Aqua Clara Dive Schools of Florida, Inc.



Mail: P.O. Box 4309, Clearwater, FL 33758

Primary phone: 1.727.510.7138

Alternate phone: 1.727.535.6902

Fax: 1.727.535.8190



Lead Instructor:

  Robert W. Murphy:  

Master Scuba Diver Trainer:  

  PADI #26314:  



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Learn at Home
Open Water
CPR / First Aid
Dive Master
O2 Provider
Deep Diver
Boat Diver
MSD Rating



  • entry level training
  • advanced training
  • specialty dives/equipment  training
  • professional training
  • Sea & Ski winter training
  • international guide/escort services
  • private and semi-private courses on location
  • university credit training
  • group training
  • employee/staff training


About Us




Training & Background

Aqua Clara Dive Schools of Florida, Inc. (“Aqua Clara Dive”) has been established in 2012 as a means of providing PADI oriented scuba training and related travel services. Our initial emphasis will first be the western side of the Tampa Bay area. As many from the Pinellas County area know, “aqua clara” is actually Latin for “Clearwater.” The phrase also resonates with many Clearwater High School alumni who recall the similar name of their annual yearbook, Aqua Clara.

The founder of Aqua Clara Dive is Robert W. Murphy (“Bob”). He holds the Master Scuba Diver Trainer certification with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (“PADI”), the largest and most prestigious certifying agency in the world. Although he has changed locations over the years, his roots have been in Clearwater, Florida since 1968. He and his four younger siblings all graduated from Clearwater High School between 1969 and 1978. Those siblings now have competing rivalries since their college degrees encompass USF, FSU, and UF… the common thread being what at the time was St. Petersburg Junior College (“St. Pete JC”). A third generation of Florida natives has also now grown and the college battle has grown to additional SEC schools like UT and Vanderbilt. Oddly, there are also a couple of young outliers who for some reason want to get their higher education in Texas. One cannot account for taste…

Diving has been one of Bob’s passions since coming to Florida as a teenager in 1968. Some of the more well-traveled fresh water dive spots in Florida today were just holes in the middle of a forest in those days. Equipment was primitive by today’s standards. Safety, although not ever an afterthought, was not as important. Divers were considered daredevils if they chose to leave the light zone. Litigation was not so much a threat and farm gates were left unlocked by their owners as a courtesy.

In 1968 Bob received a full college scholarship as a primary selectee for the U.S. Navy’s NROTC program starting in the fall of 1969. As such, upon graduating from Ole Miss he was commissioned in 1973 as a regular unrestricted line officer as opposed to a reserve officer. From his initial NROTC enlistment in 1969 until being discharged in 1977 he saw shipboard duty in the Arctic Ocean, Southeast Asia/Viet Nam, Africa, South America, North Sea, Caribbean Sea and greater Mediterranean Sea area. Crossing the Equator off Venezuela he was made a Trusty Shellback. Crossing the Arctic Circle north of Norway he was made a Blue Nose. His specialties are in operations, weapons, and intelligence.  He was trained in the handling and the delivery of tactical nuclear weapons, held a Sensitive Intelligence/Top Secret security clearance and was a specialist in Anti-Submarine Warfare. With his shipboard experience he is exceptionally well suited to teach the PADI Boat Diver specialty course.

In addition to his work in the diving industry, Bob has also received an MBA from the University of North Florida and holds four prestigious professional insurance certifications from The American College. He also has a certificate from Harvard University for completion of a week-long executive program in health care policy.

In late 1974 Bob considered applying for the U.S. Navy’s hard-hat salvage diver school. He was subsequently talked out of it by his Executive Officer who promised better duty elsewhere. However, prior to opting not to apply, he went through all the physical and mental screenings that were required. That included an oxygen tolerance test (“O2 Tolerance Test”) in a recompression chamber. For those versed in Nitrox diving and know what the 1.4 working partial pressure of oxygen (“PPO2”) limit is, you might be amazed to see that the USN brought the subject to 3.0 PPO2 and watched through portholes in the chamber to see at what point he might twitch from a “tox”. Neither Bob nor his chambermate tox’d from the high O2 during the test. However, later at the surface the chambermate was taken away for observation due to some telltale signs. It appears that they we were just two more data points in the O2 research that has led up to today’s limits.

In 1987 Bob received his PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification following a two day Instructor Evaluation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. For several years he actively taught students as a contracted independent instructor in conjunction with dive operations in that area. Business pressure from his regular job forced him to cease teaching in 1990. However, it was that year that he was selected by The Cousteau Society to be a member of Project Ocean Search 1990 in the Fiji Islands. He put aside the implications of what he knew would be a career damaging move and spent two weeks with the Cousteau team on Vanua Levu in Fiji. One of the objectives of the project was the production of a video which was given to the Fijian Government to assist with the education of the peoples of Fiji, their schoolchildren, and tourists regarding the beauty and sensitivity of the underwater environment, as well as the importance of protecting it. In addition to Fiji, Bob has dived throughout Florida, the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Hawaii. He has in excess of 1,000 logged dives. The vast majority of his diving has been deep ocean dives from commercial dive charter boats. This, again, makes him exceptionally well suited to teach the PADI Deep Diver specialty course (preferably side by side with the Boat Diver course).

See the menu at upper left for a partial list of available training courses. In addition, Aqua Clara Dive maintains referral relationships throughout Florida for additional higher level technical training.

Sea & Ski

You might also see on this web site reference to Sea & Ski. Prior to coming to Florida in 1968 Bob became an expert skier in the mountains of New Hampshire. Since then he has skied in New England, throughout the Rockies in Colorado and the French Alps. He regularly skies with the Over-The-Hill-Gang in Steamboat Springs, CO. While in France, he skied throughout the Chamonix area in the shadow of Mont Blanc, including much relatively primitive glacier skiing at higher elevations. Aqua Clara Dive would be pleased to discuss with any interested person how to integrate some winter dive training into the down time a group might have on an annual ski trip (e.g., Emergency O2 Provider course can be done in one evening with prior student reading). Click here to email us regarding Sea & Ski.

Guide or Escort

Lastly, in addition to strictly teaching, Aqua Clara Dive can also be retained to guide/escort individuals and/or groups virtually any place in the world. The career damaging decision to go to Fiji did come home to roost for Bob. However, it opened up an ability for him to travel broadly with other free spirits. Click here to email us about how  we might assist with your trip.



Training Florida Divers Since 1987

© 2012 Aqua Clara Dive Schools of Florida, Inc., All Rights Reserved