A short history of Guam dive shops.

There were originally 3 dive shops on Guam: Marianas Divers in Agana, International Divers Association (IDA) in Agat, and Coral Reef Marine Center in Asan. 

One of the owners of IDA (started in 1972) took off with $50,000 he bilked out of a Japanese investor, so it quickly went bankrupt.  The Japanese investor, Takehisa Kitagawa, who had started Japanese dive tourism on Guam, approached Pete Peterson, just retired from the military, and they opened Micronesian Divers Assn (MDA) in 1982. 

They were left with a building that leaked water everywhere, a Volkswagon engined air compressor that blew more oil than air out, 3 masks, a few rental sets in disrepair, rusty steel tanks, 12 or so chickens, and a boat that leaked water!

MDA grew dramatically over the years and eventually opened two more stores, one in Yigo, one in Tumon.  In 1992 MDA centralized all of its operations at Piti. 

MDA, along with Paul Shida (one of the original owners of Scuba Company) also explored many of the divesites everyone now uses weekly. Pete and his wife Linda owned MDA (and baby sat the cast of characters there) until 2007 and are now retired.  MDA is now owned by Lee and June Webber, Akira Baba, and MJ and Steve Wolborsky.

Over the years Pete initiated many changes in the local dive market here ana traveled the region extensively. Pete also had the pleasure of diving with Jean-Michel Cousteau, Stan Waterman, Astronaut Kathy Sullivan, actress Linda Blair, actor Robert Hayes, and NOAA Chief Sylvia Earle.

Pete developed special relationships with Bill Acker, Sam Scott, Gradvin and Kimiou Aisek and many other dive operators in the region.

 

Marianas Divers, the very first dive shop on Guam, survived for a few years but it also closed.  Marianas Divers was here way before all of us, and was started just after World War II by Joe Campbell. He dove with Jacques Cousteau, and was the first US Divers Distributor and ScubaPro Distributor outside the US. They were also registered with PADI as dive center #002.

  

Coral Reef Marine Center was started in 1972 by Jim Hoffman and Wayne Baumauk.  Coral Reef bought ENIRAM (the first Mercury distributor outside the US) and began selling the Mercury Marine Products. They brought in a Mercury mechanic from Japan, George Taguchi, who eventually moved to Saipan, where his kids now are grown and operate a Marine Business there.

Coral Reef brought a Japanese Dive Instructor to Guam, Takashi Yamamoto, who also took over Coral Reef Saipan, and operated that store for many years.

Ron and Diane Strong were their first guides to Truck Lagoon. They worked with Kimio Aisek taking him tanks and compressors so he could support their dive trips. In Palau Coral Reef helped Benna Sakuma, and Francis Torebiong again with tanks and equipment to take our tourists out.

Coral Reef eventually got out of the dive business but are still very active in the marine trade. They are located in Tamuning.  After many years of absence, Wayne has returned to the roost and is now back at Coral Reef.

Jim Brandt, a very well known instructor, opened Island Scuba Repair in Agat and then went on to become a PADI Course director and worked for both Coral Reef Marine Center and MDA.  Jim has left the dive industry but is still an active diver.

The Agat Dive Center was opened by Neal Tapps after MDA moved to Piti (1992) and remained open for a few years.

Professional Sport Divers was started by Simon Pridmore across from the fire station in Agat in 1997 and stayed open until 2002.  Simon was the first to offer extensive technical diving services.

Another dive shop, Diver's Choice, opened in Asan and was active for a couple of years before it closed.

Guam Divers, a Japanese shop located in Agana, was sold in 1992 to John and Paula Bent, who renamed it Guam Tropical Dive Station (GTDS). It remains open in Tamuning.  John and Paula have since retired and moved to Australia.

Pete, Linda, John, and Paula are smiling a lot more now.  Blood pressure has fallen, they've re-discovered their grown up kids, and are lovin' life.

The newest "kid" on the dive scene on Guam catering to local divers is Axe Murderers Tours, also known as the Andersen AFB Family Dive Center.  it's located at the MWR complex and is run by Megan Statkus and Trent Scheibe.

There are far too many other tour shops to mention, but the dive local diving community on Guam is very active.