My name is Charlene Barker. I have been the owner of Aqua Sport, right from the start. Aqua Sport opened up in 1994 as a Brick and Mortar store. It was one of Canada's largest scuba shops. In 2016, the brick and mortar shop closed. I just needed a change. I needed to adventure more!! The following 2 years, Aqua Sport Online slowly emerged. It is constantly being redefined and improved. Online retail IS the future. There is no stopping it. It is my goal to keep improving this site to offer more products, educational video's, insight and inspiration to get people out there.
A little about me.....
I am an explorer, an adventurer. I have had amazing opportunities to fuel my passion for adventure. I started diving at the tender age of 16. I have been an instructor, technical and cave diver for over 20 years now. I am NOT telling you how long that I have been a diver. A long long time. I have had the great honor of being involved in three Royal Canadian Geographic Society expeditions in the last few years.
The Sedna expedition in 2014, a proof of concept that a team of 10 women can snorkel across the Northwest Passage. This expedition was to help bring awareness to climate change, education and community outreach. I met some of the most amazing women that continue to inspire my passion for diving and adventure.
The Raspberry Rising Cave Project from 2013 to 2018. This expedition was to explore, survey and to perform civil science. There were many scientific discoveries during this project, new bacteria that could potentially lead to medical advances. This project opened up my world of dry caving. I also met people that inspired me and mentored me to do more !!!
Bisaro Anima Project from 2018 to present. This is the deepest cave in Canada. My role to date has been very small. I was involved with looking for surface leads to connect to the cave. Hopefully in the years ahead, my involvement will increase.
Other past adventures were wreck diving on the east and west coast of Canada in the early 2000's. An epic deep wreck adventure for me was to be able to be one of the first people to dive on a virgin wreck our team found called the Athel Viking. This ship was built in 1928. It was carrying molasses during WWII and was sunk by a German U-boat. To the best of my knowledge, there were no fatalities when it sunk. It is upright in over 300 feet of water on the east coast of Canada. Since 2004, the wreck has collapsed in on itself. There are less than 20 people that have seen this wreck intact. I am very honored to have had the opportunity to be one of those people. The team of people that I dove with at that time, opened the world of exploration to me.
Current adventures are all done with a team of adventurers called the Mofo's. I did not name our team. We are probably not your typical adventurers, most of us are far from our 20's, the typical age of explorers. We are real people that have ordinary skills with extraordinary passion . We are constantly exploring, training, filming, documenting and laughing. Our adventures are dry caving, cave diving, diving, canyoning, hiking, climbing, laughing and perhaps a little drinking. Our number one goal is to have fun. We are always looking to expand our group !!
Our current goals are to explore a cave in BC called Bisaro But Beautiful. The cave is a full cave dive with dry sections , bolt climbs, waterfalls and leads to more wet sections. We are currently working on mapping and exploring this system. This cave is on the same mountain as Bisaro Anima. Unlikely these 2 caves will connect but mother nature has her own ideas sometimes.
Reappearing river is a cave system on Vancouver Island, that we hope to connect to another system. This will be an adventure that will combine all of my diving skills at once. More info to come !!
Every year we go down to Mexico for cave diving, exploration and advancing our skills through training and experience. We have just started pushing a few caves in the Tulum area. Nothing truly epic that can compare with the extreme cave explorers in the area. Those divers are real explorers that love to inspire those around them !!
More to come !!
If you want to hear more about the Mofo's, follow Aqua Sport's blog. I will be posting pictures and stories of our silliness.