Diving on Boston’s Most Pristine Coral Reef: The GOT

I kicked off my time at the New England Aquarium (NEAq) by spending a day with my host, Dan Dolan, in the Dive department, which manages the Aquarium’s iconic Giant Ocean Tank. Working with Dan was tons of fun, and the Saturday volunteers and staff with whom I worked were truly a charismatic group of people. My day started with food prep. We spent the morning chopping up fish, squid, shrimp, and clams (over 40 pounds!) for all the hungry mouths in the GOT. It is truly amazing how much food is put into the 200,000 gallon tank each day. Later, I was lucky enough to dive in the tank alongside Dan to explore the exhibit’s many nooks, crannies, and species. I really appreciated Dan taking me in to dive with him; it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As I swam with NEAq legends such as Myrtle the Turtle, I forgot that I was in an aquarium; the reef felt so authentic. It was lots of fun interacting with the animals. We gave some of the groupers and hogfishes at the bottom of the tank sand baths and even petted the moray eels. The following Saturday, I was back with Dan and the Saturday team for another day of work in the Dive Department and another epic dive in the GOT.
A huge thank you goes out to Dan, who coordinated the entirety of my time at the Aquarium and helped me navigate the week, as I moved from department to department. I loved my time with the Dive department and had two great days behind the scenes with Dan. After my final day of work, Dan graciously invited me to dinner at a local restaurant (Alma Nove) near his home in Hingham. The food was great and it was fun getting to know Dan and his wife, Dawn, even better.