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Shark bait

Posted July 17, 2013 in Ankeny, Community Featured
Being a mother to daughter Delaney hasn’t dampened Jordan Haggard’s enthusiasm for scuba diving.

Being a mother to daughter Delaney hasn’t dampened Jordan Haggard’s enthusiasm for scuba diving.

Most people view Iowans as humble Midwesterners who never leave the farm, but that couldn’t be further from the truth for Jordan Haggard. Here garage is bursting with her travel gear.

Though Haggard is a Florida native, she moved to Iowa for love and is now a first-time mom to a 6-month-old baby girl named Delaney.

Haggard’s wanderlust started when she was a junior at Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange, Fla. She went on a trip to Europe for the International Fringe Festival in Scotland in 1996, and the travel bug has been with her ever since. While she enjoys lots of aspects of travel, her favorite part is getting to scuba dive. She’s been certified since she was 16 and dreams of someday being a dive master, which she is in the process of attaining.  Most of her trips revolve around going to places with good diving reputations, like Cozumel.

“I like sharks; they’re kind of my thing,” she declares.

She saw plenty of them while on a 19-day trip to South Africa in October 2008, including black tip, hammerhead, tiger and bull sharks.

“It was really exciting,” she says, reminiscing.

The country has long been known as a shark Mecca and is regularly featured on the Discovery Channel during Shark Week. Haggard even saw a great white shark do a full body breach, which is a phenomenon that has recently come to the attention of researchers and has been dubbed “Air Jaws” by shark enthusiasts.

Swimming with sharks is just one of Haggard’s scuba fetishes. She also enjoys drift diving and free diving. While she used to do these things alone, her husband, Adam, got certified in December so they can dive together, meaning there’s not one but two sets of scuba gear taking up space in the garage now.

Being a parent hasn’t slowed Haggard down any either. She makes sure to travel a couple of times a year to get her scuba fix. Her goal is to visit all seven continents. She’s already visited five — North America, Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. Now it’s just vibrant South America and the frozen tundra of Antarctica, and she’ll have successfully been everywhere.

Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”

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