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.

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.