Oskar’s First Blog Post of the Year

My name is Oskar and I’m a senior in the diving program at the New York Harbor School. From the moment I heard about the diving program I knew that it was exactly what I wanted. I had never dove or even thought about scuba diving, but for some reason I just knew that this is what I wanted. Now I’m a senior and although my time as a professional diver is far from over, my time so far has proven to be compelling and engaging. Most of all it is refreshing. Not only is it refreshing to hit the water and be able to forget everything going on but the work we do and the things we are able to learn and experience are truly incredible. There is nothing in the world like it and, for that, I am eternally grateful.


Right now my senior class and I are busy doing EVERFI and senior projects. EVERFI is a program that essentially teaches us what do with money. It is career and financial management which is an important class that we are lucky enough to take. We are diving as well, weather permitting, finishing up certifications like scientific diving. All of my classmates are doing some pretty interesting things for their senior projects. Joanna, for example, is redoing the transects and quadrats so that we don’t have to convert from the Imperial system to the Metric system. Sally and Crismaris are building a door for our beloved scuba classroom. We are all doing things that will hopefully make a lasting impact for our scuba program.

My senior project is still in the making and I don’t know exactly what I’m doing but I’m gonna start by exploring some of the most polluted waterways in New York City and taking some pictures of them. With these pictures I’m gonna put them in some type of format that can express to people. The senior projects are all very different and tailored to our skills and intrests.

We will also start to dive at the aqarium very soon so tune in for a blog post on the aqarium!!!!

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.

Deciding if Professional Diving is the Right Choice For You

Amalia C.

To any freshmen at the Harbor School,

Your freshman year of the Harbor School is coming to an end you are left with one decision that will stick with you for the next three years. Deciding on a CTE is instrumental to your high school experience, especially if you choose diving. It will occupy a lot of time and dedication till you graduate. Which is why you should be informed of all the Professional Diving Program has to offer before you take the next step into the rest of high school.

One, the diving program requires students to attend weekend dives every Saturday. You will be waking up early to meet at the Battery Maritime Building and traveling to Dutch Springs, Pennsylvania. Dutch Springs is where the Sophomores will complete their first certification: Open Water Diver. Other diving will be scheduled at sites like Bushwick Pool in Brooklyn. Just remember that your Saturdays will be taken up by diving. During school time the sophomores are required everyday to show up to class at the MAST Center located on Governor’s Island. It is about a ten minute walk (rain, sleet, or snow). At class you will learn a bunch of exciting new things, my personal favorite was Fish Identification. The kids attending the Bahamas will use what they learned from class in the open water. You will also learn CPR and First Aid, and have the opportunity to listen to Lenny repeat many of his jokes.

The Professional Diving Program is a team effort. Which means working together is essential for the program. Coming in off the 7:30 ferry in the mornings to wash gear, and staying after school at Diver Support Meetings are few things that help our program. Washing gear and unpacking is mandatory and expected from every student to help out. Our diving is very gear heavy and consists of lugging around heavy tanks. But with everyone helping the process goes a lot smoother. DST meetings is a newly run program in our diving family that comes up with ways for us to do activities, and spend time outside of diving. We recently just had an afterschool party to introduce the sophomore divers to the upperclassmen. Other things we look forward to is camping trips, and the overnight at the MAST Center.

To conclude, as you are coming near to your Freshman year making a CTE decision is very important. I didn’t even know what I wanted to choose until I went on the Diving Field class. Scuba diving iss a beautiful experience that puts you out of your environment into a new world full of discovery. Hopefully you have that same experience with whatever you decide to choose, and we look forward to seeing you as a diver at the Harbor School.

Simon’s Bahamas trip

Professional Diving, we are a class of 48 in total. As our name implies, we scuba dive. Most people come into the program not even knowing how to swim, but now we are all certified divers and training to be more than that. We, as a TEAM, working together make the dream work, so we all went down to the Bahamas where the sun shines bright and the ocean is clear.

