Legends of Diving Articles


Hugh Sprunt
UNEXSO Diver and Deep Ocean Researcher

Hugh attended the NAUI Instructor's Course at UNEXSO in June of 1967 as a high school graduation present, receiving NAUI #1041. He was then offered a staff position by the General Manager, Dave Woodward. He worked at the Club each summer through the summer of 1971 living in a

small, air-conditioned first-floor room near the training tank. In his secondary role as a self-appointed night watchman, Hugh foiled at least one burglary attempt as the would-be thief snagged his fine sweater on the dockside barbed wire fence when he departed, providing Hugh with a nice trophy.

A few of Hugh's experiences include dives to 250 feet with twin ?Navy 90" tanks pumped to 2,500 psi, numerous night dives, photo dives, wreck dives, (including Yorel II, a Haitian Coalition gun-runner that

Hugh Sprunt

sank just off Lucaya in May 1968), and sink hole dives where he comments that you needed to beware of obscure infections from the bat guano. He recalls fooling with the decompression chamber, working with the Perry Hydro-Lab, little wet subs and DPVs, and "hanging through" serious decompression times.

Hugh spent many hours guiding large shallow reef trips of novice SCUBA divers that could be a bit trying, especially when the surface waves were near the limit. Daily tasks included spending long evening hours pumping empty tanks. He recalls when the large compressor once shook loose from its mounting bolts due to salt in the Freeport concrete, requiring the placement of a number of heavy dive weights on it, thereby altering its harmonics and damping its vibrations.

Hugh's toughest mental effort was manually setting the proper F-stop and depth of field on a Nikonos II while carrying out strobe photography at 250 feet a yard off "The Wall?.

Hugh has many fond memories while working at the Club, including tending bar for Bahamas Air Sea Rescue meetings which were followed by ?cutting-edge" black and white 8 mm movies.

Working at UNEXSO was an exotic experience that Hugh remembers with amazement, notwithstanding going on to become a commissioned officer, ship driver, and chief diver on US deep ocean research ships (Discoverer, Researcher, plus the tiny George M. Bowers) during his volunteer 3+ years in the service after MIT.

Hugh's life after UNEXSO has been quite rewarding. He earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a JD from Stanford Law School in January 1979.

As a Certified Public Accountant, Attorney, and Tax Partner with a major international accounting and consulting firm, he has provided tax consulting services to individuals and businesses for over 30 years. He is one of the first CPAs to be certified as a Personal Financial Specialist by the American Institute of CPAs. Among his many other works, Hugh was the original lead author of a two-volume publication on fiduciary income taxation first published in 1992 and now in its 17th annual edition.

A few of his achievements include being on the cover of the New York Times Magazine for his investigative reporting, dozens of articles in other publications, and appearances on numerous radio and television programs. He is also noted for his articles and appearances analyzing the crash of the plane carrying Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and the JFK, Jr. plane crash.



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