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Dave Knight, Instructor Certifier

As a youth growing up in the Mid West, Dave loved the typical cornhusker sports like football and wrestling.  A gifted athlete eager for a new adventure, Dave enrolled in Scuba training as an energetic 18 year-old.  Who would have thought that a kid that had never been in the ocean would someday grow-up to become a SSI Platinum Pro Scuba Instructor with more than 5,800 dives, as well as, almost 5,000 open water and 75 instructor training graduates to his credit.

In 1998 Dave was awarded the SSI Platinum Pro 5000 diver award “The SSI Platinum Pro5000 Diver card is the calling card of the world’s most elite water explorers. The list of cardholders is a “who’s who” of diving, containing the world’s most prominent dive leaders, scientists, photographers, manufacturers, retailers, and resort operators”.

See other Platinum Pros’ @ http://www.divessi.com/platinumpro.

Now, nearly 40 years later, Dave continues to teach open water, specialty, dive control specialist and instructor training courses. He also holds the prestigious position of SSI Instructor Certifier, an appointment made by SSI to an elite group of diver education professionals. 
When asked his thoughts on why he has committed so much of his life to the promotion of diving, Dave responded that “diving is my passion and has provided me with the opportunity to enjoy fantastic adventures over the years. One of the greatest rewards in my life has been to introduce the wonders of the underwater world to others while making life-long friendships though-out the world in the process.”

Laura Brugger, Advanced Open Water Instructor

Whether it’s Scuba diving, cooking, photography, or just enjoying time with family and friends, Laura  is known for her heart and commitment.  The first to arrive and the last to leave each Saturday, most of us would balk at that schedule as too much work.  But for Laura, Saturdays are a day to look forward to.  After all, it’s a day filled with teaching others, enjoying time with friends, and of course diving. 

Under the watchful eye of her parents Merle and Karen, Laura learned to swim as young child in Madison, Wisconsin. From then on, life in the Manion household centered around the water with summers spent at the family cabin in northern Wisconsin. As an adult, Laura pursued her passion for hobbies such as swimming, marathoning, cooking, gardening, and photography – excelling at each. In January 1998, Scuba was added to the top of the list when Laura received her Open Water Diver certification. And since then, with her husband Ron who is a Sea Stallion Dive Control Specialist and Chief Engineer, she has been diving almost every weekend since and has amassed more than 200 dives. 

Laura received her Open Water Instructor rating in October 2000 and has since taught hundreds of students. Whether in the classroom, at the pool, or in the ocean, Laura is known for her reassuring nature, enthusiasm, and ability to build confidence in her students. Former student Sue Douglass had this to say about Laura. “Laura is an outstanding instructor – knowledgeable and patient in her instruction. She was very good at calming any fears I may have had. I felt very comfortable with her and continue to be so as diving is an ongoing learning experience for me.” 

An avid scholar, Laura shares her life experiences through the many stories and literary quotes she provides for the Sea Stallion newsletter. When asked her own thoughts on teaching, she responded “I particularly enjoy teaching because I have always believed that we should constantly stretch ourselves and advance our minds by learning new things; sometimes that comes from being the student and sometimes that comes from being the teacher. Sharing what we know to those who are interested in learning is highly rewarding. I believe that learning to dive is considered to be a "life goal" by many people and I get off on the idea that I'm making a difference in someone's life by being part of that goal.”

In addition to Open Water Diving, Laura teaches Enriched Air/Nitrox, Dry Suit and Photography specialty courses. Laura is known for talent as an underwater photographer with many of her works displayed on the Sea Stallion walls. She also coordinates the Sea Stallion local and international dive trips, as well as, store events.

Ron Brugger, Master Open Water Instructor

Ron was initially certified in 1985 with NAUI right after moving from Wisconsin to Riverside, CA. He actively dove in Southern CA for several years, and also in Hawaii and Okinawa while in the Marine Corps. In 1995, Ron’s wife Laura started diving and they both become an integral part of the group at Sea Stallion. Since then, he has worked thru Dive Control Specialist, Open Water Instructor and Advanced Open Water Instructor to reach the Master Instructor rating. He also teaches Diver Stress & Rescue, Underwater Navigation, Deep Diving, Night/Limited Visibility Diving, Enriched Air Nitrox, Dry-Suit Diving, Underwater Photography, Boat Diving, & Waves, Tides & Currents specialty courses. He has taught and certified over 1,500 students to become open water divers.

He has gone on diving trips to Baja Mexico, Belize, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Bahamas, Curaçao, Bonaire, Grenada, Indonesia, Fiji, Palau, and the Philippines. He is an avid underwater photographer, with pictures on the walls of Sea Stallion, on this website and also here.

Steve Halterman, Dive Control Specialist Instructor

Steve started his diving adventures in 1995 and has been a scuba diving junky ever since. He spent much of last seventeen years diving California waters. In 1996, Steve became a Master Diver and worked closely with a facility in San Diego County; he then spent the next four years helping to train open water students. He became a full Instructor with SSI in 2000 and then obtained his Dive Control Specialist Instructor rating in 2005. In 2010 he made a big move to Bellingham, Washington, but kept up his teaching there in the much colder waters of the Puget Sound . He found he loves the cold water and the abundant life that comes with it, especially in the Sound. On many of his dive excursions. Steve saw lingcod over five feet long and giant pacific octopus; on one special occasion he saw a pod of orcas. All these great experiences gave a whole new meaning to diving for Steve in the emerald sea.

