask him about the jade pieces he is wearing!

Shop Staff

Cassidy | Shop Staff

Cassidy got certified at Aquarius Dive Shop in 2016. A talented painter as well, Cassidy has continued to dive in the Monterey area, drawing inspiration from the underwater world for her paintings. When she is not underwater or at her easel, Cassidy can be found in the shop, keeping us organized and running! Be sure to look around at the shop, as she often has paintings on display!

 

Angie | Shop Staff

Angie got certified at Aquarius Dive Shop in January 2014. Since then, she has continued to dive in the Monterey area and has also explored the warmer waters of Florida. When she is not exploring our local beaches and dive sites, Angie can be found in the dive shop getting divers geared up to explore the Monterey Bay kelp forests.

 

 

Service Technicians

Ryan | Service Technician

One of our service techs, Ryan is behind a lot of the regulators and BCDs that get serviced here at Aquarius. He WAS SCUBA certified in 2011 and has been servicing regulators since Spring 2014. When he is not behind the bench servicing equipment, his favorite places to dive in Monterey Bay include Breakwater and South Monastery. A saltwater afficiado, Ryan is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Marine Science. When he is not busy working at the shop, diving or studying, Ryan enjoys building ROVs with his free time. 

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