Since arriving in Okinawa, Japan I have been able to complete scuba diver certification, and enjoying the underwater world so much, I have also encouraged Heather, Pie, and Bug to become certified as well. These certifications have opened up a whole new world of experiences and opportunities for us. One of which has been underwater pumpkin carving. On a sunny Saturday in October Bug and I met the other 9 teams at Kadena Marina to compete. Once the first timer started we were able to cut a lid, remove the seeds from inside the pumpkin, and use a grease pencil to mark our design on the outside of the pumpkin. We were then issued an ice pick and a butter knife to complete our pumpkin. We geared up in our scuba kit, made our way to the water and descended to about 12 feet below the surface where we had 30 minutes to complete our pumpkin carving. This, of course, added some new degrees of difficulty. We had to keep a hold of the pumpkin to keep it from floating up to the surface, we had fish swimming through feasting on the discarded chunks of pumpkin, and we each had a scuba regulator in our mouth, so we could not speak to each other. We had to use hand signals and gestures to coordinate our carving efforts. The judges swam back and forth checking on the teams to ensure we were not cheating by adding extra dive weights to our pumpkin to keep it on the bottom, by using un-approved carving tools such as dive knives, or any other unfair advantages we may have thought up. At the conclusion of the 30-minute time limit we surfaced and made our way back to the beach. Our pumpkins were displayed and judged, and while we did not take home the trophy, it was an enjoyable unique event that many of Bug’s peers have not had the opportunity in which to participate.