Florida Contest is awash with pumpkins

The Associated Press


In this photo released by the Florida Keys News Bureau, underwater pumpkin contest carvers display their creations amid yellowtail snappers Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007, off Key Largo, Fla., in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The contest, staged by the Amoray Dive Resort, judges divers on their artistic originality, as well as the degree of difficulty to carve the entry in the subsea environment. Linda Smith, left, and her husband Ken (not shown) took top honors.

Florida Keys News Bureau, Bob Care

In this photo released by the Florida Keys News Bureau, underwater pumpkin contest carvers display their creations amid yellow tail snappers Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007, off Key Largo, Fla., in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The contest, staged by the Amoray Dive Resort, judges divers on their artistic originality, as well as the degree of difficulty to carve the entry in the sub sea environment. Linda Smith, left, and her husband Ken (not shown) took top honors.

In this photo released by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Ken Smith of Sebring, Fla., carves his top prize-winning entry in the Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007, off Key Largo, Fla., in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The contest, staged by the Amoray Dive Resort, judges divers on their artistic originality, as well as the degree of difficulty to carve the entry in the subsea environment.

Not content to carve their pumpkins in the traditional way, several divers carved jack-o’-lanterns more than 30 feet below the ocean’s surface.

Ken and Linda Smith of Sebring, Fla., took top honors Saturday for their “scary pumpkin” at the 10th annual Amoray Dive Resort Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Their prize was a free dive trip.

Carving underwater wasn’t easy, Ken Smith said.

“The pumpkins want to float, so that makes it difficult,” he said. “So you’re working against your own buoyancy and the pumpkin’s.”

Some contestants dropped a weight inside their pumpkins to keep them on the bottom. Then they sliced and pared to create their entries alongside yellow-tail snapper and other fish.

The contest was staged about five miles off Key Largo.

 

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