#62: Getting My Feet Wet

SCUBA certification is a requirement for our job so that we can dive in our exhibits to clean and do other housekeeping. As the newest trainer, I just received my SCUBA certification. But before I can jump in with the seals, I had to do a checkout dive with the Aquarium's Diving Safety Officer in the Giant Ocean Tank (GOT). I was nervous, and the fact that my boss, co-workers and a small crowd at the top of the tank were watching didn't help. As soon as I jumped in my nerves eased a little bit and we started the dive. Watch this video of how I did:

I was tested on basic SCUBA skills such as taking off my mask and SCUBA gear (in the video I'm taking off my weight belt and putting it back on oh so gracefully) , sharing air with my buddy, and finding neutral buoyancy. After doing the skills I got a tour of the GOT. I got really close to a nurse shark, scratched Myrtle's back and saw where all the eels were hiding. What started off as a nerve-wracking experience ended up being really fun. Next step: learning how to vacuum up seal poop.

You can read more about scientific dive testing by checking out John's post over at the Giant Ocean Tank Blog.



  1. Way to go Justin!
    The video is kind of small and grainy ... but it looks like you know what you're doing.

    Carry on!

  2. omgosh! is that dangerous?

  3. Don't worry Justin, I did a check out dive with a weight belt and looked the same way. I ended up just tying it back on. The Dive Safety Officer makes it look so easy too, and when you take it off you immediately realize how buoyant salt water makes you.

    Congrats on passing!


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