About Me

 
 
My name is Marty Wakat and I was born in Charleston SC in 1974. I lived there shortly and then moved to Roanoke VA in the heart of the Appalachian mountain chain. There I grew up and went to the same school, North Cross School, from kindergarten through high school where I graduated in 1992. I then attended Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem NC where I majored in Psychology and graduated in 1996.
 
Directly after finishing my last exams from college I packed up the car and drove out to Boulder CO where I lived for the next few years. I got a job working for Polaroid Digital Imaging and it was there that my initial passion and enjoyment of photography came from. I was able to have access to equipment that costs more the $25,000.00 each and this was at the dawn of the digital photography era so everything was exciting and very new.
 
After a few years working there I decided that I no longer enjoyed the daily commute into Denver and that it was now time for me to move on and out of the big city. I moved up to Breckenridge CO which was only about 75 miles away.  Breckenridge is a fantastic and beautiful town located at about 10,000ft in altitude where snow lays on the ground for nearly 9 months of the year. For a few years I worked as a ski tech so that I could get on the hill each day and I am happy to say that I was able to get a few years where I was on the mountain snowboarding more than 150 days per season.
 
I began working with Specialized Business Solutions in 2000 and I continued to work for them for the following 7 and a half years. They manufacture a software program called Keystroke that is a Point-Of-Sale software designed for retail businesses. I enjoyed working there and made many friends that I still have to this day. In 2007 I realized that CO was not where I wanted to be anymore and the cold was finally getting to me. I decided that I wanted to move to a place where the weather was perfect all year round. I started to do my research online and I came up with a place called Kailua Kona which is located on the Big Island of Hawaii. I took a two week trip out here to check out the place and see if it was where I wanted to live.......I fell in love with it immediately.
 
In November of 2008 I loaded up a Uhaul and drove my 1976 Corvette as well and headed off to California. Once there, I loaded up both the car and my life's belongings onto a Matson boat and said farewell to the mainland and then I boarded a plane to paradise. Now once I got here I had a few weeks of acclimating since it would take that long for my belongings to arrive. I was able to start looking for housing right away and within a few weeks I found a great place in Holualoa HI which is just above Kailua Kona. I met some awesome people there at a place called Kona Zona which is an old coffee farm in Holualoa. I live there for about a year and then moved to a larger place in Kailua Kona where I live now. There is a google map of my house at the bottom of this page.
 
My passion with the ocean and with free diving began almost as soon as I got here. I purchased a set of snorkel gear that first week and began diving as often as I could. I started the lengthy task of trying to create some kind of resume that would get me a job doing anything where I could be in or around the water and outside all day. First I got my SCUBA certification, and then next got my CPR First Aid certification, and finally I got my Freediving certification from Freediving Instructors International taught by 13 time world record holder Martin Stepanek. 
 
After countless interviews with various companies, I found the perfect job opportunity with Hawaii Ocean Sports located at the Grand Hilton in Waikoloa. This job allows me the perfect opportunity to go to work in an environment that I love while still giving me enough free time to pursue my passion with freediving and photography.
 

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