Divemaster tales from Grand Cayman: Did you know…
(DiverWire) – What do a road manager for a rock band, a former British politician and a well-traveled blonde with a Danish accent have in common? If you happen to be diving with Sunset House in Grand Cayman, any one of these three might just be your divemaster!
While many of us are envious of the “divemaster lifestyle” that includes living on a tropical island and diving every day, today’s typical divemasters have their own “back stories” that are often as interesting as the diving.
Take Greg Caley for example. He used to spend upwards of 10 months a year on the road with numerous hard rock artists and bands, (including the legendary 80’s arena heavy metal band, Iron Maiden). If you ask him, he’ll gladly share some of his stories from the road with you, but he’s also just as likely to talk about what you might see during your upcoming dive.
For Caley, the rock and roll lifestyle took him around the world. “Touring allowed me to dive in places like Bali and Brazil that I would never have been able to dive otherwise.” That all changed when he came to the Cayman Islands several years ago. “I wanted to stay in one place for a while,” he says.
With tattoos covering his body, he certainly looks the part of someone in the music business. Ironically, they aren’t “rock” tattoos, but actually his ink reminds him of his mother. “She and I loved 80s movies, so they involve 80s movies,” he explains. To prove it, Caley points to the Ghostbusters logo on his leg.
“You wouldn’t expect Greg to be such a clam cool guy just by looking at him,” says Sunset House Dive Manager Peter Foster-Smith. “But he is. He’s at the gym in the mornings before work and often does yoga in the evenings.”
While being on the road does have its share of interesting stories, including the artist who “exploded” around anything “Pepsi”, Caley doesn’t have many stories of “diva divers”, but he did recall one interesting question asked by a customer that left him a bit puzzled. “A lady asked me ‘what’s the depth for my emergency ascent.’”
Surprisingly, Caley’s vacation plans include going BACK on the road with some various artists. “It’s always good to get off the island for a little while and I still enjoy going out of the road.”
Caley works alongside Andy Barnes, a former Brit who speaks perfect English and has the polished communication skills of a politician. That’s only natural since he spent a few years serving his community in a elected capacity.
But things change. “I lost faith in politics. I couldn’t see the end results of my efforts.” He added that the system seemed broken when a select few could control the outcomes of many issues.
After he and his girlfriend came to Grand Cayman on vacation, Barnes decided he was going to leave the UK for good. His girlfriend (now wife) quickly got a job and the pair settled on the island. “I’m never going back,” he says confidently. “The work is pleasurable and I’ve noticed that people smile a whole lot more in a warm place.”
Has he ever needed to use his “diplomatic” skills on the island. “Sure, but you have to know when to use it. Divers always want to do their own thing, go to a certain profile or depth. You have be use good judgment every day.”
The Sunset House dive staff doesn’t have a lot of turnover and is very much like a family. One of the newest members of the “family” Charlotte Roslev came aboard last December and has quickly made her mark. She’s easy to spot – not because she’s a tall, attractive blonde, but because she’s usually the first one to greet you or ask if you need help at the dive center.
Roslov’s dive experience includes time in her native country of Denmark, Thailand and most recently, three years in the Red Sea resort city of Hurghada. Late last year, she followed her boyfriend to Grand Cayman and waited for an opportunity to put her instructor certification to work.
She got the call late last year and joined Sunset Divers during the holidays. “She has good experience and was the right person for the job,” Foster-Smith said. He added that her enthusiasm is contagious.
Last month, a local publication featured Roslev as Divemaster of the Month. The notoriety doesn’t bother her. “I love diving and enjoy sharing the experience with guests.” She didn’t hesitate when asked to pose alongside the famous Sunset House “mermaid” state just off the resort’s shoreline. “It makes me happy when I see divers come out of the water with smiles on their faces.”
It’s obvious that all three love their jobs and enjoy the hard work that goes with it. “Well everything except moving tanks,” Roslev admits.