In this interview we hear stories from the one and only Stuart Cove of Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas. Raised in the Bahamas Stuart had grown up in the diving industry working as a child in the first dive center in Nassau. Stuart learned to dive from a stunt person Fran Doyle and once his father owned a dive boat, he took to showing tourists how to scuba dive. After a time away at college, Stuart returned to the Bahamas and opened his first dive center called Coral Harbour Divers.
In 1980 Stuart and his father were contracted to work on the James Bond film “For Your Eyes Only. Stuart taught the movie crew how to dive and use specialized equipment. He soon learned how to wrangle sharks and how to put sharks in a tonic immobility state to mobilize them. Not too long after this Stuart met his future wife Michelle who assisted him at his watersports concession at Lyford Cay Club. And after a time away at college herself, she came back to be Stuart’s partner at the South Ocean Golf and Beach Resort Dive Center in the early 1990’s.
As the dive center flourished it became one of the most popular locations for underwater film shoots. Stuart assisted with many underwater film productions including several James Bond movies as well as Splash and Flipper. Both he and Michelle were stunt doubles for dozens of actors.
But it is from the many movie productions that required the use of sharks that Stuart began a relationship with them. He mastered safe ways to feed sharks and handle them, as well as improving special metal shark suits for the shark feeders. Soon he developed dive excursions with sharks, and today thousands of divers have experienced diving with sharks on one of his famous shark dive trips.
Stuart has been responsible for sinking over 20 wrecks in Bahamian waters as well as installing moorings for ships, all in an effort to conserve the reefs of the Bahamas. Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas is consistently one of the top rated dive operations in the world.
Items in this Podcast
- Hurricane Matthew
- Diving as a 8 – 10 year old in the Bahamas
- First shark encounter at 8 years of age
- Learned diving from a stunt double
- Diving and shark wrangling on For Your Eyes Only
- The first idea for his shark adventure dives
- The history of Stuart’s shark adventure dives
- West End Tiger Sharks
- Dive shop remodeled from Flipper
- Blue hole diving and sacred underwater caves
- Sean Connery’s “special autograph”
- The history of Stuart Cove’s Underwater Hollywood
- Thunderball, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Sea Hunt, Salty the Sea Lion, Moonraker, Splash, The World Is Not Enough
- Sharm el Sheikh
- Tips for divers
Contact Stuart at the following sites:
Website – Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas
Instagram – @stuartcove1 and @stuartcovesdivebahamas
Twitter – @StuartCoveDive
Facebook – @StuartCoves
Special thanks to our episode sponsor Aggressor Fleet
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