The Dudes
Welcome to! We hope you 
    enjoy our text reader-friendly website.


Here you will find information about our website, our authors, photographers, web developers, and couch contributors. Enjoy.

Our Website is an amalgamation of photography and writing that loosely follows the theme of diving and the underwater world. The site is the brainchild of Ben, Brad, and Rob. We hope you enjoy our hard work!

The Gnu is the mascot of free softwareOur site employs a good bit of modern web technology, and developing the site has been a learning experience. We started from scratch, and built this site using exclusively open-source software. It is, and always will be a work in progress.


Brad Butler

Captain Brad Butler is a founding member of He works for Aquatic Safaris in Wilmington, NC as a dive instructor, boat crew, and shop monkey. On the side, Brad sponsors a middle school Scuba Club at Cary Academy in Cary, NC. He also manages our web site, so send your complaints to him!

Brad's adventure in diving started at age eleven, when on vacation in the Virgin Islands with his parents. He fell in love with the sport and kept at it. By age sixteen he was certified as a Rescue Diver and a Master Scuba Diver.

At eighteen Brad got his first gig on a dive boat, working for Captain Charlie on the Dive Buddy in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Here he learned how to wrestle with anchors and hang out with sharks, both prerequisites for working on a North Carolina dive boat. The Dive Buddy is no longer a dive boat, but memories persist. Ask Brad about his first day on the job and he'll recount that fateful morning.


Ben Steinberger


Ben Steinberger is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and Photographer in addition to being a founding member of Cool Dudes Diving. He lives a life of travel and adventure and finds time to do some writing for us in his spare time.  Ben’s areas of expertise include photography and dive education.  He writes articles on both of these topics, as well as diving in general.

Prior to his current adventure, Ben worked on a live-aboard dive boat based out of the British Virgin Islands.  Before that he managed a dive shop in his cozy small hometown of Manhattan, New York.  Ben has traveled and dived in six continents and is always up for an adventure!

Ben takes wonderful photographs with his Nikon equipment, which you will see scattered throughout our site.  More of his work can be seen at

Robert Nowicki

Rob is a founding member of He is a knowledgeable marine biologist who is currently working at the Institute of Marine Sciences in coastal North Carolina. He has done work on a variety of topics and organisms, from neurophysiology on sea angels to community ecology in local salt marshes.  His real interest, however, in on top predators in ecosystems- especially sharks.  Rob contributes to our collection of articles about biology, animal behavior, and the marine environment, as well as general diving topics. Look for some of his well-researched articles on our site soon.


Brad Butler

Brad is a PADI Course Director and USCG Licensed Captain. A founding member of CoolDudesDiving, he currently works for Aquatic Safaris in Wilmington, NC. He writes for us in his spare time.