Main Home About Us Articles References Dive Shop Contact Us Dive North Dakota TShirts Photos Commercial YMCA Mandan Aquatic Center Bismarck Aquatic Center Caribbean Weddings & Honeymoons Dive and Snorkel Specials

Roatan/Bay Islands Roatan Home Anthonys Key Coco View Fantasy Island Utila Lodge Turquoise Bay Barefoot Cay Palmetto Bay

Bonaire Bonaire Home Buddys Habitat Divi Flamingo Harbour Village Plaza Resort

Cayman Cayman Home Brac Reef Little Cayman Cobalt Coast Sunset House Cayman Islands Directory

Belize Belize Home Blackbird Captain Morgan Espanto Journeys End Lighthouse Paradise Villas Turneffe Kanantik Coco Plum Island Exotic Caye Ramons Village Sunbreeze Hotel

Other Resorts Breezes Sandals Beaches Couples Anse Chastanet St. Lucia Lions Dive Resort Curacao Beqa Lagoon Fiji Honeymoons

Cozumel Cozumel Home Hotel Cozumel Allegro Grand Occidental Iberostar Palace Sabor Fiesta Americana Scuba Club Aura Couples Only Sabor Cozumel FunJet Directory

Courses Courses Home Beginner Course Advances Course Specialty Courses

Helpful Links Instant 24 Hour Caribbean Vacations PADI Medical Release Worldwide Dive Center Locator Dive Medicine FAA Tips Government Facts ND Game & Fish Applying for Passport PADI E Learning Travelers Health - CDC Traveler's Doctor Current Dive Travel Specials Purchase Aqualung Scuba/Snorkel Gear Dive Travel Specials

Underwater Photos Cozumel Cayman Islands Curacao Runaway Bay Jamaica Negril Jamaica Belize Negril Deep Plane Video Negril Shallow Plane Video Ocho Rios Catherine Video Lake Superior Video Truk Micronesia Wreck Dive Video Cayman Night Dive Video Cozumel Wreck Dive Video Negril Tug Boat Video Garrison Dam Tailrace Paddlefish Fort Peck Montana Video

Man's business is taking a dive - and he loves it

Struggling against snowdrifts and bone-chilling temperatures, most North Dakotans would love to head to the sun-baked beaches of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico for the winter.

Randy Kraft has given all that up.

The Bismarck scuba diver is staying up north this year, after four years of going south to teach diving in Jamaica.

"This is the first time I've been home for Christmas in a long time," said Kraft, who is concentrating on getting his business, Scuba One, on line.

Kraft is giving a regular series of diving lessons at the YMCA, he sells scuba equipment, and even organizes traveling and diving trips.

Diving in the middle of the North Dakota prairie is not as strange as it may seem. Kraft said while southern waters are ideal, North Dakotans don't have to travel that far to have fun.

Spiritwood Lake at Jamestown is clear and warm, you can now go spear fishing in Lake Sakakawea, and Lake Superior ship wrecks make for some interesting exploration.

A native of Bismarck, Kraft's first taste of underwater work came while he was attending Moorhead State University and he entered a scuba diving class.

During spring breaks Kraft would head to the blue waters of the Bahamas where his love for the sport grew.

"It's like entering another world," Kraft said.

With a degree in finance and accounting, Kraft headed to a management position in Minneapolis where he was able to study scuba more seriously.

Craving even more experience, in 1982 Kraft attended a 10-week scuba instructors school in California, a step which later opened doors to work in Jamaica.

Abandoning the world of financial business, Kraft eventually returned to Bismarck, and began teaching scuba diving at the YMCA.

Kraft's chance to make it a regular job came in the fall of 1984, when a placement service in Jamaica called the California diving school to find experienced divers.

"It was getting cold here and business was slowing down," said Kraft, who jumped at the opportunity.

He went to work immediately at the Jamaica Hilton (now Eden II) and eventually for the Americana and Sheraton hotel chains. While helping guests with their scuba needs was a big part in those first months, Kraft eventually was put in charge of all water sports (water skiing, sport fishing, day cruises).

Kraft could have held a full-time job but he said after about four or five months he always got the urge to head north, to come home. So his springs and summers have been spent in North Dakota offering scuba lessons.

Part of the desire to leave Jamaica was that he wasn't comfortable living in a Third World country, Kraft said. His tall, blond figure definitely placed Kraft in the minority. Living expenses are very high he said, and then there's the food. There is no Wendy's and you can't buy a pizza.

"If I'd had the same job in the United States I'd have been in seventh heaven," Kraft said.

Back in Bismarck, Kraft is determined to make Scuba One a thriving business.

"I've decided this is where my future is," he said.



  Site design & programming by Internet Design & Consulting