OFF KEY LARGO (CBSMiami) — A crafty group of divers submerged 30 feet beneath the surface in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to carve jack-o-lanterns during the annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving contest Sunday off Key Largo.
Underwater artists of all ages dove with knives to pare fun-loving facial features and sea creatures and accessorize their orange gourds. Divers also were challenged to keep the hollowed out pumpkins from floating off while they carved their works of art.
Wayne Cline won over the judges with an intricately designed seahorse.
“The theme this year was ‘happy fish,” so I thought what’s happier than a seahorse,” Cline said. “What’s challenging about carving a pumpkin underwater is not only about the buoyancy of your body, but the buoyancy of the pumpkin itself.
“You’ve gotta find a way to maneuver it and hold it in place while making intricate lines and intricate cuts,” he said.
For Atlanta’s Patricia Coe the challenge was more difficult than she thought.
“It’s a lot harder than it sounds,” Coe said. “You’re 30 feet under water and things float away, including your tools and your ideas.
“So we had to do a little a compromise and improvise right there but you know what, it’s fun,” she said.
The contest was organized by the Amoray Dive Resort and staged near a shallow reef about six miles off Key Largo.