Ryan Photographic - Dive trip participants
Paddy did his first dive in December 1977 and has been diving pretty much ever since. He has now logged over 1000 dives in a variety of habitats ranging from the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands to the equatorial tropics. He's written four books with a strong diving component. The first, Fiji's Natural Heritage includes the marine environment in a general over view of Fiji nature. The Snorkeller's Guide to the Coral Reef followed and then he wrote Fiordland Underwater: New Zealand's Hidden Wilderness with friend and colleague Chris Paulin. He is currently working on a new edition of Fiji"s Natural Heritage. His last book was the self-published Kri Eco - Raja Ampat.
Paddy is a full professor at the Denver campus of Johnson & Wales University and an Associate Adjunct Professor at the Colorado School of Mines. It goes without saying that he is a keen nature photographer. He has also been known to enjoy the occasional microbrew and the occasional glass of wine.
He currently lives with the long suffering Kathy (see below). He has two children, Sarah (25) and Lucy (22) who live with their Mom in New Zealand.
Photo courtesy of Dave Herrick
Kat snorkeled in New Zealand's Fiordland while on a dive trip organized by Chris Paulin and Paddy. This trip had the unfortunate result (for Kathy) of her eventually marrying Paddy and the fortunate result of stimulating her to learn to dive. Since that time Kat has recorded over 150 dives in Fiji, Belize, Cozumel and Florida and is now an Advanced Open Water Diver. Kathy currently teaches math at Front range Community College and at several institutions that teach online. She is also the owner of Pacific Island Books (www.pacificislandbooks.com) another result of meeting Paddy ...
Kathy is a book-lover but laments that she doesn't get enough time to read. She is also an inveterate traveler having been on such exotic trips as a cruise on the Nile and a visit to the Seychelles ('cos it sounded interesting). She has two daughters, Becca and Sarah, both of whom are accomplished divers, Sarah has completed her Rescue Diver qualification. Kat hates diving with Paddy and wants a dive buddy.
Dave has come on nine of Paddy's twelve annual dive trips. Dave can always be relied on to have a beer with me (so I don't drink alone) and has never ever turned down a dive when requested. He is good to dive with as his bald pate can be seen from some distance away. On occasion high flying aircraft have mistaken it for an airport landing light.
Dave is an excellent underwater photographer (still using his trusty Nikonos 5 as far as I know) and a very experienced diver (he's been diving since 1975). He's been to Sulawesi, Fiji, Raja Ampat and Belize with me and has dived extensively down the east coast. In real life Dave has retired after working as Assistant Principal in a special education program for emotionally disturbed secondary students yet still managed to remain more or less sane.
In addition to diving, Dave's interests include drinking, photography, playing guitar, boating and travel.
Becca and JR
Becca is my gorgeous stepdaughter who has been diving since she was young enough to become qualified. I think she is part fish because she is so at home in the water. Becca recently finished a Bachelor's degree in Interior Design and currently manages a local Lenscrafters store. JR, Becca's husband of only a few months (they married on 10/10/2010) but long time partner, currently works for AT&T. JR is my "go to" guy for anything to do with electronics. JR got Open Water certified in the Sea of Cortez last year and has become hooked (he has also become hooked on fast motor bikes ...).
Becca and JR would have been with us on this year's trip to Fiji if it wasn't for that marriage thing - can't believe they considered that more important ...
63-year old, fearless independent who loves most things with a pulse. Global traveller with moral compass. Cancer survivor. Make my living as an artist and web designer. Semi-retired. Love work; love life. Especially origami. Champagne tastes. Slightly new age quantum physicist. Formerly a social worker, stained glass artist, glassblower, realtor, treaty negotiator, music festival producer, hang glider pilot. Discovered scuba diving just a few years ago. Scuba instruction in Kas, Turkey, certification in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Totalled about 150-dives mostly off of Loreto, Baja California Sur.
