Best Scuba Instructor - 2002
Robert "Scuba Bob" Knapick
Scuba Bob is so badass that he once bit a nurse shark on the dorsal fin just so his students would see that they shouldn't be afraid to swim with sharks. "I kissed it after I got through biting it," he says. "I petted it, too." Scuba Bob estimates he's made around 3,200 dives and taught more than 1,000 students. He grew up watching Mike Nelson and Jacques Cousteau on TV. He spent his summers at his family's beach house in Bolivar, where he splashed around in the water collecting fish and conducting eighth-grade science projects on sea anemones. A licensed psychotherapist by profession, Bob pays special attention to students who are afraid of breathing under water, incorporating stress reduction and relaxation techniques. Whether he's focusing on deep breaths or misbehaving with sharks, Scuba Bob will find a way to ease your fears about the water.