I started my world record quest to scuba dive in the most countries in 2005. I had joined an expedition to dive the Chagos Islands in the British Indian Ocean Territories, where I ran into a member of the Los Angeles based extreme travelers’ club, the Travelers’ Century Club. This club divides the world into 321 countries or island groups and members try to visit them all. My new friend was a stamp collector and was on a mission to send himself a postcard from every country. This gave me the idea to dive in as many countries as possible. I’ve now been to over 200 countries and dived in over 100.
I was born to Swiss parents in Hong Kong and grew up in Malaysia, the Philippines and Japan before finishing my studies in the UK and the US. I currently live in Angola where I decompress by practicing law.
My record breaking quest has taken me around the world. I have been shot at by Cameroonian border guards wanting to ensure I wasn’t a Nigerian pirate while diving off LimbeBeach; dogged crocodiles in Botswana, hippos in Lake Chad, great white sharks in South African and RPG wielding soldiers in the Congo. I’ve dived in volcanic craters at altitude, in caves, trains and submarines.
I’m a fellow of the New York based Explorer’s Club and the Royal Geographical Society in London.
See my dive resume to learn more about my dive qualifications.
The criteria I apply to determine what constitutes a “dive” are that used by the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI), the largest association of dive professionals and the largest dive teaching organization. (I am an Assistant Instructor in this organization). These criteria are threefold:
(i) All dives must be “open water”, which means that they must be conducted in a sea, lake, river or quarry–dives in a swimming pool or aquarium don’t count
(ii) Dives must be at least 20 minutes long at a depth of 20 feet;
(iii) Dives must be conducted using SCUBA (self contained underwater breathing apparatus. (Snorkeling or free diving doesn’t count.) Finally, in order to count a country, I need to have a log book entry together with a dive center’s stamp and/or a dive professional’s name, certification number and signature as proof of having made a dive.