By: Captain Dennis
As the Captain of a Yacht many times I get ask a lot of questions. Some of those questions are on how I became a Captain, why I do what I do, also how did I become a Captain?
For me it started back as kid growing up in South Louisiana. I loved the outdoors and because of that when cousin and friends wanted to stay inside and play board games or cards I would elect to go ride my bike, play in the woods, go fishing, hunting, swimming or anything else that I could do outside. I always wanted to know what was under the water and glued to the TV watching all the adventures of Captain Jacques Cousteau and the Crew of the Calypso. As I got older I tried talking friends into this Scuba Diving Thing. Finally in the late 1970’s I gave up on friends wanted to scuba dive and earn my Open Water Certification.
For many years I stayed an Open Water Diver and did a lot of diving in the ponds, lakes of South Louisiana, Oil and Gas Rigs in the Gulf of Mexico sometimes making a trip to Florida and even the Caribbean. In time, some of those friends did join me in the adventure. After a trip to Cozumel, Mexico I wanted more and soon became a Dive Master. A lot was happening for me during that time frame and my Father said why don’t you go do that Scuba Thing for 6 months or a Year and then do whatever you would enjoy after. Things went fast after that little talk, while fishing of course. I became a Scuba Instructor and soon was working for a couple different Cruise Lines traveling and diving around the Caribbean and other Destinations.
After many years in the cruise line industry I ended up in Colorado and soon working at a dive center. Eventually my late wife and I opened our own dive center in Loveland Colorado, where for six years we enjoyed meeting people, teaching scuba, traveling and doing anything that involved the Water and Underwater world.
In 2006, I sold the Dive & Travel Center and headed back to the Islands of the Bahamas and Caribbean. Having grown up on and around boats it wasn’t long before I wanted to know more about being a Captain. Next thing I knew I had my 100T US Coast Guard Captain License and was working as a 2nd Captain or 1st Mate on Charter Boats. At the same time I was learning more about sailing and then doing some private sailing charters around the Caribbean and working on getting an upgrade in my USCG Captain’s License. After a few years, I did take some time off for family matters. After all was good with family, I knew I wanted to get back to the sea and being a Captain.
Enter the Aggressor Fleet. During the past as a Dive Center Manger and then Owner I have sent lots of guest to the Aggressor Yachts for a week of diving and I even did a few myself. I always enjoyed the experience but more important the guest I sent enjoyed and it and wanted more. It was September 2010, I found myself as staff on the Turks & Caicos II. From there I was relief Captain going from Turks & Caicos, to Grand Cayman to the Dominican Republic and swimming with Humpback Whales. Which even today being in the water with the Whales is one of my favorite things to ever experience. Before long the Aggressor Fleet wanted to start operations in the Bahamas and was ask to help get that up and operating. Onboard the Carib Dancer later to be called the Bahamas Aggressor I went. Soon we where diving in the Northern Exuma’s and then Tiger Beach (Another Amazing Place To Experience). After a few years in the Bahamas I was asked if I would like to be Captain of the Belize Aggressor IV. Having been to and enjoyed Belize several times with guest from the Dive Center and seeing and meeting the staff of the Belize Aggressor IV while in the Dominican Republic, I said yes!
Working with Aggressor Adventures as a Captain either working charters or helping deliver yachts to varies destinations, my favorite was from Papua New Guinea to Thailand. Even doing dry docks which brought me back to old days when I was an Engineer on a few yachts has enable me to explore and enjoyed some Amazing Places and People.
When ask what I enjoy doing or what job I enjoy the most? Well that part is easy. Being A Grandfather Tops It All. So While Its Awesome To Be A Captain, Dive Instructor, Photographer, Videographer Nothing Beats Being Paw Paw Den!
Currently my home is where I grew up, buying the house and six acres I grew up on is now home base where my adventure started. What would be enjoyable is someday and Some Adventure Somewhere, You and I can sit and talk about this Amazing Adventure Called Life and Brag About Underwater Bubble Time, Kids and Grandkids. Until Then, Never Give Up, Stay Positive and Enjoy Each Day!!