What's hot: Florida spiny lobsters have found their way into a number of divers' collection bags the past couple of weeks. It seems the shorter days have prompted the movement of these crustaceans. Hogfish are still hovering over most of the ledges and rock piles from Sarasota to Crystal River.
Getting certified: With the slowdown of the summer dive season, many dive shops will start running specials on beginning certification classes. Take advantage of the slower season to save a few dollars. Giving a gift certificate for a beginning scuba course might be the perfect Christmas gift.
Free-dive event: The Florida Skin Diving Association is holding a Florida Free Dive Symposium. The event is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 14 at the St. Petersburg Catholic High School auditorium. The event will host some of the biggest names in free diving. Some of the speakers: Martin Stepanek, 11-time free-diving world-record holder; GR Tarr, 2009 World Cup Invitational free-dive champion; Sasa Bratic, 2009 Florida free-dive champion; and Julie Richardson, executive director and founder of Dive Wise. This is a free event. To find out more and to reserve your seat, go to divefsda.com.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at CaptianBillHardman@gmail.com or (727) 344-3483.