Sea Rovers 52nd Clinic

This past month, on the weekend of March 3-6, I had the pleasure of experiencing the Boston Sea Rovers 52nd annual clinic as the 2006 Frank Scalli intern. It was an experience like no other and has had my head spinning for some time now. The weekend began on Friday March 3rd, bright and early as all things SCUBA must, with COMS (Career Opportunities in Marine Science). The program is aimed at high school students interested in the marine sciences and features presentations from esteemed members of the fields of conservation and marine science. This year, many people presented including Alexandra and Philippe Cousteau, Amy Gionotti from the Cambrian Foundation and George Buckley. Several high school students shared their experiences from diving in Bonaire and the past two Scalli interns, Kate Douglas and Ricky Simon gave presentations on the events of their summers. After COMS, I was able to grab lunch and a decent nap before preparing for the evening’s pre-clinic cocktail reception to be held at the Gambel mansion. The night sent my head spinning as Pat Morton introduced me to some of the most illustrious names in diving. I had the pleasure of meeting Stan Waterman, Wes Skiles, Steve Drogin, Ethan Gordon, as well as many other members of the Boston Sea Rovers and their associates. It was an amazing experience to be able to talk to so many people who work in the most fascinating fields and have had huge impacts on the diving world. The next morning the clinic began and I was able to see three really interesting seminars, then grab lunch with my parents and go see three more seminars. The seminars covered a wide variety of topics, from underwater photography to extreme wreck diving to submersible technology. At 5:00 when the seminars ended it was time to get ready for the Saturday night dinner which is held for the film festival speakers. Dinner was amazing! I found myself seated between Michelle Hall and Philippe Cousteau at a table with Wes Skiles, Howard Hall, Stan Waterman as well as the Mortons and Kate Douglas. It was truly intimidating company and I was so nervous, but everyone was extremely nice. The food was great, the conversation even better, and before I knew it was time to head down the street to the film festival. The film festival seems to be the climax of the clinic, where some of the best divers in the world present their work in front of hundreds of eager SCUBA divers. The films are always spectacular and the commentary on them is often as interesting or more so. Half way through the program I was announced as the 2006 Frank Scalli Summer Intern and went up on stage to shake Patrick Scalli’s hand. It was a great moment and I was so proud that I am being given the opportunity to represent the Sea Rovers and what they stand for. By Sunday I was able to relax and enjoy a few more seminars as well as lunch with Dave and Pat Morton to talk about plans for the summer. I also found out that I will be receiving a DUI drysuit to use this summer! That’s totally awesome because diving up north with a wetsuit is coooold. I had my fitting on Sunday with Faith Ortins. After that, there was nothing left to do but bid everyone a fond farewell and begin the drive back to Connecticut to enjoy the rest of my spring break before returning to South Carolina. It was such an amazing weekend and I cannot wait until the summer starts!