larry thompson


I retired from the United States Army after 22+ years of service and returned to Florida where I began diving with friends in high school. I believe that scuba diving is much more than a hobby; it is more accurately a lifelong adventure and has the power to change lives.  I am a member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) and a volunteer Divemaster with the Florida Aquarium in Tampa where I log dives virtually every week to help maintain exhibits, lead guest dive experiences, and participate in off-site conservation and research projects. My passion for scuba diving is one that I believe is contagious. Few people return from a scuba dive the same person they were when they started. Mostly the changes are subtle in that they have gained an appreciation for the beauty and diversity of life below the sea. For others, the change is more profound and launches them on a career as a professional diver or in marine biology and environmental stewardship. Scuba diving is a shared time when families can connect. Observing first-hand the transformation students undergo as they progress from the classroom, to the pool, and finally to their checkout dives is irreplaceable. Watching the students’ expressions when they see the aquatic life in the lakes or rivers Calypso uses for instruction and knowing what awaits them at other open water dive locations, is one of the true benefits of scuba instruction.