Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

 

Josh - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

Josh Helmin
Owner, MSDT

Josh has been a dive shop owner and operator on Kauai since 2003. His passion for diving and his dedication to his business have made Kauai Down Under a premier scuba company on the island. Josh earned his bachelors’ degree in Architecture, but his education in diving is what drove him. Realizing that the cold Midwest was not the place he wanted to dive, Josh relocated to Kauai for the warm water and tropical climate. He has successfully built his business through his many years of devotion to safe diving practices and to his customers’ complete satisfaction. Josh is originally from Minnesota.

Kevin - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

Kevin
General Manager, MSDT

Kevin joined our dive team after 15 years in the Wedding and Events Industry in his home state of Colorado. Realizing he had accomplished all he was meant to in that industry, and being just a little stressed he opted to completely change careers and become a Scuba Instructor. Kevin brings with him a plethora of experience from his world travels to more than 40 countries, over understanding of how to have fun on a daily basis, positive and outgoing personality and most importantly his pride and joy Buddy, the golden retriever who is 8 going on 2 and full of energy.

Marc - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

Marc
OWSI

Marc learned how to dive in Cozumel in 2001 when he was 16 years old. He grew up in Iowa, graduated from the University of Iowa (go Hawks!), and then moved to Austin, Texas where he became a PADI Divemaster. With a desire to travel and learn more about the underwater world, Marc decided to go to Roatan, Honduras to become a PADI Open Water SCUBA Instructor. Now over 1,100 dives in, he has taught diving in several countries around the world including Honduras, Malaysia, Australia, and the United States. When not sharing his passion of diving with others he likes to spend time exploring trails, beaches, and waterfalls with his girlfriend, Dakota.

 

Katie - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

Katie
OWSI

Katie bakes the best chocolate chip cookies and loves to eat them all, too.  While she may not share any cookies, she loves to share the history of Kauai’s underwater volcanic landscapes and one-of-a-kind endemic species.  “My desk jobs in Missouri of emergency dispatching and organ & tissue donation kept me sitting all day and I was ready to get active and explore.”  So far, she’s climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and dove to the bottom of Moon Hole in Honduras, Utila. “What I love about diving is that it isn’t easy for everyone.  A new adventure takes courage because it requires you to challenge yourself, to do something you’ve never done.  And when you find that you’ve succeeded in dropping into the ocean, breathing comfortably, hearing the peaceful crackles of the rocks and low bellows of the whales, swaying in the same current as the schools of Snapper – you realize you made it into a whole new world!  And it is so worth it!!”  Katie is an Open Water Instructor certified to teach Digital Underwater Photography, Deep, Wreck, Nitrox and Sidemount.

Jeremy - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

Jeremy
OWSI

Jeremy comes to us from the Midwest….yeah he knows there’s nowhere to dive there and that’s how we got him. He has a special dive buddy named Smokey who floats around putting out underwater fires, be sure to give him a high-five when you see him. “I had a thumping DJ business and then I worked as a firefighter paramedic in the St. Louis Area and decided I wanted a little more sun-n-surf-n-turf in my life. I love diving because the ocean is like a treasure chest, and SCUBA is the key.” Jeremy is an open water instructor certified to teach Full-Face Mask, Deep, Wreck, Nitrox, and Gas-Blender. “Am I married to the one who won’t share the cookies?…yes…and no…she doesn’t even share with me.”

Bo - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

Bo
OWSI

Bo was born in Denver and has lived all over the USA. He started diving in 2010 when he was backpacking in South East Asia and liked it so much he decided to become and instructor. Before becoming an instructor, he worked in the hospitality industry for 10 years. He has now dived on 4 continents and has been around the globe multiple times. He recently passed his captains course and has a desire to keep moving forward in the dive industry.

Bobby - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

Bobby
OWSI

After growing up in Wisconsin Bobby spent a bit of time in Colorado strapped to a cubicle during the week and skiing the Rockies on the weekends. He then moved to Korea for 5 years where he taught English primarily to Elementary School Students. After taking his Open Water Course while on vacation in Bali, Indonesia he fell in love with the underwater world. He quickly wrapped up his final contract in Korea and started his Rescue, Divemaster and Instructor courses in Koh Tao, Thailand. Throughout his time in Korea and Thailand he was dating a lovely Irish woman who is now his wife. Bobby loves teaching PADI courses, ocean conservation and just about anything if you can stand listening to him!

Will - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

Will Kelley
OWSI

Will first tried diving when he was 14. After living in the mountains of Colorado until he was 23, he decided to get back in the water and moved to Mexico where he became a Divemaster. After earning his Instructor certification, Will taught courses in the lakes and hot springs around the Rocky Mountains, as well as in Utah and New Mexico. He is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying backpacking, camping, rafting and pretty much any activity that gets you into nature. He spent the last year traveling the world to 18 different countries, diving in both Thailand and Indonesia. Upon returning to the States, he completed his MSDT. His specialties include deep, navigation, night, wreck and boat diving. He enjoys free diving as well. He relocated to Kauai to pursue a career in scuba diving and explore the beautiful island on the side.

Aaron - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

Aaron Jewell
OWSI

Aaron became interested in diving after he worked with the BBC, in Antarctica, filming the television show ‘Frozen Planet.’ He was chosen to work as a dive tender and worked very closely with the director and underwater videographers in a small dive hut on the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf. He also got to spend time with Sir David Attenborough! Since then he has been diving around the world, with most of his training in Seychelles, working alongside the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, conducting coral reef research. He has also worked in Dominican Republic, and Mexico. Aaron is originally from Illinois, but has also lived in Colorado, Washington, Wisconsin, Alaska, and other countries abroad.

John - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

John Sawyer
Course Director

Growing up in Southern California he was intrigued by our neighbor who was a diver. Every time he came home after diving John would head over to his house to see what he had harvested and listen to his tales of the world beneath the surface of the water. John has always been drawn to the water as long as he can remember. It was years later before taking his first breath under water and it was love at first bubble. John knew by the time he finished his open water certification dives that he had to become an Instructor as soon as possible…that was in 1989 and still diving! He opened his own dive center 3 and ½ years later in the Nevada Desert. Much to the surprise of his family it was a huge success. Along the way he has done commercial diving and worked as a lead Safety Diver for public and private entities as well as obtaining his PADI Course Director Certification. Being a Dive Instructor and helping others to become divers and better divers is John’s passion and most likely will continue to be when he grows up too!

Jill - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

Jill
OWSI

Jill fell in love with diving over 20 years ago during an introductory course in Puerto Rico. Since then she has gone diving in Belize, Jamaica, Bahamas, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Oman, and…Minnesota. “Yeah, it’s cold. I lived there for seventeen years and one winter I was just itching to get back in the water so I took the PADI Ice Diving Specialty course in a frozen lake in February. It was quite a challenge but really fun!”
After spending seventeen years working in healthcare, Jill decided it was time to take her scuba passion to the professional level and she moved to Bali for her divemaster and instructor training. “My love for diving really bloomed from there. I love taking people out on their first dive! To me, diving is like flying on another planet, it’s just magical. I love sharing that with people.”
Jill also teaches various specialities including Enriched Air, Night, Deep, Drift, Wreck, Fish ID, Project AWARE, coral reef, and shark conservation. She is also a certified Disabled Diver International instructor.