(guest post by Peter Mizanski)
Having grown up ensconced in SCUBA culture and lore, working in the family dive shop every summer since I could lift a tank, I naturally jumped at the opportunity to take part in an underwater archaeological excavation in the surreal waters of the eastern Mediterranean that I had only seen in textbooks.
I completed my first dive in the summer of 2003 in the St. Lawrence River of Ontario and was amazed at the exciting world beneath the water surface. Ever since then all of my diving has been done in and around the same areas of Ontario. I had it in my mind that I would be forever limited to cold, dark, and murky waters devoid of spectacular colours. Shortly after our arrival in Turkey and before the archaeological work began, team members completed check out dives just outside the walls of Harbor 2. This being my first salt water dive, I was completely enthralled by the colour and the exotic creatures in the vicinity. Now I was ready to dive and excavate.
Day one: I slipped into our 2×2 meter trench and saw…nothing! The visibility was so poor due to our shallow trench and the silty sediment that it was a struggle to see my hand flat against my mask. It came as such a shock that the experience of the beautiful undersea world I saw previously was replaced by the cold, dark, murky waters I was already so used to. But there is always an up side; in this case, getting the opportunity to work in an ancient harbor provides all the motivation I need to keep going.