Professional Diving Instruction, Gear and Adventure

BIOS

Staff

Jonathan Eddy - Owner

Jonathan Eddy - OwnerJonathan has been co-owner and manager of Waterfront Diving Center since July of 1990. Originally certified by PADI in 1970, Jonathan has over 40 years of diving experience, and has traveled to a variety of diving destinations. Although his first career was in the banking industry, Jonathan actively pursued his passion for diving. From working as a skin diving guide for Club Med on the Costa Brava in Spain while he was in college, to volunteering as a diver on several nautical archaeology projects conducted by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Jonathan found interesting ways to stay wet. Diving has taken Jonathan all over the world. His diving destinations include: The Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, Bonaire, Saba, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Roatan, Truk Lagoon, Palau, Fiji, the Maldive Islands, South Africa, the Red Sea in Egypt, and Coastal New England. Jonathans’ favorite local dive is the OJ Walker because everything is still there – the anchor at the bow, wheel at the stern, the masts, the dead-eyes, and cargo still on the deck. He likes to say that the only thing missing are the sails! Another one of his favorite dives is not a wreck. Ferris Rock, located Northeast of Schuyler Island on Lake Champlain has great geology with large crevices, over hangs, drop offs and even a small archway. His favorite dive destination outside of Vermont would be Palau. Palau has great diversity: caves, wrecks, walls and unbelievable marine life. In his time off Jonathan enjoys spending time at his camp on Lake Champlain in Willsboro, N.Y. and flying his amphibious ultra-light around the Champlain Valley

Robert "Ski" Wilczynski - Owner, Instructor Trainer, Service Technician

Ski is a co-owner of Waterfront Diving Center. Ski was originally certified to dive in 1989 through NAUI and became a NAUI Divemaster in 1999. Ski completed his Instructor training with Hall's Diving Institute in August 2011. His diving experiences have brought him to many locations in Lake Champlain, as an Archaeological Diver with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, and assisting with many Waterfront Diving Center classes over the years. While a majority of Ski’s diving activities have taken place in Lake Champlain and other Lakes and Rivers around Vermont, he has also enjoyed cold water diving in Lake George, Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River, and the coast of Maine. His West Coast diving experience includes Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. He has also dived in the warmer climates of Florida, all three Cayman Islands, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, and the Bay Islands of Honduras. Some of his favorite diving destinations include the shipwrecks of Lake Champlain, and anywhere in the Caribbean, where the water is warm, the Corals are vibrant, and the fish life is out of this world. When Ski isn’t diving, he can be found spending time with his wife, three children, and their dogs. In the summer, he is on his sailboat, Andiamo in Malletts Bay, at any golf course, or swimming; In the winter he loves to ski, skate and slide with his family.

 

Arthur "Art" Cohn- WDC Instructor

Art is a senior Dive-Instructor in the Waterfront Dive Center family having become a NAUI Instructor in 1974 (#3795) at the Rockport Massachusetts ITC. While working winters in the Caribbean, Art founded Northern Divers in 1976 and soon became introduced to the extraordinary history and archaeology of Lake Champlain. Art co-founded the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in 1984 and directed dozens of nautical archaeology projects and became a leading voice in advocating for the public value and preservation of shipwrecks. Working in partnership with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Art helped establish the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserve program in 1986.

Art has served as Safety Diver for the NOAA Hydrolab, Divemaster for the multi-year Azores Shipwreck Survey’s, Project Director/Divemaster for the Hudson River Shipwreck Verification Project and dozens of shipwreck documentation projects and field schools. He is currently an Affiliated Scholar at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University, A Research Fellow at the Clements Library at the University of Michigan, Principal Investigator of the Spitfire Management Project and an active first-responder with the Ferrisburgh Fire Department. Art continues to work as a Divemaster and an Instructor in the WDC’s Dive

 

Abigail Baker - WDC Staff Member

Abigail was first certified in 2013 while attending her first year at Florida Keys Community College in Key West Florida , she had no idea what she was getting into when she returned to Vermont (where she was born and raised) to get her Advanced Cert. with WDC’s very own Nancy Smith. Although Lake Champlain diving was a drastic change, she feel in love with the idea of combining her passion for diving and her unending love for the state of Vermont. She graduated college in December of 2015 after taking a semester off to do a 4 month road trip across the United States. She is currently working full-time at WDC and perusing her PADI divemaster!

