Deanna’s Salvage Job

My name is Deanna Souchet-Soto. I am a junior adventure diver in the program. Us juniors are currently working on receiving our Scientific Diver certifications. A part of our scientific diving certification requires us to learn a bit about salvage work underwater. This Tuesday, all the junior divers made our way to Bushwick High School for our first pool session in a long time. My group with fellow Junior advanced open water divers, Quincy, Danny, and Axel were specifically assigned to bringing and retrieving the lifeguard chair (that was thrown into the pool by Lenny, our instructor) to the surface. This required perfect buoyancy, knot-tying, and a calm thought process. My group came up with a plan on the surface, then edited it according to everyone’s opinion on the surface and lastly we went down to get a first look to see where in our plan needed change. It was a long process and needed to be continuously fixed. After looking at the chair in its place a couple times, we put our plan into motion. We had a failed attempt at using the lift bags to lift the chair out of the water the first time. Then the second we decided to use ALL the tools provided for us and tightened all of our “knots”. At one point, I got frustrated with trying my attempt at a bowline. Quincy, not even being my buddy, came in and took the rope from my hands, gave me hand signals to take a breath and reassess what was in front of me. I was able to tie the final knot. Both Quincy and I, with our buddies keeping watch, filled the lift bags and watched as our not so beautiful tough salvage job become a success. It was a great pool dive and an awesome first dive back for me. Speaking for my teammates, I think I can also say that for them. Below is a picture taken right after we all came to surface with the chair!

Thanks for attending the Giant Stride

Thank You to everyone who made the Giant Stride possible. We couldn’t do it without you!

We participated in a lot of fun activities like oyster painting, the cup game, cupcake decorating, pipe project station, oyster eating and others.

Oyster painting was a station where we used watercolors to paint oyster shells in whatever way we could think of. The cup game was two people pinned against each other tasked with stacking cups in a pyramid, and then returning them to one stack.

There was a huge dive helmet, over 40 pounds, that people were able to wear. The pipe station was a competition with two people, wearing blindfolds, racing against time to assemble some PVC pipes. We had a ton of fun stations run by students and most importantly, a ton of awesome food.

Monica M.’s Bahamas trip

As a student in Professional Diving at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School you get offered many life changing opportunities that can really benefit you. Recently we were given the opportunity to go diving on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. On this trip we got to develop new skills and continue to work on skills we already knew. We were not allowed to use our phones for the week we were on the trip. This was a challenge at first but on the second day we all grew to talk and learn more about each other. During our dives we worked on navigating in shallow waters. This wasn’t easy as it sounds since the bottom was filled with jellyfish. Buoyancy was key during this dive. We got to dive up to 80 feet deep which was very interesting because we started to notice that simple colors like red changed to dark brown. Most of our dives took place off of a dive boat which was surprisingly fun. As a class we got to experience a night dive which was scary at first but changed to be a breathtaking thrill. Personally my favorite part of this trip was the drift dive where we got to sit back and relax as the current pushed us effortlessly while enjoying the wildlife. Not only did we get to dive but we also got to meet with locals and learn how a low waste environment works. We learned more about the wildlife and the culture of the island. Overall this was an amazing trip and I am so glad that I was able to experience it with my classmates. I feel that I learned so much on this trip and I know that it will really benefit it as a diver.

The Giant Stride Fundraising Event!

Buy Tickets/Donate Here!

The Harbor School Diving students are putting together a fundraiser with several fun activities for the whole family. There will be opportunities to paint oysters, decorate cupcakes, race while blindfolded to do the pipe project, and many more fun games. Food will be provided from Cowgirl Seahorse, Paris Cafe, and Mark Joseph Steakhouse and delicious oysters from Fishers Island Oyster Farm, so come hungry!

A slideshow and pictures throughout the room will display the daily life of Harbor School Students and show the incredible dive sites we’ve been able to explore. With students organizing this fundraiser and running all the activities, there will be plenty of divers to talk to about the Professional Diving CTE program. The money raised from this event will go to much needed gear, trips to places like Dutch Springs and the Bahamas where divers get their certifications, and supporting the students at the New York Harbor School to pay for expenses they can’t afford.

Come show your love and support for the incredible students exploring unique career paths. This amazing event will be held at Melville Gallery at the Seaport Museum from 4:30-7:30 on February 13. The address is 213 Water St, New York, NY 10038. There’s a suggested donation of $30. Big thank you to the South Street Seaport for hosting us!

