Mike Campbell of Castaway Scuba has an easy-going, humorous personality that lends a calming influence that cools years of living in the anxiety ridden streets of New York and New Jersey.
We had two classroom sessions and an exam before our first dive in De Leon Springs. Squeezed into constricting wetsuits with weight belts strapped around our waists, on an unusually cold Thursday in January with low visibility in the springs, led to a highly anxious moment for Emille during the swim test. Mike scheduled the repeat dive the next Monday at a heated YMCA pool with excellent visibility and Emille passed like a pro. She swam 12 laps without pausing and we treaded water for 10 minutes like fish. After this redo, Mike joked that Emille was a “plant” that was sent there to test him.
We returned to De Leon Springs with newfound confidence, and completed two dives on Tuesday, and three on Wednesday, satisfying our Open Water Scuba Certification. Our last dive was a bonus photography dive, and our first underwater Subway Handle photo session. Mike, now called “Scuba Dad” by Emille, even convinced a turtle to pose with the handle.
To celebrate our certifications, we had all-you-can-eat pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Pancake House. See our review here.
We highly recommend Mike Campbell and the entire staff of Castaway Scuba to anyone in the greater Orlando area. Our schedules are chaotic, but they accommodated us seamlessly. They ordered and installed prescription lenses for my mask, and they have everything under the water.
Please follow us on Instagram! @nyseeyoulater