Growing up in Miami, Amy was always at the beach with her family swimming in the ocean. Amy loved watching flipper, the dolphin show and Jacques-Yves Cousteau documentaries on TV. She became captivated with Marine World on a trip to the keys when Amy was about 6 years old and swam with Flipper. According to Amy, she got out of the water and told her parents that this underwater animal world was where she wanted to live and this began her love affair with the sea.
Amy graduated from the University of Florida a proud GATOR and moved to Jacksonville, Florida to teach school. 1976 was a busy year for Amy: she learned to scuba dive, became a YMCA teaching assistant and starting taking students to Key Largo to check out dives. From 1978 to 1992, Amy’s former husband partnered with her and opened, owned and operated Atlantis Dive Center in Key Largo, Florida, which grew to be very successful.
In 1993, she founded Amy Slate’s Amoray Dive Resort, which was the culmination of years of careful research and from her travels to dive destinations around the world. Her ultimate goal was to develop a perfect Dive Boat and Dive Resort. As far as she knows, in the 22 years that Amy has owned and operated Amoray, she has been the first and only woman to create and be the sole owner of a Dive Resort. Since its establishment, Amoray has been a PADI 5 Star Resort, having served over 60,000 divers in its stellar history. Amy and her instructor staff have certified over 6,000 divers, imparting a deep environmental message of sustainability in each of her alumni. Amoray has been a BSAC School since 1994, of which there are only a handful in the US. Ever the trailblazer, Amy is only one of a few women BSAC instructors in the US.
Amy performed the first underwater wedding in 1979, and after much positive feedback, started doing them regularly. She received praise from publications such as People, Skindiver, Sport Diver, Scuba Diving, and even an international laud in the Virgin Airways Publications and Sport Diver in England. In 1994, Amy and her underwater weddings were featured on the Geraldo Show, and then again on Wedding Story in 2001. As well, Amoray has also been featured on the television show Scuba Nation (in 2012, 2013, 2014) and in many publications, with Amy at its forefront.
Amoray is actively involved with Reef Environmental and Educational Foundation (REEF), Coral Restoration Foundation, Monroe County Schools, Everglades National Park, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Amoray was honored to have been chosen as the first Blue Star Operation by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which promotes the conservation of the marine environment.
Amy is currently on the board of Coral Reef Restoration Foundation, and the Community Bank of Florida. She is Key Largo’s representative to the Dive Umbrella for the Monroe County Tourism Board. Formerly, Amy had been on the boards of REEF, Keys Association of Dive Operators, Florida Association of Dive Operators, Monroe Country Domestic Abuse Shelter, and Monroe County Children’s Shelter and a Guardian Ad Litem Advocate.
In March 2015 Amy was inducted into the Women Divers Hall Of Fame. She says, “I feel so honored to be selected into this group of such amazing women divers and I look forward to the friendships and sisterhood we will share through all of our love Affairs with the Sea.”
After 40 years, Amy still loves to dive, and does so several times a week in Key Largo, and several times a year, travels the world for the love of dive. She also very much enjoys the communication and interaction with underwater critters like turtles, moray eels, humpbacks, jewfish, groupers, manta rays, angelfish, and wild dolphins.
Amy considers herself blessed that her life’s work has been involved with providing a comfortable, safe dive boat and resort for divers of all ages. She has done her best to ensure an environment conducive to the pedagogy and wisdom of the underwater world and all its precious creatures below. She hopes that her teachings will instill not only an appreciation of our oceans, but also an inherent strive to protect them and sustain them for future generations.
“Not everyone can live their passion, but if you do what you love, the rest will follow.”