I have spent the last two days with previous intern Kim Malkoski at East Coast Divers in Brookline. In this time, I learned how to help customers find the perfect fit for a mask and basic dive gear so they could put their best fin forward as they earn their open water certification. In addition to learning the ins and outs of working in a dive shop, I also sat in on an open water class to review some knowledge and joined a few other divers in an intro to tech and sidemount diving class. Tech and sidemount is a style of diving that interests me because it allows divers to go past the recreational limits and become more streamlined in the water to maneuver tight spaces during wreck or cave dives. To wrap my time up with the crew at East Coast Divers, I earned my night diving certification by diving at Old Garden Beach with Kim and her dad Vin Malkoski.
We dove to 25 feet for 45 minutes, and saw how the behavior of marine life changes at night time. My favorite part was when we turned all our lights off to see the bioluminescent dinoflagellates glow in the dark. What upset me, however, was the marine debris we found as we began to surface. As a diver, I see firsthand how diving locations are being plagued by harmful debris such as plastics or fishing line. Divers must be advocates for the ocean; please remember to properly dispose of your waste and pick any up if you come across it!
For the past few days, I have been with a previous intern Kim Malkoski. Our first day we had a pool session to break in my new gear and practice basic underwater skills, such as air sharing and mask clearing. The next day we planned on diving Back Beach in Rockport, but because conditions were so calm we decided to go to Folly Cove. Though it was low tide, making for a slippery entrance on the rocks, our first dive was at 40 feet with great visibility (keep in mind this is New England, great visibility is about 20 ft). We saw plenty of sea life including a bed of sand dollars, plenty of lobsters and flounders, and even a sea raven! After a post dive snack and a bit of exploring in the tide pools, we went to dive the opposite side of the cove. Though the visibility decreased due to the incoming tide, the dive was still interesting and different from the first. While one was a rock ledge with a sandy bottom, the other was a rocky bottom covered with algae. After a second dive at 45 feet for 40 minutes, we headed to the New England Aquarium in Boston to listen to photographer, and Sea Rovers member, Brian Skerry speak about his experiences and release of his new book about sharks! The videos and images he showed were breathtaking and, as he hoped it would, helped the crowd see sharks as beautiful creatures to respect and protect.
Today I went to Beverly to meet the owner of Undersea Divers, Whitney Boyle. As usual, the shop was buzzing with people who were getting ready for another dive season. As we all know, diving is a gear-heavy sport, and I was entering the Eden of dive shops. For a store that was moving to a new location in a few days (check them out at 67 High St in Danvers!!!) the walls were stocked with gear and other necessities. Needless to say, I went a little wild. Though Whitney generously donated a Henderson thermaxx Titanium wetsuit, along with an AquaLung Pro HD BCD (for my non-diving friends and fans BCD= buoyancy compensation device) and an AquaLung Calypso regulator, I still had loads of things to purchase to be a prepared and safe diver. While Whitney took care of some customers who needed air fills I got my weights, a light, a dive flag, and of course a bag that could fit all my new toys. I am extremely grateful that Whitney continued in her father’s footsteps to support the Sea Rovers intern. When I got home I modeled my new gear to my family. After teaching dive gear 101, it was time for the grand finale – modeling my custom fit (and purple!!!) Divers Unlimited International drysuit donated by DUI and fitted by Faith Ortins. I can’t wait to break it in soon for cold water diving during my summer of adventures!
I would like to preface this blog with a bit of a warning. I am not a writer, I’m a diver. Well, I’m working on improving my skills so I can truly earn the title. So, bear with me, and hope that I figure out this blogging thing within a few posts. I am the 12th Boston Sea Rovers’ intern, this is my story.