Sporting his Jacques Cousteau signature cap with clipboard in hand, Anton recorded data on coral disease for the majority of his dives.

by Anton N., Naut-in-Training
     Our day started with an early morning as we headed down to Key West to dive the famous Vandenburg wreck. Unfortunately, our trip was cut short as swells were too big to reach the site. This made everyone a little upset, but the adult leaders were quick to find another site. We ended up at a site referred to as Horseshoe (a borrow pit created to build Bahia Honda bridge in 1972), and it was really exciting because it my first dive using nitrox. We practiced navigation skills first on land and then in the water. After, we did a roving dive to find a sunken ambulance. 
     After our dives and a quick clean up, we left for Key West to explore the area and shop. Our excursion included a stop at several shops, an art gallery, a church, a lesson on shipwrecks and their treasures, and ice cream! We also stopped long enough for another naut and I to get matching dinosaur henna tattoo. After our dessert, we had pool party and delicious dinner courtesy of another naut family. The day ended back at Mote with a massive power outage. Some of us helped in the coral labs by oxygenating the water late into the night as we waited for the generator to kick back on. Even though the day hadn’t gone as planned, it was still my favorite day of the trip. I had an amazing time. 

Before practicing navigation in water, we practice on land, taking a heading and attempting to move in a straight line to the chosen point.

From shore one can walk out about 20 feet before encountering the drop off in which we did our water navigation. Visibility is not outstanding here because of the silt bottom, but it was perfect to practice our navigation and try out nitrox for the first time.