Sweet Bottom Dive Center Staff & Instructors
Our staff of professional scuba instructors and divemasters are here to make your dives as easy as putting on a tank and breathing. We offer a true concierge diving experience by taking care of your equipment assembly, disassembly, and after dive cleaning. Our staff isn't just eye candy, they also can offer more than a combined 100 different classes!
So let's meet your future friends...
Diving became a career and passion for me in the cold waters of Lake Michigan diving the wrecks off Chicago. Soon after my first few breaths on SCUBA in 2008; I worked my way up to become a shop manager in a large dive center, and taught as a technical instructor in my hometown of Chicago. When the time came to move to St Croix, it was an easy choice (Warm Water, Great Vizz, and Deep Depths! No Brainer!)
I am generally in the office 5-6 days a week, but if you want to dive with me it usually means we are headed deep, at night, or on the underwater scooters!
My passion is diving and I hope to spread it to all of you!
Favorite Dive Site: Any wall site below 200'
Favorite Restaurants: Maria's Cantina
Favorite View: the view from the Bolke Cessna Plane Island Tour
Favorite Drink: Any IPA!
I moved down to St Croix to start a new adventure in the Scuba Industry.. With a past resume' of Early Childhood Education, Swim Instructor, and Lifeguarding this change was a BIG one. I have been learning a lot about diving and how to ensure all our divers have the best possible time while in our care. I started diving back in 09'. I needed the certifcation for an internship with the Miami Seaquarium ( diving daily with the dolphins was amazing). Soon after, I found my other water joy, diving! While down here in STX, I have recieved my PADI Tec 40 & 45 Certifications! Other than diving, I love being around children, swimming, running, rollerblading, tennis, soccer, & of course watching Chicago Blackhawks Hockey!
Favorite Dive Site: North Star *
Favorite Restaurant: Maria's Cantina & You Are Here (Pizza & Calzones)
Favorite View: The mountains that make up the island
Favorite Drink: Ginger Beer
Director of Training
During my 28 years of diving, I have had the opportunity to travel and dive in many different locals and dive environments…whether I was diving on the beautiful coral reefs of St Croix, the massive wrecks off of Lake Michigan, Key Largo or Fort Lauderdale, swimming with the dolphins in Curacao, playing tag with the baby peacock flounders in Bonaire, dodging the 12' bull sharks in Fiji or swimming inside a school of barracudas in Malaysia, my dive adventures are always fun and exciting.
During my 30+ year career as a Chicago Paramedic and EMS Educator, I have had the opportunity to hone my instructional and presentation skills. What a perfect fit to take that experience and combine it with something I truly enjoy sharing with others…scuba diving!
As a dive educator, I can hold your hand during your very first breath underwater, or I can train you in unique underwater skills, such as; advanced navigation, search and recovery, sidemount diving, full face mask and dry suit diving, just to name a few. I can mentor you into leadership roles, as you learn the information and skills necessary to become a PADI Divemaster. Or, I can help you change your life forever; as I lead you down the path of becoming a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, Specialty Instructor, IDC Staff Instructor or I can even mentor you, as you prepare to become a PADI Course Director.
My passion lies with people. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences with people, but more importantly, I love learning about you…your passions, your experiences and your dreams. Scuba Diving has a HUGE social component to it. Anyone, can teach you how to tie a bowline underwater…let me get to know you and see if I can't help you realize your dreams.
Favorite Dive Site: Davis Bay!
Favorite Restaurants: The Waves @ Cane Bay... and Rowdy Joes!
Favorite View: My office... the Ocean
Favorite Drink: Samual Adams Boston Lager
Diving has become my escape from noise, technology and everyday issues; Looking around the beautiful underwater world is my heaven on Earth. Bright flourescent purples and oranges of sponges and sea fans, bountiful fish, marine life to observe, sharks to swim with, all make my "front yeard" a place to explore. Let me show you our piece of heaven on Davis Bay. I have been diving nearly 30 years spanning the shores of Chicago, Florida, St. Thomas, Jamacia, Curacau, Bonarie, Roatan, and Mexico all the way to Malaysia and Fiji. I fell in love with the diving here in St. Croix. Where else could I see sharks and seahorses in one dive (my two favorites)?! Mark and I came to St. Croix in March 15' to fulfill a dream of owning a dive center in the Caribbean, leaving behind the cold winters of Chicago and a 30 year career in nursing. I feel blessed to be able to show new divers our world beneath the sea through the discovery diving experience, guiding dives for certified divers, and teaching Open Water students the joy of feeling weightless. As a Master Instructor, I have helped many divers experience this wonderful sport! Let me show you the wonders of St. Croix diving!
