Carrie Caignet

Carrie at Denali











“I have always been drawn to the water.”, explains Carrie Caignet when asked about her connection to maritime Florida and her specialized professional training and background. “My first paying job was at the fabulous and historic DonCeSar Hotel on the island of St. Pete Beach, Florida.  It was here, that  my knack for  program development and educational outreach took off.  I conducted sunrise and sunset tours for visitors on the shores of Pass-a-grille identifying wildlife, retelling area history and  sharing resources with people from the world over.  It was an amazing experience.”

In 1988, Carrie was recruited by Sea World Curator, Dan Blasko and Julie Onie-Wignall of the National Aquarium to work at the one of the largest state-of-the-art dolphin habitats in the United States as member of the Animal Care team. She worked with dolphins for almost a decade at the Mirage Dolphin Habitat .  Carrie learned to apply operant conditioning and behavior modification as well as public educational outreach and she participated in groundbreaking research on echolocation and animal therapy interaction with autistic children and the  developmentally disabled.  As part of a team of 6 trainer/behaviorists caring for a pod of Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins, she acquired hundreds of hours of  diving experience and training.

When she returned to Florida, Carrie partnered with Dive Clearwater, a charter operation based in the Clearwater Beach Municipal Marina. She crewed aboard Plunger IV as well as the trawler, Plunger V, led diving tours, spearfishing expeditions and introduced hundreds of people to the Gulf of Mexico and SCUBA diving for the first time.  In addition to teaching SCUBA &  chartering  on the Gulf of Mexico, she’s been involved in a number of other maritime pursuits including movie and television productions. Carrie has worked behind the scenes on  the sets of feature films including U-571 (segments filmed just off Clearwater in the Gulf of Mexico) and the NAUI Worldwide Instructional Video in 2000 (filmed in the Florida Keys). She has also worked on the small screen consulting for maritime themed productions seen on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel and Animal Planet and carried by other television networks worldwide.

Carrie  has worked with local news reporters on special interests segments and has been in front of the camera as an authority on history under the sea.  She explains, “Our underwater environments are museums – a collection of highly specialized specimens and artifacts with direct relevance to each other presented in a manner that provides insight, enlightenment and engenders respect and appreciation.”

Since 2001, Carrie has worked as a Consultant, Project Manager, Curator and Director of maritime museums and historic attractions with a variety of organizations including:

  • Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
  • Florida Folklore Society
  • Florida Keys History of Diving Museum
  • Florida Keys Shipwreck Museum
  • Florida Keys Community College
  • Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
  • Florida Maritime Heritage Association
  • Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez
  • National Association of Underwater Instructors Worldwide
  • Professional Association of Dive Instructors
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Spanish Main Treasure Company
  • St. Petersburg Museum of History
  • S.S. American Victory Ship & Museum
  • Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary
  • Tampa BayWatch

Contact Carrie at or call 305-394-0887 for availability and fee schedule.