SCUBA Diving in Florida
Petting the sharks too!
June 15 to 26, 2006




After spending several months at home, Daniel was ready to continue his training.

Thanks to the generosity of a couple in our community who are airline pilots, Daniel was able to fly to Florida at a very reduced rate, on standby.  He got the last seat on the plane!



Upon arriving in Orlando, Florida he teamed up with Corrie Sample, who had previously arranged for a crash course in SCUBA diving with Bill Serey of Fear Not SCUBA, an instructor whom she had met while doing relief work after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.  He gave them a huge discount, enabling them to get 3 dive ratings for the price of one.

Corrie and Daniel had served together in Venezuela with the International Rescue & Relief (IRR) team between January and April, so they are good friends.  However, Daniel made it clear that he intended to focus on training, and was not interested in forming any kind of romantic relationship.


Corrie acted surprised at Daniel's bluntness, but at least she knew exactly where he stood on the issue.  They got along fine as she helped Daniel review the textbooks in preparation for the intensive days of training ahead.

They purchased and rented the necessary supplies, then it was time to hit the ground running - or rather, hit the water paddling!





First they practiced diving in a dirty lake where they couldn't see hardly anything at all underwater.








Then the fun began.  Joining another group of divers, they went out from the Florida Keys to get practice in deeper water.







Instructor Bill (left) taught his students how to safely explore shipwrecks, how to surface slowly without killing themselves, and a bunch of other important things.







The REALLY fun part was when they went on Captain Slate's Creature Feature dive.  that's where they encountered tamed sharks and other large, dangerous sea critters featured on Disney, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and dozens of TV programs, as well as covers of most dive magazines.








Down they go!  Corrie is at the lower right, with Daniel above her.  you can see the boat hull near the surface above them.









The divers knelt on the sand in a line, as the sharks slowly glided by.








This is a HUGE fish, compared to the divers below!








Wow!  Such
an awesome experience to be so close to a real live shark in open water!  Corrie's on the left, and Daniel's next to her.






Now Corrie  gently holds a shark as it floats next to her.  She doesn't even notice the Goliath Grouper behind her back!







Hold on, Corrie - your shark's getting away!

Daniel takes a picture with an underwater camera.






Now THAT was a really neat, once-in-a-lifetime experience!








Now it's Daniel's turn to hold a shark.  Look at those neat gills!







Ah, yes, rubbing a sharks tummy.  Daniel says they're just like puppy dogs!

Hey Corrie, be sure and get a picture!






Nice sharkie!  Wow, what an unforgettable experience!









And everything was professionally filmed by National Geographic videographers so the divers could take home a DVD of their Creature Feature underwater adventures!






Daniel & Corrie got their Basic, Advanced and Nitrox SCUBA certificates.  Now they are qualified for future deep water rescue training.

Corrie flew back to South America, this time to serve on the Peru Projects Medical Mission launch until January, 2007.  Click here to see pictures & read about many of her adventures while in Peru.


Next: More Mission Pilot Training, Part 1

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