He should have been born a fish, but instead Larry Smith was born a boy in East Texas and grew up into a man who loved the water. His larger-than-life personality will always be remembered by those who were fortunate enough to meet him and had the pleasure to dive with 'the world's greatest divemaster'.
In 1972, Larry Smith began a diving career that would span 3-1/2 decades and more than 20,000 dives. He had a hand in developing operations in Cayman and Jamaica; however, he is most noted for his time spent at Kungkungan Bay Resort in his adopted home of Indonesia. There he combined a keen eye for small critters with his world-famous personality, to become an impressive figure that popularized an entire subculture of SCUBA: muck diving. Larry inspired a generation of underwater naturalists ranging from the Indonesian dive guides he trained, to recreational divers and world-class underwater photographers and writers.
His long and illustrious career as a diver took him to secret seas around the world, working in almost every facet of the business - industrial and sports diving, owning and operating full-service dive shops, conducting SCUBA training programs and starting up dive resorts. You name it, he's done it!
Larry's lifelong passion for diving got its real start in 1972 when he began to provide all levels of scuba training to local colleges, health clubs and private enterprises.
He was asked to develop marine tours for developing destinations such as Cozumel, Cayman Islands, Bonaire and the newly independent nation of Belize. Larry was among the earliest dive pioneers to introduce the country's underwater wonders to the world. In 1989, an offer came in from Indonesia to serve as cruise director for what was being billed as "The World's Best Live-Aboard taking divers to the World's Best Diving". After being in Indonesia only several months, Larry fell in love and eventually married Dewi Asih whom he first met in a Yogya shopping mall.
After spending nearly three years in the Caribbean with Dewi, Larry accepted another offer in the Asia/Pacific region to contribute his know-how and skills to the start-up of another live-aboard owned by the son of Malaysia's prime minister. Since the 1980s, he worked more or less continuously on luxury live-aboards with the exception of a short break in North Sulawesi training dive guides.
Sadly, Larry passed away on March 20, 2007 in Sorong, Indonesia.