"Get back to the boat Alive"

One of the things I miss most about Florida was the terrific Scuba diving that was to be enjoyed.  While living in Florida I obtained a great many ratings but I recently came across this one that is perhaps the most interesting because of the story behind it.  This was the first rating I obtained in Florida.  (I had been NASDS certified since I was 15 years old in Missouri)

In 1985 I talked a group of friends into getting certified so I would have dive buddies to accompany me on excursions.  After the first one (my boss at the time) graduated his basic certification, we chartered a dive excursion off of West Palm Beach.  There was a divemaster on board and I asked him about what the possibility was of taking an "open water" checkout for my open water certification.

His reply was, "I'll tell you what, I really want to do some spear fishing, so I'll make you a deal.  You just get back to the boat alive at the end of the day and I'll give you your certification."  I did, he did, and here it is, the certification I did nothing to earn...

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All images & text 2003 Phil Case