Kacey Clougher - WDC Staff Member

Kacey was certified by Shelagh and Ski her first year of college through the UVM course. Even though she's traveled to Australia, the lake is still her favorite place to dive beacuse of the history in the shipwrecks! She is currently studying computer science and ecology but is working on advancing her SCUBA skills to use for her career one day. She works full-time at the shop in the summers and part-time the rest of the year! Besides the shop she spends time with her horse as well as rides competitively for the UVM Equestrain team and is active in UVM Greek Life.

Stephanie Farrell - WDC Staff Member (On Occasion)

stephanie farrellStephanie was originally certified to dive in 2001 when she was just a little high school freshman; in fact, Waterfront Diving Centers very own Brett Campbell was her instructor. Her diving experience includes Lake Champlain only when the water is at its very warmest, frequent trips to the Isle of Shoals in Maine and has also ventured over the Canadian border to Lake Ontario. It was only when her mom surprised her with a trip to tropical Cozumel, Mexico in 2003, that she knew she had met her true match; Warm water diving was certainly for her! She has since been to Fiji, Palau, Grand Cayman and Utila, Honduras. Stephanie’s favorite place of all time to dive is Palau because of all the BIG animals, lots of sharks and huge schools of fish. When Stephanie is not diving you can certainly find her at Waterfront Diving Center working the retail end of things. She also enjoys making frequent trips to Boston to live the city life for a weekend here and there, traveling around Vermont and discovering all that it has to offer food and beverage-wise and just taking it easy.

roxy scuba shop dog


 
Roxy – Shop greeter

Roxy's bio coming soon!


 
Rhode – Shop greeter

Rhode is the newest member of the shop greeter team, he is one year old, loves sticks and has a tendency to be a little shy around new people, but his time in the shop is allowing him to broaden his social horizons! He is cute as heck and loves long walks.

elvis scuba shop dog


 
Elvis – Shop greeter, customer service representative (part time)

Elvis started at Waterfront Diving Center when he was 8 weeks old; therefore Elvis knows the business inside and out. Although, never certified to dive, Elvis loves the water. He enjoys swimming and body surfing and his favorite local spot to do so is Leddy beach. Most of the time Elvis can be found in the dive shop greeting customers with his scintillating personality and ability to put patrons at ease. Elvis is an avid outdoor enthusiast and when he is not working he can be found hiking or playing and enjoying almost any outdoor activity.

 

 

 

Instructors

Lawrence Jacques – Instructor

larry jaqcues waterfront diving center instructorLarry was originally certified to dive in 1984 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts through NAUI. He became a NAUI instructor for Waterfront Diving Center in 2003. Most of Larry’s diving experience has been as an instructor as well as a public safety and rescue diver for Berkshire Country. He has also been a rescue diver for the Iron Man, which is held every year in Lake Placid. When Larry isn’t doing work related diving, he enjoys doing “fun” dives in Lake George, New York because its very close to where he lives. His favorite dive destination is to a wreck called Chester Poling, North Shore Massachusetts. This is one of his favorites because it’s a fun, deep wreck. When Larry isn’t busy teaching students how to dive here at Waterfront Diving Center or helping saving lives, he enjoys sporting clays and target shooting with his family.

 

Pierre A. LaRocque - Instructor

pierre larocque scuba instructor

Pierre was originally certified to dive way back in 1986 with NAUI. When Pierre isn’t teaching various Scuba Diving courses here at Waterfront Diving Center he is a professional commercial diver for local projects. He is also very involved with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Pierre’s favorite local dive is any and all dives in the lake simply because they are always different. His favorite dive destination would be to the Islands of Palau because of its big blue water and big fish! When Pierre isn’t diving he can be found on the ski slopes in the winter or hanging out on his boat in the summer!

