Sunday, May 23, 2010

Scientific Diver Training Week

Scientific Diver Training Program (May 10, 2010 to May 14, 2010)
By Bob Rutledge

The class of approximately twenty students, twelve graduate student
managers, and the instructors met for an initial orientation and introduction session at Bldg. 13, Room 230, at UWF. Dr. John Bratten, as the program director gave a lecture on the history and construction techniques employed in the Spanish Colonial period as a means of illustrating the objects we may encounter in our excavations in Pensacola Bay.

On Wednesday, the entire class boarded seven vans to transport all of our diving gear to Vortex Springs where diving and swimming skills were practiced under the direction of master divers from MBT. Confined water swimming tests were conducted on the surface, as well as underwater to insure that all of the program participants were capable of performing the required skills. Distance swimming, and standard underwater skills were completed by all of the staff and students.

On Thursday, the class was transported to Pensacola Beach where all of the same skills were tested in open water. This exercise was complicated by fairly steady cross currents at the surface which made it difficult to maintain divers on their stations. However, all members of the class completed the assigned drills. Returning to MSC (our Marine Services Center), the class cleaned and serviced all of the gear and completed a debriefing session.

On Friday, we had our first 'rain day' of the semester, which gave us time to take care of personal business before the official field school season started.

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