Ed Yoblonski
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Ed Yoblonski

Ed Yoblonski


Tell us your origin story!
I was snorkeling on Maui in 1997 and came across a little blue and yellow Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse that had set up a cleaning station. Other fish would come near and the Wrasse would eat all the odd stuff that grew on their scales and even go into their gills and mouths to find edible things. The fish loved it and would sometimes even change colors while being cleaned. I was hooked, but since I was just snorkeling I had to keep coming up for air, so I decided that I would get certified before my next Maui trip.

What caused you to make the leap from amateur to dive professional?
When I retired in 2002 I had been diving for about four years in places like Galapagos and the Caribbean and was also a volunteer diver at the Denver Aquarium and wanted to learn more about diving. The shop that had originally certified me in Denver had closed so I stopped into Underwater Phantaseas, South at the time, to see what kind of classes were available. Before I walked out I had enrolled in their Divemaster program and spent a wonderful summer helping new students through the Basic Open Water certification process and also learning about the physiology and physics of diving. It was awesome and I highly recommend it to experienced divers who love helping others. After getting my Divemaster certification I continued on at the shop and the following year earned my PADI Instructor certification.

Favorite class to teach?
My favorite class, by far, is the Basic Open Water classroom and pool class. I love watching people grow from their first tentative dips beneath the surface to being able to problem solve underwater, whether it's an equipment issue or issues around learning a new skill. I love having a part in that personal growth.

Favorite dive destination?
We "discovered" Bali 20 years ago and since then have dived all over the western Pacific, from Fiji to the Philippines to other Indonesian islands but always come back to Bali.

What is your most beloved critter to spot under the waves?
Anything small, whether it's a 1/4" Pygmy Seahorse or an elusive Mushroom Coral Pipefish.

What is your “must have” piece of dive equipment?
A camera, whether it's a housed DSLR or a GoPro, I wouldn't know what to do with my hands without one.

Favorite non-diving activity?
Exercise of any sort, whether it's running, cycling or hiking.

Favorite post-dive treat or beverage?
Every live-aboard has a special treat after every dive whether it's hot cocoa, or a fresh pastry or some local snack. I always look forward to those treats.

Any advice you’d like to offer divers new and old?
Do it right. Whether you're putting you dive equipment together for the thousandth time or just closing up your underwater camera, don't take shortcuts.