Trying to Volunteer

I previously blogged that I was trying to volunteer for my city’s weekly environmental cleanup dives:

Sadly, one month later, I am now convinced that my city does not actually do cleanups at all, whether in the ocean or on land.

I requested — and received — assistance from someone inside the government who personally knows the person who purportedly leads the cleanup dives. With 3 total contacts, plus 2 visits to the corresponding office, there does not seem to have been any dives in over a month, nor are any dives scheduled, not does anyone know when future dives might be scheduled.

In other words, they just ain’t happening. And it’s a damn shame.

Underwater Art

30_dives_in_2018 on Instagram posted this archaeological survey that he did with the Great Lakes Shipwreck Archaeology group. This is the “port bow of an unknown barge about 2 miles off Milwaukee.”

However, I thought it was underwater art.

And, why not? If you are going to take the time to get a perfect photograph, and if you have the skill, why not sketch what you see instead? For that matter, how about embracing the challenge of coloring it in?

I would imagine that scuba diving artists would become proficient enough underwater to sell their works. Plus, you would develop skills that you could use to win money on those “got talent” shows.

Project Aware & 4Ocean

I recently discovered 4Ocean and posted about them on all my social media accounts. They have an innovative way of making a profit by cleaning up our oceans.

And now I see that they have partnered up with Project Aware. I have seen some skepticism about their transparency; how can we be certain that they are really doing as much as they claim to be doing?

It’s a good question.

However, transparency is a challenge with any organization. In my mind, partnering with Project Aware grants legitimacy to the work that 4Ocean is doing. Keep up the good work!

Scuba Diving and Gas Laws

One of the the first things that scuba divers learn is Boyle’s Law. In a nutshell, Boyle’s Law states that pressure and volume are inversely proportional.

This relationship is typically illustrated with a balloon. As you take this theoretical balloon deeper and deeper, the pressure on the gas increases and the volume of the balloon decreases. On your ascent, the pressure on the gas decreases and the balloon gradually returns to its starting volume at the surface.

I have seen this demonstrated with a plastic water bottle. Sadly, these demonstrations involve plastic, whether plastic bottles or plastic balloons. However, my instructor had taken the plastic bottle out of a trash receptacle (improperly discarded) and after our dive I submitted the bottle for recycling.

The bottle was sealed at the surface and brought down to 40 meters (130 feet). My instructor then showed me that the bottle was completely crushed under the pressure, because the gas volume was only 20% of its volume at the surface. Because the bottle was sealed, the shrinking gas volume creates a vacuum, sucking in all sides of the bottle.

He then refilled the bottle with air while still at depth.

When we were back on the boat, the volume of the gas wanted to be 500% of what it was at 40 meters. Because the bottle was sealed, there was a lot of pressure inside the bottle. Suddenly, there was a loud POP, and the cap was off. Fortunately, the bottle was still in my instructor’s buoyancy compensator device (BCD) pocket, so no one was hurt and we didn’t lose the cap in the ocean.

My instructor then handed me the bottle and cap, knowing that I would ensure proper disposal.

If you can find improperly discarded plastic (I hope not), this is a fun experiment to try.

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