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Scuba Diving Crew
The Team Bio
Aqua Cat has been rated #1 by the readers of Scuba Diving magazine for BEST CREW! We have found few other recreational activities where the general public relies so heavily on the professionals in charge for their enjoyment and safety. For this reason, we have assembled a top notch team to meet your every need on board!
We have the most dynamic team of talented individuals on board and their goal is to be sure your trip is one that you will never forget! Their gracious ways and outgoing attitudes make guests on board feel like family in no time. Each brings something unique to the team. Check out this team bio to find out more about all of our crazy awesome team members!
Captain Ron McCaslin – With us since 1992, when he joined us as a dive instructor, Captain Ron has been captain aboard The Aqua Cat since she was commissioned in 2001. Hot Texas summers led to lifeguarding and later a Scuba Instructor in 1981 while finishing a Chemistry degree at Texas A&M University. Ron holds a 1600 ton license from the US Coast Guard and when not aboard, he enjoy’s riding motorcycles, hunting, or woodworking.
Captain Des Greyling – Des is from Port Elizabeth, South Africa where he grew up loving the ocean. He began his career on the Aqua Cat in 2005 as a dive instructor. Previous to working on the Aqua Cat, Des was an instructor in South Africa and Thailand. On the Aqua Cat he worked his way up to first mate before becoming the captain on the Cat Ppalu in 2010. He was promoted captain on the Aqua Cat in 2012. After working in the real world and aging behind a computer, he decided to set sail and search for the eternal fountain of youth. His travels took many years and many miles but he finally found the fountain of youth here in the Bahamas and ever since has been getting younger.
First Mate Carlis Harrell – Carlis is from somewhere and has his associates degree in Mixed Gas Theory. Everyone calls him Car-Car for short. he likes to play with fire- poi that is! He also enjoys long walks on the beach and sailing. You would never guess he likes to sleep in pink tutus! He’s traveled thru most of North America, Germany, Italy and a lot of the Caribbean.
Diego Cortiza – Diego Cortiza is from Sao Paulo, Brazil and has a degree in International Business. His first diving experience was recommended to him for medical reasons as a stress reliever! He is a Master Scuba Diver Trainer with 14 years as an active DI with many specialty courses to offer! He loves diving and sharing his passion for diving more than anything else. When not diving, he enjoys traveling, beach volleyball and soccer.
Dive Instructor Austin Belden – The Kid, as we all call him, is from Virginia Beach, VA and is just barely out of high school but he knows what he wants and he is going for it! He loves all sports, diving, music, skydiving, hiking and camping and plans to travel the world while he is still young. He likes to make his own jewelry and is artistic too. He grew up by the sea so he is a perfect fit for this life!
Erika Palik, Dive Instructor – Erika joins us from Hungary and has a degree in Biology. She loves hiking, diving, dancing and any outdoor activity! She loves to travel and has explored most of Europe and parts of the United States. She enjoys Greek and Hungarian cuisine, French baguettes with nice wine and favors the color green. She is a mermaid deep in her heart so don’t let her bite you!
Chris Venus, Dive Instructor – Chris hails from Gibraltar and has a BSC in computer science. He loves to backpack, bungee jump, free dive and wakeboard. He spent 3 years backpacking Southeast Asia, Australia and Central America. He loves cookies and apologies for his handwriting- he says it is that of an 8 year old. We still love him.
Adam Rademeyer – Engineer And Dive Instructor – Adam joins us from South Africa. He loves to travel, and any adventure is one he will try. He attended Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. He has been with us since 2013.
Randy Burris, Engineer – Resides in Melbourne, FL when not aboard AQC. He is began his marine career at Blackbeard’s Cruises in 1993 and has worked as engineer and as Captain. Randy has been aboard since March of 2012.
Jesse McNaughton, Engineer and First Mate – Jesse joins us from Arkansas and got his education on the street. He loves to surf, trek, dive and high dive! He was once up for knighthood, but the Queen rejected him. He is still devastated and consoles himself with pizza.
Kelly Sandi, Chef – Kelly is known as the princess among the crew! She is from Lima Peru and attended cooking school in Argentina. She enjoys dancing, photography, rafting and canopy flying! She loves ceviche! Her father is a professional soccer player so she grew up with a soccer ball nearby.!
Sous Chef Mishka Badenhorst – Affectionately known as the BUNION, she is from South Africa and her degree is in Drama. She dabbles in just about everything. She dreams of traveling and for now they are dreams….she believes in the tooth fairy, and her favorite food is sushi. Shh…don’t tell the fish!
House Mouse Lario Mostert – She has her diploma in Hospitality and Event Management. She loves sports, baking, dancing and all outdoor activity. She plans to travel the world and so far has been to Australia, New Zealand, UK and the Bahamas. Wonderland is next on her list. The cutest thing about Lario is that when she laughs, she snorts like a little piggy!