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Sweet Bottom Dive Center Staff & Instructors

Our staff of professional scuba instructors and divemasters are here to make your dives as easy as putting on a tank and breathing. We offer a true concierge diving experience by taking care of your equipment assembly, disassembly, and after dive cleaning. Our staff isn't just eye candy, they also can offer more than a combined 100 different classes!

Mark Linse

Director of Training

Course Director

Store Owner


During my 36 years of diving, I have had the opportunity to travel and dive in many different locals and dive environments…whether I was diving on the beautiful coral reefs of St Croix, the massive wrecks off of Lake Michigan, Key Largo or Fort Lauderdale, swimming with the dolphins in Curacao, playing tag with the baby peacock flounders in Bonaire, dodging the 12' bull sharks in Fiji or swimming inside a school of barracudas in Malaysia, my dive adventures are always fun and exciting.


mark linse

Mark & Laura Teaching Taylor Kinny From NBC's

Chicago Fire TV Series

During my 30+ year career as a Chicago Paramedic and EMS Educator, I have had the opportunity to hone my instructional and presentation skills.  What a perfect fit to take that experience and combine it with something I truly enjoy sharing with others…scuba diving!


As a dive educator, I can hold your hand during your very first breath underwater, or I can train you in unique underwater skills, such as; advanced navigation, search and recovery, sidemount diving, full face mask and dry suit diving, just to name a few.  I can mentor you into leadership roles, as you learn the information and skills necessary to become a PADI Divemaster.  Or, I can help you change your life forever; as I lead you down the path of becoming a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, Specialty Instructor, IDC Staff Instructor or I can even mentor you, as you prepare to become a PADI Course Director.


My passion lies with people.  I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences with people, but more importantly, I love learning about you…your passions, your experiences and your dreams.  Scuba Diving has a HUGE social component to it.  Anyone, can teach you how to tie a bowline underwater…let me get to know you and see if I can't help you realize your dreams.

Favorite dive site. Davis Bay Wall


Favorite restaurant. Too many to list


Favorite view. My Office View.. the OCEAN


Favorite drink. Leatherback Reef Life (IPA)

Laura Linse

Master Instructor

Assistant Store Manager

Store Owner


Diving has become my escape from noise, technology and everyday issues; Looking around the beautiful underwater world is my heaven on Earth. Bright fluorescent purples and oranges of sponges and sea fans, bountiful fish, marine life to observe, sharks to swim with, all make my "front yard" a place to explore. Let me show you our piece of heaven on Davis Bay. I have been diving nearly 30 years spanning the shores of Chicago, Florida, St. Thomas, Jamaica, Curacao, Bonarie, Roatan, and Mexico all the way to Malaysia and Fiji. I fell in love with the diving here in St. Croix. Where else could I see sharks and seahorses in one dive (my two favorites)?! Mark and I came to St. Croix in March 2015 to fulfill a dream of owning a dive center in the Caribbean, leaving behind the cold winters of Chicago and a 30 year career in nursing. I feel blessed to be able to show new divers our world beneath the sea through the discovery diving experience,  guiding dives for certified divers, and teaching Open Water students the joy of feeling weightless. As a Master Instructor, I have helped many divers experience this wonderful sport! Let me show you the wonders of St. Croix diving! 

laura linse

Laura Snapping Away Some Beautiful Photos

Favorite dive site. The Frederiksted Pier


Favorite restaurant. AMA


Favorite view. The View of the Other Islands


Favorite drink. Carib or Red Stripe

Russ Niemeyer


Born and raised in Columbia, Missouri in 1956. ( St. Louis Cardinals fan for life!! ) After school moved to Hobbs, New Mexico where I worked for 35 years. ( mostly oil field related ) Married and raised a family. My wife Pam and I love diving and the Caribbean. After retirement we said what is the craziest thing we could do? MOVE TO AN ISLAND!!! So, as of March, 2016 here we are. Became a dive instructor and the rest is history. 

joe crapanzano

Favorite dive site. Salt River West


Favorite restaurant. Joe's Bar and Grill


Favorite view. Morning Coffee on our deck overlooking Cane Bay


Favorite drink. Ice cold tea

Scott Buchan



Bio Coming Soon

mike ryan
mike ryan

Kyle Johnson

OWSI & Specialty Instructor


Bio Coming Soon

mike ryan

Bruce Lipes

OWSI & Specialty Instructor


Bio Coming Soon

Jason Harhen

Assistant Instructor


Bio Coming Soon

mike ryan

Joe Barker

Open Water Scuba Instructor


I moved down to St. Croix a few years ago and left the cold winters of South Dakota. I was certified as a Dive Master through the DM Internship with Sweet Bottom in 2015. I then continued on to become a DSD Leader and then to an Open Water Scuba Instructor in 2016. If you don't see me underwater, I am most likely fishing on my boat, making sushi, and just enjoying the retired life. I can't wait to take you out on a dive!

joe barker

Favorite Dive Site: Salt River

Favorite Restaurant: Tavern 1844

Favorite View: Buck Island

Favorite Drink: Rum & Coke

Mike Funk

Dive Master


Mike was introduced to SCUBA diving at the age of 13 way back in 1962 in Colorado by his dad who was a member of the Denver Police Department underwater search and recovery team.Mike works full-time as a Physician Assistant in the ER at Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix. He is also an Assistant Professor and the Associate Director of Medical Education at the Barry University Physician Assistant Program. When he is not saving lives, guiding dives, or killing lionfish, you can find him riding his bike along the mountains of St. Croix.

Favorite Dive Site: Armageddon

Favorite Restaurant: Angry Nates

Favorite View: From the Top of Scenic Road West

Favorite Drink: Captain & Seven with a lime

mike funk

Tim Linse

TDI & PADI Technical Instructor, Trimix, Tec Sidemount


Tim has been involved in the dive industry since 2010 and has managed stores, worked in the repair department, and even taught a "few" classes in between it all. Currently living in Chicago, Tim is our traveling technical instructor. Tim makes a few trips a year to St. Croix to teach courses and bring groups down from Chicago. His passion has always been deep diving and making every customer's need met and exceeded. If you are looking at going deep, he is your guy!


Favorite dive site. Any Wall Dive


Favorite restaurant. No Bones


Favorite view. The Lighthouse View


Favorite drink. Moscow Mule

tim linse

Sara Rosenblatt

Dive Master


My love for the ocean began as a kid spending long summer days at the beach in Southern California. I was first SCUBA Certified at the age of 17 on one of the California Channel islands and I instantly fell in love. While studying Aquatic Biology at UC Santa Barbara I became a research diver for a marine science lab. We spent 12 hour days conducting benthic and fish surveys at the Northern Channel Islands. I had only dove in California for many years until I came out to St. Croix on a sea turtle tagging project. I loved St. Croix so much that I moved to the island shortly after my visit. I started my Divemaster Internship at Sweet Bottom and the rest is history! Outside of diving I enjoy hiking, paddle boarding, and exploring the island!

sara rosenblatt

Favorite Dive Site: Frederiksted Pier

Favorite Restaurant: Maria's Cantina

Favorite View: Ham's Bluff Lighthouse

Favorite Drink: Painkiller

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