Dave Stephens
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Dave Stephens


Tell us your origin story!
As a soldier in VietNam, we took a short R&R to Vũng Tàu Bay, meeting up with some Australian troops who brought out a scuba unit. The white sand beach and turquoise water for the kid from Colorado was all new, seeing it underwater changed everything, I was instantly hooked. That was in 1969, 50+ years ago, the kid from Colorado has not missed a year of diving.

What caused you to make the leap from amateur to dive professional?
In college (central California coast) in the early 70’s, we had an informal dive club with a standing charter every Saturday out to the Channel Islands. (We never worried about White Sharks until they circled us, it was before "Jaws''!) Los Angeles County was having problems losing untrained divers on the county beaches. They heard about our activities, and made us all instructors!  Over the years, have stayed current as SSI and PADI instructor.

Favorite class to teach?.
Rescue. This class takes divers to their next level. The best way to improve your skills and become more than self focused. Makes you an especially good dive buddy!

Favorite dive destination?
Anywhere in Indonesia, the biodiversity is amazing. Take a liveaboard in Palau, you will go back many times! Galapagos is super charged diving with Whale Sharks and Manta.

What is your most beloved critter to spot under the waves?
Spotted Eagle Ray. There is nothing quite like the squadron of Eagle Rays circling Wolf Island at Galapagos. The small critters of Indo and Palau, so many to enjoy!

What is your “must have” piece of dive equipment?
Reef Safe Sunscreen

Favorite non-diving activity?
Hiking, Jeeping Colorado mountains.

Favorite post-dive treat or beverage?
Nothing quite like a Coke after a dive. After a day of diving, it's the local beer.

Any advice you’d like to offer divers new and old?
Diving will change as you age, there is no reason to stop as long as you are healthy. Here is an article on aging divers and how to keep diving as you age:  Aging Divers