On July 10th 2020, during the worst pandemic in the history of my existence, I reached the milestone of 150 lifetime dives.
Everything during the last four months has revolved around corona virus. I lost my prom, my senior breakfast, my commencement, and even my graduation. All this, and not even the closure of saying goodbye to my classmates or my teachers. This dive trip to Jupiter Florida has been one of the only positive things in my life.
A Force for Good
At last, a force for good, the opportunity to do research that helps the environment. Over the course of 5 days, we have planned 18 dives, most of which involve collecting data for our projects. We are doing several different projects. A project studying an invasive fish species called lionfish, a project studying shark behavior relative to divers, and a project comparing differences in the density, sighting frequency, and abundance of fish species between the east and west coasts of Florida. We are also completing some training dives to earn our NAUI Master Diver and Sea Turtle Awareness Specialty Certifications.
The dives in Jupiter are amazing; they are so different from the other dives I have done. Normally, I dive from an anchored boat. I swim around the reef and return to the boat at the end of the dive, but these dives are different.
We are doing something called drift diving. The boat drops us onto a reef up-current and then the current carries us. I don’t even have to swim! Once our dive is over, we put up our buoys and the boat comes to us. It’s a very relaxing way to dive.
Just One of Many Achievements
Today, on a research dive, I finally reached 150 dives. I am so proud that I get to celebrate that achievement with the SCUBAnauts. Virtually every dive I have done has been with them. Without SCUBAnauts International I wouldn’t be the scientific diver, or the person I am today. The research I have done with SCUBAnauts International helped me get into Nova Southeastern University, and receive a $25,000 research scholarship.
I may have worked for four years to never get a high school graduation, but I worked for six years to earn 150 dives and celebrating that is more than enough.
— Diana P, MasterNaut, St Petersburg Chapter