Thank you from the fundraising committee: Crismaris P., Hannah F., and Joanna A.

The Aquarium Experience by Jackson R.

Diving at the New York Aquarium is one of the most wonderful, lucky experiences we at the Harbor School get the opportunity to participate in. In the form of words it may seem boring, as your cleaning the tanks, but it is actually a soothing, relaxing, sort of adventure. The tank we dive as students is called Glover’s Reef. Filled with tropical fish, from Cow-nose rays, to mean Angelfish, you feel like your in the Caribbean.


On Monday the fourteenth, my dive buddy, Korey and I were the first ones in the water. I was a bit under weighted so you can assume it was a lot of freaking out and paddling to keep myself underwater in order to complete the dive. However when we first went down I felt a tap on my shoulder. Korey looks at me and points straight towards my feet. In between is this massive, green Moray Eel. Now when you think of Eels, you think slimy, gross, mean, etc. However this one is quite the opposite. It was as if a cat had crawled in between my legs and was sitting there just smiling up at me. It just started hanging around Korey and I and was one of the coolest things I have seen in the diving program. Never before had a fish come to me just to basically cuddle my leg. Although in the end one of the other groups scared it away a bit and it flew off into the darkness.

Dive Physics for Juniors By Axel A.

img_2576For the past month and a half, our junior diving class has been in a physics unit. Each table would compose an individual research group, and would be assigned a specific physics law that is applicable to what we do in the water, such as the Archimedes displacement principle and the Gas Laws of Gay-Lussac, Charles, and Avogadro.

Our task: research our given law and present it to the rest of the class. However, this is where things got interesting. One of the many things I have come to love so dearly about this class is the preparation for our lives after high school that Lenny and Zoe provide for us by introducing us to skills of great importance in our futures, and assisting us in the mastery of such skills. Therefore, this unit was not solely a research project; it was also a lengthy, thorough lesson on presentation skills. Each time a group would present, the rest of the class were given feedback sheets to fill out, evaluating the presenters’ performances.

We were scrutinized both as groups and as individuals. At the end of every presentation, there was a designated period of time for feedback. The body language, confidence, organization, and projection of the presenters was discussed while the structure, content, and capability to be understood of the presentation itself was looked at.

The presenters took note of the feedback they had been given, making sure to apply what they had been told to their next attempted presentation. Lenny gave us these trial runs in an effort to help us in fine-tuning our presentations to their greatest capacities. When our peers had finished sharing their comments, Lenny had the final say. He would often “tear a presentation to shreds”, but there was not a single instance in which his feedback was not constructive and could not be instantly utilized to drastically improve the overall quality of the presentation he had reviewed.

I have come away from this unit with not only a more developed understanding of the laws we had studied, but also of how to effectively construct and execute a presentation to an audience lacking knowledge of the topic.

Dutch Springs!!! by Ben S.

My name is Ben and I’m a sophomore in the Professional Diving program at the New York Harbor School. I’ve recently acquired my PADI open water diver certification after four months of hard work. The thing about the trials you have to take to get your certification is, it doesn’t feel like work at all. Learning to breathe underwater makes you feel like an astronaut on an unknown world with critters spiraling around you. Diving is the scariest, most exciting thing I have ever done. Knowing that you are surrounded by hundreds of thousands of gallons of water and so many things can go wrong is thrilling. Or maybe it’s seeing what most people won’t ever see in real life and dealing with problems in real time. On the other hand, I feel calmer, after learning how not to panic while diving. Diving feels like an art, everyone has their own opinion on the most effective way to do something and their own style of diving.

I couldn’t have ever gotten this far without two people. Their support and patience shows how devoted they are to teaching and passing on their wisdom. These two people are Lenny Speregen and Zoe Greenberg. I’m so grateful that I’m being taught by them and they have easily earned my respect for exposing me to such a vast underwater world. I might even get a career in diving now that I know there is so much I haven’t seen and that I could see, through this program. My class is working towards getting Advanced Open Water certifications and we might even be able to take a trip to the Bahamas next month where I can rack up more dives. Ending my post, I didn’t come to Harbor School for diving, but as soon as I saw what Lenny and Zoe had to offer, I knew what I wanted to do for the next three years.