The British are coming! Next to join the White Sand Dive Team in Grand Cayman; is Koan. K-Man. He too is an SSI Diving Instructor from the South West of the UK.
What got you into diving?
I got into diving in 2013 when I decided to do a Divemaster internship with GVI. Prerequisites included having your PADI Open Water qualification; so I got my open water qualification in a quarry in the UK and that was that- now I’m an SSI Diving Instructor.
Where have you dived around the world?
I did my PADI Advanced Open Water to Divemaster in Fiji, diving around a small island in the Yasawa islands conducting surveys before heading to mainland to dive with Fiji’s No.1 shark dive operator, Aquatrek. I did my instructorship when I got back to the UK, diving a number of wrecks, reefs and quarries which are beautiful once you ignore the cold. I have also dived around Crete & Greece.
Where in the world is your favourite spot to dive?
My favourite spot so far is Aquatrek’s ‘Bistro’, in Beqa lagoon Fiji. After starting off as a desolate, overgrown reef, the shark feeding on site has managed to attract up to 8 species of shark, turtles, 300+ species of fish, and has given a new lease of life to this dying reef. Lying on the edge of a deep water passage, the site has resident nurse, lemon and reef sharks, with bull sharks and the occasional tiger stopping off on their way to the passage.
What other dive locations do you have left on your bucket list?
No.1 on the list is Raja Ampat, just of the northwest peninsula in west papua. With a keen interest in coral reef systems and reef species, the pristine reefs Raja Ampat has to offer has always been the dream. Unfortunately the list only gets longer as you talk to people, and hear of places on the way, Bimini (sharks), Komodo, Sulawesi, Guadeloupe (sharks), Ecuador (Giant mantas), Western Australia, Mexican cenotes, Arctic, Scotland… are just a few other places on the list, thats a lot of dive sites to choose!
Why did you choose the Cayman Islands?
The beautiful clear waters, diverse reefs and warm climate were the obvious draw, but when my girlfriend secured work as an instructor, and I could come and get a bit of work too, we hot-tailed it over to dive something a bit warmer than the UK waters
What have you enjoyed so far about Cayman diving?
Theres everything. After 6 dives I’ve already seen Caribbean Reef sharks, turtles, rays, plenty of fish, flourishing coral reefs and some of the most amazing swim-throughs I’ve ever seen, some coming out onto the 6000ft trench that surrounds the Island, before dropping to some 25,000ft.
Why do you like working for White Sands?
Working for White Sand is great, a good laid back professional operation. Taking people diving in these waters is just as fun for us as it is for the customers, so the work doesn’t bother you at all. There is plenty of areas to learn and gain experience too, from boat maintenance to equipment servicing, theres always something to get stuck into, and with a team this easy to get on with, there are definitely worse places to be!
Do you have a favourite dive site yet?
So far, my favourite dive spot in ‘Split rock’. this is the wall dive where a number of swim-throughs take you to different points on the wall, at varying depths. The abundance of life on the wall is incredible, and with plenty of cracks to explore this really does tick all the boxes, unless you’re a wreck diver or don’t like reefs.