Chris Henry (23) was born in Texas but raised (and currently lives) in Los Angeles, California. At an early age, Chris developed a keen interest in exploring the world around him. This is especially true when it comes to foreign cultures and geography. His desire to explore also led to his interests in active adrenaline based activities. In 2006, Chris was diagnosed with the neuromuscular disease fibromyalgia after an extended stay at the hospital. When not at work, you can find him at the track working on his Formula 3 certification. Chris also spends spare time during the year in the United Kingdom; Coronado, California; and the Big Island of Hawai’i. He graduated in May 2010 from Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Colorado with a Bachelors of Science in Hotel Management and Entrepreneurship. And Paddy has to add that when Chris was in my Ecotourism class we made an instant connection. He's a hell of a bloke.
Brian and Rebeca
Brian Fleischer and Rebeca Quezada have been married for six years and spend every vacation they can under water. "There are fewer things in this world we would rather do". Brian is all about becoming a decent underwater photographer (Paddy here - he is already) and Rebeca loves to find great subjects for him to shoot, not to mention enjoying the sensation of floating and flying underwater. Recent trips include Palau aboard the Aggressor, Loreto (and Fiji with Paddy and Co) to name a few. We are sooo looking forward to this next trip and are ready to blow bubbles again!!!
Our dream trip to Belize will definitely include a whale shark sighting, so let's keep our fingers crossed! See you all soon!
Hello everyone! My name is Stephanie. I am currently an Advertising & Marketing Communications student at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Colorado. In the spring of 2010, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Sweden for three months as a first year student. I absolutely love to travel, and have traveled extensively throughout the States, but going to Sweden was my first time overseas. I was able to venture to a few other countries and loved every bit of my time in Europe. This year I was lucky enough to finally be in Professor Ryan’s Environmental Science class. I had previously heard from friends in his Marine Biology class that interested students were able to take a scuba diving lesson. I have always wanted to go scuba diving; however, being born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I have always been landlocked by beautiful mountains instead. Scuba diving, along with visiting and spending time in a tropical rainforest, is on my bucket list in life, so when I heard about Paddy Ryan’s trip to Belize, I immediately told myself I had to take advantage of this once in a lifetime experience. I have only taken one scuba lesson so far, but will begin my certification in the very near future to get as “pro” as possible before June. As a side note, I have played soccer for 14 years, swam for eight, love to read, camp, be outdoors, and around people. Oh, and I have been told on numerous occasions that I smile way too much - just who I am. I think this is going to be a trip of a lot of “first times” for me, but I absolutely cannot wait to be a part of this trip I know I’ll never forget! (note from Paddy ... and she's a delight in class).
Hi my name is Andrew Castro. I was born in Fort Worth, TX and lived there until the fall of 2009, when I moved to Denver to attend Johnson & Wales University. It was at JWU, where I met Professor Paddy in his environmental science class. After hearing his amazing stories and seeing his spectacular underwater photography it sparked an interest in preserving our planet and enjoying its true beauties. After procrastinating about getting certified until January, Ali talked me into something that I know will change my life. I got Open Water certified on 1/30/11 at the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, NM. I am extremely excited for Belize and hope to make some lifelong dive buddies!
Hi! My name is Ali Wentzel, I’m 19 and I am a student of Professor Paddy’s at Johnson & Wales. I grew up in Northern California, and moved to Denver for school. Don’t let the blonde hair and bikini underneath the wetsuit fool you. I got OW certified in 2004 and advanced certification in 2006, both in Monterey Bay, Ca. I have been diving all over the Caribbean and Hawaii, so I am very excited to see some new territory. I am so excited about Belize and meeting some amazing people. See you all soon!
Carolyn has yet to send me any information but she is a College Professor in Binghamton. She will be snorkling only but I am hopeful we will turn her into a diver this trip. She came with us to belize the last time we went. She enjoyed it and we enjoyed her company.
Linda lives in Wilmington North Carolina and is married (poor thing) to Kat's brother . This is her first dive trip and like Carolyn she will be only snorkling this time around but we have hopes of getting her diving this trip.
Sarah is my stepdaughter. She has been on several of my dive trips. She is an accomplished diver. She is currently doing a masters in the theater lighting at the University of Maryland.
Ryan Photographic, 2802 East 132nd Circle, Thornton,
CO 80241 USA Phone 303-457-9795