 

Erick Tichonuk – Instructor

erick tichonuk scuba instructorErick was certified to dive in 1981 through NAUI and later became an instructor through both PADI and NAUI diving agencies. Erick has been both a recreational diver as well as a trip leader in the Bahamas, Florida Keys and Springs, Bay Islands of Honduras (all of them), Cayman Islands (all of them), U.S. Virgin Islands, Cozumel Mexico, New England coast, California kelp forests, St. Lawrence River, and local lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams too numerous to mention. As a nautical archaeologist he has worked on no fewer than 20 projects, from 1759 British sloops from the French and Indian War in Lake Champlain to great wreck graveyards in the Azores Islands off Portugal. Erick’s favorite local dive would have to be any wreck in Lake Champlain because there’s no better way to connect with history. Each wreck is a tangible link to the past that sparks the imagination and brings him back in time. Erick’s favorite dive destination is Cozumel, Mexico because not only is the diving great, but he also lived there for one winter and taught scuba. He is also very connected with their culture. When Erick isn’t teaching SCUBA he keeps busy as Executive Co-Director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Erick has been at LCMM for over 25 years as an educator, nautical archaeologist, and now as captain and coordinator of their large replica vessels including the gunboat Philadelphia II and canal schooner Lois McClure.

Jim Squires - Instructor

Jim Squires is one of the senior diving instructors on Lake Champlain with over 25 years teaching experience. He teaches all levels of divers, including Rescue and Underwater Photography, and leads groups on diving vacations throughout the Caribbean. Jim considers himself fortunate to be able to combine two passions- diving and photography- into a dream hobby of underwater photography. Jim’s underwater photography has adorned the walls of Waterfront Diving Center for many years, and he has received awards in several photography contests, having won Coastal Photographers’ Guild (GA) Contest Best in Show (2009 and 2010), Little Cayman Digital Shootout (2010), Hawaii’s Kona Classic Underwater Photography Competition ( 2006) and Grand Cayman’s Digital Madness Photography Contest (2007). He is seldom seen underwater without a camera. Jim is also recognized nationally as a early education expert and currently serves as Senior Research Fellow for the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. He spends time between Charlotte, Vermont and Saint Simons Island, Georgia with his wife, Debbie and Australian shepard, Obie

Shelagh Cooley - NAUI Instructor Trainer/PADI Instructor

shelagh

 

Shelagh began her diving career at the age of 15 as part of a school trip to Belize with a group from Essex High School. She grew up in South Hero enjoying all aspects of the lake and diving fit right into her love for nature and sport. After years of “vacation diving”, she decided to take a career break and went to the Philippines to complete her Divemaster certification. While working at Evolution Diving in Malapascua, she had the opportunity to do a lot of really exciting diving including diving with thresher sharks, technical diving to deep WWII wrecks, and her favorite muck diving (looking for small creatures in the sand!). While in Asia, Shelagh enjoyed diving the north shore of Bali, Sipidan, and of course her favorite spot – the Philippines! She became an instructor in 2013 and while she knows being a divemaster is the good life, she loves teaching her students how to have fun and be safe while diving! Shelagh looks for any excuse to get in the water and is currently pursuing cave diving and GUE to continue learning and training.

 

 

 

Wade Labrecque – NAUI Course Director

Wade LabrecqueWade was certified in 1982 with NAUI and became an instructor in 1994. Wade was born and raised in Burlington and dove extensively in Lake Champlain, first with Northern Divers and then with Waterfront Diving Center. He later moved to St. Thomas where he worked and dove many destinations throughout the Caribbean. Wade is also currently a Public Safety diver with the Colchester Technical Rescue Team. Wade has logged more than 1,000 dives over the past 27 years that he has been diving! His favorite local dive is to the OJ Walker right out here in Lake Champlain because he thinks that “its what a shipwreck should look like.” His favorite dive destination is Saba because there is unbelievable pinnacle and blue water with big sharks and eagle rays. When Wade is not diving he keeps very busy working as a Police K-9 Officer for the Burlington Police Department.

 

Steve Gibbs – Instructor

StevegibbsSteve learned to dive in order to find an activity where he could keep up with his son. Steve explains, "At 15, my son was 6'3'' and has surpassed my athletic talents on land; underwater, however, we were equals. Scuba is an activity of slow refinded movements. Size is not a factor in buoyancy control, and speed should be left to the fish. As my son developed a passion for marine biology, diving became a staple in our household. Our time spent learning, training, diving, and debriefing has led to an abiding bond." In addition to Lake Champlain, Steve and his son have explored the waters of Floriday, California, Massachusetts, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico. Steve received his NAUI Instructor Certification in 2017.

 

 

 

Chip Perry – Instructor

Chip Perry - Owner

Chip joined the Waterfront Diving Center (WDC) team in 1997 shortly after taking his first NAUI course, while attending the University of Vermont.  He continued his SCUBA training at WDC and completed the NAUI Instructor course at Hall’s Diving Institute in Marathon, Florida in 1999.  In addition to instruction, Chip is also an experienced diving equipment service technician with repair certifications from the top names in SCUBA equipment manufacturers. Chip is also an active Public Safety diver with the Colchester Technical Rescue Team.

