The driving idea is to grow a community of divers and provide a center for them to meet up, plan their next adventure and be a resource to further the knowledge and safety of that community. Our Dive Shop started as a simple boat charter in 2008. It consisted of Capt Pat, a Divemaster, a boat, a cell phone and a website. Pat, a Panama City Beach native, believed that since none of the other dive boats in town were run by their owners or the owners weren’t active divers there was a gap in customer service being provided. Since then the fundamental idea that has driven our expansion has been that the status quo is not good enough. We have continuously looked at the systems at work in the business of diving and questioned if they are safe, efficient and FUN for the customer and the diving community.
Papa John believes that better ingredients makes a better pizza. Capt Pat believes that better Divemasters makes a better Dive Shop. A founding principle of our shop is that the most valuable asset of any business is it people. So we keep and retain the best in the industry year after year.
Capt Pat is the leader of this motley crew. He is a Panama City Native. The driving philosophy Pat brings to the shop is the idea that we can always do a better job and striving to do so makes us all better people (and businesses). Pat got the scuba bug back in 1991 and has been diving in Panama City ever since. He has thousands of dives locally and loves traveling to the Keys and Belize on vacation. Spearfishing is his true passion and he has also become actively involved in fisheries management politics for the last decade. Pat is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, USCG 100 ton Captain and EFR trainer, certified freediver, and an Alumnus of the FSU Criminology-Underwater CSI program. He claims his dry sense of humor is derived from too many Mel Brooks and Monty Python movies.
Capt David Kipp is native to Panama City Beach and loves our beautiful Gulf of Mexico! He got his Captain’s license when he was a young surfer, running waverunner and sailing tours along the Emerald Coast. He went on to earn a USCG 100 Ton Captain License and drove a 180’ supply jet boat in Louisiana’s oil fields. If it floats on water he can handle it! After starting with Panama City Dive Charters in 2009, he officially got hooked on diving. Since then he has completed the Advanced Open Water Certification and made his wife proud with all the fresh Grouper, Sheep’s Head, and Lobster he’s brought home from Spearfishing trips! Capt Dave has extensive knowledge of weather patterns and currents, making him a valuable asset for keeping everyone safe. His boisterous charm and charisma will have you laughing and make you feel right at home.
Christopher “Bubba” Powell
Chris is a PADI MSDT Instructor and USCG 100 ton Captain for Panama City Diving. Originally from South Florida, he moved to Tallahassee where he received his Bachelors’ degree in Criminology from the Florida State University. He then completed his Master’s Degree at FSU PC in Criminal Justice studying Underwater Crime Scene Investigations. As his sun bleached long blonde locks will attest, Chris loves being out on the water and living the salt life for real.
Aleese is a PADI Divemaster and EFR Instructor for Panama City Diving. She also has her 6-Pack Captain’s License. She moved down from Indiana in 2012 to pursue her dream of scuba diving and generally living the Salt Life. She first learned to dive with ASP Diving in Fort Wayne, Indiana while obtaining her Bachelors’ Degree from Indiana University Purdue University majoring in Environmental Policy. Her passion for diving and being on the water and is quickly evident and if you talk to her she may quickly convince you to live at the beach too!
Bryce is a PADI Divemaster and USCG Licensed 50 ton Boat Captain. He recently attended Florida State University Panama City earning his degree in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Underwater Crime Scene Investigations. Bryce was also the president of SHARC, a dive club with FSU PC. He enjoys being on the water with his awesome crew and learning everything he can about the underwater realm. Most recently he has started running with that seedy crowd of freedivers who hold their breath for over 3 minutes, flaunting their lack of tanks to the scuba divers on the shipwrecks…. but we still love him anyway and he may be willing to share some of his freediving secrets on the dive charters he works. Or you could pay him, Bryce became a Certified Freediving Instructor for FII in 2014!
“Lovely” Luke Powell aka LL Powell
While working on his biological sciences degree at Arizona State University, Luke took the opportunity to study abroad in Bonaire for 5 months. Originally OW certified through SSI just a couple weeks before heading to the Caribbean, Luke was amazed at the life coral reefs hold and the die was cast. After certifying all the way up through PADI Rescue Diver and learning all he could about coral reefs, he returned to ASU to finish up his degree before setting his sights on living and diving in Florida. Upon graduating, Luke worked in the Florida Keys for a summer at Seacamp, a marine biology summer camp. In May 2014, Luke moved to Panama City Beach and got a job at Panama City Diving. Now, recently certified as a PADI Divemaster, Luke is excited for the upcoming season and all the diving he’ll get to do! “Let’s get wet!” is his common refrain.
Jenny is from Sunnyvale, California and moved to Panama City in December 2014. She currently works in the shop and is in the final stages of obtaining her Divemaster certification. She started diving in 2012 on a 2 month trip to Thailand (which she highly recommends!!) and has been exploring the world one dive site at a time ever since. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in electrical engineering and hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in the fall….. But we’ll see if that pans out after an awesome summer of diving and being a beach bum!!
Greg is a TDI Trimix instructor and PADI MSDT. On his own time he is an avid cave and technical diver enjoying the wide variety of caves and shipwrecks available in Florida. His passion for diving started in 1996 when he was in high school growing up on Lake Superior and has carried on through graduate school and into his professional life. When not teaching or diving he works as a decompression researcher at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU). Greg is currently Pursuing his PhD in North Carolina but will be around to teach Tec Diving classes intermittently.