The Keys still does fall and pumpkin spice, but with a little ‘Keysey’ flair. On Oct. 5, a full boat of scuba divers took part in the 21st annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest at Amy Slate’s Amoray Dive Resort in Key Largo. The contest drew divers of all ages who used dive knives and carving tools to create their masterpieces while diving on Elbow Reef. First-place winners Josephine Walker and Stephanie McClary, a mom and daughter pair from Michigan, stunned everyone with their 3-D sculpture of two moray eels swimming over a glowing heart, with a battery-powered light, an homage to Amoray’s logo.
Car Cynthia Gneiser, a local scuba instructor, draws her star design onto her pumpkin on the ride out to Elbow Reef.
JD Reinbott poses with his “Octo-ber” octopus “Pun-kin.”
First-place winners Stephanie McClary and Josephine Walker hold their disassembled pumpkin pieces together before reassembling the winning sculpture.
Stephanie McClary and Josephine Walker pose with their winning pumpkin. The mother-daughter pair flew in from Michigan with props and secret weapons for the contest. They’ve participated in similar contests in Ohio and Michigan.
Divers were able to flex their creativity in choosing what to carve and how to do it. Some brought special props and “secret weapons” on the dive.
Participants created a variety of pumpkins. While most were ocean-themed, some included admonitions to “Protect our coral” or became a diver, complete with mask and snorkel.