Down at the Island School located somewhere on a island, we trained ourselves mentally and physically. We would wake up early in the morning just to get more time out of our day. We carried gear up and down roads, ran for miles, and dived for hours. But at the end of all the harsh labor we came out with something that we didn’t have going in, Responsibility! Spending a whole week taking care of ourselves and maintaining our daily activities while helping others really changed our view on life. It showed that we cannot manage on our own, even if we think we can, there’s always a need for someone to help you and them pass the finish line. So we all need to take responsibility, be there waiting, and ready to jump in whenever they are needed!

Hannah Fox – Blog post

We have been working on our first aid training in sophomore diving ever since we got back from the Bahamas trip. In the course we have learned how to assess the scene, perform log roles, CPR, and several other very useful skills.

It has been a great learning and bonding experience for the entire class to rely on each other in a way we never have before. So many amazing questions are being asked every day about the most obscure things someone could possibly think of. My top 5 favorites are as follows (in no particular order)

-“What if while you are performing CPR you have a heart attack and there’s no one else around?”

-“Why do the CPR dummies have a jaw???”

-“Hey Lenny, what’s the weirdest situation you’ve ever had to save a life in?”

-“How are you supposed to know if the wires are on?”

-“What happens if you don’t listen to the defibrillator and zap when you want to?”

Learning all of the skills we have has just been an overall great experience in how to think in a good way for problem solving and always come prepared for unexpected situations. The course we have been doing has around 30 chapters and we are currently up to chapter 22, when we learn about diabetes, asthma, and heart attacks. Lenny, Zoë, and Joe have been great at keeping the lessons both fun and informative at the same time.

Axel’s return to the pool

It makes sense that SCUBA Diving is a perishable skill. A perishable skill is basically a skill that needs to be consistently practiced and executed in order to maintain, or else it “perishes”. In other words, you begin to lose the skill. However, the more accustomed you are to a certain skill, the more you’ve practiced and learned, the harder it is for that skill to perish as a result. Muscle memory is what pushes a perishable skill towards “non perishable”, even though that can never truly be reached. One factor that makes muscle memory easier to achieve is whether or not you love what you’re doing. I can safely say I do.

It was the sophomore class’ first time back in the water since our week-long trip to the Bahamas in January of 2018. We had just come off of what was a rather long surface interval, around two months. We set foot onto Bushwick High School’s pool deck at 10am on a Saturday. As the familiar scent of chlorine is absorbed by my nostrils, I finished helping the team unload the tanks, and I went to the locker room to change.

After a warm up of a few pool laps, we start suiting up and setting up our kits. I begin. I test my air. I attach my BCD to my tank. I screw my regulator into the tank valve. I attach the Regulator’s inflator hose to the BCD. I test my second stage. Before I know it, I’m done. It takes me a moment to realize that I accomplished that task without having to struggle to remember how to accomplish it. Upon entering the pool, I’m thoroughly convinced my buoyancy will be horrendous. It’s been too long. I hope my buoyancy work in the Bahamas stuck with me. I descend with my buddy, and we begin to work through the usual obstacles set up at the bottom of the pool.

As I approach the first floating square, I prepare myself for my tank valve to get caught. I move through it, and continue to do so. I then prepare myself for my legs to get caught. Once again, I continue to glide through the water. Ecstatic, I maneuver myself through the rest of the obstacles. I twist and do cartwheels while consuming little air. I hover using breath control. I descend to the bottom, stare at the surface and blow bubble rings like Lenny taught me. I feel like I’ve come home after being away for some time.

Eventually it’s time to wrap up. I get out, clean gear, disassemble my kit, change, and load the van. Before leaving the pool deck, I look back at the clear, still water. I’m so happy to be practicing again.

While this isn’t some crazy story that you would initially think to share with someone when enlightening them about your diving career, this experience is very meaningful to me. It reminds me how grateful I am to be a student of the New York Harbor School and the Professional Diving program, and how much I love what I do. In addition, it also reminds me how far I’ve come since beginning this wondrous journey. I use experiences like this one to help track my progress, to see how much I remember and watch myself grow as diving becomes a bigger and bigger part of me.