With a passion to dive just about anywhere, Chip's favorite local spots include the Legendary Thompson’s Point in Charlotte and some of the most exotic diving destinations in the world including: Honduras, Cayman, Turks and Caicos, Tortola, and the Florida Keys. 

 

AJ Daubenschmidt - Guest Instructor

danA.J. learned to dive while serving in the Marine Corps. He took his first SCUBA class when he was stationed at Cherry Point Air Station in North Carolina. After leaving the Marines he returned to Vermont and began his diving adventures in in Lake Champlain. In early 2012 AJ attended the Hall’s Diving and Career Institute in Marathon Florida and Graduated from the NAUI Professional Instructor Program. Although he enjoys all types of diving, he is most passionate about wreck diving. When not in the water, you will most likely find him rock climbing, hiking, or attempting to play a guitar. During the winter months, he may occasionally step away from a heater and spend time outdoors skiing.

Brett Campbell - Instructor

Brett Campbell was originally certified to dive in 1985 with SSI. He later became an instructor through NAUI, TDI and SDI in 1997. Brett’s diving experience includes much diving in Vermont lakes, ponds and rivers. He has also ventured to Cape Ann for ocean diving and Nubble Light in Maine and has done some warm tropical water diving in Key Largo. Some of Brett’s dive jobs harvesting milfoil in Lake Fairlee, several underwater searches, drain maintenance, golf ball retrieval and swimming pool cleaning and maintenance. Brett’s favorite local dive is in Caspian Lake, Greensboro, Vermont because of its clean water, good visibility, excellent night diving, easy accessibility and more importantly, this is where he learned to snorkel as a kid in the 1960’s! His favorite dive destination is Folly Cove, Cape Ann, Massachusetts. Why? It’s a short drive for an ocean dive, great wall diving and there is a variety of New England marine life. When Brett isn’t diving he is a Norwich Professor of Study Strategies, Learning specialist and Coordinator for Academic Probation. He also manages to stay busy with writing, extensive reading and is a Ph.D. candidate.

Divemasters

Lisetta Hansen - Divemaster

lisettaLisetta Hansen was originally certified to dive in 1994 through PADI and three years later became a certified Divemaster. She also holds various certifications with NAUI, GUE, NACD, NSS and TDI. She has been diving in a variety of different places including, the Maldives, Indonesia, the Red Sea, Thailand, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Bonaire, Cozumel, Roatan, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Florida Keys, North Central Florida, Vermont, NY State, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Quebec and Ontario. Her favorite local dive is to the St. Lawrence River in Ontario and Quebec because it is great fresh water wreck diving in Ontario (the Vickery being one of her favorites), and salt water wreck diving in Quebec (the Empress of Ireland being another favorite). If Lisetta could choose any place in the world to dive it would have to be the Maldives or Indonesia, Simply because the corals are spectacular, the fish life very abundant and of course the manta rays! Her favorite Caribbean location is Little Cayman because the Bloody Bay Wall is fantastic. She also loves the cave diving in Mexico where the stalagmites and stalactites are too beautiful to describe. When Lisetta is not diving she is…planning her next dive of course! She loves spending time with her husband Dave, cooking for her family, working out and gardening.

 

John Siminger - Divemaster

John was originally certified to dive way back in 1970 through NAUI and became a Divemaster with the same agency in 2007. John’s diving experience includes a lot of diving in Lake Champlain as well as frequent Caribbean visits to Cozumel, Roatan, BVI, the Bahamas, specifically San Salvador and the Cayman Islands. His favorite local dive would have to be the wall at Thompson’s Point because its only 5 minutes from his house and he can go diving right after work. When John isn’t diving his favorite activities include staying active through hiking, biking and paddling.

 

 

 

 

Pat Beck - Divemaster

Pat Beck was certified to dive in 1990 through PADI. He then became a Divemaster in 1993 through NAUI. Pat has been diving in a variety of places. These include Roatan, St. Thomas, a livaboard in the Bahamas, Palau, Chuuk and Grand Cayman. He has also worked on various Maritime museum projects and A&M project. Pat’s favorite dive destination is Roatan because there are a variety of underwater topography and various species of fish.

