Day 222: Mark

14 Nov

Mark Buktenica is a biologist and he is the “aquatic ecologist” at Crater Lake National Park. He is “the first person to reach the deepest point in Oregon’s Crater Lake” according to National Geographic Adventure Magazine. Here is his description of what he saw while in a submarine at the bottom of the lake:

“There’s a ring of moss—like a band of hair around a bald man’s head—that circles all of Crater Lake. That was our first surprise; it’s invisible from the surface. The moss starts at a hundred feet in depth and is draped off cliffs and matted on rocks all the way down to 450 feet (137 meters)—so darn deep. Crater Lake has the clearest water ever measured, and that allows light to penetrate unusual distances.

“I made dives in 1988 and 1989 in the Deep Rover submarine, essentially a large plastic bubble with lights, oxygen tanks, and sampling equipment bolted to the outside. Deep Rover fits only one person, so you’re both the pilot and the scientist. It takes a long time—20 to 30 minutes—to drop to the bottom of the lake, going from daylight into the blue, then into darkness. The day I went to the lake’s deepest point, I turned off all the lights and the instruments and just sat there for a few minutes, taking in the silence. Even there, at 1,949 feet (594 meters) below the surface, my eyes could still pick up some vague light from above. Incredible.” You can read more about his experience here.

Our family first met Mark because he was one of the parents who volunteered for the Nordic Ski team when my son Coco was at Ashland High School. Mark is an assistant coach for the team, and has given his time and resources to the club as often as possible. I know that my son enjoyed spending time with Mark and his kids and learned to love cross country skiing in part because of their love and enthusiasm for the sport.

This afternoon I brought a Sausage and Pepper Quiche to Mark to thank him for his participation on the Nordic Ski Team… and for giving me the chance to say that I know someone who has been to the bottom of Crater Lake in a submarine!

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2 Responses to “Day 222: Mark”

  1. Mark November 15, 2011 at 12:39 PM #

    What a wonderful way to learn about your project. Thank you for everything you do to spread gratitude and caring. Your family has often inspired and humbled me by your many contributions to the community. And thank you for the delicious quiche!

    • pieadaygiveaway November 15, 2011 at 2:28 PM #

      You are most welcome! Thanks for your gifts to the ski team!

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