From the late 1950’s through the early 1980’s Gardner took on as instructors and introduced to diving many young Bahamians, among them, a teen age Stuart Cove who would go on to take over the mantel of Nassau’s leading dive operation, the world renown ‘Stuart Coves.’
During the 1970’s Gardner raced open ocean powerboats and competed in the USA as well as South America. “In those days,” he says, “way before GPS, navigation was a serious problem and racing at 75 miles an hour plus over the open ocean 500 miles through the Bahamian Island’s reefs and shoals took every bit of knowledge I had! It also destroyed my knees!”
In the 70’s Gardner started Underwater Engineering with his partner Charlie Badeau and over the years he would do everything from maintaining the deep hydrophone arrays for the U.S. Navy off Andros Island as a civilian diver contracted to the US Navy, to blowing up a wrecked freighter that had 110 tons of dynamite in her holds. Gardner was also contracted by four major oil companies for diving support in their exploration operations and was the official diving inspector for Lloyds of London.
A larger than life personage, like an aquatic Burl Ives –they were good friends- Gardner has had an incredible impact on the early sport diving community not only in the Bahamas but worldwide and is highly respected for his contributions.