The Pinders were rapping large sharks on the head with spear butts before they were old enough for the Boy Scouts. When the underwater sport was starting in the late '20s—almost simultaneously it seems, in the Mediterranean, California, Florida and Australia—the Pinder kids of Miami were diving flipper-less over 30 feet, hunting with face masks and slings made of inner tube and spears made of brake rods. They were first led to the water by their father, Captain Earl Pinder of the Miami Beach Patrol, quite a water-lover himself since the first time he went to sea at the age of nine, sailing six miles down Biscayne Bay in the top of a trunk. The young Pinders withheld their occasional brushes with sharks from mother. "I wouldn't have wanted them fooling around sharks," Mrs. Earl Pinder says now, "But I can tell you, I'd rather those boys be in the water than hanging around some drugstores in Miami. The boys have just always liked hunting. When they were little fellows I found this gunny sack moving by itself across our backyard. I cut it open, and you should have heard little Don cry because I turned loose all his water moccasins. Then," Mrs. Pinder remembers, "there was the time we told the boys alligators would eat them if they swam in the Miami River. Don catches an alligator and says he's going to eat it. It must have been 4 feet long—I told the boys they'd have to cook it themselves. They fried it on the stove, and you could smell that alligator everywhere."
Today the Pinder brothers take a deal of pride in the hunting rules they have set up for themselves—rules, incidentally, the Pinders insist anyone fishing with them must follow. Rule one: edible fish should be taken with a fair idea that someone wants to eat it, and not in the vague hope that it can be passed to a neighbor. Rule two: the rare and beautiful fish of relatively little food value should be left alone. Rule three: once a fish is speared, the hunter must not spear another, until he has retrieved his catch or exhausted all chance of doing so. The Pinders have worked for hours in coral retrieving a fish that had holed up and died.
"Anybody who spends some time in the water," reflects Captain Pinder, "tends to be pretty sensible about it. I really never taught the boys much. They took to it naturally, and when his time came, Fred went in the Navy. Don went in the Merchant Marine. I didn't know how much Art liked the water. He joined the Coast Guard and asked for lighthouse duty." There was water all around the lighthouse, and the water was full of barracuda, so Art was pretty much at home.