Scuba Instructor and Owner of Dive Shop Has Been Under Pressure for 16 Years

Mike Faust runs Dive and Photo in Costa Mesa. Photo credit: Mariah Tauger

Mike Faust is a scuba instructor and has owned Dive and Photo in Costa Mesa for 16 years.

How did you get into scuba diving?
I tried it in high school and fell in love with it. But when we went into open water, I wussed out. Fast-forward to 2002, a friend asked if I wanted to try it, and I remembered how much I loved it. I got back in the pool and absolutely fell in love with it again.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I love seeing the excitement on a student’s face. I was taught really well, and I’m doing the same thing—paying it forward.

Is there a minimum age for taking courses?
Children must be 8 or older. No prior experience is necessary, but they should be comfortable in the water. The course consists of dives in the pool only, but once they turn 10, they can continue on and do the open-water course.

Why offer PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) courses?
PADI is the most well-known (organization) in the industry. I like their standards, and they’re consistent. Wherever you go in the world, it’s going to be taught the same way.

Where is your favorite place in O.C. to dive?
Laguna Beach has a lot of reef structure and sea life. There are lots of octopuses, moray eels, and horn sharks. I saw a green sea turtle there last year and a giant sea bass, which can grow up to 500 pounds.

What draws people to Dive and Photo?
We care about our people. Our goal is to create good, strong divers. We aren’t in it to rush anybody through anything. We are in it for the long haul.

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