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Scuba Florida


Testimonials ~ divers say..

And John Russell is the best scuba instructor in Florida hands down. unvessel 06.15.2013

John, I am pretty surprised that anyone that knows you would go anywhere else to learn or to dive.
Patrick van Rinsvelt 06.04.12

John and Chris, Thanks for the scuba training. I reallay enjoyed meeting the two of you. Class was wonderful.
Simthy Sipes 03.12.12

Thanks for everything John. I enjoyed the class and feel I got excellent training. I'll probably take you up on the offer to help with your classes at De Leon. Keep me posted on the dates. Hope to see you and Chris soon.
Darryl Hicks 02.06.12

Dear John,
Thank you so much for an amazing day in the springs! ....Thank you! Hope to dive with you again soon.


John, Who would have thought when we started diving that you would make over 7,000 dives. What a great accomplishment! Look at the number of people you have introduced to the sport. You are like the school teacher that keeps going on and on. Everything you have ever started you just are the very best. When I first started diving it was to get away from the questions and telephone of the daily work load. That's when you were fishing and had all of that fishing equiptment. Then you started diving, and off you went. We have had a lot of good times together...... I regret that I don't dive anymore, bad ears, clearing problems. Keep in contact, and keep diving!
Your friend John Weaver 12.27.11

We really appreciate that you guys scheduled us this weekend so we can dive the keys this week. Chris was a great instructor and we really had a blast. We would definitely recommend you guys in the future.
Be sure to tell him we said thanks again
, Adam Stokey 12.10.11

Hey John, I was wondering what your prices were for open water dive certifications? I told my co-worker your class was amazing when I took it and highly recommended you.
Thanks so much
Laura Croke 11.10.11

Hey Captain John! Just wanted to let you know what a good time we had this weekend getting certified. We had no idea what to expect and really enjoyed ourselves!! Thank you for working with us and exercising your patience! We are going to the Keys over Thanksgiving and will dive while we are there. Any suggestions on a shop or someone to dive with? I know there are tons of places but thought you might be able to point us in the right direction.
Thanks Again!!

Hey Handsome John. Long time no see. You probably don't remember me, but you provided my Divemaster training in Tampa, years back. You beat me up for 4 days and I learned more from you in that short period than I have from any other instructor. I have done a lot of OW training for several instructors here in SC since then. I have always felt like I "earned" my DM and that you gave me the foundation that I needed to be a good teacher. When I see a lot of these young people who become divemasters over the weekend, and then I see how they perform with students, I am always glad for the time you spent with me.
Wade Ferguson 8.16.11

One of the greatest things to see is one of your students (friends) pickup where you left off, you have far exceeded anything I could have ever done. I'm glad you found your calling! ......I am still with Fire Rescue (lieutenant)... 20 years... Your Friend,
((772) 236-9874 PADI Instructor 29295) 08.11.11

Thanks John! You all are incredible! I would recommend your class to anyone.
Donna Hall Boonchit

Thanks for everything John, you and Chris did a great job!
(762) 383-4892 07.11.11

Thanks for an amazing class and a fun time!! You and Chris are awesome :)
Donna 07.10.11


Hi Capt. John- thanks for the Blub story - great fun. Thank you for all your time and patience - I enjoyed your observations on life from your varied experiences. Hope you got your Chevy fixed - glad I could help. Thanks again. I am looking forward to the opportunity to put into practice what I learnt including the 50/50 oil/vinegar mix!!

all the best Nick

Hope to dive with you guys soon again. excellent training and you and your brother are super nice guys.
Walter Ehrat

Captain John - Just wanted to let you know what a great experience I had with your brother Chris at De Leon Springs this past weekend. He was a great instructor and made me glad I chose Sunsation Dive to become Open Water Certified!! Thanks Again!!!
Jason Plas 03.01.11

I did my open water and Nitrox certification with Chris and John earlier this month. The instruction was top notch! The ability to do my classroom portion of the class at home was awesome for my hectic schedule, and the materials they provided were very easy to work through and understand. Working with them for the in water check out portion of the class was a real pleasure. These guys are a lot of fun, and really know their stuff! More importantly, they know how to make sure YOU know your stuff, too. I can't wait to get out and do some diving! Thanks again! Russell 09.27.10

Hi Chris, I liked our dives very much, and I want to thank you through this email, another time, we would also like to come on a trip if you would go closer to Gainesville before half July.
Kind regards,

Thank you both for a great lesson and an awesome weekend! It was a pleasure meeting both of you and if anyone at work is interested in being certified I will give them your info.
Thanks a bunch!
Jackie Rice 06.06.10

Hey John! Thanks again for the lessons I had a great time. I am about to go on a really cool dive trip with my cousin and I will tell you about it when I get back (It will be in July. I won't be scuba diving the whole time). I hope that the gulf isn't as bad as everyone has been saying.

