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JC Divers take on Florida!

Stephanie Letourneau ’20 , Environmental Science POE, Dimpled, outdoor loving, MD girl, pursuing passions

Bubble, bubble…..swish…..bubble…..glub….glub…..swish….

Those my friends, are the sounds from under the sea.

During the fall, the scuba diving club provides an opportunity for students to get scuba diving certifications and it also helps offset the cost. In the spring, students can go on a spring break trip to go diving somewhere other than a lake or a quarry in Pennsylvania. I was not able to take advantage of getting scuba certified while on campus, but after getting certified during my study abroad experience in the Galapagos, I was able to join the trip this year!

Before COVID-19 broke loose all around the United States, the club planned this trip down to Florida to go camping and diving. When the trip rolled around, there were no positive cases in the areas we were planning to go to, so we were still able to continue our descent. Luckily, we were able to complete our trip entirely, but we definitely washed our hands a lot.

There were only a few of us this year, including the residential director at the Raystown Field Station, but we had fun and were able to do a lot of dives. We began at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park in the Tampa area and dove at Ginnie Springs. This was my first freshwater dive and we got to go down into a cave.

A few of us at the Florida Aquarium. Check out that Manta Ray!

On our off day, we went to the Florida Aquarium. Then, we went to enjoy the Clearwater Beach! We then travelled down to Miami and camped at Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial Park. The next few days, we did five dives total in Key Largo, including one night dive! While we were down in the keys, we also ate some yummy key lime pie.

Bubble bubble…glub glub, sup guys?

We saw some cool stuff including a pod of dolphins, a HUGE grouper, turtles, nurse sharks, barracuda, parrot fish, lobster, moray eel, and MORE. It was SO COOL!

I really loved this trip. Not only was I able to enjoy the recreational side of scuba diving, but I got to improve my own skills and learn more about other dive opportunities available. Thank you to JC scuba diving club for helping make this trip possible!!!