Snorkeling and diving are some of the most awesome experiences campers can immerse themselves in at Catalina Sea Camp. Peach and her dive team are something special to watch. As certified NAUI Dive Masters and Instructors, they offer unique opportunities for campers to encounter nature through adventurous underwater explorations at Sea Camp. She and her team of experienced dive instructors generate excitement and awe through helping campers access a world that is often times completely new to them. Campers often share first-time experiences with their friends, whether it’s the first time they get to touch a sea hare during a snorkel session, or learning how to breathe underwater during Basic SCUBA courses.
For Junior Sea Campers, these programs look like everything from exciting dive-deck demos to opportunities to experiencing these organisms up close and personal on group snorkels. For the Senior Sea Camp programs the curriculum deepens, allowing campers to explore SCUBA through incremental courses that improve dive skills, stress safety, and encourage creativity through photo or video of our underwater world here at Toyon Bay and around the island.
While adventure and education are main focuses for Peach and her team, safety is always at the forefront of courses and activities on the dive deck and in the water. The unique opportunity for campers to practice diving in Toyon’s private bay and have the flexibility to travel across Catalina on our Discovery barge to places like the Avalon Dive Park and Lover’s Cove to see other unique ecosystems is a one-of-a-kind experience for dive students.
It may not always be noticeable but everything on earth is under pressure. Above the ocean’s surface everything is subject to the air pressure of our atmosphere, which equals about fourteen and a half pounds per square inch, or one atmosphere of pressure.
If that doesn’t seem like much then consider the fact that it is pressing down on every single part of your body at all times. You’ve probably opened a brand new bottle of soda before and noticed how when the seal is cracked there is a familiar hissing sound and the bottle becomes more flexible. This is because sodas are stored under a few atmospheres of pressure to help keep them carbonated or “fizzy”.
That’s only one example of pressure though. Now, consider water weighs a lot more than air. The amount of pressure that most animals in the ocean have to live with is a lot greater than the amount that surface dwellers have to live with. At a depth of only thirty-three feet, the surrounding water pressure is now two atmospheres or double the amount of air pressure at the surface. At this depth there is no need to worry about the pressure being strong enough to do any physical harm but for fish that use a swim bladder, which is a gas filled organ used to maintain buoyancy, the increase in density of their bodies becomes an issue. The deeper you go, the denser you become. The denser you become, the faster you will sink without being able to stop it. Luckily most fish have the ability to deal with this issue before a problem occurs, but for others like the chambered nautilus, maintaining the right depth is crucial for survival. The nautilus uses chambers of gas inside its hard shell and water exchange for buoyancy so unlike many fish, it cannot raise or lower its buoyancy level very quickly if need be. To witness how pressure exists all around us you can do an experiment for yourself. Try cracking an egg under water and notice how the surrounding water pressure keeps the egg round instead of it falling apart.
We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. Catalina Sea Camp is a hands-on marine science program with an emphasis on ocean exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and ocean happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at minimum a Bachelors Degree in Marine Science or related subject. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science and ocean information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit www.catalinaseacamp.org for additional information. Happy Reading!