Hey John, Just wanted to let you know I had a blast training with You, Anita and Charlie. You guys were lots of fun, and I learned a lot. In fact I had such a great time, I am going to be signing up for my DM with you guys also. I already spoke with Anita about it and should have my books shortly to begin studying while at work in my off time. I will be in touch soon. Until then, have a wonder day and look forward to seeing you guys next month.
Robert Hollins 05.24.10

Aw Cpt John...you are definately the bright spot for all my FL memories!  Diving with you was one the best things I've done, you made a lot of memories for me that I will treasure always.  Really John you have probably made thousands of memories for people you will never hear from, you are a true treasure of the sea and land
I adore you and miss you tremendously.....XO...
Mary Nielson 05.16.10

Captain John,  I had soo much fun w/ you and during the course! I will definitely be scuba diving often!! Thanks so much! Add Claire and me on facebook. Sincerely,
consimilar 03.28.10

"Handsome" John is number ONE! Really what more can you say? Accolades about his diving knowledge and experience? That's a matter of record and reputation. Ability? Count on it. He's got it folks! Personality? That's one trait that can't be measured by scientific method but my conclusion is that He CARES. He gives personal attention to all his students and stays with each till they grasp the concept or problem individually experienced.Thanks, John you made my diving experience an certification a remarkable one.
Rabbi Davis, Shalom v'brachas (Peace and Blessings) 01.25.10

I am a captain and a dive master; I ran dive charters out of Crystal River for almost 10 years. I have had the pleasure to work with Captain John for a good part of that time. He is by far the most professional, responsible and competent dive instructor I know. I always noticed that the people on his boat have a good time. I have recommended him to friends and family for dive education and have always been well satisfied. You can't go wrong with Captain John.
Captain Andy Fischer

benzal chloride
I am a rescue Diver...I have been diving all over the state of Florida...Born and raised here. I have dived with numerous people, instructors, dive masters, rescue divers...Capt John Russell is one of the most knowledgeable people I know about The ocean, about Scuba Diving, and about Life in general. I know a dozen instructors...and wouldn't recomend anyone else but Capt John...
Dive Stud Joe Barwick 01.07.10

Capt. "Handsome" John Russell III at Sunsations Charters has always been an amiable and approachable person. I have endorsed and recommended him for years now. I think I would rather be trained by a dive master that knows a little about the web instead of a web master that knows a little about diving. Keep up the fight Capt.
Greg Johnson 01.07.10

Capt. John's a wealth of information and experience in an industry of that could use more of both.
519-955-6326 01.05.10

Captain John Russell 3 is the most professional dive instructor/Captain I have ever met. John and "Scuba Tampa" certified me in the early 90's and he was great! Very knowledgable, He knows just where to go at any paticular time of year. I never miss a chance to see and dive with John and "Scuba Tampa" anytime I am in the Tampa/Orlando area! (Which will hopfully be again this year!)
780-331-7382 01.05.10

I am going to be in Orlando on business and wanted to reserve a spot for my mother and myself to snorkel with the group. I have done this before with you about ten years ago. The best experience I have ever had!! :) Happy New Year and be-lated birthday...
6028573101 01.04.10

Thank you for the temporary cards and for providing such a great class to get those cards.  The classes were a lot of fun and very helpful.  Will, myself and a few of our buddies are already planning a few trips to go diving for early in the year.  I'm excited about what we can do now. Thank you again! I hope you, Chris and your families have a great Christmas! Thanks again,
ginger oil 12.25.09

Chris/John, Thank you so much for certifying us. It was a great experience and who knew learning could be so much fun! We will be sure to look you up the next time we come into town.
thanks again, Carly and Bradick Young 09.24.09

Hi Captain John and Chris --We are now back in the UK and wanted to e-mail and thank you both so much for making our PADI course so enjoyable.  As you know I was feeling a little nervous beforehand and there was no need as you made the course fun and at a relaxed pace.  Jamie and Emily thoroughly enjoyed the course and have now got a whole new world to discover underwater as they took to it so well.  I surprised myself and overcome my apprehension (even overcoming my BCD/tank fitting issue thanks to that extra strap!) and was so pleased with myself and will definitely be continuing with diving.  In fact we are coming back to  Florida in December and will be in touch nearer the time to set up a dive with yourselves (and hopefully the Manatee).  So once again many thanks to you both for guiding us safely, responsibly and especially enjoyably through our Padi course, and a special thanks to Chris for putting up with me as his buddy!!
Warm Regards, Samantha, homish, (631) 864-0594and Martin 09.02.09.

Thank you for making it possible for me to go in the cage and get the photographs. It was an AMAZING experience that I hope to repeat next year. Beats me why one needs to be certified to breath through the hose rather than snorkeling, but there's no way I'd want to be snorkeling with the waves and bouncing cage and trying to take photos.
Thanks again for your patience and encouragement!

