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!

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.

Welcome to the new diving year juniors, seniors, and a special welcome to the program, our incoming sophomores. Jackson and Oskar have taken over the site this year, and if you’d like to contribute then keep on reading. An opportunity for earning extra credit and potentially – taking over the blog internship in your senior year by helping us write blog posts. These posts will be about what your class has been doing in the past month. Unlike last year they have to be about what your class is doing, and if you plan on writing them on something other than that, you must contact Jackson via Slack. We look forward to working with everyone. Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

Joanna’s cold Fishers island experience

nullThe Harbor School Fishers Island Trip is a 3-day Trip where almost all CTE’s come together to help out on the Fishers Island Oyster Farm, a Harbor School tradition. During the 2018 Fishers Island Trip the divers got to experience many things. The weather throughout the trip was not ideal for diving but the outcome of the dives here a great learning experience for everyone. Fellow diver Chris Morales seemed to be experiencing signs and symptoms of hypothermia, and like many of the divers including myself we were all shivering when getting out of the water. This should allow you to assume how cold the water really was. It was unusual though because underwater my group and I didn’t feel as cold. We continued to find oyster cages and lost oysters in the water but as soon as we reached the surface it was hard to move as our body stopped responding because it was so cold. For the oyster cages we used lift bags to help them reach the surface which was a new skill we got to use as we hadn’t had any prior experience. I found and oyster cage and my buddy Hannah used the lift bag to help it reach the surface. What was cool about this is after we brought our oysters to the surface we got help separate them into piles to help the oyster farm. They would either use the lost oysters to grow spat on them or sell them if they were the right size. We also got to see all the marine life around the oyster cages underwater like sea stars and sea jellies but also a bunch of shrimp, crabs, and worms in the oyster cages we brought up. Overall, we got to use new skills and work with the other CTE’s, the trip was a great learning experience.