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.
Operations Manager and Star Baker
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 has recently qualified as a yoga instructor. but she helps organise the office and manage bookings. 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!
Skipper/ Head Guide / Photographer & Film-Maker
Luke is our Head Guide and been with us since 2014. Luke is a seasoned wildlife enthusiast with many years experience of guiding and skippering and is very popular with our guests. He has an Honours Degree in Applied Marine Biology and a Masters in Photography & Film Making. He has completed his Advanced Power Boat ticket. He is also an accomplished free-diver. You can check his own website for his images and videos here. Luke's other talents include making mojitos and spur of the moment snacks.
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, big and small, she is very excited to be spending so much time on and in the water over the season!
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!
This aquatic Hobbit is originally from the shire in New Zealand where she spent a lot of time working with marine surveys and marine reserves, along with spending time in Auckland city centre fountains during her student days. She is currently going through teacher training and guides with us during the summer. Passing equipment up the pier at low tide and home-made bagels is her speciality! Hannah is now undertakem teacher training in London and may join us from time to time.
Alistair known as Ali, has a degree in Marine science with arctic studies. Originally from England he moved up to Scotland when he was young. When not on the boat you will usually find him somewhere in the mountains as he is a keen fell runner. He also is into his photography and has the target this season to photograph a dolphin in mid-air. Ali is into all the large marine life!
Tammi is a marine biologist from the Kingdom of Fife with a background in both tropical and cold water corals. She has a passion for the underwater world and also for hilly places. Neither of these can compare to her love of baby highland cows, however. Tammi has a very sunny personality and one of the world’s biggest smiles, and can always be counted on to have a blond moment at the appropriate time. She’s just returned from six months in the Caribbean where she discovered the joys of rock climbing and Mud Slide cocktails, and is incredibly excited to be working in one of the only places in the world which can top that for sheer natural beauty.