Thanks John, I had fun in your class and could not have picked anyone I would have enjoyed more. Well maybe Anita, just kidding. I wish you the best of health and I'll keep in touch. After we return from the Keys I'll send you an e-mail and let you know how things went. I will also send you some business.
Thanks Again Chris Wiley 08.13.09

I'm looking forward to doing my advanced diver training....Thanks so much for all your work with Deven and Allie. They had a great time.
Thanks, Stacey 07.08.09

Thanks, John. My sons and I had a great time. Will definitely let you know when we're planning our next dive trip (hopefully in a couple of months).
Rod 06.20.09

Certified over Labor Day weekend 2008. Like a Zen master who tells stories to relax a students mind to receive greater wisdom, Captain John wove quirky jokes, stories of Crystal River residents, and recipes of oatmeal cookies, in with learning the mechanics of dive equipment and scuba skills. On the second day, when unexpected anxiety of initial descent freaked me out, Captain John stayed calm. He made me feel like it was a common thing, no big deal. He said, Relax. Don't worry about it. He then looked around at the vacationers and kids swimming. Take your time. There's no rush. Maybe those aren't the magic words for everyone, but in that moment for me they were. I guess that's where years of certifying all types of people and personalities come in handy. I enjoyed my certification process as well as my time with Captain John. Within a month after receiving my temporary dive card, I've done five dives. I'm no master diver yet by any means. But then again, I still haven't mastered baking the perfect cranberry oatmeal cookie. To all future divers, relax and have fun with Captain John. You're in good hands and fins. From: Now open water diver
Cynthia Mallick

Dear Capt. John, I am writing this letter as a successful Instructor with PADI. All my training from my first time getting wet thru becoming a Divemaster was with you! When I entered the IDC workshop I was a little intimmedated, there were so many other Instructor candidates. That was until my training and knowledge set me apart from my classmates as better prepared and having a more thorough understanding. Since you have been my only Instructor the credit for my confidence and new found Instructor status goes to you. I would recommend you to anyone looking to be a diver or become a better diver. Thanks for everything. Anita 08.27.07
Instructor Anita

John, I just wanted to thank you and your staff for making my first SCUBA experience so memorable and fun. Sorry that I asked so many questions, I hope I didn't get on your nerves too bad. I am just really excited to continue on with these experiences. I'm attaching some of my pictures. Some of them turned out pretty cool. Thanks again.
(715) 742-9693 01.21.07

HEY Capt. John, My name is David Steckel. My family and I went with you when you took the divers for therir Open water dive (we were there to see the manatee). I just wanted to say thank you VERY much for that trip! That has gone down as one of the highlights of my life. I know you see them frequently, but for us it was an oportunity of a life time. Not only were we very happy to get in the water with them, but also with your company and the others. Also, I have held out on getting my diving liscence, because I want to attend your class. I am thinking that June 2006 I will be headed down that way and staying for 2-3 weeks. I hope all is well, and again.... Thank you VERY much.
David Steckel

John Wayne: Thanks for a great class, the wife and I really enjoyed it. We'll definitely look you up when we need to dive again. If you've got any tips about diving in the keys and/or redneck riviera, keep us in mind. We may want to do a trip to those places in the coming months if the red tide dissipates. When your book comes out I want you to send me a signed copy... Later man,
Colin Ducharme 08.15.05

Captain John, I wanted to say thanks working with Chris and I to get certified before our Hawaii trip. Chris is very excited to begin/continue his diving experiences. I hope that his excitement rubs off on his brother, and perhaps we will be back for another certification in the future. I will keep your contact information andshare with others I meet that are interested.
Thank You, (325) 326-6514 07.12.2005

Capt John, Thank you so much for the fine training! We went to Key Largo and did some snorkeling and I got in two reef dives. I had fifty foot visibility with lots of fish, it was a perfect day. My wife and I also saw a couple sea turtles and a huge spotted stingray when snorkeling together! Pretty cool, thanks for opening the door to all this for me! We are back in the Tampa area until we fly home on Wednesday and I would love to get another dive in before we go. Thanks a lot!

Michael Kerns 05.07.05

Captain John, Just wanted to thank you for your patience and for taking me 'under your wing'. I never could have done it without you. I know I have a long way to go. I have a couple experienced friends who are going to take me with them this summer. They were wondering if you would be interested in a Rainbow River dive next winter. Thanks again Captain John & happy spring
8502320917 04.08.05

John, Brittany and I enjoyed our lessons with you. You seem to have a good pragmatic approach and natural teaching ability. Keep us in mind for any good trips and send an email. We a definitely interested in progressing. I would like to know how to get the nitrox certification.

John A. Davis, PhD 06.19.04

We really enjoyed ourselves yesterday. It was such a pleasure to learn in that beautiful spring, with the added bonus of the juxtaposition of your sense of humor combined with a serious learning experience! We all thoroughly enjoyed the day! Jack and Sandy have taken dive trips all over the world. I am happy that Florida has the unique, manatee filled spring water and caverns to lure them back our way. We have traveled all over the world as well and I have missed so many opportunities to dive. I have wanted to learn to dive for about twenty-five years, but could never talk Brian into it. So, whenever there was an opportunity, we have snorkeled. Actually, I was surprised Brian agreed to come along and am happy he and Morgan did so well. I finally told Brian that Morgan and I were going to learn, and the next place we go, he can read a book. So, I want to thank you for providing an interesting environment and fun learning experience. Brian is finally sold on diving.

