Dave Knight, Instructor Certifier
As a youth growing up in the Mid West, Dave loved the typical cornhusker sports like football and wrestling. A gifted athlete eager for a new adventure, Dave enrolled in Scuba training as an energetic 18 year-old. Who would have thought that a kid that had never been in the ocean would someday grow-up to become a SSI Platinum Pro Scuba Instructor with more than 5,800 dives, as well as, almost 5,000 open water and 75 instructor training graduates to his credit.
In 1998 Dave was awarded the SSI Platinum Pro 5000 diver award “The SSI Platinum Pro5000 Diver card is the calling card of the world’s most elite water explorers. The list of cardholders is a “who’s who” of diving, containing the world’s most prominent dive leaders, scientists, photographers, manufacturers, retailers, and resort operators”.
See other Platinum Pros’ @ http://www.divessi.com/platinumpro.
Now, nearly 36 years later, Dave continues to teach open water, specialty, dive control specialist and instructor training courses. He also holds the prestigious position of SSI Instructor Certifier, an appointment made by SSI to an elite group of diver education professionals.
When asked his thoughts on why he has committed so much of his life to the promotion of diving, Dave responded that “diving is my passion and has provided me with the opportunity to enjoy fantastic adventures over the years. One of the greatest rewards in my life has been to introduce the wonders of the underwater world to others while making life-long friendships though-out the world in the process.”
Laura Brugger, Advanced Open Water Instructor
Whether it’s Scuba diving, cooking, photography, or just enjoying time with family and friends, Laura is known for her heart and commitment. The first to arrive and the last to leave each Saturday, most of us would balk at that schedule as too much work. But for Laura, Saturdays are a day to look forward to. After all, it’s a day filled with teaching others, enjoying time with friends, and of course diving.
Under the watchful eye of her parents Merle and Karen, Laura learned to swim as young child in Madison, Wisconsin. From then on, life in the Manion household centered around the water with summers spent at the family cabin in northern Wisconsin. As an adult, Laura pursued her passion for hobbies such as swimming, marathoning, cooking, gardening, and photography – excelling at each. In January 1998, Scuba was added to the top of the list when Laura received her Open Water Diver certification. And since then, with her husband Ron who is a Sea Stallion Dive Control Specialist and Chief Engineer, she has been diving almost every weekend since and has amassed more than 200 dives.
Laura received her Open Water Instructor rating in October 2000 and has since taught more than 20 students. Whether in the classroom, at the pool, or in the ocean, Laura is known for her reassuring nature, enthusiasm, and ability to build confidence in her students. Former student Sue Douglass had this to say about Laura. “Laura is an outstanding instructor – knowledgeable and patient in her instruction. She was very good at calming any fears I may have had. I felt very comfortable with her and continue to be so as diving is an ongoing learning experience for me.”
An avid scholar, Laura shares her life experiences through the many stories and literary quotes she provides for the Sea Stallion newsletter. When asked her own thoughts on teaching, she responded “I particularly enjoy teaching because I have always believed that we should constantly stretch ourselves and advance our minds by learning new things; sometimes that comes from being the student and sometimes that comes from being the teacher. Sharing what we know to those who are interested in learning is highly rewarding. I believe that learning to dive is considered to be a "life goal" by many people and I get off on the idea that I'm making a difference in someone's life by being part of that goal.”
In addition to Open Water Diving, Laura teaches Enriched Air/Nitrox, Dry Suit and Photography specialty courses. Laura is known for talent as an underwater photographer with many of her works displayed on the Sea Stallion walls. She also coordinates the Sea Stallion local and international dive trips, as well as, store events.
Ron Brugger, Master Open Water Instructor
Ron was initially certified in 1985 with NAUI right after moving from Wisconsin to Riverside, CA. He actively dove in Southern CA for several years, and also in Hawaii and Okinawa while in the Marine Corps. In 1995, Ron’s wife Laura started diving and they both become an integral part of the group at Sea Stallion. Since then, he has worked thru Dive Control Specialist, Open Water Instructor and Advanced Open Water Instructor to reach the Master Instructor rating. He also teaches Diver Stress & Rescue, Underwater Navigation, Deep Diving, Night/Limited Visibility Diving, Enriched Air Nitrox, Dry-Suit Diving, Underwater Photography, Boat Diving, & Waves, Tides & Currents specialty courses. He has taught and certified over 1,500 students to become open water divers.
He has gone on diving trips to Baja Mexico, Belize, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Bahamas, Curaçao, Bonaire, Grenada, Indonesia, Fiji, Palau, and the Philippines. He is an avid underwater photographer, with pictures on the walls of Sea Stallion, on this website and also here.
Gene Goble, Open Water Instructor
Gene began diving in 1964 in the Miami & Key West area. It wasn’t until 40 years later after raising 3 kids he and his wife were vacationing in Maui he came across try scuba operation at the pool. He did two dives that day and that’s all it took to get him back into the sport.
Upon returning 2 days later he was in class at Sea Stallion working on his OWD certification. In his first year he put in over 100 dives. From the Channel Islands down to Coronado Island and everything in between. In his second year he pursued Instructor certifications. Since working at Sea Stallion Gene has worked with over 1,000 students in their quest to become open water divers
Gene has been diving the world and has a lot of insight he passes on to his students. Diving is more than just a sport; it’s a way of life. I can say I have seen what few people will ever see and what many more cannot even imagine.
Craig Briggs, Dive Master
Craig Briggs was certified at the age of 16 in 1982 has been diving for over 32 years with well over 500 dives. His diving experience includes fresh water lake diving, swift current river diving, fresh water cavern diving and ocean diving. He has dived in many places around the world from the Mariana Islands to Cozumel. Craig has completed the Navigation, Limited Visibility, Deep, Wreck, Stress & Rescue, Nitrox, Dry Suit, React Right, Dive Guide and Science of Diving specialties.
Steve Halterman, Dive Control Specialist Instructor
Steve started his diving adventures in 1995 and has been a scuba diving junky ever since. He spent much of last seventeen years diving California waters. In 1996, Steve became a Master Diver and worked closely with a facility in San Diego County; he then spent the next four years helping to train open water students. He became a full Instructor with SSI in 2000 and then obtained his Dive Control Specialist Instructor rating in 2005. In 2010 he made a big move to Bellingham, Washington, but kept up his teaching there in the much colder waters of the Puget Sound . He found he loves the cold water and the abundant life that comes with it, especially in the Sound. On many of his dive excursions. Steve saw lingcod over five feet long and giant pacific octopus; on one special occasion he saw a pod of orcas. All these great experiences gave a whole new meaning to diving for Steve in the emerald sea.
Steve joined the crew at Sea Stallion in June of 2012. During his tenure as a dive instructor/DCSI he has certified approximately 375 dive enthusiasts. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. He instructs students in open water, kelp diving, nitrox, deep and wreck, dry suit, and several other specialties.
Steve has traveled to Belize, Roaton, Bonaire and Mexico. Some trips were pleasure, others as the group dive leader. He hopes to continue traveling and exploring other dive destinations. Steve retired from his full time career in December 2009. He holds a degree in fisheries and wildlife from Iowa State University.