Monday, September 17, 2012

Dive Tending on McMurdo Sound

Yesterday I was able to Dive Tend. This basically means helping the McMurdo research divers with their gear, helping them get in and out of the water, and acting as a surface safety person in case of trouble.  The divers are doing research and collecting specimens from the bottom of McMurdo Sound which at this location if about 60-70 feet deep. The ice is about four feet thick at this time of year (spring).  The two divers in black are researchers and the diver in yellow is the safety diver.

 Above: Getting ready to dive.

There were three divers today.  This is the safety diver who goes along with the research divers.  He told us he has 34 years of experience diving at McMurdo.

In the water.

Tired, cold divers pulling up the safety lines and sample cores.

Luckily for me and my fellow dive tender, we got to stay in the nice warm hut while the divers were in the water.  When the divers come back to the surface they are not able to get out of the water with all their gear, so the dive tenders help by pulling the divers' SCBA tanks out of the water (about 48 lbs each), and then their dive weights (about 40 lbs).  The divers are then able to get out of the water on their own.

New: for a blog from the divers' perspective look to:


Anonymous said...

Hi Chuck, enjoyed reading your blog page. Bee Jay told me you made it back to the Antarctica okay. Thanks for putting the link to McMurdo Station Webcam on your blog, it shows up very good. I enjoy taking quick trips around the world via webcams. Thanks for the info on the Dive Tending, I would have liked the staying in the warm house best too. Good luck with the rest of your stay, and thanks for keeping us up to date with your Antarctica adventure. Bill

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