Since 1904, the Friday Harbor Laboratories have been one of the most well respected biology and oceanography research destinations in the world. Located on San Juan Island, just outside of Friday Harbor, the labs enjoy access to relatively pollution free waters. Swift tideways, quiet bays and lagoons, and a diverse terrain of rock and sand make them home to an exceptionally rich collection of flora and fauna.

Throughout most of the year, the labs remain closed to the public. However, once a year the labs host an Open House. Saturday, May 14, this amazing facility will be open to the public from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to share what we do with the community,” said Friday Harbor Laboratories Advancement Coordinator Rachel Anderson.

The Open House includes a variety of activities including self-guided tours, exhibits, hands-on demos, and lectures. Best of all are the Scuba Diving Demos. “Kids and adults alike absolutely love them,” said Anderson.

This year, the diving demos will be extra special. To find out why we talked Pema Kitaeff, Friday Harbor Laboratories Diving Safety Officer.

Q: How many divers are in the water at one time?
Pema: There will be two divers in the water during each demo.

Q: During the diving demos, will there be cameras below the surface so folks can see what’s going on?
Pema: Yes. One of the divers will be swimming with a video camera hard-wired to the monitor on the dock so people can watch what the divers are seeing in real-time.

But the real exciting draw is that the divers will be wearing full-face masks equipped with-way communication. It’s like a two-way radio. It allows the divers to communicate with the surface.

Q: Awesome. Will the divers bring up specific things to show folks on the surface?
Pema: Yes. Just a few critters. We’ll allow people in the audience to ask for what they’d like to see the divers bring up. That’s one of the really exciting things about the two-way communication. The divers will be able to carry on a conversation during the dive.

Scuba Diving Demos Schedule

11:30 AM
12:30 PM
1:30 PM
2:30 PM