With a career in diving spanning twenty years, James has seen a thing or two in the dive industry. James grew up on the Southwest coast of Britain and learned to dive in the frigid waters of the English Channel. If your first dives were like being placed in a cocktail shaker full of cabbage soup and you come away with a love for the sport, then you know it’s going to be a life-long pursuit.
James spent his twenties in the British merchant marine which afforded him the opportunity to travel to and dive in far flung locales…177 countries and counting. Between stints onboard a variety of vessels, James used his shore leaves to level up his scuba training…Rescue diver in Tanzania, DM in Indonesia, Instructor in Honduras, Tec Instructor in the French West Indies.
His last ship before moving to a shore-based lifestyle was an expedition ship where he notched up some of his most impressive dives, including briefly holding the world record to the most northerly scuba dive…82 degrees north in the Russian arctic; diving the Amazon river; the Antarctic, and virgin reef systems in Papua New Guinea and Melanesia.
Moving ashore in his early thirties, James took on the role of General Manager for a luxury dive operator in St. Martin and never had a dull moment! Hollywood visited the island and called upon James’ underwater skills for on-set safety. When Cat-3 hurricane Gonzalo devastated the area, James quickly switched hats to salvage and public safety diver to help with the recovery.
Scuba Diving has given so much to James in his life…and first on that list is his brilliant wife Karina whom he met whilst teaching her AOW class! Yes, that old cliche! James and Karina are also business partners and co-owners of two power-house scuba brands. Miami Technical Diving has become the premiere scuba training facility in South Florida. Tired of seeing dive shops compete in a ‘race to the bottom,’ James decided his model for teaching scuba would focus on keeping the quality as high as possible; using the best gear possible; teaching beyond the minimum standards on a 1-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. The fullness of the TD training calendar shows that people – student divers – will pay more for quality tuition.
James is the personality and knowledge broker behind ‘Divers Ready!’ a super influential Diving YouTube channel, website and brand. In just a year, Divers Ready! has become the fastest growing YouTube channel in the Scuba Diving niche, with over 20,000 subscribers. Their weekly videos range from Mouthpiece Mondays – where James shares his insider knowledge and opinions about controversial topics in the dive industry – to practical ‘hints & tutorial’ style videos, all with one simple goal in mind – to make you a better diver!
James and Karina started small group luxury dive trips for the Divers Ready! audience. The 2021 line up includes Truk Lagoon, Palau, the Sardine Run in South Africa, Roatan and Curacao.
James and Karina live in Miami, FL with their rambunctious Husky; Ziggy and their two Maine Coon cats; Thumper and Foxy who remain unimpressed.