Behind (and Under) the Scenes
Moody Gardens is an amazing aquarium in Galveston, Texas. SCUBAnauts International was given the opportunity to have a behind-the-scenes tour in their facility, and along the way was immersed in a whole different world of diving. Diving in Moody Gardens is not a tourist attraction, but instead a job for those who work there. Most of their work consists of cleaning and monitoring the exhibits, but the way it is done is not what you may expect.
917 Minutes of Diving
For specific exhibits, due to a lack of space and a need for extended dive
time, a surface supply diving system is used. This system enables you to dive without the hassle of a tank on your back, since the air supply is on the surface. Having the air supply on the surface not only relieves the diver of carrying extra equipment. It also means he or she is not limited to 80 cubic feet of air. The tanks at Moody Gardens have up to 3000 cubic feet of air, That’s a dive time of up to 917 minutes! Divers wear a full face mask to communicate to the surface. This is good since their air supply is completely controlled by those above the water. But what do they need all that time for? The divers have to clean, and scrub all the acrylic features and corals in the exhibits, as well as the glass. This can be a timely process, especially in tight spaces, while trying not to harm the fish.
The divers constructed a shipwreck in their largest exhibit in the aquarium. This is one of my favorite parts of the Moody Gardens Aquarium. They spent a total of 14 hours over two days of work to build this magnificent feature. This type of diving is very intriguing to me. I enjoyed every second of learning about it, as well as trying on their dive equipment myself. The task loading we do on almost every dive with SCUBAnauts International will translate very well into the type of diving done at aquariums like Moody Gardens, if I, or any other naut choose to follow that path one day.