Shane’s background is Marine Biology, completing his honours degree in 2003. He attained scientific and commercial diving qualifications in 2001 but started diving as a wee laddie in 1996. His qualifications include BSAC First Class Diver and Advanced Instructor, along with technical and rebreather diving. He has worked in many different fields including fishery and environmental protection, aquariums, underwater and travel photography and shipwreck disaster response along with organising diving exhibitions. He also has a long list of boating qualifications including Commercial Skippers Licence. His experiences with basking sharks has driven him to enable others to share the breathtaking experience of seeing these gentle giants in the wild. He also spends a lot of time in New Zealand where he lived for a number of years. He has travelled extensively round the world including much of the South Pacific. You might like to visit his personal photography and diving adventure website at www.shanewasik.photoshelter.com.
Star Baker & Business Management
Nikki is our star baker and orignally created all the yummy things for our trips by her own fair hands (and KitchenAid). She has now passed the recipes down so everyone has a turn of making flapjacks! Nikki's background is in Occupational Therapy and is a qualified as a yoga instructor. She has been married to Shane since 2012 but has had to put up with his crazy dive trips and expeditions since 2004, so has plenty experience of keeping on top of Shane's ideas and organsing the chaos! She's currently juggling a busy life with her young family but is still keeping her hand in behind the scenes!
Operations Manager & Shark Guide
Rachel is our current Operations Manager & Shark Guide joining our team full time in 2020. After graduating with a degree in Zoology in 2014 she departed the UK for the sunnier shores of Australia where she trained to be a PADI Instructor. After spending the past five years working and travelling across Australia, Borneo and Indonesia she is now very much looking forward to exploring a little closer to home, with some extra layers!
Rachel has had the opportunity to work in many exciting places, most recently managing a dive centre in the Lembeh Straits Indonesia. Here her interest in underwater photography really developed, seeking some of the worlds strangest underwater critters! From the very small to the very large she is extremely passionate about all marine life. After working in the Ningaloo Reef guiding Whale Shark tours she now has a new love of cold water sharks!
Cameron & Struan Smith
These local Oban lads have a vast experience of the Argyll coastline and have spent many years at sea travelling from St Kilda to Northern Ireland. They run their own boat business and have provided us quality boats to us for our short season since the beginning of Basking Shark Scotland. They have a full suite of marine qualifications including Yachtmaster, Costal Skipper and all safety and first aid. Looking quite alike you need to make sure you're talking to correct twin! Remember they don't allow bananas on their boats!
Lois is joining us as a Guide for our 2019 season. She has a degree in Zoology and is beginning a Masters degree in Marine Conservation in September. Over the past 4 years she has travelled within the UK and abroad working in marine conservation and research and progressing her diving qualifications to PADI Divemaster and BSAC Open Water Instructor. An enthusiast for all UK marine life, Lois joined our team full time in summer 2019 and again in 2020.
Isla moved north to Scotland from Newcastle 9 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! She began life as a marine biologist, studying marine mammal ecology and behaviour, but now specialises in human-wildlife conflict and was awarded a PhD in 2018. Isla is passionate about communicating the wonders of the natural world, writing articles for BBC Wildlife magazine, and is author of Hidden Nature, a book about British wildlife and where to find it. She honed her guiding skills in South Africa, and is an accomplished scuba diver. She has an unhealthy obsession with nudibranchs (sea slugs) and is happiest when exploring the fantastic underwater world of our beautiful west coast! Isla joined our team full time is summer 2019 and returned part time in 2020.
Laura joined us as a part time guide in 2019 and 2020 after first coming on a tour with her family in 2015! She completed a MSC in Marine Resources Development & Protection and holds many diving & boating qualifications. A very accomplished free-diver and traveller, she's spent many seasons cruising the caribeaan shark diving as well as the Western Australian coast. A passionate conservationist and all round good egg, you'll never find anyone more positive than her on the boat! Involved in a number of conservation projects around Oban, she's got a a wealth of local and worldwide knowledge!