Of course the first question is, “What are Sea Hunt events?”
Simply put, a Sea Hunt event is any activity related to that famous TV show from the ’60’s.
Of course there are Sea Hunt events that are in fact, events put on specifically to commemorate the show and those are the most fun for everyone, participants and spectators.
There have been three Sea Hunt events conducted at Silver Springs, Florida over the past few years. We call them Sea Hunt 1, Sea Hunt 2 and Sea Hunt Forever. These were organized and conducted by a dedicated group of vintage divers from all walks of life and from all over North America. The Sea Hunt events were held at Silver Springs for a simple reason – many of the Sea Hunt TV episodes were filmed there. Silver Springs is also easy to get to from almost anywhere. There is readily available accommodation, food and diving services.
It’s important as well to understand that these events were very special to the participants. Most are die hard Sea Hunt fans. Many have collections of Sea Hunt memorabilia and most have diving equipment similar to that used by Mike Nelson in the shows. For these fans of vintage diving and Sea Hunt to experience diving in Silver Springs, the place where the TV shows were filmed, is very exciting. To introduce others to Sea Hunt and to entertain visitors to the springs by recreating Sea Hunt stories is a dream come true. Like myself, many of these divers feel as though they’ve gone back to their childhood days when Sea Hunt was the most exciting thing to ever happen.
Silver Springs has changed little since the days of Sea Hunt. The same glass-bottom boats take visitors to the park out over the crystal water of the spring to gaze in wonder at the undersea life. We’ve even met local people who were part of the filming of Sea Hunt.
Let me tell you about the Sea Hunt events at Silver Springs.
Sea Hunt 1 was the brainchild of Allan Klauda of Rochester. It was the 50th Anniversary of the first Sea Hunt show and Allan contacted the operators of Silver Springs Park to see if they would be interested in hosting a Sea Hunt event. It took a long time, a lot of persuasion and a lot of work to get it all organized but it was the beginning of a wonderful experience for everyone involved – divers, visitors and the park too. It’s interesting to know that scuba diving had been banned in Silver Springs for almost 40 years. That was just one hurdle that Allan had to overcome. Then he had to get together a team of divers who would travel to Florida at their own expense for a weekend of scuba diving a la Mike Nelson. The problem here was not a lack of participants. The problem was whittling down the list of all the eager divers! We could only have a limited number of divers.
Then of course, Allan had to choose dates that would work for everyone, find accommodation, places to eat, a source for air fills and so on. The divers were not just there to dive. Allan wanted to entertain the visitors so he had to develop Sea Hunt scenarios that the divers could put on underwater. We needed spearguns, attacking Boa Constrictors, alligators, good guys and bad guys.
What seemed like a good idea, a fun time, turned into a major production!
But it was wonderful! The divers had so much fun – they became Mike Nelson for a weekend. The visitors learned about Sea Hunt and they cheered as Mike Nelson saved the day – several times a day!!
The park owners were certainly happy too. Local media picked up the story and it became the best weekend the park had experienced in a long time.