This past year in SCUBAnauts has been such an amazing experience for me.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to become a scuba diver. Due to unfortunate financial circumstances however, I have never been able to pursue this dream. When I saw that SCUBAnauts had a scholarship opportunity, I knew that this was my chance to finally become a scuba diver. After putting in the work and earning the scholarship, my journey was only beginning.
My first trip took place in Alexander Springs, right after my training on September 25-26, and is something I will never forget. Once we got to the dive site, I was faced with my first “dive
trouble” when my O ring busted and I had to change it out. After everyone had everything they needed, we geared up and began the dive. That first dive was incredible. The shining white sand, crystal clear water, and my favorite part of diving, the adorable fish.
Learning Science and Patience Underwater
This first day of diving was jam packed with fun and training, but I had yet to experience the scientific diving that SCUBAnauts was all about. The second day of diving felt like much more of a challenge than the first day. With it being my second time ever diving, I found that the tasks I had to perform were difficult, but the adult leaders and even the other teens reassured me that I was doing fine. I felt like I had people who were understanding and were willing to help every step of the way.
After the scientific dive we took a little tour of the more shallow end of the spring and we even saw a turtle!!! This trip taught me that it’s ok to not be good at something on your first try, and showed me how willing the team was to work with me. I also learned to work with new people, as before the trip I hadn’t ever worked with the Savannah chapter in that way.
The only other SCUBAnauts trip I had a chance to participate in was the trip to Manatee Springs along with the Orlando chapter. The purpose of this trip was to study the differences in the amounts of solutes in the water depending on depth. For this test we took several samples. We found that the water from the river has the least solutes, even though the water was stained brown due to leaves. For this trip I was a spectator, but I still learned a lot. We also ran into another organization set up at the springs who were tagging and studying turtles.
This past year has been a phenomenal experience in the organization, and I feel honored to be a member. The scholarship program provided me with most of the gear, and all of the training I need. I’ve felt overwhelmed at times, but that’s just because I’m still new to this whole diving thing. Overall I would say that SCUBAnauts has had a phenomenal impact on my life, and I can’t wait to continue my journey.
— Cameron B., Savannah Chapter and Scholarship Recipient