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 8,600 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, over 40 years later, Dave continues to teach Open Water, over 17 Specialties, Assistant Instructors, 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
Laura learned a love of water growing up in Madison, Wisconsin. After moving to California in 1983, Laura pursued her passion for hobbies such as swimming, running, cooking, gardening, and photography. 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 amassed more than 500 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.”
In addition to Open Water Diving, Laura teaches most specialty courses along with Photography. Laura is known for talent as an underwater photographer with many of her works displayed on the Sea Stallion walls.
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.
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.
Steve Halterman, Assistant Instructor Trainer
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, Advanced 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 where she can now teach 8 specialties.
Tony Delia, Assistant Instructor Trainer
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 an Assistant Instructor Trainer with Sea Stallion with the passion of training others to become Instructors.
Tony is known for his quote of “Scuba on the brain, all day all night!”
Tim Fischer, Open Water Instructor
Tim was first introduced to scuba diving as a young teenager through the Boy Scouts in the late 70’s and remained active in the sport until the demands of college took priority. Years later while on a trip to the Yucatán Tim introduced his wife and two teenage daughters to the sport through a discover scuba class, which lead to the family heading home from that trip as newly certified Open Water divers. Since then, Tim and family have had the opportunity to dive in Mexico, Hawaii, Belize and the South Pacific.
Tim first met the Sea Stallion staff in 2008 as a customer, diving with the shop and staff when his busy schedule allowed. Later his youngest daughter worked for Sea Stallion while in college, eventually achieving Master Diver certification. Around 2015 the opportunity arose to begin instructor training with Tim becoming a full instructor in 2016.
It is a rewarding experience to introduce people to the amazing world that exists under the oceans, to assist individuals in achievement of their goals and realization of the sense of accomplishment that comes with diving.
James Baker, Open Water Instructor
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 Diving 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 now completed his 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.
Kathleen 'Kat' Metcalf, Divemaster
Kat has always been in love with the ocean. Born in Southern California, she grew up surfing, snorkeling, and spending many days around the water with friends and family. As a teenager she volunteered at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Her diving journey began when she landed a job on a local dive boat, the Cee Ray, in 2016 while taking maritime courses at Orange Coast College. Captain, and Naui instructor, Mike trained her through her advanced open water certification between customer dives and deck work. After a short hiatus and move up to Seattle, she began work on her dive master certification through Underwater Sports. Though a wildly different underwater world and quite a bit colder than home, this rekindled her zeal for diving.
Following the move back to California at the end of 2018, Kat began working on the Cee Ray once again, where she reconnected with Jules and arranged to continue her dive education. She completed her DM in October 2019 at Sea Stallions under the guidance of Tony, Jules, and Steve.
Chris Ferebee, Divemaster
Chris began diving in 2016. With a lifelong desire to try scuba, he was under the mistaken impression that early childhood ear issues would prevent him from clearing his ears. A backyard conversation about a birthday present with his wife, Christy, and one Sea Stallion Groupon later, he obtained his certification and has been doing his best to make up for lost time, logging dives in California, Utah, throughout the Hawaiian Islands, Mexico and Croatia.
Wanting to continue his education and increase his proficiency under water, Chris completed the Master Diver challenge in 2019, and quickly advanced through the DM program with Sea Stallion.
Despite diving and training almost exclusively with Sea Stallion for over 3 years now, he still hasn’t earned his ducky from Jules. He’s not bitter about it.