Well Rick Bennett is one of those rare individuals who actually decided to make a major change and chase his dream.
Rick was born in East Greenbush, New York, and it was noted from a young age that he was a pretty sporty fella. Indeed his first job was as a salesperson at Steuben Athletic Club where he got commissions for selling memberships – something at which he excelled. It wasn’t long before he moved into the more physical side of things and became a personal trainer. He had also been an all-American lacrosse player at Cortland State University, the same place where he met his future wife. She too was heavily into athletics, and so together they decided to open their health club called Club Concept. It was satisfying and rewarding work, and the club did well for the three years they ran it. Near the end of that time, Rick’s brother put a bug in his ear about getting into pharmaceutical sales. Obviously he was pretty persuasive, as not only did Rick go along with the idea; he also ended up doing it for about 10 years!
Now as much as the money was great and he and his wife were living in relative comfort, they felt there was something missing in their lives. They had taken a Scuba Resort Course in the Cayman Islands with Nick Buckley (then of Red Baron Divers) and Rick had instantly fallen in love with the sport. He began training for his certifications in the St. Lawrence River in 2000 and by 2002 was ready to make some life-changing decisions. The couple sat down and created a five-year plan where they would save as much as they could and then move to Grand Cayman.
Five years later, Rick moved to Cayman in March 2007 and his wife joined him in August/September. He went to work with Nick Buckley, his previous instructor and now man-in-charge at Deep Blue Divers, and has been there ever since. In the meantime, Rick’s wife has set up her own company, Swim ‘n’ Trim, based around aquatic health and fitness instruction.
When asked if he would recommend his choices to others, Rick doesn’t hesitate. “Absolutely!” he states with enthusiasm. Sure, they don’t earn the money they used to, but he wouldn’t trade their lifestyle for the world. To get up every day to those beautiful waters and incredible weather, frankly it’s priceless and they never stop appreciating it.
Are you thinking about making a big change in your life? Maybe you should go out on a dive with Rick and Deep Blue Divers.
Deep Blue Divers is a small, personal operation with two boats and a maximum of seven divers per boat. WH
Boat Dive, West Side
The pin is in 55-feet of water. Head north and you’ll see a collection of cuts, swim-throughs and pinnacles. The maximum depth here is 100 feet and you don’t have to swim far to see a lot. In fact, a lot of the dive site happens under or near the boat. Explore all the nooks and crannies and look out for tarpon, turtles, moray eels and a very rare Black Snapper that seems to enjoy hanging out at this site. The coral life is plentiful and healthy here, so take your time and drink it all in. Don’t forget your safety stop.
Boat Dive, North Wall (new site!)
The pin is in about 50-feet of water and sits on a pinnacle. Swim around the pinnacle to a maximum depth of about 100 feet, go along the wall for 15 minutes, turn around and swim back. This site was only listed last year, so it’s not been explored as much as others. Expect to see Eagle Rays, moray eels and Lionfish. Safety stop before you return to the boat!