I started diving in 1991 as a PADI open water diver and would dive a couple of times a year in the Puget Sound and while on tropical vacations.
In 2009 my daughter started diving class. At the time she was too young to drive so I had to attend the class also. Watching the excitement of the students learning to dive reinvigorated me to start diving more. I signed up for advanced open water diver and continued up through assistant instructor.
While assisting with a basic open water scuba class I met some GUE divers. They invited me to come to a “Tweak”. That is all it took. One dive and I realized that even as an assistant instructor with PADI, I had no idea what I was doing. I was out of trim, had little control of my buoyancy, and no idea how not to silt out the dive site.
Soon after that first dive, I took GUE Fundamentals (Fundies) and have continued by learning through GUE Tech 2.
At about the same time as I took Fundies, the Seattle GUE community was expanding and GUE Seattle was formalized. So, I had the privilege of being one of the founding members.
I continue to do what I can to assist and support the GUE community both locally and globally.
Deana started diving 2004 in Lake Havasu Az.. While looking for things to do, she found a technical dive shop. Following her OW class, she went on a live aboard out of California and was hooked. Deana wanted to explore structures underwater, be in caves and set a goal to see what was 200ft underwater.
In April 2016, Deana completed the PADI divemaster program but was still looking for something more as she knew her diving skills were not where she wanted them to be. Her desire was to be diving in a backplate and wing with effortless trim and buoyancy. Then, she met Andrea from GUE (2016), tried backplates in a pool and the world opened to a new way of diving. This led to a cascade of education with many hours of practicing to complete Fundamentals and then Tech 1 in September 2019. Along the way, she met, practiced, and dove with a wonderful group of people that she calls her dive family.
Diving is a huge part of Deana’s life, and she loves sharing it with like-minded people! The community of diving is about improving what we do and giving back to the next divers. She is always saying “we “divers” all meet at Redondo or Alki (Cove 2) like it is our own backyard, practicing and prepping for exploration and conservation projects”.
“Let’s go dive, have fun, and become better divers for ourselves, our waters and for future exploration.”
General Board Member
Melanie’s first obsession with diving was in 2006 when she was certified in Oregon. Due to a lack of places to dive, a community to belong to, and insecurities with training left Melanie taking a break from diving.
Melanie has dove in Nassau, Bahamas and The Cayman Islands. She is also highly anticipating a trip to the Red Sea, post covid.
Melanie stumbled on GUE in 2017, and very blindly signed up for Fundies. Needless to say, her confidence and obsession for diving and GUE training are on all-time high.
In her spare time Melanie enjoys swimming and competing, traveling, photography and being with her family.
General Board Member
James fell in love with diving at a young age up in British Columbia, Canada, and truly enjoys diving here in our beautiful Pacific Northwest waters. James has been diving in the Pacific Northwest for almost 30 years and has traveled to amazing places like the Red Sea and the Maldives. James and his “Much Better Half” Deana loves working at growing the local diving community and sharing their passion with all who are interested in the amazing sport.
To increase his skill and experience, James became GUE tech 1 certified in 2019 and started exploring new dive sites well below the 100-foot level. There are some amazing wrecks with real history in Lake Washington, the Puget Sound, and surrounding areas. Being trained to dive to depths of 170 feet has allowed James to see and experience things only a small group of divers get to see.
James first started Diving in 1992 and became a PADI Instructor in 1998 and NAUI Scuba Instructor 2017. In 2020 James completed his GUE Instructor rating and now focuses on teaching GUE courses at the Fundamentals level. James loves to teach GUE Fundamentals because it focuses on those core building blocks giving students the skills to realize their diving ambitions.
General Board Member
Dan grew up in the mountains of North Idaho, reading Jacques Cousteau and dreaming of sea life and fantastic wrecks. He learned how to snorkel in the lakes and rivers of Idaho and vacationed on the coast in the summers. Getting up before dawn to catch the low tide to hunt for interesting critters in the tide pools was a highlight.
It has been a long road, living all over the country while serving the Navy, but little has changed. Dan still reads Cousteau and dreams of sea life and fantastic wrecks, and still enjoys looking for critters in tide pools. He even earned a basic dive certification, and spent some time muck-diving, seeking direction in his passion for diving. Fortunately, he stumbled in to some GUE Seattle folks several years ago. After seeing a GUE diver in the water, he realized that there were concrete, measurable standards of performance, and that approaching technical diving from a risk management and human factors perspective was radically rational. It was love at first dive.
He took Fundamentals the winter of 2018, saying, “I see this as an intro to technical diving, but I am almost positive that is not for me.” By a stroke of the miraculous, he passed Tech 1 in June 2020. His childhood passion of looking at pictures of the alien world just beneath the surface has transformed into a passion for actually going there and helping others to do the same.