Halloween Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest, Saturday, October 30 8 a.m. San Carlos Beach, Monterey

Next month is October, which means Halloween, which means …. the Sea Otters annual Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest at San Carlos Beach! Meet at the picnic tables overlooking the beach at 8:00 am to assess conditions and gear up. The briefing for this annual event will start promptly at 8:30 am. There may be other groups having their own contests, so make sure you look for the MBSO banner. You’ll know you’re with the wrong group if everyone else has their pumpkin top missing and insides removed… that would be way too EASY! Even though this is a shallow water event, we will follow safety protocols and buddy up before hitting the water for some pumpkin carving.

Each team will choose their own dive spot and depth for carving. Since you will be playing with sharp devices underwater, please be mindful of your tools! Hint #1, adding an additional pound or two of weight can help you to stay safely on the bottom. Hint #2, a goodie bag is helpful for stowing your pumpkin top and your tools. After the divers return, we will line up the pumpkins and passers-by will vote for their favorite one! Last year we had very talented carvers, and Wayne Pagcu’s pumpkin shark won him first place for the second year in a row! Will he be defending his title? Even if you don’t plan to carve, stop by around 9:30 to find out! In addition to bragging rights, we will have a prize for the winner!

Contest Participation Rules:

1. There is no fee to enter, but you must be a current club member. (But you can renew your membership that morning.)

2. You must check in at 8 a.m. and attend the safety briefing.

3. You will provide your own intact pumpkin and carving tools. Prior to entering the water, you may make a small hole, no more than a 1⁄2 inch (diameter of a pencil) wide, on the top and bottom of the pumpkin to allow air to escape.

4. Dive team members will observe dive safety protocols. They will also enter the water together, maintain visual contact with each other, and exit the water together. 5. All stages of carving must be done underwater. Carving includes drawing, removing the insides, or cutting into the pumpkin. You may not draw on your pumpkin prior to descending underwater but are welcome to use an underwater stencil in the water.

5. If you cut off the top of your pumpkin to clean it out, you must bring it back for judging, so do not lose it underwater!

6. The finished pumpkin may not be adorned with items found in and around the ocean, such as kelp or shells. However, trash removal is encouraged.

7. There is no time limit for carving; however, voting will begin approximately one hour after half the teams have entered the water. Wayne Pagcu’s winning Shark Pumpkin last year (Photo credit – Walan)

8. You must register by sending an email to board@montereybayseaotters.org with your name and contact info.

If you have any questions, you can email us at the same email address above. We hope to see you as a contestant or as a judge afterwards! – Walan Chang

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