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Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest | Maui.Net - All Things Maui
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Oct. 27, 2007 by Michael Elam

Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest

Maui Dreams Dive Company held their 9th annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest today. I don't have an artistic bone in my body, but I do enjoy going into the water to watch what other creative and talented people can do with a pumpkin in an hour underwater! Take a look at the photos of some of the winners and others that I thought were particularly unique! How do these people come up with these things?

Dive buddy Tau or someone from his family has won prizes in this contest several times over the years. So this year I accompanied Tau and his daughter Tiana to learn how "The Pros" do it and to see what tips I could pick up. For example, did you know these tidbits of the underwater pumpkin carving trade?

  • keep the pumpkin out of the water for as long as possible to prevent it becoming soggy
  • coating the inside of the pumpkin with Vaseline keeps the flesh nice and firm
  • keep your knife stuck in to your pumpkin as you swim out with it so it doesn't get lost
  • do as much carving as possible and remove the cuttings at the very end

I was able to lend an extra pair of hands to grab Tau's and Tiana's discarded cuttings and stuff them into my mesh bag to disposed of later. Like at home, I'm always the one who takes out the trash!

These people are FOCUSED on their carving while underwater. They are oblivious to anything else happening around them. While Tau and Tiana were carving a huge male turtle happened to swim by. Tau and Tiana took no notice of the turtle...they were too wrapped up in getting that pumpkin perfect.

How the event works

  • The carvers arrive with the pumpkin already cleaned out and most have pre-drawn a diagram of their design.
  • All carving takes place in an area from 15-20’ deep marked by dive flags.
  • A 2-3 lb weight is placed inside the pumpkin (in case you didn't know...pumpkins float).
  • A little pumpkin carving knife is used and the removed cuttings are placed into a mesh or plastic bag (no, fish don’t eat pumpkin).
  • Several safety divers are on-hand in case anyone has trouble, and also to gather up any discarded pumpkin cuttings that may inadvertently rise to the surface.
  • Carvers are allowed 1 hour to complete the carving.
  • They then bring them back to the beach to be judged.

Prize Categories

  • Best Traditional
  • Most Creative
  • Best Decorated
  • Scarrrriest
  • Best Ocean Themed
  • Cutest
  • Holy Cowfish, Batman! How'd they do THAT with a pumpkin?!
  • Best Overall (most total votes)

We're talking about some GREAT prizes here! Maui Dreams gave away things like a mask, regulator, $100 gift certificate, and the Best Overall prize was a wrist dive computer with wireless transmitter!! And of course, everyone received a commemorative Maui Dreams Dive Company Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest 2007 T-Shirt!!

Dive stats:
Location: Keawakapu Beach
Maximum Depth: 17 feet
Bottom Time: 36 minutes
Visibility: 60-80 feet
Water Temp: 77°

About the Operators

Maui Dreams Dive Company prides themselves on being able to meet all diving needs, from rental to retail, factory authorized repairs, dive trips and instruction. I am often asked where to go for scuba gear, instruction, etc. and I ALWAYS refer people to Maui Dreams. They are No Ka Oi!


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