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Florida Keys’ History of Diving Museum Offers Virtual and In-Person Learning

Keys History
This Keys History story spotlights an historically focused attraction, event, person or place that enriches the Florida Keys

ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — The Florida Keys History of Diving Museum, dedicated to the collection, preservation and display of relics and artifacts relative to the sport’s heritage, provides residents and visitors with a valuable yearlong educational resource, constantly evolving exhibits and virtual events to be enjoyed from the comforts of home.

The museum’s free monthly “Immerse Yourself!” lecture series, held the third Wednesday of every month, continues via Zoom technology Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Kylie Smith, Ph.D., co-founder and project manager for I.CARE, Islamorada’s newest coral restoration initiative, is to explain the challenges coral reefs are facing, research being done and how citizens can get actively involved with cleanup dives, coral outplanting trips and reef monitoring trips. I.CARE incorporates volunteer scuba divers who pair up with marine scientists to understand environmental impacts on coral reefs and apply learned methods to assist in restoring corals along Keys reefs.

The Dec. 16 “Immerse Yourself!” lecture is to feature author John Chatterton and “Past Stories from the Sea.”  The free online presentations start at 7 p.m. (ET). Pre-registration is required.

For in-person visitors, the museum’s latest exhibit, “In Depth: 15 Years of the Diving Museum,”is on display through December 2020 and includesnever-before-seen artifacts and recently acquired diving gear. Visitors can use smartphones to scan QR codes for historical diving facts, including how Drs. Joe and Sally Bauer founded the museum with their expansive personal collection spanning their years of research and dedication to diving.

Museum goers can come within inches of the earliest diving machines, including a full-scale replica of an all-wood diving bell; the Parade of Nations, a collection of 25 historic hard-hat dive helmets from around the world; and exhibits illustrating significant contributions made by men and women in the progression of modern-day scuba diving and underwater exploration.  

Self-guided museum tours, with limited group sizes to incorporate social distancing protocols while providing a uniquely personalized experience,are offered daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special admission rates for seniors and retired U.S. military apply.

After the self-guided tour, guests receive an HDM souvenir and time to browse books, artifacts and gifts in the museum’s store.

On “Immerse Yourself!” Wednesdays, exhibits remain open until 6:45 p.m. and museum visitors can attend the 7 p.m. lectures in person at no charge. Pre-registration is required.

A complete list of monthly virtual events, in-person happenings and lecture topics can be found at divingmuseum.org.

 

The Parade of Nations exhibit is a collection of 25 historic hard-hat dive helmets from around the world.

The Parade of Nations exhibit is a collection of 25 historic hard-hat dive helmets from around the world.

Museum goers can come within inches of the earliest diving machines, including a full-scale replica of an all-wood diving bell.

Museum goers can come within inches of the earliest diving machines, including a full-scale replica of an all-wood diving bell.

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This article was updated on October 26, 2020 at 10:56 AM
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