Jim started diving back in 1989 in college. “I always wanted to be a scuba diver from a young age, but never thought I would get the chance.” While in college, he was offered a free discover scuba and signed up that night for the open water course offered. Moving quickly along, he received his Advanced & Rescue training and then moved on to become a PADI Divemaster in 1992. From there he did various specialties and finally took the plunge to earn his PADI instructor rating. Today, Jim is a PADI MSDT instructor.
Jim has worked in the dive industry in 1991, starting off filling tanks at a dive shop across the street from Willow Springs. He then moved on to another store were he quickly became the manager and learned the ropes of the trade, taking care of many different aspects of the business. Today, Jim is the owner and director of Atlantis Aquatics Inc., a position he is most proud of. Jim has over 25 years of experience in helping people experience the underwater world. From helping divers pick out just the right equipment for them to taking them through certification, teaching them how to scuba and experience the underwater world for the first time. “One of my greatest joys, is seeing someone’s face the first time they experience open water, the big smiles. I remember that first time for me and I get to re-live it each time through my students.”
Jim loves to travel to go diving; he has experienced some amazing dives and divers around the globe. One of the most memorable was diving on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. He was diving there with a close friend living in Australia at the time. A dream is to head to the Maldives and get to experience more of the South Pacific area as well.
“I remember watching Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea when I was a kid on TV and picking up Skin Diver magazine from time to time when at the beach with grandparents. From those early days to today, diving has influenced my life in ways I can’t even begin to image. Not sure where I would be today if it was not for diving, but I can tell you, it sure wouldn’t be this much fun…”
John has been with Atlantis since 2015. He was actually planning to start in 2013, but two shoulder surgeries in one year had him sidelined a bit longer than he would have liked. But there is no holding him back now!
John is currently a Staff Instructor on our crew with the rating of Master Scuba Diver Trainer. He teaches Discover Scuba through Divemaster courses, and also, Dry Suit, Underwater Photography, Peak Performance Buoyancy and Night Diver. He likes working with beginning divers the best, and is often called upon to assist students that may need more time to master the basics needed to build their scuba foundation of breath control and achieving neutral buoyancy. He believes that all diving begins with these two elements and everything a student learns from there will be better once mastering these skills.
John was first introduced to scuba diving when he headed the Underwater Photography Department at Olympus Camera Company. After earning his Open Water certification at Dutch Springs, 24 hours later he was on a plane to Okinawa Japan to train in ocean diving and underwater photography from an Olympus Visionary who designed the automatic UW scene mode settings found in most digital cameras used today. The role at Olympus took him around the globe diving and teaching photography in Japan, Cayman Islands, Vancouver British Columbia, Costa Rica, Bonaire, California, Florida and his most unique assignment of teaching UW photography in a man-made lake in the desert of Arizona.
After leaving Olympus, John continued in the scuba diving lifestyle and began his professional training to be a PADI instructor.
John also leads the Emergency First Response instruction at Atlantis. He is one of the only PADI EFR Instructor Trainers in the Northeast. He trains both divers and non-divers alike in various forms of CPR and First Aid administration. In addition he can train someone to become an EFR instructor themselves.
John’s favorite diving is in Bonaire. He said it seems the entire country is designed around diving. "Just find a yellow painted rock on the side of the road, pull over, put on your gear and walk into the ocean. Even if it’s someone’s backyard! Just Amazing!"
John plans to one day take a trip to the South Pacific to explore new dive sites and meet new dive buddies.
When asked his favorite part about teaching, he states, “When I witness a new diver finally achieve neutral buoyancy control and the smile on their face when they surface."
When not underwater somewhere, you can find Johnny at our store drinking coffee…and filling tanks.
Dan has been with Atlantis since 2012. He holds the Professional rating of IDC Staff Instructor as well as EFR and DAN Instructor. Dan first was exposed to diving while on a snorkeling vacation in the Bahamas.
Dan is certified to teach a wide variety of Specialties including all of the most popular ones, but also Delayed Surface Marker Buoy, Drift, Fish Identification and UW Naturalist. Dan’s background also makes him a great choice for taking DAN classes as he is well versed in medical Specialties including, CPR: Health Care Provider, Diving Emergency Management Provider, Diving First Aid for Professional Divers, Emergency Oxygen for Scuba Diving Injuries, First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries and Neurological Assessment.
Dan’s favorite dive vacation spots are Coco View in Roatan, Jardines Aggressor in Cuba, Beqa Lagoon Resort in Fiji and Lembeh Resort in North Sulawesi. On Dan’s bucket list is a dive trip to Wakatobi in Indonesia.
Bob has been with Atlantis since our beginning! But before scuba diving, photography was, and still is, his first passion. Bob started his professional photography business in 1972 as a photojournalist and later specialized in corporate and travel photography.
Bob brings all that photography experience to Atlantis and our students during his Underwater Photography classes. But he also brings a senior level of scuba diving instruction experience to Atlantis with his rating as a PADI Master Instructor. PADI Master Instructors are recognized as elite scuba diving educators who, through dedication and hard work, have proven to be dive industry leaders.
Bob is also a DAN (Dive Alert Network) Instructor and is an Olympus Certified Underwater Photography Instructor. He teaches Open Water through Assistant Instructor, some even during dive trips to the Caribbean. His favorite dive location is Bonaire, but he always says he would dive anywhere there is warm clear water!
Come say hello to Bob at the store and make sure to bring your camera. You will always get some great advice on how to take better pictures, no matter your skill level. Bob’s experience in photography, coupled with his PADI instruction knowledge make a perfect combination as a dive buddy. We are proud to have someone with Bob’s experience on the Atlantis crew.
