Meet The People That Make It Happen Above And Below The Water
Nick Buckley – Master Instructor & Co-Owner
Originating from the UK, Nick has been in Grand Cayman for around 24 years. His travels and work experience with some of the top underwater free divers, photographers and film makers have allowed him to dive at the kind of places that would feature on most divers’ dive bucket list. With over 18,000 dives to his credit, he has instructed divers from all walks of life. He created Deep Blue Divers 16 years ago as an intimate, exclusive operation for guests seeking the ultimate underwater experience, and took over Lobster Pot Dive Center in 2007. If you ask Nick what’s his favourite dive site, he’ll tell you he doesn’t care, so long as it’s wet!
Giles Charlton-Jones – Open Water Scuba Instructor & Co-Owner
Born in Oxford, England, Giles grew up in England but his mother’s side of the family was Caymanian and he always harboured the desire to spend more time in Cayman. Having travelled the world extensively before and after completing a degree in Business Studies he settled in London to work for Trailfinders, the premiere independant travel operator in the UK. Excellent vacation benefits meant that Giles could pursue his new found love of scuba diving and he worked his way up to his Instructor qualification whilst visiting various far-flung dive destinations. With this objective reached, Giles packed his bags, sold his possessions and made the move to Grand Cayman! Giles has been instructing and guiding dives in Cayman since 1995, giving him a wide range of experience with both large boats and large groups and small boats and small groups.
Danny Kupkowski – Open Water Scuba Instructor & Co-Owner
Danny owns and operates Sea Elements, is co-owner of Lobster Pot Dive Center and previously ran his own dive boat operation. From Georgia, USA, he worked in the Cayman water sports industry for over 13 years. The mangrove tours are his passion and he is well known in Cayman for his knowledge of the marine environment and his passion for ocean conservation.
Dawn Clerkson – IDC Staff Instructor
From Kent in southeast England, Dawn was Open Water certified in the Red Sea, Egypt, then left the corporate lifestyle behind for a trip to Australia in 2001 where she worked her way up to Instructor level. After working at several dive centers and live-aboards on the Great Barrier Reef in northern Queensland she moved to Thailand where she spent the next year instructing out of Koh Samui. She then spent ten years teaching in the British Virgin Islands, Mexico and Malta before joining The Lobster Pot in February 2013. Her most memorable dive experiences are the wreck of the SS Yongala in Australia, the wreck of the President Coolidge in Vanuatu, diving with manatees in Mexico and whale shark encounters in Thailand. Her favourite Cayman dive sites are Turtle Reef and Eagle Ray Rock. Whenever she’s in the water she usually has her camera in her hand and then spends all her free time editing her photo’s!
Gabi Ruben – IDC Staff Instructor
From Birmingham in the UK, Gabi learned to dive in Australia and continued to dive at every available opportunity during her travels throughout south-east Asia and The Middle East. Following a break from travel and diving, her passion was re-ignited when she volunteered at a marine conservation base in The Seychelles. Assisting student divers there, she realized she wanted to take the next step up and become a dive professional. She became qualified on the island of Utila in Honduras where she taught before joining us here at The Pot. When she’s not busy in the water she’s usually rushing around the dive center finding other things to keep herself occupied. She is also a yoga instructor but we can’t imagine her being able to keep still long enough to hold a yoga pose!
Steve Wright – Open Water Scuba Instructor
Steve was born and raised on a garden center in Essex, England. After education, he managed a traditional English pub in a small town called Billericay until he decided in 2008 to set out and see a bit more of the world. One of his first stops was Thailand where a friend convinced him to try this thing he had heard of called “SCUBA Diving”. Needless to say that he enjoyed it and, when his friend went home, he continued to dive around the islands of the South China Sea until he found himself in Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. It was here that Steve studied for his Open Water Scuba Instructor license and started to show new divers why he fell in love with diving in the first place. He’s a self-confessed chatterbox from years in the pub trade; if you can’t see him underwater then you need only follow your ears as he is most likely engrossed in a conversation with a random fish on practically any topic under the sun!
Amanda Lawrence – Open Water Scuba Instructor
Amanda grew up in Clearwater, Florida. She fell in love with the ocean at an early age and became Open Water certified as soon as she was old enough. After studying marine biology in college she worked for the National Park Service in Miami, Florida, trying to remember all the Latin names of reef fish and removing invasive lionfish from the Park. When her contract ended, Amanda took a six-week trip to Australia where she got a job on a dive boat, motivating her to continue her dive training and become certified as an Open Water Scuba Instructor. Her quick trip turned into two years of traveling and working as an instructor. Amanda worked around Australia, Thailand and Mexico before landing here on Grand Cayman. She is an affirmed fish nerd and is waiting for the day her gills finally develop. You’ll find her juggling a variety of different jobs around the dive center, both in and out of the water.
Ryan Campsie – Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Ryan was born and bred in Edinburgh, Scotland but chose the warm waters surrounding the Dominican Republic in which to learn to dive while vacationing with his family. He continued to dive whenever he was on vacation, but after completing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics he decided he would like to see the world, saw an advert to train as a PADI professional and devised a formula whereby he could combine the two. Once he had worked his way up to Divemaster he spent a season working on the island of Tenerife before becoming certified as an Instructor in 2014. So far he has ticked off Europe, North and Central America from his world list and now he’s here on Grand Cayman where he’s keen to gain as much experience as possible teaching diving. So be sure to ask for Ryan when you book your dive course!