Occupation: General Manager / Instructor Trainer
Hometown: Temple City, CA
Born at the tender age of zero, he began his first migration towards the great Pacific Ocean. Forged by the rough shell sand and pounding temperate waves, he formed a deep connection with the sea and all of her creatures. Now he uses his powers to teach others how to form a deep and lasting relationship with our mother, Ocean.
In his terrestrial life, Thomas is most commonly spotted at the Ocean Safari headquarters answering calls, repairing equipment, orchestrating excursions, and signing autographs.
After hours he must travel to the nearest body of water to avoid desiccation, often spending his weekday evenings teaching scuba, free diving, and rescue diving at the Norman S. Johnson Aquatic Center in Arcadia.
When he is not “working” photography, music, surfing, and hiking are his go-to activities.
Though his powers are great and many, there are still countless migrations ahead.
Join Ocean Safari and view this majestic creature on your next underwater adventure.
January 9, 2019
Over the years I have heard stories from many divers about their amazing experience diving with squid at one of our local beach dive sites. The squid are only here for a brief time, and in order to dive surrounded by these intergalactic cepholopods you must be at the right place at the right time. One perk of working in a dive shop is becoming privy to information about dive condition and local marine life sightings, so I was able to get the scoop on when and where they could be found. The night that I decided to try to find these squid also happened to be my partners and mines anniversary. Luckily for me she is also a diver, so when given the choice between a sit down dinner or a 30m night dive she happily chose the latter.
By the time we had packed our gear and hit the road it was about 7pm, and we would arrive at the parking lot about an hour later. The name of the dive site is Vets Park, and is a Los Angeles beach diving staple. I debated bringing my giant camera rig into the water, contemplating about how annoying it would be to lug it around with no squid to film. I asked a group of divers exiting the water if they saw any squid, and their answer was a disheartening “Only a few. just in the tens and hundreds, not the hundreds and thousands. Maybe tomorrow or Saturday would be better.” Ten and hundreds still sounded pretty good to me so I decided to bring my rig. As we walked towards the beach I spotted my good friend Erich coming back from his dive. He happily showed me some pictures and video and told me that they saw tons of squid. Erich also told us roughly where along the beach to enter and how deep to go.
We walked down the beach towards the pier and entered the water. Tonight the surf was small, but you could feel the energy of the swell underwater. We made our way down to about 90’ where we started to see the occasional squid. Being both of our first times, this was already very exciting for us. The squid were completely alien looking creatures. Big eyes, tentacles, and pulsing translucent bodies flew through the blackness of the water. Eventually we were greeted by huge schools of squid flying by us, many of them interlocked with each other. We also observed the squid building their eggs into little nest like piles. Surrounding these eggs were hundreds of small target shrimp scarring over the floor.
It was such an amazing experience that we decided to join our other friends on Saturday night with hopes to see even more squid. We didn’t see more than five squid this time, but did see piles of squid eggs strewn all over the sandy bottom. Hiding in and around the eggs were tons of sting rays, as well as more target shrimp.
Here is a short video I made with the footage I gathered from both nights.
May 10, 2018
Diving in Vancouver!
May 10, 2018
Diving with hammer head sharks in the Galapagos!