Travel

Meet Mark Duvall

By OceanFirst on 1/21/16

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Our trips wouldn't be what they are without the charisma and charm that our trip leaders bring to the table. Meet Mark, the man who will be leading our Fijian adventurers this upcoming March.

You've been diving for over 30 years, what is your favorite part about scuba diving?

"I enjoy the peace and serenity I feel being under water, the coral and fish are very relaxing and fascinating to me to no end."

It sounds like you are pretty well traveled! What is your favorite dive destination?

"It is almost impossible to come up with one favorite dive location unless you are talking about the South Pacific as a destination. I have been to Fiji 3 times and love the diving there. I also enjoy the Solomon's and Vanuatu about as much. All three areas have such pristine diving with clarity that can't be matched, the people are so friendly and enjoy showing people their islands."

What sets you apart from other trip leaders? What makes people want to travel with you time and time again?

"I would say my love of diving is very infectious and that gets everyone around me excited about diving. Also, it takes a great sense of humor to lead a trip. "

What is your favorite thing to see on a dive?

"I really enjoy watching sharks and Manta-rays; the gracefulness and the ease at which they travel through water is truly amazing."

What is your experience in Fiji? 

"I have been on two liveaboard trips in Fiji, one exploring the central and southern islands and one discovering new dive spots in the north islands. I have also spent time in Matangi which is a very beautiful area and a great resort with tree-house bures. My wife and I were also married in Fiji which gives it even more space in my heart."

We hear you are a master woodworker! Tell us about that!

"I grew up loving to make things out of wood but did not have anyone around me to really teach me so learned about everything from trial and error. Of course than college came around than family and work. As a software engineer my job was very stressful so my wife one year gave me a gift certificate to a week long woodworking class in Utah, which now I am sure she truly regrets. This breathed new life into something that had been repressed for a decade or two. Over the past years I have used woodworking to escape the stress of software development, almost as much as I have used diving for the same purpose. I enjoy making furniture mostly out of reclaimed wood and also enjoy wood turning and producing fine art. I have taught fine woodworking for the past 8 years at Red Rocks College and will probably teach there until they kick me out. I really enjoy teaching whether it's scuba classes or woodworking classes."

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