Mike is a widely published underwater photographer and cameraman who has been working in the diving industry since the late 1990s. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Mike first moved to the Indo Pacific region in 1999 to work on the Palau Aggressor. After 3 years of diving and photographing the rich underwater world of Palau he moved to Tahiti as one of the original crew of the Tahiti Aggressor. In 2004, with enough boat life under his belt, he felt the draw of Micronesia once again and joined the Manta Ray Bay Hotel family as the in-house Photo and Video Pro. From 2004 to 2007, Mike spent hours and hours in the waters of Yap searching for creatures large and small. Diving with mantas is always a special experience and given the choice, a manta dive was always the choice of the day. It was in Yap where Mike made the move from film photography and the Nikonos V to the new world of digital photography. Yap will always hold a special place in his heart as it was the development center of his photography style. Being able to spend hours each day under the waters of Yap allowed Mike to polish his craft on the reefs of this unique corner of the world. Mike is widely published throughout the diving magazines of the world and one of his images won the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year “World in our Hands” category in 2013.
In 2007, Mike moved on to a new challenge and has since been based in Indonesia. He now operates The Underwater Tribe dive centre and underwater photography academy in Bali. The Underwater Tribe offers custom diving itineraries in Bali for the discerning diver as well as group trips throughout Indonesia.
“I first met Mike when the Palau Aggressor, in cooperation with us, visited Yap for 2 months. Mike was aboard as the photopro and spent time with us in the dive shop and on the Mnuw. He was a very personable man and one that we all liked immediately. I never thought he would leave Aggressor to work in Yap but I knew he was the type of person who would fit in well with our family at the resort. Only problem was that he had a job and I did not have an opening.
“Lo and behold, several months later I was in need of a new photopro for Yap Divers. I reached out to three potential candidates and as this process was playing out, I remembered Mike and thought “what the heck” and sent him an offer. I was surprised when he contacted me with his interest in working with us in Yap. Mission accomplished for both of us.
“I want to end this with a note about Mike. We had several photopros through the years and all were good people, good at their jobs and did good work for us, but Mike was on a different level. He was professional and great at his job, personable and great with our customers. Above all, he was a great fit for our family at the Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers.”
— Bill Acker, Owner, Manta Ray Bay Resort