Michelle Courington
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Jill and Brian on safari


Tell us your origin story!
I got certified to dive for my honeymoon to Belize in 1991. Back then even traveling to Belize seemed adventurous and adding scuba diving just took it over the top. My first ocean dives were really exciting. I saw nurse sharks, green moray eels, and even did a night dive.

What caused you to make the leap from amateur to dive professional?
After I was in the Florida Keys in 1992 cheering my dad on as he got certified, I started thinking of how I could make a career change. Then I saw an ad in a dive magazine that said, “Trade your Business Suit for a Bathing Suit”. Well, that was the sign I needed. I went to my local dive shop in upstate NY and completed my training from Advanced Open Water up to Instructor. Then in 1993 I scored a job at the Cayman Diving Lodge out on the East End of Grand Cayman. The rest is history.   

Favorite class to teach?
Advanced Open Water – In the Open Water course, you learn the basics of how to breathe underwater and how to use the gear properly. But in Advanced, you make that leap from being a competent diver to a confident diver. It’s fun to see divers dial in their buoyancy, learn the names of the fish they are seeing or navigate their way back to the boat.

Favorite dive destination?
That’s easy – the Galapagos Islands! Everything you’ve ever wanted to see underwater; you can quite possibly see on one trip to Galapagos: schools of hammerheads, 50 ft whale sharks, dolphins, sea lions, mola molas, eagle rays, manta rays, marine iguanas & penguins! I even named my dog Darwin after my favorite dive site in the Galapagos Islands - Darwin’s Arch (now called the Pillars of Evolution).

What is your most beloved critter to spot under the waves?

Nothing beats being the water with dolphins.  They are just so beautiful, smart and playful.  (Kind of like the golden retrievers of the sea.).

What is your “must have” piece of dive equipment?
My EON Core. It is the most intuitive dive computer I’ve ever used, and the color display makes it super easy to read underwater.

Favorite non-diving activity?
Hiking, skiing, disc golfing (still a beginner, for sure) & spending time with my (big) family.

Favorite post-dive treat or beverage?
I sure love a good Banana Mudslide after a day of diving.

Any advice you’d like to offer divers new and old?
GO DIVING! Take advantage of your training and plan a dive trip. There are SO many amazing places to visit on this planet, and the ocean is calling your name.