Lynn 04.16.04

Capt. John, I wanted to extend my gratitude to you. Rana and I had such a great time with you last week, and are greatly looking forward to scheduling our next dive trip. We'll keep you posted and ask for any advice you may have, as we plan each trip. Maybe we'll see you one day.
Thanks again
, Sunshine 03.30.04

Dear John, We are on vacation and this is the first time I have been to the internet since snorkeling with you. Thank you for the memorable day. We had a great time.
Best Regards,
Ken Scheel 02.27.04

Captain John, I've been smiling lately, thinking about the good things to come, and I believe it could be, something good has begun. I miss you man! Ok, seriously, thanks. I was not quite sure how it would go in Crystal River, and honestly was a bit concerned at first, but as the three days progressed, we not only tapped into a lifetime of deep know-how on scuba through you, but also a nice outlook on life, the kind that makes me just nod my head and smile.
Thanks. 02.04

Got back home and finished filling in my log book pages, and realized only then that not only did you take care of all the PADI to-dos on the adventures dives we planned on, but that you pretty much ran through the PADI to-do list on just about EVERY adventure dive in the book. Looked up search & recovery, deep, navigator, multi-level, peak performance buoyancy, the many dives we had already planned, reviewed right down the list. Looked up boat diving, yup he went through all that. Drift, he covered it. I even think you spoke about most of the night stuff.
Thanks. 02.04

I'll look you up again next time I am down near our St.Pete's office to see what is on the schedule. Planning on getting some specialities over the next few months, diving some mountain lakes (3K+ ft, Altitude diving) in July, the Tortugas in August, who knows from there. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Tom Tepper 02.15.04

Hey John, oh sorry CAPTAIN John, Just a quick note, I loved your class, you are one screwed up dude, but that's what made it fun and a very memorable experience. So i thought i'd let you know it was a blast, and we will be back soon cause my wife
( a democrat too ) wants to learn as well. She 's a sweetheart, but you gonna need some patience with her, she's a little scared of new things and gets nervous when she thinks she not doing thing right or quick enough. But she'll do fine, (just start her off with Carl) Anyway will be thinking of you when I'm in Austrailia at my first bar brawl. See ya soon.

02.12.04 PS Thank you again.

Captain John, Thanks for the SCUBA lessons. Even though Dawn and Jodi were a little intimated, with your help and direction, everyone ended up having a great time. I look forward to taking more classes under your instruction. I am especially interested in spear fishing. Thanks again. John McCaskill 02.05.04

I truly appreciate how helpful you've been. We will certainly recommend you to friends and family!
Happy Holidays, April Shecterle 12.06.03

Capt. John, Thanks for giving me the encouragement, support and knowledge I needed to become comfortable and confident enough to dive. It was a fun experience and you are a good teacher. Good luck in all and have fun in the Keys!
Lori Diehl 11.17.03

Capt. John, Thanks for having us. We had a great time with the manatees. Photos came out pretty good. We enjoyed meeting you and having you share your own particular approach to life and diving.
Thanks again, Steve Namihas 11.11.03

Dear Capt. John, Thank you for such an enjoyable experience. You turned what could have been an intense, anxiety ridden experience into a relaxed, knowledgeable, great time. It was great getting to know you. You are such a pleasure! Thanks for being so patient. I don't know how you do it. Vance and I had a wonderful time and will gladly recommend you to many. We hope to see you again some time.
Best Wishes, Terri and Vance Page 10.28.03

Capt. John: What a fantastic day on the water. Your Crystal River trip was superb. Exploring the many crystal clear springs, and swimming with the manatees, made today, one of the most enjoyable I've had in years. A beautiful day with a fun group made this a truly great experience.

Thanks for adventure. David May 10.16.03

I did so enjoy my time spent diving with you.You were ruff but good, TELL IT LIKE IT IS BUDDY. loved it.Like telling me to get it of out of the water, If I didn't get it this time :O( I said to myself. Oh yea, get out of the water ! Like hell I will. So there John.
I'm as stubborn as you. But that is what I needed.
Thanks, Erla ( from the north cold country) 10.10.03

I truly enjoyed my Advanced Open Water training.  You make learning to dive the way it SHOULD be (A LOT OF FUN)!  Plus, beyond doing a standard (and thorough) coverage of the PADI material, you impart your experience.  And, with over 5000+ logged dives, the experience you impart was invaluable (and far beyond what you could imagine to me)!  I'll be back for more training and will highly recommend you to others.  Also, I look forward to catching some more blue crabs with you on a night dive.  Next time, we will have to catch enough for everyone! Thanks for the FUN.  
918-795-8972, 09.15.03

