Kem Jackson

Kem Jackson

From seaman to dive master, treasure hunter to Vice President of the Catboat Association, Kem Jackson has devoted his life to the sea.

Mr. Jackson's marine adventures began as a child, growing up on the water and becoming a seaman at an early age with National Bulk Carriers. His diving career - and lifelong friendship with Bob Soto - began in 1965, when he became one of the island's first dive masters at Bob Soto's Diving. Mr. Jackson was Bob Soto's right hand man and chief engineer until the business was sold to Ron Kipp in 1980.

Together they pioneered the business of scuba diving in Grand Cayman, catering to small groups of divers, even running overnight trips to Little Cayman on small boats such as the "Cayman Pilot" and "Cayman Diver". Mr. Jackson has many "dives under his belt - too many to count, he says - but not quite the million dives as described in an article by a well known scuba publication some time back! After working for Bob Soto, Mr. Jackson continued as an engineer for Herbo Humphries, a well-known professional treasure hunter.

Today, this popular man continues his contribution to the Cayman Islands in another capacity - as Vice President of the Catboat Association. At one time, the Caymanian Catboat was the mainstay in transportation amongst the Cayman Islands, as well as serving a pivotal means of employment. The Catboat Association is dedicated to preserving this important piece of maritime heritage for future generations.

Mr. Jackson spends his time lovingly restoring catboats (often singlehandedly) to their former glory, and making beautiful 18" replicas as gifts for family and friends. Mr. Jackson lives in West Bay with his wife, Ola. His three children - Joey, Patricia and Priscilla - and seven grandchildren also reside in the Cayman Islands.