Have you ever wondered what fantastic secrets lie beneath the surface of the water? I have!  SCUBAnauts is a great place to discover some of the answers!  With each trip and experience, more of the underwater world is uncovered for me. 

Juju pulls a tape measure underwater to determine the distance between “artifacts” as part of her AAUS Scientific Diver training.

Recently I went on a dive trip to Alexander Springs in Florida. Seven SCUBAnauts youth traveled that September weekend along with our dive gear, tanks, and lots of anticipation.  When we arrived, our first dives began!  Our leaders advised us on how to best assemble the BCD (dive vest) and carry our underwater instruments on it. Soon, our dive computers, slates, and other equipment were attached and ready.  On each dive, we entered the Springs by the steps leading into the water, which is always 72 degrees.  It was both chilly and exciting!  We swam to a large, open area and practiced diving skills.  Some of these included mask clearing, rescue tactics with a dive partner, and recovering dropped or lost equipment while in the water.


Mapping the Spring


We went on four dives, and all were very unique. Each time, we worked with a different “dive buddy.”  On the first day we did two dives. On the second day, we finished up our dive skills in the morning, and then we had a “fun dive!” On that dive, we did a really cool mapping activity. The mapping task helped us measure the distance of objects from a point and communicate that information to our dive buddy.  Our dive buddy then recorded the information on their dive slate.  Did you know that there are pencils and paper that can be used underwater? We got to use these with this neat activity! These skills are necessary when doing underwater research, so I was grateful to get the chance to do this. All of these dives were part of our training as American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Scientific Divers. This is a very distinct recognition. 

SCUBAnauts is a rewarding program not only because you get to dive, but you also learn about marine science and research. I learned a lot of new things on this trip that I will never forget. If you are interested in diving while learning about marine life and ocean science, then SCUBAnauts is a wonderful group to join! 


— Juju B., Naut-in-Training, Savannah Chapter