Steve joined the crew at Sea Stallion in June of 2012. During his tenure as a dive instructor/DCSI he has certified more than 1,000 dive enthusiasts. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. He instructs students in open water, kelp diving, nitrox, deep and wreck, dry suit, and several other specialties.

Steve has traveled to Belize, Roaton, Bonaire and Mexico. Some trips were pleasure, others as the group dive leader. He hopes to continue traveling and exploring other dive destinations. Steve retired from his full time career in December 2009. He holds a degree in fisheries and wildlife from Iowa State University.

Jules Wright, Open Water Instructor

As far as Jules can remember she was in love with the sea. As a child she always wanted to live at the beach and every year would frequent the little seaside towns in England, such as Blackpool, Rhyl and Newquay so she could feel the sea air on her face and smell the ocean. She had her dream of living by the beach come true when in 1997 she moved to the USA and to Huntington Beach. She was at the beach almost every day and always wondered what secrets the ocean held. After seeing a photo of a Californian Kelp Forest in a local magazine her curiosity was piqued and she wanted to experience diving in kelp. In 2008 she had the chance to learn to dive. A phone call from a friend put her in touch with a local dive Instructor and Jules diving adventure began. Falling in love immediately with diving she eagerly sought new classes and became a Divemaster in 2009. She then started crewing dive boats every weekend feeding her passion for the ocean. She now holds a 100 Ton USCG Masters; “Captain’s” license and enjoying both diving and piloting boats. Here she could also put her Master’s degree in Mechanical engineering to good use. She has recently furthered her career more and is now one of Sea Stallion Dive Instructors and is currently working towards her Advanced Open Water Instructor where she can now teach 8 specialties.

Tony Delia, Advanced Open Water Instructor

As a native Californian, Tony has always loved the ocean. Playing in the surf as a child, bodyboarding and swimming were his favorite pastimes. An authentic Sicilian, Tony’s passion for making spaghetti soon turned into a passion for making bubbles :D His diving career started back in 1988 and his love for diving grew from there. Travelling to exotic places and conquering new underwater realms, his passion for Scuba grew so much that he took multiple classes, some with Advanced Diving and Rescue Training in 1989. After a break to have a family he became a Divemaster in 2007and started sharing his passion with others that he met, talking about Scuba on an almost daily basis to whoever would listen. He currently has over 1500 logged dives. He became a Dive Instructor in 2007.Not satisfied there Tony went on to become an Advanced Open water Instructor in 2009 He also teaches Diver Stress & Rescue, Underwater Navigation, Deep Diving, Wreck Diving, Night/Limited Visibility Diving, Enriched Air Nitrox, Dry-Suit Diving, Boat Diving, Dive Guide, Performance Buoyancy, Science of Diving and Search and Recovery specialty courses. He is also a React Right Instructor (First Aid, CPR, AED and O2 provider). He has taught and certified over 400 students to become Open Water Divers and issued over 100 Specialty Certifications. He is currently working on becoming an Assistant Instructor Trainer with Sea Stallion with the aspirations of training others to become Instructors. Tony is known for his quote of “Scuba on the brain, all day all night!”

Gene Goble, Open Water Instructor

Gene began diving in 1964 in the Miami & Key West area. It wasn’t until 40 years later after raising 3 kids he and his wife were vacationing in Maui he came across try scuba operation at the pool. He did two dives that day and that’s all it took to get him back into the sport.

Upon returning 2 days later he was in class at Sea Stallion working on his OWD certification. In his first year he put in over 100 dives. From the Channel Islands down to Coronado Island and everything  in between. In his second  year he pursued Instructor certifications. Since working at Sea Stallion Gene has worked with over 1,000 students in their quest to become open water divers

Gene has been diving  the world and has a lot of insight he passes on to his students. Diving is more than just a sport; it’s a way of life. I can say I have seen what few people will ever see and what many more cannot even imagine.

James Baker, Open Water Instructor-in-Training

James started diving as a favor to a friend in 1991 when he went through NAUI Open Water Training in Los Angeles.  The physics of dive theory and the operation of SCUBA equipment along with the opportunity to do underwater photography fascinated him. Enjoyment of the water led him into the ski industry where for 5 seasons he worked as a chairlift operator and ski repair technician. The call of the ocean led him back to Orange County where he again pursued an interest in diving. He started his training again and earned 12 Advanced Specialty Certifications up to the rating of Assistant Instructor. Wanting to be affiliated with a 5 Star Training Operation and finish his training he joined the Sea Stallion family in 2016 where he is currently completing his crossover training to full instructor. James hopes to follow in the footsteps of the professionals that came before him and enjoy a long career bringing the joy of diving to others. 


Eli Berthoud, Open Water Instructor-in-Training

Eli started diving in 2016 to complete a bucket list item of diving with Great White Sharks, and quickly fell in love with the ocean’s wild life. In 2017 while diving his favorite Beach Dive location Eli decided he wanted to be an Open Water Instructor. Eli is currently studying to be a scuba instructor under his Jedi Master (Yoda) Steve. Eli enjoys sharing the majestic world of scuba diving and educating others on the importance of only leaving BUBBLES behind when scuba diving. Being an Army Veteran, his passions is working with active military and veterans. Eli believes there is a correlation between scuba diving and mental/physical health. Once Eli completes his OWI course he will began volunteering his time to train military veterans to scuba dive.

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