Jetty Dive – Meet Mike Davey

Co-Owner at Jetty Dive Centre, PADI Master Instructor, Tech Instructor, EFR Instructor, DAN Instructor, RTO Instructor, Certified Service Technician, Master IV Skipper

Meet the man, the myth, the legend roaming the wild seas off the Coffs Coast shores. A committed member of the Coffs Coast community, Mike has enjoyed introducing the “other 70% of the planet” to thousands of lucky divers as the owner of Jetty Dive. Mike is passionate about the endangered Grey Nurse Shark, his Tech diving, and now trying his hand at Videography.

We caught up with Mike and put him on the spot with 30 questions to get a great idea of who Mike Davey really is!

What made you want to become a diver?

I have always loved swimming underwater, and a SCUBA course was offered at high school in school time, so I jumped at it.

How long have you been diving?

Started in 1975, and a divemaster/Instructor since 1991

When did you know that you wanted to become an instructor/owner?

A change in career happened in 1992, and then a change in location to Coffs Harbour happened in 1996 when it became our life.

If you weren’t a Dive Instructor/Owner, what would you be?

Lost probably!

What was your training & equipment like when you started diving?

I learnt to dive on a single hose reg with only a backpack. BCDs were just coming in, and the Instructors were the only ones with them. Occy regs did not exist, and neither did gauges, just a J valve tank to give you a reserve supply of air when it got hard to breathe! The training was tougher than today, but needed to be to match the equipment or lack of equipment.

Walk me through a typical diving day.

5.30 am wakeup and breakfast. Weather check by 6.00 am. Open shop to set up gear at 6.30 am. Load boat by 8.00 am. Drive the boats to the Islands and decide where to dive on two dives and return by 1.00 pm. Boat and gear clean-up by 2.30 pm. Bookwork, teaching, servicing equipment till 5.00 pm. Plan for tomorrow and close up by 6.00 pm.

What does diving mean to you personally?

That has changed over the years. Initially, we went diving to catch Crayfish (in S.A.), and then I found I enjoyed teaching people and really enjoyed showing them the wonders of the Solitary Islands at Coffs Harbour. It also gave me a passion for seeking out Dive destinations around the world with our

Where was the first place that you went diving

Port Norlunga Jetty in S.A. on the coldest recorded day in years in 1975.

Why do you enjoy diving?

It’s Challenging! It really depends on the dive as to why. The fun part of some dives is to take on challenges of depth and amazing wrecks, whilst others challenge us to get that iconic shot of the marine life.

Dream diving job, what is it?

My dream job would be in 30c water in the tropics, diving in the morning and napping in the afternoon whilst reading a good book!

What’s the ONE photo/shot that you’re most proud of?

A Grey Nurse Shark with a flotilla of trevally with it.

Night/wrecks/caves/deep dives, what are your favourites?

Wreck diving on the best wrecks in the world (Truk Lagoon) Night, caves and deep dives are not that cool to me.

What are your diving fears that you have to overcome?

Failing to provide a good dive for our customers. Personal fears went years ago!

What do you want non-divers to know about diving?

It’s not hard to do, and may/will surprise you how good it is.

What is the scariest experience you have had while on a dive?

Struggling to get back to our unmanned boat in a current when we were young and stupid!

What is the funniest experience you have had while on a dive?

Watching a Blue Grouper eat a bead in a student’s dreadlock hair! Could not stop laughing and filling up my mask with water.

Who is your go-to dive buddy?

My Wife, Debbie. Best buddy I have.

What’s your favourite local dive site?

Manta Arch at South Solitary

What is your favourite marine animal to see while on a dive?

Manta Ray… no Whale-sharks… Schooling Hammerheads. The list could just go on, but I still love a close-up Grey Nurse Shark!

What is your favourite after-dive snack/meal?

Deb’s Potato Cake, once a daily morning tea, but now a delicacy!

If you could dive with anyone, who would it be and why?

My wife so I can share the moment with her.

What proudest is your diving-related moment?

Teaching our kids to dive and watch them love it.

What is your favourite piece of dive gear?

My latest dive computer or my SLR camera, both are not worth diving without them.

What is your favourite dive-related book?

Any of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt novels.

What dive activities do you enjoy?

All of them… silly question!

What advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your diving career?

Start being a Dive Professional at a younger age!

What are your top 3 pieces of equipment recommendations for beginners?

A mask, decent fins and a Dive Computer

Best advice for beginners?

Don’t stop at just your dive course, the fun is yet to begin!

What skill are you trying to perfect currently?

Photography. Always leaning and hopefully getting better!

Do you have a role model in the sport?

Not really. Maybe Val Taylor and James Cameron

Jetty Dive Centre is proudly a family-owned and operated business

The shop’s history dates back more than 30 years in Coffs Harbour! Jetty Dive is the most spacious regional dive store in New South Wales, with no corporate or franchise diving – just personal attention and service from a team whose passion is scuba diving,

Mike and Deb Davey (owners since 1996) have grown the business from a small single charter boat operator to a major regional dive centre incorporating a well-stocked retail and online store, education centre and a 12-metre dive charter boat with some of the best diving on the New South Wales coast all the while maintaining a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.

Jetty Dive Centre loves scuba diving at the Solitary Islands on their daily dive charters for snorkelers or scuba divers, and their large and comfortable dive boats offer the best diving available. Passionate dive crew have the knowledge and experience to show you the best of the Solitary Islands.

Read more about Jetty Dive and how you can explore the Solitary Island Marine Park on your next visit to the Coffs Coast.