Adventure Outfitters Expands, Changes Ownership

By Anna Blevins, Instructor and Owner

It doesn’t seem very long ago that my family and I got certified in the state of Missouri where we were living at the time (about 10 years ago). My husband had always wanted to learn to scuba dive and never had a chance and our sons as young teenagers, were up for anything. I, on the other hand, was less motivated to participate in this adventure. I had never thought about diving and really didn’t know what to expect. I went along since we had planned a trip to Puerto Rico and thought we could spend a few days diving there. Little did I know what adventures would ensue from that trip! We found a great dive shop and a patient instructor, Sam Rutherford in Missouri. We took continuing education classes, went on a few trips and hung out at the dive shop to talk to other divers about their gear, dive trips and to get advice. One thing led to another and fast-forward 10 years, now we are in Florida, purchasing Adventure Outfitters from our friend Leon Watts who will start on another adventure/chapter in his life. He started more than 14 years ago building a store where people became life-long friends, dive buddies, hikers and travelers. When we first relocated to the Tampa area, we met Leon stopping by his shop. We actually went to nine others but always kept coming back to his place.

Slowly, scuba diving has infiltrated our lives in a very enriching way. Everyone needs a break from the daily grind with new hobbies, fun challenges, sports, trips, etc… It’s especially rewarding when you can actually take that interest, turn it into your passion and hopefully make it a successful business. Diving has taught me so many life lessons, that I shudder to think what I would have been like if I never took that first plunge into an icy, murky Missouri lake kicking and screaming. Diving has taught me to step out of that easy, comfort zone in order to see the remarkable world from a totally different perspective; find numerous solutions for one problem; make friends that I never would have met; become more confident in every aspect of my life; learn things I never would have thought fascinating (Boyle’s Law, tying knots, carotid sinus reflex, water displacement, partial pressure, taking apart a 1st Stage Regulator – the list goes on!); and to always have someplace wonderful to take a break from everyday life. Whether it’s on a 2Shea or Tanks-a-Lot Charters on a morning 2-tank Gulf dive, shore diving in Venice looking for fossils and sharks teeth or cruising one of Florida’s pristine caves and caverns, diving has given my family and I many great experiences together. Think about what your passion is, who you can share that with to have life-long experiences with and if it happens to have anything remotely to do with snorkeling, recreational diving, spear fishing, tech diving, cavern diving or free diving – please stop by Adventure Outfitters and we will assist you with your next adventure!

ZenDog Philosophy:
Can’t really remember yesterday,
have no concept of tomorrow, but
today is a pretty darn good day.

GrandOpeningDon’t forget! Saturday, April 5 we will have our Grand Opening! We are moving a few doors down. There will be free food and drinks provided featuring the latest gear and our upcoming classes. Don’t miss out! For more information, visit our Facebook Event Page.