DSC_0797About Scuba North

Scuba North began in a small gas station near Bower’s Harbor in 1971 and has steadily grown over the years to better serve the greater Traverse City area. Over the years the store had moved to a few different locations in the Elmwood and Greilickville area, and most recently to our newest location here at 833 South Garfield Avenue.

Bob Thorpe

Bob, a native of Mansfield, Ohio, moved to Michigan in 1988. He graduated from Hocking College with a degree in Recreation and Wildlife.
In 1996 Bob became a certified scuba diver. Bob currently holds instructor-level certifications through PADI and NAUI and is certified to instruct Advanced Tri-Mix and Rebreather classes through TDI.

With over 4,000 dives, Bob’s passion for scuba diving is evident. He has been scuba diving in exotic destinations as Truk Lagoon (Federated States of Micronesia), Scapa Flow (Scotland), Palau (Oceania), Australia, Bahamas, Roatan, Bonaire, and the Empress of Ireland (St. Lawrence Seaway).

His real passion is cave diving. Bob has been cave diving in the Yucatán Peninsula for the last 15 years. He has had the opportunity to dive many of the caves in the region. Even having the luck to get to explore some caves that no divers had been in before. He has also been featured on the cover of the NACD Journal.

Bob has worked at Scuba North as a manager and instructor since 1999. Bob purchased Scuba North in July 2015.


Doug Bell

Doug’s obsession with shipwrecks first began in 1979 when he had the opportunity to complete his open water certification while attending Lake Superior State University. Exploring the “time-capsules” underwater was quickly fueled by his lifelong interest in history.

Since that time he has traveled the world exploring some of the most prominent shipwrecks such as the Empress of Ireland, Andrea Doria, USS Monitor, SS President Coolidge, the wrecks of Bikini Atoll, Truk Lagoon and Scapa Flow. The shipwrecks of the Great Lakes are of particular interest and his favorite list would include the Carl D. Bradley, Gunilda, Judge Hart, Kamloops, and many others.

He enjoys sharing his passion for the underwater world with his students and particularly enjoys seeing new divers “come alive” underwater.

Doug currently holds an Open Water Scuba Instructor rating from PADI and is certified as an Advanced Trimix diver, CCR Trimix diver, Full Cave diver and Technical Cave diver. When he’s not teaching scuba, you will likely find him somewhere deep inside a shipwreck or on a warm beach in the Caribbean.


Steve Raths

Steve Raths began diving in the early 90’s in order to explore the shipwrecks off of Whitefish Point, following visits to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum with his uncle. He began working at Scuba North over the summers while in high school in order to save up for new equipment and gain more opportunities to dive these fascinating wrecks all over Northern Michigan.

After a few years, Steve completed his instructor training through NAUI and ANDI and has been teaching scuba for over fifteen years. His forte around the shop is in equipment repair, where he is certified to service most major equipment brands, has been involved in testing and evaluating, worked at the manufacturers level, and has nearly twenty years of experience. If you ever have any regulator questions, Steve is the one to ask; if he doesn’t have it, he has at least dove or disassembled it!

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