Eastport #4: Not all of the work is done under the water

Senior Aquarist Paul Leonard normally spends his time at the Aquarium caring for penguins. Now, he's joining the Divers and Expeditions Blog from Eastport, Maine, where New England Aquarium scuba divers are plunging into freezing cold water and navigating extreme tidal currents in search of cold water specimens.

The divers aren’t the only ones working hard. One of the toughest jobs on this trip goes to the surface support. All of the dives are done from our dive boat the Lophius. It’s up to the boat driver and the deckhand to make sure each dive team leaves and returns to the boat safely.

Once the divers have disappeared below the surface, it’s up to the surface support to keep an eye on where each team is. Here’s where it gets tricky. They have to watch each diver’s air bubbles! Yeah, sure that might seem easy. However, when you factor in waves, underwater currents, wind, and the depth of the dive teams it can be a little nerve racking. The reason why a divers' depth factors in is because the deeper they are, the more dispersed and separated their bubble trail, making it extremely difficult to keep track of things. Our boat crew is always there when you surface which is always comforting.

It's been an amazing week! We will have to pack things up soon and return to Boston.

For a more fun take on divers' bubbles, check out this classic GOT post on bubble rings!

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