Kristy Finstad died in the Conception dive boat fire off of Santa Cruz Island on Sept. 2, 2019. She was the leader and co-owner of WDA, a NAUI instructor, had a degree in Aquatic Biology, a yoga instructor, was married to Dan, and had a spirit of life and adventure that was impossible to miss.
Kristy’s first dives were under Bill’s arm, a toddler breathing from his octopus in the Channel Islands; her first tank worn in Cozumel when she was nine. Twice funded by the National Science Foundation, Kristy studied damselfish and corals in the Tahitian Islands; she was also a full-scholar abroad in Costa Rica and Australia. Kristy’s employment history included research diving for the Australian Institute of Marine Science, authoring a wetland restoration guidebook for the California Coastal Commission, diving for black pearls in the Tuamotus, and counting salmonids for the City of Santa Cruz. “My mission is to inspire appreciation for our underwater world. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in the service of helping people invest in experiences of a lifetime.”
Lover of travel and culture, Kristy spent four years sailing and exploring Mexico and the South Pacific, aboard her catamaran Te Poerava, accumulating over 14,000 nautical miles, finding new and amazing places to bring Worldwide Diving Adventurers… with some surf and yoga on the side.
An intrepid explorer and traveler, Kristy was a lover of the outdoors and fascinated by processes of the natural environment. She was an inquisitive person, deeply spiritual and at the same time concerned scientist. While the ocean was her body, the mountains and forests were her soul. She loved a quiet hike through the redwoods, a powder day skiing in the trees, backpacking in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and dropping down a steep, vertical blue wall on a dive. Mostly, she was a person who listened and cared about people. She would not be distracted by her cell phone while talking with a friend and was known for having deep, meaningful conversations instead of shallow small talk. She didn’t forget birthdays, always getting a handwritten card to arrive on time, even when half way across the world on a sailboat. She was a kind, generous, strong willed and principled woman.
We hope that her enthusiasm for life and the natural world continues to resonate with our dive family. And we hope to continue to honor intrepid Kristy by experiencing and accepting the worlds gifts and living life like people dream.