For over 2 decades, Garry has been sharing his infectious passion for SCUBA diving, using his extensive knowledge and skills to create fun and liberating experiences for others.
Credentials: Cave, technical and recreational Instructor Trainer for RAID UK & Malta.
Additionally, he’s a CCR instructor, technical advisor, co-author for RAID diver training manuals, product tester and ambassador for Fourth Element, Divesoft, Otter Drysuits, Apeks, X-Deep, Ammonite Systems and others. Throughout his diving career, he has trained with most major training organisations, served as the Director of Training for RAID UK & Malta, and also became a published photographer and writer.
Garry is well renowned for his training globally. He explores new sites whenever possible, all the while focusing on building practical environmental skills for OC and CCR. A keen conservationist and an honorary member of “Artic on the Edge” a contingent of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society which promotes the protection of all terrestrial animals through the media, he presents at schools near his home and is a speaker at national and international dive show events.
As the director of Simply Sidemount & Simply Tec, “Sidemount Bob”, as he is often known, travels and teaches locally and globally throughout the year, spreading his passion for diving on media channels wherever he goes…“Being immersed underwater is my Zen.”
What (or who) persuaded you to become a professional diver?
Initially it was my father who planted the seed. Then, my instructor who pushed me to do an instructor course. I really had no intention of ever becoming a professional diver, but I guess sometimes, some things are better when they come naturally.
Describe your biggest challenge when diving.
Returning home,haha. Actually, it was opening my eyes underwater without a mask, as this was such a big fear for me.
Which diving achievement are you most proud of?
It’s a split between being asked to represent RAID UK & Malta as Director of Training and achieving Full Cave instructor status, and also receiving the recommendation to become a cave instructor trainer by both Jill Heinerth and Steve Lewis a few years ago; it was very emotional.
What was your first diving experience like?
It was absolutely awesome - I remember it like it was yesterday! Wish I’d done it sooner as apparently I was a natural, haha.
Why do you prefer rebreather?
I have a few reasons for the preference of CCR: first, to extend my bottom time, reduce deco and logistics of gas (normally associated with OC); second, to be able to dive deeper more comfortably on a safe gas mix and controlling my ppO2; third, to get really close to marine life for photography. Another distinct advantage is the warmer loop breathing gas in cold water temps - a bonus.
What's your favorite diving gear?
To be honest, all of it…everything I wear and use for diving has been carefully thought out over many years for practicality, reliability, logistics and ergonomics.
What's your favorite diving spot?
I’m such a geek, you can just throw me anywhere underwater and I’ll be happy. However, I’m rather partial to the Yucatan caves, the huge historic WW2 wrecks of Newfoundland, but I’d also love to visit Indonesia, the Arctic and Antarctic one day.
3. 8. 2020 THE SCUBA NEWSLearn more >
Interview with Garry Dallas, aka “Sidemount Bob”, on Cave and Tec diving and the mind behind the mask.