Sea for Yourself Story
by Joel Simon, President
unforgettable window to the world of underwater wonder was opened
for me as a child in Southern California. And it's never closed.
first snorkeling experiences allowed me to watch small fish swim
around barnacle encrusted pilings, see a small octopus watching
me from inside an old Coke bottle, and play with translucent cerianthid
anemones emerging from the muddy bottom of Long Beach's Alamitos
Bay. Eventually, I was certified as an open water diver in 1969
and as a NAUI instructor in 1977.
Simon, President of Sea for Yourself
Academic studies in marine biology at Stanford University led to teaching
positions in the Caribbean which in turn led to instructional roles
on over 100 organized educational tours worldwide.
the last fifteen years it's been my privilege to introduce literally
thousands of people to the joys of snorkeling and the marvels of tropical
coral reef ecology.
enthusiasm of my childhood discoveries is echoed each time I hear
the resonant squeals of delight that burst through snorkels as people
view their first cleaning station, squadron of squid, camouflaged
peacock flounder, or clownfish. And the waters of the Caribbean, South
Pacific, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean are much warmer and clearer than
my hometown bay. Back to top
Commitment to the Underwater Environment
for Yourself strongly believes in environmental awareness.
the practice of responsible snorkeling,
in tandem with informative presentations, we hope to expand your
awareness of the reef's strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as
relevant conservation efforts to preserve the marine ecological
Sea for Yourself Staff Members
President and Tour Leader
addition to being a veteran leader on nearly 100 snorkeling
programs, Joel is a nationally recognized authority in the
field and previously served as the original (and only!) Snorkeling
Editor of Skin Diver Magazine (see "Snorkeling
Library"). He has introduced thousands of people
to the wonders of snorkeling and underwater life with his
carefully designed series of snorkeling lessons and slide-illustrated
lectures on tropical marine biology.
Joel is an avid underwater enthusiast and a NAUI-certified SCUBA
and snorkeling instructor. A highly acclaimed photographer and
writer whose works have been published in leading magazines
and travel guides, he also teaches underwater photography. With
a life-long academic interest in marine biology, Joel holds
three degrees from Stanford University.
mother of four sons with a background in small business management,
Sue is responsible for the day to day operations of Sea for
Yourself. Since its founding she has been instrumental in the
evolution of the company, and understands the infrastructure
of our services and products. Sue has first-hand experience
with every program we offer. She manages air arrangements and
has up-to-date information on the status of each departure.
In the field, Sue has been a valuable Tour Assistant and enjoys
helping participants refine their snorkeling skills.
Vice-President and Tour Assistant
interest in marine biology and conservation began during the
summers of his youth in Cape Cod, MA. He went on to concentrate
on the behavioral ecology of reef fishes at the University
of Guam Marine Lab and defended his thesis in 1999. Once finished
with his MSc, Ethan relocated to Palau, where he had previously
worked as a dive instructor and naturalist. Prior to joining
Sea for Yourself, he took a position as the National Science
Coordinator with Palau's Office of Environmental Response
and Coordination. Ethan has coauthored and contributed images
to several books including, "Palau: Dive Sites, History,
and Culture." In 2004 Ethan and his family made the move back to the
Bay area of the U.S. His award winning photography can be
seen on his website oceanstockimages.com and in many periodicals including Scuba Diver Australasia, Asian Geo,
Asian Diver, Cape Cod Life, and others.
van der Sluijs
van der Sluijs comes to Sea for Yourself with an educational
background in marine biology, a PADI SCUBA (and snorkeling)
instructors license, fluency in at least three languages (including
English!), and a strong logistical background in educational
group travel. But perhaps her strongest asset is her charming
and contagiously good-natured way with people. Marjolijn,
or Marilyn in English, is simply impossible not to like. She
received her Masters Degree in Marine Biology after organizing
and implementing a marine oriented research project on the
Dutch Island of Bonaire. During her five-year tenure on Bonaire,
she developed an intimate familiarity with tropical marine
and terrestrial biology. That knowledge and experience is
woven into a background that also includes a respect and love
for the sea borne of years of sailing throughout much of the
Caribbean and Pacific.
integrates a strong academic background in Marine Biology
with a friendly, relaxed personality. He received his masters
degree in Marine Biology from the University of Groningen
in the Netherlands, with a specialty in tropical marine biology
and fish behavior. Besides an experienced snorkeler, he is
also a certified PADI Rescue Diver and Divemaster. Bart lived
on Bonaire for two years while finishing his graduate thesis,
and worked for the Bonaire Marine Park. He has led several
Sea for Yourself programs to destinations in the Caribbean
and South Pacific. His communication skills in English, Dutch,
German and French, along with a comfortable strength in the
water make Bart a valuable asset as a field staff member on
Sea for Yourself programs.
van den Heuvel