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Managing Director & Owner
3000+ dives, PADI OWSI & RYA Yachtmaster Offshore with commercial endorsement. I 'lived the dream' working in the dive industry for 16 years in places like the Red sea - Egypt, parts of Africa, Mediterranean and Thailand. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about diving in some form
I’m the Managing Director & owner of Mike’s Dive Store and I love the diversity of my job. Probably one of my favourite parts is the problem solving aspect, especially when we have customers coming into the store about to leave on their dive trip of a lifetime and we’ve got just 4 hours (!) to pull together every piece of equipment needed to make sure their trip is as enjoyable as it can be without a worry! And somehow we always pull it off! I also love the challenge of running a successful Dive Store within the ever changing parameters of the constantly changing world of retail and e-commerce which continues to throw curve balls at every turn. I started off a dive instructor and have ended up an excel expert - How did that happen! :) Keep those challenges coming!
It was in the middle of the night at Daedalus in the Red Sea when I was working in the industry – it was my job to tie the boat to the mooring line so we could stay overnight. This particular night we’d arrived really late due to rough weather conditions – and if you know Daedalus you’ll also know it’s renowned for its unpredictably strong currents & pelagics (like Hammerheads, Grey Reef sharks and Manta's etc..). So I was diving on my own in the pitch black, 15 metres beneath the boat, trying to tackle the current, secure the mooring line and all I could see were shadows moving all around me, I was literally too terrified to turn my torch on in fear of what I would see.
For me, diving is the ultimate form of meditation that allows me to relax 100%. So my favourite type of diving is with as few people as possible, heading out super early in the morning around 5.30am, where there’s just you, the water and total quiet. It’s totally addictive.
Safety is paramount so I have my list of trusty favourites that include the Dive rite travel pack with Atomic SS1 alternate, Mares carbon regulator & Suunto Eon Steel with tank pod, then a D6i with transmitter as my backup. It’s funny because when I turn up for a dive, fellow divers are amazed that I have 2 hoses coming out of my first stage, there’s no octo hose, no high pressure hose or gauge because I have the complete kit, consolidated. I’m a bare minimum kind of guy, less is more!
I’m dying to get to Papua New Guinea because it’s the last untouched wilderness.
As we all know, not every dive is filled with weird and wonderful things to look at – I’ve had my fair share of uneventful dives which has certainly made me appreciate the small stuff. So my current favourites are Spanish Dancers & Sea Goddess – NUDIBRANCHES all the way!
I’m still old school so have my dives logged in a hard copy which I accidentally left home in Australia (oops!) so I’m guessing somewhere between 100 – 150 dives, a mere amateur compared to some of my team mates! BUT I just took my first step into the ‘Professional Diving world’ & completed my Rescue Diver…. next is Dive Master, watch out!
Ecommerce Manager – given I manage the Mike’s Dive Store website, you’d think I’d have transported from paper log books to digital ones! I love my job because I get to think big picture & devise the strategy for the future of the Online Store which has limitless potential! Oh and who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by dive gear 24/7?!
Diving 74 minutes non-stop with 10 different manta rays (one of which was pregnant) in Komodo National Park… stuff dreams are made of.
Diving in the deep blue knowing that there’s at least 1000 metres of water and life beneath me, what a thrill.
Obsessed with the Scubapro Hydros -I may or may not have been attracted to it because it has pink weight pockets.
Galapagos for the marine iguanas!!
The porcupine fish, aka Diodon nicthemerus. They’re so slow and vulnerable and weird and their only defence is to inflate their body to be double the size which I hear is very stressful for them! And frankly, who could resist those eyes…
Specialty Padi instructor with 1500+ Dives. I have worked in the diving industry in the Phillipines, Thailand, Dutch West Indies and Indonesia.
Store Manager - General running of the shop itself, managing shop emails, phone and servicing of all Dive computers. However my favourite part of the job is working in the shop during Summer when it’s at its busiest, with the doors wide open onto the street, chatting with the eclectic mix of clientele we have from absolute beginners to the experienced techy, sharing dive destinations and travel.
Solid bay, southern Leyte Philippines. Diving with my good friend and mentor sharing air, hovering in the same spot for half an hour at 10 metres with two massive whale sharks circling us, a manta ray doing somersaults and two large tornadoes of hundreds of jack travelling either side.
