Meet Team Exploration Divers

Brian Bugge Headshot - Drysuitdive.com Editor-in-ChiefBrian J. | Editor-in-Chief | Honolulu, HI

I’ve always had a love affair with the sea. From the time I was a young lad, I knew that my life would revolve around being near the ocean. When I was 12 years old I received a book title “Learn How to Scuba Dive in 24 Hours”. I used to study that book from cover to cover before I even took my first breath underwater. One of the skills it taught was how to do a somersault underwater; obviously the skills divers find useful have changed since then but my passion for diving has not. Due to life circumstances, I did not learn how to dive until later in life.

I picked up my PADI Open Water rating while on holiday in the Maya Rivera, Mexico. My first “open water” dive was in the Dos Ojos Cenote with Advanced Divers Cancun. Ever since that day, I’ve been obsessed with diving. Living in the Seattle area, with the Puget Sound so close, lent to many cold water diving opportunities. This naturally progressed into diving with a drysuit and using other coldwater techniques (backplate, wing, steel tanks, etc).

I am working with Ocean Legends and IANTD to become a CCR Trimix Supervisor and ultimately an Instructor on the CCR Liberty by Divesoft. I will be documenting the journey from open circuit recreation diver to close circuit technical diver.

Throughout my travels, I’ve had the opportunity to dive all over the world; the Puget Sound, Azores, Australia, Fiji, Mexico, Guam, Hawaii, California, Florida – to name a few.

When I’m not diving, I enjoy sailing with Team Stay Gold and recently sailed from Seattle WA to Honolulu Hawaii over the course of 21 days. Check out the link for the full story. I also enjoy photography; Blakely Photography Studio.

 

Erik Petkovic | Contributing Editor | Southern Maryland

Erik Petkovic, Sr. started his diving diving career in 1997 and is a technical wreck diver.  In twenty years of diving he has logged many hundreds of dives on the wrecks along the East Coast and Great Lakes Regions of the United States. An expert shipwreck researcher, Erik is familiar with the many intricacies of conducting shipwreck and disaster research. Erik was the founder of WreckDivingBooks.com – the internet’s first and only webstore exclusively dedicated to everything shipwrecks and wreck diving.

Erik has been published in dive magazines all over the world.  Erik is the author of the acclaimed and very well reviewed Shipwrecks of Lake Erie Volume One – the first of three such volumes.  Erik is currently researching and writing The Encyclopedia of Lake Erie Shipwrecks – a compendium of over 800 shipwrecks.  He is also finishing Tugboat Wrecks of the Great Lakes.  A sought after speaker, Erik is available for speaking engagements and is an elected member of The Explorers Club.  He currently resides in Southern Maryland and dives the Dive Rite O2ptima CCR.

 

 

Brian Warner | Monarch of Multimedia | Honolulu, HI

I have been diving for twelve years and have around 500-600 dives. Whether I am on open circuit in a recreational profile, overhead technical environments, or open water deep diving, as long as I am diving, I am happy! I have dived across Japan and Korea, from freshwater caves in Florida, across the States to the Channel Islands, and up the West Coast.

My favorite diving is still the Hawaiian islands. I have fortunately been able to do some unique diving here; including support to the scientific diving community documenting deep water black coral growth up to 300 fsw. I began diving CCRs five years ago and have not looked back. Dive and decompression theory got me hooked about four years ago which led me to learn more by becoming a dive instructor. As a PADI IDCS instructor and a CCR Trimix diver I still wanted to know more which led me to the UH Hyperbaric Treatment Center where I have worked for two years now. Well that is me…and I take pictures!

 

 

Morten Sætrang Haakonsen | Contributing Editor | Norway

Morten has been fascinated with the ocean for his whole life. Some of his earliest memories include diving down to 0.5-1 meter for broken pieces of sanded down glass. Growing up he spent his spare time sailing, freediving or just bathing and having fun in or near the water in the summer months.

Finding out early, kids down to 10 could take scuba courses, he kept nagging on his parents to be allowed. But it wasn’t until 2011, when he started as a High Voltage Lineman apprentice, earning some money of his own, he took his PADI open water course while on holiday in Greece. Coming back to Norway he didn’t know where to pick up the threads. The water was much colder, and he didn’t have his drivers license yet. Diving in Norway seemed very inconvenient. But 1 year later, with one week in the summer with no plans and nothing to do, he decided the time was right to start diving again. He drove to the closest dive shop, and took a combined refresher/dry suit course. Before the week was out he had bought a complete set of dive equipment including a dry suit and had taken the PADI Advanced Open Water course. Less than three months later he started on his PADI Divemaster course.

Today Morten is involved in all levels of diving. He is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, IANTD Instructor (up to Advanced Rec Trimix) and was the first in Norway to become a PADI Freediver Instructor! He loves traveling all over the world to dive. His favorite kinds of diving is in overhead environments; be that caves, mines or deep inside wrecks. He also loves to combine diving with his other passion: photography.

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