Posted by: Jill | September 13, 2011

Bom dia! A typical day in Brazil.

Sometimes, my job is to travel to remote places and go scuba diving. I know, it is a tough life, right? This is what a typical day was like on the trip to Abrolhos, Brazil:

By day 4 of the trip we have settled into a comfortable and familiar routine. I wake up around 6:30 or 7 a.m. when I hear people moving tanks on the deck directly above my bunk. I am usually one of the last people awake, but I will not make my first dive until at least 8:30, so there is no rush. I scramble over my bunkmate (it’s a small cabin!) and climb the steep stairs to the galley, trying to move carefully but more likely than not, I will bump my head on the low ceiling, anyway. I head directly for the thermos of hot coffee, add a splash of leite, and smile bom dia at my fellow divers. We discuss the day’s dive plan while we take turns toasting our breakfast sandwiches in the panini press.

Most of us make one morning dive, either an early 6 a.m. dive to collect samples at a specific time, or a more reasonable 9 a.m. dive for samples that don’t change with time. Lucky for me, algae are pretty much the same at any time of day, so I am on the later shift.

After the first dive we rinse gear, set up fresh tanks, and the microbe scientists begin filtering water – a process that requires minimal but constant attention for several hours. While they are filtering, I store my data: either uploading and cataloging photographs, or labeling and preserving samples of algae. Inevitably, we have been treated to delicious lunch smells throughout the morning and we are all happy when it is time to eat. Then we gear up for another dive, and spend the rest of the afternoon processing samples or off-gassing the nitrogen in our blood (read: napping). Dinnertime rolls around and the dedicated water filtering team will take a short break to eat and listen to a nightly science talk.

After the science talk, the lucky ones tuck into bed early, but a few brave souls remain awake to do a night dive and collect a midnight sample.

I sleep well in my cozy bunk. Fresh air flows through the porthole and the boat rocks gently as I drift off, reciting names of new coral species instead of counting sheep.



  1. […] Bom dia! A typical day in Brazil. ( Share this:PrintFacebookEmailLinkedInRedditStumbleUponTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Bali and Beyond, On Circle and tagged Amed, Bali, Denpasar, Diving, Flickr, Free-diving, Gili Trawangan, Indonesia, Klungkung, Kuta, Outdoors, Recreation, Sambal, Scuba diving, Tulamben. Bookmark the permalink. […]

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