Christy's First UWPCC!
Because I am the newest staff member at Maui Dreams, I was surprised when I was asked to write about the 11th Annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Event. Rachel, said “just be yourself, you don’t have to make it like an advertisement for Maui Dreams!”
Well, okay…I’ll try but I know my enthusiasm is STILL going to make it sound like some big promotion on my part! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! I was most impressed by the contestants who, not only carved a pumpkin underwater, but did it in costumes; there were giant clown shoes in lieu of fins, Jennifer with the alligator hood, witches and more.
I did not know anything about carving a pumpkin underwater, but by the time the day rolled around, I had heard hints and tips to fill a couple of columns for Hint’s from Heloise. ( If Heloise ever does a column on underwater pumpkin carving!) People were coming in weeks in advance to sign up and the people who had been doing it for several years had a come up with strategies for success that were a total surprise to a newbie. It was easy to see that past participants were even more excited about the event than first timers. That told me right there that it was going to be fun.
First of all, I had no idea that pumpkins float! I knew that people in wetsuits float, but of course, they really float in shallow water. The carving takes place in only about 15 feet of water. Most experienced carvers upped the lead they normally wear and a lot of them downsized on tanks. A few wore heavier wetsuits because they had gotten a little chilly in previous years. All of our 50’s and 63’s were gone the day before the contest.
I also learned that the pumpkin carving tools sold in little packages work better than a dive knife and a lot of people had drawn their design on their pumpkin ahead of time. I didn’t know that the pumpkins could have additions put on after leaving the water and, there was some real creativity shown in that area. Do check out the photos and see some of the crazy and fun additions, like: real crab legs, big hairy fake spider legs, Jack-in-the-Box costume, etc.
I learned at the event that it is important to secure all your hoses and gauges, have a mesh bag to hold your pumpkin and make sure, with your buddy, that your air is on is before you get in the water.
|I'm the one on the right!|
Well, I hope that I have not given away too much, but it is clear that being prepared was helpful. What else can I say? The ocean and the weather cooperated beautifully, and the prizes were awesome! Some great ones were a trip on the Maui Diamond II, complete regulator set, wrist computer, eyeballs, brains and other frightening body parts, neat stuff from PADI, candy, scuba classes, scooter dives and more.
I think it’s so great to be working for a company that sponsors an event like this and I am looking forward to the annual underwater Easter Egg Hunt. I know there is no other dive shop on the island that puts so much into keeping diving fun and keeping the diving community connected and feeling like family. But, that is, after all, why I walked in here and asked for a job! Sorry Rachel, there goes that schmoozy ad for Maui Dreams, I just couldn’t help it!