Rob McCall

How long have you been doing dive surveys?

My first Fish ID survey was June 2001 at Looe Key.  I had taken some marine biology courses at Florida Keys Community College and my instructor, Ms. Tracy Hamilton-Harris, convinced me to attend one of her fish ID presentations.  I did, then dove with her later that day.  Frankly, I wasn't sure I'd like doing surveys, but I was pleasantly surprised from the first one and have been hooked ever since.

When did you join the Golden Hamlet Club?

I logged my 1000th survey in June 2013. 

Where do you survey?

My surveys primarily are at Key West dive sites as I'm an instructor here in Key West.  But I've also done surveys in the Dry Tortugas National Park, the middle keys and Key Largo, Key Biscayne National Park, Blue Heron Bridge, the Cayman Islands and Curacao.

Do you have a favorite fish or invertebrate? Why?

I do a lot of underwater photo, particularly macro photos, and I seem to connect best with small critters.  My favorite fish would be a Seaweed Blenny - great photo subjects - and my favorite invert would be Pederson Cleaner Shrimp.

What is your favorite thing or memory about REEF and the Volunteer Survey Project?

I have a number of great memories of REEF dives.  I was Paul Humann's dive buddy for a couple of dives at Biscayne National Park, and I've been fortunate enough to pair up with Lad Akins for a number of dives, including lionfish collection; it's great to learn from the real experts!  While I like doing solo surveys, such as most of mine here in Key West, I really enjoy the comraderie of diving with the Advance Assessment Team.

Tell us about your 1,000th survey!

My 1000th survey was at Haystacks in the Western Sambo Sanctuary Preservation Area off Key West.  I was fortunate to have as my dive buddies my daughter, grandson and granddaughter (all of whom are REEF members).  Great conditions and no lionfish!

Feel free to share anything else about yourself and your diving adventures!

I was first scuba certified in 1969 and have been lucky enough to dive in the Philippines, Micronesia, Thailand, the Red Sea and lots of places in the Caribbean.  I retired from the federal government in 2000 and have been a scuba instructor now for 13 years.  Getting long in the tooth but I hope to keep diving for years to come.