Cathedral where you cannot breathe
No need to pray, no need to speak
Now I am under all...
And the arms of the ocean are carrying me
And all this devotion is rushing out of me
And the crashes are heaven for a sinner like me
But the arms of the ocean delivered me"
- "Never let me go" by Florence and the Machine
I love diving under the WHOI pier. It's where I've done most of my training dives, and it is heaven for a benthic ecologist. The pier is supported by a series of pilings, all of which are inhabited by invertebrates. Sponges and anemones and ascidians of all kinds. It's goregous.
|Benthic fauna on the side of the instrument well|
Once we reach the bottom of the descent line, we are free to swim under the pier. It's hollow down there, and the water is interrupted only by the pilings and a few random objects. There are guide lines connecting the pilings, so in case you get lost, you can follow the lines back to the instrument well. The random objects on the seafloor can be used for orientation, too. For example, a lobster trap and an ammunition box rest on the sand just west of the descent line, and an old cart lies to the south of it. A pipe on the seafloor marks the edge of the pier, and if you reach the fake plastic hawk, you've gone too far. Everything is covered in benthic fauna, but still the pilings are my favorite.
|Pilings supporting the WHOI pier|