A message from Andre " The Big Man " Horne, Diver, Adventurer, Teacher and Owner of Ultimate Scuba Adventures:
Ultimate Scuba is all about going back to basics. We promise to take all our students wherever they want to go--from beginner to teaching professional. And along the way we will give you our best. We are all about our love of scuba diving, and consider Ultimate Scuba Adventures to be an all inclusive shop. Wherever you are from, and whatever your skill level, we are pleased to share and teach the thrill of diving with you and your friends. There's no pretenses at Ultimate Scuba Adventures. Our professional management and staff are dedicated to your safety, your education and of course your fun! So come join us as we explore the last frontier- our underwater planet.
About The Big Man -- The long and winding road to Media , PA.
I grew up in a little desert town in rural South Africa . At age 11 we moved to Cape Town , the big city on the ocean. Here my love affair with the ocean began. By 14 I was a seasoned abalone & crayfish diver. After a 2 year stint in the South African Army, I really started diving seriously. My weekly wages of $24.00 as an apprentice toolmaker didn't go very far. Diving became a second job to supplement my income. Apart from selling my quota of abalone & crayfish, I was becoming quite an adept spearfisherman. All this was done while breathhold diving. To this day, South African Law prohibits any gathering on scuba. However, I did start diving on scuba because I was making enough money to buy the gear, which consisted of a tank, backpack (no BC) and double hose regulator. My first and only lesson at the time was being told, "never hold your breath when scuba diving". On some weekends we would head to the Royal Cape Yacht Club where we would clean the bottoms of racing boats to make a couple extra bucks. Other weekends we would head to various wreckdiving sites around the Cape .
My second love sailing developed in South Africa as well. My friend & brother in arms, Johan Van Rooyen built a sailboat called Black Pepper (a Douglas Peterson design.) This design, a Peterson 33, won the World 1/4 ton Championship in 1976. My last five years in South Africa were the greatest. We scuba dived, free dived and sailed all over the Southern Oceans. Learning to dive the sometimes fierce conditions around the Cape was a great growing up process for me.
In 1981 curiosity about America got the better of me. On February 28, 1981 I landed at JFK Airport in New York with 2 suitcases in hand. I made my way to Swarthmore. There I stayed in a house on the campus with a South African friend's mother Gisele and her partner Dean. They took me into their home and treated me like family. I owe a special thanks to them. Here I also met my wife, Judy. We moved around the area while I was working in various machine shops in the Tri-State area. Our son Christopher was born in October of 1982 and our daughter Andrea in April of 1988. My professional life took a major turn for the better in 1988 when, with the help of one of my current customers, I started my own machine shop called Ultimate Screw Machine Products. Being fairly successful right off the bat, I started to yearn for a new challenge. I tried golf, but being rotten at it, I turned again to my first love--the ocean.
Both Judy & I were certified by a local dive shop. Judy continued on to become a Divemaster while I continued on to Instructor. By now we traveled all over the Caribbean on dive trips with Chris (who was my first certification) and Andrea (an avid snorkeler.)
In 1996 we started Ultimate Scuba as an instructional facility using the pool at Garnet Valley Middle School run by the Rocky Run YMCA. When the local dive store closed in 1997, we were very fortunate to inherit a core group of great people, divers & professionals. With encouragement and help from a lot of good people, I decided to take the plunge into the retail business.
Ultimate Scuba Adventures offers a selection of top of the line scuba gear like Mares, Sherwood, DUI, Henderson , and others. We also offer a boat diving schedule for those divers who like to dive off the Jersey coast. Upcoming Caribbean trips include Bonaire, Cozumel , and more.
One last thought. If you are already certified but haven't been in the water lately or are new to the area, you are welcome at Ultimate Scuba. Our experience tells us that far too many divers never dive again after their initial Open Water certification or early experience. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is that new divers benefit from extra attention and supervision not found everywhere. Ultimate Scuba Adventures is dedicated to your safe and fun diving experience. Our professional and courteous staff is here to teach and share our experiences together. With us you can count on diving to a level which meets your experience and particular needs.
So there you have it. Come help us explore the last frontier--our underwater planet.