Thanks Capt. John. I had a great experience! I'll be sure to forward your name to other students.
Kendall Haynesworth 08.21.03

Hi John I had a blast Sunday. I just scanned the photos that turned out on Todd's camera and I'll send them to you soon The manatees were very cool. And seeing the sting ray. . . Was he lost? Drunk? Either way I'm sure he was freezing his ass off. I was also impressed watching the 18 year old girls visible underwater as they frolicked unknowingly above. This must be the great underwater views they tell you about. Its kind of like sitting under the bleachers at high school. Over all the class was awesome. Thanks.
heortology 08.12.03

Hi John, Just to say I had a fantastic time out on the gulf with you and Ben.Jez and I are both still talking about our close up manatee encounter and the diving in the springs..... If i travel over your way again you can be sure that I will be booking again thanks a lot again for the adventure on the high seas, good job. The rain was so warm as in the UK we all would have had hypothermia. Best Wishes
Alan Salter 08.09.03

John, I just wanted to Thank You for our latest dive trip. Brian and I had a wonderful time diving in the ocean with you. If you could send me the info on our dive sites so that we can update our books I sure would appreciate it. We both agreed that ocean diving was a blast. I'll be in touch soon for another return trip.
Thanks again,
Mike Keezel 08.04.03

I just wanted to let you know that I went on two dives while I was on vacation in St. Kitts last week, and they were the highlight of my trip! We went for the music festival, but I figured while I was there I should at least try my new skills. We didn't see anything really spectacular, but I have a great sense of accomplishment. I had no problems at all, aside from sucking all the air out of my tank in 30 minutes on the first dive, so I had to go up too soon. I was at the surface when it ran out completely, so I was OK. I did much better on the air on the second dive. No panic, no problems, and I just loved it! Why didn't I do this years ago? Thanks so much for your help and patience.
Take care,
Debbie Weeks 07.02.03

Comments: Tim and I were certified for open water by you. We Had a fantastic time and enjoyed your expertise. And yes you can find the manatee!!!!!!! Hope to have my daugther take the course and get a 1st class certification in August. Kudoo's to ya. Hope to send you many new recruits
Donnie Tolar 06.11.03

I want to thank the Captain for introducing me to the world of diving. He's a great instructor. While a little crazy above water, he's very professional and safe underwater. If you have never been diving before, I recommend Capt. John.
Jeremy Sutherland 06.26.03

Dear John, thank you very much for taking me under the water with manatees as well as for putting me on your mailing list, which remember me this nice trip. You may not understand, why a mad and far from rich diver from a small country in the middle Europe can organise such a rather expensive event with travelling through days and nights just to see for a couple of minutes the manatees. But it is true. I hope to have this opportunity once again with my sons. Anyway, I have discovered your area for some of my colleagues and course attendants, so maybe you will meet some of them in the future. Many thanks again, Regards,
Alexandr Czech Republic 06.06.03

Hi Capt John, Don't shoot the Cat... Thanks for teaching us last January. We had a great time with the Manatees and the course was great and was much more fun than we expected. Be sure the next time we are in Florida we'll be in touch for more diving...(I hope that gets the cat off the hook!) We're hoping to go diving in Madeira this summer. Hope you like the pictures of us...you took them :-) All the best,
Des 05.14.03

Hey Capt. John, AJ & I are getting married!!! And we never would have met if we hadn't taken dive training with you. Not having a big wedding - just family - very casual on the beach at my sister's place in May.
Take care,
Holland Brown 04.03.03

Thank you John! For the laughs, for the diving and most of all for your spirit.... I wish we could bottle it and become more like you! Back to the stress I go! Thanks!
Kim Tokar 03.18.03

'Sugar' Sywensky
Dear Capt. John, I've been home several days now and, call me crazy...I haven't been able to get over the beauty and warmth of the Keys. Thanks a lot for making this trip the best vacation of my life. I also wish to say THANKS for taking care of me in the water when I needed it most and for making me get back in even when I did not think I could. I would not have missed a minute of it. (No more Mudslides before diving for me!!) Most of all thanks for the laughs and the smiles. It was just what I needed. You guys are the best! The John and Ben Show was a riot and I hope we can all get together again this summer. I'm hooked on diving like a bad drug....As I sat here this morning bundled in jeans and a sweat shirt hugging my coffee mug for warmth I decided to check out the job opportunities in So. Fla. There is an opening in my field. Hmmmmmm... What are your thoughts? Think I could survive down there? Would you guys visit often?......I'm enclosing some pictures from the trip, some good, some so-so. I hope they make you smile too. ... Take care and stay in touch.
Glenica Sywensky (Sugar) 03.18.03
(Photos at /www.scubatampa.com/photo3.html)

Sir, Just wanted to let you know, FIGMO. Thank you for the great diving. I will probably come back at a later time with my Brother in law, to see the Manatees. I am very happy to have you as my Divemaster. You taught me a lot! Thanks for the past weekend, even though I had a nose bleed. Since then, I have been breathing better! Good Luck! Edward J. Majersky 02.18.03