 

 

Ed Limoge - Divemaster

Ed was certified to dive in 2000 and became a Divemaster 7 years later through NAUI. His diving destinations include Lake Champlain, Lake George, the Florida Keys, North Florida, Dutch Springs in Pennsylvania, and Hong Kong. Ed is also often a dive master for local charters. If he had to choose his favorite local dive is Bartlett Falls in Bristol because the visibility is spectacular, there is plenty of aquatic life and it’s a current dive! Ed is easy to please when it comes to his favorite dive designations: He’ll dive anywhere there’s water because he loves to dive! When Ed is not in the water he enjoys biking, hiking, rowing and being a rocket scientist…literally.

 

Dave Potter - Divemaster

Dave Potter started diving at age 12 and was certified at age 14 in 1978 by Art Cohn at Northern Divers (the predecessor of Waterfront Diving Center).  Most of Dave's diving experience was in our own Lake Champlain until 2006 when he met his future wife, Lisetta Hansen.  Since 2006, Dave and Lisetta have been to the Maldives, Philippines, Costa Rica, Roatán, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Socorro Islands of Mexico, Florida (freshwater caves and ocean diving), Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River, and they both still enjoy diving Lake Champlain any chance they can.  Lisetta also introduced Dave to the Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) training organization.  Dave's is currently pursuing GUE certification in overhead environments (caves) and mixed-gas diving.

 

Dave Bean - Divemaster

 

Dave Bean started diving in 1989, after meeting his future wife, an already certified diver. Certified at Water Front Diving when it was up the block on Battery Street, Dave dove mostly with his wife, Cathy, in Lake Champlain for many years before traveling to dive.  Since then they have been to the Maine, the Georgia Aquarium, Bahamas, Grand Cayman, BVI, St. John USVI, St. Lawrence River, Key West and multiple trips to the east coast of Florida diving out of the Boca inlet.  Dave has assisted with WDC classes for years before pursuing his DM Certification and enjoys helping new divers learn about diving and certified divers explore the next level of certification in Advanced classes.  His most notable dive is when he found a diamond ring off the Nubble Lighthouse in Maine.  His most memorable dives are to ‘Grand Central’ on Ghana Island in the BVI and the deep, current, wreck dives of the St. Lawrence with WDC friends. 

 

Jim Grant – Divemaster

Jim was certified to dive in1974 with NASDS and became certified as a NAUI Divemaster in 2008. Some of Jim’s diving experience includes diving in the Sea of Japan, Caribbean, New England, Red Sea, fresh water lakes and rivers of New York and Vermont. Jims favorite local dive is to the Water Witch because “She’s such a beautiful ship and is located at a depth that is challenging, but not technical.” Jim’s favorite dive destination is Curacao because the clarity of the water matched with the variety of sea life is the best he’s seen. He also likes it because it’s still affordable and the people are really friendly. There’s also good nightlife too. When Jim isn’t diving he is swimming competitively and hiking in the Adirondacks.

Tony Facos - Divemaster

Tony was originally certified to dive in 1990 through NAUI and became a NAUI Divemaster in 2005. Tony’s diving experience has mostly been in the colder waters of Lake Champlain, Maine, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. He has been to the warm waters of the Caribbean diving as well a few times. Out of all of these places his favorite local dive would be the St. Lawrence River because the water temperature is warm in the summer and there are a variety of impressive wrecks! His favorite dive destination is Bonaire because you are kind of “on your own” out there. Bonaire is mostly shore diving with incredible reef and sea life right of the beach! When Tony isn’t diving he is working for the Montpelier police department, skiing, riding and enjoying life!

Richard Cleveland- Divemaster

Richard was originally certified to dive in 1988 through NAUI and became a NAUI Divemaster in 2005. Richard's diving experience includes Vermont lakes, ponds and quarries. He has also traveled to Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence river. Tropical destinations where he has been diving include the Florida Keys, Cozumel and the Bahamas. His favorite dive destination out of all the places he has traveled to would be Cozumel because of the warm waters, great fish life because the light current makes for effortless drift diving! When Richard is not diving he is enjoying time with his wife and three kids, racing motorcross, skiing and hunting!

   


© Copyright 2010-2014 Waterfront Diving Center    |    Sonar images courtesy of Garry Kozak / Klein Associates
Graphic Design & Website Design by Off the Page Creations