These are some of the highlights of the many adventures taken by members of Black Girls Dive (BGD) Foundation and Friends of BGD. We do it all, from aquarium diving and shark dives to conservation and restoration activities to promote environmental sustainability.
Georgia Aquarium: Diving with the Gentle Giants
The Corps of Exploration, “The Nautilus E/V”
From September 14th to October 3rd the Co-Founder of Black Girls Dive Foundation, Dr. C. Nevada Winrow, will sail on Nautilus, an Expedition Vessel. The ship will head northwest into Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) the extension of the Hawaiian Island chain. This expedition’s goal is to conduct the first ever exploration of ten seamounts located inside PMNM. With the exception of a single swath of multibeam data from a ship transiting this area, none of the seamounts have been mapped, dredged, or surveyed. In 2017, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer found vibrant coral and sponge gardens throughout the Musician’s Seamounts. This expedition focuses on the nearest monument features to this seamount chain. Many questions remain to be investigated and the unnamed group studied by this expedition are the next closest seafloor features. Serious questions remain about how these seamounts were formed and what types of biological communities may exist along the slopes.
Why Scuba dive at an aquarium? Aquarium diving provides a truly unique diving experience because it offers participants an opportunity to explore hundreds of marine specimens in a single location in a temperature-controlled massive tank (no thermoclines!) that has limitless visibility. Aquariums also allow divers the opportunity to get a behind the scenes tour of the aquariums filtration systems and food preparation areas; some aquarium operations offer a chance to feed the fish. Another unique and fun activity is the non-diving visitor interaction where guest aquarium divers have an opportunity to interact with visitors through the massive aquarium viewing glass. The fact that most aquarium fish are used to having divers in their tanks means that you can really observe the marine life up-close.
The georgia aquarium
The Journey with the Gentle Giants experience is quite overwhelming. The whale sharks and manta rays are massive. Participants explore the Ocean Voyager exhibit and are introduced to the Georgia Aquarium conservation and whale shark research program. Journey with Gentle Giants is the only opportunity in the world where you are guaranteed to swim or SCUBA dive with the largest fish in the world, the whale shark. A portion of the proceeds from this program support the Aquarium's research and conservation efforts.
The The Epcot DiveQuest experience is a phenomenal opportunity to dive in a 5.7-million-gallon saltwater aquarium observe and interact with over 6,000 sea creatures. The pavilion has 56 giant windows to ensure that you have an opportunity to interact with family members, friends and other non-diving visitors.
Open Water Diving
The freedom to observe marine life in open water is an amazing and humbling experience. In our travels we've seen things that we never new existed like the fish that looks like it has a lightbulb hanging off of its forehead, the anglerfish; or the translucent octopus. No one would ever forget the hammerheads and tiger and nurse sharks or the 50 foot eel (yikes!).
The Hemingway Marina in Havana Cuba is a pristine location undistubed by industrialism. This was a great dive and we had an opportunity to see some pretty cool things, like this 40 foot massive green eel.