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Wednesday, September 5, 2007: All Team Members Met and Checkout Dive
Today everyone involved in Project SCINI had the opportunity to meet one and other. Each one of us gave a short presentation about ourselves and the role we play in this project. After the presentations the team went over to the MBARI test tank for a checkout dive. The MBARI test tank is a 33 foot deep tank that has windows all around so that you can look out into the dry world while SCUBA diving.
For you non-divers who are not familiar with the term checkout dive, it’s a dive that is in a fairly controlled setting where a dive safety officer, Stacy, has the opportunity to observe each of the divers. During a checkout dive various skills are practice and the dive safety officer can see how comfortable a diver is in the water.
Five out of the eight team members are divers. Rusty, Marcus, Stacy, Bob and Nick are the five divers who participated in the check out dive. BLee, Mindy and Bryan provided support for the divers before we entered the water and helped each of us put our dry gloves on.
Once in the water, Stacy had each of us try out some new and fun skills. Some skills involved us practicing taking core samples at the bottle of the pool. There wasn’t any sediment to core in the test tank but it was a new skill for some of the divers to try. Other than taking cores, we had the opportunity to play with our video equipment. We have one underwater digital camera and one underwater camcorder and each device is enclosed in housing that keeps it dry.
Here are some of the pictures that we took during the checkout dive.
Here is a picture of Nick saying hello (with his two fingers that is). He is holding the underwater camcorder in his hand. Notice the red lasers at the bottom, when aligned they can be used as a measuring scale in the video.

Bob is taking a peek out into the dry world through one of the windows at the MBARI test tank. Rarely do you have the opportunity to see sea gulls flying by while you are 20 feet underwater SCUBA diving.

While Bob was busy looking out into the dry world, Mindy was snapping some photos of the divers. Here is another window that looks in/out of the test tank. And why is she wearing a life vest?

After the checkout dive we did an open water dive at about 65 feet where we could play with the digital camera and camcorder. Here are some other pictures that were taken with the camera.

Sea anemone! This guy was pretty big and you can see the red scaling lasers that measure to be 20 cm apart.

This critter here is known as a sunflower star. This sunflower star was VERY big and was much larger than our 20 cm scaling lasers. How big do you think it is?

During our dive Bob motioned us over to a shark egg he found!! The shark egg is the flat round purse looking thing between and above the lasers. This was an exciting experience as some of the divers have never seen a shark egg in the wild. Lucky for us we didn't see the mama shark that the egg belonged to.

Everyone say hello to Marcus the man in all black. Looks like he is being attacked by the scaling lasers on he chest. The green water made it difficult to take clear pictures.

Is it a sea monster, a mermaid, no it's a Rusty! This guy is not shy in front of the camera. Look at him, he even posed for this shot!

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This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ANT-0619622 ( Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.