How to Scuba Dive in Florida – My Story

This is a Pittsburgh city girl’s story about scuba diving, how to scuba dive, become a certified scuba diver, and start Got2Dive. The only water I was familiar with was the three rivers. As a young girl my parents had vacationed a few times in Tampa and Clearwater Florida. I fell in love with the sun, sand and surf! I imagined what the ocean world would be like and wondered what it would be like to experience firsthand. I passionately wanted to scuba dive in Florida.
How to Scuba Dive in Florida

In the Beginning of How to Scuba Dive in Florida

After graduating high school and cosmetology school I was working at a hair salon in Pittsburgh. I moved out from my childhood home into my first apartment with my two sisters. My sister knew I wasn’t happy. I talked and dreamed of moving to Florida to be near the ocean. One cold and wintery day, my sister came home with a one way ticket to Florida. She knew how much I wanted to live in the land of sunshine and hear the sound of the ocean waves. She recommended I take the one way ticket and go after the life I so passionately dreamed and longed for.
With a one way ticket in my hand and my entire LP collection, I was on my way to living my dream. I left cold snowy Pittsburgh with my black snow boots on and my mauve winter coat and arrived in Fort Lauderdale. I vividly remember the automatic doors opening and feeling the warmth of the eighty degree sunshine. I remember removing all my winter clothing as I headed out of the terminal doors. I thought dear God I am in heaven! My very first stop off that airplane was Ft. Lauderdale Beach to dip my toes in the ocean!
My friend’s dad was a certified diver and he talked to me about his diving adventures. I enjoyed listening about his stories of spear fishing, boating and diving. I knew I could do that! I was so intrigued by his stories that I could not hold back my peeked curiosity. This scuba diving experience would help this city girl, overcome fear of the powerful ocean, especially since we all watched the 1975 movie “Jaws”. I was determined and motivated to become certified in scuba diving. Scuba diving would provide me the opportunity to see the beauty that lies beneath.
On May 1st 1982 my friends and I became NAUI open water certified scuba divers. With only a handful of dives under my weight belt I met my husband who at the time was not a scuba diver; we got married in 1983 and started a family right away. My diving passion was put on the back burner raising a family and earning an income. Over the years I dreamed of scuba diving in the ocean again. Hubby was happy being a snorkeler and over the years he showed no interest becoming a diver and I was fine with that.