College of Oceaneering and Girl Scouts

The College of Oceaneering is a commercial diving training facility which certifies its students in commercial diving. Commercial diving is fundamentally different from recreational SCUBA (and technical SCUBA for that matter) in many ways. The most glaring difference is the absence of a SCUBA system. Commercial divers get their are from the surface, though they do carry a back up tank and regulator in case of emergencies. Also commercial divers always decompress in a hyperbaric chamber, weather they have the bends or not. The college of Oceaneering trains their students in one of three specialties, under water welding, inspection, or hyperbaric medicine. I was able to sit in on an inspection class, where the students were using ultrasound to detect flaws in metal. I also sat in on an EMT training class. After a few hours at the College of Oceaneering, Faith picked me up and we headed back to DUI to veg for a few minutes before my next adventure. An hour after returning Noelle from the San Diego Oceans Foundation picked me up (she had been stuck in traffic) to head to Lake Poway. We had several Pacific tide pool inhabitants riding in the back seat of the foundations huge and very old van (with no air conditioning). Our goal was to make an educational presentation to about 100 girl scouts at the camp at Lake Poway. We were not going to be the ones making the presentation, that would be Sara, a SeaCamp instructor. SeaCamp works in conjunction with the Oceans Foundation to help out with education kids about the oceans. We arrived at the camp and set our cooler of cold water invertebrates down near a gaggle of excited girlscouts. About fifteen minutes later Sara began her presentation. It was fantastic. After five minutes every girl scout was hooked. Everytime Sara asked for a volunteer all the hands shot into the air. After someone was picked there was a chorus of dissapointed “Oh”s. The presentation was on Pacific tidepools. I found myself enthralled even though I already knew most of the information she was giving out. At the end of the presentation, Sara showed the girls some sea urchins and sea stars. She even got one girl to lick the keyhole limpet (I’m not sure why). After 45 minutes it was time for the girls to do their flag ceremony ( a nightly ceremony during sunset). Unfortunately it was delayed somewhat by the presence of a baby western diamondback making a beeline for a set of sleeping bags. After much screaming and confusion, someone hearded the snake towards a tree where it curled up between two roots, looking postitively terrified. Five minutes later a park ranger arrived with a gatorade cooler and evacuated the snake to a less populated part of the park. The snake was an exciting end to a full day. i returned to Faith’s house, gobbled up some leftovers, called my parents and passed out just past 10 o’clock.