Andrew has been on staff at Atlantis since the spring of 2014, after completing his Dive Master certification in fall of 2013. Andrew was first introduced to scuba while working as a lifeguard at a local pool. Currently he holds the certification as a PADI Assistant Instructor and recognized as a PADI Master Scuba Diver.
As an Assistant instructor Andrew tends to teach the PADI Refresher/ReActivate courses as well as the confined water portion of the Discover Scuba Diving program. In addition, he has also assisted with several other certification courses ranging from Open Water to Dive Master and many specialties courses.
Andrew also works as part of the Dutch Springs Lake Staff, which aides in his in-depth knowledge of the lake. Andrew’s is most excited about his upcoming trip to Bonaire as it will be his first diving experience outside of the lake at Dutch Spring. All through his life, Andrew has loved the water, and diving has extended that love & desire. One of the many reasons Andrew loves diving is that he finds it relaxing, and he often compare the therapeutic value to what others may find with Yoga.
Deb has been with Atlantis since 2012. She holds the Professional rating of PADI Divemaster. Deb was first exposed to diving while snorkeling in the Bahamas. This sparked her interest to take a resort course. She then returned home and took the full open water course, which lead to continued diving and further certifications.
Deb holds certifications in AOW, Rescue, Deep, Drysuit, Enriched Air, Night, Peak Performance Buoyancy and Navigation. She assists as a Divemaster with classes in Open water, AOW and other specialties.
Deb’s favorite dive sites are Mary's Place and Calvin’s Crack in Roatan (while staying at CocoView Resort), Lembeh and Fiji in the South Pacific and the Gardens of the Queen National Park in Cuba.
Deb is happiest while diving - discovering and experiencing the amazing underwater world while being able to help others learn to discover and enjoy it as well.
Her future dive trip of a lifetime is Wakatobi in Indonesia.
Rich joined Atlantis in 2013 and currently is a Divemaster on our crew. He was first introduced to scuba diving while on his honeymoon in Jamaica. Since then, he has continued to earn multiple certifications including: Master Scuba Diver, Dry Suit, Search and Recovery, Night, Wreck, Deep, Navigation and Enriched air. He has also earned some of the more unique certifications like Ice Diving and Full Face Mask. Rich became a PADI Divemaster in late 2015. When not underwater, you can find him at the store working on the compressor/fill station because he also earned the Gas Blender certification!
He can teach Peak Performance, Discover Scuba and Emergency First Response CPR/First aid.
Rich’s favorite dive site is the wreck of the USCGC SPAR. He discovered that ship during the Atlantis trip to Morehead City, North Carolina. Join us next time we travel there and he’ll show you how amazing it is!
Rich’s dream dive trip would be cave diving on the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico. Who’s with him?
He’s most happy diving when he’s deep in the belly of a wreck at the bottom of the ocean. “I love diving because when I am under the water, the unique environment and the gentle awareness of the pressure I experience on my body at depth acts as a great stress reliever.” He also loves helping students experience their first dives in open water.
Trout started with Atlantis in 2014. His exposure to diving started long ago in an interesting way. While most people considered the movie “Jaws” scary, Trout was fascinated instead. It was from there that he became curious about the ocean and its creatures. He regrets not following through with his ocean exploration then as it took many years later to begin his scuba diving life. “While you need not fear sharks, you do need to respect them and their home.”
Trout is currently a Divemaster, and also has extensive knowledge of Public Safety diving, holding various related certifications including ERD Diver Operations, ERD Tender, Ice Diver, Full Face Mask, and TDI Gas Blender.
Trout plans on visiting various dive locations in the near future, and he especially likes the North Carolina Dive trips with Atlantis. He states the scenery is great, the dives are challenging and the Atlantis crew that joins him are great company!
Trout says " The three reasons I dive are for: the relaxed social atmosphere divers present, the wonderful scenery every body of water holds, and the feeling of life's pressures being eliminated as I submerge."
Trout’s dream dive includes a movie reference again! He would like to one day "dive with great white sharks without a cage” We are not sure we can recommend that to our students, but we could recommend Trout’s other goal to dive with a whale shark in the open ocean.
Curt started with Atlantis as a student in 2013. Because he hung around the service center so much, (and he’s really good at fixing stuff), Curt became a member of our Technician crew in 2015. (Our beloved Rich Rupp recommended him for the position.) Curt brings a wealth of repair, service and equipment knowledge with him and is always ready to help students with their gear. He not only services the gear, but also will take the time to explain what he does, and why it is so important for your safety.
Curt was first exposed to scuba diving from TV when he was a young snorkeler. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that Curt finally realized his dream to scuba dive. And now, Curt will show you his, "1-1/2 inch stack of PADI certification cards"!
These certs are varied to include some like: Gas Blending, Solo, and Wreck Diving, to name a few. Curt is also interested in PADI TECREC courses and is currently training to be a PADI Divemaster.
Curt's favorite dive site is the Wreck of the Stolt Dagali that sunk on Thanksgiving Day in 1964 off the coast of New Jersey. Ask Curt about the story behind the wreck, it is fascinating.
One day Curt wants to visit the wreck of the HMHS Britannic in the Mediterranean Sea. In the meantime Curt says “ I’m happiest when I’m underwater just about anywhere!”
Stop by Atlantis and look for Curt. He probably will be in the repair center working on gear or telling some great stories about his scuba adventures or his dive plans for the future. But be careful; before you know it he will convince you to come along…and how fun would that be.