Do Alvin pilots have any special traditions?
Most people receive flowers, plaques, or speeches to honor a special achievement. Seagoing folks have their own, sometimes quirky, rituals. Upon their return to the surface, people who dive in Alvin for the first time are greeted with a bucket of ice-cold water on the deck of the research vessel Atlantis. Engineering assistant Phil Santos got his traditional frigid baptism after his first dive in March 2014.
When a pilot makes his or her first dive, initiation into that small fraternity involves being doused with mud from the seafloor. (Chris Linder /WHOI)