John, A brief note to say thanks for an enjoyable couple of days at Crystal River on 19th & 20th (we were the small group of 4 that comprised 2 lady snorkellers, a diver and myself doing the PADI). The underwater photos of the manatees have come back and I'm particularly proud of the one of us down at the manatee statue. I can't wait to get diving again but it's b....y freezing here at the moment. Hope to get back to the Florida for more diving ASAP.
Dave 02.11.03

Capt. John, Michelle and I were talking about you yesterday and reminiscing about what a grand time we had last week in Fla.  It's hard to believe that one week ago we were swimming with the manatees in 72 degree water and making new friends that we'll never forget.....I'm plotting and planning my Valentine's time off.  You're a wonderful teacher but I'm not so sure I have the confidence for a Gulf dive yet.  
Glenica Sywensky

Capt. John, Hi, wanted to write and say thank you so much for the great time I had while being certified. I learned a lot and felt safe at all times. I loved it so much and want to go diving a lot now. Matter of fact, I am selling my home here in Maine in April and plan on moving to possibly Clearwater by September so that I can get into diving more. Maine is great, but I want to be able to experience all that I can at this point and time in my life when I have no one to answer to but me and what better opportunities than in Florida, right? LOL. I am hoping to be able to take some extra courses up here plus do some diving here in Maine, then when I get to FL, I'd like to look you up and take more courses to learn all I can. Plus I'd love to be able to do the Cozumel Mexico dive you are planning for June. ( I plan on making a few trips to FL before the permanent move). Look forward to hearing more about that trip. Well Capt., thanks again for a wonderful time, I look forward to diving and learning more with you in the near future. Take care and be safe.
Nancie Smith from Maine, cert on 12.30.02

Capt. John, Allow me to take this opportunity to thank you for one of the most memorable experiences I can remember. You are the "Master" of dive masters! I will definitely consult you on any purchase or trips! Thanks again for your careful guidance and patience.
Daniel Trimbach 10.24.02

Dear John: Just a short note to once again say "Thanks" for a great trip. The encounter I had with the Dolphin will alway's be a very special memory for me for the rest of my life. I enjoyed meeting Ben and diving again on the old 'Dive Boat Sunsation'. I look forward to diving with you in the very near future. I sent a few pictures of the trip and the best Dolphin photo. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks again for the Grouper. We will enjoy it very much. Best regards and Thanks.....
John Erhardt 10.12.02
Erhart's Curious Dolphin

John, thanks again for all you did the past few days, and for the amount of time and attention that you gave me. As I mentioned on the phone, I was incredibly nervous and not at ALL confident about the whole process. Fear of the unknown I suppose. Yes, I must let the fear wash over me and through me....LOL. Anyway, you were patient and great to work with. I see lots of areas I need to study and improve in, but I also know that I am back on track to having the confidence I need to be a GOOD Divemaster. I am sorry I had to bug out today from Ginnie. I have wanted to dive there for a long time, but it was for the best. Rule 5 of diving. Always listen to the small voice....See, I learned something. Actually I learned a great deal....even if I WAS task "loaded.".....
.....All I can say is thanks so much. Well, I definitely made the right choice for an instructor. I'll look forward to seeing you again, and it will be a pleasure to continue to have you as a teacher and friend.
Wade Ferguson 08.19.02

I really enjoyed my dive experience last month, thanks so much for everything...
William Jackson, III 08.12.02

...thanks for class this weekend it was truely exciting.
Chris Price 08.12.02

I had a very nice weekend with you and I really like the folks at the dive center. I hope you invite me again.
Much love, Libby 08.12.02

Gene and John, I really appreciate the service on compiling my equipment. Your course was great also. I have been diving for over thiry five years and I was apprehensive about becoming certified but John is one of the most down to earth people I have met in a long time. I have had probably ten or eleven buddy divers over the years and I wouldn't trust any of them as much as John. Gene, it was a pleasure to meet you. I hope I didn't disrupt your class Saturday too much, I know there is alot to cover in a short amount of time. My son, Andrew, was too young to dive when we were living in the keys, so I never got the chance to teach him, but he is such a smart ass it was probably better that John got to deal with him.
Anyway thanks much again,
Bill Holloway 07.15.02

John, Hello, this weekend went really well. We were glad we found someone who was realistic instead of someone by the book that really didn't have a clue what really happens.
Andrew Holloway 07.01.02

Hey John, Derek Kowalczyk here, I was a student of yours about a year ago. I was the guy who was going to ask his girlfriend to marry him while diving in Corsica. We had a great time and she said yes. I asked her in about 30 feet of water using a pre-written slate and clumsily presenting the ring to her from a hiding spot in the reef. The captain, dive guides and even some of the other divers helped out as conspirators in my plot and Nene was totally taken by surprise, we even got the moment on video. Thanks to you, I was confident enough to pull this caper off.
Derek Kowalczyk 06.12.02

