Dive Kauai with Kauai Down Under

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.

The owner, Josh, was super accommodating. With 22 years experience here on kauai, this is the group to take you diving!  – Jeff F.

Kevin - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

Kevin Abernathy
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 10 going on 2 and full of energy.

Great experience!!! Kevin is incredibly knowledgeable and put me at ease right away when booking my dive at Koloa Landing.  Thanks for making this a true highlight of my Kauai Vacation!  – Kenneth B.

We had a wonderful morning dive with Marc as our guide.  Marc was organized and helpful in getting us ready for the dive.  He made a point of showing us interesting fish and creatures we may have missed if we were on our own.  I would dive with Kauai Down Under Again!  – Jana K.

Marc Wetrich
Scuba Manager / 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 was our instructor.  She was very patient and supportive with my daughter who was a little nervous about breathing underwater.  Amazing Experience! Saw tons of fish and eels.  Katie was great at pointing out some of the more camouflaged sea life.  Makes me want to get certified.  Highly recommend and will go again!  – David M.

Katie - Kauai Down Under Scuba Staff

Katie Jones
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.

Bobby Post
MSDT

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!

Awesome experience! I never dived before and this was my first time.  Bobby was awesome dive master and made it a great experience for me!  I will be getting certified soon!  Jeni W.

Will Kelley
Scuba Maintenance Manager / MSDT

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.

None of us had diving experience and level of interest varied from “very determined” to “just along for the ride”.  Our instructor Will was great; friendly, informative, and confident.  After a short didactic session we were in the water and all passed skills testing.  Hawaiian hospitality at its finest!  – Mark P.

Called to book my reservation to dive with this company. A lady named “Dakota” answered the phone and gave me all the information I needed to make the right decision on what type of dive experience I wanted to have while visiting the island of Kauai. Very professional and knowledgeable, she set my mind at ease immediately, explaining the differences and experiences each dive has to offer.

Booking online with this company is a breeze and the service that was given to me over the phone was exceptional. The “Aloha Spirit” is absolutely a part of that special touch I experienced by choosing to go with Kauai Down Under Dive Team while visiting Kauai. Thank you for being a part of my awesome vacation to the island of Kauai. Aloha and Mahalo Nui Loa. – Randy M.

Dakota Novotny
Reservations Manager / OW Diver 

Aloha! My name is Dakota. I grew up with my Mom, Dad, and three incredible brothers in Clive, Iowa. I went to college in Madison, South Dakota, where I played softball, as a pitcher, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary and special education. After college, I moved back to Iowa and spent the next 5 years working as an elementary special education teacher in the Des Moines area, while also working towards a Masters Degree in Special Education. At the end of that 5 years, my boyfriend and I decided it was time to stir things up! In September 2016, we moved to Kauai! While I miss all the family and friends we have in Iowa, I absolutely love the island lifestyle and all the new friends I’ve met along the way!

Some of my favorite things to do include creating (home) projects (the latest project was a couple planter boxes made from pallet wood), studying interior design, reading, playing games (yard games, board games, you name it!), hiking, traveling, hanging out at the beach and enjoying an ice-cold beverage at sunset while watching the waves (or whales during whale season)!

I look forward to chatting with you and helping you plan some epic adventures that will forever be remembered!

They were top notch and my instructor, Aaron was very knowledgeable, very patient and taught me a lot about how to do it safely and with confidence.  Aaron was very good at teaching me and helping me understand how the equipment operated.  He taught me in a way that made it easy to remember and feel confident in the fact I could dive safely!  – Angela W.

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 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!

I love this dive company.  Everyone I dealt with was professional and caring.  Our dive master John was the best! He explained everything in detail, especially the different types of fish we would see.  I highly recommend John and Kauai Down Under.  Happy Diving!  – Hilary S.

Jill Pellegrini
MSDT

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.

Jill is an excellent instructor.  She is kind, thorough, knowledgeable and friendly.  Great success for my teenage daughters first dive.  Highly recommend!  – John P.

Brandee just began with our team, check back soon for some amazing reviews about the customer service you can come to expect from Brandee!

Brandee  Victorino
Reservations Specialist

Brandee was born and raised here on the island of Kaua’i. Her passion has always been playing sports, mostly volleyball and basketball. She started playing both sports at the age of 11. After high school she was offered a scholarship at Tacoma Community College in Washington where she finished her Associates Degree in Arts and Science, followed by a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from The Evergreen State College. After being away from home for 6 years, she said it was time to come home. She enjoys spending time with her Daughter, Amara-Rose, going to the beach, hiking, and cooking.

Brandee is new to diving and enjoys it very much.  “The view from the bottom is breath taking” she says. She is excited to see Kaua’i from a different perspective and cannot wait to become certified and do more diving!

We joined Kauai Dive on a day we knew didn’t have the greatest conditions but the choice of sites Brennecke’s and Sheraton Caverns were stunning … the team was thourough, timely, organized and the rental gear was perfect. Five Stars for Capitan Tom, who was hilarious and very helpful in getting our gear into the boat!  We definitely will dive with them again! – Karin L. & Rob M.

Tom French
Captain

Born and raised in “the land of sky blue waters”. 25 yr Kauai resident with 25 yrs of experience on watets surrounding us. Holder of 4th issue masters license.

Gabe Silver
OWSI

Gabe was born and raised in the New York City area. He went on his first dive at the age of 11 and fell in love with the underwater world.  After graduating from Hall’s Diving Center, in the Florida Keys, he started working as an scuba instructor in Sarasota, Florida.  He then moved to St. Thomas where he survived Hurricane Irma and was evacuated. He then relocated to Bonaire the shore diving capital of world.   Gabe also enjoys hiking, spearfishing, camping, and traveling.    

Gabe is also a certified free diver and is working toward being able to teach freediving.  He recently relocated to Kauai and has already fallen in love with the island as a whole.  

Gabe just began with our team, check back soon for some amazing reviews about the customer service and awesome diving you can come to expect from Gabe!