Tropical warm water diving, no more than 40 metres with an abundance of marine life big and small from Pygmy sea horses to whale sharks with the ocean floor covered in a massive variety of beautiful hard and soft corals. The thing I love about it is the feeling of entering a completely different world 🌎 I’m not really a techy wreck diver type it's all about the marine life!
Scubapro MK25 A700 - No explanation necessary as it speaks for itself.
Can I have 4? Galapagos, Cocos, Raja Ampat and Tonga. Sharks, whales and impeccable coral reefs!
All sharks 🦈
I started diving in the mid 1990s with the BSAC No.1 Branch and so have done loads of diving in the UK. I later crossed over to PADI and completed the OWSI and have since dived further afield like in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, South Africa and the Maldives. I haven’t kept track of the number of dives but do the math….the 90s feels like a lifetime ago!
My role now is Financial Controller but because I’ve been working with Mike’s for 15+ years, there’s been a whole range of roles I’ve undertaken. Over the years I’ve seen the business evolve to where it is now and I’m very happy to be part of the family.
I’m going to break the rule here and say that my most memorable ‘underwater’ moment was actually snorkelling, not diving! It was with a whale shark in the Maldives and was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. They are such gracious, gentle giants.
Whilst some of my colleagues tend to love the deep, I like diving fairly shallow off reefs because you can’t beat the abundance of sea life. Most diving environments have their charm but I prefer warm water diving such as the Red Sea. Give me a coral garden any day of the week as the colours of the coral and fish are so vibrant – it’s amazing how nature can produce such natural beauty.
I am using the Tusa Tina mask as present which is small and very comfortable. Ideal for holidays involving diving and snorkelling.
I would still like to go diving around the Mozambique coast as it is nice and warm and still quite remote which generally means that it’s unspoilt.
The seals found in the water off Cape Town are great fun to watch. I love their agility, curiosity and playfulness. It’s amazing how close they come to you, every fibre in my being wants to reach out and pat them!
I’m a PADI Divemaster and BSAC Dive Leader (being a bit of an introvert I never fancied the Instructor life) with over 20 years of diving experience. I have dived various places around the world, all of which have some amazing things to offer but I am happiest in the waters of the UK.
I look after all the content of the website which includes writing the product descriptions, blog posts and information pages. I also create our newsletters and look after our social channels. I get to see a lot of shiny new toys and write about something that is important to me.
I started diving with my Dad when I was a kid so most of my dives are special but a particular trip that sticks in my mind was a club trip to Ireland that was full of great dives and good friends.
I’m not too fussy about the type of diving I do… wreck, reef, drift or whatever… a dive is a dive but having spent a lot of time on the wrecks in the English Channel I suppose I do have a soft spot for wreck diving.
I like a good bit of tech and clever gadgets so anything that pushes the technological boundaries normally ends up on my wish list but I have a particular weak spot for advanced dive computers. The new Scubapro G2 has some unique features but I also like that Ratio are doing with their computers.
Indonesia is definitely on my bucket list because there is just so much to see from wrecks to wall diving, Mantas to Nudibranch.
I like a lot of the small stuff, critters you have to be paying attention to see so nudibranchs are a particular favourite of mine.
Sales & Dispatch Assistant
100+ dives with Instructor qualifications. I also lived in Indonesia for a while and was lucky enough to see the elusive Mola Mola on more than one occasion!
I am busy helping customers at the front of the Shop who are keen to buy their new dive git. I also work in the Online dispatch department making sure all our Online orders leave our warehouse by 4pm but my favourite part of the job is being ‘on the tools’ so to speak and setting up regulators!
Cavern dive in The Pit Cenote in Tulum, Mexico. Cavern diving is not for the faint hearted but I just totally connected with it.
Deep Diving where all the colours disappear and there is just you, the ocean and peace and quiet.
I wish so much for a rebreather and a sidemount. One day, they will be mine!
Galapagos for the accessibility and the diversity of marine life. I mean there are 28 species of sharks alone that call the Galapagos home!
Octopus because of its camouflage capabilities, its intelligence and hunting skills – how could anyone eat them they’re so amazing and smart?!
PADI Specialty Instructor with about 2000 dives, I have been teaching over 500 certifications, managing small dive centres in Indonesia/Thailand and guiding in extreme cold water in Iceland.
