Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/fintasti/public_html/wp-content/themes/Divi/functions.php on line 5752

About Us

We love to dive, and it shows

This Is Our Story

Fintastic Diving Adventures is for those who want to learn how to scuba dive, those who are scuba divers, and those wanting a much needed vacation!  Used to be known as Aqua Camp, Fintastic Diving continues the tradition of teaching kids and families the love for the underwater world.

Saffron Owens Algozzini is the owner of Fintastic Diving Adventures. All of our trips run smoothly and are a blast due to Saffron. Saffron has been diving since 1992. When she started, she never knew that the underwater world would become her life. She became a scuba diving instructor in 1999 and has worked her way up to become an IDEA Instructor Trainer Evaluator. Saffron started off working for a scuba diving school called Aqua Camp Diving Academy. Aqua Camp turned Saffron into what she is today. Working for Aqua Camp for the past 14 years, she has had lots of experience with diving as well as travel. And that is how Fintastic Diving Adventures was started.

Saffron has a B.S. in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston with an emphasis in Ichthyology, which is the study of fish. During college, she worked for the SC aquarium, the Dolphin Research team of the East coast, Aqua Camp, and National Geographic. After graduating college, she moved to Florida where she continued to teach scuba diving for Aqua Camp and also work at IDEA’s headquarters.  Having over 6,000 dives, she is a fish in the water. She believes she should have been born a fish! She has dove all over the world. South America, Central America, Mexico, Caribbean, the Keys, all over North America, and Australia are where most of her life has been spent in the water. Her love for the water and the organisms in it makes her an exceptional Instructor. No dive is boring to her as she will always find new creatures to point out. She was made to teach scuba and to teach people how wonderful the underwater world can be!

 

 

 

Saffron Owens Algozzini–Owner and Instructor Trainer Evaluator

 

Fernando Velez, an Atlanta native and Woodward Academy graduate, is part of one of Fintastic’s dive twin duo.  Fernando started SCUBA when he was 12 with his twin sister, Paloma.  At the age of 16, he was already helping with the classes and is now one of Fintastic’s primary instructors.  Bilingual in English and Spanish, Fernando is an avid traveler.  Fernando has been all over the world looking for his next adventure.  As an Eagle Scout, he is passionate in the safety and success of all his students.

Fernando Velez–Instructor

 

Donnie McGuire has been working professionally in the SCUBA world since 1995.  Before becoming an IDEA certified Instructor, Donnie was the lead Divemaster as well as the team’s equipment chief.  From the coastal shores of South Carolina to the volcanic sands of Costa Rica, Donnie has amassed over 2,000 dives.  He hopes to one day dive the kelp beds of California and see the sights off the Great Barrier Reef.  Donnie has helped many adults and children become familiar with the underwater world.  All of his SCUBA training experience has translated into a career as a trainer for an Atlanta software company.  Collectively, Donnie’s positive attitude and extensive knowledge make him a valuable member to the Fintastic team.

Donnie McGuire–Instructor

 

 

Phil Hickox is one of our Instructors.  Former teacher of 5th grade science, he is now the admissions counselor and the football and lacrosse coach at Woodward Academy.  He has been part of our team for five years.  Phil is the father of four Woodward Academy students.  Between his coaching, his teaching, and all of his kids, he has the patience and the expertise to train anyone how to SCUBA dive.  Phil is also an avid outdoorsmen.  As long as he is outside, with his family, or underwater, he is the happiest.  Phil is comedic and fun to be around.

Phil Hickox–Instructor

 

Paloma Velez is our fun loving Divemaster and part two of the Fintastic dive twin duo!  A Woodward Academy graduate, Paloma has been diving with Saffron for over 10 years.  With dives branching all over the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, Paloma is an irreplaceable team member.  Her contagious spirit and astute observational skills help lead to safe and relaxing dives for all of those around her to enjoy.  Out of the water, she works in the corporate world with her one-eyed pirate dog, Mable, as her personal mascot.

 

 

Paloma Velez-Divemaster

 

Saffron is an incredible instructor. I’d recommend her to anyone!

Joe B.

Go diving with Saffron. You won’t regret it!

Matt C.

I can’t say enough about Saff and her crew. We had an amazing experience in the Bahamas!

Elizabeth S.