“To call him a character would be an understatement, but beneath the eccentric exterior lurked a diver with levels of discipline and skill I have rarely seen on my travels. Leigh Cunningham is a tekkie fanatical to the point of fundamentalism. He likes to break depth records, race motorbikes through the Sinai Mountains and generally living on the edge”.
(www.Divernet.com, Chris Boardman)
Leigh was born in Britain on August 31, 1968. He started his diving career in Israel in 1993 with CMAS 1 + 2 star and PADI Divemaster course. After two years working in Israel, he spent a year in Central America exploring deep dive sites in the Caribbean, then moved to Dahab, Egypt, where he soon became a recreational instructor. His proximity to the Blue Hole in Dahab, where he worked, sparked his interest in diving deeper. He was aware of the Blue Hole’s reputation for claiming divers’ lives, and as such, embarked on training and education to give the site the respect it deserves.
Leigh says, “It’s a bit like the steeplejack – he will only fall off once, when you do this every day, you have to be prepared, every day.” With six dives below 200 meters, 50 dives between 150 – 200 meters, and more than 500 dives below 100 meters to his credit, Leigh is no stranger to deep diving. To date, Leigh has been diving for 22 years and logged over 6,000 dives and held two Red Sea’s depth records with dives to 220 meters and 240 meters in 2002. These two records were the part of the In Deep project, initiated by Leigh, which required a rigorous training plan including both mental and physical preparation. See his list of records.
In 2005, Leigh carried out the world’s deepest wreck dive, after descending 205 meters to the wreck of the Jolanda, off Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. Read more here, here, and here.
Aside from breaking records, Leigh has a long list of diving achievements and expeditions under his belt, including:
2007-08: Jackfish Alley, cave survey/expedition project, Red Sea, Egypt
2009: HMS Manchester, wreck expedition, Mediterranean, Tunisia
2009: HMS Victoria, wreck expedition, Mediterranean, Lebanon
2010: HMS Hermes, wreck expedition, Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka
2011: WW2 Wreck expedition, Mediterranean, Sardinia
2011-12: SS Saratoga, wreck expedition, Pacific Ocean, MarshallIslands, Micronesia.
2012: Cave exploration expeditions, in-land Cenotes, Mexico. See more here.
2014: Cave survey/exploration project: Hidden Sanctum in-land caves, Thailand
Deep Stealth 2.0 Sidemount Diving in Blue Abyss, Pet Cemetery Cenote
It has been 20 years since he began his journey through the technical diving education required to facilitate this kind of diving. To date, Leigh is a CMAS three-star Instructor, TDI OC and CCR Cave Diving Instructor, SDI Instructor Trainer, TDI Instructor Trainer, PSA, OC and CCR Instructor Trainer, IANTD advanced Trimix Instructor, and DSAT Tec Trimix Instructor.
Louis started diving when he was 8 and has been diving ever since. He completed his training up to PADI Divemaster with the late John Charlesworth of Aquanaut Diving Centre, Antigua. He then studied Marine Biology and Oceanography at the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom, before becoming a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor in Honduras. Louis has dived all over the world, and has worked as a dive professional in Greece, Honduras, Thailand, Australia, and Antigua and Barbuda.
PADI Diving Qualifications
- IDC Staff Instructor
- Tec 40
- EFR Instructor
- IAHD Adaptive SCUBA Professional
- Tec Rec Gas Blender Instructor
- Deep Instructor
- Enriched Air Instructor
- Equipment Specialist Instructor
- Wreck Instructor
- Emergency Oxygen Provider Instructor
- Peak Performance Buoyancy Instructor
- Project Aware Instructor
- AWARE Coral Reef Conservation Sp Instructor
- Care for Children w/AED Instructor
- Dry Suit Diver
The Dive Shop
DiveCarib is located in the grounds of The National Sailing Academy, in Falmouth Harbour, English Harbour Town, in the southern part of Antigua. The Academy is an independent non-profit charitable organisation offering Antiguan school children the opportunity to learn how to sail, free of charge. We are proud to directly support this good cause by renting a small portion of the property and dock.
Other reasons for choosing this location as our base was due to its close proximity to the majority of dive sites in Antigua, and great facilities, complimenting scuba diving services at DiveCarib.
We have a beautiful outside pavilion that has a breathtaking view of Falmouth harbour, seating for guests, an outside fresh water shower, rinse tanks for dive gear, restrooms, and not to forget the BBQ area, where we periodically host BBQ’s for guests and friends.
The Sailing Academy is a five-minute walk from the centre of town, and about a ten-minute walk to the UNESCO world heritage site locally referred to as Nelson’s Dockyard. The stunning beaches Pigeon Beach, and Galleon Beach, as well as the famous look out – Shirley Heights, are also located near by.
There is a restaurant on site (Island fusion), which has a reputation for some of the best food on the island, friendly staff, and a great atmosphere.
On site accommodation is offered at The Lodge, which is run by The National Sailing Academy.
DiveCarib prides itself on state of the art, well maintained equipment.
Cylinder type are Aluminum S80 and S60, which are visually inspected annually, and either retested or replaced with new bottles once the hydrostatic test date is due. Single bottles, along with manifold twinsets, and deco stage bottles are available.
DiveCarib is the only facility on the island that blend enriched air nitrox, via a continuous flow blending system, and higher percentage nitrox mixtures for technical divers via a partial pressure blending system.
We use Sherwood equipment for recreational diving, and Halcyon and Xdeep equipment for technical diving. Balanced first stage regulators, weight integrated BCD’s, 3mm shorty (and full length for women) wet suits, booties, fins, masks, and snorkels are available for all guests renting equipment.
History of DiveCarib
DiveCarib was founded by Bryan Cunningham.
In 2014 Bryan began the initial planning phase.
In December 2014, Leigh Cunningham joined Bryan, and the decision to be based at The National Sailing Academy was made with the commandant of The National Sailing Academy, Elizabeth Jordan. Building of the dive shop started shortly after.
In July, 2015 DiveCarib opened its doors for business.
In 2017 Louis Evans joined the DiveCarib team.
Antigua Marine Life
We support the charitable organization Antigua Marine Life. Check out their site.