Favorite Dive Site: The Frederiksted Pier
Favorite Restaurant: The Waves
Favorite View: The top of "The Beast" coming into the Carambola Resort
Favorite Drink: Carib Beer
Open Water Scuba Instructor
Originally from the cold, dark, low visibility quarry’s of Ohio. I took my first breath of air underwater way back in 1991 with the YMCA. Finished my open water certification in the summer of 1992. I have always had a passion for the water weather it be on top, surfing or below, scuba diving. How I have survived living in Ohio for all these years is beyond me! Needless to say after way to many years of talk I finally got the courage to leave Ohio, winter (this was an easy one), my career/business in construction of 20+years and moved to the Virgin Islands with my wife and three children to start a new life. I now wake up every morning in paradise and do something I truly love, teach scuba as a PADI scuba instructor! The only regret I have is not doing it sooner. On my days off I try to spend it with the family hiking through the rain forest, laying on beach, or in the water. I Love shooting Lionfish with my son, Noah and watching him enjoy diving as much as I did at a young age.
Favorite dive site. Way to hard to pick one! Obviously Davis bay my home spot and the Frederiksted pier and Butlers bay, and Salt river, and Coconuts, and Cane bay, and well you get the point!
Favorite restaurant. BW3’s how I miss you!
Favorite view. Coming over the Beast seeing the North Shore and knowing that’s my office now!
Favorite drink. Black&Tan, or Black&Blue
IDC Staff Instructor
I learned to dive in Korea back in 2011. When I hit the water I loved it so much, and thought that this is what I want to do with my life. So, I quit my 9 to 5 and focused on diving. One thing lead to another and I found myself in Roatan, Honduras where I met Mark and Laura for the first time. I worked all the way up to Staff Instructor and I worked there teaching DMCs how to become great divemasters. After 2 years it was time to move on, and see the other places that diving will take me. This is how I found out about St Croix. I was working a 9 to 5 again, and wanted to change my view. So, now I am down here in sunny St Croix and the rest has yet to be written. All I know is that it is going to be great!
Favorite dive site. Davis Bay
Favorite restaurant. Above the Cliff
Favorite view. My paycheck... haha jk.. It is the look on my students faces' after their first Ocean Dive.
Favorite drink. Rum and Coke or Jack and Coke.
OWSI Instructor & Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT)
I began diving in the cold waters of New York & New Jersey getting my YMCA Open Water certification in 1978. Next after working for the National Park Service as a biologist for over 15 years and living in places as varied as Alaska, Florida & Texas and after earning my PADI Divemaster, OWSI & MSDT my family and I decided to move to and make St. Croix our home. From a diving, outdoor and cultural perspective St. Croix has it all. Amazing wall, wreck and reef dives as well as great day / night dives at the famous Frederiksted Pier. STX also has fantastic hiking and beach walks and a vibrant, active, friendly West Indian culture and people. It’s a great island!
Favorite dive site: Davis Bay, West Wall section, it’s hard to beat the “House Reef”. A vibrant, healthy reef ecosystem (e.g. sharks, rays, turtles). A short 75 yard kick out from the beach. Great underwater topography ravines, mini canyons, wall drop offs, etc. Amazing!
Favorite restaurant: Napoleon's Pizza! (I love Pizza)
Favorite view: Point Udall, the most eastern point in the U.S. This preserve area has amazing hiking and spectacular views of the wild and undeveloped eastern coast area with endless ocean views. Also great for sunset and star viewing.
Favorite drink: Rum & Coke (mostly Rum)
Open Water Instructor
I first experienced the underwater world during a Discover Scuba Dive on Grand Cayman in 2013. After that, the ocean kept calling, and I couldn't keep working in an office in the icy-cold tundra they call Chicago. I got certified as an Open Water diver in Chicago and started traveling shortly after. I've lived and dove in Puerto Rico, the Big Island of Hawaii, Bonaire, and now St. Croix. I can definitely say the diving here is gorgeous, and I see something new every time I hit the water. Aside from viewing pleasures, I love the peaceful bliss I feel when diving and hearing the sound of bubbles from my reg. I consider myself lucky to have found my passion in life; being able to share it with others and be compensated for it is just an extra bonus!
Favorite Dive Site:
Favorite Restaurant: Tavern 1844
Favortie View: After the hike to lighthouse by Hams Bluff
Favorite Drink: Jameson neat
Open Water Scuba Instructor
I moved down to St. Croix a few years ago and left the cold winters of South Dakota. I was certified as a Divemaster through the DM Course with Sweet Bottom in 2015 and continued on to become a DSD Leader. When you don't see me underwater I am most likely fishing off my boat or hanging by the pool. Retired life is great and there isn't anything better than showing the underwater world to all of our guests!
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Mike was introduced to SCUBA diving at the age of 13 way back in 1962 in Colorado by his dad who was a member of the Denver Police Department underwater search and recovery team.
He is a Physician Assistant, works in the Emergency Department at Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center on St. Croix and is an Assistant Professor and the Associate Director of Medical Education at the Barry University Physician Assistant Program, St. Croix Campus.
When he's not saving lives or training others to save lives or under water, Mike rides his bicycle up and down the hills of St. Croix, and is generally a fan of being physically fit. He's also an avid lionfish hunter, a member of CORE (Caribbean Organization for Reef Education) Foundation and CRABBS (Caribbean Reef Association of Bubble Blowers).
Favorite Dive Site: Armageddon
Favorite Restaurant: Angry Nate's
Favorite View: From the top of Scenic Road West
Favorite Drink: Captain and Seven with a lime ;-)