Hobby includes scuba diving across borders

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photo courtesy of Matt Perpich

Senior Matt Perpich got his scuba diving license after discovering his love for aquatic wildlife and hopes to continue with this passion for diving.

Sam Flumerfelt, photographer

Swimming through coral and encountering aquatic wildlife, an experience only a few people ever have, plays a big part of senior Matt Perpich’s life. “What I love about scuba diving is that it is a totally different world,” said Perpich.

At a mere age of 14, Matt Perpich began scuba diving. “For Christmas, I got fins, a snorkel, mask, a book, and a DVD that had all of the study materials I needed,” said Perpich. “After Christmas, I read the book and watched the movies and, in the summer, I got certified.”

Since Matt got his diving certification, he was granted the opportunity to travel for scuba diving. “During spring break of my eighth grade year, I went to Key Largo, Florida,” said Perpich. “I hope to go on a dive next year.”

Even though the closest, largest body of water is Lake Superior, Matt has found other ways to keep up with the world of scuba diving. “There is a magazine that PADI (Professional Association Diving Instruction) has that is really cool,” said Perpich. “Being in Minnesota is hard because I’m not really a lake person, so diving in lakes are kind of out of the question,” said Perpich.

Although one may find their first dive, exhilarating, this was not the case for Matt. “On my first dive ever, I went down with my uncle, and we got separated from each other,” said Perpich. “They tell you to go to the surface so that is what I did. It turned out that I wasn’t that far from the boat, so I went to the boat [and] we found each other.”

When Matt goes diving, he not only looks for a place to dive, but also a place to stay where he can play on land. “The bad side to scuba diving has been that you can’t find a great place to dive that also accommodates golf,” said Perpich.

Next year, Matt will attend Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida where he hopes to continue with his scuba diving. “I hope to get a club started, and what we would do is we would go scuba diving, find different hot spots, and we would train people to be certified,” said Perpich.