I am one of the first faces you will see once you enter the Store, giving you my best advice depending on what type of gear you will need. As the store is expanding continuously, quite literally, I improve the structures with my building talents! It’s very common to see me holding a drill!
In Sulawesi Indonesia guiding through a gigantic tornado of barracudas with massive Napoleon wrasses and groupers swimming all around - later on during that dive I was circled by a few curious eagle Rays until one came closer to give me a kiss!
I am in love with night diving, particularly when swimming away from the reef for the excitement of encountering some weird sea life and sometimes to play hide and seek.
I can’t live without my Atomic Subframe, it’s the only corrective mask I can fit my big French nose in!
Little Lembeh in Indonesia, the best of the muck diving to see all sorts of creepy creatures like blue ring octopus, frogfish, seahorses and pipefish, pikachu nudibranch and much more!
All type of Pipefish, I was way more excited when I saw first one than my first shark! They are just master of camouflage on the reef or seabed moving along gracefully with the surge to not be seen.
Sales & Dispatch Assistant
I’m still quite new to diving so I’ve only logged a measly 40+ dives but I’m excited to log more and continue to learn more and more along the way. I’ve also completed my HSE with the hopes to one day combine my filmmaking background with my newly found love for diving! I did all of my training in the oh so warm climate of Scotland, which I dearly miss. I also plan to continue my training there to achieve my dive master.
I’m one of our many lovely sales assistants who help customers pick out equipment for their dives and order in anything that they need or desire. I also work behind the scenes booking in equipment for customers’ online orders. My favourite part of the job is meeting and talking to divers everyday and hear their stories and experience from all four corners of the globe. I also love working with my colleagues and to hear their experiences and in depth knowledge. They really inspire me to achieve more in diving and to see more of the world.
It’s quite a simple moment really. When ascending from my first night dive a flurry of plankton burst into light. It was like a quick burst of electricity through the water.
Any dive with a camera! I was lucky enough to film some 16mm film underwater this summer with an ancient bolex camera in an equally ancient underwater house! It was such a thrill to use (which reminds me I should probably get that film processed soon)
I really really want the Suunto D9 dive computer. I’d like a computer with algorithms for technical diving, which I’d like to pursue in the long run. They’re also so sleekly designed.
On my list of dive destinations are Iceland, Norway and maybe one day the Arctic… I seem to only like cold climates. Maybe one day I’ll dive somewhere warm…maybe.
Seals. End of. They’re just such gently creatures.
Sales & Dispatch Assistant
Only a recently qualified diver but have managed to log dives in both the Caribbean and the Mediterranean and am looking to explore a lot more in the future.
I work heavily with the online dispatch team looking to get all the online orders processed packed and shipped before the end of the day. I can also be found on the shop floor helping customers with their needs and i love hearing about the different locations and levels of diving people are venturing too.
Probably seeing a few mantas circling off the coast of Barbados, even from a distance you can tell just what magnificent creatures they are!
I am quite an avid free diver and enjoy the freedom you feel without all the kit on your back and the ability to delve deep wherever, whenever. I love all the marine life you find amongst tropical reefs, big and small, so freediving allows me to appreciate all this.
Scubapro S1 freediving fin for their sleek look and quality performance!
Raja Ampat as I have heard such great things!
I'll go with turtles in general they are just so majestic in the water!
7000+ dives thanks to being a full-time diving writer for more than two decades. I’ve got more diving certifications that you can shake a stick at. I’m TDI SCR diver No4 and APV CCR diver No4. Who are these three that always got ahead of me?
Cleaner, Labeller, and Greeter! Oh, and sometimes I give diving advice!
I’ve had too many to choose. How can you compare diving the USS Saratoga sunk 55m deep by an atomic bomb in Bikini Atoll with being carried off by a 5m-long tiger shark at 9m in the Bahamas?
Where something interesting happens, whether it be in cold, temperate or tropical waters. I’ll use whatever equipment is appropriate for the dive.
Atomic T3 regulator because I rarely get it serviced! 3mm Fourth Element Xenos suit because it means the water will be pleasantly warm. Mares Plana Avanti Quattro fins because they work!
My bucket was filled some time ago. It’s time for a second bucket!
I love dugongs because they are even more clumsy and useless underwater than I am!