technical diver

Elissa and Don are active divers based in Northern California. We have been diving all around the world – from Austin, Texas to Phuket, Thailand to Roatan, Honduras.

We look forward to meeting you and are always up for getting wet.

Dive Resume

  • UTD Recreational Instructor (Don)
  • IANTD Full Cave
  • PADI Assistant Instructor
  • UTD Technical Diver 1
  • DAN DEMP and O2 Provider
  • Red Cross CPR and First Aid

Dive History

Don teaches recreational open water scuba diving classes in the Bay Area through Unified Team Diving (UTD).

For many years, we assisted in PADI scuba diving classes provided by Tom Yang in Northern California.

With our scuba dive training, we have been fortunate to have great instructors. George Peel, owner of Clearwater Divers in Austin, TX, provided us with hands on, intensive training. George pushed us to be better recreational divers, and put in the seeds that regular OW training is not sufficient.

Upon returning to California, we wanted a similarly enthusiastic instructor. After interviewing other instructors in the area we signed on with Tom Yang. We could not be happier with the decision. Tom is dedicated to his students, and provides top-notch instruction. We are constantly amazed at all the things that Tom does for his students and staff, and are proud to dive with him.

Selecting an instructor is very important and Walter on ScubaBoard provides a great set of questions to ask a Open Water instructor. Similarly, Jim Wyatt on The DecoStop offers a list while shopping for a Cave instructor.

As our diving progressed, we furthered our training with Andrew Georgitsis, Joe Talavera, and Delia Milliron from 5thD-X | Breakthru Diving. All of which are highly recommended. The Mini Doubles course offered a change to learn and dive doubles under expert tutelage. The Essentials of Recreational Diving is just that. A class that is recommended to all recreational divers who want to be a better diver. The Stage Mini was a great way to get comfortable with carrying and using a stage as well as the calculations needed for proper gas management. Intro-to-Tech was a solid introduction to technical diving. From dive planning to skills, this course sets the stage for further technical training.

For cavern, we had excellent instruction by Steve Bogaerts at Aztec Diving. Steve was exceptionally thorough and pushed us to our limits. Because of the training we received, when we decided on Intro-to-Cave, we also dove with Steve and Dennis. Here’s my Intro-to-Cave dive report. A year later, we went back and completed Full Cave.

In May 2007, Don participated in the Reef Check training session in Monterey. weekend #1 trip and weekend #2 trip reports are avaible.


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