John, Thank you very much for the Open Water instruction last week. I thought the instruction was outstanding and real-life. I ended up going out for five more dives in Clearwater before heading back to Chicago. I really feel comfortable and safe in water. Thanks again. I�m already working to schedule my next trip down. I got the itch.
Matt Blosl 06/02/02

Captain John, ....we had a good time and a great experince on our first saltwater dive. Thanks for your help.
John & Deborah O'Sullivan 04.23.02

Hi John, Thank you so much for the great diving experiences. I really had a great time and felt quite at ease. You and Pepper were alot of fun and great teachers. I will definately keep you in mind for future dives and equipment. The pics turned out a little green but pretty good. I will somehow try to get them on my computer to show you. I was on cloud nine all day telling my dad all about Crystal River and continue telling my friends here what a great time I had. I would like to get some of my own gear. My friend here was talking about getting some BCs to start. Get me some good prices on a male large and womens medium. I like the one from Crystal River you had for me, if you rememeber. The cleavage one!!! Hahaha Let me know and again thanks a bunch.
Renee DeChalais 04.21.02

John, Thanks for your comments, I appreciate them and I enjoyed learning from you. I wll get in touch the next time Im coming over and you can recomend some diving to do. Ill also get in touch when I start buying my gear.   Speak to you soon, if nothing else I will have a bevvy (drink) with you next time Im over.
Karl Puzzer 04.09.02

Dear John, I can not thank you enough for the great job you did with the scuba class. Beau and Ned think you are a God. I know better, but I also thought you were terrific. We had a great time, learned a lot, and got to see some Hooters Girls. How good does it get? We appreciate all of your effort and hope we get a chance to dive with you again.
Many thanks,
Brune, Beau, Ned 04.02.02

Hey John,Thanks for taking us out and getting us certified on such short notice. Basant and I had a great time and are sure we want to make diving a life long hobby. We both agreed it was the most fun we had on Spring Break. We are going to try to make it down to Florida to dive again later in the semester if we can find a weekend that will work. We'll be sure to let you know if we are able to make it happen. Also, thank you for recommending Skippers to us. We ate there Friday night and really enjoyed it. It was just the type of place we were looking for. Thanks again for all your help, we really had a blast.
Scott Mitchell 03.12.02

Dear John: Thanks, again, for teaching me about open water diving. I'll know in the future to keep my hands out of the green stuff! Seriously, I'm in love with diving...I was from the first time I blew bubbles in the pool at Fairbanks. Getting to certify with you simply confirmed what I already believed would be true. I'm back to Fairbanks Tuesday morning...my time in Florida seems way too short. I'm not really looking forward to getting in the snow for another few weeks. Regardless, I will keep in touch for my next diving expedition out of Alaska. Hopefully, that will be only a few months away. Maybe I should work 2 jobs so I can afford to leave more often? My best to you, my new friend!

Anna Poe 03.10.02

John - We couldn't help but think of you today.Yesterday we went on our first dive here - it was a shallow dive of a wreck called Peradenalas. The bottom was white and sandy, lots of fish, 25 feet. Today we went to a reef and wreck - 70 feet - 78 degree water - it was GREAT! The wreck was still in good shape so it made some sense to Brenda although Ken got a kick out of both the wrecks. This afternoon we went to the Antillas - the largest wreck here - 60 foot dive - 400 foot German tanker - and you'll never believe it but we penetrated that sucker!!!! Vis wasn't that great but better than Crystal River!! ( 30 feet was the best it ever got) Anyway we are both feeling like we really grew in our diving experience and wanted to share that with you. We'd like to get together for a dive in our area soon. We'll be in touch.
Ken and Brenda 03.06.02

Hi there, I'm Kristin Borland. I recently did a dive with you. I enjoyed it very much and would like to say that it was one of my all time favorite dives. Please e-mail me back so we can just talk maybe about things you've seen or just to talk. Thank you for a great dive experience in Florida.

Kristin 02.24.02

Hey John,
We did have a great time, thanks so much for spotting those two at the end, that totally made the trip !!  Joel was still saying last night "I really enjoyed that dive"  AND no alligators !!! 
Thanks again,
Lori 02.16.02

John - thanks for the update and for the great instruction and time you provided me a couple of weeks ago at Crystal River. Take care -

Ronnie 02.14.02

John, Thanks so much for a great diving experience! I had a lot of fun and I learned a lot from you. I appreciated your patience and sense of humor. I find diving so empowering and you made me feel really safe, so I could relax and enjoy myself. Hopefully we can hook up again on my next trip. Until then stay well and know you have a fan in Ct.
Sue Ellen 02.02.02

John, Thank you so much for the great experience in my Scuba certification. It would not have as enjoyable without someone like you. I had a great time and can not wait to get back in the water(and staying buoyant underwater!). I look forward to getting your email updates on what's happening in and around the world of Scuba.
Thanks again,
Duff 01.25.02

