May started out with an excursion to Palm Beach to qualify as a PADI certified SCUBA diver. I went diving with two “legends” in the sport – Lorraine Nelson of Pan Aqua NYC, and Barbara DeClerque of Pura Vida Divers in Palm Beach. They took me to a lovely underwater spot at the Blue Heron Bridge, teaming with fish and wildlife; we saw an octopus, sea cucumber, angelfish and all kinds of other creatures.
I am working on boosting my diving skills to be able to write my character Cordelia Stapleton with some degree of verisimilitude. She is an oceanographer, and in the opening scene in The Explorer’s Code she is in full dive gear after working on the Alvin submersible at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Speaking of undersea exploration, I recently attended an event in New York with a brilliant scientist from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Andy Bowen and the famous filmmaker James Cameron – Cameron has donated his “vertical torpedo” submersible to Woods Hole for future expeditions. That submersible went down 6.8 miles under the ocean to the Mariana Trench, only the second attempt at that thrilling and unexplored territory.
I plan on staying around New York for much of May, attending various events including the annual Women and Science Luncheon at Rockefeller University – to promote careers for women in the sciences.
Wishing you a wonderful May filled with exciting adventures.