In preparation for field work this fall I had the opportunity to become an AAUS certified scientific diver through UC Davis’ Bodega Marine Lab. The course involved three weekends and a final week on classroom activities, first aid training, pool exercises, and diving the Sonoma Coast.
The course was an outstanding experience. Not only did I learn a lot, I had a great time doing it. Unquestionably what I learned will be valuable for field work in Zambia this fall, and down the road as well.
Much of the scientific part of the course revolved around maritime archaeology from when the Sonoma Coast was being explored in the late 19th century. Many of our dives revolved around searching for and documenting artifacts in coves and bays that served as “doghole ports” where ships would enter and cargo would be loaded via chutes from the cliffs above. We found several previously undocumented anchors, as well as a number of other artifacts. While well outside my research expertise, I could certainly see marine archaeology becoming a hobby down the road!