We had a WONDERFUL time with you. I will remember your advice and we plan to call you when we go out in the summer. I dreamed of floating on Sunday night - it was very cool. Thank you again for a really terrific experience. We will be in touch.
Brenda 01.24.02

I sure hope to dive more often and in different locations. You are a wonderful instructor and it was fun learning to dive with you - good mix of laughs and learning. I'll be in touch with you for future dive plans. Thanks again for all your help..!
Vinod 01.22.02

John, We had such a great time!  It's quite an experience to see and touch the manatees. And thanks for your help in guiding Sarah into the cavern. She is a great diver but gets scared sometimes. We both really appreciated the care you took in helping her. Don't be surprised if we look you up again the next time we're in FL.
Dave 01.07.02

A sign of a good Captain to me is the ability to tell good stories and keep up the banter. I've been on many dives where it was get out there, talk about the area, dive profile etc and jump in. Get out and go home. Well, you rank at the top and you would make an excellent Captain down in the Caribbean. Please let us know if you fulfill that dream. Would love to get down there and dive with you there as well.
Mike 11.27.01

OH, we had a grand time. We returned to reality late Saturday night to rain... Thank you for the relaxed atmosphere. I appreciated the freedom you allowed Hunter. The pictures Hunter took under water came out pretty good! AND we love the pictures of Biscuit. I wanted to hang around and chat a bit, but we had to leave. Thanks for creating a good first experience for Hunter.
Kristine 11.26.01

Thank you sooooo much for the kindness and patience you showed while teaching me to scuba. I am very excited to scuba again soon. Let me know where and when! I don't know if I can take a day during the week......maybe I can find a way. ;o) I can stay one of the weekends in November if you will take me diving. OMG! I am so excited about diving!!! I really want to purchase my own BCD. Any suggestions?
Take care,
Jen 10.22.01

Just wanted to say thank you for the cert and Wendy and I had a great time. I will recommend you to any friend who wants to Scuba.......
Ben 08.08.01

Just wanted to drop you a note and tell you how much fun Brian and I had at your class. We really enjoyed the time spent in Fla. Can't wait to plan our next return trip. Thanks again for the training and especially for the mask and snorkel.
Mike 08.07.01

...planning a dive trip this fall to Mexico. If you get out our way our door is always open and the welcome mat is out. Think of you often and will never forget the Manatees. Hope we will someday get the chance to get wet together and want to again thank you for your professional demeanor and we enjoyed the experience. Be safe and God Bless.
Gene 06.03.01

I will be going to Key West at the end of June for some diving. Any hints or ideas would be appreciated it. Thank you again for your help. I will refer you to anyone looking for instruction.
Neal 05.30.01

I really enjoyed taking the class from you - it was a fun experience and I am looking forward to continuing to dive.
Thanks again
Brandon 05.25.01

Thanks for everything! I had an absolutely wonderful time. I truly enjoyed it. I really hope to dive regularly. I am going to make it a priority. Amy states she plans to take your course as soon as school is out. I plan on coming with her if that is ok with you. I look forward to diving with you again. Thanks again for everything!! Keep in touch!
ALLI 05.24.01

Thanks very much for the course, really enjoyed it and hope to dive again this summer. I really appreciate the extra effort you put in for me.
James 05.24.01

It was great fun learning to dive & it is something that I am sure will give me much pleasure for many years to come.
Thanks again to you & Joe, Patrick 05.15.01

We really enjoyed our dive and were greatful to see the manatees at all. You didn't have to follow them at the end of the day, but you did. Thanks for the experience we will not forget it! Alexa had such a great time. She was in the pool all week practicing with her snorkel and mask. Thank you for giving her such a life shaping opportunity! She was calling the River "The Frozen River"... Oh well, her dad will have to invest in a snug wetsuit for future snorkeling outings!
Thanks again, John
--Barrie, Dave, Mike and Alexa 05.11.01

I'll try to coordinate a dive/fish day with you and Richard this week or next. I had a great time in the class, and you're obviously a skilled diver and great teacher. I'll check weather and call you later this week.
Scott 05.07.01

It was a pleasure taking the certification instruction from you. I credit some of the comfort level I exhibited in the water to having an instructor as knowledgeable and capable as you.
Eric 04.30.01

John, thank you for an exciting day! Pi and I had a great time. I wish we could have joined you on Thursday. Now that Carmen can certify at 10 we hope to return in August. We will keep in touch. If we do make this her birthday present there would be my 2 nephews and myself as well. Do you have a package deal?
Talk soon,
Sarah 03.25.01

Thanks for the course this past weekend. I had a LOT of fun. I will certainly remember this trip for a long time to come. Our little skirmish into the underwater cavern was awesome and definitely something that I think about a lot. After this weekend, diving is something that I want to take up on a more frequent basis and will certainly do so whenever I can. We're all definitely going to go when we go away on our little trip in the near future. In the mean time, I wish you well and hopefully we'll one day get to dive together again. You were a great instructor and really made the course more fun for everyone.
See ya! Simon 01.25.01

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