As President of the Conscious Breath Adventures team, Capt. Gene Flipse has been a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain since 1987. He has a lifetime of experience on the water starting at an early age messing about with boats on Biscayne Bay. Before establishing Conscious Breath Adventures, he spent twelve years as captain aboard liveaboard dive boats operating in Florida; the Bahamas; and on the Silver Bank. A lifelong avid watersports enthusiast, he holds numerous advanced scuba and first aid certifications. Over the years, Gene has worked with researchers, explorers, film makers, photographers, and conservation organizations. Gene has spent 18 seasons with the humpback whales on the Silver Bank. He also has over a decade of experience guiding guests to encounter wild Atlantic spotted dolphins and bottlenose dolphins in the Bahamas. He has worked with pacific spinner dolphins; pan-tropical spotted dolphins; sperm whales, minke whales; pilot whales; sea turtles; whale sharks; manta rays; and a wide variety of sharks. His contagious enthusiasm for the daily adventure of being on and in the water along with his hard work ethic, ensures that guests have the most rewarding experience possible. He is intelligent, organized and thoughtful. Combined, these traits have earned Capt. Gene the respect of not only our guests, but also colleagues from all sectors of the diving and marine industries.
Capt. Jeff Pantukhoff
Jeff is a licensed Coast Guard Captain, a certified dive master and instructor, a whale and dolphin researcher, and an international award-winning underwater filmmaker and photographer. His images have been featured in documentary films, books and magazines. He is also the founder and president of The Whaleman Foundation and theSave the Whales Again! campaign. Through the foundation, Jeff has spent the last 25 years focused on preserving and protecting dolphins, whales, and our oceans. During this time he has written, directed, and produced seven influential films on the critical issues facing cetaceans and their environment. The images have been presented to policymakers in the U.S. Congress, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Whaling Commission and others. He has also guided over 100 dolphin and whale eco-adventure travel tours around the world. Jeff strongly believes that international cooperation is the key to solving the many issues that face our marine environment. Jeff has donated his images to organizations like the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), The Ocean Mammal Institute, and Ocean Alliance. His passion, commitment, and dedication keep him on the forefront of marine related issues and interests worldwide.
Catherine “Cat" Cushenan
Cat joined the Conscious Breath Adventures team in 2020, first joining us on board as an intern. Her positive attitude and knowledge of the whales quickly earned her a place as a full time guide and photographer-videographer with us. Cat travelled the world working in the ocean and picked up a penchant for freediving along the way, becoming a qualified instructor who can now dive as far as 62m and hold her breath for more than six minutes.
She began her journey as a marine biologist and shark ecologist, studying her undergraduate and master’s degrees between England, Portugal and Australia. Since then, she worked primarily with whale sharks, tiger sharks and blue sharks across the world from the Azores to the Maldives. She found her love for humpback whales while working in Iceland in 2018 on a whale watching boat. This is where she first discovered that the migration route of Icelandic whales ended up somewhere much warmer… the Silver Bank! She then vowed to make her own migration to the Silver Bank and, well, the rest is history.